Modern millennial #financetips

After a full two years of being paid monthly, I still haven’t figured out the knack of budgeting without spending two weeks in what I call ‘treat yo’self mode’ then the next two weeks in ‘can beans on toast for dinner’ mode. I recently read a blog post on financial books that didn’t sound like ‘an hour with the accountant’ and have finally decided to take control of my financial life.

I haven’t finished the book yet (I’m still halfway through and trying to navigate myself through American finance terms – what the fuck is a 401k?!), but I thought I’d save you the effort of actually reading the book and give you a nice summary in a handy bulletted list (aren’t I nice?). So here some handy tips, which to be honest, seem kind of common-sensical, but really aren’t as well practiced as I thought (you’re not alone!).

  1. The first handy dandy finance tip does seem pretty obvious, but relates to the fact that millennials are kinda lazy: shop around! I chose my bank account truthfully because my dad was with that bank and any payments he made would be instant (yes, classic #bankofdad millennial story). I opened my savings account with a different bank because my grandfather used that bank. These are okay reasons to go with a bank, but don’t really give you any insight into bank fees, interest gained or how a bank can help you achieve your finance goals (do you have finance goals?). Moral of the story here – take the time to do your research. Don’t go with a bank because they have a cute app, or hand out free elephants when you sign up for a new account. Find out what it can do for you and go from there.
  2. The credit card. I got a credit card for 100% the wrong reasons (although I told my parents it was too make small purchases and pay them back). At the time, I thought I was being amazingly savvy. I’d read up on how credit cards can help you build credit (if you don’t max them out and pay them back on time…) and I even took the time to read the boring terms and conditions. Except, I had no idea what they meant or really what a credit card is for. So going back to the previous point on shopping around, take the time to find a credit card that will actually do things for you: your credit card should make you money, not cost you in fees. And it shouldn’t be used as a day-to-day transaction card.
  3. Saving. So it seems that saving for Fiji, or shoes, or a new laptop aren’t supposed to be the same account as your ‘I’m going to get old one day or need a house or something when they run out of avocado’ fund. I’ve read a couple of things on saving recently. Obviously, save as much money as you can but most places seem to say 20-25% of your income is a pretty reasonable amount. Remember what you’re saving for. You should have a separate holiday fund, house fund and around $1000 minimum saved for ‘a rainy day’ – basically when you find out that your car needs an entire new set of tires to pass its WOF. Throwback to an earlier post – I recommend opening a bank account with a separate branch as an online-only account for serious savings. Remember to shop around for the best interest rate (there are helpful websites for this like this one)
  4. Budgeting. The bane of my existence. There are many tools and apps out there designed to help you manage your money better. Or better yet, you can go with a bank like BNZ that has a cute app where you can drag money across (but definitely don’t choose a bank because you can set a cat as your savings account icon). I still budget the old fashioned way with a good old excel spreadsheet and what’s called a ‘zero sum‘ budget – where I allocate every dollar of my paycheck to a certain category. This is a good way to do it if you’re a Finance 101 student such as myself and helps to ensure you always have money for rent and food. If you’re a bit more proficient with money you can loosely allocate money to things, but chances are, if you’re reading this you’re probably not… Another thing to try (this is on my to do list) is the cash entertainment budget. Each week you get out the money allocated to entertainment in cash and that’s your limit for the week. Try and see what works for you.

So, halfway through the book, these are my top tips so far. Basically the main point is to do your research and not blindly enter in to bank contracts because they put you in the draw for a Samsung TV. Finances might not be the most exciting topic in the world, but they’re an essential part of life, you may as well get savvy now. And buy all the avocados.

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Finding balance- can you have it all?

For a while, I wrote about what it was like to be a single pringle millennial living in Auckland. That was actually the whole point of this blog. Aside from a hobby to distract me from the fact that I was, in fact, a single pringle. Which actually wasn’t that bad. I experimented with Bumble, Tinder, online dating and even a bit of face to face interaction, mostly in bars. I discovered the weird and wonderful pick up lines that men use and decided that I’d rather be single than succumb to the compliment of being called a ‘cutecumber’.

I met my boyfriend, oddly enough, at my house. He literally turned up one day, to see my flatmate and watch the rugby. He ate a pie and left the crumbs in a trail across the living room, much like a modern day Hansel and Gretel. I discovered his charm and never-ending stories as we bonded over a mostly cooked risotto and the rest is history. So, begged the question – what do I blog about now?

