Happy New Year!

Happy New Years to all! Sorry for the radio silence, I’ve been flat out moving a couple of my goals along.

At the end of October I submitted my Masters thesis, and immediately applied for a PhD. After an excruciating waiting period, I’ve been awarded First Class Honours and a High Distinction for my thesis, and have been admitted to the PhD program. I will officially begin my PhD in February.

I’m working at putting together my list for New Years Resolutions. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Continue with fitness goals
Achieve all first year PhD requirements
Submit an article to a journal and a conference paper
Downsize things and get rid of unnecessary things
Make more things
Buy less stuff
Go to Scotland
Keep things organised
Go hiking as much as possible
Cook/bake more
Enjoy life

I’m yet to plan out how exactly I’m going to achieve all these things, but there’s my list for now.

What’s on your New Years resolution list?


Goal #1 – Fitness

My first goal, is fitness. I know, not particularly original. I really love hiking, and one day would like to climb the highest mountains on each continent. At least. Really, I just love getting away and into the wilderness and the ability to carry everything I need to survive. I also love kayaking, rock climbing and abseiling, swimming, and just being outdoors in general.

When I was little I was very involved in a lot of sport: swimming, cross country running, netball, soccer (football) and riding my bike every weekend. Now though, study and work have taken over everything and I spend more time than I would like in front of a computer, and eating (especially chocolate). I am still not overweight, I’m fairly normal really, and I don’t have any major body image issues (outside of the usual), but my fitness is almost non-existent.

I want to improve all areas of my fitness. I am a member of a gym, and I have sessions with a personal trainer, although both of these are more sporadic and less focussed than I would like. I have had both of these since November 2013. Now that the major part of my study for the year has wrapped up I want to work on getting into really good habits and a routine for fitness.

I want to come up with a plan to build strength and muscle at the gym, and combine it with other cardio exercises such as running. At this stage, my plan looks something like this:

Monday – Walking/running
Tuesday – Training session
Wednesday – Bootcamp/Gym
Thursday – Gym
Friday – Walking/running
Saturday – Bootcamp #2
Sunday – Gym

My gym sessions are based on a plan from my trainer, they are fairly rounded and are a full body workout. The bootcamps are a great combination of strength and cardio, and they’re also a bit social (only a bit) which works well for me.

I do also wear a Jawbone UP, which is helpful for tracking what exercise I do. Basically I aim for 10,000 steps every day, although I’m making an agreement with myself that if I get to 20,000 I don’t have to have a gym session that day.

The goal in figures is like this: I want to be able to carry 30kg (66lb) for 20km (12mi) of steep terrain fairly easily. I will test this as often as I can by going hiking with my partner and his friend.