Where did those twelve months go?! I know we say this every year but it really does seem to have positively flown past! At the start of the year I confirmed that I was going to shun "new years resolutions" as usual, and instead set out a long-ish list of things that I wanted to see if I could tackle/focus on through the year with the following overall aims:
So I guess it's now time to see how I've done with this!
Personal/Health & Fitness:
- I will aim to keep up a good level of activity, with no fewer that 6,000 steps in a day It's been an incredibly rare day when I've not achieved this and my daily average over the year is currently sitting at over 13,000 so I think I can call this one done!
- Continue with eating well, using the FitBit to log foods some days to keep on track. This has continued to work really well and I've maintained my weight through the year using this method - so again this will be repeated for next year!
- Exercise at least 3 x per week - more is fine. Gym, running, swimming, circuits, HIIT Sessions - all good. Aside from points when injury has got in the way I've maintained this one pretty well and over the year I have regularly taken part in a good range of different activities too.
- Stretching is good and helps facilitate the exercise. Ideally a full stretching session at least once per week and mini sessions scattered through as well. Going to "amber light" this as needing to be more of a priority for 2019 and beyond. I have done a fair amount but have also identified areas and specific muscle-groups where I could benefit from a lot more.
- Continue using my Bullet-ish journal to help with planning and general organisation WIN! Again use of it dropped off a bit during the very busy summer months though so something to focus on - I've also refined the way I use it to a degree which in itself helps with actually making sure I DO use it.
- Do Parkrun - either our local one or another, it doesn 't matter which, just DO IT! Yes - done our local one in Harlow a couple of times and also nearby Gunpowder park in Enfield. Have established that I don;t like Harlow much because of #ThatHill but as I have a certain hill-related challenge for 2019 already in mind I may need to make use of it a bit more for training for that event, if nothing else!
- Visit the local climbing wall for a session. Finally did this in November and I'm inclined to say that it might be the one single achievement that I was most proud of from my year.
Home: We want to continue with the works on the flat, initially to make it a lovely place for us to live, but also to add value. No - thoughts below
- Hallway to be refloored/redecorated No - thoughts below
- Plastering to be done in the front room and bedroom No - thoughts below
- Electrical works to be done over the first third of the year No - thoughts below
- Decluttering at a low level - focus on seeing items within the house that we don't use This has happened but probably needs to continue to happen as an ongoing thing.
- New coffee table for front room - this is a quality of life thing. We have now established that the one we saw previously MrEH is not that keen on so the hunt continues. Back on the list...!
This is one major area where we did FAR less than we were intending to. Several reason - the electrician that we found who we *thought* was going to be a great person to use seems to have let us down - we will have one last attempt to get him on the case early next year and then will have to look elsewhere. The hallway and plastering can't be done until the electrics are dealt with - so this loops right round on itself. I'm inclined to say that I suspect we could have pushed this one forwards more too - but I rather feel that perhaps it was just too soon after all the upheaval with the kitchen to go through another lot of household turmoil - more recovery time was needed!
- Joint savings to continue as they are Yes - really good progress on savings again this year!
- I will keep a good eye on interest rates and make the most of any access we have to higher interest savings Again - we've kept on top of this changing the account that was going to lose it's bonus rate at the right time and keeping up with money going to 5% interest rated regular saver accounts within the limit that those have imposed on them.
- 0% card must be cleared by the end of October, and again as far as possible this needs to be done without touching savings. This was done, and in the end it was cash neutral to within about £40 if I recall correctly.
- keep the extra savings ticking over to ensure that our Lundy trip in the spring doesn't have to be paid for from savings. The account which was formerly our "mortgage OP account" has indeed been ticking over on a monthly basis - we still use it for the "money we've saved" on utilities, Sky, that sort of thing, as well as the small surplus from my monthly salary, and sometimes a small surplus from our joint account too. This has actually paid for TWO Lundy trips!
- Refocus on the small stuff - the odd frittering, and the impulse spends that have started to creep in a little. Frugal February helped with focusing back on this and we're back into the habit of spending mindfully now. We certainly aren't "frugal" to the extent that we used to be when paying off the mortgage was a priority but we've discussed this and are happy with where we're at - we are in a different place financially now and the work we put in at that time has enabled that.
- "Frugal February" to assist with the refocusing on the small stuff. Yes - covered above.
- Continue to work on gaining confidence in friendships Yes - thoughts below
- Learn to be more tolerant without letting myself be used, and a little more patient without taking unnecessary amounts of sh*t! Yes - thoughts below
- "Let it go" and "This too shall pass" Yes - thoughts below
- Stop and think before acting This also comes under the heading of "mindfulness"
- Try not to feel hurt or upset when other people behave unpleasantly or unkindly - I can't control their behaviour, I can control my reaction to it. Yes - thoughts below
- Be conscious and mindful. Think about the choices I have, and those I make going forwards In part this is again to do with the conscious choices I have made.
- Tidy up laptop in readiness for the new Airshow Season. I did. And now it needs it again!
- Continue with volunteering stuff Yes - although it went in a different direction mid year. We also took on a new commitment which is going to mean an adjustment of our free time for the next few years I think.
- Try to tick a couple more items off our big "We want to..." list. Yes - a helicopter ride and also visiting a specific RSPB reserve that we wanted to get to.
I'll talk about the items above relating to other people as a single entity I think. I made some very conscious decisions this year - to remove some people from my life and to spend time with others, sometimes instead, other times as well as. I've refined those I see as "friends", and there are others who are now definitely in the "acquaintances" camp - and that suits me well. Bridges have been built in one area also and some misunderstandings hopefully now ironed out which is good. My conscience over a particular situation now sits more easily and comfortably. I have a far clearer view of the sort of people who add value to my life - those who are genuine, who do things to experience rather than to be seen to be doing them, those who actively seek to spend time with me for me, not because of other factors, those I actually like more, the more I get to know them! I've also remembered that the more you spend time with people like this, the less you need to worry about your reaction to unkind things said by others as the situation doesn't really arise, so another win there.
All in all I'm calling it a pretty successful year. On the running front I had a vague list of places I'd like to run - the Olympic Park, in central London, and on a beach were key ones, and I have ticked off all of those as well as "on Lundy" which was pretty good. Part way into the year I was also challenged by a social media pal to see which of us could get to 365km for the year first and I was delighted to record my tally by the end of November. Also said I wanted to run in a regular group with others and RunTalkRun has given me the chance to do that - and that is something I definitely want to continue with in 2019!
Now it's time to start thinking through plans and challenges for the next 12 months - I'll be posting on that in the next few days. Some things will be a straight copy across as they are just as valid to keep up with. Some stuff will be new and I have some solid ideas there already too.