Jump Start January: Week 5: What I learned

We are in the home stretch of Jump Start January – well done to everyone who’s joined in! Today, have a quick look back over the last four weeks, and think about how you could take things forward.

What was the most interesting thing that you tried? What’s made the most difference to your everyday life? Where did you make the most progress? Also think about areas where you felt the most resistance: these might represent personal blocks that need some more work.

Jump Start January look back

Think back and consider each week in turn. As a quick reminder, the themes were:

  • Personal Finance Week
  • Declutter Week
  • Tenner Week
  • Healthy Week

Now take some time to look forward to the rest of the year. What do you want to concentrate on next? What are your highest priorities? Try to think of a few new quick, simple activities that will help you meet your priorities and reach your goals.

The round-up from Golightly Gardens

I used Personal Finance Week to cut some waste and renegotiate my mobile phone contract, and get organised enough to file my tax return well ahead of the deadline. It’s made me realise that there are a few other areas where I can save a few quid, so I’ll be working on those next. It’s also made me change my business record-keeping system so all the important stuff is tidy and up to date, and my receipts are less likely to get mislaid.

The first week also made me realise that I need to start making more of an effort to save up for things, and plan more for the future. Staying out of debt is a good thing, living on a budget is a good thing, but I think it’s time to get back to making plans and building something really positive. I’ll update you about that soon.

Declutter Week’s biggest surprise was that the things I decluttered last year have stayed decluttered. It’s rare in life to have a successful short, sharp shock that stays successful in the long term – but I’m so glad it did really work. Being organised is a teensy weensy bit addictive… They key to good decluttering (in my house at least) is looking at functionality, putting organisational systems in place, and getting rid of the recycling and charity donations as quickly and ruthlessly as possible.

Tenner Week went really well on the finance front, and I didn’t spend all of my £10. I learned so many new tricks and tips that I’ll have to put them all in a separate article. On the down side, the snowfall we’ve had in the UK made me go a bit stir-crazy, and I ended up feeling a bit more isolated and cut off from the world than I’d have liked. It’s made me resolve to get out a lot more once the weather’s warmed up, budget permitting. Re-join polite society and all that.

Healthy Week went pretty well too, although my plans for lie-ins and relaxation were rather scuppered by the early stages of building work. Did I mention that the back of my house is only held up by a plank? Not the nicest thing to discover, and maybe not entirely relaxing. And the expense, as they say, is damnable (but better safe than sorry). Over all, Healthy Week has made me realise that I need to raise my fitness levels and take exercise more consistently and frequently.

So, that’s where I’ve been, and where I’m hoping to go from here. How did you get on, and was anything particularly helpful or successful for you?


There’s also an ebook to go with this series which contains more information, ideas and resources: Jump Start 2013: One small action each day to improve your personal finances and quality of life is available to buy on Amazon. Please buy a copy and help to support this site.





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  1. Hello

    I was looking for something you mentioned last January (2012)about a website that purchases books – something similar to Music Magpie I think, but I’m unable to find it.

  2. Hi Jane, I mentioned Amazon, eBay and GreenMetropolis.com. There are other more specialist sites for textbooks.

    Best wishes,

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