Last minute New Year’s resolutions

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Enjoying the ball pool during with Girl Geeks in Manchester Science Week

It’s the last day of January and I still haven’t committed my New Year’s resolutions to digital pen and paper. I’ve needed to mull them over, organise them and let them settle.

I am not telling myself that I have to do all of these things. The list will also serve as a reference for longer-term aspirations.

Write more

This doesn’t just mean on my blog, but in my personal journals. Taking time to reflect on events and share my experience in a way I find comfortable.

Put pen to paper

Remembering that in an age where we can send a sentiment in a few seconds by text or messaging, the effort put into sending your thoughts through a physical medium speaks volumes.

Nail nutrition

I have been working hard for some time to find a healthy balance in what I eat an drink and continue to be guided in this. Today I made my first green juice.

Hit the gym (more)

Something I do already, but need to establish some firm habits. Went to my first Pilates class in an age this morning. It was tough but exhilarating.

Exercise elsewhere

I got a FitBit. It tracks lots of things like heart rate and sleep, but also very tangible and motivating things like daily number of steps and flights of stairs climbed. I’d like to walk at least 6,000 steps even on the most sedentary day.

Monitor my moods

I haven’t done this for quite some time and it will be interesting to see how the Mood Meter data fits in with what the FitBit captures in terms of wellbeing.

Reset my daily reminders

I use iCal to set mini prompts for me each day to make sure I maintain balance in life. These change from time to time so I need to get rid of any reminders that just aren’t relevant any more.

Develop my own ‘colour my week’ calendar

I’ve been experimenting in Google Calendar with a way of colour coding activities depending on how demanding they are so I can get balance across the week. A definite work in progress.

Read actual physical books

Instead of / as well as the many online articles and ebooks I dip into. I love the feeling of having a book in my hands

Speak more

Pick up the phone more often and meet friends in person. It’s too easy to rely on the convenience of email and messaging to make contact.

Put on an event

Happily I have achieved this already. I put on a ‘Meet the Bloggers’ event as part of Manchester Girl Geeks last weekend with six fabulous speakers. The room was packed the other volunteers, and folks at MadLab, made it a great and popular session.

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Me (front), with the Meet the Bloggers line-up. From left to right -Gill Kieran, Claire Gowler, Rosie Campbell, Natalie-Claire, Clare Sudbury and Sophie.

The event stimulated a lot of conversations between the bloggers and guests which carried on into social media after we’d wrapped up for the day.

I was particularly delighted when one of the attendees, Chrissy, wrote about how the panel discussion given the confidence to promote her own blog Making It Mindful.

My Week In Happy: Stressipes, recipes and taking things at my own pace

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This has been a relatively quiet week for me going-out wise allowing me time to spend a bit more time reflecting and less time doing.

Monday

Spent some time learning about the kinds of things stress people out at work and how these ‘stressors’ can cause us to behave. At times it can be difficult to separate out issues at work from other events in our lives and all of these anxieties can combine to become what I think of as a ‘stressipe’ (rhymes with recipe).

Cheer Up Love - upcoming events

Giving my whiteboard some love.

Lifestyle is one of the key factors (other than personality type) that affects how we cope under pressure – one key aspect of this is making sure we do stuff we enjoy. That’s a big part of what Cheeruplove.com is about – and to make it seem more official I’ve started using my whiteboard to display the fun events I’ve got coming up.

Wednesday

Received a last minute invitation to see War Horse at The Lowry. I was actually feeling pretty weary but I knew that the offer was too good to turn down. It was lovely of my colleague Andrea to think of me when someone had to drop out the day before (especially as the ticket was just a tenner).

I had seen and heard a lot about the show, which is story based around the events of World War One, it’s not a subject I am normally drawn to but the spectacular puppetry and gripping emotional plot made it totally worth it.

Thursday

I recently decided it was time to get really serious about nutrition. On the advice of my personal trainer, it’s out with processed food, too much cheese and gorging on sugary fruits, and in with a high protein diet which includes ‘good fats’ like nuts and seeds.

Angie's chilli

Chilli grown and packaged by @angieokchan – used for very tasty salmon and broccoli stir-fry.

All of this has taken considerable getting my head round but it really does make sense – so it’s back to the chopping board for me! I’m experimenting with recipes that consist of 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% (as proportions of the overall number of calories. If you have any suggestions for meals I could try I’d be glad to hear from you!

Friday

Popped in to Silicon Drinkabout Manchester at The Lower Turk’s Head near Shudehill tram stop. I hadn’t been to a Drinkabout for a while and I have to say the venue was ideal for chatting and mingling.

Had fun hanging out with @angieokchan, @frimkron@cnorthwood, @ianforrester and we *somehow* ended up chatting for ages about dating and Ian’s proposed ‘flirkshop’ event and eating at the legendary Northern Quarter burger joint Almost Famous (definitely not nutrition compliant!).

Sunday

My lovely friend Elizabeth invited me round to her flat for a ‘bring and share’ afternoon tea she was holding. This was kicking off at 4pm so I thought I had plenty of time to bake. Of course, I couldn’t do anything simple. Of course, I knew that the supermarket would not stock one key ingredient in the recipe and max out my culinary skills.

I also knew that I would forget I had a fan-assisted oven which meant it didn’t need to be on so hot, and that I definitely had a cake tin big enough to put the finished product in.

Slice of avocado cake

Avocado cake – yum!

Also, I definitely knew when I tried to whisk the ingredients with a hand-held blender that they would spray all over the hob and work-tops. What I did not know was that this would necessitate a complete reorganisation of my cupboards as they had kind of been annoying me lately.

Thankfully, the cake turned out well in the end – due to feats of engineering with ingredients, oven heat and transit arrangements. It was lovely to catch up with Elizabeth and her family, chat about BBC Radio Cumbria and drink tea, but it was a definite bonus that I had made a cake I felt proud of – happy days!