When saying it isn't enough

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Last year it seemed to finally dawn on me that it's not enough to simply say 'I want to do X' or 'I'd really like to start doing Y'. I actually have to do something about it, I have to take steps to make it happen.

Some of the things I wanted to change were so simple - exercise more, eat more fruit and veg, try new recipes, set about some much needed DIY, see more of my friends and family.

These things aren't ground breaking or daring, but I felt they would make positive changes to my life and overall well being.

This isn't the first time I've tried to make changes such as these, but having failed on more than one occasion I knew I had to find a new approach.

What I came up with has been so helpful.

At the beginning of the year I wrote a list of the things I wanted to change, then I made a tick chart so I could document my progress over the course of a week. Each week I've been reviewing my progress.

And three months into the year it seems to be working.

It makes me look at the things I'm doing or not doing, I'm more aware of what's working and what isn't. Anything that isn't gets a new approach.

I wanted to up my intake of fruit and veg, fruit is no problem but I found vegetables harder. I realised that I find preparing and cooking veg really boring, and tend to cook just one variety for our evening meal to save on pots and pans. So I'm looking into a getting a steamer. Being able to pop everything into one pot and leave it to cook seems like a simple solution, not to mention that it's a healthy way to cook.

The tick chart helps me to see when I haven't done something for a few days and spurs me on to make sure it does happen, and continues to happen.

For example, I took vitamins sporadically and I wanted to take them everyday. Now when I take them I tick it off on my chart. Before there were days, sometimes weeks, when I would simply forget. Some days I couldn't remember if I'd taken them or not. Now I know for sure, and I have only missed 4 days so far this year which is a vast improvement.

Breakfast is another thing I didn't do well. But, it sets me up for the day, keeps me upbeat (no one likes me when I'm hungry), and helps me concentrate. Now I have my tick chart I am reminded daily to take the time to eat in the morning. I also have a rule that I have to eat before 9am. Again, this method is working.

Trying new recipes keeps cooking interesting and I try for a new recipe once a week, not all of them are well received, but it feels good to get into the kitchen and try. I write on my chart what recipes I've tried (and more importantly which ones have been given the thumbs up) which will help with future meal planning, help me cook to cook from scratch, and hopefully stop me cooking the same few dishes in rotation, or chucking convenience food into the microwave.

Some things on my list I only expect to do once or twice a month e.g seeing family or friends, or undertaking some home improvement but the daily reminder on my chart helps to keep it at the forefront of my mind, it nudges me into taking action, to make plans. I'm hoping that one day all of these things will become second nature and I won't have to remind myself.

This might seem a bit of an odd thing to do, what 40 year old really needs to remind herself to eat breakfast with a tick chart?

This one. Me. I do!

Anything that helps me achieve the things I want to achieve, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem, is worth my time.

How do you go about introducing new changes to your life?

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  1. Without tick charts and endless lists I don't think I'd get anything done ever!

  2. I'm hopeless! Except this weekend, I've been a garden/house-tidying/cleaning machine!!!!
    Glad that this is working for you!x

    1. I love those kind of days when you're so motivated you're unstoppable!

  3. Great idea. I might not go as far a tick list each day but I think having a list of goals to review on a weekly basis would really help keep me focussed. I get so bogged down in the daily things like laundry and hoovering, and the things I really want (new windows, paint the kitchen) constantly fall by the wayside.

    Also hope it's going well with your veg - I find it helps to treat yourself like a toddler: grate stuff up and hide it in sauces :)


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