But the reality is I was reading for most of it. I've got back into the personal development books again after seeing that Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris had been published. As you can see, I found a lot of interesting stuff in there to revisit :)
I do this every six months or so - gorge myself on personal development books and then spend a few months mentally digesting them, sorting out my ideas, and changing my mindset. Sometimes there is something really good in them and I have a lightbulb moment, things click into place and I change immediately.
I started reading self-development books back in 2000 when I lived in the States. There was a book shop at the end of my road, and it had a large section of self-help books. I was hooked from the moment I sat down with the first one, which I remember very clearly was Wayne Dyer's Pulling Your Own Strings (originally published in 1978). I was so fired up after reading it that from then on I repeatedly stood up to my exceptionally horrible narcissistic boss (who has SEVEN serious complaints upheld against him by the faculty but was never sacked), eventually told him to get stuffed, got back on a plane to the UK and starting living how I wanted. It was powerful life-changing stuff. Every couple of years I still read it and I still find it as relevant now as I did 17 years ago. I've eliminated a lot of bullies from my 'inner circle' - some completely and am strictly 'no contact' with them. Life is too short to put up with someone trying to make you feel bad so they can feel good.
So, Tim Ferriss' book led onto other books and then to ideas and other books, and finally here I am, surfacing at the end of February thinking "was I reading for that long?" I did promise myself I would start decorating the lounge after Christmas, and so finally I made a start this weekend out of guilt.
I'm only painting the dado rail, and the wall underneath it - I find red too strong a colour when I'm trying to wind down of an evening. It also darkens the room considerably. The ceiling and the rest of the wall are newly painted by the look of it so I'm leaving them. In addition I am changing the curtains, lights and carpet. That will come over the next few months though as I source bargains, but in the meantime the wall and dado rail are cheap updates.
I also managed to do three other things this month that I've been writing in my journal I wanted to do.
- I've started walking. I found a local shop and almost every day I walk a three mile round trip. I drink my green smoothie for energy and hit the footpath in my walking boots.
- I've started doing yoga. I've found that just 20 minutes helps me combat sitting at a desk no end so I wobble along to a DVD for 20 minutes every evening after a shower. No matter how strong you think you are, yoga will show you otherwise.
- I have set out a plan for how I want to earn more streams of income. Tim Ferriss found that wealthy people tend to have at least seven different streams of income. The average Joe has one - their job. Lose that and you lose all of your income. I was immediately struck by the idea. I'll never be wealthy sticking with what I am doing - I'm 44 now and the years are passing, and while Martin and I have pots of money, those pots are reliant on being added to every month by our salaries and some freelance income. We need more pots and they need to grow quicker. I don't want to be wealthy, I want to be financially independent. So, I set up a spreadsheet, wrote a list of 45 things I could do, then started categorising them according to short term (can do now with no money), medium term (might need a pot of money to fund it) or long term (needs more money and time investment than I have). I whittled it down to six short-term ideas for generating income and started on those. Around Easter I'll revisit it and look at the medium term schemes, as any income for the short-term schemes can be used to 'seed fund' those.
So, March and April are set to be busy months :)