So today is Saturday and time to list the goals for January. As it’s also the beginning of the year, I’m going to set goals for 2013. Updates on goals will be posted on Saturday, sometimes that will be a straightforward, this is how it’s going, sometimes, I’ll talk about different things. I’ll report on the yearly goals every three months. That way hopefully, it’ll keep me accountable and ensure that I don’t get to the end of the year having done nothing about them.
Lots of people have made New Year’s Resolutions, some have set words that they hope will guide them for the year. I’m going to set goals and the theme for all of these goals is ‘build’.
First, I’m going to confess. Part of how I deal with things is to act like I’m a grown up when things are going wrong. In 2009, when I lost my job a month after I moved into a new flat, I kept saying, it’s not a disaster, no-one died. I stand by that, there was good and bad in the nine months that followed. Then I got a job and then after a year, it ended and it was another eight months before I found a stable permanent job. I’ve been in this job for over a year and it’s lovely to be working, especially as so many people are unemployed at the moment, I do realise how lucky I am. However, there was/is a recession and things cost more so taking a job that earned £4,ooo a year less than I was earning in 2009, meant that I never really got back on track and I never really got to grips with what was going on. There was a significant amount of thinking that if I ignored it, it would go away. Yes, I’m aware that behaviour is not big or clever and you don’t see mummy or daddy doing it (actually I saw Dad doing it all the time and I don’t have the grip on money or numbers that the rest of my family have!)
Cut to 2012, I’m not homeless, I’m still very lucky but I need to get to grips with money and my spending, I need to think about saving money. I do pay into a pension, I have a good credit record but these things seem to be luck rather than judgement on my part. I am going to be 40 this year (how did I get to be this old!) and I have 28 years to retirement. I don’t own and am unlikely to ever own a property, I do live in one of the world’s most expensive cities after all, but there are things I can and should do.
So this year’s goals are about building for my future. Being financially healthy, actually healthy and spiritually healthy.
So 2012 goals are:
1. Run a 5km in under 30 minutes. The Dempseys, that’s me, Ma, Ben and maybe Lu are going to run a 5k early this year and while I’m happy for Ben to beat me, I don’t want to be humiliated by my little brother!
2. Run a 10km, no time target for this, but under 1h10m would be great. Once I’ve conquered the 5km I’ll need a target. I’ve done 10km before, would be nice not to be 3rd from last this time!
3. Use the gym twice a week or give up the membership. We get cheap gym membership but it’s not cheap if I’m not making use of it. Twice a week equals about £2.50 a gym visit so worth it.
4. Have a medical. We get them once a year at work and it’ll give me an idea of what I need to do, other than the generic lose weight, eat better etc. It’s part of my whole facing up to what is, rather than ignoring it.
5. Keep a record of my spending so I know what is or isn’t in my bank account. Good or bad, knowing is better than not. Yes I know I should already be doing this but I have a huge case of financial arrested development.
6. No credit card usage at all for 2013. I don’t think that by 2014, I’ll have paid them off entirely but the best way of reducing the debt is to stop using the cards! I know this, I’ve done it before.
7. Set up a ‘Christmas’ account to pay for next Christmas, have at least £120 in that account. £10 a month is nothing really and will help buy presents.
8. Volunteer That could be in a food bank or it could be for something else. I need to work at building something outside of just myself. I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a hard year for a lot of people.
9. Buy no more than 12 books. My book buying habit is out of control. I have lots of unread books in the house, I can borrow them from the library, Amazon do a lending service for Prime members and my mother has a houseful of books, half of which I’ve never read. It’s not like I’ll be lacking for books!
10. Painting. I’ve been here 4 years in July and the white walls are not as white as they once were! The bathroom did get painted last year but the rest of the rooms are in dire need of a refresh. So at least, I’d like to paint the bedroom and kitchen!
For January, I’m going for the traditional resolutions.
I have already started these, I have to say that the last three days of the week have hurt as a consequence!
1. Drinking. There 31 days in January and aside from the New Year’s Day champagne, I’m not going to drink in any of them. After January normal service will resume and I won’t drink during the week. So many people go dry in January, I don’t think I’ll feel left out at all!
2. Food. I will take a packed lunch to work every day and I will eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
3. Coffee. I love coffee and my two cups in the morning are bliss. But I have a Illy habit and it’s expensive. So rather than give up my favourite coffee, I’m cutting down on it. I’ll drink it three days a week for January (probably Friday, Saturday and Sunday!). The other 4 days of the week I’ll drink herbal tea!
4. The messy cupboard. By the end of January it will be tidy. It will have new shelves, I will be able to find things in it!
5. Sleep hygiene. The time off over Christmas has made me realise how rubbish getting up in the dark is. I don’t mind the weather in the winter, but I hate that it’s so dark. It seems to make everything harder that it needs to be. I’ll quite happily get up if it’s light outside, even on very little sleep. However, as I don’t have any choice but to get up in the dark and I can make sure that I get enough good quality rest during the week. Sunday to Thursday sleep rules are. No computers after 9pm. In bed and ready for sleep at 10pm.
6. Self Care. One of the things about living on my own and being single is that no-one ever sees me naked. This is not a huge problem but just before Christmas, I realised that I don’t do nice things for my body. I wash, I condition my hair, I remove the hairs that seem to pop up on my chin (seriously, no-one tells you about that, in your late thirties, your face decides that it would like to grow just a couple of hairs from your chin, just for the style of the thing!) but I don’t remember to epilate my legs in the winter or moisturise and my feet are beginning to look like they belong to a hobbit! So I will moisturise every day, I will remove hair weekly and I will look after my feet!