I acheived a fair amount in January. I ran 100Km, completed my 1st medal-winning race of the year, and finished a 30-day hot yoga challenge.
Well, January is always a good point to reflect on the last year and to set intentions. I don’t like the often transient nature of New Years Resolutions but the idea that I might make plans to improve my life and my happiness over the year seemed like a positive step in the right direction.
The word resolution infers the absolute decision to do, or not do something, and I feel that’s a bit intense for me. I am very good at being on the bandwagon, but I know I’m also incredibly good at falling off. A symptom of having an addictive personality.
By setting intentions I felt more like I was setting a plan to do something, with less catastrophic consequences if I couldn’t manage it. In previous years I have done a 30-day hot yoga challenge in January and then excelled at what I like to call ‘fuck all February’.
my happy life project is more focussed on the long term intentions for building happiness into my life. So yes, January was intense, but it was designed to be a month jam packed with exercise. It was supposed to start 2017 on the right footing with exercise and that it did.
There were other improvement in my health and wellbeing over January too. In total I probably drank less than a bottle of wine up until the last few days of the month. This is a good improvement for me.
I upped my water intake to about 4-5l a day to accommodate the loss of sweat. Yes, with added electrolytes – this is not my first rodeo!
My sleep improved considerably. I averaged about 7 hours a night.
I have adhered to being a vegan which makes me happier as it aligns to my ethos around how animals and the planet should be treated.
Physically, I have at times felt strong and at others exhausted. Exercising every day, despite how I felt physically, has taught me that you can just show up and do what you can manage. Take it easier on days when it feels too much, push harder on days you feel good for it, but you don’t need to omit exercise completely on days it feels more tough. It’s just mind over matter.
Mentally January was good. I felt happier, I think. Other people noticed it so that has to be a good measure.
I did feel however that the focus on exercising so much was leaving no time for other enjoyments. I wasn’t able to be very social, I haven’t had the chance to spend time with Giles, or visit friends and family. Some days the idea of exercising, when I really didn’t want to felt like punishment and although it’s good to know I can do it I feel I need to find a more enjoyable and sustainable balance.
So instead of ‘fuck all February’ I am going to revisit my intentions and make plans for building happiness in other aspects of my life.
On reflection January was just the start I needed for 2017, but just healthy eating and exercising everyday isn’t enough to make me feel happy. I need to take active measures to be creative, social and self-caring.
Onwards and upwards.