Jump Start January 2017: Week 1: Day 6

Jump Start January 2017 Week 1 Day 6 Penny Golightly

Hello! How are you getting on so far with the first week of Jump Start January? Today’s activity is to start making some important lists, and setting your top priorities.

Lists can be incredibly important tools when it comes to money management and budgeting, and generally getting things done. Setting priorities is also extremely useful – it allows us to focus on what’s important when time, money or other resources may be in short supply. If we can’t have or do it all, at least we can do some of it, ideally what matters the most.

Once you’ve made your lists and ordered your priorities, keep a copy of them around for regular reminders.

List one – the big wish list

Make big, messy list of all the things you’d LOVE to do this year. Not should, or might, or ought, or what anyone else thinks you should do. Just what YOU’D LOVE. Spend a couple of minutes throwing down idea after idea, as quickly as possible. Imagine that money is no object, that you can afford anything you want. Come up with maybe ten or even twenty things without thinking it through too much, or stopping yourself.

Now have a look through your list and pick out the three things you’d most love to do. Put the most important one at the top of the list, and put two smaller or simpler goals after that.

Money might not be involved in any of these three priorities, but if it is, work out how you can afford to make things happen.

For example, you might want a holiday to a tropical island. Can you get a cheap deal by haggling with a travel company? Can you have a working holiday? Perhaps you could go to a cheaper destination that’s still sunny? Maybe you could sell your old stuff to get the money together… And so on.

It’s more likely to happen if you set a realistic goal, and make a specific plan.

Other ideas include getting out of debt, learning a new language, starting your own business, buying a car, or whatever else it is that floats your boat.

Write or print that list out and put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly, like the fridge door, or near the kettle.


List two – the small, affordable treats

For this list we’re looking at little items or services that bring a moment of joy to your day on a regular basis. Here, keep everything £10 and under, so it’s affordable.

Try to think of as many little treats as you can. You might be able to come up with 30 or so very quickly.

For example, you might like to buy a book, a box of tea, a lipstick, some stationery, a slice of cake, a new shower gel or bubble bath, a mini collectable, a keyring, a bar of chocolate, a warm hat, an ornament, a coffee mug, a game or app, and whatever else you might like.

Remember to write down plenty of things that are free, or cost £1 or less too. That could include a walk in the park, a soak in the bath, a free ebook to read or a book from the library, a TV show or film, a radio show of podcast, and so on.

Make a list of at least 14 of these things to do, try or buy, and and commit to enjoying a new thing on your list each day for the next couple of weeks.

What’s going on your two lists?


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  1. Top of my big wish list is a car. I passed my test about 10 years ago but have never been able to afford to buy & run a car. Thankfully public transport is good round where I live so I don’t need one but I would really like one.
    I’d also like two weeks in the Maldives at some point. I’ve a friend who’s been before and the pictures I saw of it looked stunning. It would be the perfect place to totally switch off.

    My little treats list has things like cherry flavoured tea (a real fave of mine) and fancy maraschino cherries to put on desserts and in cocktails. Yes, I like cherries, can you tell?

    I also like downloading and listening to free podcasts on the commute to work. I can heartily recommend Adam Buxton’s one for random funny & insightful chat with interesting people and the Kermode & Mayo film review one.

    What’s on everyone else’s lists??

  2. Hi Jackie, that’s a good list! Maybe I should do some of mine too…

    The main item on my big wish list is a proper two week holiday, somewhere beautiful and warm. Can’t remember the last time I took a fortnight off so this would be such a treat. Maybe catch up on all that reading while I’m on holiday too, who knows?

    For the second thing on the wish list I’d really, really like to go on a writers’ retreat in the UK this autumn.

    My little treats this month include a mini-pack of Ferrero Rocher (from Poundland), a soak in the bath, an early night or very lazy evening with an audiobook, a free film with my Odeon Limitless card, and a DIY home pedicure.

    Thanks for the podcast tip, I like Mark Kermode’s reviews.

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