In the months since we’ve been dating, my life has become incredibly different, as I discovered how time consuming having a boyfriend was when you lived 5 minutes from each other and didn’t have an assignment to finish or a lecture to be at (as were the hallmarks of my previous relationships). I’ll admit, myself, like many others in a new relationship, succumb to its charm and interest and lost myself, my hobbies and above all: my balance. I’d become the girl that I promised myself I never would be and spent all my spare time doing cute couple things like getting brunch, going for walks along the beach and watching our ‘couple show’ on Netflix.

This isn’t the first blog post I’ve written about balance – I recall being a student and reminding myself not to stay up all night finishing an assignment, ensuring that I exercised, saw my friends and made time to do all the stupid things that young people at university did. When I reflected on this/got some prompting from my friends, I realised that I was forgetting to do the things that made me different because I was now investing so much time in a new relationship. And, as most of my blog posts revolve around, or include lists, I thought I would write some tips for other aspiring relationship igniters/those who perhaps need to realign their priorities a bit to ensure that you don’t tip the scales too far in one particular direction. Here we go;

  1. Number one priority – always make time for you. And this is a fun Dr Seuss style quote to remember ‘in order to be a good ‘we’, you must first take care of ‘me” – I’m not sure how good this is, but rhyme is proven to aid memory so eh. Set one night, afternoon, or whatever you need aside a week to ensure you take the time to do the things that you enjoy. For me, this is reading, writing and oddly, cleaning. Taking care of yourself will ensure you don’t come to resent the other person for dominating your spare time.
  2. Don’t forget your friends. We all know that guy/girl who gets a partner and suddenly disappears off the face off the planet. I’m ashamed to say that this, in part, was me. My friends fortunately/unfortunately are also very busy, so it was easy to not make plans because I knew they’d be busy. Don’t make this mistake – it’s better to reach out and be rebuffed than not try at all. Show them you care and make the time to do the walk/coffee/brunch that really is just a stroll to the cafe for the full breakfast (with extra hashbrowns).
  3. We’ve done friends, next comes family. You don’t have to introduce your new partner to your parents in the first week – the integration will eventually come – but you do have to keep spending time with your family (if you do spend time with family like I do) one on one. It’s just as upsetting for your parents to feel as though they’ve lost a child when they never see you and you never reply to their email chains about cute puppies they saw online (or is this just my family?) as it is to your friends. My advice here is my advice with pretty much everything else in life – schedule it in.
  4. Don’t become Nigel No-Hobbies. I’m sure you all had something that absorbed your time before your significant other entered your life – don’t give these up! You don’t have to drag your boyfriend/girlfriend to crochet class with you – it’s important you both can do your own thing (see point 1). I also suggest investing in a good couple hobby (no Netflix does not count). I dragged my boyfriend along to the gym with me and although we both do different workouts, we’re both spending time doing something we enjoy.

I’m blatantly aware this blog post is rather long and that the attention span of a millennial is akin to that of a goldfish, so I think I’ll wrap this one up here and save the rest of my ‘helpful relationship tips’ for future blogs. Just remember – your partner was attracted to you because of the person you were before you became ‘we’; take the time to nourish yourself and remember: ‘me before we’. You’re welcome.

Finding the perfect flatmate (do they even exist?)

Unless you’re a super wealthy millennial who forfeited the avocado on toast brunch dates (I prefer pancakes anyway), or have comfortably nestled into your parent’s garage, an inevitable part of living in New Zealand is going flatting. I think my mother, who never actually had to flat (#throwback to housing subsidies for new home buyers!) is inwardly repulsed by the idea of living with complete strangers. I’ll admit, it’s not the greatest idea, but when your friends aren’t quite ready to leave the basement, what other choice have you got?

So here’s another fun blog post, essentially part of the SEJ Guide to Adulting (in a bookstore near you…in about 5 years) on how not to end up co-habiting with weirdos/axe murderers/people who leave the toilet seat up (is there anything worse?!). I’ve done my fair share of flat hunting and flatmate acquiring, so here’s my top list of what to look out for in flats and flatmates.

