Apparently, it’s spring now.
Although a quick peek at the snow falling outside my window says otherwise. It was going so well – the daylight hours were getting longer, daffodils were starting to appear and the sun was trying it’s very best to shine – but now the snow is back, and I’m bloody freezing. Maybe one day I’ll be able to start a blog post without talking about the weather, but today is not that day.
Anyway, when the first of April rolled around I was more than ready for a fresh month, and a new quarter of the year, to begin. 2018 has been a pretty good year – especially in comparison to last year – but the end of March was really difficult and it kind of floored me. I took a couple of weeks to pull my thoughts together and recharge, so now I’m feeling a lot more like myself again and have started to get back into the swing of things once again.
With that in mind, I wanted to do a bit of forward thinking about what I want to achieve in the next quarter of the year and set some goals for the season ahead. I like setting myself goals, because they give me some much-needed direction and focus, as well as giving me something to look back on and benchmark my progress against.
Finish my HND
I used to be absolutely terrible with money. It was spent before it came in my bank account, I blew through my savings in shocking fashion and built up quite a bill on my credit card – but that’s changing. It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve got a grip on my finances, and I paid off my credit card for good at the end of last year, so now I want to focus on building up my savings again for those inevitable big purchases… like a house and toys for my future pets.
I get a bit obsessive sometimes, and when I’m in a saving mindset I really go for it, so I think I’ll manage this okay over the next few months. The main reasoning behind making this my goal is that, although I’m good at saving when I try, I have bought a car this year, and at the start of this week I bought myself an iMac, so my savings are looking a little worse for wear now.
I have set myself an actual amount to reach in the next few months, and I’d really like to have £2000 in my savings account by the time my birthday rolls around in July, if not more. I’ve actually ticked off all of the “big” purchases I wanted to make at this point in my life, so now the big goal is really saving for a deposit so that I’m ready to go in the next few years.
I think this year will be remembered as the year I fell in love with the gym. I’m not quite sure what happened, but my attitude and approach to exercise flipped and suddenly I love it. It’s less about the numbers on the scale or only seeing the things I can’t do – instead, it’s about seeing how far I’ve come and pushing myself to improve.
When I started my current training programme with AG Fitness Training at the start of this year I really struggled with a lot of the weights, thanks to my dodgy shoulder. I could barely lift a 15kg bar and the thought of bench press was enough to send me running. For a good few weeks I struggled through, and at the start of February, I started to see real progress.
I can now deadlift two-thirds of my bodyweight and squat half, which blows my mind. Upper body is still really difficult and I don’t see much progress there, but that’s to be expected with my injuries. By the time June comes to an end, I’d love to be able to deadlift and squat 50-60kg, but I have no idea how realistic that is – so we’ll see how it goes.
Making self-care a priority
And finally, with everything that’s going on right now, I want to make sure that I remember to take time for myself. Recharging is important, not just for me, but for me to show up for the people around me. I need to get better at taking breaks and stepping away from my work for a bit, so that’s something I’m really going to work on for the next few months, wherever I can.
I had a really down period at the end of March and my head was all over the place, so I want to try to avoid that as much as possible. I want to keep my space tidy – which always helps me clear my head – eat better, prioritise sleep and be a little bit nicer to myself.
Part of this involves cutting down on my phone time, which I am getting better at, but I’m still spending a lot of dead time scrolling through Instagram and looking at videos of cats on Reddit. I’ll get there, one day.