Friday, January 6, 2012

2012: Starting Small

We are already six days into January, and I am still contemplating what I hope to accomplish this year. I am trying to be realistic and not just list a bunch of things I'd like to happen. When I do that, they usually don't.
This year, I am starting small. I am going to try to make a few positive changes and take a look at where I am every month or so. We'll see if that works better for me!

Like most everyone, I would like to see some improvement in my finances. If I am honest with myself, I think I sometimes use my situation as an excuse: I'm old, with an active 5 year old, he takes all of my energy. I don't have a partner who helps by bringing home a paycheck, working overtime, or getting a raise. I have to pay someone to do the things I can't do. I can't use these excuses anymore. Even though all of that is true, I have to work with what I have in my unique situation. I can't eat out because I am too tired to cook. My income doesn't increase while prices continue to do so, so I have to get creative with cutting costs and making a few extra dollars. While most home maintenance and repairs I will have to pay someone to do, I can do some things, such as paint, etc.

I use the same "tired" excuse when it comes to my health. I do have some legitimate problems (knees, etc), however, my inactivity doesn't help matters. My eating habits are terrible.

I am messy and disorganized. That is a trait I just have and need to work on.

So, I am starting small.  Financially, I am writing down every penny I spend, so I can see where the money goes. I am going to try to be more aware of getting things to consignment stores early in the season. I have found a consignment store for women's clothing and will take a few things of mine as I can. I am going to watch the grocery budget carefully, use coupons and start a price book. When it gets yard sale season, I want to have a few more carefully planned sales. While I don't spend very much money on myself, I do tend to overspend on Jonathan, so I need to be aware of the difference between needs and wants. I am referring here to what I want for him (clothing, etc.) and not the type of things kids are always asking for.

From a health standpoint, it goes without saying that I need to lose some excess pounds, but that is not my immediate focus. I need to begin by incorporating more fruits, vegetables and water into my diet. I need to reduce the amount of diet soda I drink and cut back on the sweets. I need to get moving. I can't afford a gym membership (and honestly, probably wouldn't go if I had one), so I want to walk more. I did take a walk yesterday. My feet and knees were hurting when I got home, but hopefully that will improve as I do more walking.

I could spend all year organizing my house! eBay is a messy business, you have to put that stuff somewhere! I have a tendency to leave things lying around and not put them back where they belong. I want to work on that, and I want to work on purging my home of excess, things we no longer need and things that are no longer a part of my current lifestyle. I don't need to hold on to a lot of things from my "former life".

This is just a beginning of changes I need to make, and it seems a little daunting. I am trying to not become overwhelmed and just do the best I can. Every negative habit changed will be a step forward!


Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman said...

I think starting small is the way to go.... That way the change will stay with you.

Thank you for the kind words about our family picture...I really appreciate it.

Echoes From the Hill said...

First, you are not old. Second, you seem to be doing a wonderful job as a parent. Third, starting with one or two goals is a good idea. If we get overwhelmed, we're likely to accomplish nothing.
Organizing is a good start. Just decide you will spend 15 minutes a day, and make yourself do that. Chances are you will spend more time, but if not, that's okay.
Regarding finances, I find that reading books like Dave Ramsey's, Total Money Makeover, helps to motivate, and The Complete Tightwad Gazette, although dated, is very motivating. When I get discouraged, I read the success stories in the back of the book and that motivates me.
Regarding repairs, etc., maybe your older son can fix some of the things that need fixing, now that he will be living nearby.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Nancy, for the encouraging words! I just feel a little overwhelmed sometimes! I, too, like Dave Ramsey's books and plan to follow his advice more this year!
It will be nice having my son here, he is very busy but I am sure he would help as he can.
All will be well, I am sure!