New Year's Day is right up there with April Fool's Day for me as far as holidays are concerned. It's one of the best days ever. Any holiday that celebrates a fresh start, resolutions to do better, and black eyed peas is definitely my kind of day. New Year's Eve is almost as good- I spend it preparing for my fresh start (If there's anything I love more than doing something, it's planning to do something).
Today I started the day with waffles (I'm still on a breakfast honeymoon with my new waffle maker) and some serious budget evaluating. I've been pretty lax with my budget lately, with Christmas presents, a new stove, a trip to Chicago (Jay-Z and Kanye!) and a Groupon-induced eyeglasses purchase. So it's time to get back on track. Instead of using Quicken to plot my budget based on what I'd like to spend on each category, I started plotting this year's budget based on what I've actually spent on each category- and then making a few adjustments. I think this will be much more reasonable and set me up for success, rather than failure. And overall for the year, I didn't do so bad.
Now for a review of last year's resolutions:
1. Do not put off a task that takes <5 minutes to complete.
While I didn't stick with this 100% of the time, it really is nice to not have little tasks nagging in the back of my mind. This means I bring in all the stuff from the car when I get home (instead of saying, "I'll grab that bag of cat litter later") and I bring all the dirty dishes to the sink each night. I water the plants when I think about it, instead of waiting to do it later (because I won't and I have the dead plants to prove it).
2. Choose when to watch TV. Don't make it the default.
This one is more about being conscious of when I really WANT to watch a program and not just flipping on the TV instead of doing something better. I've done pretty good with choosing which shows I really want to watch and only watching those. Granted, with awesome programs like Modern Family, House, CSI, Glee, New Girl and Parks and Rec...I'm still watching TV every night. But I'm okay with that. They make me happy!
3. Go to the library more
I rocked this resolution until fall. What happened?!?! I must return to the library soon, if only to return the book on food in colonial America that is waaaaayyyy overdue. Reading usually comes in binge form for me- Either I'm living my life, or I'm reading. If I'm reading, only going to work or finishing the book can get me to stop.
4. Don't let thriftiness become deprivation
In 2008-2009 I might have been so into budgeting and DIY mentality that I started to get a little obsessive. Sure- It was fun to not allow myself to buy bread for a year, just to see if I could keep up with baking it weekly. But...like all fun obsessions, it needed to be tempered with moderation. So I spent money on conveniences this year. Guess what? I was still just as busy.
5. Have $_______ saved by next year.
Well, I'm just a bit short of my goal. Not much, though! For this resolution/goal, I largely have my awesome job and Quicken to thank. Oh, and automatic transfers.
6. Make the door to our home a forcefield of happiness.
I have a little problem with transitioning from work to home. "Business Liz" sometimes gets through the front door, ready to get things done and check things off the list. Anything/anyone who gets in the way is a frustration. But this year I've been consciously working on using my drive home to breathe deeply and become "family time Liz". She likes to dance with the cats and wear sweatpants- This is much more conducive to happy family times.
7. Mid-Year addition: Exercise for mental health, not for physical health.
I hate New Year's resolutions related to weight/body stuff. I hate the idea of them and all that goes along with them. But I have realized that unless I move my body every day, my mental health suffers greatly. I become much more anxious, moody and all-around not who I want to be when I don't exercise frequently. The trouble is, I've always used body-related motivations to get myself to the gym/yoga/walking the dog. Those are so easy to dismiss, though, because I can easily rationalize that skipping the gym a few days won't give me wobbly triceps. Instead, I focus on making my attitude better every day by exercising. Now I actually WANT to!
So what's in store for this year??? I still have to finalize my 2012 list. Read up tomorrow if you're into this sort of thing.