30 Things for my 30th Year

Last week I shared that in my 30th year I have a list of goals I’d like to achieve – or at the very least work towards.

My goals come under 3 main headings:

Health                     Wealth                    Happy Life

I won’t share the whole list at once – it would be a bit boring for you, and sharing them as I really think about how I am going to achieve them helps me stay on track and keep motivated.

Today I’ll talk about a couple of my goals that come under health.

All over the world people use January as a month to try and get fit and healthy after the excesses of the festive season. Personally I have always thought they were mad, to me January is a month for hibernating. A month where getting out of bed is hard and doing anything remotely healthy is hard because when you get up to work in the dark, go home in the dark and the days hover around freezing all you really want to do is eat things like macaroni cheese and wear every fluffy cosy item you own.20141207_135927

I admit I’ve not exactly shaken off those tendencies. However the week of my 30th birthday I made 2 large purchases which are helping me on this journey of becoming the best me I can be. These were my Jawbone and my first dip into the world of essential oils. These two purchases are helping me with a few of my health goals.

This week I am going to talk about the Jawbone gadget and next week I’ll share my experiences with Essential Oils so far and the goals that they are helping with.

So the Goals that my Jawbone is proving to be a handy tool for are:

* Start doing some form of exercise 5-6 days a week.

* Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps a day

*Get enough sleep

* Find an exercise class

A Jawbone is little piece of high tech that comes in the shape of a band that goes around your wrist. I got a snazzy blue one, other colours are available including a much less noticeable black but I thought the bright colour would catch my eye and serve as a reminder to get moving.


I also went for the Jawbone Up not the 24 model as I didn’t want to commit to spending the money on the more expensive model until I was sure it was worth it. The main difference is that to sync my jawbone to the app on my phone I have to plug it in via the headphone socket. I quite like it as it means for a few seconds before it syncs I have a little moment where I wonder if I have achieved my goal for the day. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, other days I am not. Basically the Jawbone records your steps and sleep. It can also record food & drink and you can program it to a timed mode so you can enter specific activities. You then use an app on your phone to look at all this. I love the little graph and the little motivational tips.


The Jawbone has transformed my daily activities straight away. I spend hours at my desk every day. Before I would have guessed I moved around maybe every hour for a little dander around my library. I was wrong, it turns out I can easily be on my bum for 4 – 5 hours. I now have my jawbone set so it vibrates if I have been inactive for an hour. Sometimes I take this little hint and go for a dander, other times I don’t. It has made me think about walking places more. Now I relish the opportunity to walk to and from work (most days, still not Mondays or when it is snowing, or raining, I am only human after all!). When I get home if my step count is low I will go on the cross trainer. An hour on the cross trainer doesn’t seem so bad when I am going at a steady pace and watching something on my Kindle (I have Amazon Prime and now I am making full use of my membership!). I don’t use the food & drink facility (yet) but I do use the sleep function. Wearing the band in bed has proved to be easy peasy and I am now concious that I was not getting anywhere near enough sleep. I know plenty of people who get by no problem with less that 8 hours a night and I am aware that if we have children then I will look back on this and laugh at my naivety. However, be that as it may I am someone who suffers from migraines. As you may recall one of the reasons I started this blog was a tool to help combat my chronic headaches and migraines. Turns out getting more sleep is better for me all round! I am less grumpy, I have way more energy, I am enthusiastic about things, my head doesn’t hurt and I am just a much nicer person. So whilst the Boyo and I are child free we should really make the most of being able to get as much snooze time as we need. When I look at the Jawbone and it tells me I only had 6 hours sleep the previous night, I make a firm attempt to go to bed early that night. So yes I’d recommend a Jawbone or another one of the fitness bands on the market just now if you too are trying to get a bit more active. It helps with 4 of those goals I listed, I record my steps with it, I track activity (so daily exercise other than steps, eg cross trainer, swimming, cycling) and when I start going to a fitness class I’ll use it then too and it definitely makes me aware of how much sleep I am getting. Very handy indeed!


Now on the topic of exercise classes… I have previously tried Jazzercise and liked it but due to other commitments at the time I didn’t pursue it. So I could try that again. Or I could do Scottish Country Dancing… I used to be pretty good at this in my teenage years! Or there is a Zumba class with very convenient times and location for me. I wanted to try Pilates but the local class is full and I would love to do Aquarobics but there isn’t a class to suit. What have you tried? Any suggestions? And do you think Zumba will be ok for an unifit clumsy me?


