Monday, January 9, 2012

I Resolve...

Inspired by my sister-in-law's recent post about New Year's resolutions, I have decided that it might be a good idea to just document some of the things I hope to accomplish in the year 2012. I don't necessarily want to call them resolutions or commit to all of them since I may "fail," and I don't like to admit failure, but I don't think it hurts to have a few goals and aspirations to reach for, no matter what time of year it is...

1. Budget, Budget, BUDGET.
Wow, that word looks weirder the more you type it. Anyway, it's no secret that my financial situation pretty much ruled my life in 2011. Because of that, I sacrificed a few things I love (i.e., cable) and made some difficult decisions about my future (i.e., leaving my wonderful job at MIAD). That being said, I guess it's pretty fitting that I'd have some sort of resolution involving money management. Believe it or not, while it's not the most exciting topic, this is actually a resolution I'm really looking forward to, at least right now. I have buckled down SO much over the past year and really taught myself a lot about my finances, managing debt, saving for the future, etc. Recently, I opened a book that's been sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time. The book is called, "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke" by Suze Orman. Yep, that's me. Anyway, while it doesn't address the most stimulating topics, I literally read almost the entire book in one sitting. It made some really foreign financial concepts actually make sense to me, and I think that's a big part of the reason why I'm so excited about attempting to get my life together! I've actually established a plan of attack and have made some good strides in the right direction already. I guess this isn't necessarily a "new" resolution then, but I definitely want to stick with it and make sure that I can actually take advantage of my bigger paychecks and my ability to be more financially stable in the future! This means I can still live without cable... and without internet on my phone... and without 10 new dresses for Spring... Things I want, but don't need. I've proved I can do it, so why not stick to it?! Not to say I won't "reward" myself with any of these things in the future, but for right now, I know I'll thank myself in the long run!

2. Get rid of some shit.
I don't know if this is true for everyone, but for me, it seems the longer I live in one place, the more shit I accumulate. I've only been in my apartment for 14 months (well, when I say it like that, it seems like a long time!), but man, I just have so much stuff! This free weekend allowed me sift through some things and realize the amount of junk I have that I don't even need (or use). Makes me feel kinda bad about myself! For the record, when I say 'get rid of some shit,' I'm not talking in any one particular area. Anything is fair game. Clothes. Mismatched Dishes. Old papers. Yeah, anything. I did get rid of a few things this weekend, and that alone made me feel good, so I think keeping this up will be a good thing. And while I know I won't be this committed to the idea, I did find a 2012 Declutter Calendar on Pinterest that could serve as inspiration and provide some ideas for how to tackle a little at a time. That is the key to success! If I tried to tackle it all in one day, I'd give up in an hour.

3. Organize.
This is an extension of the last goal. When I say organize, I'm thinking primarily for my apartment, but I could stand to organize my life in general and my schedule more too. But for now, the apartment. This weekend, I went to Target for a few things and stumbled across these lovely little containers (they look much cooler in person), and for some reason, I felt the need to own a few. My kitchen counters have been a little cluttered and disorganized lately, so I used these containers to add a fresh look to store some of my miscellaneous food items (candy, rice, pasta, etc). It's amazing how these containers on my counters make me feel like I have more room. How does that work?! Anyway, I figured since I can't get rid of absolutely everything as I declutter, I at least want the stuff I do have to look good. :)

4. Exercise.
Since this one is often overused and abused, I'll try to keep it short. As you may or may not remember, I had a big goal last year of training for and ultimately running a 5K race. Unfortunately, due to some health issues and to an eventual lack of initiative, I never completed that goal. I'm not sure if it will happen this year either, but I would certainly love to try. Maybe I'll just sign up for a race to make myself more committed to the idea. Either way, one thing I am really excited about is that I signed up for a Zumba class! I've been really wanting to get out and do more in Milwaukee (hmmm, another goal?), and I always get this Recreation Guide in the mail at the start of each season. It includes a bunch of classes for everything from computers to exercise to cooking. I finally bit the bullet and actually signed up for the Zumba class (I've been wanting to sign up for some sort of class since I moved here), and I couldn't be more excited! Not only will it be good for me, but I think it'll be fun, and maybe I'll even make some friends, ha!

5. Travel.
Yay, here's a fun one!! :) Unfortunately, I have had pretty limited opportunities over the past couple years to travel or take any sort of vacation. It's been something I've been dying to do (even though I don't necessarily have a set destination in mind), but the ability and funds haven't really been there. The last trips I went on were both in 2009, one time to Vegas, and one time to New York. Both amazing. But also both places I've been before. Provided I can get "resolution" number one in order in terms of my finances, I would really love to go somewhere this year, and I'd like it to be somewhere I've never been. It doesn't have to be a super long trip, or to somewhere super exotic, but I just kind of feel like I'm at a point in my life where I can do it and that I've earned it. I know it kinda goes against what I was saying about saving money, but really, I feel like this is a perfect time in my life (not married, no kids, etc.) to really be able to explore and see places I haven't gotten a chance to see yet. Perhaps with my brother and sister-in-law doing their honeymoon in Spain, and with L spending a good chunk of time in Hawaii recently, this desire is heightened, but I think the desire's always been there. My guess is that the news of 22 vacation days per year in my new job could have a little something to do with it...ha! Either way, I'm just really hoping to be able to set aside some funds and go somewhere awesome. Who's going with me?! ;)

Okay, a longer entry than I'd intended, but these are a few hopefully do-able things I really want to focus on this year and beyond. There are several more items I could put on this list, but at this point, I wanted to start "small" and to have a list that involves me building on some things I've already been trying to do. Wish me luck, and I'll do my best to keep you updated on my progress. Happy (late) New Year!


Courtney said...

Nice job! I probably should have added budget to the top of my list as well but that is now a 'given' around here... we sorta live/breathe budget :)

casey said...

do it Do ittttt. Reminds me of a little song;)