I didn’t mention resolutions last month. I thought about it. I have a few goals of my own on an ongoing basis, but, truthfully, I’ve never been big on creating lists at the start of the year. For one, I know the newness doesn’t last. By only a few hours in, 2018 was already starting to feel a lot like 2017 to me. Secondly, I recognize that big goals and big changes require big “whys.” We have to really want something—and have an attainable plan for how we’re going to achieve it—in order to stay motivated and “get there.”
Typically that motivation has nothing to do with a date on the calendar.
Take finances, for example. Money is something we all worry about, but budgeting is HARD and many people don’t know how to do it properly. I’m one of them. One of my long-term goals is to get better at handling my money—I want to travel again and stop living paycheck to paycheck—and for that reason I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey a lot lately. Love him or hate him, Dave has a common-sense approach to getting out of debt and “building wealth,” and thanks to him I recently sat down and created my first budget. I don’t have a perfect system yet, but it’s a start.
But here’s the thing. This change has nothing to do with January 1st—nothing. I started reading Dave’s “The Total Money Makeover” last year. I finished it on the plane ride to California over Christmas. After the New Year, I started listening to his show. The desire has been there all along; it’s just taken me a while to get the ball rolling.
In another area of my life, too, if my goals were based on a 12-month calendar, I would have failed already. I want to blog more consistently, but I struggle to write when emotionally stressed. January wasn’t the easiest of months for me. As such, you may have noticed I dropped off the face of the earth recently. I wanted to write; I just . . . couldn’t.
Now, it’s true that how we react to our circumstances is as important as the circumstances themselves, but another area I’m working on is giving myself grace. If I’m stressed and can’t write, oh well. And if I’m stressed and do write—and if my blogging comes across as “down” because I’m stressed—well . . . At least you’ll know I’m genuine! This blog isn’t about putting on a happy face. It never has been. It’s about the bumps and shifts of life and making the best of them as they come our way.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for joining me for the ride.
Well, all I’ve got to say is bravo! You are an excellent writer, especially when you write in this genre. You just say things right and I want to immediately stop and get sorted out on my own organization, writing, marketing and especially anything I’ve missed here. Will I hear from you tomorrow? (This is a test…is it cheating if I give you the answer? Just once, I promise. Here it is: “yes”! Marie
Lol, thank you, Marie! I think I’ve gotten past my slump and will be writing more frequently again this month. I have a few posts already drafted that I just couldn’t finish before. So perhaps, yes, you’ll hear from me tomorrow. ;)
Great. I may need you to finish a poem for me!
Good news on the budgeting! I’ve been pants with money all my life, still am, but found the perfect way to stay out of debt is not to buy anything but life necessities! :) Apart from camera stuff. And software for processing photo’s. And film for my polaroids. Oh well maybe next month I’ll be in the black! :D I don’t do resolutions either, change, as you say, comes in it’s own time.
Lol, I had to look up what “pants” means. It’s funny—the differences in slang between American and British English!
I want to get out of the red so I can put my hard-earned money towards travel and not groceries I bought when I was broke and am now paying interest on! Lol. I’m really not a big spender; I just need to make sure my money is going where it needs to to help me accomplish my goals.
Love it Jess! I started reading the Motley Fools book, You have More Than You Think to get me started on Personal Finance. A fun easy to read book. That book got me started on DRIP accounts which are best when started early. Ours are starting to steam roll a little to make bigger ripples from the monthly DRIPs. Good Luck with all your resolutions Jessica. You seem like a strong willed person. You will win! …if you can live past those 2 buckets of Fried chicken (and only 1 bottle of wine :-) )
Lol, thanks! Yeah, the fried chicken gets me every time. :D And I’ll have to look at the Motley Fools book — amen on having more than we think! I have so few unmet physical needs that it’s ridiculous to want for more.
Yes, the book line is You have More than you think…..and other people want it. A good fun book.
I’ve never bothered with the new year’s resolutions nonsense either. Mostly for the same reasons you mentioned here.
A bit over 4 years ago, I quit smoking. Not because I wanted to be healthier or what not… but because I didn’t smoke in my car or my apartment, I got sick of standing around outside in the cold to smoke. it was at the end of the year I made the change because that’s when it started getting cold.
That’s one way to do it, Matt! A very practical one, at that. :D
Thanks, Jess. Practical, indeed.
In any event, good luck with your budget. Overcoming inertia is usually hardest part.
Thanks! I know it. I’m seeing progress already.
Whenever you write, no matter how infrequent, there’s just so much heart in your words and always a strong message comes across. You are a writer who truly, well, writes :) I’ve never been one for resolutions or even setting up many goals. Don’t want to set myself up for disappointment – then again, goal setting can motivate some of us and learn. The last couple of year haven’t been the best for me, but I learn that things will be unpredictable and what we thought we want might not be what we want. Often how we feel and the desire of wanting to do something, we can’t change – they are feelings that are just there. Like you, I have been struggling to write especially write my book. I’ve been saying forever I will write a book…but well, honestly I am struggling to find inspiration and there are other things I want to do.
I’m sure in due time you will find that writing mojo again :)
Thank you, Mabel! Your comments on my writing mean so much. :) It appears we’d have a lot to talk about if we ever *did* have coffee. I’ve had similar thoughts about difficult times and what I thought I wanted compared to the way things have turned out in reality. I will be praying you get over your writing hurdle. People have often asked me if I’d ever consider writing a book. My answer is always, “Yes… but what would I write about?!” A book is a big undertaking and an impossible one without a clear goal or dream. It’s okay for your book to take a long time, though. Life is demanding and many people take years to complete their work. Just ask any one of my published professors. ;)
I always thought you would write a book, Jess. After reading your recollection of your rock climbing trip, I thought ‘This stuff is meant for books’. In due time, I think you will write that book. It does sound like a lot of challenging moments for you over the last few years. If you need anything, I am always here for you :)
Congratulations on setting your first budget. You’ll be able to stick with it if you keep your ‘eye on the prize’ (more travel). I used to set all sorts of goals but now I have one (sail around the world on a boat) and only focus on those things needed to achieve it. Looking forward to seeing where your travels take you next.
Thank you! Yes, keeping my eye on the prize is key. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I was truly inspired by yours and your journey. I was just talking to a friend about “comfort zones” last night. I wish more people prioritized travel — and not just travel for vacations or to relax. How different a place the world would be…
😊 Far better to consume experiences than stuff as they say. Long term travel is good for the soul.