Did you make any New Year's resolutions back in January? Have you stuck to them? I must admit I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, I've never been very good at them so now I prefer not to bother on the basis that I'll only fail and then feel worse about it. This feeling is backed up by Dr Thomas Webb, social psychologist and Chair of the Institute of Inertia who says;
"In January people have a tendency to jump on the 'new year, new you' bandwagon. Many of us follow the crowd and get swept up in the enthusiasm around making New Year's resolutions. However, often the goals we set are unrealistic, are not supported by a clear plan of action or an understanding of the task at hand - in short, it's a recipe for failure."
The Institute of Inertia in partnership with comparethemarket.com have challenged myself and three other leading mummy bloggers to set ourselves a goal for April. The theory being that Spring is the best time to make small positive changes which can have a lasting impact on our lives.
It makes perfect sense doesn't it? The clocks have changed, the days are getting longer, the sun is shining (sometimes) and we all feel a bit more positive about what's ahead. In Spring we are naturally motivated to do more - be it chuck stuff out as part of a big Spring clean, sort the garden ready for summer or take advantage of the brighter evenings to go out for a walk or run.
So this April, my intentions are all focused around a theme of Self Care. Now, as a teacher I have been trained to set SMART targets - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely - and I'm afraid for the most part an intention of "Self Care" doesn't really fit that as it's neither specific nor measurable. I'm not setting a target of 8 hours sleep a night or to lose a stone, this is more vague, more indeterminable. Whether I achieve my goals for the month will be more about how I feel in myself.
Over the last month or so I've been increasingly aware that I've not been looking after myself properly - I'm not taking care of my diet, I'm not getting enough exercise, I don't have a proper sleep routine and I don't really make time to relax. All this is adding up to an overweight, grumpy and stressed out lady. Not only is this not a nice way to be for me - it's not nice for the kids or for Dave.
So, what exactly am I going to do about it? For a start I'm planning to set a proper bedtime routine - I'm going to turn everything off at 9.30pm and leave my phone downstairs! I do use it for an alarm clock but it's too easy to pick it up and check social media, get involved in a conversation or play Candy Crush. My phone definitely affects my sleep so . . . Tech off at 9.30pm and no phones in the bedroom.
I've been using my Fitbit religiously for over a year and I get my 10k target a few times a week. I want to increase this and ensure I'm getting over 50k steps a week minimum. This is always harder in the school holidays without my daily school run but hopefully the weather will be kind to us and we can get out a bit more.
I've blogged about my weight a bit over the last year or so. At the moment, it's more than creeping up and I need to get a grip. There's been a whole lot of mindless eating - eating for boredom, emotional eating, just not thinking about it and eating. So to combat this, I need to start writing it down - be it counting calories or following Slimming World - I just need to be a bit more honest with myself so a food diary it is.
And finally, this one is about my mental health, about doing things which make me smile. Obviously getting better sleep, more exercise and a healthier diet are all going to boost my mood. But I want to make sure I'm taking more time for myself - I'm not about to start colouring in, that's not my bag, but I need to do little things like taking that minute to put on some body lotion after a shower, buying a bunch of flowers or getting out and about with friends and making sure I'm taking care over my appearance as I know these are all things which make me feel better. This one will be the hardest to do and the hardest to measure I think.
So, stick with me and see how April pans out. Will I be happier, fitter and more well rested come the end of the month? We shall see!
Read Colette's latest blog here.