Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Disclaimer: I do not make new year's resolutions. Never. No Ma'am. If I want to change something about myself, I just do it. Why should I wait for January first? Now be that as it may....

This year I've decided to make two new year's resolutions. Over the month of December I noticed a few patterns in my life that just did not match up with they way I want to live my life. Normally, I would just change whatever habit that I didn't like. Here's the thing though, December was nuts. Absolutely crazy. I did not want to put pressure on myself to change something when I knew that I was not in a very good place to follow through with the commitment. So I went against a long held conviction that new year's resolutions are dumb and decided to implement these changes starting January 1, 2011. I wanted to share my resolutions with, do you mind? Oh good, I was hoping you wouldn't. Here goes nothing...

1. Get a handle on my bank account. I'm very fortunate to have a job that I love and also make enough money to support my coffee habit. I'm not very good about keeping track of how i spend my money or about saving it. At this point I will likely be paying for part of my college education(which isn't cheap) and I need to be saving money for that. Also, emergencies. Happen. Cars break down. Hospital visits happen. Pedicures happen*wink*. I need to be prepared for that.

I also believe that they way you handle finances is often a reflection of the rest of your life. If they are disorderly and out of control, so goes my life. I want to please God in every aspect of my life. Currently my bank account does not reflect that. I've been blessed, how can I use my finances to bless others if they are out of control?

Therefore, in the coming year, I want to be diligent about keeping a check register. Writing down what I'm spending. I don't like to have to guess how much is in the account. I also will be better about prioritizing my spending. First comes my tithes, then comes my bills and whatever is left over is the money I use for everything else. I've already made some strides in my savings. I've set up through my work to have a percentage of my check go directly into my savings account. The trick is not break into that money when I don't have enough to buy something I want in my checking.

The Bible tells me that I can either serve God or money. I want to serve God with the money that He has blessed me with.

2. My second resolution is to read one book a month. By book I mean a title that will somehow help me grow spiritually. Last year I was blessed to do an internship at a local church. Every single person I met and had the privilege of speaking with had one thing in common: they read. A lot. Everyone was always telling me about the book they were reading, or recommending a book they had read. The emphasized the importance of never being ok with where you are at, but always striving for something better.

Therefore, in 2011 it will be my goal to read one book during the course of a month. I read a lot already, but sometimes it takes me two months to get through a single book. Mostly due to laziness rather than time constraints.  Speaking of time constraints, I'm busy. Really, really busy. I know one book doesn't sound like much, but for me its going to be a challenge, but I"m really excited.

Last year was full of lots of junk. I'm so looking forward to getting out of the pit of last year and stepping into the Light. I want this year to be a beautiful reflection of the grace I have been given.

What about you? What are your goals/resolutions for 2011?

Love and Happy New Year,


  1. My suggestion to you is to write out a budget. When I first did this, it was on a notepad. Now it is in Excel. Write out every line of what you spend money on (in buckets):
    tithe - %
    savings - %
    Cell $50
    Groceries $50
    Gas $60
    Rent ?
    Salon $35
    Coffee $60
    Misc. $50

    make sure that this adds up to what you are getting in your paycheck. these are just examples (mine is much more complicated) ... then, you can write down the actuals, or keep track of them to make sure you aren't going over your BUDGET. which is the most important thing to use moving forward. :) it will keep you on track and let you know where you are spending too much or too little. Just my $.02... i've been using this method for over 10 years and it really does work.

    reading is great. :)

    love you xo

  2. I love budgets! I'm much a step-by-step person so they are perfect for me. The only problem is that because of the nature of my job I never really know how much I will get in any given paycheck. It varies week by week. I have a set amount that I put into savings(direct deposit; never hits by checking account) and a certain amount that goes to tithes, bills, ect. I have this written down. The hardest part for me is that I am not a details person and keeping a check register is a very 'detail' person kind of task. I just have to force myself to be focused.