How I Did: January’s Health and Fitness Goals

And just like that, the month of January is over! What?! It’s hard to believe it’s only been 31 days since I laid out my health and fitness goals for the month.

Part of the purpose of this blog was to hold myself accountable to the monthly goals I set, so I thought it would be good to do a check in of how things went.

Eating Clean: This was pretty much the only goal I was able to stick to 100%, and it’s the goal I feel most confident about going forward. Will I detour along the way for ice cream and pasta? I’m sure. But will I generally stick to cooking whole, nutritious food at home? Definitely. Both Dave and I have been loving cooking more and bringing a homemade lunch into work each day. I also always forget how much I love sitting down to an actual breakfast (instead of running out the door with a granola bar or a banana). We have found that it’s more challenging to socialize while adhering to the strict guidelines we laid out for ourselves in January. Most outings tend to revolve around food or alcohol, and even in a city like DC, most restaurants have limited gluten/dairy free options. (And a person can only only be expected to eat a salad with grilled chicken, dressing on the side, so many times…) I’m looking forward to spending more time with friends again, but doing it in a way that balances our continued health goals with moderate indulgences.

Exercise: At the start of January, I really wanted to exercise 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Part of that was because I felt like, if I did something every day, it would become routine. The other part was because I’d seen so much “success” (read: weight loss) when I used the same program last year. I did alright in the first few weeks, but I could feel that my body was really tired, and needed more of a gradual ramp-up instead of a sudden shock to my system. And then, I ended up catching a nasty winter cold that put me in bed for a week, and I lost all momentum.

This is not a goal I want to abandon, but it is something I want to modify going forward. I think committing to 3-4 good workouts, instead of 6 “my body is so tired, I’m really just half-assing this” workouts would be more effective and more realistic. Additionally, scheduling workout nights so that they coincide with leftover nights or “quick meal” nights will help relieve the time crunch of trying to cook and workout each day.

Drink 80 oz of Water Each Day: After the first week or so, this became like second nature to me. I missed once or twice on weekends where I wasn’t at home, and couldn’t easily refill my water bottle, but generally, I kept to my goal. I don’t think that this habit has been particularly life changing. It has helped to remind me to cut out soda, and helped to cut boredom cravings, but those are things that I also associate with the “eating clean” philosophy.

Go to Bed by 10:30 Each Night: Hah. Yeah, right… Try as I might, I am a night owl, and my body just does not want to sleep at this time. Even when I was sick, it was like I’d naturally perk up around 9:00 each night, and stay wired until around midnight. (And trust me. I tried everything. Turning off the tv, meditating, chamomile tea…) Rather than wallowing in my “failure,” however, I’ve decided to try and make the most of this flaw. I’ve started picking out my clothes for the next day (even if it’s only a mental checklist), packing my lunch, and making lists of errands/tasks for the next day. Once all of this is done, I often feel more “ready” to sleep because I’m less worried about forgetting something in the morning.

Meditate 10 Minutes a Day: I’d give my meditation effort for the month a solid B+. I meditated most days, but was a little spotty while I was sick. The biggest thing I struggled with was when and where to meditate. In the evenings before bed felt the most natural, but my husband didn’t always appreciate me playing a ten minute guided meditation while he was trying to sleep. (And I found earbuds to be distracting.) For a while, I tried to set up a meditation spot in our spare room, but the room is directly below our upstairs neighbors’ kitchen, and there were frequently distractions. This is something I have specific plans for how to improve in next month’s focus (stay tuned!) and I definitely plan to continue keeping this as a part of my daily routine.

In terms of superficial goals, I previously mentioned that one of them was weight loss. I’m down roughly 10 pounds and I’ve lost a little over an inch around my waist. I’m happy with that how far I’ve come, and want to make sure that I don’t revert to old habits now that the month is over. Hopefully, by incorporating some of the changes I’ve outlined above, I’ll continue seeing progress in the remainder of 2019.

I’m looking forward to tackling new goals in February. Be sure to check back to read about what I have planned!