I remember my mother and grandmother telling me stories about rationing.

For my mum, it was only being allowed 2oz of sweets (57 grams). For my grandmother, it was everything – from butter to soap.

When I go out for a hike with Mrs H, she very kindly creates a sweet bag. We stock up from a website called aquarterof.co.uk and they have all the classics you and I grew up with; from Cola Cubes to Blackjacks, Pear Drops to Fruit Salads.

I can arrive home from a walk with an empty bag. Other than the Pear Drops (my absolute favourites), I couldn’t tell you what I’ve eaten.

My mum during rationing would take her sweets and cut them into quarters.

I remember Pike, in Dad’s Army, explaining that he got hundreds and thousands in his rationed sweets as ‘they would last longer’.

Just for fun, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve decided to ration a couple of things that I take for granted. Things in our modern society that are available in abundance.

The first is my hiking bag of sweets. I’m only allowed one a mile.

This means less crunching and more sucking, a real appreciation of the flavour. It’s probably better for my waistline, too.

The next is screen time. I’m rationing myself to just one hour a day (I’ve been as high as 4!).

It’s amazing, when you only have an hour, how focused you become. Endless scrolling ceases and focused reading is emphasised.

And finally, ‘Complaining’.

I’m allowing myself to only complain about one thing a day.

As soon as I’ve complained about one thing – that’s it, no more complaints.

I originally planned to do Dale Carnegie’s, ‘Don’t Complain, Criticise or Condemn’ but that’s really challenging and being rationed to one complaint a day is tough enough.

What could you ration?

I’d love to know. Please leave your comments below.

Be Brilliant


PS Over the next few weeks you’re going to see me promoting and talking about my next Write That Book pop-up group.  Even if you have no interest in writing a book, I’m sure you’ll share with me the excitement of many members of this group who have written, published and are now selling their books.

Much more of this to come in the next few weeks…



  1. May 6th 2021 by Steve

    Red wine. I’m allowed one 175ml glass of wine for every three miles that I run (ok, jog fairly slowly). No run, no wine. It’s a great incentive – I’m up to 46 miles a week…

  2. May 6th 2021 by Eddie Armstrong

    Ration any conscious thought/Action that sabotage’s being The best person you can be in that moment of time.
    The Flip side could be :Taking your ration “Tin”Invite someone to take an energised tablet/Chip.(Metorphorically)A wonderful human trait will be revealed to them that they can share.Could create a kindness movement,Unconditionally.

  3. May 6th 2021 by Rob Begg

    Hi Michael,
    I was going to say I’d ration saying ‘yes’ but on reflection, rationing saying no is probably a better idea.

    What I completely removed from my life and vocabulary a few years ago vs. just rationing was the word ‘try’. That’s saved a lot of mental energy!

  4. May 6th 2021 by Tracy Smith

    I’d love to ration screen time, I am looking at one screen or another for at least 9 hours a day, not including the TV screen! TV is a definite thing I could ration, also looking at my emails, playing candy crush (can’t believe I just admitted I play that), time spent procrastinating, I could go on…..

  5. May 6th 2021 by Derek Crysell

    Hi Michael, I would have to ration my coffee, I’m a coffee and malted milk biscuit monster 😂

  6. May 7th 2021 by Elaine Allen

    I am rationing Facebook. I go on once in the morning and once at night otherwise I would waste so much time on it.

  7. May 15th 2021 by Denise Scott

    I’m rationing sweets too. Just 6 a day unless they are swizzles lollies then it’s just 1 a day.
    I think I should also ration screen time. I’ve lots hours of precious time scrolling through dross when I could be reading a book etc.

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