Happy New Year 2014

I am not doing any new year resolutions this year, but I have spent the past few days reflecting on how the year has gone by and some things that have worked well for me in the past year that I’d like to continue.

These are very simple things that a lot of you will already be doing but if you aren’t then they are definitely worth a try.

1. Build alliances with like minded people: Unfortunately the world of Indian personal finance is littered with problems, and dishonest people is one of the biggest problems it has.

It is very rare to find people making an honest living in this environment, and even when you find them it is quite hard to forge alliances with them. That’s why for a large part of OneMint’s existence it has been more or less a one man show. Somewhere along the way Shiv discovered the blog, and I got to know him professionally, and later personally. This is the luckiest thing that has happened to OneMint. Both of us have a common vision about personal finance, and regular readers should know all too well how detail oriented and honest he is. These are qualities that I deeply cherish and are rare in today’s environment.  Shiv and I have been working together for quite some time now and if not for him, I would have probably shut OneMint by now.

I realize how valuable he has been for the blog, and after meeting him I’ve been actively seeking like minded people in other areas of work as well, and try to find common grounds to work together and grow together. Finding people who share your vision and working with them instead of working in silos is one of the key things I want to continue to do in 2014.

2. Take time off: I think one of the main reasons for thinking about shutting down OneMint was that I was just burned out. For the last 5 years or so I have worked non stop on weekends and holidays, and I used to think that if you do something you enjoy you don’t get burned out, but that hasn’t been true for me. Somewhere in the last year, I got so fatigued that I just gave up on blogging. If it wasn’t for Shiv’s posts, the traffic would have died and OneMint would have died a slow death.

Doing things that you do for their own sake is what is truly a fun activity and if you don’t build in fun breaks in your routine, you won’t be able to sustain anything for the long run. I have started slotting in some time for recreational reading, TV, Chess, movies etc. all things that have no purpose other than fun to make me more productive in the rest of my time. I had come to this realization on my own, but reading The Power of Full Engagement made me grasp this concept much better.

3.Build a habit: I read Leo Babuta’s post on forming habits sometime this year, and at about that time I was thinking of what I could do to get physically more active.

Although it sounds pretty ridiculous, I took his advice and started off with five push-ups every day. How ridiculous is that, right? But it actually does work. If you want to build a habit, start with something exceedingly small, and as you get into a routine that habit will forge and you will be doing a lot more than you initially thought you would. I’ve been going to the gym quite frequently now, and those five push-ups have transformed into a full blown 60 minute workout.

4. Volunteer: I wanted to start volunteering my time this year, and I wanted to do something in the area of children and education, but as I explored options and spoke with people I realized it isn’t very straightforward to get volunteer work in this area.

I expanded my search and found that one of the things I could practically do was walk dogs at a local no kill shelter. It is just 15 minutes drive, and all you have to do is go there and walk the dogs that are there so they don’t stay locked inside their pen throughout the day and get some exercise and a chance to do their business.

In the beginning it didn’t seem like much, you just walk dogs for two hours a day every week, anyone can do that, and it doesn’t seem to be very meaningful, but we went there anyway. But as you do this regularly, you get a sense of the bigger picture, and how your small part in it allows the whole system to work. You’re there volunteering your time, so a dog gets a chance to stay there and not be killed due to lack of resources at the government shelter. I heard of a story of a family where the dad lost his job, had to give away their pet, and that pet was put down due to lack of resources. Their grief was compounded many times, and it is then that I understood that every small bit actually helps.

Every small bit helps, and if you are interested but haven’t found something that seems significant enough, just start with something, anything at all, it does mean something to someone and it will be better than doing nothing at all.

5. Re-read books: I read a lot but I never read the same book again, and I was definitely missing out because of this, I changed this habit a few months ago.

Re-reading helps reinforce good ideas that you picked up the first time around, and you often come across new ideas as well. This is a practice I would definitely continue in the new year as well.

I want to wish all of you a very happy new year, and hope that the new year brings you much wealth and prosperity!

48 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2014”

  1. Hi
    Your blog has been very helpful almost a financial school for me.But I did lose interest for a bried period of time but what brought me back was Shiv’s analysis.Definitely he has taken the blog to higher levels.This is not to take anything away from your efforts.
    A very Happy New Year to you and Shiv!

    1. Thank you for your honesty Harinee, it is refreshing, and I agree that Shiv has taken the blog to a new level.

      Have a very happy new year!

  2. Manshu and Shiv,
    Happy and properous new year to both of you !

    Please keep blogging as you both present so many about personal finance in the most easy way to understand and apprehend !


