Sunday, December 28, 2014

I resolve to......

Hello on this sunny and frosty Sunday morning. It's looking very inviting to go out for a walk, but I'll give it an hour or two before I step outside. Enough time to tap out a few words here. I woke up thinking YEAH! a new year will soon be here, a time for making plans, thinking about the future, thinking about where I want to be in a years time. No, I'm not wishing my life away, but I want to get the best out of it. 
Picture source, Free Printable Calendars.

As with any plans you make, success is down to how determined you are to carry it through to the end. A halfhearted attempt at making New Year Resolutions without putting serious thought to it, will most likely result in failure. Ideas emerging on a whim without a concrete reason to follow them up, will eventually fizzle out. What seemed like a good idea on the first of January may not stand the test of time as the months go by. And go by they will, very quickly, if you keep putting off the start date to your plan. Before you know it summer will be here, and nothing has changed.

I won't be making any new resolutions, because I like to assess the situation month by month. My needs change throughout the year. I did not join in the sealed pot, putting money away religiously every week, then finding a nice lump sum when the time came to empty it a year later. Well done to those who find that kind of saving useful. I do save throughout the year, but I prefer to watch the figures rise on my bank statements.

Here is an example of how a one year commitment worked out really well. Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling took a photo of the same tree from the same spot, every month for the whole year. Take a look at the result, it's fabulous, I love it. I am inspired to do the same, but can I make the commitment to go out and do it? Not sure, so maybe a halfhearted attempt won't work.

So, a question. How many people are going to make resolutions only to see them bite the dust after a couple of months? Or have you got the will power to see it through to the end, circumstances permitting. It's a huge commitment to say you are going to do something for a whole year. Perhaps you are like me and won't make any new resolutions, and choose the month by month option.

I don't know if any of you read Down the Lane forum, but a year ago Richard introduced a new category, 'Frugal Diaries'. It was a place for people to record their frugal journey, to share their experiences, and to support and inspire others who may wish to take that route. It was also for people starting out, their struggles and successes. My frugal journey is right here, you already read it, but I joined the forum diary, and now almost one year on, the stats are quite interesting. Diaries are for looking back on what happened before, to help bring some clarity into your life, and to assess where to go next.

My forum diary is at the top of the stats, because I made the commitment to carry on. It helps me to keep control over my finances, as does this blog. When I write things down I can see things more clearly. Rather than muddling through I would rather see the words and figures on paper or on the screen. I often look back at old hand written diaries, and see a picture of how my life has panned out. I can see patterns emerge, I can see where I came from which gives me a better understanding of where I'm going.

Sadly some of the frugal diaries didn't make it past January, some made it to March, one to July, and two of us have reached December. What I'm trying to say is it's ok to start something with good intentions, but not much point if your heart is not in it. Don't be drawn along with everyone else, you don't have to be one of the crowd, better to make your own decisions because it's what you want to do.

I'm going to bang on about another related topic now. Faddy diets don't work. I know I've said it before, look away if you don't want to read. Controlling your weight is for the long term only, this is one area where a long term commitment is essential. No cutting out junk food for a month, no stopping boozing for a month, no stopping takeaways for a month, if you want to lose weight it won't work. Re educating your taste buds and recognizing which foods are good for you and which aren't, is the way to go. Now that the Christmas stuffing of faces is over, (yes I had a bit of naughty stuff),  maybe now is a good time to take stock. I will strive to keep my eating on track every day of  2015. Are you going to make that commitment? I already do it so it won't be too hard for me. One step at a time if you are struggling, and good luck.

Tell me your New Year Resolutions, I'm interested. Write them down somewhere, in a book, on a blog, anywhere but write them down. Will you make one big annual resolution, or will you make lots of monthly resolutions? Have you got any fantastic plans you want to commit to? If they are just pie in the sky don't bother, just stick to the smaller ones which have a better chance of coming to fruition. Yes, it's good to stretch yourself, fantastic if you succeed in fulfilling your dreams, but sometimes it's better to have several smaller achievements. It's entirely up to you what you do. Whatever it is, I wish you well.

Enjoy your Sunday. Toodle pip.

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