As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 rings in tonight, we are guaranteed one thing, a new start. Not in every faucet of life, people will be people and memories don’t fade but in your own mind you have a new start. A fresh start to forgive and let go of anything in 2013 and years gone by. If you are truly looking for a new start it can only begin with you. I would like to propose a different look at the traditional “New Year’s Resolution” a few things that will get you on your way to a new beginning.
1. List your strengths and weaknesses. If truly done correctly this one is going to be the hardest thing you do. You will love writing done things you do well but writing down our weaknesses is the first step to facing and eliminating them. This is essential to starting the new you.
2. Look at where you are in life and where you want to be. Remember back in high school they asked you to write down 3 sets of goals? Well it’s time to do it again, but this time you have a little more knowledge behind you. Write down reasonable 6 month, one year, and five year goals. This time next year you will have gotten close to fulfilling two of them.
3. Look at your weakness in your budget. Do you even have a budget? No matter what your income level you should have some kind of budget. See if your employer has a 401K and do they match a percentage of your contribution. I have heard people state that they don’t have the money to start their 401K, however even if you start with $25 a pay, it will be the beginning that gets you closer to retirement. Also remember the money is pre-tax, so most of the time you won’t even feel it because you are paying taxes on that money to all of the government agencies.
4. Look at your overall heath. Are you a healthy person? Do you drink or smoke? Cutting down or even eliminating these things can not only improve your heath but could improve your wallet. The national average of cigarettes is around $8.00, so if you smoke a pack a day you can save around $3000, not to mention the money for doctor’s visits with the increased severity of illness most smokers face. Alcohol is worse because most of the money is spent at the retail level in bars. If you average a weekend of drinking at around $75, you could save around $4000. This doesn’t mean stop having fun, but a great way to slow the amount you are spending is to pay with cash only. Take out what you budgeted for that night and only use that cash, you will slow down your spending and how much you drink, adding health benefits.
5. Now pick one weakness from you list at a time and work on it. You may need a lot of time for some and others may go by quickly because they are easily changed habits. Just remember to give yourself the time it takes to finish your goal completely. Don’t rush and thing will happen.
Your goals are always within your reach, just remember there will be people trying to stop you, and who will tell you that you can never change. Think about it for a minute, if change was not possible, the world would be flat and computers wouldn't exist.