Already 2017 has been a transformative year for me. At the beginning of the year, I strongly felt like I'd had a good rest and time to learn things during 2016 and 2017 was the year of making stuff happen. Then, two weeks in, disaster struck and I was admitted to hospital. It's literally only the past fortnight or so that I've genuinely started throwing the word "recovered" around in my head. My pain has finally gone and I've noticed I'm not as lethargic and exhausted as I had been. My desire to start exercising and doing things other than chillout activities has started to come back.

However, if there's one thing that my experiences have taught me this year, it's that I desperately need to find some balance.

I touched upon this in my post about ditching the overhaul attitude. Whenever I decide something needs to change, I have a habit of adopting an all or nothing approach, which can be very draining and pretty unhelpful in the long run. However, without some strictness and rules in my life, nothing will change and I put myself in danger of becoming very unhealthy and miserable.

I really need to find my balance.

During recovery, I've been trying to give myself what I need - enough to eat, enough rest and time to do things that I love like blogging, Netflix binges, reading and gaming. However, on occasions, the lines between need and just want have become blurred. When it comes to the food I eat, I've certainly been favouring sugary treats and ignoring my body's need for vegetables. As a result, I've gained a little weight and my skin is looking dull and spotty. I've also been spending a little too much time in bed watching TV - sometimes it's nice to watch 3 or 4 episodes of something in a row but anymore than that and I'm doing it for the sake of it rather than enjoyment.

It's time for me to add a focus on healthy eating, exercise and more productive activity into my life, but I want to do this gradually, in a way that doesn't take anything away from my life, instead adding value. At the same time, I don't want to make progress so slowly that I don't really see any benefits. I will do this by setting myself realistic goals with strong reasoning behind them.

Start swimming twice a week - Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings 
In the past, I'd go wrong by telling myself I had to exercise six days a week and I'd pick unenjoyable workouts that were impractical in my small space. However, I enjoy swimming and I have to leave the house to do it, giving me the added bonus of fresh air and walking. I choose Wednesdays because Sunday-Tuesday I need to cook my HelloFresh boxes and I'm unlikely to do this if I'm tired after exercising. Instead, on a Wednesday, I can choose something super quick and easy to make myself after swimming instead. I choose Sunday morning because I always have a more productive day if I have a reason to get out of bed and do something on a morning and I will have a lot more energy on a weekend than I do on a workday evening. While swimming does require a small financial commitment, if I stick to my other goals, this expenditure will be cancelled out by the money I save on food anyway.

Cook my own food on work nights and take the leftovers to work for lunch 
I spend an obscene amount of money on food each month. I'm always buying a huge amount of snacks because I'm too lazy to cook a proper meal and I'm always having to buy food I don't even like that much at lunchtime because there's limited choice in shops when I'm at work but I rarely pack my lunch and take it with me. When I get bored of snacking, I end up ordering takeaways that then go half eaten - a total waste of the money I spend on them. While my main motivation in my goal to cook more of my own food is improving my finances, it does have a knock on effect. Without tooting my own horn, I'm good at cooking and my own food is always tastier than the counterparts I get from the takeaway. It's also much healthier than takeout, crisps, chocolate and sweets. I've started ordering HelloFresh boxes again because they help me to minimise food waste, they inspire me to cook different things so I don't get bored and for some reason, I am way more inclined to not waste these boxes than I am when I buy fresh food from the supermarket.

Do one decluttering activity each day
Today marks one year since I moved into my bedroom in Reading. Because I moved from an entire one bedroom flat that I had to myself into one bedroom, I had a rather excessive amount of stuff - too much stuff. One year one and my room is still covered in boxes. My room is gorgeous, a great size and it has the potential to be a calming, relaxing, pleasant space but it's spoilt by the sheer amount of stuff in it. I keep meaning to do a massive declutter but the truth it, there's just too much to do to even get done in an entire weekend. I've made a start on the process and already, I am beginning to appreciate the space much more. I don't want to lose momentum now, so I've committed to doing one small activity daily to keep improving the situation. This won't overwhelm me, isn't too tiring to do after work and still gives me time to keep on top of regular maintenance activities like keeping my ensuite clean and have time to enjoy myself.

So, these are my current goals. I will report back on my progress in around a month's time!