Sunday, 28 December 2014

I resolve to......

Hello on this sunny and frosty Sunday morning. It's looking very inviting to go out for a walk, but I'll give it an hour or two before I step outside. Enough time to tap out a few words here. I woke up thinking YEAH! a new year will soon be here, a time for making plans, thinking about the future, thinking about where I want to be in a years time. No, I'm not wishing my life away, but I want to get the best out of it. 
Picture source, Free Printable Calendars.

As with any plans you make, success is down to how determined you are to carry it through to the end. A halfhearted attempt at making New Year Resolutions without putting serious thought to it, will most likely result in failure. Ideas emerging on a whim without a concrete reason to follow them up, will eventually fizzle out. What seemed like a good idea on the first of January may not stand the test of time as the months go by. And go by they will, very quickly, if you keep putting off the start date to your plan. Before you know it summer will be here, and nothing has changed.

I won't be making any new resolutions, because I like to assess the situation month by month. My needs change throughout the year. I did not join in the sealed pot, putting money away religiously every week, then finding a nice lump sum when the time came to empty it a year later. Well done to those who find that kind of saving useful. I do save throughout the year, but I prefer to watch the figures rise on my bank statements.

Here is an example of how a one year commitment worked out really well. Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling took a photo of the same tree from the same spot, every month for the whole year. Take a look at the result, it's fabulous, I love it. I am inspired to do the same, but can I make the commitment to go out and do it? Not sure, so maybe a halfhearted attempt won't work.

So, a question. How many people are going to make resolutions only to see them bite the dust after a couple of months? Or have you got the will power to see it through to the end, circumstances permitting. It's a huge commitment to say you are going to do something for a whole year. Perhaps you are like me and won't make any new resolutions, and choose the month by month option.

I don't know if any of you read Down the Lane forum, but a year ago Richard introduced a new category, 'Frugal Diaries'. It was a place for people to record their frugal journey, to share their experiences, and to support and inspire others who may wish to take that route. It was also for people starting out, their struggles and successes. My frugal journey is right here, you already read it, but I joined the forum diary, and now almost one year on, the stats are quite interesting. Diaries are for looking back on what happened before, to help bring some clarity into your life, and to assess where to go next.

My forum diary is at the top of the stats, because I made the commitment to carry on. It helps me to keep control over my finances, as does this blog. When I write things down I can see things more clearly. Rather than muddling through I would rather see the words and figures on paper or on the screen. I often look back at old hand written diaries, and see a picture of how my life has panned out. I can see patterns emerge, I can see where I came from which gives me a better understanding of where I'm going.

Sadly some of the frugal diaries didn't make it past January, some made it to March, one to July, and two of us have reached December. What I'm trying to say is it's ok to start something with good intentions, but not much point if your heart is not in it. Don't be drawn along with everyone else, you don't have to be one of the crowd, better to make your own decisions because it's what you want to do.

I'm going to bang on about another related topic now. Faddy diets don't work. I know I've said it before, look away if you don't want to read. Controlling your weight is for the long term only, this is one area where a long term commitment is essential. No cutting out junk food for a month, no stopping boozing for a month, no stopping takeaways for a month, if you want to lose weight it won't work. Re educating your taste buds and recognizing which foods are good for you and which aren't, is the way to go. Now that the Christmas stuffing of faces is over, (yes I had a bit of naughty stuff),  maybe now is a good time to take stock. I will strive to keep my eating on track every day of  2015. Are you going to make that commitment? I already do it so it won't be too hard for me. One step at a time if you are struggling, and good luck.

Tell me your New Year Resolutions, I'm interested. Write them down somewhere, in a book, on a blog, anywhere but write them down. Will you make one big annual resolution, or will you make lots of monthly resolutions? Have you got any fantastic plans you want to commit to? If they are just pie in the sky don't bother, just stick to the smaller ones which have a better chance of coming to fruition. Yes, it's good to stretch yourself, fantastic if you succeed in fulfilling your dreams, but sometimes it's better to have several smaller achievements. It's entirely up to you what you do. Whatever it is, I wish you well.

Enjoy your Sunday. Toodle pip.


23 comments:

  1. We don't do resolutions, preferring instead to just keep keeping on. People ask us why we continue to live a frugal life when we could live a 'better' one, i.e. spending all our money on holidays, eating out etc. Our answer is usually the same, we like it, it is our way of living a better life and you never know what is lurking around the corner to bite you on the bottom financially speaking!