  1. Starting with a personal favourite of mine – and this could go either way – Cleaning rosters. This really depends on the level of OCD you require in your fellow flatmates. I tried and failed with a cleaning roster in my old flat, but I strongly recommend asking about this one; it’ll tell you a lot about the people who live there. If you’re big on organisation and cleaning, this will tell you that you’re about to flat with some great people who are ridiculously organised. But, on the flipside, it means they’re unlikely to be relaxed and if you’re looking for a chill flat, avoid one with a cleaning roster. Similarly, you will want to check if they’re clean and tidy, which is amazingly deceptive in flatmate interviews, but use your best judgement.
  2. Friends & partner policy. This one is an interesting one. I’ve seen a fair few flats advertised that say ‘no sleepovers’ or ‘no friends after 10pm’. For me, these types are worse than the cleaning roster implementers and are to be avoided at all cost. Unless you’re a hermit that’s looking for other hermits to avoid external human life with, then, by all means – go forth.
  3. Cooking restrictions. Again, another interesting one. I’m an avid cooker/part time baker and don’t like to have restrictions imposed on me on how much cooking I’m allowed to do – ads that say ‘light cooking’ are immediate red flags for me. Shared cooking between flatmates also isn’t up my alley – so many problems. For example, what happens on the nights I cook with my friends/partner/cat/Jamie Oliver cut out? Or what happens if you’ve got one flatmate that just cooks terrible food and you consistently deliver Master Chef quality dishes? How is that equal? You’ll also want to check the cooking of your future flatmates – I’m not a big fan of the curry /no extraction lovers, so just another one to be aware of in your lengthy interrogation of a new recruit.
  4. Hobbies. This is a good one, as I am a fan of the flatmate you never see/one that has interesting stories from their various hobbies. Basically no hobbies = always home. If they’re at home playing loud music (particularly during my allocated quiet yoga time), then they’re not going to gel well with me. Flatmates with a good array of hobbies e.g. sports and crochet enthusiasts will make for good co-habitants. Shared interests are also ideal and hobbies tell you a lot about an individual.
  5. Filling the gaps – this one mainly pertains to finding new flatmates. As a ‘knowledge worker’, I have little to no practical skills, which means simple things like a broken dishwasher become a mammoth task. A great tip is to finds new flatmates that have skills you so desperately lack- so for me, a tradie who’s clued up with a hammer is a winner to fix the something I will eventually break. Surprisingly, physicists also make for great flatmates (despite their also lack of practical skills, typically) because they can bring some great banter. And communications people are just great all round (I do disclose a bit of bias here). So, find what you’re missing and recruit!
  6.  Assessing life stages. This is pretty straight forward, but I’d recommend avoiding people who are in a completely different life stage to yourself and your fellow flat fam. I tended to avoid students in my old flat because it wasn’t the quiet and productive study environment conducive for a student’s performance. Similarly, I’d recommend avoiding people who are in their late fifties (for example), if you’re a flat of mid 20’s professionals, as they’re unlikely to want to bond over a Friday night game of vodka Monopoly (yes it exists and yes it’s a good time). First time flattees are also good to avoid, unless you’re feeling generous and willing to teach Dishwasher Tetris 101 (again).

So there you have it, 6 (this could have been 60 – count your blessings) fantastic tips of what to look out for when you’re choosing the place you will spend a majority of your downtime. Choosing the right flat is important and can be challenging, but your flatmates can become life-long friends (or so I’m told). This post has been all about the people – but there is undoubtedly a post coming on choosing the actual flat itself – and why TradeMe/Facebook photos are super deceptive. Stay tuned!

 

Modern dating 101

I haven’t written a dating post (or in fact, any post) for a while, so I thought I would jump on and write a comprehensive assessment of all your dating options as a millennial in 2017. So much choice, lucky you.

You’d think that in the era of modern dating, with so many options, it would be a lot easier to find the love of your life. I mean, statistically, you’re a lot more likely to find ‘the one’, when you have access to a much greater dating pool, but it’s also a lot more challenging to weed out the creepy men who are just wanting to know the colour of your underwear (yes, I am unfortunately speaking from experience). So, here you go, this is the #sejoverview of your current dating options when you’re a single pringle wanting to mingle.

#TINDER

I’ve written quite a few posts on ye olde Tinder, but it’s 100% worth mentioning again. It’s easily accessible and has the great feature where you can filter out people based on their age and location. Such advancement we’ve made in the world today. It’s fabulous for seeing some of the world’s most fabulous pick up lines – the most recent personal favourites of mine have been gifs. Why present a witty quip, when you can send a picture of a rolling seal? What an art form. You get what you pay for with this one (yes I have a free account), but you can’t expect too much when you’re judging people based on what they look like (I am a sucker for a man in a suit). So the verdict on Tinder is a definite quantity over quality, but you may find the odd gem.

