Motivated March

March has arrived on the scene and brought with it a healthy dose of motivation, enthusiasm and drive for me.
I have somehow managed to gather several financial commitments this month, mobile upgrade charges, dental charges and website running costs to name but a few of the biggest. It’s not like I haven’t been working all the hours I possibly could either, it’s just that there is only so far the results of all that hard work will stretch!

Since I last posted anything a lot has been going on, November, December and then January were really busy months at work, not to mention the crazy NaNoWriMo challenge I set myself in November on top of work! I am not one for cold and wet weather especially when it also makes for dark and dreary skies, this has made it quite tough for me and I have been avoiding doing certain things such as going out, unless of course I absolutely HAVE to (e.g. work), my usual dressing, washing and laundry routines have become somewhat dubious and I must have had more emotional mood swings than a coach load of hormone ridden teenagers at a disco… But, just at the tail end of February, March waved its battle staff from the sidelines and gave its mightiest roar, warning me of its intent to make more than a few changes, it was showing me who is boss and it meant serious business.

Spurred on by the realisation that if I didn’t start making some changes NOW, in a years’ time everything was going to feel about ten times worse than it was right now, and that would not be good for anyone.

Back in September 2013, I purchased a Fitbit Flex to help encourage me to be more active everyday. For those of you that don’t know what a Fitbit is, it is a small device you can wear a number of different ways depending on the model you buy and it counts how many steps you take in a day. There are several other things it does but that is the basic way of getting you to understand what I am talking about, it’s a pedometer. The Flex is the model I bought and you wear it on your wrist like a watch, you can also get a model called “One” and it can be worn anywhere that you can clip it to – your waist band, belt, to the edge of your pocket, your bra, your sock… there are multiple options! There are also other brands that have similar products but I eventually opted for the Fitbit after going over all my options.
I really do like the challenge aspect of it, you set your daily goals, the default is 10,000 steps a day as that is the minimum recommended amount for the generic population as a whole (obviously there might be some people that this won’t apply to for whatever reason but for the “average” person this will be the minimum) that the PTB (Powers That Be) recommend. You can change this so the step value is either higher or lower, maybe start using it and realise you only do 2,000 steps a day then you can gradually start increasing your daily target so that over time you work up to 10,000 steps a day or more.
With the Flex, there are 5 lights on the wristband that each represent 2,000 steps – so if 1 of the 5 lights is lit up then you have done 2,000 steps (if 1 flashes then it means you are working on your first 2,000 steps) if 2 are lit up then you have done 4,000 steps, and so on until all 5 are lit up and you have done at least 10,000 steps – over this amount and it won’t show you more lights but will still count your steps until the time changes and a new day is started automatically. I have now set my daily step goal to 15,000 steps so each of the lights on my Flex is worth 3,000 steps. You could also have your goal set to burning a certain amount of calories a day or a certain distance walked, even the number of “active” minutes you have in a day if you wish.

Not only do you compete against yourself to beat your previous day’s steps, or even just competing with yourself to even hit your target, you can also add friends and compete against them for the highest amount of steps taken over the past 7 days.
You get “badges” for reaching milestones such as life time steps taken, miles walked, highest amount of steps in a day (this one seems to be activated when you go a large chunk above your previous highest daily steps which are likely to fall within certain boundaries).
You can also keep it on in bed and set it to “sleep” mode so it tracks your movement while you are sleeping (or not as mine usually shows), this allows you to see how long you’ve been in bed and how well you’ve slept or not.

On the downside, I have already had to replace the band that the little device sits in around your wrist as the original one started splitting, however I contacted Fitbit and they sent me out a replacement which arrived really quickly. Hopefully this second band will not fall apart so quickly.

I have joined a gym again, its been a while since I was a member of my previous gym so I’m looking forward to getting back to working out and seeing a bit more progress when I step on the scales with the weight loss rather than it all just being about my clothes no longer fitting me! 🙂

I will be aiming to strengthen my upper body, particularly arms, as I lift quite a lot of heavy things at work and I do not want to injure my rotator cuff again – or anything else for that matter as it really hurts and makes you have to have time off work and you are on restricted duties until the doctors give you the all clear again. Then it’s a case of getting used to lifting the heavy stuff again without injuring yourself!

I have been using my own personalised set up in my A5 Holborn zipped Filofax, which I use at home. I have also been using my Mini Metro Filofax on the go, with semi personalised Filofax pages in – I bought the mini Filofax week on 1 page inserts but they start on a Monday and I need them to start on a Sunday so I have used Tip-ex to go over the day/date on each page (up to March so far as I got BORED!!!) and have added the day and date but starting with Sunday at the top and finishing on Saturday so it fits in with the retail week!

My A5 pages are the Enhanced Time Management ones from Philofaxy but I edited them so that the week runs Sunday to Saturday instead and they are working so well for me. I am also using a month on one page opposite a section that I can write my estimated and actual work hours per week (we run on a 4 week pay system so it helps me know when I get paid, for what and how much). I have a section for what bills need to be paid, when and how much for (this is per month I’m talking, I have the same page opposite each month calendar page). There are several other boxes and areas on this page that I use to write in appointments or birthday’s and other notes, I decided on this set up as I was using Limetree’s pages in 2013 and found them really useful and loved the splash of colour but they weren’t quite set out for my needs at the time – she now has even more pages you can choose from as well so I could have used her amazing new selection of pages but didn’t as I was on a bit of a tight budget and also needed the pages printed up asap so I could start writing things in so I just went ahead and created some pages for myself in Word. I created several PDF files from the mail merged pages I made then put them all together in a big PDF. Once the PDF was assembled I filled up my printer tray with pale blue A5 paper and set the printer to print my PDF double-sided for me. A while later it had finished printing and the hole punching could commence! I was VERY glad I have my Rexel punch for this task as I would have taken so much longer and been crazily frustrated using the Filofax A5 punch or my Rapesco Diary punch!

I then put the pages into the Holborn and added some information that I already knew – January’s pay day and some bill due dates. I have been using my Coleto for this along with some Vball pens and occasionally a pencil.
I have not had many tasks or notes to enter on the right hand weekly pages but I am filling in the week pages with my work schedule (which never usually stays as I was originally put down to do, I seem to keep picking up extra shifts all over the place, which is really good, it helps to be able to SEE how the week is panning out and what events I have going on so if I do get asked to work it is easy for me to know what the answer is right away. I will be scheduling gym time into my weekly plans as well, that way I have time set aside for it so I am more likely to get up and do everything I need to for the day rather than if I just think “oh I’ll go to the gym now”.

I do need to work on a few more things that need to go in my Filofax – one of the main things are my goals for 2014 as I have put the title “Goals 2014” in the middle of my page but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I don’t really know what I’m heading for at present and weirdly get the feeling I’m going to be in the dark for a while to come about it as well. I do know though, that I am in the right place work wise for now at least, which is a blessing, but past that your guess is as good as mine!
I start a training course nearer the end of March, which I know the dates for and topics but haven’t heard much more about yet. Despite being all signed up and raring to go on my part, I still have this weird feeling I’m not going to be doing the course which is really odd. Once the first training session is over I’m sure everything will be more solid and that weird feeling will be long gone.

Quite a mixed bag so far in 2014, I don’t like not knowing what is going on so once things become a little clearer (or maybe I make them clearer) I will hopefully feel a bit more settled in what’s happening.

More coming soon 🙂

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