Hello 2017

new-years-day05It is that time of year again where the calendar starts all over again with the bringing in of a new year. Here we are crossing over that grey line that divides the year 2016 and 2017. It is a time to sit down and look at the year that passed and think about all of triumphs, victories, failures and disappointments. We set new goals for ourselves and formulate plans to achieve these goals. Personally I believe these are things we should be doing each and every day of our lives.

For each morning I awake, the new day before me is New Years Day. I look back at the day that has passed and consider the things that made that day successful and also the things that I did that weren’t in the best interest of my future. You see, I figure that the best time to make adjustments is now. Before getting into a rut of negative behavior I try to catch myself and ask the question, “If I continue this where will it lead me?”

During certain cycles of time and nature there are good days and bad days. Life certainly is not perfect and following certain patterns of behavior tends to lend itself to an overall feeling of either pleasure or pain. There are times where I practice things that bring momentary pleasure but only lead to extensive pain. For example: If I drink too much alcohol I feel pretty darn good at the time but the next morning tells me that maybe I shouldn’t have drank so much.

Yes, as humans we get bored and tend to find things that we believe will bring us joy only to discover that the joy we experience is just temporary and their may be certain penalties to face in the future.

As one who practices a life of simplicity and frugality I sometimes find myself making certain small purchases that I believe will enhance my life only to discover that these purchases end up sitting on a shelf. At the end of the month when I am considering the amount of money I have saved to place towards to paying down debt I often think about the cost of that item I have sitting on the shelf. Why did I purchase it? Wouldn’t that money be best served being added to my debt pay down figure? I don’t make these types of purchases often, but when I do I always find myself asking the same question… Why?

And how about that cup of coffee at Starbucks? I make the best pot of coffee this side of the Mississippi, yet there have been too many times where just out of shear laziness I decide to leave the house in the morning without my mug of coffee. And yes, there are times where rather than bringing a can of soup to work and and a sandwich I find myself eating take out only to feel the pains of that food later in my belly, not to mention the pains in my wallet from the cost of that horrible food.

This is certainly one of the area’s I will be working on this year as I continue this journey to becoming completely debt free. I don’t have a budget and never will. I know many people swear by keeping a monthly budget to help them stay on track while most financial advisors preach lessons of this practice. For me I simply track what I spend and then continually analyze my spendings and try to come up with better solutions. One of the solutions I have come up with recently is buying in bulk. This not only feeds my desire to spend less but also lends to my nature of being prepared.

The truth is that money is only worth the buying power it possesses to acquire the things we desire. On the top of this list of course is food, shelter, water and security. Human survival is always first and foremost although through many conversations I have with people it would seem that other things are more important like transportation and entertainment. Sometimes I get the funniest looks from people when I explain to them that I am trying to pay off my mortgage. These are the same people I know who will be reaching out for help should we experience a natural disaster. I wish I could discover a way to teach them to start practicing a little self reliance.

The source of acquiring income to fuel these needs is yet another area of my life where I am constantly thinking about each morning. Just as life changes so is it that our jobs and/or careers change. I have to be vigilant in keeping up with all of these changes and constantly have to consider how to re-invent myself to match what the market is demanding of an employee. This year I will be focusing on education and acquiring new certifications that better equip myself for the possibility of a better position or the possibility of a job loss. As always I will practice being the best I can be at doing what I do to lesson the chances of a self inflicted job loss.

Just like 2016, the new year will be a sharp focus on keeping my eye on the prize. I am increasing the amount of money I will send to the mortgage company each month as I have reached a certain level of savings that lends itself to the feeling of security and the ability to make it through if something was to go wrong. Meanwhile I will question each and every purchase that I make with a 30 day rule. If I still believe it to be a wise purchase after 30 days then I will buy it. If not then I will let any thoughts of that item leave my thought pattern.

I will continue my small circle of kindness pattern that I have practiced most of my life. I treat all people in my circle with kindness and love. Those people that I truly believe don’t deserve my kindness and love I will mentally eject from my circle of kindness. I know in my heart that there is no possible way to help all people in this world who need help, but when people form small circles they are better equipped to have the resources to help one another. There is no room in my world for evil and hatred and I will never reach out to help another who possesses these negative qualities. This may sound selfish to many but it is something I believe in. No rewards for bad behavior! Sorry, but it only encourages more bad behavior.

As a warrior of peace I will continue to do whatever in my power to protect good people from the many dangers in society today. I see entirely too many people turn their backs on certain situations where sometimes it simply calls for a loud voice of reason to make things right. We certainly do not live in a victimless society and sometimes all it takes is for a few good people to stand up to those who attempt to create victims.

