OK, so ‘post-COVID’ might be jumping the gun a little, but nonetheless gyms have finally re-opened! (Blessed be). I’d been trying my best to maintain at least a modicum of my usual fitness routine. But with no squat rack or bench in sight, it proved difficult. With space the size of a yoga mat to train in, and spending my time working from home, I’ve basically spent the past few months body-weight squatting and doing core workouts, which while amazing for my quads, glutes and core, it’s seen my overall fitness level plummet and within the last few weeks my motivation to workout has fallen off a cliff. Needless to say, I’ve been very excited to get back to the gym. So I was surprised to realise that my reaction was overwhelming one of nerves and anxiety. Over 15 years on from my first workout in a gym, I was suffering from a severe case of gym fear. I needed to figure out how to start working out again.
I’m a big fan home tech. I’ve been using various different smart speakers and home hubs over the last year and have been slowly convincing my family to get on board. It’s great to be able to call each other and see each other at the same time around the house while doing other thing — my personal favourite being catch ups with my nan while I’m cooking in the kitchen. The latest devices I’ve had my hands on is one of the new generations of Facebook Portal devices, namely the Portal TV. Part of Facebook’s entry into the hardware market, the wider family consists of Portal, Portal Plus and Portal Mini.
At the tender of *coughs* 32 *coughs*, I’ve planned my fair share of birthdays and to be honest, every year it gets harder and harder. While anytime spent with friends is time well spent, I always want something that feels like a memory builder over another dinner or drinks; I want us to look back and say “Remember when we did that for your birthday?” over “What did we do last year?”. So each year I try to find some sort of activity based experience, and lucky in London, this is becoming more and more of a thing. This year, I was lucky enough to have the hard work done for me, as newly opened BeatOrbit got in touch and invited me and my birthday team down to try it out.
I’ve always dreamt of the day I would walk through the front door of my very own home. It’s just something were unintentionally raised to aspire to in the UK. Owning the roof over your head means security, it means setting down roots, building a family, it means providing for your future, or just the chance to make a profit in years to come… and, I guess, it’s also the fact that if you own a home, you’re doing well in life. So I’m on my journey to be a first time buyer.
I’ve mentioned before that I love podcasts. I was a late bloomer to the medium but now I’m a fully-fledged obsessive. From show reviews and true crime thrillers to history, self-help and politics, I consume it all. And now I have one of my own! I’d like to introduce you to A Good Good Thing, the podcast.
We all know the news these days can be tough going, and with so much happening it means a lot of the uplifting stories we’d love to see get left on the cutting room floor.
A Good Good Thing is a good news podcast that, while not encouraging you to bury your head in the sand, offers a friendly respite, full of fun and inspiring stories, from charities and pop culture to life-changing innovations in science and tech.
The good news podcast
I present A Good Good Thing with my best bud Jack. We’ve wanted to work on something creative together for ages, and I’ve been going on about starting a podcast for a while until one day, while talking about how amazing science innovations and incredible grass-roots social initiatives don’t get the air time, the penny dropped and the podcast was born. We’ve even got our own funky little theme tune!
Listen to the trailer below, or keep reading to find out where you can listen and subscribe.
How to listen to A Good Good Thing
A Good Good Thing can be found on all major podcast apps and websites (Remember to subscribe rate and review!).
Here are some links:
You can also follow the podcast online at agoogdgoodthing.com, and while you’re at it, give us a follow @agoodgoodthing on the usual social channels; Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear about positive stories you have for us to share.
We hope you like it! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
From here on in, this is a good vibes only space…
I’ve never been the biggest fan of New Year resolutions. I kind of see them as a larger scale version of ‘I’ll start on Monday’, and I’ve always been a solid believer in starting now, not putting something off until it’s convenient. That said, for 2019 I have decided to set myself some goals. These are things I want to achieve. They may not be achievable in a year, and they may not all start on January 1st, but these are the next things on my I want to achieve in my life.
How to make New Year resolutions that you’ll keep
I think if you are thinking about making your own resolutions, it’s about creating realistic goals, but also goals that are flexible. I don’t say that so that they can easily be gotten out of, but that we often make such strict, far-reaching goals and unfortunately, as we all know, life isn’t that strict, it demands that we change and adapt to unforeseen circumstances. So if you add a bit of flexibility to your goals, so can adapt them to your life and they are more likely to be achieved. For example, if your goal is weight loss, don’t set a goal of ‘X amount of weight lost in X amount of time’, say ‘in the next year I want to begin my journey to a healthier and happier me’. Then say to yourself that it can be measured in the following ways; I feel fitter, I can walk/run further and I am stronger. I feel happier. I look healthier. And finally, the weight on the scale is going down. All of these measures are valid and show success, you may achieve them all, you may not. But staying the same weight but being able to walk 10km is still a success. don’t narrow your window for succeeding by setting narrow goals.
My New Year Resolutions
Making saving a priority
I’ve always been a pretty good budgeter. When I need to save, I’ve always been able to knuckle down and do it, whether it was to buy something or save for a holiday. But 2019 is going to mark the start of probably the most ambitious savings project we ever have; saving for a house. It’s not a small feat to achieve, but I’m at the stage in my life where I really want a space to call my own. so the budgets have been worked on, still allowing space for fun, and my spending limits are set. I’ve forcing myself to have a very spartan start to the year in order to kick-start the fund, then I plan on spending, or not as the case may be, the rest of the year focusing on putting money away as the priority. So long-haul holiday dreams will be on hold for now.
