Friday, December 26, 2008

Time for a Fresh Start

Well, Christmas is over now, and so I'm turning my thoughts to 2009. Of course, that means New Years Resolutions. I usually try to make a few resolutions, and usually start out well and then, after a few weeks, lose my motivation. I know that this is the typical pattern for most people to follow, but I would really like to break that pattern this year. I do have a few things that I've been thinking of that I definitely want to accomplish in 2009.

First, I'd like to graduate from college, but, if you've been reading along, that should happen as long as I pass my last four classes! Next on my priority list is to lose some significant weight and get myself into better physical shape. I need to do this for my physical health, to ward off any pre-diabetes stuff. But, of course, I'm not really comfortable with the weight I'm currently at psychologically, I've become very self-conscious and self critical, and I'd really like to be happy with my physical appearance. I would really like to be back into the double digit weight range, but I'd happily settle for the low triple digits, hopefully somewhere between 100-115 lbs. So, major diet and exercise plans are underway and need to be launched soon.

I would also really like to simplify my life this year. For me, that means I need to get rid of a ton of crap that I don't use that is taking up the limited space in my small home! I really need to learn to let go of "stuff" and I need to better organize the remaining "stuff." So, part of that is organizing mountains and mountains of generations of family photos (which I inherited from my mother), and making permanent digital records of them, so that my brothers and Dad can also have copies. I need to clear out all of the useless paper that consumes me too. Hopefully I can sell a lot of this extra junk and make some money as well.

Perhaps the most important of my goals this year (aside from losing weight for my physical health and mental well-being) are my financial goals. I just finished reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, on the recommendation of a friend, and am really excited and fired up to follow this plan to get out of debt and build wealth. I totally and absolutely recommend this book and plan to everyone! I hope that I can pay off my debt and build an emergency savings fund as quickly as possible, so that I can actually use my hard-earned money, instead of sending it away every month. I also would really like to have as little debt as possible before I start nursing school, since I won't be able to work during that year. This includes paying off my car and all of my credit cards. I'll move on to the student loans and mortgage after that. I'm really hopeful about the life changes that this will bring about, though I am worried about creating and learning to stick to a budget. Sadly, I'm a little impulsive sometimes when it comes to money, I have decided that this will change.

I also hope that 2009 will afford me the opportunity to travel a bit to celebrate my graduation from college, and catch up with some family and friends that I haven't been able to visit for a long time. I'm planning a cruise for a graduation celebration. I would also like to do a long weekend in Las Vegas with some friends from out of state. Most importantly though, I really want to make the time to see my Dad, who I haven't seen in at least 7 years, so a trip to Oregon is in order.

So, I think this is a lot to accomplish in one year, five big goals, and of course numerous smaller ones. I hope that I'm able to really focus my energies and get these things rolling. I hope everyone, myself included, has a happy and productive New Year!

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