Seven days into 2013 and I am here. I didn’t think I would make any resolutions/goals this year because I wasn’t feeling it. But being the task-master that I am, my body just forced me to. It was out of my control. But this year, instead of making a checklist, I really wanted to come up with things that have a longer term benefit and have more purpose than what’s on the surface. For example, I’ve decided to read all the un-read books on my shelf again but the underlying goals are that 1) I want to keep my mind stimulated and 2) I don’t want to waste what I have already purchased. #2 is related to a big theme for 2013.
Some are a bit personal and I’m not willing to share every one of them publicly yet but something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is $$. I keep stringent tabs on our finances with a detailed .xls that I look at literally every other day. Since a full calendar year has passed that Terry and I have been married, I took the opportunity to do a year-end recap. Some findings? I spent over 2x more than Terry on personal items. Even though I wasn’t working for 7 out of the 12 months, we managed to stay in the black. We spent a big chunk on eating out but that is also one of our livelihoods.
What I realized is that we are good at knowing WHERE our money goes, but not HOW our money gets there. What this means is that we’re not disciplined at saying “no” to certain things for the sake of more worthwhile things in the future. I feel like in this day and age, spending money (especially on oneself) can turn into a sick cycle. For me, it goes like this: I want something, I buy that something, and I sell that something. Repeat. Part of this happens because I always have this need to “clean out my closet” not just every spring, but almost every other month. I don’t know if it’s a need to always have new things, or because it’s way for me to mentally start fresh, or what other weird experience has made me this way.
So this year, one of my goals is to BE AWARE OF MY PURCHASES by:
1. Buying less often but if so, buying better quality.
2. Saving for things that are worth it instead of satisfying an impulse.
3. Using all of my current Groupons, in an effort to not waste what I have purchased. (these things are the devil)
It sounds like a simple concept but I really do feel like it’ll be a big mentality shift as well as the ability to have foresight into the then vs. now. It’s hard because I like treating people out and buying gifts for people so the cutting down really applies to myself… either that or I start treating every gift giving opportunity like a White Elephant (i.e. look for something in your house to give them that will make them hate you just a little more than before).
For those who feel overwhelmed looking at a lengthy list of things to do, knowing that you’ll be rushing in November to complete them all, read Jon Acuff’s approach on accomplishing these things in 52-day segments. I also did what he did and sectioned out my goals into categories: Financial, Physical, Social, Mental, Career, Family, and Spiritual. This simple act was good for me to do because all categories were more or less equal, with the exception of spiritual which had zero. Clearly, this area will need some revitalizing this year.