An inauspicious start to the year – 3 days on the couch with the cold from hell – has at least given me thinking time for what I want to achieve in 2016. And it’s all about health, consumption (or lack of it), finances, stuff, gardening and volunteering.
Working out with a PT three times a week for the last year means I’m starting 2016 fitter, stronger and more flexible than in previous years! In 2016 I will:
- continue with the PT sessions three times a week (2 weights based and 1 boxing)
- squeeze in some additional solo cardio and stretching sessions
- eat better
- get back to taking lunch into work (saving money!)
- track my macros (crabs/protein/fats) to maximise training gains
- dust off my cookbooks and try at least 1-2 new recipes a week (including vegan)
- grow more food at home and on my allotment
I bought less in 2015 (fewer books, clothes, DVDs etc) but I still spent/consumed a lot from places like Starbucks, Itsu and Abokado! In 2016 I will:
- buy less (see Stuff below) and consume less
- make sure any consumption is conscious rather than unconscious
Consuming less leads neatly into financial probity. I’m in the lucky position of having paid my mortgage but am carrying a couple of modest loans which I’d like to pay off ASAP. There’s also a couple of significant spend items this year – a friend’s wedding in Scicily in August and the potential need for a replacement laptop. In 2016 I will:
- plan my finances – I’ve got good data for 2015 so can forward plan for 2016
- look at clearing debts as fast as possible
- have as many no spend days as I can
- save for fun stuff
After reading a number of minimalist and frugal blogs in autumn 2015 I took a first sweep of my flat and got rid of some stuff as well as making a pretty comprehensive inventory. The upside of this is the realisation that I’ve (probably) got enough toiletries, notebooks, fiction, CDs/DVDs, clothes and veg/flower seeds to see me through. So in 2016 I will:
- reintroduce a regular movie night to watch my backlog of DVDs so they can be sold/donated
- listen to/rip to MP3s my CDs and then sell/donate, but keeping a select few
- start reading again on my morning/evening commute to reduce my giant pile of To Be Read books!
- commit again to Project 365 – aim to get at least 365 things (or more!) out of my living space in 2016 and abide by a 1 in, 1 out rule
Gardening and volunteering
These are tied together. I get a lot of enjoyment out of my tiny garden and always have plenty of colourful window boxes at the front of the house which the neighbours seem to enjoy too. I’ve got a modest sized allotment and am the social rep for my allotment committee. In 2016 I will:
- grow more flowers and veggies from seed rather than buying seedlings (saving money)
- spend more time on the allotment (for fun, social events and production)
- get back to volunteering more time with my local Transition Town group – again focusing on gardening and growing local projects.
It may sound like a lot but it’s not really. I was doing most of this in 2015 – just not as effectively as I would have liked in some cases!