I anticipate 2017 to be a good year in many areas of my life. I will spend more time in nature and continue on my path of gardening. This will be the year that I start practicing canning those vegetables that I will grow once again in my raised bed gardens. This year I will develop a drip watering system for my gardens that will be controlled with a timer. I will attempt to try and get out for a nice mountain hike at least every other week and visit many of those waterfalls I love so much.

I will attempt to reach out more to family and friends I have that live all across this nation and develop a plan to stay in touch. Life moves too darn quickly and before you know it you realize that you haven’t spoke to someone in over 6 months. The truth is that we all get busy just trying to tame our lives each day and sometimes it requires a little extra effort like scheduling time to talk about our lives with loved ones.

With the cold weather it hasn’t been easy getting out to the garage to work out lately but I will be vigilant in finding a way each day to get a certain level of exercise to maintain my good health. As the weather warms so will my desire to commit to spending 30 minutes each morning either on the treadmill or working the bowflex.

I will continue to show my spouse all of the love and affection that my soul can find. She is the most important person in my life as I find so much love and joy each and every day of this incredible marriage. She is and will always be my better half and I love her with all my heart. There is just one reason for practicing all these things that I believe in and it is her.

For 2017 my resolution is the practice New Years Day each and everyday of this year.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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16 Responses to Hello 2017

  1. Happy New Year to you too! I too have never set a budget – if I had would it have allowed the spontaneous feast of fish and chips with daughters and grandson on a sunny December beach? Money should be a servant, not a master. Will.

  2. Happy New Year 2017, Sir… I believe you will achieve more and more accomplishments this year.

  3. New Journey says:

    Happy New Year to you and Sharon….love this post, so positive…its going to be a great year….xxkat

  4. Gail says:

    I’m curious how you manage without a budget. A budget enables me to know what expenditures I can afford, where I need to cut and whether or not I have the flexibility for indulgences.

    • I suppose I actually do have a budget, but it actually exists in my head. I pretty much know how much I can spend based on what I spent last month. I can also examine those figures and come up with better or less expensive ways of attaining them. At the end of each month I simply decide how much I have left over and make a decision on how much I can send to my principle over the minimum that I am required to pay for my mortgage. I keep 10,000.00 in my checking account in case larger expenses come up like a car breaking down, paying income taxes, property taxes or car insurance. When I have to reduce the amount in my checking account I simply wait until it is built back up to 10,000.00 before I add any extra to the mortgage payment. It has taken years of earning and paying to reach this point but it is really paying off. I was able to reduce my mortgage last year my almost 40,000.00 without over analyzing my finances with a strict budget. I suppose that you could call it a reverse budget. You just do the best you can each day to live as frugal as possible and allow the numbers to speak for themselves.

      • Gail says:

        Sounds like you’re doing what works for you. We each have to find our own way. I enjoy tinkering with documents, so I have it all laid out in an Excel spreadsheet – what comes in, what goes out and when. Calculations are embedded to show the differential between income and expenses. In order to maintain a certain differential, I try to cut expenses I can control when those beyond my control increase. Likewise, if the differential decreases, it motivates me to step up my freelance work to build up the income side of the spreadsheet. In short, it’s a reality check, like getting on the scale every day.

      • It sounds like it works well.

  5. gitfitsite says:

    It certainly sounds to me like a great plan. I really like the 30-day waiting period on purchases. With Amazon Prime, it is just way too easy for me to order those things I ‘need’.

  6. howmuchmoneydoesamanneed says:

    The thirty day rule is excellent. I live by it and I too don’t keep a budget. Here in Ontario we had an ice storm this week and lost power. Good thing I was prepared. Also we experienced a job loss a few months ago and were also prepared to handle that. People like us seem paranoid but the reality is that disaster will certainly happen. We never know when or how.

    • You are so right. It is important to have to tools in place to be able to weather the storm. I see too many folks going out to eat each night and spending every dime left in their paycheck each week. The when they find themselves in a situation where it would just take a little money to fix that problem they don’t have it.

  7. I struggle at times with making purchases of things I then realize I don’t really need, like grabbing a personal improvement book and then not finishing it, grabbing a coffee despite the fact that I have plenty at home, etc. Although I don’t make these purchases often, I have been working hard for the past month or so trying to not spend on these types of things. Great post! Happy New year 2017 to you!

    • Happy New Year to you as well. I think we all struggle with these same things. Like reading a good book and getting caught up in one of the main actors I sometimes picture myself being someone else. When this happens there seems to be a plethora of items that wag their tails in front of my nose and sometimes I end up purchasing things based on who I think I want to be rather than who I am. Wow, that was long. Sorry LOL

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