Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, my dad had a double heart bypass operation.  I’ve seen him twice since his op, and I’m very grateful and in awe of the superb care and attention shown to him by the nurses, doctors, surgeons, anaesthetists, and everyone else involved in his recovery.  We are truly blessed to have the NHS here in the UK.

On the way in to visit him today, I bought a copy of the Daily Mail (other papers are available!).  On page 9 was a short interview with Elle Macpherson.

One sentence in particular struck a chord with me:

“Don’t make a New Year’s resolution; find a New Year’s solution”

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  On the rare occasions when I have, they’ve usually been broken within 24hrs!!  There then follows a time of berating and negative thinking, before my behaviour settles back down to its usual pattern…resulting in the same old results.

Over the past three years however, I’ve developed a new approach:  I think through the problem and come up with a solution.  I then try that solution for a few weeks, review it, and make any necessary tweaks and changes before trying the new solution for a few weeks, and repeating the whole process again until the problem is solved.

Often I’ll talk through aspects of the problem and solution with friends, family, work colleagues and God.  Sometimes it’s quite a fun process.  Other times it’s a painful one, as I’m required to identify and face areas of wrong thinking and poor behaviour / habits, which then need to be challenged and changed in order to create the solution and outcome which I desire.

It’s an ongoing task throughout the year, but at the end of one year and the start of a New Year, I write a larger overview of what I want to achieve in the coming year as part of the Big Picture for my life.

This year is no exception… apart from the fact that I’m now going to share this year’s solutions with you!

New Job – Four weeks ago I started work as Specialist Exercise Lead (MSK / Low Back Pain) for a brand new Referral Programme in Rotherham, South Yorkshire called Active for Health.  A 3-yr project, funded by Sport England, and impact-assessed by Sheffield Hallam University.

This is an exciting and challenging role for me.  I have previously worked as a Personal Trainer in Sheffield, specialising in clients with a wide range of long-term medical conditions, particularly those with weight issues and diabetes.

Solutions required:

  1. Further qualifications – I need to rise to the challenge of further learning and study, pass more exams, write more Case Studies, and network with people in a new area of health & fitness.
  2. Further training – Learning how to work with clients deemed to be at High Risk, but for whom increasing activity levels have been proved to be of benefit.
  3. Research and data skills – over the past year I have been taught how to read, understand and critique research papers. I have also learnt how to accurately measure and record data. These skills now need to be taken to a higher level.

First Triathlon – I am taking part in my first Triathlon in just over 27 weeks’ time – 10th July 2016 – at Dorney Lake, Eton.  It involves a 200m swim in the Olympic rowing lake (aargh!!), followed by a 5.3km bike ride (should be fine), then a 2.5km run (hmm…).

Two years ago I overcame a HUGE fear of going underwater (see my Physical Challenges section on this website).  Last year I started swimming lessons to learn how to swim front crawl properly.  So far, I’ve only ever swum in a swimming pool.  A couple of years ago I completed the NHS ‘Couch to 5K’ running course, but due to injury, my running has lapsed. The bike section therefore will be the least of my worries!!  Transition will be interesting…

Solutions required:

  1. Continue working on my front crawl technique and stamina.
  2. Build up the distance and speed of my running.
  3. Practice outside on my actual bike, not just in spin classes at my local gym!

So, over the next weeks and months, I’ll be blogging about how I’m progressing with these specific solutions.  I’d love for you to come on this exciting journey with me, and along the way maybe find a few ‘solutions’ for yourself.