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  2. What a good post! I always keep a daily diary - I've kept one for many years. My resolutions are the same every year - just keep hanging on and not submerge under everything. I'd like to continue with my embroidery and learn whitework, blackwork and crewel work.

    I found your comments on eating very interesting. I am pre-diabetic (found at by chance in October). I'm vegetarian and eat my own home cooked food (I eat frugally) and do exercise. I'm a size 10-12. I like to see your photos of what eat. Natalie

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  3. I'm not too good at new year resolutions, I like the idea of monthly ones. Thanks for the idea, sounds like something I can manage! Hopefully then extending it.
    Best wishes,
    Angela ( Devon)

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  4. Not interested in the new year. I know that it will all just be the same as before. Christmas is a time of rest and feeling safe. The new year means getting back to the same old same old. I am in no hurry to move from this most peaceful and lovely time of year. Life ticks away, it decides what happens, not us. I don't have plans because I don't want anything. There is nothing different about a new year, it's entirely arbitrary to call it that at this point.....or at any other. Life has taught me not to expect change in the ways I decide but to expect everything to change anyway. I enjoy serendipity.

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    1. You sound very sad. I had to look up what serendipity meant.

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    2. You don't sound sad to me, just very calm and peaceful x

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  5. I think success in life, however you determine what that means, is about being flexible and ready to deal with moment to moment reality. That doesn't always mesh with what we'd planned, and sometimes determination simply doesn't enter into it.

    I do like to think of what art adventure I'll be up to in the next little while, though, but I've never thought of that as resolutions, but perhaps it is! and I really think the Romans had a much better idea, starting the new year in March with spring planting, rather than in the depths of winter, before the daylight has had time to lengthen.

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  6. No resolutions here. Just the will to carry on looking after our health. I`m going to try to loose more weight this coming year. Already lost 1 stone, so loosing some more doesn`t seem so difficult if I set my mind to it. Soon I can get back out into my garden and make some changes there. I`d like to share the growing space with someone else as the whole garden is getting a bit too much for my old bones to cope with. I`m just going with the flow and hope things will turn out alright. No pressure to succeed on my part. No resolutions made, so no disappointments to come, either.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, thoughtfulness, humour and life. I have had a shove into a resolution I've been "playing at" for quite a while. I've resolved to let go of my hoarding habits. We had a fire in November that destroyed the interior of half our house. The smoke and water damage took care of another 25% of it. We have very good insurance coverage for the building and contents

    I threw away 90 cubic yards of hoarding. We're living in an apartment and are living with the minimum. It's amazing how I feel without possessions owning me. It's not going to be a smooth experience, but I realize I just need to keep my resolve bit by bit, look around me at my new open space and make sure I shop from a list, etc.

    Thank you again for your blog.

    P.S. I'm Leslie from Metairie Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans

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    1. Leslie, the fire in your home sounds awful. I'm sorry that happened to you but glad you are OK.

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  8. All you say in this post is so true! I don't make New Year's Resolutions any longer because I think just calling it that is a sure way to fail, for me certainly! Instead, I have plans for 2015, just like I had plans for this year. I've got them written down on a page on my blog and I was very careful to choose things I really wanted to do and things I thought were achievable.

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  9. The Winter Solstice means more to me than Christmas, I love that turn of the days. My best mate and I each have a tradition at this time of the year. We declutter and spring clean our homes with the intention of taking a clean, breathing house forward into the New Year. Several boxes of 'stuff' have already been taken to the local animal sanctuary and hospice charity shops.

    For 2015 I've written a quarterly plan, at the end of each quarter I list what I want to have achieved that quarter. So not so much Resolution but more Focus oriented. Everything I want to achieve is perfectly achievable as long as I don't get distracted (I veer off track a lot!).

    I think you have to have hope as well for the future and not give up on life, time and life are precious things.

    Linda xxx

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  10. I intend (or resolve) to de-clutter my house. This will be no small task and as you say it is best not to try do it all at once but to break it down into manageable tasks. So I have set myself the timescale of two rooms a month, which will allow time for me to dispose of or recycle the "clutter" in as careful a way as is possible and to do any repairs/ curtain washing / touching up too.

