With the madness and gluttony of Christmas at an end, January is a time for many people to hit the reset button.
The running shoes are out of the closet, the gym memberships are renewed, the half-opened bottles of wine are tucked away.
The detox is a knee-jerk reaction to the consumption of December.
On New Year’s Day in North Norfolk I ran into the sea with five hundred other people as part of an event to raise money for the RNLI. It was a brutal awakening and it certainly stopped me thinking about my hangover.
Although I believe good habits should be built little by little over time, jumping into deep cold water is definitely one way to shake up your nervous system.
I’m going to give my personal finance some cold water therapy with No Spend January.
The rules are simple – I’m not going to spend any money in January.
Okay, maybe not that simple. I’m obviously going to pay my rent, my bills, my train ticket that I need to get to work each morning. I’m going to buy groceries so I can eat.
But I’m not going to spend money on any unnecessary purchases.
That means no new books, magazines, or gadgets. No new clothes or shoes or plants. No new kitchen accessories. No Amazon surfing. No eating out or going to bars and pubs. I’m not going to succumb to any flashy advertising or deals.
The aim of curbing my spending is to reduce consumption and give my finances a chance to recover after a whirlwind of festivities.
It’s not going to be easy, and I can already see myself making exceptions for my dad’s, my girlfriend’s and my own birthdays which are all within a week of each other at the end of the month.
But embracing imperfection is one lesson I can imagine taking from this kind of challenge.
I’ll check in to this journal again at the end of January and share what I learned along the way.