Why wait for the New Year, next month or even Monday? If I’ve decided I’m going to do something surely the best time to start is now? So, that’s what I’ve been doing and I thought maybe if I shared the changes I’ve been making and the things I’m determined not to give up on despite the time of year it might inspire someone, somewhere to start something now too.
I started investing
I recently discovered the FIRE movement – Financial Independence Retire Early. It’s a big thing in the US and it’s slowly been making its way over to the UK. The principle is that you increase your savings rate and invest enough so that, over time, the returns are sufficient to live off enabling you to retire before the official retirement age. Although I’m not looking to retire early I really like the flexibility this approach gives. Having another stream of income in 10 or 20 years’ time could allow us to reduce our working hours and spend more time with family or take a pay cut to work a job for love rather than money. The most accessible way of doing this is through investing so I’ve chosen to invest in low cost index funds and open a stocks and shares ISA. I’ve been learning about the different indexes and funds available and reading guides on how to invest in individual companies like this article on how to buy RKT shares. At the moment our monthly contributions are relatively low as we’re saving for a new car but in time I hope we’ll be able to increase this and set ourselves up for a more adaptable future.
I stopped drinking
Alcohol is a drug and drugs don’t lend themselves well to productivity. Although I was only (usually) drinking on Friday and Saturday nights the effects were much more far reaching. My Saturday morning workout sessions were less effective and the days after big events were often a write off. I’ve been toying with sobriety throughout 2019 and completed 40 days without alcohol at the start of the year then 66 days from the end of the summer. They say it takes 66 days to break a habit and you know what? I think “they” might be right. After those 66 days I had a blow out for my husband’s birthday which left me feeling hung-over for two days and I began drinking my regular couple of bottles of wine per week again, slipping right back into old habits. This time though I decided enough was enough and it just wasn’t worth it. I’d seen the benefits and I knew they weren’t outweighed by the “positives” of lowered inhibitions and a fuzzy feeling inside. So here I am at 6.30am on a Sunday morning feeling fresh as a daisy and finally finding the time I’ve been looking for to do something for myself and revive my blog.
I’m losing weight
I don’t want to wait till January when I’ve piled on the pounds and feel utterly miserable to focus on weight loss. I’ve dropped over a stone so far but a recent care free holiday means I need to get back on track. I don’t want to be derailed by the festive season so I think it’s more important than ever to get back to the key principles that have helped me get this far. Quitting alcohol should help me stay on track as my alcohol free alternatives contain a fraction of the calories and I won’t be as tempted to reach for salty snacks. I’m a member of Team RH (you might have seen Richie’s sweary, no-bullshit videos on Facebook) who have taught me so much about nutrition and why it’s important to try to hit my protein and fibre goals so I’ll be renewing my membership when it comes to an end. The Team RH app links to MyFitnessPal where I track my calories and provides me with calorie, protein, fibre, water, step and exercise goals which are completely achievable unlike those MyFitnessPal will set if you let it. If you’re interested in joining let me know and I’ll send you a discount code.
I’m minimising my media consumption
I was subscribed to so many email newsletters, podcasts, YouTube and social channels that it was overwhelming. I lived in fear of missing out on that key snippet of information that would make all the difference to my life and career but I was consuming so much information that it was hard to find the time to take action on any of it. The solution to this problem may seem pretty obvious but in practice it hasn’t been as easy as you might think. FOMO is real and whittling down to a few choice experts per channel has taken a lot of time but I think I’m nearly there. For once my inbox reads 0 unread emails and, on Instagram, I’ve actually seen the words “You’re all caught up.”