  3. awesome post at the end of the year Manshu :)- Would be nice to let us know what you read : this is one of my new year resolutions :)-

    happy new year to Manshu, Shiv and the readers

    1. Thanks Mithlesh – I used to do book reviews very frequently but stopped them because they didn’t generate as many comments as some of the other posts did. I will restart them in the new year.

      Very happy new year to you too!

  4. This is really amazing Manshu !! How honestly you share your thoughts with everybody here in a very straightforward manner is simply unbelievable !! I really appreciate that and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for building this great blog, trusting me for writing these unbiased posts and then taking financial blogging to a great level. I must say that no other financial blog in India is more honest and qualitative than OneMint and personally I don’t want to take any credit for that.

    Wish you, your family and all the readers of OneMint a very Happy and Prosperous 2014 !! 🙂

      1. Hi Manshu & Shiv,

        Thank You for sharing your unbiased views throughout 2013. I’m sure that your timely posts on various bonds, debentures, FPOs, etc. has been helpful to all your readers.

        I wish you a fantastic 2014 and hope that Onemint finds many more loyal readers.

        Cheers to your altruistic act of running Onemint!


  5. Manshu and Shiv,
    I am regular reader of this blog . Sincere thanks to both of you for all your hard work and committment.
    Wish you and your Family a very happy and properous new year.

  6. Manshu and Shiv- Here’s to a great 2014, enriching in all ways.

    Manshu– I liked how open you were in this post re taking breaks and fatigue. Mr. Bakshi does have a point re admin duties. Another thing you could do is have specific posts on specific week days — as in Mondays for personal finance, fridays for debt, etc (and if there is no specific news re debt that week, then that day can be free)

    1. Thank you very much Austere, I do very much appreciate all your encouraging words throughout the years, and I’m glad to see another one from you.

      I have tried doing what you suggest but I find that it hasn’t worked well with my personality. I get ideas and I write, if I plan too much on post topics, I’m unable to get anything done at all. But I do need some kind of structure and system to keep it going. I’ll give your suggestion another try perhaps in an easier way. Thank you!

      Happy new year to you and your family!

  7. Dear Manshu,
    I stumbled upon this Blog last year and it has become a daily habit thereafter .
    What you have written above, seems to come right from your heart, without any pretences.
    The “Fatigue” factor does come in, even in profitable ventures, leave alone those for public good or for social service. Many Blogs and Websites have a short life-span, but not this one ! You need to banish these thoughts of shutting down this blog or letting it die its natural death.
    Shiv was a good discovery for you …and for this blog..I agree in entirety.
    I got in touch with Shiv through this blog around Sept 2013. We met and discussed various issues. Over the period, I have found him to be sincere, polite, honest in his dealings, rendering correct and unbiased advice – qualities not easily found these days. He is a quick learner, has good reasoning and grasp of things. Hope he will continue with his writings in this blog.
    To enhance readership, add variety and retain interest, you may mull upon the idea of creating few pages on diverse topics.
    Giving Administrative Rights to a capable, honest and knowledgeable person, who can retain the character of the blog as well as add value to it, is another aspect, you can seriously consider.
    Please continue the good work.
    I request other readers to share their thoughts on above view points.
    Wishing you, Shiv and your team, a Busier, Profitable, Eventful and Happy New Year 2014 !!

    best wishes
    S S Bakshi

    1. Thank you very much Mr. Bakshi. I appreciate the time you took to post this comment. It means a lot for me.

      A few thoughts come to mind, the administrative or technical parts of this blog is handled by Kim Woodbridge who I’ve known for years, and is of great help to me. She is the only one apart from Shiv and I who work on the blog, and in that respect we don’t have any big team or anything.

      Shiv has been instrumental in keeping the blog active and energizing me, and I will be much more active on the blog in the coming year.

      Thank you very much for your kind words, and wish you a very healthy and prosperous new year!

    1. Thank you Kartavi – wish you the very same and I hope I see many more comments from you in 2014. Your comment on the Suggest a Topic page hasn’t escaped me, I will respond to you soon.

  8. Thanks Manshu for sharing your ideas & feelings!

    A very Happy New Year to you, Shiv and all the readers of OneMint.
    May 2014 be a year of 365 Happy Days!

  9. Thank you and really appreciate the hard work you guys put to mk one mint work.

    Best wishes for New Years..May god keep u n ur families blessed.

    Kind regards

    1. Thank you Deepak, and thanks for all the encouraging words along the way, they really mean a lot, happy new year to you and your family as well.

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