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Welcome to my RESET 2021 challenge.

This is the second day in the four-day countdown to launching RESET 2021 on Friday, January 1 2021, and today I will be sharing what metrics I am going to be using to measure my progress and success.

Just a quick reminder that the three goals:

  • Abstaining from alcohol for 365 days
  • Abstaining from sweets, chocolate, cake, biscuits etc for 365 days
  • Developing a more positive work focus, where I protect time for personal interests and physical activity.

Each goal will raise different challenges for me to navigate, so I can’t approach each one with exactly the same strategy in achieving them, however, the metrics will be similar in the first two.

Goal 1 – Abstaining from alcohol for 365 days

In some respects, this will be the easiest goal to achieve and the most rewarding.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that despite having already achieved between one and three months wine free in the last few years, I will still be exploring unchartered territory when it begins to go into 4, 5, 6 months, plus!

So, the metric for this goal is very simple and will give me immediate positive feedback on the progress I am making.

By midnight on December 31 2021, I would not have consumed any units or wine or any alcohol and I will record this in my electronic calendar.

Goal 2 – Abstaining from sweets, chocolate, cake, biscuits etc for 365 days

For them to work, goals need to be ACHIEVABLE and REALISTIC. So, I am not going to be measuring the number of grams of simple carbohydrates I consume each day, as I have tried this before and I get bored after a few weeks, well actually after a few days, so that wouldn’t be achievable or realistic!

So, instead, I will be using the same metric for the first goal. This will also be simple and will give me immediate positive feedback on the progress I am making.

By midnight on December 31, 2021, I would not have consumed any types of sweets, (even non-chocolate ones like wine gums which I have eaten by the ton since March!), biscuits or cake. I can’t think of anything else that is sugar-loaded, but if I do come across anything I am eating without noticing, yep that’s possible! I will add it to be the list.

For those who know me personally, you will know that I also have a liking for crisps, which again are simple carbs, full of empty calories, salt and sugar.  However, I am not adding these into my overall RESET 2021 challenge this year. Quite frankly, I am refraining from nearly everything else that is yummy and giving up crisps would be a step too far and again just wouldn’t be achievable or realistic! But I will record how many bags I am eating throughout the year, just for personal interest and it might be that they get the same treatment in 2022!

There are ancillary metrics that I will be using for these first two goals, which will be to record measurable changes in my weight, blood pressure, blood glucose levels etc. I don’t have any specific individual goals for these, as this challenge is not about dieting or losing weight. However, I expect to see a significant reduction in all those numbers for the year, certainly in the first six months.

I will be monitoring my overall calorie intake through an app, particularly focusing on simple carbs, such as sugar and I will be using these metrics as additional indicators, that I am positively working towards achieving my overall goal of living a healthier life.

Goal 3 – Developing a more positive work focus, where I protect time for personal interests and physical activity

This goal is going to be the hardest to measure, due to the unpredictable nature of my main role, as a full-time carer and my previous history of being very easily distracted and going down a large number of rabbit holes for long periods!

However, I feel that this an equally important goal, as without providing myself with the mental headspace to balance the different demands on my time, I am likely to continue to rely on external stimulants, such as wine and sweet treats, to ‘reward’ myself for constantly being under pressure and not having any time to do the activities I enjoy.  Carers’ Hearts CIC and The Secret Time Academy are very important to me and I will continue to ensure that I am committed to taking them both forward in 2021, just in a different way.

The metrics to measure my success for this goal, are a little like trying to nail jelly to a board! However, I am going to set maximum time limits for each area of my working life, except caring, of course! Ensuring that I can achieve the goals I set for those each day and week; being flexible with the hours I chose to work that I am likely to achieve those goals, but ensuring that if I do have to go over those hours, it is very occasionally and for something that is time-sensitive and will bring direct benefit to either organisation.

I will ringfence weekends and Bank Holidays, ensuring that I am focusing on personal hobbies and interests, such as the MSc, learning French, gardening and exercising.

For all three goals, the ways I will measure my progress and success are different, but still quite simple.

  • Recording the number of days I have abstained from wine and sweets things, to give me real-time affirmation of my progress.
  • Tracking the ancillary metrics to give me additional positive affirmation
  • Setting clear boundaries between work and personal activities, providing a psychological balance that will help me to focus on achieving the first two goals.

Tomorrow I will explore the strategies, activities and resources I will use to prepare for the blocks I know I will come across on this journey. I will also reflect on how I will manage triggers or challenges. Then if I do stumble and fall, how I can ensure that I use it as a learning opportunity, rather than an excuse to give up completely!

ACTION:

Yesterday I suggested taking this opportunity to really consider if changing any unhelpful or negative behaviours would help you to live the life you want. Today, I thought it might be useful to reflect on how you could measure the changes needed to be able to implement new behaviours, perhaps write them down somewhere and record the resources you might need to use to achieve them?

See you tomorrow!

Resources

How to measure goals (with examples of measurable goals)

Music Composed by Michael Coltham – Black Lab Music

Black Lab  Music