An early start, with options

@TheFrankFlyer’s alarm went off at 5am this morning, as he’s going to work as usual, despite it being Christmas Eve. Though he’s taking a half-day and we’re going to enjoy a meal out this evening.

I’ve shut my business for the week, but I’ve yet to identify a way for his alarm not to wake me at the same time. Bah! It’s almost 2019 and I’m still living like a caveman.

However, rather than roll over and go back to sleep, I realised I wasn’t that sleepy and so got up and grabbed a coffee. I’ve since read some news, scrolled through social media and, after attending to my bathroom needs, will head out for a run.

Yes, it’s wet and dark out there, but nothing fatal. And if I’m going to shift any of this unwanted ‘cuddle material’ from around my waist, I’m going to have to increase the amount of time I spend moving around.

So let’s start with a run.

With an entire Christmas Eve stretching out before me, I feel almost giddy with the possibilities. I have a small amount of adult-level life admin I could do, as well as some books I’d like to make progress on. Including some new audio-books I got this week. With all my Christmas prep completed, it seems like I could achieve almost anything today – so I want to avoid letting the hours drip away in pointless procrastination.

But first, another coffee.

It’s inevitable that at this time of year, thoughts turn to the year ahead. Many of us fall into the trap of making huge personal change commitments in the form of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, falling back into bad habits within weeks if not days. Science shows us that this can be for a whole host of reasons, including poorly-defined goals, a lack of buy-in to the changes and not really thinking through on the practicalities.

I’m not making any extreme commitments, but instead a series of small changes that will hopefully pay off as the year progresses. Tightening up some small habits here and there and adding new behaviours.

I’m not ‘giving up’, more ‘picking up’.

More running, more reading, more movement, more vegetables, more smiles, more mindful focus and more gratitude. I’m going to make a dent in the sizeable (virtual) pile of unread books on my Kindle account. I’m going to increase the time I spend walking to and from work. I’m going to continue my yoga practice. And I’ll continue practicing gratitude on a daily basis, to remind me of everything that’s going great.

Especially when I’m lying down somewhere, soaking up sunshine. I’ve very aware I get to explore more of the world and get more downtime than most people. A quick flick through the travel section of this blog will reveal that.

To be blunt, I’m over 2018 in a big way even though, personally speaking, it was an excellent year. The general mood here in the UK has been fractious and divisive and I’m tired of the conflict.

So rather than waiting for the assorted ‘characters’ in Westminster to turn things round, I’ll try to make some changes starting with myself. I think it’s all we can ever do.

But I want to avoid the dangerous ‘New Year, New Me’ approach that’s bound to fail – that’s why I’m keeping things small and manageable. And flexible.

Does all this imply a spartan Christmas?

Not at all. I’m determined to enjoy the holiday’s food and drink. But there’s nothing to stop me from balancing some of this out with more exercise and general movement. And to be a bit more mindful about how much I’m actually inhaling.

But I also need to do my bit to deal with the veritable landfill of food currently inhabiting our fridge.

Time to get moving…Why wait for an arbitrary date like January 1st to start making changes?

(Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash)

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