1,035,362

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This summer, I set myself a goal to walk 10,000 steps each day. Perth is blessed with clear blue skies, sunny weather, and fourteen hours of sunlight during the summer season. Even if it’s too hot during the day, the nights are generally balmy- in fact, this is my favourite time to exercise. All in all, it means there really is no excuse not to be active. And although there were several times when I had to go for an 11.30pm run to make sure I reached my target for the day, I can now officially say that I achieved my goal! In total, I walked 1,035,362 steps this summer. I was so happy to realise I’d broken the million mark.

I also achieved another exercise-related goal this summer, which was to run around my suburb- a distance of about 7km. It doesn’t sound like much, but given that I’m not a runner, it felt like a formidable challenge. After last year’s 1000km hike along the Bibbulmun Track and my trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, a new fitness challenge was just what I needed. I don’t know that those walks made much long-term impact on my overall fitness, but after a couple of months of building up my endurance, I managed to complete the run, in under the hour that I’d been aiming for. (Actually, I shouldn’t lie, it was more of a very slow jog.) This goal was actually more of a resolution for 2017, so to achieve it before the first month of the year was over was a bonus.

I’m proud of these efforts as I’ve never really been into fitness, aside from trying to fit in a few walks during the week. Even that started as a way of procrastinating from doing assignments, back in my uni days. As I’ve got older, though, I’ve become more conscious of wanting to look after my body. Given that I love my food, I know that regular exercise is in my best interest. Buying myself a Fitbit for my birthday last year also helped, as it made me more motivated to move. And while I’m not going to worry if I don’t make 10,000 steps each day in March, the first week of autumn is looking to be very summery indeed- perfect for some balmy evening walks.

The Month Ahead: March ’17

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March is almost here, and with no travel plans for the month, I’ll have plenty of time to spend on my ‘at home’ projects. It’s taken me a while to readjust back into ‘the daily routine’ after coming home from Sri Lanka, but I think I’ve finally regained my mojo just in time to make sure live up to the motto which I try to follow each day- be productive, creative and active. Here are some of my goals:

Read: The Toymaker by Liam Pieper, The High Places by Fiona McFarlane, House of Snow by Ranulph Fiennes, Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Write: Since I didn’t have a reliable WiFi connection at some of the places I stayed in Sri Lanka, I only managed to post about the first week of my holiday, where I toured in a group. March will be devoted to writing about my solo adventures and observations.

Exercise: I’m actually going to cut myself a bit of slack with this one! All summer, I’ve endeavoured to walk at least 10,000 steps per day. I will continue to aim for this as often as possible in March, as the weather is still bound to be warm and sunny, but I’m not going to feel pressured into going for an 11.30pm run if it’s looking like I won’t reach the target.

Cook: Ever since I got back from Sri Lanka, my sweet tooth has been out of control, so I’ll be hanging up my baking apron for the month. Instead, I want to focus on savoury meals, which is not my usual forte. I’m most keen to try my hand at a couple of vegetarian curries, as well as a few chicken dishes.

Clean: I want to begin Phase 2 of sorting through my teaching resources. I spent the first two months of summer going through all my files and managed to cull quite a bit. I suppose the bigger issue now is storage. It’s time to shift my things out of the lounge room, where they’ve been residing for the last 14 months. I’m thinking a new bookshelf will help to store some of the books, files, and resources that have made the final cut.

Create (Project 1): Snapshots of Sri Lanka. This will involve sorting through and editing the 2000+ photos I took on my travels. It’s going to be a big task!

Create (Project 2): String Art- The Cool Colours Companion Piece. The follow up to an art project I completed 20 years ago in primary school.

Watch: Homeland (Season 6), The Simpsons (Season 7 DVD), My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita (SBS online)

Work: I’m looking forward to starting four weeks of relief teaching at the end of the month, as I’ll be in a class with some of the students I taught in Pre-Primary two years ago. It will be amazing to see them all grown up. I’m just hoping I haven’t forgotten how to teach, since it feels like an eternity since I was in a classroom. (Actually only three months ago, so I should be fine.) Plus, you know, it will be nice to earn some money, considering my bank account doesn’t seem to want to finance itself.

Eat Out: I’m sticking to a pretty strict budget this month, which means cutting back on dining out, even if the breakfastinperth Instagram page may try to tempt me otherwise. I am willing to make an exception for Slate Cafe, which I have been wanting to check out all summer, as well as Gusto, as they were closed the last time I visited to try their homemade crumpets, which are meant to be delicious.

Hang Out: I feel like I haven’t made much of an effort to explore my home city since getting back from Sri Lanka. However, I’m looking forward to attending The Rosé Event with some friends on the 18th of March. The event will be held along the Swan River, and the four of us are looking forward to sampling many wines- one of our favourite pastimes!

It looks like March is going to be a busy month!