Day 40- NEW HABIT: Tongue Scraper

NEW HABIT ⌗36: Use a tongue scraper every day

My evening dental routine is pretty, darn good now. I start with flossing, then I brush my teeth for 2 minutes and finish with a mouthwash. In the morning I’ve been oil-pulling and brushing my teeth for 2 minutes. There is just one more habit to add and then, apart from an annual visit to the dentist, I’d say my dental habits are pretty much complete and not in need for levelling up for a long time. In the morning, I will now finish my routine with tongue-scraping. A common habit in the east, tongue scraping can be the solution to bad breathe. The many little suckers on the tongue hold on to food and bacteria causing bad breathe. Tongue scraping clears that, leaving the tongue nice and pink and no furry sensation.

I bought a metal tongue-scraper online with little plastic handles. You want to stay away from those disposable plastic ones in Boots. I wished I spent more time searching for a solid metal one with no plastic but I was rushing. The copper ones seem interesting. Should it ever break, that will be what I look out for.

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Day 39- NEW HABIT: Car Costs

NEW HABIT 35: Budget for annual car costs

6 years ago I bought the cheapest, new car I could buy, a Skoda Citigo. I stupidly thought a new car would mean 10 years of hardly any costs because it wouldn’t start having problems until then. Well, I was very wrong. Just a few months out of warranty and I had to part with over £500 for the ABS system that was faulty. Then this year, the windscreen drain holes became blocked and caused lots of water ingress to the car. It took them ages to find the cause and £300 later I am with a fixed but a very damp car. Now I get condensation inside and I see some mould on the carpet.

Every year, I have to insure the car. I can save money if I pay it in one go instead of by direct debit. But of course, being a procrastinator, every year I have no money saved for insurance or garage costs. My service is on a monthly payment plan which means I never have to worry about it.

So this new habit is a commitment to save enough money to cover my insurance, MOT and possible garage costs in November 2019. I think I will aim for £500 because I recently managed to reduce my insurance from over £500 to less than £200. My road tax is just £20 and the rest should cover most surprise costs.

Next year I am thinking of taking manual lessons and a test because I only passed in an automatic car. Then I would like to get a new car on a finance plan. A bit like my iPhone, I would like to borrow money to finance a better car and upgrade it every few years so to avoid the situation where cars break down and unsaved money is required to fund it.

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Day 38- FITBIT UPDATE: Hydration

Each week I will be comparing my Fitbit stats to the week before. Whichever one sees the least improvement, I will create a habit that should see it improve the following week.

Last Week

This Week

End Goal

Steps

66,419

81,274

160,000

Steps Daily Average

9,488

11,611

20,000 -25,000

Floors

105

111

Distance

44.7km

54.7km

Calories Burned

16,747

17,666

25,000

Active Minutes

227

331

Exercise

Last recorded 15th September

2h 21m

3h 30m

Sleep

6h 25m

6h 12m

8h

Heart Rate Average

68 bpm

62 bpm

54

Weight Average

161.7 lbs

No weigh-in

130 lbs

Water Consumption

Last recorded 15th September

Last recorded 15th September

3L a day

Looking at these results, I’m really please with the progression. I only fell short on two things, my average sleep and my hydration. I will create a habit today that should help either one of these. I think hydration will be least the challenging and it’s about time I tried to increase it.

NEW HABIT 34: Drink 1 litre of water a day

I haven’t been tracking my hydration for a long time. I like drinking water but without tracking, it is easy to fall short of the recommended 2 litres a day. To kick things off I will start with 1 litre a day. At work we have 1 litre glass bottles of water in the garage. All I need to do is pick up a bottle on my way in and drink it throughout the day and finish it before I leave. When empty, I can register it on my Fitbit app. My goal is to drink 3 litres a day eventually.

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Day 37- NEW HABIT: Christmas Presents

NEW HABIT ⌗33: Budget for Christmas presents

I like Christmas and I hate Christmas.

I like the decorations, present giving, family get-togethers, music, TV and eating. I hate that every year I have to work really hard and only get Christmas Day and Boxing day off. Because I work for a private household, Christmas ends up being all about my boss and her Christmas. She has a bottomless pit of money and can make it the most beautiful Christmas you’ve ever seen so over the years it has made me a little resentful and Grinch-like in my outlook to the Festive Season.

