Saturday, January 1, 2011

it's a new year...

And I've got some goals.

While I think that last year was a good year, and I accomplished a lot, I have some things that I think would make me feel good about myself during the new year. Or, as Annie, my favorite yoga teacher put it in class on Thursday morning, things that I can do to spend more time as my "best self".

I like myself best when there are a couple of things going on. One of them is....
I like myself best when I am at the beach. I know, I know, that is not a surprise at all, to anyone. I love being at the beach, how much more relaxed I can be, how much more productive I can be, spending time away from the TV, in the sun, and all of those good things. While I don't really spend more time in the sun during the winter, I still love being at the beach house. It is one of my goals for 2011 to spend some time at the beach at least once a month. The summer months, I'm sure, will be easy. Finding time in spring, fall, and winter has always been more difficult. But today, I'm making a commitment to finding the time and making the effort to go to the place where I feel I am my best self.

I also like myself best when I am doing things. And by doing things, I mean productive things. Not things like sitting on the couch and watching the entire series of Deadliest Catch until way too late. I mean things like making myself a skirt that I can actually wear to teach in, and pajamas for my friends' Christmas presents, and a months worth of frozen lunches. I like myself best when I am doing things and making things that will either provide enjoyment or provide something in the future. It is one of my goals to sew something at least once a month this year. It doesn't have to be something huge....Hemming a pair of pants the same weekend I buy them or fixing a button can count just as much as making a basket for the bookshelf.

Another time I like myself best is when I'm not freaking out about money. And since that is something there has been a lot of in my life lately, it makes sense to me that it is time to do something to address it. I'm almost 30 and still don't have a retirement account. I know, I missed the whole 10 years of my 20s when I could have been accumulating interest. I have great excuses. I was in a foreign country, I wasn't earning enough money, I was paying for my husband's green card, I was doing a million things that had nothing to do with looking towards future financial security. So this year, I'm going to do a few things. First of all, I need to open a Roth IRA. That will be done before the end of January. Secondly, I will put the same amount of money into the Roth IRA each month as I give to my church and other charities. This may leave it more open than it really should be...because I am not a consistent giver at church. And I'm inconsistent with charities, too. But if I give ten bucks to the united way, then I can also put ten bucks away for my future. And if that extra ten bucks hurts me to give away, then I'll have to suck it up and give five to the united way and five to savings. And maybe this will help me learn to worry less about what I'm not doing for the future, because I'll actually be addressing it.

Another way that I would like to address the money issue, but haven't discussed with sweet hubby yet, would be to put some serious limitations on our spending that we could enforce together. We are HORRIBLE at keeping a budget. We like to go out to eat, we like to go out of town, we like to shop, we like to have gadgets, we like to watch movies, and I think you get the picture. If we put the same amount into a savings account that we spend each week, by the end of the year we might actually have enough money for some big traveling. I think this kind of strategy would work two ways. It would make us highly aware of the cost of everything we do, by effectively doubling the cost of all entertainment, and it would also get us saving together for our future. It might also get us to reduce out spending in a way that would change our current spend-spend-spend lifestyle to a more manageable and balanced lifestyle for the future. I hope that sweet hubby will go for this, but I have my doubts. I can always put it into place for my own purchases, but it would be much more effective as a family policy.

So there you have it. Three goals for a year of living as my best self, making changes over time to improve my quality of life. I think these are manageable goals....We'll see how I do throughout the year!

Happy New Year to you! And in case you haven't already, don't forget about this:

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