It’s Day 5 of the current Tenner Week budgeting challenge, and today’s activity is called Go to ‘can do’. It’s about considering – and hopefully finding – more options when life is difficult.
Real life has plenty of ups and downs, and quite a few plateaus and same-y everyday bits too. It’s unrealistic to expect everything to be perfect all of the time, even if you can create many additional happy moments by cultivating helpful habits.
However, in many cases you might be able to work around a problem by taking more flexible approach, or chipping away at it with a number of small actions.
Today, let’s attempt to empower ourselves and work around a small or medium-sized problem.
Ways to go from ‘oh no’ to ‘can do’
First, start by thinking about a something that’s annoying you, causing issues, or making you feel a bit despondent. Ideally make this a small-ish problem, rather than an overwhelming one – for example, we can’t turn back time or wave a magic wand.
Here are a few quick ideas to get you started:
- I hate the cold, rain or lack of daylight at the start of the year
- I feel completely unfit and washed out
- I’m overdrawn after Christmas – help!
- I can’t afford an overseas holiday this summer
- My job is boring and I feel burned out
These could go on and on, but you get the picture. You’re bound to have an annoyance or two of your own, if not several!
Try to think up as many ways as you can to make this problem or annoying issue less of a problem.
How to look at a (small-ish) problem in a different light
Let’s look at the first one: “I hate the cold, rain or lack of daylight at the start of the year.” Think about this carefully.
Is this just a personal preference, or is it making you ill? How would you like it to change, and is that realistic?
Here are a few ways to approach the ‘can do’ options:
- Make a GP appointment if it’s making you feel ill – there might be a number of treatment options, after a professional assessment.
- If it’s more of a preference than feeling unwell, could you make your living area feel more cosy? Perhaps you could add a soft, warm blanket to the sofa, or treat yourself to some hot chocolate.
- Maybe you could start planning for a summer holiday, or something else to look forward to.
- Thinking further ahead, might you be able to start saving now so that you can afford a winter sun holiday this time next year?
- Could you join a support group? For example, the UK’s Seasonal Affective Disorder Association might be somewhere to start if you have SAD – reach out for help if you need it.
- If you dislike the reduced hours of daylight, can you go outside for a regular walk at noon, when the light is strongest? See how a small change makes you feel.
There are many, many more options here, depending on your specific situation. It’s just six quick ideas to show a few of the possibilities.
Obviously we can’t change the season by clicking our fingers, but maybe thinking up and trying a small action or two might help.
More useful resources
- The Tenner Week Challenge rules
- 12 tips for a successful Tenner Week
- The ‘Boost Your Mood’ Tenner Week schedule
I’m a bit skint after paying my tax bill, so maybe I’ll look for a few ways to budget harder and earn more this coming month.
What’s bugging you right now? Can you think of a few different ways to go from ‘oh no’ to ‘can do’ – however small they might be?
By the way, if you’d like a free printable spending diary to give your Tenner Week budgeting challenge an even bigger boost, just fill in the form below.