This year, I ditched the New Year’s Resolutions and instead opted to set myself 18 goals and intentions for 2018 (you can read all about that here). As part of my own accountability and to hopefully help inspire you to stay on track or get on board with your own goals, I’m posting on my progress every month. I’m not going to talk about each goal – we’ll be here all day – so I’m just going to pick out the ones I’ve been working on (or not!) this month.
You can check out last month’s progress too.
Run 1,000 miles in 2018
June was a terrible month. I hadn’t realised how bad it was until this friendly little message popped into my inbox – thanks, Strava!
And 17 miles of those were in the last week of June.
So at the halfway point of the year, I have run 394 miles. I’m 106 miles ‘behind’. Hmm.
I feel that I have two options at this stage. Say f**k it and quit. Or double down and commit.
Any of you who know me know what I’ve chosen.
Yep, we’re doubling down, folks! Such a bad month has given me the kick I needed to refocus and recommit to this goal. I love running. I love how it makes me feel and what it does to my body. Plus, running this much means I can eat cake guilt-free.
I realised that getting up later – because I can, I set my own hours – was making me feel more tired and lazy in the morning, especially as it’s got hotter in London. So in the last week of June, I started setting the alarm for 6am again and getting out for a run while it’s still quiet and cool outside. I also decided to run every day – my runs are generally shorter but it’s much easier to stay in the habit if I do the same thing every morning: wake up, meditate, clean my teeth, go running.
And it’s working. I’m writing this in July (late again!) and I have already run more than twice as far this month as in June. So bring it on – 1,000 miles is totally doable.
Read at least 24 books
In June, I read The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever by Michael Neill. This was hot off the back of How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett and reiterated to me that our perspective fundamentally changes how we experience the world. Just one quote that stood out to me:
Because we think our happiness comes from getting what we want, we pursue our goals at the cost of our relationships, our health, and our spiritual well-being. When we get what we want and we’re still not happy, we assume the problem is that we’re still not doing enough, so we push even harder and end up even further away from the experience of happiness we actually want.
And if I hadn’t been getting enough brain science, the other book I read this month was A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine. I loved one of Cordelia’s other books, Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences, as straight-talking, well-evidenced look at whether there are differences in brains of men and women, and if so why. And this book was another great read. She has a very conversational style of writing which makes it incredibly accessible and easy to read if you’re looking for an introduction to cognitive distortions and bias in our brains.
So that takes the total of completed books up to 15 so far this year – 18 if you count the 3 in March I started and abandoned. Well on the way to reading at least 24 books. To be honest, 24 books was never going to be a stretch goal but I love reading so much I didn’t want to not enjoy what I was reading trying to reach some artificial target of, say, 40 books.
Do one new thing/go to one new place every month
Another work trip, this time to Perugia in Italy. This was a 4-day “away day” for a consultancy I work with.
Yeah, I know how fortunate I am with work!
In all seriousness, this trip really showed me the power of balance. We started each day with a yoga practice (taught by yours truly) and a leisurely breakfast. We’d do a couple of hours of intensive, focused work before breaking for a long, Italian-style lunch, and a couple more focused hours of collaborative work in the afternoon. We got so much done in those 6 hours each day and had such a relaxed and enjoyable time. It just goes to show what productivity can look like.
The Month in Review
So halfway through the year – how did that happen?!
I have to admit, June was not the best month. Not really in terms of my goals, but generally I don’t think I was feeling at my best. I was travelling a lot for work over May and June which really knocked my rhythms and sense of balance.
Coming into the last week of June, I really took advantage of getting back home and back into some sustainable routines and it has made such a difference. As I write this in mid-July, I feel amazing – energised, creative, and alive. Funny how you don’t always realise you’re at a low point until you climb back out of it.
As Dan Pink puts it, beginnings, middles and ends all give us different oppportunities and motivations to commit and focus on our goals. I’m almost glad that June, the mid-point of the year, has been a bit low because it’s given me the contrast and urgency to recommit to my goals for the rest of the year. So here goes nothing.
So now it’s your turn. Did you set goals for the year? How are you getting on? How are you keeping yourself accountable? What are you struggling with? Let me know and let’s keep making 2018 the best year yet!
My 18 in 2018
* Run 1,000 miles
* Run a half-marathon in 1hr40
Do yoga everyday in January
Eat more plants – go vegan for a month
* Eat more healthily – give up sugar for a month (August)
* Complete a one-month no-spend challenge (November)
* Have a
monthly “interesting people” dinner club
* Read at least 24 books
Learn to code
* Write a draft of a book (November)
Qualify as a yoga teacher
tart saving into a pension again
* Do one new thing/go to one new place every month
Do my first GA talk
Run my first coaching workshop
* Work with a coaching/portfolio career mastermind group
Write something every day