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    1. I also have to declutter my home. This is a perfect goal for me - since I hope to move into our senior citizen townhouses this summer, I only have 7 months so must do one room a month (have 2 BR/LR/DR/Kit/storage room/little study). My dining room will be first, its where I pile up dirty laundry, clean laundry, clothing waiting to be ironed, 5 bookcases of books, my sewing supplies that are spilling out of the bins and boxes they are in. Added to that my granddaughter's little village of about 5 or 6 buildings and their assorted cars/trucks/horses/people spread across the top of a 10 ft long 3 shelf bookcase). That room also has a built in china cupboard with my good china, old china, plastic storage containers, old stuff shoved in behind the doors under the silverware and dining room linen drawers. Stuff, stuff, stuff...

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  11. I cut out lots of sweets last April and am so happy with the results. I have lost a little weight, but my labs from my doctor are absolutely wonderful!! That means so much to me. And on I go!! Have a great 2015 Ilona!!
    Tana

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  12. no resolutions for me, just goals. This year I want to finish all my half-made projects. We call them UFO's unfinished objects. Well, it's my sewing room, my fabric, my life, so who cares if I start something new before finishing a previous project. But this year, I shall enjoy revisiting things I started making, or got half way through, before other things claimed my attention. I already have UFO number 1 up and running and really enjoying it, that's what it's all about after all :-)

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  13. My resolution is to learn French, or at least a bit of French. Many years ago I took one year of French in school. Years ago I bought a package of French lessons on cassette tapes. Yes, you can see how long ago I bought them since they are on cassette tapes.

    This year I will follow your idea and keep a journal of my studies. My goal is 15 minutes a day.

    Why French? Well my great-grandparents were French Canadian and I've done some family research but would like to better read the documents. Of course I want to be able to speak some French as well as read it.

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  14. Like Kath, I don't make resolutions anymore... just set a few goals... easy, "feel good" ones. I used to journal a lot and in 2015 I'd like to start a gratitude journal. It's easy to list a few things every day one is grateful for. I'd like to enjoy hobbies a bit more, which is amusing, because I've got a cousin and a friend each started with one of mine (beading). This holiday season we agreed to make a gift for each other. Great fun! Basically, though, a lot of things can happen in a year. A lot of changes can come. Unexpected things. Especially as I get older. So I try not to take it all too seriously and be flexible if necessary, because you just never know how it'll all unfold.

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  15. My only resolution for the coming year is to continue on my quest to simplify my life. Simply that.

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  16. I'm not making resolutions this year - I never in my life have ever followed them for over a month - waste of time. I will however, like you, set goals - spend no more than $37 a week for groceries (that is the amount our "food stamp" budget is set for a single person here in the US) - since I'm retired on a fixed income I am going to follow that food budget (as best I can) for the year. That doesn't count cat supplies and paper products or personal items. I'll also declutter - living in a two bedroom apartment with lots of storage space, I've built up so much clutter, so much stuff that I have to get rid of before I move into our senior citizens townhouses this summer. I MUST half my belongings and books. Those are my goals - also must sew more for my little granddaughter. Living in a small village without a car, I will attempt to walk more.

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  17. Ilona, I've just realised it was me you were talking about re the tree photos - duh! I didn't spot my own name at the time, hehe! I wondered why my blog has been so busy the last few days, the view counter number thingy is going up and up, it must all be traffic from you! Thanks for the mention and I'm glad you enjoyed my tree series. I'm on the look out for another one for 2015! Sometimes it was a pain having to go and take the photo, but you don't have to be as strict as me (I took photos on the same date of each month at the same time of day!) - just taking the photo within the month would do, and it'd help if you pick a tree that's close to home and easy to get to... in the past mine have involved a drive or a walk and haven't always been convenient - I'm bearing location in mind if I do this again! I think you should go for it... if you can't keep it up at least you had a go! Or you could just do 4 photos, one each season!

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  18. Oh, I was sure I'd already commented on this post, hence being surprised that I missed the mention of my tree the first time, but I've just realised I haven't as it's not there. Silly me!

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  19. Well I've written out your bit on eating and weight control as a reminder for next year! I've just finished making 3 of the bookmark calendars from that website. I used card & one of those transparent covers that came around a large greeting card.
    Wendy (Wales)

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