January Review & February Goals


Is it just me, or does January last approximately 423 years? Christmas seems like a distant memory (and has done since 4th January) and I really miss the pre-kids days of being able to jet off to warmer climes at the start of the year. But still, we have finally reached the end and spring is that little bit closer. It’s not been all bad, I enjoyed some beautiful frosty walks by the river in my lunch break and had a day at a spa which was lovely.

My goal in January was to get back to full health, and after a bit of a wobbly start, I feel like I’m back on track. I had a college assignment I had to submit in mid Jan which was quite hard going, and I found myself snacking more than I needed to while I was working on that. I’ve got my first exam in nearly 20 years next Saturday, so I have been revising hard, but making sure that’s balanced with breaks, exercise and some tasty food. The cold that was threatening didn’t come to anything, success! For the first time in a few years I’m coming out of January feeling well set up for the rest of the year, rather than on the back foot.

My book of the month was “Gut” by Giulia Enders. I really enjoyed this, it’s a very humorous account of one of the most underrated organs in the body. It’s definitely written in a way that is easy for the lay person to understand and includes some fascinating insights into what’s starting to be referred to as “the second brain”. Highly recommended!

Feb Calendar

So onwards to February. My focus for this month is on the house. Over the years, we all seem to have accumulated a lot of stuff (see more on this here), and I’m feeling ruthless and ready to get rid! I read an article last year about two minimalists who had an interesting approach to clearing out – I used it this time last year and am ready to go again now.

Basically, it involves chucking out/recycling/selling/giving away one item on the first of the month, 2 on the second and so on – given that this is a leap year, by the end of Feb I should have cleared out 435 items. I don’t have too many rules around this, but I will be adhering to the following:

  • Chucking out genuine rubbish doesn’t count (e.g. a piece of packaging)
  • Moving it around doesn’t count (so stashing it in the loft/garage isn’t good enough – it needs to leave the premises)
  • A pair of shoes counts as one item

Last year felt quite easy as my massive collection of magazine back issues accounted for a significant proportion of items, but I’ve not got such an easy ride this year!

I have already got quite a few things in mind though, and have been keeping a running list of ideas. The good thing about that is that the longer they remain in the house, the more I can’t wait to see the back of them and the more ruthless I become (I’m a natural hoarder).

To go along side this goal, my book of the month is going to be Cut the Clutter by Cynthia Ewer. In order to avoid bringing more stuff into the house, I reserved this at the library, so it can be returned at the end of the month (see, changing mindset already!).

I also want to try and implement a few systems for coping with the everyday accumulation of stuff – that pile on the kitchen table for example. Where does it come from? How does it proliferate so quickly? Same goes for the bed in the spare room. Some friends slept in it once. Hasn’t been seen since….

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