Everyone makes resolutions. Well most people anyway; but we’d guess that of the most people who do, a lot of these never actually get completed (note Peter’s avoidance of the word ‘fail’, more on that in the future no doubt).

So here is our plan for making our resolutions for 2018:

  1. We explain our resolutions and why we’ve chosen them;
  2. We write what we expect to be difficult about achieving them, and how we can mitigate that difficulty;
  3. We identify what our measures will be (Lead and Lag measures, explained in an up coming post); and
  4. Each month, we will write our ‘monthly review post’, where we review our resolutions to maintain our focus on them.

Our resolutions

Vicky

Read 20 books or more

I would like to read more books. In 2017, I managed a measly 9. In 2016, I read double that!

I’d like to read a variety of books and to hopefully clear my ever growing backlog of unread paperbacks on my shelf. But first, I need to finish Dan Brown’s ‘Origin’. What a thriller.

I think the biggest challenge with reading 20 or more books is just keeping the momentum up. I’m quite bad at getting started on another book after just finishing one. I like to let it soak in… ok, who am I kidding… sometimes I just feel ‘read-out’!

I’m going to measure my progress on Good Reads, by keeping a log on my 2018 reading challenge page. The website tracks how many pages, let alone books that you’ve read and also is a great place to find new reads.

Create more, consume less, recycle more

I often get distracted by my phone or television whilst at home and so I would like to make a concerted effort to consume less, thereby freeing up time for me to create more. I enjoy spending time crafting, especially painting and drawing. My aim is to finish the Learn to Drawn in 30 days book which Peter gifted me in 2016.

Part of this resolution is also for me to become more sustainable. By thinking more about what I’m purchasing, how I can recycle things I already have and also by shopping in second-hand and independent shops more. I’d like to do this in the hope of becoming an open-minded strong willed consumer, rather than being a sheep.

My main challenge will be leaving my phone alone. Peter aims to tackle this by putting blocks on my social media using the Freedom App. Thus, freeing my time for drawing and creating! We also leave our phones in our hallway to minimise the lust for our phones.

Our money saving regime will help with reducing my desire to shop in expensive high streets and will hopefully promote the will to give back by shopping in charity shops.

Peter

Do a one week fast

Highly specific, and will only take up 2% of the year. I’m interested in doing this for a few reasons:

  1. To prove to myself that I can.
  2. For the long term health benefits. I’m not talking weight loss here, but more long term health benefits of Autophagy and giving the body a rest from having to work on glucose production from food.
  3. Finally, I’m interested to see how my cognition improves (if at all) when my brain switches to being primarily fed by ketones.

The main things likely to get in the way will be:

  1. Talking my plan over with the GP
  2. Working out when and how often to measure my blood glucose levels and ketone bodies
  3. When to do the fast to not impact on other commitments
  4. How I’ll be like with Vicky eating away (assuming she doesn’t do the challenge with me)

More:

Reduce and simplify

This is my vague one. It’s about reducing clutter, stuff, distractions, etc, and simplifying life. Think Steve Jobs, only wearing the same clothes every day, to remove that as a decision point. The end goal is to make more time for the things I (and we) enjoy.

The biggest barrier here is how vague it is. Hopefully the monthly review posts will help focus the mind.

Joint

Get healthier in eating

We’ve both been pretty glutinous over the past month or so, what with all the mince pies, mulled wine, roast potatoes, sausage rolls and other festively delicious things we’ve devoured! And so, we’re both feeling a little like Ross in Friends…. we’d prefer not to say how much we weigh as we are both carrying a little ‘holiday weight’!

That’s why in 2018, we will be getting healthier by eating better. To kick the year off, we will both be doing Sarah Wilson’s ‘8-week No Sugar Challenge’ – along with Peter’s Parents (go Mike & Doris)!

Both of us have a pretty bad sugar habit, and so with this challenge we’re hoping to wean our taste buds off the white stuff. After the 8 weeks are up, we will aim to continue the challenge, by saying ‘no’ to anything that has more than a teaspoon of sugar in it (that’s 4 grams). Our biggest difficulty with this challenge will be saying ‘no’ to family and friends who offer us sweet treats, as well as containing our enthusiasm whilst eating out in restaurants.

Perhaps the biggest thing likely to get in the way is when we go to others (friends, family etc) and the culture around accepting food. To overcome this, we’re going to need to tell everyone up front and ahead of time what we’re doing, and that we’re not going to want to eat puddings (unless cheese and biscuits). No doubt people will find this weird at first…, but that’s ok.

Go on a micro adventure once a month.

We’ve always loved being outdoors, with our medium-term goal of eventually moving to Scotland, and what with work making us sit at our desks for long periods of the day, we’re itching to increase our time outside and in the wild. Peter recently bought the book ‘Micro Adventures’ after seeing some of Alastair Humphreys videos online.

We like the idea of small, more regular adventures, so we plan on doing one every month. Between Christmas and New Year we went on one to the Brecons which was a great way to start things off. It only cost £70 for fuel and accommodation.

After paying off our credit cards (happening fast now, thanks to the saving regime), we’re going to get some half decent roll mats and bivvy bags, and sleep out under the stars, which will hopefully increase the adventure, and reduce the running costs of them! Especially, if we walk from our Flat in Oxford.

Things likely to get in the way are:

  • Other commitments getting in the diary first – we should book these in the diary quite ahead of time because of that.
  • Weather changing for the worst – while we might be planning a bivvy camp one weekend, if the weather changed for the worst we’d simply have to stay flexible, as we did in the Brecons.

Other than those two things, we can’t see any other major impediments. Perhaps the monthly reviews will highlight some as we go along.

Exercise four times a week (TAC, Row, Kettlebell swings, Yoga, Climbing).

A running theme for this years resolutions is about physical things, eating, fasting, adventures and finally exercise. This year, we’re adding a home rowing machine to our ‘work out regime’ to build up some aerobic fitness. Going to The Athlete Centre has massively improved our strength, and understanding of our body, it’s helped Vicky with controlling her Hypermobility, and has made walking much easier.

We’re going to start working on our Aerobic fitness with rowing at home, as well as still doing Kettlebell exercises and Yoga.

We’ve decided that exercise will count as:

  • TAC Class
  • Rowing
  • Kettlebell swings & Yoga
  • Climbing

The biggest challenge will be keeping up 4x per week, but hopefully a calendar showing our log (similar to Don’t Break The Chain) will ensure we keep on top.

Next

Over the next month, Peter will write a post on the difference between Lead and Lag measures, and how we’ll be applying them, and then each month a review will come out where we look at how we’re doing with the resolutions, warts and all.