The five days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve seem oddly quiet. After the mad rush to get Christmas sorted – the tree decorated, the flurry of last-minute presents bought and the kitchen cupboards stuffed to the gunnels – everything goes quiet between December 27 and December 31.
Our Christmas guests have departed on the ferry, my 20-something children have headed off to see their pals and the remains of the turkey have been consigned to the bin (sorry, but I’m not a great one for creating culinary masterpieces out of what’s left).
The answer to the hiatus is a hearty walk along the sea – or several hearty walks. I’ve just bought a Jawbone, a fitness tracker that monitors the number of steps you take and the number of hours you sleep. The wristband – the rest of my family thought it was a stylish new bracelet – can also be used with third-party apps that log what you’re eating.
As a fairly sedentary writer I reckoned that having a Jawbone would propel me to be more active (and to walk to the newsagent’s for the papers every morning instead of leaping in the car).
The downside is that I hadn’t realised how bossy the tracker would be. On Christmas Day it told me that I should have gone to bed at 10.22pm rather than well after midnight. What a party pooper. It even declared that drinking alcohol close to bedtime could disrupt my sleep.
The one (slightly embarrassing) thing I’m doing right is hitting my sleep target on a regular basis. When that happens I get a congratulatory message saying “you’ve achieved a goal.” I just wish it was for something more praiseworthy, like running a marathon or writing a bestseller.
As for my steps target, the only day I’ve triumphed was on a Christmas shopping trip to London. My worst performance of all was on the day we drove to the House With No Name, when I recorded a measly 869 steps – an embarrassing eight per cent of my daily objective. The Jawbone didn’t say it but I knew what it was thinking. Could do better…