#BUMBLE

This one will be incredibly short, as I don’t actually have a Bumble account. Apparently this is better than Tinder but again, yet to be proven. I couldn’t be bothered having 2 dating apps on my phone and after finding out that women have to do the talking on this one, I was instantly turned off. No, I don’t think it’s empowering. Men apparently think it’s great. You only have 24 hours to reply to a message, so this one requires some serious commitment and let’s face it, if you wanted commitment, you prooobbabbbllyy wouldn’t be trying to hook up with someone via an app…

#DATING WEBSITE e.g. Elite Singles

For research purposes, I did actually make an account on Elite Singles. However, I don’t actually think there is anything elite about this website. I didn’t exactly invest a lot of time in this one, but I found the website to be clunky, confusing and convoluted (the trifactor of C’s). I went on the website once, found that it matched me with a dairy owner in Mt Roskill and a plumber in Red Beach. No offense to either profession, but not quite what I was hoping for. I immediately lost interest, but boy did Elite Singles play the clingy ex – sending me emails every couple of days telling me I had a match. I did not return. Verdict – eehhhhhhhh not my recommendation, I honestly think Tinder works better than this website (which by the way, doesn’t supply photos or info for free users).

#THE HOUSE PARTY

I’m a big fan of the house party vibe, which works exceedingly well in a flatting situation where your flatmates bring their hot friends over. My top tip here is try and get hot people to move in when you’re filling up your flat (like attracts like, you see). Then, all you need to do is strategically plan a house warming party and ta dah, you have your optimal moment. I will warn you against getting too drunk when you’re trying this play, as it’s really not a good look when you crash out at 11pm (absolutely not speaking from experience here). House parties are a lot quieter than a bar, for example, which makes it a lot easier to have a conversation and find out if this person is worth your time and attention (which is, as we know, invaluable – if you can’t give more than 10 seconds to tweet, how are you going to spend 10 minutes on a conversation?). Verdict – house parties are a great way to meet people/potential datees.

#TOWN

I have never once met anyone of value in town, but let my bias stop you from getting out of your shell and dancing the night away with some interesting (and potentially attractive) lad or lass. I have 2 good friends who met in town and are now married, so keep this option open. It does help if you’re an extrovert and willing to meet people, but some extra liquid courage never goes amiss. Town is also a fantastic place to test out some weird pick up lines on people you may never see again. Featuring the #HPpickuplines; “Are you a Snitch? Because you’re by far the greatest catch here.”, or “I may not be the boy who lived, but I can still be your chosen one.” (Gold!). This also helps weed out the weirdos who haven’t read Harry Potter… Verdict on town – very very hit and miss, always bring a wing man/woman.

#NETWORKING EVENTS

We finish this list (it is getting rather long, phew!), with a personal favourite of mine – the networking event. Who said networking events had to be for making business connections (I mean that’s what they write in the advertising copy, but really, any opportunity eh?). This is a sure fire way to meet up and coming young professionals like yourself. My tip for such a situation is to be the one that fills the silence. I was recently in a lift with a bunch of young professionals and it was awkwardly quiet, cue SEJ with a witty comment; “goodness it’s like human tetris in here” – I will now forever be known as the girl who made the awkward lift moment…a whole lot more awkward #sorrynotsorry. Verdict on this one – always maintain professionalism; feel free to add them on LinkedIn, but slowly make your move in a professional and quiet way. Go networking!

There you have it, a great overview of all (well a good selection of) the different platforms you can meet the weird and wonderful partners that this world has to offer. Cast your net wide and test out those Harry Potter pick up lines.

Why I cheated Junk-free June

I decided to do junk free June last year because I wanted to clean up my diet and eat healthier; my main motivation was to lose weight and kick start a healthy lifestyle. I decided to do it this year because I felt I needed the challenge of eating ridiculously clean, but somehow forgot how hard it was last year (kudos to everyone who actually went 30 days without eating junk).

Three days into junk free June, I was visiting my mum for dinner and told her that I wouldn’t eat what she made, because it wasn’t junk free. Cue a lecture about how I didn’t need to lose weight etc. etc. I didn’t embark on JFJ because I wanted to lose weight (well, 2 kg would be nice…), but because I wanted to eat healthier and cut out the 3pm brownie cravings.

Mum’s lecture got me thinking about my relationship with food. Ever since I moved out of home, I’ve been incredibly health conscious, I guess because I thought it was the right thing to do. I’m already gluten free (not a choice), so I don’t really eat pizza and all the delicious carby things anyway, but for a good 6 months, I refused to eat potatoes and still refuse to eat white rice.

