We are almost at the end of May and it’s time to talk about it.
How did May go? Quickly, it was a very busy month. I took on the allotment, went to Paris and was more active generally and a lot more sociable, I saw and talked to people who I wasn’t related to every weekend in May, which is a level of social butterflying I’m not sure that my introvert soul could cope with every month but it felt good.
Money felt like less and more of a problem. I had a good grip on where it was and how much, I just didn’t feel like there was that much of it but this is a problem I have generally, there is always lots of things to buy and never enough money to buy them all!
Other than that I’m feeling pretty good. I’m going to go through the annual goals and the May Little goals because it’s time to look at the annual ones rather than just to say ‘I feel on track’ but I do feel on track, I feel more positive about life generally and more in control and more happy than I have in a while, summer making a difference and good things happening.
- Decoration. In 2016, I need to paint the bathroom, bedroom and living room again. I’d like to tackle the bathroom before June but the other rooms will have to wait until I have full use of my foot again! I haven’t done any of this, I think this is going to have to wait until after the summer because right now, the allotment is where most of my time and money will go…
- De-clutter. I want to have another clear out of the cupboard of doom and have a serious look at what’s in the kitchen. Kitchen was done in January and the cupboard of doom is more tidy than I thought my current plan is do this when I have a week off in August, because one of things I really need to do is sort out some more suitable storage for things like the spare duvets etc.
- Deep cleaning. I will assign a weekend every three months to deep clean the flat. In this weekend I will scrub the floors, clean the oven and windows and all that stuff I’m not good at remembering to do! This is going well, the flat is tidy and at time of writing I have a clean oven, defrosted fridge, clean windows and floors!
Little Goals – Home
Defrost the freezer. Done, it killed the hairdryer, look I had a two hour window over a very busy weekend. Fortunately, I had a spare hairdryer because I got two for my 39th birthday!
Re-grout the bathroom tiles. I did this a couple of years ago and it’s just beginning to mold and look tired. Time to re-do them. Haven’t got around to that but they’ve had a bloody good scrub and look much better.
- Tracking. I’ve been using a spreadsheet, that Ma (the queen of the spreadsheets!) helped me set up. It tracks what goes in and out of my bank account and what’s left. It also helps me plan for the year. In 2016, I will be consistent about using it. I’m totally on the tracking thing. It really works and I really like the weekly text from my bank which helps keep me there!
- Food Budget. This one is already in play, in 2016 I will set a food budget of £15 a week and I will record my spending and eating on this blog each Tuesday. Any money I don’t spend each week will go into the change jar, which is sealed and won’t be opened until 1st December 2016. I’ve gone over the budget a couple of times, but this has been brilliant for me, the weekly updates are helpful in keeping me on track and I’ve become more mindful of being creative with what I have in the house.
- Overdraft. I have one and I want it gone, so I will pay it off in 2016. I’m halfway there. This is about to get tricky as my rent goes up in June and I’m £40 less well off each month. I’ve written about this a lot on and off but I gained £10 a month because of changes to tax but am losing £50 a month to a rent increase. Just to know that the rent increase is low and I am eternally grateful to my landlord for being so reasonable but we are in a housing crisis and this is how they pan out.
- Credit Cards. I won’t use them in 2016. I reserve the right to use them in an emergency but I can’t plan for those… Less success with this target, they have been used, it was sort of a family emergency and I’m not saying anymore than that!
- Have one week this month were I only spend £10 on groceries. I think a week of ‘less’ is good for making sure that I don’t have too much food in the house. That was this week and I’m thinking that the last week before payday might always be a minimal spend week because it encourages me to use things up and be creative.
- Stay on track. I’ll have to pay for the allotment this month and the temptation to buy all the gardening things is immense! So I need not to. This is for financial as well as mental health reasons. Progress on the allotment needs to be slow and steady so I stick at it. So I have to practice patience as well as fiscal prudence! I did it, it wasn’t fun but I did it.
BODY AND MIND
- Walking. Walking more was a game changer for me in 2015 and I want to get back to that, obviously that will depend on how my foot recovery goes. So I need to have small, long term goals for this, a) by the end of March 2016, I would like to be walking either to work from Paddington Station OR from work to Paddington Station, that’s about 35 minutes a day. b) by the end of June 2016 I would like to be walking both ways and getting my 10,000 steps a day. I’ve not been walking to or from the station to the office. The good news is that I’m doing about 70,000 steps a week, so am hitting an average of 10,000 a day. I’m not fulfilling the exact target but I’m in the ballpark and happy with this.
- Body Balance. I love doing this when I do and my work gym membership resumes in July. So I’d like to go to one class a week in July and August and then resume 2 classes a week from September. This isn’t going to happen. I don’t think my foot is at all up to it and the money for gym membership is for this year going to be used on the allotment. That’s how it goes but I’m shelving Balance and will look at it again in 2017.
- Yoga. The evening routine is good for me so by the end of February, I want to be doing this at least twice a week. I am doing this at least once a week, with the decision not to resume other classes, I need to get into this more at home and it will be a little goal for June.
- Volunteering. I want to start attending the volunteer allotment days in June and this year use the two CSR days work gives me. I’m sure that my Mum can find a use for me either at the foodbank or the homeless project! I’m a little bit ahead of myself, I went back at for the May session at the allotments and will continue through the year. Ma reckons that I will be needed at the food bank during or just after harvest festival because that’s when they get deluged so I’m holding off until then.
- Books. The 12 book target was good but restrictive last year, I’m going to give myself a bit more leeway and have 24 books this year. I’ve bought 8 books so far this year, I’m feeling good about that.
- Work Uniform. This year I want to have a work uniform, but not use it as an excuse for buying more stuff. I need to wear office clothes 4 days a week so I will create 6 outfits for work make sure that 4 of them are clean and ready to go for Monday morning. This was a genius idea, it makes life much easier and as the only new clothing or footwear I’ve bought this year has been a new pair of jeans, I feel it’s helping me make the best of the clothes I have.
- Three times a week walk from the station to the office. Need to redo this one for this month. Nope this didn’t really happen, due a sore foot.
- 7,000 steps a day every day and 10,000 steps 4 days a week. I don’t think that I’m up for 10,000 steps every day but I need to push this a bit and see how much I can do! Done and done. I’ve done an average of 7,000 steps a week which is more than the goal and that was with a couple of days knocked out cause of migraine or not leaving the house (working from home), so I’m feeling really good about this.
- Daily exercise. 20 squats, 2x 30 second planks, 10 sit ups, 10 press ups. I managed four days a week average and I was at the allotment digging a lot! Again not brilliant but pretty good.
- A dry (ish) month. I had a lovely holiday and although we were more restrained with food and alcohol, we had daily gin and daily wine. I feel that my liver needs a rest, so I will limit my drinking! I had totally dry work weeks and limited myself to within my units even when I had two gin and tonics after a hard day on the allotment! This was good, the test comes tonight when I’m at dinner at Mike and Christelle’s. Mike is the wine terrorist, wine just sneaks into your glass when you least expect it!