looking forward.

31 12 2009

ok, now that i’ve acknowledged that last year wasn’t a complete bust, it’s time to start thinking about my plans for the future. i read this really level headed article on cnn.com about how to make attainable resolutions. i think they’re on to something.

i’m actually a huge fan of every day resolutions. why wait for january 1st to decide what you want to do to make your life better? the website 43 things was a huge motivator for me this year. it’s basically a place for you to list 43 (or fewer) goals that you have. they could be daily goals, or life goals- it doesn’t matter. and instead of just giving you a list to check off when things are done, it gives you the ability to write entries about the goals on your list as you are working toward them, and once you’ve completed a task, the ability to share your experience with others. it also allows you to give up if you change your mind (how forgiving!), tells you how many other people have the same goals, and lets you to cheer each other on. anyway, it’s pretty cool.

i haven’t updated it in a while (because maybe i’ve been paying attention to something else), but it’s still nice to revisit every now and again an remind myself of what i’m working toward. some small goals for 2010 (as seen on my 43 things):

1. pay my bills on time: i don’t ever pay them later than a week or two (and i always pay my credit card bills on time), but i am making a commitment this year to pay my bills on the 15th when i get paid- before i have the chance to spend the money on something else and need to wait for my next paycheck!

2. stick to my budget: i have an extremely reasonable budget set up, but i can never seem to stick to it  completely. i have this idea that if i dole myself out $100 in cash on monday (instead of just throwing that card out at random all week), it will help me think through my spending a little bit better. if nothing else, i’d like to see what it feels like to stay within my budget for 1 month at least. i’ve got a 1 out of 12 chance of success!

3. save! i put $100 a month into my savings account right now, but i’d like to make an effort to start putting all my SCR checks and any other ebay, craigslist, and surprise money in there as well.

4. establish a clothing allowance! i think i’ve decided that $20 a week is fair, and i plan to do a lot of thrifting this year. i’m not quite ready for the self flagellation that is wardrobe refashion yet (i do want new things sometimes), but i will be making a very strong effort to bargain shop the hell out of everything- and display my findings here in my soon to be established “hi style lo budget” (it’s cute because i spelled it wrong- right?) feature.

5. volunteer! i’ve dabbled in volunteer-work a bit more this year than i ever have, but in 2010  i would like to be able to find a consistent (weekly?) opportunity. as pollyanna as it sounds, i may not always have money to give- but i can always give time. the world needs more volunteers, and i need to get off my ass and do what i know is right.

when i was in college and i had my first really messy “i thought were were going to be together forever” break up, i posted a little note on the inside of my front door that said “keep going”. that’s what i really want this year. it is nice to have an organized list to remind myself of  specific goals, but if i rolled all those 43 things (well, 39) into a big katamari ball… it would all equal out to something like this: give up the quest for perfection, but never stop trying to be a little better every day.