I want to have a beautiful Christmas too. I know what I want to do and how to do it. The real reason I’m disappointed is that procrastination delays me in saving enough money to fund it and the time to plan and shop for it. Luckily, I have a really small family and only have a handful of people I want to buy gifts for. This year I have not budgeted and don’t have much money to spoil everyone so I have settled for impersonal cash in an envelope. The embarrassment of procrastination!

This new habit I’m going to create should make next year a little more interesting and rewarding. The first part is saving the money up so I have created a goal in the mobile app Money Box to save £500 by 1st December 2019. The app shows me I have to save £10 a week to reach that goal and that is the maximum I can afford. By then I should have enough money to enjoy shopping for gifts for my family. I’m setting up a standing order from my bank account to my savings account to avoid me forgetting or resisting transferring the money.

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This year’s pathetic contribution

 

Day 36- NEW HABIT: The True Food Community Co-operative

NEW HABIT ⌗32: Shop at True food once a month & increase the shopping list every time

I am so lucky to have this co-operative supermarket near to me. A non-profit organisation focused on bringing ethical, organic and fair-trade produce to the common shopper. They use to transport all this stuff to different locations all over Reading 10 years ago but now they have a permanent shop set up. It is my wish to rely on this place more and more for my regular items. It is especially good for loose grains, nuts and seeds etc… and also has lots of things you can fill up straight into your own bottles, like olive oil and detergent etc…

I’m soon going to run out of the porridge oats I committed to start eating every morning for breakfast. I want to level up to the best presentation of porridge there is, which is steel-cut oats. I think True Food has that, so that’s what inspired me to pay a visit again. Other things I will run out soon are ear buds and floss, so I would like to start purchasing them from there too. I think I will try toilet roll also, so I’m going to create a stock list for these items and visit True Food once a month to purchase them. And then every month I’m going to add at least one more item to the stock list. The path to perfection should take me to a place one day when the majority of my non-fresh items come from True Food.

1st Shopping List: Toilet roll, floss, ear buds & steel-cut oats

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Day 35- NEW HABIT: Propolis For Sinusitis

NEW HABIT ⌗31: Use propolis everyday to fight sinusitis

I started developing sinus problems about 4 years ago. At first, I thought I may have developed allergies but as the symptoms have worsened and rarely seem to abate, I’ve concerned myself with polyps, cancer and every other worrying disease you can think of. I’ve been to the doctors numerous times and have even had a camera down my nose but have never been given a diagnosis or constructive advice about what this is and how to deal with it. My last hope is thinking a clean diet and exercise may ease it but it’s a distant destination to get there.

I keep reading how Propolis is proving helpful in curing sinus problems. Propolis is something bees make to coat their hives to keep it virus and bacteria free. The anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of Propolis are said to help the human body fight infections too. I have bought a bottle and will take a drop a day in the mouth and see if it has any beneficial effects. It is such a beneficial supplement it could heal other ailments I haven’t even considered.

I found a lovely propolis from Artisan Honey but did not want to spend £9 if I don’t maintain the habit. I settled for a cheaper product and promised myself that if I keep up the habit, and use up the bottle, I can justify a better quality product in the future.

My path to perfection is still going very well. I’ve had somewhat of a break from some of my habits this weekend, and I have skipped a weigh-in, but I’m confident the routine will resume tomorrow. I’m so much happier on the path to perfection than not.

 

 

Day 33- LEVEL UP: iPhone

I’m a lover of the iPhone. I’ve owned a few but have always bought them second hand and I am always a couple of generations away from the most recent. I’m a general user so have never felt the need for the latest and greatest features. I’m also keen on not creating demand by buying a new one.

My iPhone 6 has been showing signs of age for a while, and for the first time I really found myself in a quandary about what choice I wanted to make next. Part of me wants to continue buying second hand phones for the ethical reasons I’ve just given, but the downside of that is I have to have £250-£300 saved up and I’m only ever guaranteed the phone working for 2 years before I find myself in the same position again.

Now that I use my phone a lot more for work, I’ve considered a newer version but they are expensive. However, the Apple Upgrade Programme offers me the opportunity to get a new phone with Apple Care and I can spread the payments over 20 months. It’s not dissimilar to what I want to do with the car too.

I am very conflicted with the ethical and environmental impact of consuming a new product every few years but I’m going to justify it because of all the other aspects of my life I’m trying to improve. The car and phone might be the last ethical decision I ever make.

From now, I will just trust in the upgrade programme, budget for the monthly cost and decide whether to upgrade, as and when.

I chose the (Product) Red iPhone to ease my conscience just a little. It contributes to U2’s Red charity for beating AIDS.