NST Jolly Joyful July

NST July


A bit of a thoughtful challenge this month (there are still actions to take). Just looking at things from a different perspective and finding new ideas and techniques (as well as support for those who are struggling with life, physical or mental health or just 'too much to do'.

JUST because you can't do it all, doesn't mean you can't do anything. Just make a start. Just try. Just start. Just do it.

OVERVIEW of the month. Set your budgets. Work out what social activities and other commitments the month holds. Audit the food in your cupboards, your freezer and fridge, plan meals (home cooking will save you ££££) and work out what you NEED to buy

LOVE your body. It has served you well (despite your neglect). How can you show your body some love and care?

LOOK at your relationship with food. I have been reading back through some of the Specialist Weight Management Service paperwork and one of the reasons we eat when not hungry was "almost any emotion". We eat when we're sad, have had a 'bad day', we eat for comfort, because we're too tired to 'bother'. We eat in good times - to celebrate, when we join with family or friends, alongside a marathon binge watch or the 'Euros', for a little treat. Nourish your body. Look at the emotion or problem you are 'treating' with food - find a way to tackle the underlying problem or ways to change your thinking so that you minimise the way it affects you.

YOU should pay to debt or savings first, live on what is left over. Consider a No Spend Month (
I don't think it's viable, making and freezing a whole month's meals first is just cheating by moving a chunk of next month's budget onto this month's spending and for those who do not live alone, especially those living with teenagers or young adults, a month's worth of supplies can be devoured in a weekend), a no spend week, a run of no spend days. NSD targets this month - beginner 10, regular 10 - 20, expert 20 - 30. You choose.

JOYFUL Movement. This is a theory that seems to have been prevalent around 2018. It's basically about finding things you love doing. Moving with joy replaces exercising as a punishment 
(not applicable to apple). I used to walk nearly everywhere but it wasn't as satisfying as 'going for a walk'. Going for a walk cleared my mind, gave me space to notice all the wonderful things around me, the regular pacing became a meditation.

OVERVIEW of the next six months. Welcome to the second half of 2021. Medium goals are 3 - 6 months. Where are you and where do you want to be in six months? Then set SMART goals 
Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
Achievable (agreed, attainable)
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results based)
Time bound (time based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time sensitive)
for this month, this week, each day - even a baby step you can do right now. Baby steps in the right direction is the key.

YOU Need to DANCE. Research has proven that dancing frequently offers protection against dementia. Reading = 35% decreased risk of dementia, bicycling and swimming 0%, doing crossword puzzles at least 4 times a week 47%, playing golf %, dancing 76% (suggestion is lessons 4 times a week). done by the Fred Astaire Studio so maybe some bias. However if you put on some music it's almost impossible not to dance no matter how tired, bored, depressed or ill you are.

FOCUS on being positive. Joy is the happiness that doesn't depend on what happens. Be kind to yourself. If you are struggling focus on easy achievements and baby steps, your confidence will grow with each achievement. Focus on what you have done not what is still to do. The good things in life and in each day.

UNCERTAINTY is all around us. We don't know what is going to happen next and this is bad for our mental health. Very little is within our control but planning and preparation can save you money, time and effort. Having an emergency fund, looking for other jobs if your current one is under threat (or you hate it), finding ways to relax and recover if your job is super busy or stressful are all practical steps. Being aware of your mental health and having a list of mood lifting activities (even if it's recognising that you're all done  and need to hide in a dark corner and cry) is essential. This doesn't mean cultivating an 'I'm all right Jack' attitude' - if you can help a friend, a neighbour, a stranger you should do so (unless you are constantly giving of yourself to the detriment of your mental or physical health).

LISTS. We all need them. I have collected a few (not sure where they all are because I was too tired to resist the machine's suggestions on where they should go). Foods that lift your mood, support your immune system, help hydrate you if you find it hard to drink enough. Lots of activities. Simple obvious ones like the 'to do' list  (or a not to do list). If everything is whirling around in your head, do a brain dump - scribble it all down on paper until your head is clear and then start to sort it. Things to buy (investigate steps to take before buying - borrowing, using something you already have). Some of these will go with the daily quotes.

JULY STAYCATION (or whenever you feel like it or it's permitted in the next 6 months). I have suggestions for everyone from families to singles (feel free to chip in with your own suggestions). We need to find ways to celebrate, have fun and be happy each day. However if you have children, may I suggest you do not plan their every waking moment. It's their holiday, they should have some down time. We all need to learn to spend time alone, they may need sleep (that's how they get to grow inches overnight), time to read, contemplate (okay they're in their room on the games console) but they need to have space and to make their own choices.

USE it or lose it. Declutter. Make space in your life for new dreams, projects, ideas, people or pets. If you have old craft supplies, clothes that no longer fit (or will be ten years too young for you by the time you get in them so remind you of things you haven't achieved - were those goals realistic?) anything  that doesn't have a place in your life now then sell, donate or bin them. If you have  a bucket list, review it and think long and hard about any items that have been on there for a while - SMART? or are they a reflection of who you thought you should be. Dream big but make it your dream. 

LOOK forward. Enjoy seeing friends and family when it is safe to do so. Pass on cards and presents in good time. Think about home made gifts. Put blame where it belongs - the two largest increases in COVID are in Cornwall - at the site of the G7 meetings and at the place the journalists stayed. You aren't short of money or overworked because people are homeless, disabled or unemployed or 'the wrong colour'. Be kind, everyone you meet is carrying some sort of burden and people are not valued by the necessity of what they do.

YOU should give thanks every day (gratitudes).

The challenge lasts from the 1st to the 31st July. Remember you don't have to do everything, do what you can and just start.
My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
NST SEP No 1 No Debt No mortgage


  • Kerry_Woman
    Kerry_Woman Forumite Posts: 3,130
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Can you please add me to the list.  Many thanks.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2023 Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
  • DrCarrie
    DrCarrie Forumite Posts: 818
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Photogenic
    Me please @mothernerd - thank you for setting the challenge, I can do a challenge in September I think. 
  • ditty1234
    ditty1234 Forumite Posts: 1,949
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Hi Mothernerd, can I please do this, and thanks for running. 
    LBM Jan 2019 - £25.928/Active debt £14616, 43% sorted EF 2023 £50/10005% Have paid up my car and house insurance yearly and am now saving to pay back my overpaid tax credits outright. And am saving for various things that might break - like couch(£60), vacuum cleaner, dish washer, and fix bikes. Housing fund 2023-2024 £1970/6000 32%
  • greent
    greent Forumite Posts: 10,625
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Count me in please, mothernerd :) 
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/11 £89873 01/13 £52546 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    Net sales 2023: £253.60
  • apple_muncher
    apple_muncher Forumite Posts: 14,336
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Please add me to the list mothernerd. I'll make sure I enjoy every one of those belly-down burpees!
    NST March lion #8; NSD ; MFW9/3/23 Whoop Whoop!!!
  • ldee2111
    ldee2111 Forumite Posts: 870
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 28 June 2021 at 9:02PM
    Thanks for another NST challenge @mothernerd . I’d like to join again please. I’d be lost without it.
    NST 🐢 & MFW 🤸>> MFD was: Jun 2040 MFD now: May 2029. MFD aim: April 2026 OP target this year: £7,919/ £7,000 (upped to £10k)
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