You know the way life tends to push you in a certain direction? How suddenly a certain message is presented to you in all kinds of situations ? At least that’s how it works for me.

Lately I’ve been presented with the point that unsolicited advice is actually pointless. It’s been mentioned on the radio, at work, on blogs, in books I read… So often that I decided it’s probably something I should try. Not to give unsolicited advice, that is. I decided about a week ago that this would be my big challenge of the month, and the last week of October I’ve been watching myself – and I’m embarrassed to realize how often I unconsciously say “you should/shouldn’t do this”  or “wouldn’t it be better if you”. Like I know what’s best for anyone, I often don’t even know what’s best for myself! So that’s my first challenge of the month: not to give advice unless somebody explicitly asks for it. And even then remember that it’s better to ask questions to help make the problem better defined, than provide my own quick fixes.

I was very pleased by my achievement in October of increasing my number of steps/day from about 3 200 to over 7 000. This month I want to continue to increase that number by 250/day each week, so that by the end of November I’m at 8 000 steps/day. November can be a tricky month for outdoor activities in my part of the world. Snow is here already, but could easily melt away and leave the roads icy… Not very tempting conditions to walk more in. But I do need to get to work, and home again. I’ll walk there, and choose a little longer way home. And in order to make sure I don’t ease out of the evening walk I’m deliberately saving errands – not being efficient and doing all at once. I know that once I’m out of the door I usually feel invigorated and don’t mind the walk. It’s the route from the sofa to the door that’s the hardest part.

Our frugal month part 3 doesn’t feel that challenging, more like our normal way of life by now. But we’re keeping it up, in order to get a good baseline for what our budget may be like when Mr Livslevandes retires in a couple if years.

This last week has brought several unexpected but very pleasant surprises to that budget. First we found the car to replace the two we had before, which will save us money in the future. Then we got payed back a quite substantial debt – and with that and the savings we had already made we have now payed of the mortgage in full! Our goal was to do this before the end of the year, so we’re ahead of schedule. And I’ve been offered and accepted a few more hours of work each week, doing something I enjoy with people I like. Good things sometimes come in threes, it seems, and I am very grateful for them all.

Do you have any challenges for November?