My Perfect Month

I have set myself a January challenge to have a “perfect month”.

If you have an Apple Watch you will know what I’m talking about. If you don’t I’ll explain below. Inspired by a client of mine I realised that I wasn’t using my watch to its full potential. It is basically a mini personal trainer attached to your wrist and I mostly ignore it!

Everyday you aim to close three rings - Move, Stand and Exercise. The watch sets a Move goal for you, the Stand goal is always the same and the Exercise goal is 30 minutes. The watch also knows how active you are generally and adjusts accordingly.

In addition, the watch sets you a monthly challenge and rewards you for additional things you achieve during week.

What’s not to love?

Anyway, my challenge to myself this month is to surpass all the challenges the watch gives me. This probably won’t interest you at all and I’m totally ok with that, but we all know that being accountable is one way to keep you on track, so here is me being accountable.

  • Current Move Goal = 490 calories

  • Stand Goal = 12 hours

  • Exercise Goal = 30 minutes

  • January Challenge = doing 4 workouts that last for 15 minutes or more

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Tuesday 1st January

Day 1 done! My starting Move goal is 490 calories and the watch was not being kind to me. It took a Metafit session and a dog walk but it still told me that I needed to do a brisk 3 minute walk round the block, which I did. The dogs were happy anyway!

Wednesday 2nd January

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Day 2 done! Last day of the holidays so I took the kids tobogganing at the dry ski slope. My DH, who doesn’t miss a trick told me that she needed help carrying her toboggan up the steps - and told me that this would also help me get my steps. Too clever for her own good that one! Not easy after feeling the effects of my Metafit session yesterday! A dog walk in the afternoon and I was done…2 done, 29 to go!

Thursday 3rd January

Day 3 done! Kids back at school = two school runs, so I knew today wouldn’t have to be a crazy late night walk and burpee session kind of day. Exercise ring was closed by the end of my yoga class at 10.15pm and the watch was loving me - usually tells me off! The January challenge also completed in 3 days and I got another reward for most calories burnt in a yoga class. Go me!

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Friday 4th January

Day 4 done…just!!! An hour in the dentist chair and two hours watching a gymnastics class (should have joined in) nearly scuppered my chances. Got to 7.30pm and neither Move or Exercise goals were done so it was either another dark dog walk round the block or a 10 minute yoga session. 600 sun salutations later and I was done :-)

Saturday 5th January

Day 5 done. Got up and cycled to Metafit at 7.15am this morning, in the dark, via a longer route and back again, 3km total. B***ard watch gave me two minutes towards my exercise…two minutes that’s all!! This meant I had to walk the dogs in the afternoon, not my job at the weekend. It tried to make up for it with a 7 workouts in 7 days award. We are not friends today!

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Sunday 6th January

Day 6 done. This watch has got clever quick, this month could be harder than I thought! I actually have to sweat to get it to react - I wasn’t expecting that. I did Metafit again this morning (I know…new me!) and I’m hoping the effects won’t be so long lasting this time. Then a 5 minute stomp round the block with Chase did the trick. Nearly a week done.

Monday 7th January

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Day 7 done. Mondays are always my most active day so I had no worries about hitting my goals. Of course the watch was being generous and gave me 9 minutes towards my Exercise goal for vacuuming the house. I’d completed all the rings before I went out to work so I actually doubled my goals for the day (new most Yoga calories burned award to boot).

So one week down and I have completed the perfect week…however it’s not a perfect week in terms of the world of Apple because they run Monday to Monday and I started on a Tuesday. I will have to wait until next Sunday for that!

Tuesday 8th January

Day 8 done. I spend quite a lot of time at the desk on a Tuesday so didn’t know how I would find the day. The dog walk sometimes counts and sometimes doesn’t, I guess it depends on how quickly I walk and how many people I stop and chat to! But rockin’ my new “Dunlops” I got it done easily.

Wednesday 9th January

Day 9 done. Today was always going to be tricky. It’s my day off work and I spend 4 hours at rehearsals sitting down. I ran a few errands and made sure I parked at the far side of the car parks and did my usual dog walk - which the watch decided didn’t count today. A quick, brisk walk around the block after dinner got the job done.

Thursday 10th January

School run, yoga class, dog walk, school run, Metafit class…day 10 done…tick!

Friday 11th January

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Day 11 done. I very much had an admin day today so my watch was screaming to me to get moving. A dog walk usually does the trick…if I’ve left myself enough time to do the distance and I don’t stop and talk too much!

Saturday 12th January

Day 12 done. As discovered last Saturday, my watch barely registers if I get on my bike and it gave me even less exercise credits than last week! I went to the cinema in the afternoon which meant at least 2 hours of solid sitting . It had to be a big dog walk to get the goals so I just kept walking until I had hit the goal - which always seems so hard on Saturdays - by which point I had walked quite a way from home so did much more than I needed too! The awards are coming thick and fast too - today marked another 7 day workout week.

Sunday 13th January

I wanted a pyjama day today so before I put my pyjamas back on (after having to get up for work at 8am) I did a Metafit workout - which isn’t getting any easier! Metafit is a 22 minute workout so I still had to find an additional 8 minutes of exercise within my day without the dog walk option. I took to the stairs, 10 times up to the top and back down (I have two flights in my house) with some burpees and jumping jacks thrown in…day 13 done! Loads of awards today - perfect move week, perfect stand week, perfect exercise week, perfect week and my longest move streak - go me!

