My 2022 focus is to build sustainable wellbeing, and I’m also tracking my physical health and wellbeing and personal finances, which have been focuses in previous years.

The cold weather and subsequent low motivation from June has continued into July. I’m finding it very difficult to get back into a regular exercise habit, having only gone to the gym twice this month. My diet has also continued to slip especially for evening meals, although my breakfast and lunch habits of eating whole foods is pretty well established. Other smaller health habits have also declined. I feel like these tend to snowball in accordance with what the ‘big ticket’ exercise and diet habits are doing. When I’m tracking well, it’s much easier to reduce alcohol and drink more water, and vice versa.

Despite the lack of consistency with my habits, I have made some good progress in July as I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about my approach to my 2022 focus.

Over the year, I’ve been refining the micro habits that make up a sustainable lifestyle for myself. But added to my health habits, it totaled 11 things to track, which were too many and were not feasible to keep on top of. Although it’s been useful to identify what brings me value, they’re not things that I need to consciously do on a regular basis. I’ve super simplified my focus into ‘stress’ which makes me think about the tasks and commitments I’m taking on, and ‘trips’. Trips take work to pre-organize and plan, and it’s useful for me to see where I’ve got fun things planned throughout the year and where I have empty gaps.

I’ve also changed up this update, splitting it into a habit tracker section, and an ‘achievements’ and ‘goals’ section. The achievements record the one-off items that I have completed, and the goals are things that I plan to do the next month. This is helping me take a more holistic, flexible approach to creating life balance and trying new things to tweak my lifestyle.

I’d still like to incorporate some of the things I used to have as trackers – like walking and going to yoga, but I don’t feel the need to track these. I need to refresh my weekly schedule before I can think about where they might fit into my current lifestyle.

I’m also finding that ramping up fun events and trips after Covid restrictions is taking quite a long time. It takes effort to plan and book trips, and things really need to be in place at least a couple of months in advance.

July achievements

This includes some of the fun things I did, which helps me feel gratitude and appreciate the opportunities I have, and some of the lifestyle optimizations I’ve tried and/or implemented.

  • Weekend trip to Melbourne for a friend’s wedding – even though it was a city break, it was great to get away and because we only had two things planned, it was actually pretty relaxing. I also made use of my ‘fun fund’ for some guilt-free spending. We went for a nice brunch in a trendy café and I got a $12 breakfast cocktail, something which I would never ever do as part of my normal budget!
  • Massage – I got my quarterly Thai massage, something that provides a lot of value for my body and posture, but also gives me a lovely hour of peace with my own thoughts.
  • AFL game – enjoyed a sunny winter’s day watching sports. We got a season ticket this year because individual ticket prices just don’t make sense, but we’ve agreed that this doesn’t provide as much value to our enjoyment as we thought it would so won’t be repeating.
  • Shifted my supermarket shop to mid-week – I enjoy doing the fresh food shopping at the market each Saturday, but I hate going to the supermarket. I’ve shifted this shop, which is necessary for things like milk and yoghurt and process/packaged items, to mid-week. This keeps my weekends clear.
  • Planned a trip to see my friend – This was my one goal for July, and I achieved it yesterday! I’d originally planned to got to Sydney, but made this trip even better by arranging to meet my friend in the little coastal town that is her hometown.
  • Planned a trip to Queensland – Booked flights for a trip to warmer weather, and to get a much needed break from work.
  • Bought concert tickets – This is for a gig next February, and will involve another city trip to Melbourne.

August goals

I try and keep this fairly limited, as organizing and researching trips takes quite a lot of effort.

  • Create a system to capture ideas for day trips, and a way of scheduling and planning for them
  • Book car hire and accommodation for Queensland trip
  • Book hotel for February concert trip

Health habit tracker

My health habits really need a kick-start. The nice thing about this monthly update, is that each new month is a fresh start and an opportunity to get back on track.

Personal finances

I’m enjoying a temporary pay rise at the moment, as I’ve taken on some extra duties at work. Although this has brought a fair amount of stress, and it’s contributing to the difficulty I’ve been having in keeping on top of my health habits, I’m making sure that I’m saving the extra and not just inflating my lifestyle. It’s not a permanent situation, which is good for my stress level but I also need to ensure I don’t get used to the extra in my paycheck.

Anyone else struggling to getting back to pre-Covid fun?