Welcome to 2011! Enjoying it so far? At this time of year I have trouble getting enthusiastic about cold weather, dark evenings and trying to keep warm! January is such a bad time to make resolutions! However, I'm very good at making resolutions and keeping to them, I don't need a New Year though. I started my resolutions before Christmas and so far they are going quite well.
Keeping fit, this hasn't suffered as much as I feared due to the snow. I couldn't get out to have a run but I did use our exercise bike at least 3 times a week. In addition to running 3 times a week my fitness levels haven't suffered too much. I recommend a plan that is published on the NHS website which eases you in to running over a 9 week plan. I used something similar which involved being patient with yourself and not expecting too much. Start jogging, stop when you need to, walk through the breathlessness or heart rate rise and then begin again. Keep going until you can't do any more. If you do this several times a week it won't seem like a punishment and the buzz you get for reaching a goal (i.e leaving the house in the cold) is worth it. Don't expect to run miles after a few weeks, but do push yourself a bit every run. Don't forget to stretch before and after and stop if you feel any pain.
Cooking. I started trying out a few new recipes before Christmas, some classics like lasagne (from Gordon Ramsay's recipe), healthy casseroles that my husband loves and easy fresh desserts. I only have one rule of healthy eating and it works for me; never eat junk food during the day. But eat a lot to keep up your energy and motivation not to snack. Don't skimp or go without breakfast and lunch, I find I have more energy and better concentration if I have about 3 meals and 2 sizeable snacks a day. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle choice and habit I have built for the rest of my life. There's no need in my opinion to diet, if you eat a balanced diet, don't deny yourself some of life's pleasurable eating experiences. Eating in this way has given me a healthy dislike of toxic food like fried food and processed food. If you can't make it yourself from fresh and healthy ingredients, it's not worth eating.
I don't live in denial either, I do like a good dessert though but I only eat desserts I have made myself or if eating out, there is no hiding from the sugar, chocolate and butter included if you make it yourself and take responsibility for those calories and fat. Remember that dessert is not a treat, if you classify it as one you will never break your cycle of rewarding good behaviour with something bad. You find that you will eat less if you have to make it yourself as well and instead might go for a satsuma, yoghurt, hot chocolate or fruit pieces in jelly which is much easier to prepare! One of my favourite desserts at the moment is frozen berries with a pot of melted chocolate, just a small portion of chocolate, less than a single bar but it's a great way to get your vitamins, fresh fruit and a bit of a chocolate hit.
Moving house, yes again but this time we are giving up the free wheeling rental lifestyle in favour for becoming home owners. I personally hate house hunting and I am not interested in a property that needs renovation either. So it makes our choice fairly easy and now I have fingers crossed that we have a few to choose from.
Work. Work is going well, I feel strange calling it work as it doesn't feel that way. As New Business Manager, my role is pretty good fun and I enjoy the hard work. Things are going to be getting busy with opportunities going forward in 2011.
Relaxing. My other resolution is to make sure I take regular breaks and plan for those well in advance. Too many times last year did I forget to book time off and have to move my plans around for commitments beyond my control. I'd like to spend more time with my family and friends too, moving away from Oxford made it difficult to keep up with friends. Also going back to full time work and working from home make it harder to arrange casual meet ups over lunch and dinner.
Blogging and YouTube. My channels have never been part of the race for subscribers and income so I have no targets related to that. Instead I shall be concentrating on quality. I am investing in new software to improve the quality of videos as I have a great camera but the software and YouTube seem hell bent on making them look rubbish! Life as it is will mean that I won't have as much time as I have in the past to post but I do intend to produce high quality and informative videos. I think I will probably concentrate more on skin care tutorials and natural make up as I like making those videos. If it doesn't work for me or I can't wear it out, then I'm not interested in sharing the review of the products, tips for techniques and final looks. I know my audience and you're all like I was; confused about which make up and looks to wear that will look natural and flattering. 99% of women I meet don't want to look like they are wearing make up! I may occasionally give you a little more challenging looks to stretch and flex my make up muscles and skills but generally I shall leave the more extreme and celebrity looks to those with more time and accomplishment to do those.
So those are my not quite New Year Resolutions! Do you have any?