Top 10 Achievements Project - April 2015

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This month was full of decluttering, routine practising and weight loss. The original post from last month can be found http://www.lizhardwick.co.uk/top10March15 and hopefully will be an interesting insight into the progress I'm trying to make.
Here's to a positive, cleansing and productive May.

1 - Making fitness and weight loss a priority - This has worked, and hasn't worked. I mentioned I've started back at the gym again, and basically for the three out of four weeks of April, due to schedules and being totally drained I've not made it to any classes. However, I have, I'm proud to share with you, lost weight! I've been doing the 5:2 diet since October last year, but I've not really been balancing the 2 500calorie fast day with 5 normal "healthy" days, it's been more social events where food is that's usually my downfall. So I've being trying extra hard to avoid the cake trolley and the burgers at the geek events, and I can happily say I'm the lowest weight I've been in over a decade. So, on the 1st May, I treated myself to a celebratory Mint Choc Fondant Cake (pictured) and do you know what, I didn't even managed to finish it!
2 - Carry on the meat free days - This has probably also aided #1, I've managed to do a meat free day each week for two months continuously now. I'm going to keep at it, as not only may it be something to help with the weight loss, but it's got to be good for the world too.
3 - Take a trip somewhere exciting - I've managed this on a couple of occasions this month and tried to get outside more. The fresh air in my lungs, the wind in my hair, the rain battering down on my face, makes me feel alive and I need to remind myself of that more often and get out of the office or training venue. On a side note I've had some very exciting offers of work this month from Jordan and Texas, so I'm hoping I'll get to do more travelling around the world this year too!
4 - Declutter and spring clean me - Having my home tidy, helps me relax; having my work environment safe and tidy makes me productive; having my living space calm enables me to think and 'breath'. I still have lots of 'stuff' to declutter and I have in my head a list of things in cupboards I want to sort through, but to see visibly, there's no more clutter! :)
5 - Personal motivational boost - This month I decided to challenge myself with a 7 day meditation challenge. Nothing massive, just a promise to do 5 minutes of meditation a day. I've managed to carry it through to week 2 already and I'm noticing the differences. I'm finding I'm catching myself more often before I get totally wound up and stopping, and breathing and when I can, taking 5 minutes out to do a short meditation. I feel calmer and more in control more of the time. I'm hoping to continue this and add it to my new morning routine (#10)
6 - Attend a new #geeksontour - This month I went to quite a few new groups, I tried OpenData Manchester, OpenGov, BlogCampUK, Ladies Who Code, and attended my first in two years meeting of the Manchester Women's design group, that prompted the 7 - Learn how to make sushi - I was quite impressed with the results of my first Sushi experiment. It was hard to find a good, simple and low calorie recipe with the ingredients I already had in my cupboard. 1 cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water makes a *lot* of sushi rice! This rice was great though, it was healthy, low in cals and totally belly filling even in small amounts. I made it with cucumber and carrots to keep the costs down and try it out, but you could make it with anything inside. The most expensive ingredient was the Knori seaweed paper, but it ended up making 24 large sushi pieces for under £2. Bargain lunches I reckon!
8 - Have another attempt at swimming - Oh, I totally failed on this because of the lack of gym visits, this goes back on the list for yet another month.
9 - Read more ebooks - I wouldn't say I managed to read any ebooks this month, but I did go a step towards it. I love my Kobo ereader and as such I love the fact it has enabled me to sync my Pocket account with it since a firmware upgrade about a year ago. I ended up with about 300+ articles saved to Pocket (a read later platform service) but now that's down to a manageable 50 and I'm adding new content and actually reading them pretty soon after, so even though I didn't manage a book, I did manage some reading.
10 - Finesse my morning routine - I won't bore you with the finer details as it's become quite a trial and error on what works for me with a morning routine but so far I have managed to regularly include in the morning...
3 Sun salutations (yoga praising-the-day poses)
20 (now 30) sit-ups
5 minute meditation
Green tea
Motivational reading
Planning the day/week
Declutter the Inbox (Inbox Zen post coming soon!)
I took some of the suggestions from online posts including the 
FlyLady scheme of life organising. I do however want to focus more on their suggestions for a tidy and clean home, which I'll add into next months achievements plan.

Aims for May include...
Health
1 - Keeping fitness and weight loss a priority
2 - Carry on the meat free days
3 -Swim woman!
Learning
4 - Blog More
5 - Read More
Productivity
6 - Organise all the things
7 - Declutter and Clean with the FlyLady project
Trying New Things
8 - Attend a new #geeksontour event
9 - Cook/Bake something new
10 - Starting on the path of a new exciting adventure (all will be reavlealed next month)

Here's to another top10 month. Why not join me too!