I don’t follow along with the whole “new year, new me” cliche. Every day is a fresh start to make whatever changes that you want to make in your life. No matter what it is. With that said, at the conclusion of 2016, I realized that I really needed to get real with myself.
On January 1st, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and wrote a post with that was simply titled “Happy New Year” In that post I made a list of resolutions that I wanted to make for the upcoming year.
I have changed the name of the resolutions to the following;
- Life Plans
- Promises to myself
Organization- Time Management etc
The first thing that I did for 2017, was to go out and purchase a daily planner. This seems like a no brainer but it actually isn’t. Apart from making the purchase, you actually have to utilize the planner by writing the events you need to remember and the notes in which you need to recall.
I also utilize the Google Calendar. You can access this through your Google account. It’s free to use. The smart phone and tablet app(lication) is also available. Your Google Calendar will synch to the app on your phone as well and vice versa. You can color code events and also determine how you want to be notified.
What’s the point of using a planner vs using a service like the Google Calendar? Accountability. You can easily dismiss notifications from your devices. I often don’t even read the notifications. I swipe it away and tell myself that I will look at it later. I may or may not. Often, I will still remember but there are times that I do not.
With the written planner, I write it down. I have the planner sitting out where I can refer to it the night before or the following morning. I have a large block of space to write notes for that particular day. Let’s say that my ex husband was 25 minutes later dropping my son off at our scheduled custody exchange, I can explain what happened that in the notes for that day.
Keeping the Google Calendar also keeps my schedule handy on the go. Obviously, I am not going to lug around my calendar book everywhere I go. I don’t need to do that. If I need to check a date then I can get out my smart phone or tablet and check the app.
I do not believe that this is extra work. For those of us who are on the go constantly, these things are life savers. Keeping an electronic calendar is awesome but so is the written planner. You just have to decide what works for you and your lifestyle. For me, I am choosing to have both.
I created a space in one of my spare rooms to keep a small desk that I am referring to as my “writing desk”. It’s actually a table that I purchased at the Goodwill and painted a really pretty blue/teal/Robin’s egg color. The original intention was to use it to keep my plants on it. I now have other plans for it.
On my writing desk, I have two organizer boxes from a company called Basketville. One is for supplies, pens, markers etc and that the other is for notebooks, books and part time home for my iPad while it’s charging. I also have an adorable glass vase with an iron branch that homes a small ceramic bird. Lastly, this is where I keep my lap top. It’s big enough to hold these essential items and that is all. It’s perfect for deflecting clutter.
This is my personal space to sit down and write, blog, journal or surf. Whatever. I have another desk in the den where I get down to business with bills and other things. I wanted to separate my creative space from a work space. Also, my little bird vase couldn’t look nearly as cute sitting on that desk.
I also keep a note pad on my desk to jot down my to-do lists or anything that I need to remember to do before I go to bed or first thing in the morning. Anything that doesn’t make sense to put in the calendar. For example, if it’s “Team Spirit Day” at my son’s school, this will remind me to allow him to wear his orange t-shirt with his school’s mascot on it. I find myself creating shopping lists the most.
I started using a ledger for my checking account again. Seems like another no brainer. However, how many of us are actually keeping track of our finances the way that we should? We have fallen back into the habit of checking our accounts online and expecting ourselves to just keep track of everything in our head.
Maybe that works for you, it isn’t for me. I know for the most part where my money is going, but it doesn’t hold me accountable all the time for my decision making. In the past I have had a habit of nickle and diming myself and I need to make sure that comes to an end.
I want to build my savings. I have plans for the future. More than anything, I want to hold myself accountable for every penny that leaves my possession. I think that every time you write an expense in your ledger, you pay closer attention to your decision to spend money.
I am also taking advantage of a free service called Digit. Digit is a program that studies how you spend money and determines what you can afford to put into savings in small deposits. One day it might take two dollars, another day it might take five. It just depends on how much money you make and what you spend.
The idea is to save money without you even noticing that it is gone. The less painful way to save. People believe that small deposits into savings don’t matter much, it has to be done in larger amounts. That simply isn’t true. It builds up over time and you will be pleasantly surprised.
I would recommend for you to go to the Digit website and read about it for yourself. Again, it’s free and you have total access over your money. If you need to take money out of the Digit savings and deposit it back into your bank account, it usually only takes 24 hours. My experience has been less than 24 hours.
You have nothing to lose in trying this. I turned my boyfriend onto the service about 2 years ago and he raves about it. I haven’t been nearly as committed to it as he has. I can’t recall what date I resumed using the service, it was sometime this month.
You can get updates anytime to your phone through text. I wanted to inquire about my savings since I resumed using Digit. Side note* You can pause saving up to 60 days at a time.* This is a snapshot from my phone screen to give you an idea of what that looks like.
Taking care of my health.
Apart from visiting with doctors for my Lyme Disease, I haven’t been as proactive with my health as I should be. I had the PHA for insurance completed in December. While the results weren’t frightening or even surprising, I have issues that I need to work on. I turned 40 and I realize that I really do need a primary physician that knows me. Taking care of your health is more than just going to the gym. I finally made an appointment to have a real physical completed so I can move forward with taking better care of myself.
I also made an appointment to have an eye exam. I haven’t had an eye exam in almost seven years. I have been wearing the same gas permeable contact lenses since that time. I actually haven’t had new glassses since 2008. The only reason I even went then was because my son flushed my contacts down the toilet. Case and all. He went through a phase where he would flush whatever he could if he had two seconds of unsupervised time to do it.
These are small things. Big to me. Small to others. I know there are a lot of people out there who ignore these aspects of their live and responsibility. I am to the point where I am serious about buckling down and doing things better for myself. More than just what I have to do to get through the day.
Organization is a huge thing for me right now. All of the issues that I think that I have all go hand in hand. Since I have made these small changes moving into the new year, I actually feel quite a bit better .
Onward and upward.
What about you? Have you made any changes in the new year? Are you sticking with them?
Below is a small gallery of the items I am using on my writing desk. I really love this little space. It’s cute and simple. Not too big and not too small.