One Month At a Time

7222384_origAs we get ready to enter the last month of the year, I’ve been looking back and assessing my one-month-at-a-time plan that I began last January. At the beginning of the year I put myself on a vegan diet, and added exercise. The goal was to stay with what I was doing for one full month, assess how it was going and how I felt, and then adjust as necessary when a new month began.

I have to admit that while I started out with the best of intentions, the exercise part of plan did not go well. I began the year with waking early to take a walk, but quit that in a couple of weeks because a) I hated having to wake up so early, and b) the walk was difficult because of the hills and the bursitis in my hip. I switched over to riding my exercise bicycle three times a day which went well until the humidity returned in the spring. Even with fans operating and breezes blowing I sweated enough to make the whole process exceedingly uncomfortable, and that form of exercise was given up. Exercise was changed to taking walks with Brett, but problems arose even with that when the bursitis in my right hip flared up to dangerous levels and didn’t subside. Injuring my back at the end of August sent me into what has become a three-month stretch of pure sedentary living. A couch potato probably gets more exercise than I have these past three months.

I’ve been happy overall though at how differently I approach eating these days because of the one-month-at-a-time plan. I’ve gradually added most things back into my diet, but am far more conscious now of what and how much I’m eating and how it affects me. I am aware of how little I need of some foods in order to be satisfied. Meat (poultry, beef and pork) remain the only things that have not returned, but probably will this month, in very limited quantities. I am going to follow Mark Bittman’s approach in the coming days, vegan/vegetarian before 6:00 p.m., and then a more varied diet at dinner, with meat included, if desired.

There will be some other new changes appearing on December 1:

  • Now that I have a recumbent bicycle for exercise, I am going to ride 30 minutes/day, in two 15-minutes sessions. The humidity will be dealt with somehow.
  • I am going to drink eight glasses of water every day.

Both of these will be tracked. When I complete both every day for a month I will reward myself at the end of the month, something a bit more special than a coffee at Starbucks or some such thing.

One other activity beginning December 1 will be to spend at least 30 minutes a day studying/reviewing Japanese, and 10 minutes each day learning another language, maybe Italian or Spanish (again).

One month at a time.

9 thoughts on “One Month At a Time

  1. I found an app called 7 Weeks to help me track habit changes/goals — it has been very helpful to me. Godd luck on your new month’s goals


    1. I checked out the 7 Weeks app but it requires an Android OS; I have an iPhone, so will have to wait until it’s available for iOS. Sounds like a great tool though – I’m going to keep checking!


  2. Great S.M.A.R.T. goals that are good for the mind (languages) and body (exercise and water intake)! I find tracking and keeping my measures visible really help as reminders and motivators. Keep up your good work!


    1. I’ve already made weekly cards to check off my progress. I need to come up with some good rewards at the end of the month though – a coffee at Starbucks isn’t going to motivate me much, but something I’ve been wanting for a while will (as long as it’s not too expensive).


  3. After being vegan for several months (also for health reasons), I pretty much stick to Mark Bittman’s plan, although dinner is not always my non-vegan meal. Sometimes I opt for meat at breakfast- especially if there is leftover stir fry to turn into fried rice! Or if it’s the weekend and my husband is making omelets.
    I also try to follow the 1-2-3 rule. One serving of vegetables at breakfast, two at lunch, three at dinner. Makes it easy to get in your five servings a day.


    1. I like that 1-2-3 rule! I’m not sure I can get in any vegetables at breakfast (I usually have a bowl of cereal, and YaYu usually claims the leftovers) but I know I can pump it up at the other meals. The big thing going on with me these days is that I just don’t eat that much overall – big meals are a thing of the past for me. I usually only eat a cup or so of whatever we’re having. Also, I cannot eat most lettuces or greens unless they are cooked, so that cuts out another easy way to fit in more vegetables.


  4. The hardest thing for me in winter is drinking water. I try to switch to hot tea, but I’m just as thirsty in colder weather. I also have much better results when I’m tracking. I use My Fitness Plan on my iPhone. It keeps me honest to log my food, although I get lazy around the holidays (or maybe just don’t want to admit what I’m eating.) 😉


      1. Back in Portland it was hard for me to drink water in the winter as well, but since it’s warm here all the time I hopefully won’t have a problem. I’m hoping that having to check it off on a chart will help turn it into a habit.

        I used My Fitness Pal for a long time, but I tend to get too obsessed with that much tracking. Brett still uses it daily though.


Comments are closed.