Hanging in there: An update on my 2021 goals

Credit: Polina Kovaleva/Pexels

Does striving towards a better you ever get any easier? Because I’m starting to think that it doesn’t.

It’s been more than a year since I jumped – and stayed – on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon and I have once again reached a point where I’m struggling to continue putting in the effort to achieve my goals. This has happened for me before with individual goals, such as learning the guitar and getting fit, but this is the first time I’ve found myself less than enthusiastic about working towards several of my ambitions at once. 

Recently – and by that, I mean since the year began – I’ve been finding it hard to keep on my diet, to muster the will to work out, and to sit down and focus on writing regularly, to name a few examples. 

While I’ve only actually had a few bad days on my diet, and haven’t missed a workout, and do find time to right even if I procrastinate, I can see where things are headed. Though I’m still hanging in there, for now, it could only be a matter of time before I find myself properly slipping and eventually giving up.

Fortunately, I think I have some idea of why I’ve been having a hard go of it recently. One reason is that workouts have been kicking my ass a bit since I moved up from two to four high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts a week. It’s at least part of why I’ve likely been so tired lately – and therefore occasionally lacking the energy to do much. To combat this, I’ve recently increased my daily protein intake and hopefully, as it has in the past when this became a problem, this will help boost my energy levels.

I also think I’ve been struggling because I haven’t been allowing myself enough downtime. And I could kick myself for this, considering I wrote a blog post last year on the importance of taking breaks.

Since this year began, I’ve fallen out of the habit of taking a day out of the week to try and relax and just do nothing, to let myself recuperate after a week of work and all the efforts I put into my ambitions in my free time. Actually, I didn’t just fall out of the habit, not taking that day off was a conscious choice I made thinking that spreading out my week a little might benefit me. 

Evidently, that wasn’t the case. 

Since figuring out that this could be contributing to my current issues – which was a few weeks ago – I’ve readopted my day-off policy. Though it hasn’t been long it feels like I’ve been managing to put in the effort a bit more easily lately.

Those two changes were easy enough to make but, unfortunately for me, the final reason which I think has found my energy waning is something I have little control over – the ongoing Covid pandemic and the regulations aimed at stopping its spread. 

It’s been more than a year since my country (England) entered its first lockdown and now we’re just coming out of a third. And, in that period of cycling between lockdown and loosened restrictions, life has become rather monotonous.

With lockdowns being in place for much of the time since the first, there has been little opportunity for me to meet up with my family (outside of those I live with) and friends, or do very much that might be considered exciting. I’ve settled into a routine that sees me spending most of my time indoors, with the peak of my enjoyment being in the escapism that I experience when watching TV or movies. 

On that front, I do recognise that part of the problem is my own doing. I’ve always been sort of a hermit and so even when the restrictions allowed, I didn’t often find myself travelling too far from home or spending much time outside at all. But it seems that even a hermit like me can reach their limit when it comes to not being allowed to go out. 

With the latest lockdown slowly lifting, I’ll have the chance to see people I’ve missed and if I can power through my hermit ways, I’ll do just that. I should probably also try to just go outside a bit more often to see if that brightens life a little for me. 

I’m not one for walks and only run once a week now but I have taken up quad skating since Christmas (when I was gifted with a pair of skates). I’ve only practised a little indoors and been out once, but if I did it more it would help me to introduce some more variety into my life and give me a reason to enjoy the outdoors more often, and maybe catch some more vitamin D. 

If taking in more protein and taking a day to relax once a week do enough for my energy that I stop procrastinating as much as I have been, then likely I won’t have an excuse for not allowing myself to explore this new hobby more often. 

Fingers crossed things work out because I am eager to get back to a place where I’m happy to be putting in the work towards my goals and enjoying life all the while.

I’ll just have to continue with my changes, try harder to keep on top of the work I need to do to achieve my goals and hope that’s the case.

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