I’m not overweight, I’m not unhealthy, but, for some reason, I am paranoid about what food I eat. I can’t eat a brownie without feeling incredibly guilty and even feel bad ordering a mochaccino instead of a flat white. It took mum’s lecture to make me realise that my relationship with food was actually really unhealthy. No one, especially no one my age, should feel guilty about eating bad food every so often.

Junk free June was great in theory, but it made me feel terrible about wanting to eat pasta for dinner or a macaroon with my coffee. I decided it was time to rethink my relationship with food. I’m a big advocate of the 80:20 principle – if you eat healthy 80% of the time, it’s okay to pig out 20% of the time (within reason). So, that’s what I started to do and this is when my indiscretions on the diet of junk free June started to become (slightly) more frequent. Half a brownie one week and a macaroon the next, was technically breaking the rules, but an important learning curve in my realisation that I don’t have to give up the food I love all the time.

There are too many articles, podcasts and blogs out there that all give conflicting information about what you should eat, what junk food is and what it means to ‘be healthy’. I got 5 minutes into a podcast about how bad grains are when I turned it off – I need my morning oats! I guess the moral of this blog post is that you need to do what’s best for you and eating healthy and clean doesn’t have to mean giving up Sunday morning pancakes with your family.

Yes, I cheated on junk free June, but, no I don’t feel bad about it. I’m learning to balance the healthy and the sugary delicious foods and define what healthy means for me. If you take anything from this blog post, it’s that radical programs don’t really work and you’ve probably heard this a million times, but repetition is key – so, do what’s best for you. And if you’re brave enough to do JFJ, build in some flexibility. One macaroon won’t kill you.

#sejtips – avoiding becoming a human burrito in winter

Winter is no longer coming, it is now definitely here – cue the Game of Thrones memes. Apparently people are less social in winter and although it might be tempting to don the onesie and stay in Netflix and chilling every night (or maybe Netflix, no chill if you’re a single pringle), humans are social beings and eventually you’ll need to come out of your cocoon to greet the world. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a helpful list of all the fun things I like to do in the midst of the winter – Kathmandu puffer jacket mandatory. These should help you avoid becoming a literal human burrito (it is very tempting when it’s this cold)

#1 MOVIE DATE

Preferably Gold Class with squishy arm chairs and unlimited amounts of popcorn. This one is for the less adventurous among us, as it’s really just one step up from Netflix and chill and no one will frown upon you if you wear your PJs and ugg boots (particularly if you’re out West). Depending on your mood, head to Hoyts Sylvia Park for a lush experience in their Lux cinema, or if you’re feeling a bit more #basicbitch, then definitely Henderson for $8 movies and non-judgemental staff.

#2 SALSA

We pretty much went from 0 to 100 with movies to salsa dancing, but what better way to warm up and get the heart rate going than some dancing? And what better way to justify the fries and six pack of nuggets you got on the way? Viva dance studio is great for a variety of dancing styles – salsa is pretty lit on a Saturday night, but they also have Zouk, Bachata and for those wanting something slightly different: Bollywood dancing. Get off the couch and get going!

#3 KAROAKE

Keeping up with our theme of racing hearts (does singing Bohemian Rhapsody count as cardio?) in nice warm indoor spaces, head on down to karaoke for what is pretty much guaranteed to be a good time, with some ‘social lubricant’ (many margaritas). You also don’t really know your friends until you’ve drunkenly sung the greatest 90’s anthems together on a Saturday night. Get amongst! My recommendation is Rock Bar, but Queen Street is flush with these beauties. Get googling and book in a great group date night.

#4 FONDUE

Winter is absolutely the time to be bulking and adding an extra layer of fat really helps to keep the electricity bills down. Chocolate fondue is warm, indulgent and a great way to spend a chilly winter evening. A definite step up from inhaling an entire bar of Whittakers’ new toffee chocolate whilst binge watching the new season of House of Cards. For the Shore Kids, there’s the House of Chocolate Dessert Café & Cakery and for the city slickers, head down to Parnell to the Chocolate Boutique. And why stop at fondue? The Chocolate Dessert Café have waffles, deliciously decadent cakes, cupcakes and truffles… Avoid if committing to #junkfreejune.

