Happy New Year’s Eve!! The first day of 2016, fresh start, borrón y cuenta nueva and all that is just around the corner. So let’s get real here, are you making resolutions to better yourself in the New Year? If so, what are your chances of actually starting to work towards them on January 1st when you wake up from your drunken escapades from the night before? How about January 2nd? Don’t feel bad you are not alone. There should be a worldwide decree that New Year resolutions should not start until January 7th, you know, to give you a week to detoxify from all the debauchery of the New Year celebrations and get your head wrapped around reality again.
In the last 10 years or so, I have made resolutions for the New Year every year. There are a lot of people who do not like setting resolutions because they think it is lame, that they are doomed to fail or they believe we should always, throughout the year, be resolving to better ourselves. I personally like the idea of starting at the beginning – or as close to the beginning as possible when my procrastination flares up!
Looking back at the first years, my resolutions were too vague and not well planned and I of course failed to complete them. I would propose to lose 25 lbs. to reach an ideal weight or travel the world or pay off my credit card debt but failed to accomplish my goal because I never figured out the steps to accomplish what I had proposed. Just saying that you will do something won’t manifest it. I should have instead broken down my goals and been more realistic with what I could achieve. Instead of “I will lose 25 lbs” it should have been “I would exercise regularly and eat healthier meals to lose 3-4 lbs. monthly.” Or instead of “I will pay of my credit cad debt” it should have been “I will automate my payments to my credit cards to avoid late payment fees, make additional payments when I have more cash flow, I will “freeze” my credit cards to not acquire more debt, and set up a plan to pay off the smallest balance first to encourage me to pay of the next smallest etc.” Then follow through the most difficult part, actually doing the small steps and reviewing every month the progress. I believe this to be the solution to keeping one’s resolutions.
So, right here, right now I am telling you my one faithful reader, what my 2016 resolutions will be. This public declaration will help hold me accountable for what I want to accomplish in this New Year and I promise to keep you updated…
I hereby present to you my 2016 Resolutions (eek, this is terrifying!):
Pay of Debt
I admit, these last couple of months I have racked up some debt, quite a lot. I can’t bear to admit the full amount at this time but I can tell you it’s like $$$$ big. AHHHH!! I know! Why I fall into this trap every couple of years I don’t know, it is just something I have to learn to manage and quick if I want to get my financial house in order. I already started working on this resolution; I have consolidated about 80% of it at a very, very low interest rate and upped the amount I am paying in my automatic payments. I have also adjusted my budget. If I can’t control my budget in the next 2 months I will have to start the cash envelope method (where you put the budgeted amount in cash in envelopes and once the cash is gone, it’s gone). Most importantly, I have to question my unnecessary purchases and reevaluate my true needs vs. my wants [insert ugly crying face here].
Continue to Save
Even though I have debt, I realize it is very important to continue to save for real emergencies so I won’t have to rely on my credit cards and of course my future. I have automated monthly installments into my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) – it is about half of what I should be stowing away but need I remind you of my previous resolution? At least it’s something, and with time it can compound into something more. I plan to up that amount once I get my debt under control. I am also putting aside some cash into a regular saving account to have on hand. I am also thinking of taking up my friend’s suggestion and having a financial advisor look at my savings, insurance and investment needs – making myself accountable to someone else, I hope will help me get my act together.
Continue my French Lessons
I am very proud of the little progress I have accomplished this last year learning French. My Duolingo French app says I am 23% fluent! Incroyable, right? It is a lot harder than I thought but little by little I hope to get better at conversational French. How else am I going to communicate with people when I retire in the City of Lights? I plan on scheduling time twice a week to practice French with the Rosetta Stone software that was left collecting dust on my hard drive and daily with the Duolingo app I currently on/off use. I also already looked up when Conversational French: Part II class at my local community college is so I can enroll when the time comes. Souhaite-moi bonne chance!
There are two relationship resolutions I really want to work on this year:
- The first and most important resolution is the relationship with my sister. In the last couple of years, we have not been as close as I wish we were and it is a good 75% my fault. I hope to set aside a girls weekend to talk and hash out all our feelings. It might work, as long as it’s in a padded room and we have been searched for sharp objects.
- The second is my relationships with my friends. I am a very private person and at times even more so with my friends because I am afraid of their judgment and because in the past I have been screwed by some now ex-friends. I hope to work this out, open up more and be better at keeping in touch with what is going on in their lives and share more of what is going on in mine. I want to set aside scheduled time to see them in person and when I cannot schedule a Facetime date, email them or dare I say it… write a letter!
As you know, I am very new at this whole blogging and social media thing but I plan to work out all the kinks in the coming year. I am trying to figure out a writing schedule of posts to keep things interesting for you, my dear devoted fans. I had not realized how much time this whole blogging thing took at first but I am really enjoying putting myself out there and sharing about myself so it is worth the time. I also love that I am doing more than just sitting on my ass binge watching Netflix so that I can share something new with you. I hope this coming year I can reach out to more readers and make more friends in this blogger community.
Personal Health and Well-Being
My yearly resolution to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, work out regularly and sleep a good 7 hours. Life happens, so I try to not to be too hard on myself if I go to McDonald’s for lunch or don’t work out. I have accepted that I am not the tall, slender modelesque type I wanted to force myself to be 10 years ago and now focus more on eating real food, walking more and balancing it with all the fun out there in the world in healthy manner.
I find optimism a challenge. I am very practical and can be a Debbi-Downer not sure if it is because I am a Capricorn or the first born that my mother over-protected me and made me overly cautious of so many things or I just want to live my life with out the added mess and stress of when things go wrong. So this year I propose to practice optimism literally, with every small task and work my way up to my bigger challenges. Luckily, I have recently been surrounding myself with more and more women, many without knowing me from before, who have encouraged me to pursue what I want and making me believe that I can do it and to clear my mind of negative thoughts that I put in my way of achieving what I dream of. I hope to continue these friendships and myself in turn encourage them and others to reach for what they want.
Lastly, but not least, I want to remind myself to be grateful for what I have on a daily basis. It is a simple yet powerful action that we easily forget to do.
And that is it for me! Wow, I seem to have my plate full of self-improvement!! I am going out today to buy my new planner for 2016 and I am going to schedule “appointments” and mini goals for myself according to these resolutions. Yay for a new planner – within budget, of course!
So what are your resolutions for 2016? I’d love to hear them! Xx