You all know I’m a big fan of meditation, and I’ve also discussed how it can be difficult to keep up. My practice works in ebbs and flows, but for 2019 I aim to solidify it into my everyday. I try to aim for 20 minutes a day, either in one block, or two sessions of 10 minutes, but I often get distracted or overloaded and I don’t manage it. so next year, my goal is to simply do it every day. No time limits or expectations. It could be 2 minutes, it could be twenty, but my focus is to make it second nature to think about and incorporate to help me find balance.
I’m on a lifelong fitness journey. but 2018 was definitely a career-first, life-first year. My fitness took a back seat and while I still trained 4-6 times a week, it wasn’t a focus. If I had to eat out, I did. I didn’t sacrifice for training and that’s OK as that’s’ what I needed to do during a job change and difficult times personally. Next year I’d like to give it back a bit focus now things have settled and I have the time. My aim is to get back to prepping my work lunches and setting specific monthly exercise goals, by compartmentalising it I think it’s more achievable than an epic 6-month or yearly goal.
Spend more time in the kitchen
This resolution is thanks to Samin Nosrat. Now, if you don’t know who Samin is, you need to introduce yourself, stat. Samin is an Iranian-American chef and food writer and author of the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, a not-so-ordinary cookbook that focuses on mastering the core elements of cooking rather than simply offering recipes to follow. This book isn’t about helping you make a one-off dish, it’s about turning you into a chef. For those of you that aren’t big readers, you are in luck as the folk of Netflix have turned the book into a truly brilliant four-part documentary, fronted by Samin herself. She’s funny and endearing and her passion for food is so infectious I watched all four in one sitting. It inspired me to get back to the kitchen.
I’ve always loved cooking, having been taught to cook and bake by my mum and nan respectively. But over the years, true cooking has been replaced by survival eating. I cook for nutritional value, making sure I have protein, carbs, fat etc. for training, with taste and experience coming second, if at all. After watching the series I followed Samin’s advice, seasoning and tasting as I go, adding new ingredients and experimenting with staple dishes I batch cook, and they turned out better than they ever have before. Here’s to a tasty 2019!
What are your New Year resolutions? Do you keep them? Do you think they are rubbish? Let me know below!
Similarly with the books I read, I love to read about something new, something educational or enlightening so I’m currently vibing a lot of the news/social/motivational podcasts. With that in mind, here are the podcasts I’m listening to right now. Plus, I want to hear your recommendations so stick them in the comments at the bottom!
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
Before he became one fifth of Netflix’s Fab Five, Jonathan Van Ness was preaching to the masses through his podcast, Getting Curious. Previously known for his uber-hilarious show, Gay of Thrones, JVN’s 30 minute podcasts are half and hour of pure joy. The premise is simple and perfect; Jonathan pics a topic he is curious about and invites an expert in the field to discuss. From Who was the Beyonce of the Renaissance Period? to Is Saudi Arabia Cute Now?, the show is a super accessible gateway to subject matter often ignored by the masses.
Check out the podcast here.
SuperSoul Conversations with Oprah Winfrey
Like, well, everybody, I love me some Oprah. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve spent many an hour watching her on YouTube, especially her SuperSoul Sunday series. A true eye-opening journey through life and what it means to human, to be present and to live in the world, SuperSoul Conversations is the podcast version of the series. It is literally the audio, ripped from the video, so there are some moments where you can tell they are acting out something can’t see, but it’s definitely better for the data balance. The podcast series is a more edited version; “Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. All designed to light you up, guide you through life’s big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self.” My personal favourites are the two-parters with Brene Brown and Maya Angelou.
Get enlightened here.
The Brilliant Minds Podcasts
I’m new to the Brilliant Minds Podcast, having come across it on Jesse Williams’ Instagram (Jackson on Grey’s Anatomy) as he was on it. It’s based on the Brilliant Minds conference that happens annually in Stockholm and celebrates entrepreneurial thinking and creativity. It’s co-hosted by Natalia Brzezinski and Juliet De Baubigny who talk with a range of musicians, artists, fashion icons, creators and tech founders about how they use their voice and open minds to constantly reinvent themselves and their platforms, knock down barriers and use creativity to make the world different, better and more connected on every level.
Like-minded folk should check it out here.
Now, Serial is a podcast I’d definitely heard about when it went huge a few years back, and as a lover of all types of crime stories, I knew this would be one I’d love. I listened to it almost back to back, I couldn’t stop. The first season of Serial re-tells the story of the murder and student Hay Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. The podcast picks apart of all of the inaccuracies and oddities of the case and asks the question ‘Did Syed really commit the crime?’ Season two is there to listen to as well and Season 3 is just starting.
Make up your own mind here.
Oprah’s Master Class
“Everybody has a story. And there’s something to be learned from every experience.”
Told you I love me some Oprah, didn’t I? This new podcast is the audio version of the media moguls much-lauded TV series, in which a host of famous faces share their life lessons. From Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to Jay-Z, I couldn’t recommend this more. I just hope Oprah releases the Maya Angelou episode, I watch it at least once a week.
Sign up for class here.
How about you? What podcasts do you listen to? Let me know in the comments below!
About What Neil Did
I’m Neil, a London-based editor (by day) and blogger (in the gaps between!) and here’s where you’ll find out what I get up to.
Want to get in contact? Email firstname.lastname@example.org