I am in immediate months of turning 26 soon. I give time today to reflect more on what I have done through these years which contribute to myself as a person and get through certain circumstances and feel alive doing anything on a daily basis.
I understand that good habits should be implemented on a daily basis rather than waiting for inspiration to knock the door for us, as they seem to unpredictably come and go without ever giving us a notice. We need to push ourselves towards anything that we are digging into, we need to take on any opportunities, certainly ‘time’ to do, if luckily the moods are there, indulge in something that gives us benefits or truly enjoyment.
Have you ever had a sensation when any ideas strike you and alert you to get on something and you promptly become that most worthy and unconquerable self to get everything most of them? But at other times, you feel lost, uncontrolled, and are not able to grasp anything and all you want to do is plunge under your blanket.
That being so, I always deluge myself with the notion of not to rely on external motivations that much. We need to have persistence and keenness to encourage ourselves to keep going in whatever life holds us over, in what circumstances we are at, and how our feeling at that time, as situation could fool us into turning that over with unpredicted restraints, inward and outward.
There are some habits I constantly incorporated in my life since I was turning 20s.
- Cultivate a lifetime reading habit
It is liberating to learn something without the constraints of what major I was taken on in college, what people verdicts me, and whether that topic will give me monetary benefits or not. That is all about your willingness to better understand certain topics you have curiosity in, and that is fairly enough to make you satisfied and enthusiastic to learn more anything.
Every day, I spare around 1 hour to read a book or online articles while sipping my morning coffee. I mentioned some of my online sources here.
2. Cook more often
I rarely splurge on food since I spare specific time every morning around 30 minutes to 1 hour to cook meals, something I eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, not forget the snack as well, could be fruit, cakes, vegetable fritters, or store-bought cookies/crackers. I switch out the menus everyday to get around the monotony. I only cook once in a day to prevent the distractions of choosing what to eat every time and to not spend much time in the kitchen.
The intention to cook more at home started out when I was in college, realizing that I always halfway through depleted my monthly allowance at mid-months on food only. That’s the time when I frequently bought restaurant-bought foods and very rarely cooked on my own.
Yet apparently, this habit leads me to save more money than ever by making time to cook every day without compromise. Moreover, I eat healthier as I always incorporate more than half of my plate with vegetables aside from proteins and carbohydrates sources. I can eat complete nutrients in one plate with way less money to spend yet of course a little kick-off to get out of my comfy bed.
I do grocery shopping every two weeks and am bound to be creative to maximize the whole things I previously bought to accommodate my 3x meals plus snacks each day. I invested in a cookbook and downloaded Cookpad as my last resort at times when all things left in my fridge are very limited.
I only do shopping again when my fridge is completely runned out or I have no idea how to make use of the leftovers anymore. Another thing is I recognize on how much the improvement of my cooking skills over the course of the time, it is not limited to stir-fry kind of meals anymore, but I started to use more complex ingredients such as coconut milk for gulai, rendang, and I occupied my hand blender more than ever since I bought it last year.
I also stock up my pantries with various options of drinks, such as chocolate powder for making hot chocolate, ground coffee, matcha powder to make latte, creamer, various teas, and herbal drinks. I like to sip warm drinks while working or any times I need to completely put my thoughts on. As such, I very rarely buy any ready-to-drink beverages from cafes that recently have been trending.
However, the very thing I’m most happy about is I can enjoy the cooking process more than I used to be. I can enjoy the process of chopping the veggies, the time I spare, even the struggles when my meals do not always fit my taste.
I stash around 30% of my income away since I got my first salary. I have embarked on this habit since I was in college, receiving monthly allowance from parents although it is lesser in percentage.
This makes me understand my desire clearly, when I am okay to splash out my budget, when I need to handle it, when I need to stop it, and when I should suspend it a while. This of course not as easy as it said. I frequently bought something I ended up not using and cut down my budget significantly. Yet I learned from that, I learned to hold myself and give thought to whatever desire came to my mind at that time. I learn to understand and distinguish well between momentary desire and concrete necessities and whether it is something urgently needed or I still can hold myself over some times.
4. Do My Own Laundry
I (almost) never resort to laundromat to wash my clothes. I wash them on my own. I spare one day around 1-2 hours in a week to do laundry. It apparently gives me some savings since I just need to put in insignificant nominals for detergent only every 5 months (1,8 kg) which does not weigh me more than IDR30k. You just need to allocate your energy and time well to manage this weekly laundry.
Those 4 habits I nearly conquer have given me so much savings, liberation, freedom, and the know-how to capitalize my efforts in much better manners. I have gained so much experience handling myself, even when days were not completely great and still endeavored to make it impressive, at least for me.