#5 HOT POOLS

Thaw your frozen bones with a trip to the hot pools. No one knows cold like a frost-stricken Aucklander in the middle of winter and a nice relaxing hot pool mission is definitely what you need to feel your fingers and toes again. It’s also super relaxing and great for the muscles, so it’s practically rehab. Parakai Springs is always a good option, albeit a bit of a drive (stop at the Whenupai Bakehouse Café to justify the journey) – they have a big indoor hot pool and hydroslides for the inner child. Alternative options include Waiwera (they do ½ price for the last 2 hours) or West Wave (see earlier comments re pyjamas and uggs).

#6 ICE SKATING

If you’ve given up and accepted that you will be cold this winter, don another puffer jacket (you can never have too many) and go ice skating. If you’re unco, like me, then you’ll want to go with someone who has slightly more coordination. Paradice Ice are a fairly good bet for a good ice skating experience, but, again in the outer ‘burbs. Aotea Square also has an ice rink open from 16 June. Remember to take your life-proof case so you can Instagram your excellent figure skating #winterOlympicshereIcome.

Also, here is a #winterpun, enjoy:

Image result for winter pun

 

#sejtips Surviving junk-free June (without surviving on celery & kale)

I spent the first couple days of junk-free June firmly wishing it was July. Sometimes, after a long day at work, all you want is a big greasy pizza and a side of chips…and a side of garlic bread and chicken wings. I was strong and dutifully ate my low carb, gluten free, refined sugar free pork chop dinner, but it didn’t stop the cravings. It also doesn’t help that my brother is a burger fiend who snaps #junkfoodJune every second day. This post is to all my #JFJ friends out there who are dutifully eating healthy for the entire month of June (30 days is a looonnngg time- next year let’s do fast-food-free Feb?).

So here’s my top 7 tips (7 being the most powerfully magical number) of how to survive this June:

  1. Don’t do it alone. I managed to bully gently persuade a couple of my friends and work colleagues to give up junk food with me and it’s so much easier with their support. You can hold each other accountable, lament over the donuts in the kitchen you can’t eat and send through motivational quotes (this is a personal favourite of mine). If you couldn’t find any friends willing to take up the challenge with you, then jump online and find some! It’s not easy, but the collective willpower and accountability helps a lot.
  2. Keep a food diary. Speaking of holding yourself accountable – write it down! Or alternatively download an app that keeps track of what you’re eating. It’s not to scold you for eating that popcorn chicken your flatmate brought home (I may or may not be guilty of this), but you’re a lot less likely to stray when you’re writing down what you’re putting in your mouth. Because science.
  3. Plan your meals. It’s so much easier to eat healthy when you’ve got the ingredients at hand and know what you’re eating. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest (my guilty pleasure) looking at healthy eating recipes that I can add into my weekly meal plans. You’ll learn that there are a lot of delicious foods you can eat that are actually pretty good for you (e.g. Mexican quinoa #nomnom). Planning your week is also good for the budget, too.
  4. Pick your restaurants/cafes. Junk-free June doesn’t have to mean, antisocial, stay at home and drink kale shake June. You can still go out, just be clever about what you eat. I’m not an authority, but examples of healthy eating are (for the most part) Mexican (’cause avocado is a good fat and gauc is delicious), Thai food, and the likes of Pita Pit, Habitual Fix and a personal favourite of mine: Sip Kitchen – their refined sugar free/gluten free/vegan slices are actually pretty good when you’re craving something sweet.
  5. Find incentives that aren’t food. I am very heavily motivated by food, as am, I’m sure, many of you. Often the food I like to reward myself with is high in sugar/fat/salt and generally quite junk-filled. Move your motivation to something that won’t impact your dedication to the healthy lifestyle like a facial/massage, bath, or that new pair of shoes that you really wanted.
  6. Similarly, find activities that don’t involve eating out at unhealthy restaurants or going out for drinks – yes I’m sober this June too :(. Catch up with your friends over a walk and a coffee, plan a board games night, go for karoake (although this often inspires a social lubricant known as alcohol…). Do something fun and different! July can be your month for margarita Mondays.
  7. Write a list for later. This one popped up on a podcast I listen to – the Savvy Psychologist and although it’s in a slightly different context, the idea is that you bank your whims/cravings/distractions for later. Every time you feel like breaking your junk-free June to have a cupcake, add it to the list. Once it gets to July, you’ll probably find that the super long list you want doesn’t even look that good to you anymore. Just try not to binge on the 1st of July and undo all your hard work.

And from me to you, here’s a great Nelson Mandela quote #gotyourback:

nelson mandela quote.jpg