I thought I would start a thread here for Transition Tips. A Transition Tip is anything that will possibly help someone change to a more resilient, sustainable, fulfilled way of being and doing.
I use the word possible in recognition that not every idea will work for everyone, or even work for the planet when applied by everyone, so we need to be unafraid of putting an idea out there and leaving it up to the person listening in to decide if it works for them.
To kick off with a bit of a range of tips, I want to offer one to do with money, one to do with happiness and one to do with energy bills.
Let’s start with the happiness thing. There are a lot of brain science books around, and on happiness they say much the same thing. What makes us happy is doing something for someone else, doing something new, and doing something which we are in control of, we are in charge of. There is a lot of evidence that although total poverty is not so good for people’s happiness, wealth is not so good either. I think this links with what we know about what makes us happy. When you haven’t got a lot you can still do a lot for other people, you can do something new every day and you can still be in charge of what you do. When you have more things there are more things that make you feel you have to do this and you have to do that, in this way or in that way, and you haven’t got much time to do things for other people! A simple check is worthwhile. If you have enough, you don’t need more!
That leads nicely into money. Having set up and run several businesses in my life, some more successful than others, I have learned that money is a funny thing. It should be pretty tangible, profit and loss and that kind of thing, with cash flow and assets being there in the books, clear as, well, mud sometimes.
While walking along the road the other day I was thinking how much hard work you have to do to make a 3p in the £1 ‘profit’ and how easy it is to make a 30p in the £1 loss. I think a bit part of the problem with easy credit is this difference between earning 3p and spending 30p, or 300p, or 3000p, and then everyone has no time for happiness because they are working so hard to earn that 3p, x 1000000!
So the tip is, make spending difficult for yourself. One idea I read was to pass your credit card to a good trusted friend. Then when you want to spend that money you have to go and get back that credit card. Or you can take out most of the cash you have available (leaving enough to pay the bills of course) and lock it in a box and hide the key somewhere. And you can write down exactly what you spent today, and every day. This might seem like a pain, and it will be, but the reward is in soon you will not need to work so hard to earn that money, you will find time to be, well, just happy!
And my last tip? Well, I am sure we all have noticed our energy bills going up and up, so what about some ideas for getting them down again. Well, one idea is to lower the temperature gauge right down so that you have the choice, you stay in and get cold (or put two jumpers on) or you go out for a nice healthy walk, or go and visit friends.The longer you stay out the more you are saving.
One big part of the energy bill is cooking, so one way to save money on that is batch cooking. Buy in bulk and you save money, cook in batches saves even more, and why not do this with a friend, one day in your house and another in their’s?
I am sure there will be plenty of Transition Tips at this year’s conference, in Liverpool, all in it will set you back about £200 plus transport costs, but have a look and see what you think!