Happy (almost) New Years Eve! It’s that time of year again where we turn our eyes to the upcoming year and envision ourselves anew. I’ve never been one for hard and fast resolutions. Instead, for the past few years I’ve been making myself vision boards so I can work hard for my future self. Each board tackles the three areas of my life I care about the most: my health, my wealth, and my happiness.
Here’s 2017 in all its glory:
Drink Water: Pretty straightforward! I just want to up my water intake (and reduce my spending on soda, coffee, and other beverages).
Cook Everyday: This is a commitment my husband and I have decided to make together. Last year we spent thousands on going out to eat at restaurants. In 2017 we see ourselves spending more and more time in our newly remodeled kitchen. Doing so will help us save, will help us spend more time together and may help us lose a few pounds.
Bodyweight Fit: I want to sprinkle in some strength exercises to my current, yoga-centric workout routine. I discovered the subreddit r/bodyweightfitness and am going to try out their recommended routine (and cancel my gym membership).
Lunch Walks: This could really go under both Health and Happiness. I want to create space in the middle of my day, so I’ll be physically removing myself from my desk for 20 minutes at lunch to talk a walk around my city and give myself a breather.
Pay Off Debt: If you haven’t yet, you can learn about my debt repayment goals here. I’m setting a really aggressive goal for myself in 2017 to get 85% of my student loans paid off, my car paid off, my credit card paid off and the loan from my family paid off by the end of 2017. It’s going to require even more discipline than the last few months, but I’m feeling confident and motivated that’s it’s possible.
Shopping Ban: Inspired by Cait Flanders, I’m going to embark on my own year-long shopping ban in order to support my vision to be (nearly) debt-free by the end of 2017. I’ll have an approved shopping list and other details to share at the start of the year.
Emergency Fund: Right now I’m holding onto just $1,000 in my savings. As I get some more of my high interest debts paid off, I’m going to turn my attention to building up a money buffer. As first-time homeowners who in the last 6 months have had roof tiles fall off, a heavy snowfall knock off a ton of dead branches on our giant trees, a fridge unexpectedly die, and advice from multiple people to get a water softener or else our water will corrode our old pipes…an emergency fund is a must.
Reduce ‘Stuff’: I want to radically change my relationship with physical objects. Part of that is taking the time to address the possessions I currently own and reevaluate their purpose. I’m not sure how I’ll tackle this, possibly with KonMari or some other tool, but it’s on the board because I see a healthier and wealthier me when I don’t seek to hold onto or possess non-useful items in my home.
Say ‘No’ More: One of the things I find about myself, especially with social events, is I am unable to really say ‘no’ and I attend these events and I feel resentful or annoyed. That’s not fair or fun for anyone. So I’m going to work on saying ‘no’ more to things I truly don’t want or am unable to attend rather than hem or haw and be flaky. As the Royal family of Britain say ‘Never complain. Never explain.’
Inbox Zero: For me, a tidy space is a tidy mind. And that goes for my inboxes, too. I’ve only achieved Inbox Zero a handful of times – and I love it when I do. Every Monday I want to get my inboxes filed, sorted and cleaned out so I can start my week fresh and with clear direction.
Read More: Another straightforward one! I used to be a prolific reader in my teens and early twenties, but over the last decade I’ve slowed my reading and find myself only tackling one or two a year. For 2017, I’d like to speed that up to one a month (so if you have any recommendations, leave them below!).
Less, But Better: One of the few books I did read this year was a book called ‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.’ It really struck a lot of the right chords with me and I’m trying to adopt some of its philosophies. The one I really want to weave into my everyday life is the idea of ‘less, but better.’ So pursuing fewer opportunities, but making sure their the best ones. Writing less blog posts, but making them better and better. Agreeing to less social engagements, but focusing on creating better experiences.
For 2017, I’m drawing on the paraphrased wisdom of my favorite Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, from his writings ‘Meditations’:
Confine yourself to the present.
As I face down my 30s, I want to live my life intentionally and with gratitude. And I want to savor each day in a life that seems to be speeding by at a greater pace.
I’m excited for another year and can’t wait to tackle it all.
In the comments: What are you looking to achieve in 2017?