Thursday, 14 July 2016
About two years ago, Rich and I decided to buy a house together and this was probably my first experience of goal setting. I set myself a monthly target, adjusted this over the first few months until I found an amount that worked for me, checked in monthly, tracked my progress and re-adjusted how much I was saving after moving to Portsmouth. This was a really active process that has borne incredible results.
Right now, my main goals are financial, professional and physical. I'm not quite ready to share my professional and financial plans, they are fairly interlinked, but I thought it might be useful to share how I'm using goal setting techniques to make physical changes.
For me, 'physical' encompasses diet and exercise and how I feel in my own body. It had never occurred to me that you could set goals for your body because health is such an ongoing, daily thing and goals feel so final.
But I started thinking about it - how could I harness the power of goals to create a body that works optimally for me and that I feel great in?
Firstly I set myself some daily goals - drinking enough, eating well and moving every day - and I track these in my bullet journal. I have a monthly calendar, where I jot down events, birthdays and appointments, but there is also space to track daily habits by just colouring in a square. I can see at a glance how I've fared with my healthy habits and if there are any patterns that would be useful to know about.
So far I've noticed that I find it much easier to hydrate on weekdays - the tap water is gross at work, so I leave my Klean Kanteen at home and pick up a 2 litre bottle on my way in. This sits on my desk and is a constant reminder to drink. So I know that I need to keep water with me at all times so that it's just automatic to sip away all day.
Next up, I jotted down how I wanted to look and feel. This free-thinking mind-mapping was really great - I wasn't tied down by what I thought I should set as goals. I emptied my brain, in much the same way I did after Blogtacular, and then studied that brain-dump for things I could pull out as goals:
Feel good running
I'm mildly asthmatic, so I want to improve my lung function with regular cardio. Also the ultimate feeling of health for me is a really good run, where you feel like you're flying.
This feels really necessary now that I'm in a full-time desk-bound job. I feel so stiff, especially when I get on the yoga mat and attempt postures that used to come naturally, so I know that I need this.
I am really struggling with this. An earlier bedtime feels like a resentful concession to the 9-5, but sleep is something I really need. I feel like I'm only ever running at about 65% these days. I haven't figured this one out yet, but it's high on the list!
This is incredibly personal and I hesitated to share it because it's actually quite hard to say - I loathe my thighs. I have a pretty good relationship with my body. Yes, there are things I would like to change, but it's not something I dwell on. My thighs though... Oh boy... They are so pale you can see my veins and they are incredibly difficult to tone up. I've started wearing shorts to get used to getting them out, so that I can break down this feeling of dislike and normalise that for myself and I'm hoping that running and yoga will tone them up.
I've always wanted tattoos, but I've never really settled on any. I now have three that I would love to have, so I'm on the look out for a great tattooist. If there are any in Hampshire or London that you would recommend, please let me know! I'm also saving up so that I've got the cash when I find the person.
These are so much more concrete than a vague sense of wanting to be 'fitter' or 'more at home' in my skin. These are things you can create steps to, things that can be ticked off so that when you're flagging you can refer back and see that how far you've already come!