A new calendar stirs an inner excitement just through reading the emboldened print labeling four numbers, namely, 2019. The conscious mind may deem it as the arrival of a new decade inching closer. We often consider the New Year’s arrival as another wiped canvas, pristine from mistakes and formulated, yet never tackled, ideas. This New Year can be jammed full of realistic hopes and dreams. It begins with real plans and concrete steps to follow through to the letter.
Lofty plans such as traveling or improving the home first require sitting down and analyzing your financial bottom line. Stretching beyond the limit of income is an easy concept which often amounts to massive credit card debt. Arriving at the point of eliminating “whole debt” is liberating. Yes, it is possible. Begin by answering the following questions:
- Is the expense of cable necessary or could I survive on programs, which cost $10 a month, or connected to Internet service?
- What purpose does my landline serve?
- How much do I spend weekly on lunches, snacks, and dinners?
- How do I manage food and needed purchases?
Specific questions can save individuals and families hundreds of dollars a month. Secondly, begin reading monthly credit card statements. Ask yourself, “How much am I paying in interest and at what percentage?” Understanding the cost of maintaining a credit card will inspire you to pursue a debt-free lifestyle.
Tip: Consider establishing a financial spreadsheet not only to balance your budget, but to understand spending habits and the length of time before the bill is to be paid in full.
Tip: Start listening to podcasts to gain tips and strategies for purposeful financial planning and spending.
Each December, we sit down and reflect upon our unfulfilled hopes and dreams under the banner of “resolutions.” Unfortunately, expectations are too high during a season of cold and dreams of hibernation. A change of perspective is needed. Beyond the idea of exercise and consuming less sugar, why not plan for a tangible goal, such as continuing education classes to pursue a hobby? A timeline is essential, especially establishing a start date. Ask yourself, “What does my goal require? Is there a financial investment, and how can I achieve it?” Remember, personal goals take time. Having a friend who shares your interest can inspire and motivate you to reach the goal.
English theatre critic and writer, Kenneth Tynan, believes, “A critic is a man who knows the way, but cannot drive the car.” Thousands of expressions present the adage that personal criticism is linked to a defense mechanism often protecting our self-esteem. In the desire to flourish and grow, doubt can arise that keeps those ambitions from taking shape.
A negative approach to ideas and goals has proven to impact performance and motivation. Self-evaluation can be ideal in these circumstances. It is time to eliminate the pressure of feeling miserable and define happiness and success. Perhaps your direction needs a more purposeful focus. By stepping back, you may discover complete contentment in working fewer hours, investing time in a hobby, or pursuing a dream. This winter, take time to consider how to make your dreams a tangible reality and prevent doubt from squashing your ideas.
Reflecting upon levels of happiness leads to the blessings of family and friends who provide an unconditional return of support and inspiration, help, and who display acts of love. From the moment a recognizable face is seen, the emotion is a “tell.” There is a keen understanding accompanying the realization that people must be accepted as they are. A cynical person cannot change. When an effort to maintain a relationship becomes exhausting, it is time to determine who should be within your inner circle. Just remember, every connection is instructive in helping us learn and grow.
Reflection on the year gone by is essential in our decision to grasp hold of the calendar, flip to a month and identify the intended goals. Keep a journal. Join forces with a friend, and, most importantly, celebrate the day each month of the year! Happy New Year!