Thursday, 26 February 2015

Reviewing My February Goals

At the start of the month, I set some goals for February, on the hope that it might make me think twice about some of the decisions I make.  I don't need to be perfect, or particularly rigid, about being healthy all the time, but I'd like to be able to say that I mostly make healthy decisions.  It had been easy over the Christmas break to make the less healthy decisions more often, so February was all about getting back on track.

Here is a review of how I think I went with my February goals.  I'll use these results and outcomes to plan my March goals.

1. Set up a training program  

I set up the program!  The workout I actually completed on each day is in red.

I think I can say that generally I stuck to the plan, at least in the number of sessions I wanted to complete, but I did move them around a bit - swapped days, doubled up after a missed day, etc.  I probably did longer long runs because I like going long.  It was a bit more of a struggle to stick to the speed / hills sessions, but I generally kept with the program.

I have felt that I'm getting stronger because of my weights, and faster in my running.  Which says to me that the programs I'm doing are at least working on some level!  I'm also pretty happy with listening to my body for cues on when to push and when to rest.  I think I know the difference between when I'm trying to pull the proverbial wool over my own eyes, and when I'm actually tired and need a recovery day.

2. Have a sugar free February

Goal: Yesterday I had a bit more sugar than normal, and was reminded how bad sugar makes me feel!  I woke up with a festy mouth and a mild headache, as well as being extra tired.  I've been indulging more than I used to in sugary foods, so I'm going to try to reset my taste buds.  This means I will avoid all products with more than 5g of sugar per 100g.  This includes a lot of fruits - especially dried fruits.

I think in general I have cut back my sugar intake, but I haven't cut it out completely.  I've been having more smoothies and fresh fruit for snacks, which I'm ok with, especially when these is instead of more sugar laden alternatives, such as chocolate and other sweets.

However, I did take the opportunities to indulge when they came up ie. Gareth's birthday and Valentine's Day.  I'm not particularly concerned though - I think that I generally followed a 90 / 10 rule when it came to sweets this month, which is a pretty balanced approach to my eating.

I'm happy with the progress I've made!

3. Have less alcohol in February

Goal: Although I'm all for a drink or two, I feel like the last month there's been a drink or two most nights.  I want to scale that back to only having alcohol two nights a week.  And when I say 'have alcohol', I'm not a big drinker, so that means maybe 2 glasses max in a sitting.  I was contemplating an alcohol free February ... but I think that's a bit more drastic than is required.

I have reduced my drinking to a glass or two on Friday and Saturday nights.  I might have had an extra one or two on Valentine's Day, but other than that, this is a pretty easy goal for me to achieve.  I feel like I'm back to normal drinking patterns, which are perfectly acceptable (to me).

4. Eat meals starring clean vegetables, protein and healthy fats

Goal: I actually feel really great when I limit my carbs, especially in the evenings.  I sleep better, I wake up brighter, and with more energy to tackle the day.  If I focus on meals full of vegetables, proteins and healthy fats, especially later in the day, I'll feel full, get lots of great vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and fuel my body with clean, real whole foods.  This can only be good for me!

This took a bit longer to put into action, but the last week or so I've really felt like I've hit a groove when it comes to a good balance of healthy green vegetables throughout the day.  It helps that I'm really enjoying green smoothies, and have them pretty frequently - they are both a treat and a nutritional snack in one!

I have also gotten back to the habit of lean protein plus leafy greens for dinner, and it just makes me feel good - both physically and mentally.  This is a big personal lesson in what works for me.  If I include more vegetables into my meals (I've been having some great lunch and dinner vegetable combinations), I just don't desire or crave the less real foods any more.  It's like the viscous circle has been reversed, and it is now a healthy, positive circle!

All in all, I think I've had a pretty good month!  I'll pat myself on the back, but then turn my attention to locking in my March goals, which I'll be sharing soon.

Do you set goals for yourself?  Do you check in and see how you are tracking?  Or do you find a less structured approach works better for you? 

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