Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A new year, a new me?

It's that time of year when people all over the world resolve to be better people, making statements of intent to do drastic things and make dramatic changes, most of which will be out of the window before the end of January. Apparently January 24th is the most depressing day of the year, because it marks the point where our resolutions made with such enthusiasm have fallen well and truly by the wayside.

So, in order to combat this, I have decided that new year's resolutions are so 20th century. I've had a resolution to be tidier for the last 21 years and I have never ever managed to keep it. I no longer see the point in torturing myself.

I have however, quit smoking. Not through some conscious desire or wish. I'm pretty surprised about it to be honest. I hardly smoked over Christmas, in part due to feeling rubbish, also because none of my family do, and I realised last night that I hadn't had a cigarette since 4am on New Year's Day and I hadn't actually missed it. More importantly, I really did not want another one. So, I guess I've quit. My body has done all the hard work for me already.

To accompany this change, I have some goals I want to achieve, and most of them require only small changes to my lifestyle to achieve.

1. Eat smarter. We are terrible for shopping as we go, and while I am ace at making masses of food and freezing left overs, I would like to be more structure in my cooking adventures, not least because it makes it easier while I am busy studying. In order to achieve this, I am reverting back to the weekly food plan my Dad used when my sister and I were growing up. It goes as follows:
Sunday: Roast dinner - chicken is most economical.
Monday: Cold meat or soup made from leftovers of roast
Tuesday: Scrambled eggs and beans on toast or risotto
Wednesday: Pasta of some description, invariably with many vegetables.
Thursday: Fish day - a fave was smoked mackerel, boiled potatoes and peas. We like salad.
Friday: Burgers, chips, eggs and beans. A Friday night tradition.
Saturday: Spaghetti Bolognese, Chilli Con Carne or curry.
I think I will mix it up a bit and add a stirfry in there - I love massive veggie stir fries and they are such a good way of getting veg in. All in all, the plan should help save money and be more economical. Which leads to....

2. Save money. We have big things planned for the end of 2011, which will require a decent pot of money behind us. We really need to kick start this and sort it out. Which means I need to stop spending so much money. I've already made a few steps, such as finding cheaper alternatives to skincare (one of my biggest expenses) and I shall make do and mend my clothes as far as possible (although I am eyeing one pair of my jeans with fear right now). Another big expense for me is buying lunch at work, so I intend to go back to my poached eggs and beans lunches, which are not only nutritionally very good, but also cheap. Homemade soup will also feature when I remember to get it out of the freezer.
This will mean a little refocusing of this blog overall, as I will have less new things to show you, but part of the challenge will be to create new looks out of existing things, and using my skills as a seamstress to liven things up a bit.

3. Resume my fitness regime. There was a time when I used to go to the gym 3 times a week and do a couple of classes on top of that. All I gained were enormous thighs and big arms. Not my favourite things ever. So I stopped. My gym buddy best friend also moved away, leaving me with noone to egg me on. I have since found a new gym buddy for one of my classes and she's a proper gym goer, but she uses her work gym, whereas I use mine. I pay for my membership and I need to use it, so money is going to be a motivation here, but the plan is as follows:
Monday: Body Balance
Tuesday: Swimming
Thursday: Swimming
Friday: Zumba
That should keep me fit and as I really enjoy swimming (and am quite good at it), I shouldn't lose motivation. Body Balance is my favourite class as it is so relaxing and feels so so good. I have been itching to try Zumba for a while and there is a new class now at my local centre that is at a sensible time. Better dig out the trainers then!

4. Take better care of myself. I have a tendency to internalise stress, which causes my skin to break out horrendously. I also have a tendency to neglect myself and not allow time to unwind and relax. It becomes a bit of a viscious cycle and the Mr is always telling me to calm down and relax. I think I need to heed his advice. I took a bath for the first time in ages (I'm much more of a shower girl) and for the first time since we had the new boiler fitted. It was heavenly, warm and cosy, I could have fallen asleep in there were it not for my morbid fear of drowning! But I definitely need to allow myself at least one bath a week with a good non academic book, just to give myself some breathing space, some time away from the world. I also intend to try and make sure I give myself time in the morning to leave the house in the polished state I would like to, not simply dragging myself out of bed and into the shower before leaving the house in some semblance of professionalism.

5. Study smarter. I have managed to get a little behind on my reading for my MSc, and I fully understand why the OU do not reccommend you take more than 1 post grad module at a time. It is hard work. But I don't have the luxury of time to take the modules one at a time, so I have to make the best of what I have got. I have a looming deadline next week, but then a bit of a break from assignments which should give me enough time to catch up properly and sort out some kind of study schedule that I can stick to. I have set myself the goal of 2 hours per day on weekdays, at least 4 on weekends, which should mean I get everything done without having to play catch up all the time.

The Mr and I have plans for this year, big plans, and sticking to these goals will help us achieve them. Wish me luck!!


  1. Good luck honey!! Great goals, I'm sure you'll achieve them xxx

  2. I hope you went swimming tonite ;) x

  3. Sadly not... 2000 words on globalization and development looming means that my time at the moment is spent with my head in a book!


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