Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions (to break), Once Again

Every year I either make New Year's resolutions that I can't keep, or I resolve not to make them. Regardless, after 42 years of fresh starts, I find it to be a challenge either way. Do I make a resolution? Do I ignore it? Why? Oh, the questions. I was avoiding even thinking about it until I saw this magazine at the supermarket. What are you resolving to do this year?

Reduce your debt, lose weight faster (or just lose weight),
clear the clutter, learn to say no.  Okay, you've got my attention.
I know how to do all these things, without reading the magazine. It's implementing them that's the problem. Years ago, I went to a fabulous financial coach named Neisa Maute. She taught me great things about saving money. One easy one is to make actual envelopes (use ones that you receive your bills in -- that will be a good reminder) and label them. My labels are: savings, groceries (supermarket trips, buying pantry and gourmet items from Dash of Thyme), gas, and spending (birthday gifts, dinners out, Betsey Johnson shoes, and home goods from Savannah Hope Vintage (going for the reusable paper towels this week)). This way, you budget your money before you spend it. I stopped doing this for a while, but have returned to doing so this week, in an effort to feel more in control of my life.

Neisa also taught me to owe as little money as possible, and own everything that you can (house, car, etc). All very good tips. Dave Ramsey is great at teaching these tools via books, videos, and his radio show. If you're really in the hole financially, though, seeing Neisa will help because she will go through all of your bills, expenditures, etc. and help you sort through it. I've lost her work number, but you could probably message her through facebook. She is worth her weight in gold (pardon the pun).

Regarding weight loss, well, this one is easy. I am still a certified personal trainer (though not currently practicing), and have gained weight while going through menopause. What I know is that, regardless of anything, if you eat really clean, work out, and stop drinking (whoa), you should be able to lose weight. My hormones are all over the place and I tend to blame part of my weight loss on that, but I haven't applied myself yet. I still eat cheeseburgers and fries with my Stellas. As a former skinny kid, I tend to forget that you are what you eat. I will let you know how I do, when I return back to the gym with all the others who've resolved to get in shape. Errr.

Clearing the clutter is a no-brainer in theory, but again, doing so takes some effort. I've started, though. Anything that doesn't fit me, but that I hope to wear again, is being put in a pile "For Later" and I am going to box it up and store it for that day that I am praying will come. Everything else has been bagged up to donate to charity, unless it's designer. All my designer stuff is being sold on ebay. Finally, I am trying to follow my friend Sue's rule, for every one thing that comes in, one thing must go out. I try not to buy things unless I need them, and know where they will be stored.

Saying "no" is a challenge. I'm trying to really look inside myself and see if what I am being asked/invited to do feels right, or if it pushes me outside the confines of my comfort level. I've been saying no, and actually, it feels empowering. I am only doing things that support my life, and allow me to spend the time I need to spend at work, and want to spend with my family and friends. I am using the planner that Santa gave me to manage my time accordingly.

My new Henri Bendel Scooter Girl Desk Diary for 2012. This makes any girl
want to write everything down. I am going to carry this everywhere, at all times.

Looking back at this post, I sound like a know-it-all, but I am really trying to say something else. It means, regardless of what you know, implementing certain actions are always a challenge, and we need support through the process. Thus, the magazine purchase. I will read and re-read the articles until hopefully, the messages sink in. Please share your tips and tricks for saving, getting in shape, clearing the clutter, and learning to say no with me.

Please share your resolutions below.

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