I can't quite believe I'm actually typing this but it's the end of April already!  This month seems to have well and truly slipped through my fingers and it's now time to update you for the final time on the #SpringForward Blogger Challenge with the Institue of Inertia, in partnership with Comparethemarket.com

If you missed the first couple of posts about this project, the basic premise of the #SpringForward Blogger Challenge is that you are far more likely to stick to your goals and resolutions if you set them in the spring time rather than in the New Year.  As such I was challenged to set myself some goals for April and keep you updated as to whether I've stuck to them or not! 

I set a number of goals under the umbrella of Self Care - small changes which could potentially add up to make a big difference to my state of mind and physical well being.  In an attempt to make things more "measurable" I tried to set myself specific targets:

1. Bedtime routine - laptop off at 9.30pm and no mobile phone in the bedroom. 

2. 50k steps a week minimum 

3. Keep a food diary 

I knew that it was unlikely that I would suddenly be able to make sweeping changes to my lifestyle and achieve my goals from the 1st of April without fail.  I went into this with my eyes open seeing them more as targets than rules - it somehow seems kinder and less open to failure? 

In my last update I explained that I was getting better at turning my laptop off earlier but had completely failed with the whole phone downstairs thing.  Two weeks later and things are much the same - my Fit Bit vibrates at 9.30pm to tell me it's time to shut down but it often takes me another 20 minutes before I mange it.  I think I need to set the alarm a little earlier to give me time to tie up loose ends before 9.30pm.  I have actually been and bought an alarm clock so as to enable me to leave my phone downstairs but I have thus far failed to put batteries in it!  Baby steps!?  I've had my phone by my bedside for almost 20 years (that sounds utterly ridiculous writing it down but it's true) so this really is a case of "old habits die hard" - I haven't given up, I'm definitely still working on it!  I'm finding I'm getting to sleep much easier than I had been so I do think the progress I've made has had an impact even if I haven't quite gone the whole hog. 

Earlier in the month I was struggling to get my 50k a week steps, in part due to the lack of school run over the Easter holidays.  It's amazing what a change in routine can do!  

I've well and truly nailed my target over the latter part of the month hitting over 60k steps for the last two weeks.  This has been partly thanks to getting the kids back to school and therefore automatically being out three times a day on school runs but also due to intentionally taking more steps - taking Thomas for a walk during Ben's dance class, walking the long way home from the shops, taking the kids to the park after tea when the sun is shining.  This is definitely something I need to continue working on, trying to get that magical 10k on more days than not!  It's clear that setting this target in the Spring is easily more successful that doing it in January as there's just more opportunity to get out - the sun is shining, the days are longer - trips to the park are more likely to be on the cards. 

The first part of the month saw me lose 5lbs, which I was thrilled with!  The following week, despite being really rigorous with my food diary, I didn't lose anything at all and the week after I gained thanks to a good old premenstrual bloat.  Joy.  So whilst I don't have any further weight loss to report, I do feel much more in control of my eating habits.  Had the maintain and premenstrual gain happened in January, I think I'd have quickly given up and gone back to my own eating habits however right now I'm feeling determined to get myself sorted.  I'm making better choices and I can feel a big difference. I know that I'm heading in the right direction and hopefully, with a bit more focus I can start to drop those extra pounds I'm lugging around!

Along with the specific targets relating to my bedtime routine, exercise levels and diet - I was also aware of wanting to just make more time for myself.  This is such an airy fairy target - it's not really measurable however I've definitely spent more time making sure I've used body lotion or given myself an extra few minutes to put on my make up.  I spent Saturday night colouring in, though as that was for a blog related review I'm not sure it really counts.  That's by the by.  The overall theme of Self Care I think has been a success and I do think that taking time out to concentrate on doing things which make me happier and healthier, is of benefit to my whole family and is without doubt something I need to keep concentrating on.  And Spring resolutions?  Yes, I'll definitely be setting some more of those next year!  Who needs New Year anyway! 

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