6 Life Changing Gifts for Yourself that are Basically Free

The year is coming to an end and so is the budget for Christmas gifts. If you’re like most of us you might have once again left yourself off the list, but it’s not too late! There are lots of things we can give to ourselves with that limited (see no) budget that’s leftover. There is also a really good chance these will be the gift you end up liking the most this year. In fact you don’t have to stop at just one feel free to give yourself one of everything on the list! I’m putting my money where my mouth is here too and these are things I either have given to myself or will be this year. I appreciate them and I know you will too!

A plan 

Calm… I come from a family of constantly texting, spreadsheet making accountants and ya’ll they are exhausting! I’m not saying you have to go to that level but those ladies do get $hit done! More like a loose plan think spend less money on this and use it pay down some debt starting with this one. Maybe it’s something like be more active every month this year than I was last month leading to some specific goal. It could be talk to someone about my retirement or the kids college this year. Or you might divide the year up into parts with different plans for each one. Some plans you can execute on your own but others you might have to being the team on board. Without getting into the nitty gritty of all the details, and there are many, we’ve made a plan to finally make a move this year literally! There are still a lot of big ol’ pieces to fall into place but the hardest part is already done and that is having a rock solid plan!

An hour every week (or day) for your goals

Let’s enter the no judgement zone here it doesn’t matter what your goal is. It can be lofty like getting fit, starting a business or bettering your relationship. It could be tackling the clutter, starting your own blog or painting the house. It could even be silly like laughing more, learning to pole dance or trying your hand at string art or acrylic pouring. It doesn’t matter what it is but we all have something we want to do. Even if you just take an hour a week that’s 52 hours, or about 1.5 work weeks toward that goal. If you get three hours a week in that’s a full week without sleeping toward accomplishing something new.

Any year you can find that kind of time and this year it might be a little easier for us to set up that habit. It’s important for us to work toward our goals even if they aren’t life changing. For me this year I’ll be spending an hour a week promoting this blog. It’s something I haven’t really focused on and I know I should do it. I’m pretty sure I will see results if do.

An hour a week for just you

No matter who you are you deserve an hour a week just for you, no matter what! That doesn’t even mean you have to leave the family and the house, although it can. It could be a bubble bath, a guilty pleasure TV show with fro-yo or a long walk. Whatever you want! Make sure you take that hour intentionally and savor it for the best rewards. For me that’s a run a week, no matter what even if I have to say no to someone to get it done!


There was a time, a long, long time where I didn’t have an ‘extra’ thousand dollars laying around. Like most of 10 years when I was in school and then after. All of my money was spoken for or in other words I basically lived paycheck to paycheck. There is no shame in that over half (53% of Canadians) are too. So if this is you you’re actually totally normal. Lots of ‘wealthy’ people do to if you had a peek at their finances. But… having some ‘extra’ cash available is literally life changing. So this year give yourself the gift of a cushion. Having a thousand dollars in your checking account, in cash in your mattress or whatever works for you is a gift you should give yourself this year. I know that it’s hard, but it comes out to $20 a week. You’ll sleep better and have WAY less stress in you life overall. If something comes up you’ll be able to deal with it and you’d be surprised how much money you save not going into overdraft, buying in bulk when it makes sense and generally being just a little bit better with money. If you do this by the end of the year (actually 6 months in) you’ll be able to count a blessing that 70% of people can’t. That is being able to deal with a $400 emergency.

A passion or at least a hobby

Ready for something controversial: people without passions or hobbies are dreadfully boring! Contrary to popular belief talking about work, buying stuff, renovating, car shopping or repairs is not interesting at all. Honestly neither is hearing about your kids but actually spending time with them is for me! Find something to pass your time that you care about and ideally you’re passionate about. It makes you happy, more interesting, gives you purpose and really adds so much flavor to your life and that of the people around you. If you hear someone talk about their passions it’s almost always interesting! For example I have no innate interest in remote controls, restoring classic cars, sewing handbags, fine woodworking, extreme lawn management, acrylic painting, spinning yarn, lego or welding but I know people who are. And hearing them all talk about it is actually really cool! Similarly no one I hang with is all that into marathon training, crocheting useful items, running photography, writing or ICF construction methods and growing food in a beautiful way but that all keeps me thinking and I think that makes me a little more interesting at least to me!

 Movement 2 ways

In life if you stop you die. Dramatic right? Well I’m not talking about an excuse to be a workaholic like you might think. In fact since I drive a standard it’s more like if you stop you will stall (maybe not the best metaphor). But we do always need to be moving at least a little in two different ways, both physically and metaphorically.

First metaphorically we need to keep looking forward and keep trying to get there. Sure in our work but also moving our families forward. We all know that we have to keep working on our relationships or those will stall but we also should give some of that attention to our relationship with ourselves too. Don’t we all deserve to like who we are a little more? This year is shaping up to be a big one for us in getting to our ultimate goals with a lot of bumps in the road along the way expected. That means some stress will be coming and we need to make some space for that and each other. This will probably be a leap year for us no matter how many days there are in February!

The second aspect is physically but it impacts so much more than our bodies. I think we need to be aware of how much we’re physically moving too. Ask any long term fit person you know and they’ll tell you they started for their body and stuck with if for their mind. So look back on the year that was, how much did you move your body? Should you move it more this year? It can be as simple as thinking I’ve been sitting a lot lately I’ll take a walk to the store later or as complex as you want it to be. But I really do believe that there is a way to move out there for everyone that they will love. You just have to find it

I know this is a different sort of Christmas post but this type is important too. Unlike so many let’s just say under appreciated gifts you might receive this year these gifts you can give yourself could really change your life.

One thought on “6 Life Changing Gifts for Yourself that are Basically Free

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  1. I love these ideas :). Thank you for your unique perspective. I’ve never commented on your blog before, but have been reading it for about a year or so, and I love your down-to-earth, considered perspective on so many topics — not just running and fitness and health, but life as a whole xo


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