curiosity about the ways of the world

Living by numbers


This won’t do. It’s 11.35 am and what have I got to show for the day? Half an hour too long in bed, two cups of tea, two cups of coffee, half an hour too long reading the paper, 17 minutes drumming practice (ok, really 20 mins). Time I got down to some work but first I am making my New Year resolutions; so many it is hard to know where to start: eat more fruit and veg, drink more water, walk further, generally get more out of the day (more reading, more gardening, more cooking)…plus at least 15 minutes drumming practice, 15 minutes dancing practice. All that on top of a good day’s work and no more than 20 minutes blogging? Here’s my cunning plan.

I have been thinking about this for some time. There are so many things I want to do more of and better that there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week. So I have decided to try one thing at a time and log (as honestly as I can) how I get on. Four weeks for four main resolutions.

Five a day – I am embarrassed to say how difficult I find it to eat five fruit and veg a day and I know that is only the recommended minimum daily dose. So this will be a challenge but interesting to see whether it makes a difference to the way I feel.

Two and a half litres a day – I was delighted to read before Christmas in the Guardian (so it must be true) that we don’t need to try to pour 2.5 litres of water down our throats every day. That is some kind of urban myth, no doubt nurtured by the bottled water companies. Tea, coffee, soup and fluids in our food all count towards the recommended daily intake. However I still think I don’t drink enough so here goes.

10,000 a day – walking steps. A couple of years ago I asked for a pedometer for Christmas confident that as my office is at the top of two flights of stairs (46 altogether) I would soon clock up the recommended daily exercise. I soon became very depressed. Even on days when I ran up and down stairs, walked across town to meetings and carried shopping bags up the hill from Tesco, I still barely reached 9,000 steps. I finally gave up after accidentally wearing the pedometer to my dance class which sent the poor thing into overdrive and it never recovered. I really don’t believe I managed 25,000 paces that day.

No more than 20 – restricting my time on the blog to 20 minutes a day will be difficult (I have already spent 30 minutes getting this far). But if I am to get more out of the day I know I have to spend less time on the screen. Facebook, blogging, googling and generally faffing about with emails that don’t need to be read or written can be an enormous waste of time. Fun too so there’s no need to give up altogether but I want to become more disciplined.

So where do I start with my four week plan? On the water I think. Now for some work.




  1. Administrator

    Seriously though, last night’s latest celebrity chef onslaught from Jamie Oliver makes me think it is not so mad to measure out my life in ten minute doses of healthy activity. Very unfairly, having not touched a drop of booze for three days, I woke in the early hours with the definite feeling of a hangover: perhaps my liver is reacting to all that fluid yesterday?

  2. Administrator

    You wait! A drumming podcast is in preparation even as you chuckle.

  3. Jean Richards

    …drumming practice-is that to save them going to waste?

  4. Ray

    and to think we will soon have the pleasure of hearing you say this stuff on podcasts too! How will you fit that into 20 minutes?

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