The new year is here! Whether you had a terrible or a terrific 2015, it’s always nice to start fresh with a new calendar. Have you made plans for the changes you’ll make and the goals you will achieve?
Our family’s huge goal, as you know, is to finish paying off our student loan debt, which (you can see by looking at the sidebar to your left) is quite a lofty goal. Even though it looks far-off and unattainable in this time frame, we aren’t giving up! This is going to be our best payoff year yet! Of course I will be sharing our progress with you, as always.
A good goal is easily measured and has a defined end. Habits, on the other hand, are not something that is achieved and abandoned. Habits are ongoing. I like to focus on habits I want to cultivate and then create goals that will lead me to that habit.
Three habits to work on this year:
Here are three of the habits I’m going to be working on this year, along with some resources I’ll be using to help me. I’ll be setting specific, measurable goals related to each of them. I’m especially excited to share the third one with you!
My to-do list seems to grow much faster than I can get things checked off. I don’t know about you, but I always have way more ideas than I ever have time to implement them. Running a blog (and an Etsy shop, though it is currently on vacation) takes a significant amount of time and commitment. Finding time to do that work while being a full time stay-at-home mom can be tricky.
In ten years of marriage, we have never had a TV, so that has never been a temptation to thwart my productivity. My downfall is trying to do too many things at once, getting distracted by other items on my to do list, and not having a solid plan at the beginning of the day.
I have learned that the first several hours of the day really set the productivity tone for the day. When I can get a lot done in the morning, I am well on my way to a productive day.
Last year I went through Crystal Paine’s 14-day online course about morning productivity. Through January 8th, Make Over Your Mornings is on sale for $9. If you are struggling with morning productivity (which is not synonymous with waking up early), I recommend taking her course. I’m planning on going through it again this month to get myself back on track!
I know, I know. How cliche is a healthy living new years resolution?! Isn’t getting fit and eating healthy the most famously abandoned goal ever?
In all seriousness though, this is something I really want to work on. I have not been very good about scheduling in time for taking care of myself. In the summer I got in a good routine of running every day and being sure to eat all my veggies (that’s always been hard for me). Then it got cold outside, I got busy, and my motivation got lost in my many ‘to-do’s.
In order to make healthy living a habit, I’m going to implement some small, achievable daily and weekly goals. Those small, measurable goals will help me cultivate healthy living habits. And whether they like it or not, my family is coming along with me! I know what I eat influences what they eat more than anything I say. Since I make the majority of the meals around here, I know my changes will affect the whole family.
Chances are good that some of your goals for the new year involve finances. A sure way to have more money to put toward your financial goals is to spend less and do more with what you have.
Frugality is definitely more of a habit than a goal. Of course you can have specific goals for your application of frugal principles, but frugality generally isn’t something you check off your list. No matter how frugal you are, there is always more you can do to be frugal. Depending on the season of life you’re in, there will be different things you are willing to be frugal about.
Frugality isn’t a new concept around here. Most people would agree that we are living a pretty frugal lifestyle. Still, there is always more we can do. For me, it’s when I’m in a hurry or in a bind that I end up spending more or doing things that aren’t frugal. Being prepared, both physically and mentally, helps me to be more frugal.
The new year is a great time to get a better handle on your finances and your financial goals. Having a clean, fresh calendar start is really motivating and is the perfect time to cultivate new habits for spending and budgeting.
Next week my first ebook, Frugal Fresh Start: A 28-day challenge to trim your expenses, build a budget & fix your finances will be published on Amazon! (I’m pretty excited about it!)
It is packed full of real-life strategies to take control of your finances and get the year off to a great financial start. Whether you’re already super frugal or you’re a recovering shopaholic, you’ll find ways to improve your finances in this 28-day challenge.
Watch for details next week so you can grab it for the special launch price!
How about you?
What habits do you plan to cultivate during the new year?
PS– Attention Future Bloggers!
If you’re planning to start a money-making blog in 2016, you might want to grab your hosting now. Bluehost is having an awesome new year sale! You can check it out here or go through my step-by-step tutorial for setting it up (lots of screenshots for the visual learners out there)!