I debated whether or not to put together some goals for 2021. Not only did most of us end up writing off our goals for 2020, but we entered the new year with such uncertainty behind it (although as I write this, the UK is set for ANOTHER national lockdown at midnight), so it didn’t seem right planning those usual goals of travelling more, socialising more and spending more time with family. However, I personally feel better if I have something to work towards or something to do differently – it helps me enter the new year feeling more positive and bloody hell, we could all do with that right now. So, for my 2021 goals, I’ve decided to focus on things that I can change regardless of whether or not we’re in a lockdown. Things I can do for me and to get me feeling back to my best. Let me just state for the record though, that I will NOT be giving up booze.
Sort Out My Diet
While last year I had the relief that my stomach symptoms were nothing more than IBS, it didn’t mean that things settled down. Especially during the last few months, stress around everything going on has meant I’ve suffered a fair few IBS flares to the point where I’ve been curled up on the sofa sleeping during my lunch break. But I’ve been a bit stuck over what to do – as far as the doctors are concerned, I’m fine. I was told if the colonoscopy discovered that I had IBS I would just need to manage it via my diet and general wellbeing. I’d tried medication beforehand and while it gave me a bit of short term relief, it didn’t really do much else in the long term.
I must admit, since working from home and not really having much of a proper routine, my diet has slipped. During a normal work day in the office, I’d force myself to eat a small breakfast, I’d bring in veggies and bits to snack on throughout the day rather than eating everything at lunchtime, and I’d have a main meal in the evening. Now I’m at home, laziness has got the better of me – rather than preparing myself a little plate of snacks I’d rather just crack on with work, and my stomach is often so sensitive in the mornings that I can’t manage any breakfast until late morning. Because of that I often end up skipping lunch and eating nothing until dinner. In between all that, I’m not eating much fibre, which is what my app (yes, I have an IBS app on my phone) keeps telling me I need to eat more of.
After every test I’ve had and every medicine that I’ve tried over the years, I feel it’s now time to look at my diet. I know I don’t eat very healthily and I feel it may be contributing to the IBS worsening. I’ve been doing a bit of research into IBS friendly diets and meals, and the thing that’s been popping up the most is a low FODMAP diet. I won’t go into it in full detail, but it was quite hard to actually find complete meals to eat – much of the facts on it just included a list of what you can and can’t eat, and they were pretty full on. After a bit more research I found a recipe book of low FODMAP recipes for £10 on Amazon, so I decided to invest (even though I don’t cook). While I’m not planning on following it religiously, I’m hoping that by introducing a couple of recipes from it every week I’ll be doing my stomach some good. Once I’ve gotten a bit further into it I’ll of course update you on my findings!
Drink More Water
Similarly, I’m well aware that I haven’t been drinking enough water over these last few months. My skin has suffered as a result especially, and I remember the last time I made an effort to get my 2 litres in, my stomach wasn’t quite as bad as it has been. So, I’m back on the water wagon. I’m aiming for 2 litres a day minimum, and I’m back to following my top tips on drinking more water.
Sort My Shit Out
I’ve mentioned quite a few times that my mental health has taken a bit of a down turn since covid decided to bugger everything up, and I’ve not exactly done much to stop it, aside from drinking heavily and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy. However, as we enter 2021, I’ve realised that if I continue in the same way, I’ll have undone virtually all of the hard work I did back in 2017. I’ve undone quite a fair bit already, so I think now is a good time for me to start making more of an effort to manage it. One thing I’ve really been struggling with is managing stress – in turn, this makes my IBS worse, which makes the anxiety worse and so on. Yes, a lot of my goals for this year are stomach related. I’ve spent a fortune on self help books and journals over the last couple of years, none of which I’ve used for more than a week, so I’m determined to actually use them properly this year. Additionally, when it comes to managing my stress, that brings me on nicely to my next goal.
Exercise at Least 3 Times a Week
Towards the end of 2019 and for the earlier part of last year, I was doing really well with my exercise. I was doing regular Blogilates workouts and I noticed that I had more strength and that I was feeling generally happier in myself. A combination of moving house followed by a general lack of motivation meant that I fell off the wagon completely when it came to exercise. Working from home for this long has meant that I’m no longer going out at lunch for walks around the city (not that there’s anything stopping me right now, it was just the nicer option as opposed to sitting in a freezing cold break room with dickheads from the upstairs office making a shitload of noise – now I have the choice of my own house with heating and blankets), and that I’m sat for much longer than I would be in the office. As a result, I’ve noticed how unfit I’ve become – my back hurts if I stand up for too long and I get out of breath running up the stairs. It’s awful. Anyway, I’ve decided to throw myself back into my Blogilates workouts in order to rebuild some of that strength and stamina, as well as to manage my stress and anxiety. I was quite full on when I did them last year, doing them at least 5 times a week, but instead I’m starting small and aiming for at least three times a week to start with. Whether or not I keep it up is a different story, but I’m certainly going to try!
Be More Sensible With Money
During the first lockdown (and the second one, along with this current one probably), my motto was very much “a parcel a day keeps the sadness away.” Yeah I know, I took on some really healthy habits as a result of this whole situation. Anyway, in the run up to Christmas it was a lot easier to deal with, because I was ordering Christmas presents instead – it still had the satisfaction of getting a parcel (when do you get to that age where getting post isn’t exciting?) but I was actually buying things I should have been. Now we’re post-Christmas I’m back to buying things “as a treat” and because “it’s been a rough week” – if I carry on the way I’m going I’m going to have a very empty bank account. So, in a bid to be a bit more careful with money, I’m going to be trying to keep a better grasp on my finances by tracking my spending, cutting back on the unnecessary purchases, and hopefully being able to save a bit more. It’s a long shot, but fuck it. Let’s give it a bash.
So, in a nutshell, that’s my goals for 2021. Whether or not I’ll be very successful with them is quite up in the air given that things so far this year haven’t been that great, but I’m certainly going to give them a bloody good go. If anyone has any tips in succeeding, please send them my way!
What are your goals for 2021? Let me know in the comments!