I will post photos along the way for my various goals on instagram. #30for30th


Tomorrow – Foodie Friday! Tartiflette, goals and cookbooks!



A weekend of wandering

I wrote the last time about my lack of motivation thanks to a big bad migraine but I am very pleased to report that a 3 day weekend has well and truly restored that motivation.

On Saturday we had some errands to run in our nearest town. Our car had not been cleaned properly for a very long time and we decided it was seriously overdue. So we opted to go for a bit of a cheat, we paid to have it valeted and washed. It was really worth it, it is like a brand new car. At the garage I also saw a lovely red mini. I can drive but only automatic so at some point in the next 6 months we hope to get a car that we can both drive but the Boyo is not convinced that a mini would be practical. L The funny thing is that although we live in the countryside and not a town anymore I can actually get to work and out and about by public transport easier than before so the car hunt isn’t as urgent. That afternoon we went wandering one of our nearby paths, a little bit in the woods and a little bit through the fields. We are lucky to live where we do.

Sunday was forecast to be a nice day but we didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was, it was a lovely sunny day. We went for a big wander around Crieff in Perthshire. The first half was around ‘The Hosh’, this was mostly a walk through woods and you go past the Glenturret distillery. Before attempting the second part we called in at Crieff Hydro for refreshments. We were very impressed with the hotel, so much so we’d like to save up and splurge on a weekend there. We were able to sit on a balcony and I enjoyed a delicious scone with cream and jam. One of things that impressed us was the amount of things going on in and around the hotel. On the lawn outside the bistro they had a trampoline, mini tennis, giant connect 4 and people were enjoying lunch outside and children were happily playing on the lawn. For a place that seemed rather posh it was wonderfully welcoming and friendly feeling. Around the hotel we saw big tennis courts, a horse riding centre, golf, a woodland treetops adventure course, and signs of lots of other activities. With the hotel being right on the edge of Crieff surrounded by beautiful Perthshire countryside it seemed like a terrific place to go on holiday. They had villas so perhaps it would be worth clubbing together with friends or family for a holiday. The second part of our walk was up and around ‘The Knock’. A short steep climb leads you to the top where you get magnificent views. I have problems with my knees so I can’t really do proper hill climbing, this was manageable and the walk was in splendid sunshine. It was such a lovely way to spend Sunday.

Yesterday we took advantage of an extra day off and after my hypnotherapy appointment we went to Inverkeithing where we walked a small part of the Fife Coastal path, over the Forth bridge and then down into South Queensferry. Walking over the Forth Bridge is something I have wanted to do for a while. I love the Forth Railway Bridge – to me it is such a magnificent icon of Scotland. As a teenager I kayaked under it, one of the great activities part of a Guide camp. From the road bride you get a brilliant view of the railway bridge. Walking over the bridge made me appreciate a little bit more the amazing architecture and volume that the bridge deals with everyday. Very clever people design these things! The new crossing is well underway and looks like it will be very big as well. I don’t know why I like bridges so much but I find something very interesting about them. It is probably because my brain is not mathematical in the slightest so comprehending how someone can actually design them is awe inducing then the feats of engineering as well.Forth

On Sunday it was also the final of the football – at long last! I am not interested in football in the slightest but I had said that I would make tea according to whatever two countries were in the final. So for Argentina we had a mixed meat grill including peppered beef steaks, chorizo and thin garlic rubbed minute steaks. For Germany we had some frankfurters and a cheese noodle baked dish. I had misgivings about the noodle dish but according to the Boyo it was just like the dish he had when he was in Germany last year. It actually tasted nice. All together a very random dinner!Football food

Now for the motivation, the theme of this blog is a Merry and healthy lifestyle so that is what I really am focusing on.

I have started taking my vitamins again.

I am working hard on eradicating my migraines and not taking painkillers unless absolutely essential.

I am consciously thinking about food again. This means not just cooking stuff on a whim but thinking about being good 5 out of 7 days. This means I will try to have 1 veggie day a week. I am reading about 5:2 and paleo diet principles again. I am unlikely to adopt either wholeheartedly but some of the principles are excellent.

I am working on tasks my hypnotherapist has given me.

And I am starting up a proper exercise routine combining walking, swimming, cross trainer and cycling.

And finally I am also thinking about what I am spending. For the future I need to save more and learn how to budget properly. There is an excellent post by blogger Still Being Molly that I’m using for inspiration with this.

So in short some sunshine and wandering can do wonders for your motivation!


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