Last week I blogged that I wanted to make a few changes – partly in light of things I’d read, but partly because I wanted to make a few changes. Bluntly I want to eat/drink a little less, exercise a little more and increase my PhD inputs/outputs. There is some reoccurring advice from the motivation gurus and life hackers that I’m trying to adopt to make positive changes over the next four weeks. I believe if I put some of these to the test it might 1) prove such advice is totally useless or 2) prove these people are highly annoying but were right all along. Even Leicester City winning the league (pictured) hasn’t stopped my quest for the truth…
To recap, the reoccurring advice I have noticed on @Medium, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc are:
- Small changes – are habit forming
- A healthy diet – would probably make me feel better
- More exercise – would probably make me feel better
- Organising my time better – would lead to benefits – particularly to my PhD study
- Getting up earlier – because it is supposed to make you superhuman
- And any other stuff…
So far, seven days in I have:
- Small changes are indeed habit forming: I ran 18 miles (total of 9 days x two miles around the block). I’ve got out to pound the streets everyday so far. The distance is short enough for a good workout and not too far that my legs are too tired to go again the next day. Overall I feel good. According to the Nike Running app I’ve burned 2,450 extra calories in the first seven days.
- I haven’t eaten unhealthily – but haven’t covered myself in glory. LEICESTER CITY won the league, yes, LEICESTER CITY won the league!!! So I partied on Monday night, and this weekend, well, as much as I tried to keep a lid on things, it would’ve been rude not to eat and drink to the world’s greatest football team. The net result is that I averaged 2,500 calories a day across the week, 2,200 calories if you factor in the running – but not huge impact. On a positive note, things would’ve been a lot worse if I was not putting this effort in for ProjectMAY2016.
- More exercise IS making me feel better. It is a great reliever of stress and it feels like I’m not sitting around getting fatter. In fact I bizarrely feel trimmer even though I’m fairly sure I’ve not lost any weight yet. I’ll have a weigh-in later this week.
- I haven’t made any radical changes to organising my time yet. However my PhD supervision session went well and progress feels positive. I’ve got four weeks to put together a large chunk of writing introducing my research into universities working with communities in times of austerity.
- I have got up earlier and used to time to read more and listen to my boys read and that feels good.
- And finally, the only other positive I noticed was… after my run on Friday, I didn’t drink and booze – a regular Friday night post-work ritual that usually eases me into the weekend. I woke up early and feeling good on Saturday – totally like one of those smug clowns who write motivational quotes and “life hacks”. And I’ve done some additional writing.
Anyway, so far, so good.