NEW HABIT: Send greetings cards to my nearest and dearest and allocate saved money towards gifts
When I was a teenager, I loved buying cards and gifts for my friends and family. I loved to go to Paperchase and buy beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon etc… to make the present look lovely. As I got older, and busier, and had moments of being short on funds, I stopped enjoying it or would run out of time. Now that I am on the path to perfection and creating many habits that I am completing regularly, I now find the time to consider making sure I get cards to my family on their birthdays.
I started by setting up a goal on Money Box to save up money to buy cards and allocate funds for the birthdays of my immediate family. My sister has 4 kids and they and she have 5 birthdays within 2 months of each other and every year it catches me out unprepared. This year I want it to be different. I thought that I would try MoonPig or Funky Pigeon because these websites send the card out in time for the birthdays you submit. I’ve set up the cards for my sister’s family and my mum & dad. It’s great for a procrastinator like me because now it’s done I can forget about it. My only disappointment is how crap the cards are and how little choice there is. Next year I think I will just order them online, or buy them, and send them myself so I can pick out nice ones and maybe even ethical ones.
“On the 1st of February I will buy all the birthday cards I need for the year and send them to my nearest and dearest. I will budget for the cards and gifts”
Yesterday I explained how my job description and title is about to change on 1st April. Prior to that I had considered reviewing and changing my evening habits to help complete them. Now with this news, I want to reconsider all the daily habits because I want to be fit and thinner for my new job role and be even more efficient and professional. I’ve given it all a lot of thought and come up with my new habit plan which I will embark on from Monday.
Here is a brief description of my new habits in order:
I will wake up, make my bed and brush my teeth and then go to the gym for 7:30-8:30am. At 8:30am I will shower and get ready at the gym, follow my beauty regimen and go straight to work. These times can be adjusted if I want to walk to work and when work starts earlier from 1st April.
Recently, I said I need to improve my evening routine. I have now come up with a way to help me commit to my evening habits. After work, instead of getting into my lounge wear straight away, I’m going to put on the laundry and then go out for a walk or a run. After my exercise, I will put on my lounge wear and make dinner. After dinner instead of returning to the TV, staying up late and skipping my beauty regimen, I will do my blog post and perform my regimen straight away, as if I’m going to bed. Then I will lock up etc… and watch one episode of a programme. Just one- not dozens, one after the other, late into the evening. That should take me up to about 10pm and then I can go straight to bed because everything is done. I should be tired after all that exercise.
From Saturday, I am doing 2 weeks on a plant-based diet. I have a great book to follow which has all shopping lists and menu plans. I will prep breakfasts and lunches the night before and bring with me to work. I will weigh myself before and after and report on the results. By 1st April I would like to be slim enough to buy a nice new uniform for my new role.
Tomorrow, I will be visiting the gym to join up for 3 months. My son says he will come with me in the morning to train me. In a few weeks, we are going to Amsterdam for 4 nights. I will give myself a break then and then afterwards spend 3 weeks on the plant-based diet again.
This is a monumental development on my path to perfection. I have lots of habits to introduce, and complete, to succeed. It’s a sudden push but I’m feeling hopeful.
Overall, I’m doing very well on my path to perfection. I’ve been going for more than 90 days now, which is impressive. My last attempt was not much over 100 days, so soon it will be a record. Besides, this time I’m in it for the long haul. Even when I have a wobble, I’m gonna keep going. The things I am finding hard is finding time for exercise and following my evening beauty regimen and going to bed early enough. When it’s time to start my beauty regimen I’m dreading it a bit and not really up for it, sometimes fast forwarding it and rushing. I think that if I spent some time focusing on my routine after work, I might be able to perfect these things and make them easier to commit to. Problem is, right now I come home and put washing on and then immediately change into my pyjamas. It’s a lovely feeling but I often find myself sat in front of the tv by 4:30pm. That leads to delays in making dinner. A late dinner means I extend my TV time again after it, which delays the whole evening beauty regimen and makes it harder to complete it when I’m late going to bed. I’m of the opinion that if the entire evening was more planned out, maybe I would find it easier to complete my habits and stick to the timing. I think that I should keep active until after dinner, to prevent the lure of the sofa and TV before it. I also need to promptly go and start my evening beauty regimen so maybe I will create the habit of watching just one episode of something than just binge-watching stuff which can be addictive and makes it harder for me to pull myself away.
Over the coming days I’m going to pay attention to my after work routine and see if I can improve it. I think there is a chance I find out this week that my hours have increased which is going to affect my evenings too. The first thing I’m going to consider is staying active until after dinner. I will mull it over this week. Eventually, it should be exercise but I may have to choose something else for now because I’m not sure I’m ready for commitment to exercise.
NEW HABIT: Clean and vacuum the car every four weeks
NEW HABIT: Valet car every 26 weeks and budget £30 for it
Cleaning the car is something I’ve always procrastinated about. If I can’t keep my house clean, what makes you think I can keep my car clean? It gets so bad, with rubbish everywhere, food wrappers, car parking tickets etc… I had a leak not long ago so even mould has been growing on the carpet. All my seats are stained so I regret not buying nice seat covers from the beginning. If I ever get around to upgrading my car, habits will have to change.
I spontaneously decided to pay to have my car cleaned last Wednesday. We have a valet at work and I took advantage of him being there and offered him £30 for the best clean I can get with that. I know he did a good job and probably did more than he should have. Now the car is all nice and clean, I don’t want to let it get as bad again. I need to make cleaning the car a habit. It’s quite cold still and I’m reluctant to commit to cleaning it myself. I’m going to try and vacuum and clean the outside every 4 weeks. If I don’t manage it myself, I will promise to take it to a carwash. I think I should ask the valet to do one of his thorough cleans twice a year.
“I will make sure the car is cleaned and vacuumed every 4 weeks and ensure car is scheduled for a valet clean every six months and budget for it”
A few weeks ago, I created the habit of performing weekly housework chores on a Saturday. It has been one of the few habits I have struggled to deliver on and commit to. When this happens, it is important to review why this is.
I think I have struggled because I didn’t decide what housework I was going to do and what time I was gonna do it. Then there is the problem that sometimes I’m not here on a Saturday or there isn’t much time on a Saturday morning to even start it. I concluded that I need a concise, minimum list, printed out with check boxes, so I have clear parameters to work within. There are 19 chores and I can aim to complete them in whatever time I can afford on a Saturday. If I’m not here on a Saturday, I can schedule the housework in on a Friday, or if I run out of time, I can complete the list on another day.
I will be using this list tomorrow for the first time in the hope it will help give me direction, focus and time management. The process will also help me conclude what cleaning products I need to be the most efficient I can be.
“Now I have created the perfect list I will use it every week”
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.
“I’ll will budget to save £500 towards car costs every year”
NEW HABIT: Budget for Christmas presents every year
NEW HABIT: Start Christmas shopping on 1st December and schedule it in diary
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.
“I will budget £500 for Christmas presents every year and schedule it in the diary that on 1st December I start my Christmas shopping”