At the beginning of 2016, I set out a few focuses for the year. Now that we’re a month in, it’s a good time to reflect and see how I’m doing.
be adventurous — set monthly adventure challenges; make friends with adventurous people
Whilst I didn’t set or do an adventure challenge in January, I did a few things to build momentum for a more adventurous year.
- I bought a ticket for Night of Adventure 2016 in March.
- I’ve committed to a cycling challenge in March. 120 miles through Yorkshire over two days (March 4th and 5th).
- I have followed a few adventurous and inspiring people on twitter.
- I created an adventure / challenge list to keep track of my ideas for stuff to do.
Still a bit too much talk and no action, but that will change. I will do something in February to get me outside of my comfort zone. And, I’ll need to definitely get out and do some longer cycling rides to prep for Yorkshire in March.
move forward financially — earn, be frugal, stick to budgets and save
I feel mixed on this. I’ve made some progress, but I’m a million miles from where I want to be. I’m still looking for a new role, and until I find it, the earning and saving part is on hold. That leaves being frugal and sticking to budgets.
I set out a household and personal budget for Jan and went over it quite a bit. This was because of a combination of some unforeseen expenses (washing machine died, car insurance renewal I forgot about etc.) and some old non-frugal habits (bit of eating out, buying stuff I don’t really need etc.).
That said, it was an improvement on 2015. I made plenty of decisions throughout the month that brought my spending down. And, actually setting a budget made me more conscious of my spending throughout the month. This is the first step to getting to where I want to be.
I’ve adjusted the budgets a bit for February and will keep getting better. It’s going to take a a bit of time to transition from wasteful habits to being more frugal and owning less.
find work I enjoy, is meaningful and will challenge me
As I got started looking for the next thing, it hit home how much I’ve isolated myself the last couple of years (taking a bit of time off and then working on Rescover from home). I was never a networking extraordinaire, but because I was senior and in a circle of stuff going on, my previous gigs came about very fluently. It’s clear I now face a cold start.
But, I knuckled down and just went at it. I’ve started stoking the network of people I know and have been meeting some new and helpful people too. I also found some companies I like and have made some good progress in getting in front of them. I just need to continue pressing forward and I’m positive something will click.
One good breakthrough is I put some time into thinking about exactly what type of role I want. I’m now super clear on that. I want to get back to a hands on operational / product role, preferably with an early stage / growth company. The favourite period of my career so far was as Operations Manager at Jagex. I loved the challenge of helping a company and product grow and scale quickly. It plays to my strengths best.
spend lovely time with ella and fearne
We’ve had some nice times together in January. Ditching my iphone has helped me be more present for sure. I can still do better of course. The key seems to be having things planned to avoid slipping into a bit of a non-eventful day. And I want to better in general at being present and just relaxing and enjoying the moment.
be active — do crossfit classes and some light stuff around it
I signed up to the foundation course at Crossfit Stags & Does and have been twice a week in January – with just one missed session. I am loving it and the lower back is holding up too. Some of the WODS (workout of the days) at the end of the sessions have been tough, but it feels great to be pushing myself. In February I want to build on this and add in a bit of running and cycling on top.
improve mobility — stick to a basic routine in mornings and evenings
I can do better here. I’ve been doing it maybe 30% of the time. Not good enough. I want to do 5 or so exercises in the morning and a couple before bed. It’s just a matter of making it part of my morning and evening routines and getting it done quite. Will do better in Feb. I started this morning with 5 exercises, so I’m off to a good start 😉
eat paleo — start 50/50, eventually work up to 80/20
I’m fairly pleased on this front. I’m at about 50/50, so that’s good. And my weight has settled about 5 lbs lighters at ~185lbs. But, it all feels a bit unstructured and I definitely have pigged out on too many occasions. My wine consumption is a bit heavy too, so I want to cut that back. In February I am going to eat strict paleo on my non crossfit days, with Sunday as an exception – so 4 days. That will put me at over 50%. And even on the non-paleo days I intend to have some paleo meals, so I may even get to over 60%. Also, I am going to give up alcohol in Feb (with one evening as an exception).
Final few Words
I’m pretty happy with how the year has started. I’ve made good progress on most focuses and know how I want to build on that throughout the next couple of months.
This was intended to be a one off exercise, but I think I will do it every month. I found it really useful to reflect and focus on the month ahead. A lot of the thoughts for February came to me as I wrote this. And I’ll be better off for having them.