My ‘project’ for 2021 is a focus on health and wellbeing, and as part of the plan I will be monitoring progress through monthly reviews, which I’ll share here.

Monitoring should not be confused with evaluation – these monthly updates are not an assessment of whether or not my annual plan is a success or failure. Monitoring is to check the planned actions are being done, that the immediate effects of these actions are still contributing towards the overall goal and that the actions can be achieved with the planned resources. I’m using these monthly monitoring posts to see if there are any mini-corrections I need to make, such as altering the action/goal or committing more or less resources. I can also see if there is a particular area I need to lean into.

When reporting monitoring on projects I like to use a traffic light system. It’s simple to communicate but also simple to assess. Red = ok, yellow = better and green = best. Importantly, ‘best’ is not 100% for the month, but more of a 80/20 rule which is much more achievable and reasonable.

November is looking much better than last month, mainly thanks to my reworked daily routine (see my previous posts on this, and how I built it).

Exercise

My new routine for exercising in the morning is working really well and I’ve made two sessions per week every week. I’ve also extended my workout, not only running on the treadmill but doing a few weights and a stretch session. I’m still not where I was pre-lockdown, but I’m managing to run for a full 30 minutes again.

Diet

Diet has been very positive, and I can count on one hand the number of processed items I’ve eaten in any one week. Next month I’ll be cutting out even more, swapping my regular Saturday bacon and egg roll for scrambled eggs on toast, and choosing some other healthier options for eating out.

Flossing

Flossing has been a bit erratic. I’ve been trying to do this in the first ad break after I eat dinner, but I often feel too tired or forget. I’ve been fairly busy with other things this month as well, and instead of relaxing and watching TV I’ve continued to work on my laptop. For some reason, having another priority stops me from this habit, even if it only takes a couple of minutes.

Alcohol

Alcohol has been cut right down, thanks in large part to the fact that my partner has chosen to detox with me. It’s so much easier to avoid temptation when you don’t have someone next to you indulging! We have a rule that we don’t drink at home, which is working really well. We avoid unintentional alcohol intake, just sat on the couch watching TV, but we don’t miss out on the social drinks (which are kept in check naturally because of the higher cost).

Water

Most days I’m drinking more water than I did before, but there’s still room for improvement. Surprisingly, I’ve found that this habit has made the most impact on my daily energy levels. I try and drink at least 1L before the end of the work day by incorporating the habit into my daily commute, and whilst in online meetings.

Stretches

I’ve incorporated stretches into my twice weekly exercise sessions, but I’d like to get to stretching most days. I haven’t quite figured out when in my daily routine I could fit this in, but I’m already feeling the benefit of dong it twice per week.

Sit/stand

I use my sit/stand desk most days, but my aim is to use it twice per day. I’m more likely to use it when I’m not under pressure or too stressed, and I’ve tried to use it for any time I’m on the phone or in meetings.

Stress

A week away camping was a great stress reliever this month, but I still came back to a heavy workload and a long to-do list at home. I’m hoping that a few major things can be accomplished in December, to help with my current overwhelm.

Some other highlights…

This month I was invited by Suzanne from Happily Decluttered to provide some happiness highlights (check out this post, and more from her blog).

It has inspired me to include a few positive highlights in my monthly updates…

Purple garlic harvested from the garden:

One of the beaches in Ben Boyd national park we visited during our camping trip:

How is your November going? Any highlights to share?