Since the start of 2018 I have been a huge advocate for bullet journalling. Using a notebook full of organisational layouts has really helped me to stay focussed more often than not throughout the last four months – even when I’ve been struggling a little. Aside from the monthly and weekly spreads I’ve relied on heavily since January, I have had fun experimenting with pages dedicated to developing a specific goal. I’ve done this with food, gratitude, wellbeing and a variety of other things, but April has been the month I’ve turned to fitness.
So many of us struggle to get going with even the most basic fitness schedule, let alone stick at it, and so this month I have been taking advantage of the slightly warmer (and sometimes sunny) spring weather to get outside. It’s easy to make up excuse after excuse to not be active, but I think that becomes harder as the weather gets nicer. The improving weather has been a huge motivational factor for me, but that’s not enough on its own. Not in England anyway…
This is why I decided to create a motivational fitness tracker in my bullet journal. It is super simple, but just seeing my progress visually represented by such beautiful highlighters is enough for me to keep going even when the sky is grey (call me sad for getting so excited over stationery, but I really can’t help it).
How does it work?
The page speaks for itself really: I have my goals and a key at the bottom, and then a vertical list of the days with enough space next to each one to track four hours of activity horizontally. At the end of each day I colour code the amount of time I dedicated to each activity and hopefully by the end of the month I will see some patterns emerging which will help me to plan my fitness for the summer.
What am I trying to achieve?
This is something I haven’t completely figured out yet. It’s not like I’m training for a marathon or anything, I am just looking to be a little more active and healthy. To make sure I had at least a vague focus, I wrote my ‘goals’ (if you can call them that) in a box in the corner of the page. As you can see these are pretty ambiguous. But they are truthful, and they reflect what I am trying to do, so at this point I don’t feel the urge to set anything more specific.
What am I tracking?
I realised if I was going to get active successfully, and be able to colour code it, I needed to have a couple of activities to focus on. I’ve gone for four things in April: walking, yoga and stretching, basketball, and running.
I walk daily, even if that’s just home from work, so tracking this helps me to get started each day: even if I don’t manage to do anything else, I’m hoping that no day will be left blank and act as a discouragement. Walking is an easy way to get outside and explore the local area, spend a little time to reflect and think and always ticks the box of at least moving a little.
Yoga has been in my life on and off now for the last few months; when I dedicate time to it I really notice the difference in my mental wellbeing. It helps me to reduce anxiety and stress, or wind down before bed. I have been mainly following YouTube videos at home, specifically Yoga with Adriene.
As I explained in my post about feeling self-conscious as a woman doing sport, I used to love playing basketball in the school playground when I was a lot younger. I want to revitalise that part of me, and feel that thrill again. I want to conquer an anxiety and find a sport I genuinely feel joy when playing.
I am one of those people who has attempted to start running many times before and never got very far. Cardio is a very weak spot for me, but that just tells me it is even more important to dedicate energy towards it. I want to try and set habits now that will help me to stay healthy for the rest of my life, so the sooner I beat my fear of cardio the better really. To try and make sure I stick with it this time, I am taking it really slowly. The majority of my ‘runs’ so far have consisted of a lot of brisk walking, but that’s okay. It will take time and I won’t let myself get frustrated if it takes me a while to reach the level I want to reach.
Your level of fitness impacts all aspects of your life: from how you physically feel and your mood, to your levels of concentration and quality of sleep. Yet, even so, we often neglect this part of our lives, seeing it as something else to squeeze into our busy schedules; we tell ourselves it’s too much effort, or that being active ‘just isn’t for me’.
These are all ideas I want to challenge in my own life, and I would love to know if anyone has any tips for me embarking on this journey to (hopefully) a healthier me. Is anyone else taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather to get outside more?
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