 
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Monday 14th January

Day 14 done. I was expecting the watch to up my Move goal but it didn’t so I increased it myself up to 500 (which I said I wouldn’t do but at least now it’s a nice round number). Another easy Monday although the watch decided that it would only give me 3 minutes towards my exercise goal even though I did exactly the same as last week’s housework. A dog walk plus my busy Monday evening timetable hit my goals.

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Tuesday 15th January

Same as last Tuesday (my week’s pretty much run like clockwork) and I spent most of the day at my desk. By the time it came to my evening outdoor fitness class I was a couple of minutes short of my exercise goal. A few laps around the basketball court and some jumping jacks while the girls were warming up did the job. Day 15 done.

Wednesday 16th January

Day 16 done and halfway point today. Interestingly, I did a morning dog walk, which is out of routine for me, and the watch loved it! Easily gave me all the credit - probably because I usually do most of my activity in the afternoon and evening. Loving the motivational messages it is giving me.

Thursday 17th January

Day 17 done. A yoga class and a dog walk got the job done today but a very physically demanding rehearsal in the evening would have got me the goals otherwise!!

Friday 18th January

I helped my sister out with some painting and decorating today, thought that might do the trick but no, the watch said no. Walking the dogs it is then! Day 18 done.

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Saturday 19th January

Cycling to Metafit wasn’t working for me so this morning I walked, dogs in tow. It meant I had to leave the house a bit earlier and it was dark when I left but the reward was a beautiful sunrise. Move and Exercise goals done before 9am. Day 19 done.

Sunday 20th January

I was not feeling exercise today. In fact I wasn’t really feeling like much at all. It got to 6pm and I was nowhere near either the Move goal or Exercise goal. Metafit or a dark walk in minus degree temperatures. I opted for the walk - a 30 minute speed walk around Grange Farm with Chase. Got back and I was ready for a big glass of red. Day 20 done.

Monday 21st January

The watch has now set my Move goal to 550 so should feel slightly more challenging this week. However, today was easy, I must have vacuumed more vigorously! Day 21 done.

Tuesday 22nd January

During the week, as long as I have school runs and dog walks I’m finding it fairly easy to hit my goals. Day 22 done.

Wednesday 23rd January

Even on a day when I have 4 hours of rehearsal it’s all ok. I was slightly concerned about my stand goal today, by the time I got to my evening rehearsal I was getting a bit short of hours. I quick couple of laps around the toilet during the break and it got sorted. Day 23 done.

Thursday 24th January

Day 24 done.

Friday 25th January

Decorating and dog walk today took me so close but by the evening I wasn’t quite done. I went out for some drinks and nibbles at a friend’s house so I parked my car away from the house and walked there. Got totally lost so ended doing way more than I needed too!! Day 25 done - 5 days to go.

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Saturday 26th January

Day 26 done. Got up and walked to Metafit which gave me my Exercise goal. Spent the day decorating, which gave me nothing despite the fact that I was totally pooped when I got home in the afternoon. I still needed to close my Move ring so I spent 5 minutes in the kitchen with the kids teaching me Fortnite moves in between running up and downstair. I’m now a pro at Orange Justice…that counts right?!

Sunday 27th January

Day 27 done, 4 to go. It was one of those Sunday's when I didn’t want to do anything but if I’m so close to succeeding in my challenge I didn’t really have a choice. The new Metafit needed learning so I half-heartedly did that in the morning, sat on my butt for most of the day, then completed the day with a brisk walk round the block with Jack and Chase - in the dark, wind and rain…the things we do!!

Monday 28th January

Getting close now! The watch put my Move goal up to 600 calories for this week…not that that was a problem today, as I type I have just hit 926. Shouldn’t have any trouble hitting that during the week but will definitely find that tricky at the weekend. Good job it’s February by then and my challenge will be over! Day 28 done.

Tuesday 29th January

Littlest child on a scooter meant a surprised watch and it mistook my school for exercise…halfway to that goal by 9am! Goal completed on the dog walk but I struggled a little bit with the Move goal today. Outdoor Fitness was very wet this evening, and cold with the promise of snow but when it was finished I needed to do THE 2 laps to hit my goal - if you go to Outdoor Fitness then you’ll know the two laps I mean! Day 29 done and I can smell the finish line.

Wednesday 30th January

This 600 calorie goal is making things very slightly more tricky. I do a lot of sitting on a Wednesday and the dog walk only counted for 14 minutes of exercise, let alone the rest of my Move goal. I had to go on an additional 30 minute post-dinner walk to close the ring. Although in a weird way I quite enjoy walking in the dark and cold! So close to the end now…day 30 done.

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Thursday 31st January

So that’s it…day 31 complete and goal of a perfect month achieved. Well done me! I left the last day right to the wire by having a few inactive hours during the day and had to wait until 10pm to complete the challenge. I was expecting the watch to put on a little celebratory party but I’ve heard nothing! It hasn’t even had the courtesy to give me the Perfect Month badge yet :-(

Summary

Ok so this wasn’t the hardest challenge I have ever done however, it kept me moving during January and actually over the month I have increased my average activity during the week.

It turns out my exercise of choice is walking. I am more than happy to go out, even when it is dark, cold and icy, and walk and don’t procrastinate at all about it, over any other form of exercise. My dog has also got fitter from all the extra walks!

I will continue into February (although my February challenge is considerably harder than my January one!) and see if I can maintain perfection by beating the watch.

Wouldn’t it be great to get a perfect year?

…The End