During the two weeks off work during the winter holidays, Alin and I did a lot of planning. 2017 wasn’t the best year, and we’re determined to make this one much more productive. This is how we planned, how we’re tackling and how we’re tracking our goals for 2018.
Goals for 2018
1. A home routine that works for everyone
I know I sound a little bit like Theresa May there, but after we moved home last March, everything has been very chaotic. The house is bigger and requires a lot of attention, many things totally new for someone who always lived in a flat. Our meal planning game was not strong either, so we ended up eating a lot of sweets and snacks.
How we decided to work on this
We created a monthly and weekly planners. They contain all the chores, to do’s and our schedule, so we always know what’s been done and what’s left. We printed them, and now they sit on our fridge door, so we can’t miss them. We also aim to meal prep every Sunday, and I already talked a bit about it in the Meal Planning 101 blog post.
2. £25k in 18 months challenge
The challenge is not something new; we’re just continuing what we started last August. We want to save £25k by March 2019, which translates into £1390 per month. Since we started, we had months when we saved more, and we had months when we saved less. So every month I’m not only looking at the individual result but at the total too. If the total achieved by that month is equal or greater than the total expected, we’re on track, even if some months weren’t good.
We’re tracking out finances using an excel spreadsheet, available for download in Budgeting 101. What we added to it is a table that counts the total expected and total achieved every month, and compares them.
3. Eat whole foods 90% of the time
We’ve been vegan since May 2016, so our whole diet is based on plants. However, due to the non-existing routine I was talking about earlier, we ate a lot of processed foods in the last part of 2017 – biscuits, white bread, nut butter, sugary spreads, etc. The result was not only me getting “puffy”, but my cholesterol is off the charts again. It’s something I struggled with my entire life, and I only got it to a normal value when I was eating a healthy, plant-based, whole foods diet.
So no, it’s not because I want abs, but for health reasons.
But how to measure this? 90% of the time means that every ten days we can eat two meals that have (more) sugar and saturated fat. We did the math and allowed ourselves 75 meals in 2018 that contain anything resembling a dessert, alcohol, spreads, non-wholegrain stuff, crisps, deep fried stuff, etc.
We made a list of accepted processed foods (like tofu, soy products and plant-based milk) so there’s no confusion or room for assumptions. And we printed a little piece of paper with 74 boxes each, to be crossed out every time we have one of those meals. Of course, we’ll try to leave most of them for our planned holidays.
I’ll have my next blood check in a month, and hopefully, my cholesterol will be back down. I’m not happy about calling them “cheat meals”, but you know what I mean :).
4. Fitness goals
We have a lot of fitness goals this year, but most of them are just sub-goals of an important race -“The Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon” on the 2nd of September. It’s a very challenging one. Firstly, it happens in extreme temperatures – it gets to 30 degrees Celsius by 8 am. Then, we begin at 6 am while still experiencing jet-lag. And the elevation profile will be the hardest we experienced so far. The half marathon distance has a total of 506m, and the marathon has 1327m. I signed up for the half and Alin for the full marathon distance.
There will be a lot of training involved, and all the races we’ll be doing up until that point will be just to keep us focused.
Here’s a short description of the race. “The courses follow the contour of the scenic coastline, offering magnificent views of the island’s picturesque beaches, rugged volcanic peaks, and green tropical rain forests. As dawn breaks, runners experience lush green vistas as they approach the shade of the century-old Tunnel of Trees before winding through misty Omao where the half marathoners enter Kukui’ula Resort offering spectacular ocean views for the last few miles. The full marathon heads out to Lawai before climbing to reveal stunning ocean views at the top of Kalaheo. The remaining miles are a gradual descent until runners receive a rousing island welcome upon their return to Poipu Beach.”
More about the training and the mini-goals in future posts!