It’s been months since I’ve written anything. Definitely fell off the wagon. However, what better time to pick it back up again than a new year!
2016 was a year of change but also unrest for us. We got married (yay!), J started a new business (clothing store boutique and website), we’ve travelled more this past year than any, and we started our journey to financial freedom (btw we’re making good progress! Paid off 1 credit card, and 1/2 way there to paying off the second!). However, through all the changes and new experiences, I never could shake off the feeling of discontentment and yearning for more in life. That lead me to really look inside myself to realize what I was actually feeling, what I wanted from that feeling, and what I could do to achieve what I was missing. So that’s where the rest of 2016 was spent on – self awareness and renewed goals for the new year.
New Year’s resolutions always seem daunting and pretty much the majority of goals made never get accomplished. However, if you make realistic small goals as part of a pathway to the ultimate change, you’ll find it much less daunting and easier to keep up with and achieve.
I’m only making 3 small goals this year.
1st goal: 2017 will be a year of mindfulness (if you have not read up on this practice, I highly recommend the book “Wherever You Go, There You Are”), to just be present in everything I choose to do, think, and feel and be true to myself in every situation. Do things with intention because life passes you by so fast when you do things out of habit without thought, automatically, and half heartedly. Have you ever found yourself driving on autopilot and suddenly you’re home? Whether it’s setting aside quiet time in the morning to reflect, meditate, or do a daily devotional, it really helps to form a habit of taking time out of your busy day to quiet your mind and do something intentionally with no distractions.
2nd goal: Year of self-care. I can thank hours of Netflix documentaries for that one. If you’re ever interested in how disease is directly linked to consuming excess amounts of animal products, Netflix is your library. I’m not giving up all animal products as that’s unrealistic, but just dedicating this year to eating a more plant-based diet and eliminating 1 or 2 things. I’ve already given up dairy (I love cheese, but surprisingly it wasn’t that hard) so I’m making a goal to give up beef and pork. Living minimally also falls into self care (another Netflix doc if interested! Minimalism. Extreme lifestyle, but good theory behind the movement). Again, not going to gut my apartment out but putting into place some theories from the minimalism lifestyle. IE: clean out your things and keep only what truly gives you joy and adds value to your life. Same with purchases.
3rd goal: Travel far and wide. If I am able to only do one thing in life, it would be to travel. This goes with all of the above goals. Traveling makes you mindful of your surroundings, learning about cultures and experiencing nature, history, and people. It’s also a form of self care as traveling gives me more joy than anything I can buy and it definitely adds immense value to my life. Living a year of minimalism should help us to reroute the money we’d normally spend on things that are just “ehh” to doing things that we truly love.
I’m a planner by nature and career, so needless to say I’ve already started on our new financial budget for the year and although looking at our remaining debt seems overwhelming, it helps give motivation as well to see what you can do to fund only the important things in life and how quickly you can make your baby step goals a success. We’ll have our 2nd credit card paid off in April while at the same time saved enough for our trip to Iceland that same month! Small victories!
Whatever your goals are, I hope you have a fresh, renewed, and motivated start to a new year and new beginning!