Back to school ‘Me’ goals are all about incorporating one new thing into your life that’s just for you. With term starting we become home makers, teachers, taxi’s so why not maximise the use of that time to incorporate something additional into our routine where we see a tangible benefit, whether it’s getting fitter, learning a new skill or taking up a hobby.
1. Walk after drop off
Exercise is not my favourite thing in the world – not by a long shot but I always feel so good both mentally and physically after a run or a brisk walk.
The hardest part is getting motivated. Once out walking it’s an enjoyable activity. You can listen to an audio-book or music or just enjoy the scenery. It doesn’t matter. It’s your time.
Schedule it into your day for a specific period of time and pin it up in the kitchen where everyone can see it and don’t let other activities encroach on it. Once you’ve made it official you’ll be more likely to do it.
With the kids back to school you’re probably up early so park up the car when you drop the kids off and take a walk. Don’t worry about looking conspicuous there are usually loads of parents doing the same thing.
If you have a baby in tow, then wrap them up well in the buggy and bring them along. You’re all getting fresh air so It’s a win win situation. It doesn’t have to be far, it doesn’t even have to be vigorous to start off, you don’t want to turn yourself off. Go at your own pace and build up over time.
Once you’ve established a routine it will be easier to maintain it during the winter months. If you’re the kind of person who likes company, you could even organise with other parents to walk the same route and start a walking club. I bet there will be loads of parent’s who’d love the moral support and sign up. If mornings doesn’t work you could do evenings during soccer practice.
Now that the first step is completed and you have scheduled a regular time slot for your walk you’ll need to organise the right gear to wear.
Wear whatever feels comfortable. Lidl and Aldi do great walking gear and do ‘specials’ at this time of year. The gear is great quality, durable and much cheaper than other stores. To start out, leggings, top, sports bra and socks are basics.
Any hoodie or long sleeved sports top will do. Dunnes, Tescos and specialty stores sell fitness gear all year round so its worth shopping around or waiting for the sales to get a good deal.
All stores sell runners but it’s worth investing in a good pair of runners like Asics where the gel cushioned sole absorbs shock helping prevent against injury. They are expensive but they are very comfortable and to help prevent injury. Lifestyle sports often run clearance sales or Amazon black Friday deals offer great bargains if you can wait till Nov 25th.
If you want to track your progress you can pick up wireless fitness trackers in Aldi specials or you can fork out for a Fitbit which tracks your progress and links fitness data back to your phone but it’s much more expensive. You can download Spotify (a music app) to your phone and set up a play-list of your favourite music or an audio-book app and listen to a book.
2. Do a course
Learning is nourishment for the mind. Whatever you’re interested in these days you can do a course on it and if you’re thinking of starting up your own business or up-skilling now is the perfect time.
Night classes usually start in September in most schools on a variety of topics. They are usually an hour or two, one evening per week for up to ten weeks and range in price from €80 to €110 depending on the length of the course.
If you don’t want to travel to learn and you have internet you could sign up for an online class from the comfort of your own home.
Lynda.com is a paid subscription based online learning resource owned by LinkedIn and has multiple courses for different learning paths and on completion of each course a cert is added to your profile so people from hiring industries can see your current skill-set.
The courses are delivered in bite-sized video chunks and can be viewed offline on multiple devices so if you’re waiting for your kid at their karate class you can log onto your phone or tablet and listen away.
LinkedIn is an online social media platform for professionals. You set up a profile and add in education, jobs, interests, skills just like a CV then you add contacts in preferred industries or recruitment agencies and you can apply for jobs or made connections in your network. You can keep up to date with what is happening in industry globally.
Future Learn is a free online resource for courses in any field of interest, from mindfulness to starting a business. It can be accessed anywhere on mobile devices.
It’s mainly videos, small amount of reading and writing comments along with other students. Courses can be completed in your own time and are based over a couple of weeks.
3. Take up a hobby
If there is something that you have always wanted to do like crafting, knitting, flower arranging then consider joining a club. There are classes on hobby activities in local schools in the evenings as part of the night classes section – see above 2. Do a course.
Online is a great resource if you don’t want to venture out. You can follow YouTubers who have large followings in the same way that a club would. They post content at regular intervals and you can follow along at your own pace.
You could learn to crochet or quilt or paint – whatever takes your fancy. There are often experts that have content on YouTube but also Facebook and you can access that content on mobile devices where ever you are. You could eventually turn your hobby into your business if you get good enough.
Whatever you decide to do – do it well and give it your best shot. Choose just one thing to start off with, something you would really enjoy and will stick at even when it gets difficult to find time. If you do multiple things you may get overwhelmed and give up everything. You can always add or change activities each term.
Think about where you would like to be in five years’ time. Would like to be working in an area that involves doing something you love?
Would you like to start your own business? Maybe you already have your own business but you’d like to get better at marketing it or adding better content or grow sales. Start off in Future Learn for a taster class to see if you’d like that area. Its free, its short and you can do it at your own pace in your own time so what’s to lose? Nothing ventured nothing gained as my mom would say.
Anything is possible and you have to start off somewhere – just start off small and see where that takes you. As himself loves to say to me “How do you eat an elephant – Just one bite at a time”.
The best of luck in achieving your back to school ‘Me’ goal. Let me know what your goals is and how you plan to achieve it. XXX