Well, we made it all the way to the end of January, just about in one piece. This will be my 33rd blog of the year so far and it might be time for a cup of tea and a biscuit, and maybe a couple of days’ break to unwind and recharge.
Throughout the month, the Jump Start Challenge has kept me nice and busy and as usual it’s given me all kinds of new ideas, and some excellent feedback from everyone who’s been joining in.
In particular it’s got me thinking about:
- Goals for the year, behaviour change, and why most of us can’t stick to New Year’s resolutions
- Everything that makes us happy and healthy, and how that intersects with living on a budget
- Doing another Tenner Week in February, this time with a different theme
- How much I enjoyed doing the optional TV Diet (once I got used to the idea)
Goals, habits, focus, and to a greater or lesser extent productivity are mostly about mindset. They might need some prior knowledge or information, but a lot of it is about picking aims, making plans and sticking to them. Expect a few more articles about habits, money mindset and more coming up in the next few weeks, because you can get a lot done, maybe even make a few dreams come true, and it’s nearly always nice and thrifty.
Health, happiness and general wellbeing are the focus of a huge amount of scientific research at the moment, along with various branches of philosophy that go back centuries. The Happiness Boosters Week here on the site was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in ages, and it’s inspired me to carry out a lot of research in the last few weeks. I’m especially interested in how much of it can be done with a small budget, and how a lot of it is essentially free, so watch this space for lots of new happy and heathy ideas.
Recent news reports have suggested that consumer debt has risen significantly, even though disposable income is not keeping up for most households. I think that quite a few of us could do with another extreme budgeting challenge to rein it all back in, myself included, so there’s going to be a new Tenner Week in February for the week before payday.
The TV Diet turned out to be one of the best things that happened for me in January. TV in itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s more a case that too much of it makes me sluggish and a bit inert, and the less I watch the happier I am. It’s made me get back to enjoying all the other things I love, like going out, listening to music, radio, podcasts, reading and writing, plus being more selective about screen time means that the television I do watch is more enjoyable.
Finding fun, affordable things to do away from the gogglebox isn’t always easy, so that’s why I’ll be bringing back my Things to Do in Britain When You’re Broke series in late February or early March. That’s been on the back burner for far too long and now it’s time to have a revival.
I also have some personal goals and plans for February, sort of mini-resolutions, and I’ll be writing about them separately in a couple of days.
Do you have any interesting plans or targets for February? Let me know if there’s anything you’d especially like to see on the blog in the next few weeks and beyond, I’m taking a few requests if time allows!