Okay, so I was looking at my resolutions and realized that there is a huge problem. Tennis lessons, weekly dinners out, mani/pedis and monthly trips do nothing to help me reduce debt which is what I am doing through Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Sure, they are dirt cheap here and I have a stressful job, but I can’t enjoy those and pay down debt quickly. If you want something to happen in your life, something else must be sacrificed. There is no other way around it. So, if I want to reduce debt, I have to sacrifice (or at least pare down) the spa treatments. Keep in mind, though, that I wear sandals all the time because I work in the tropics and I don’t want to look unprofessional. And tennis and massages are necessary components for health and wellness. And I should spend one on one time with Coco (though maybe weekly dinners aren’t the way to do it). And let’s be real, traveling around Asia is one of the reasons I agreed to move 8,000 miles away from friends and family!
How do I consider all these factors? Basically, I took the emphasis off of them by not having all of them be resolutions. If they happen occasionally, fine.. but most of them shouldn’t be written as resolutions. So, presenting my new list of New Year’s Resolutions:
1. eat sugar and wheat as little as possible (or at the very least not on the same day*)
2. make coconut products an integral part of my daily life**
3. lose ten pounds
4. tighten up by working out 3x/week (tennis, yoga or kettlebells)
5. massage 1x/week (still planning on this – it’s therapeutic and releases toxins!!)
6. be able to carry on a conversation in Spanish
7. blog daily at www.coconutphoto.wordpress.com
8. sign Coco up for ballet lessons
9. create a weekly family ritual for just Coco and me
10. write a children’s book
11. read camera manual and learn how to take better pictures and back up all photos in two or more places
12. create photo books of adoption, birthdays, holidays, my old blog, other life events
13. make Coco’s lifebook
14. do steps 1 & 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan***
15. make my free housing here in Manila a lovely and inviting home for us****
I like these much better! Four of them might require a bit more explanation but I haven’t read all the books yet so I will do the best I can.
* So yeah, sugar and wheat. I totally admire people who give them both up completely and although I am convinced that you feel better when you don’t eat them I am going to be realistic. I will not have hot french bread smothered with butter removed from my life forever! Nor pizza. No ice cream. In fact, I think the bigger issue is – are the foods I’m eating filled with preservatives and chemicals and additives?? To me, all those things are worse than a little sugar cane here and there. So, though I intend to bake more with coconut and almond flours, there easily could be some chocolate chips thrown in there. Not eating wheat and sugar on the same day will cut out mindless snacking during a meeting or running up to the canteen to buy my daily marble cookie.
** Oh coconut oil/water/cream/meat/milk how I love thee. You taste so lovely and you have such incredible healing properties. Who knew? Well thankfully I do now! And I am making an effort to eat some form of coconut every day! I will do a detailed post on this later.
*** Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover has several steps. This year I can only focus on the first two because by the time you reach step three you have no debt except your mortgage. I have so much debt from being unemployed for seven months, then taking a low paying job out of desperation and completing an international adoption that it will take more than a year to pay it off –but it’s all good. I am ready to implement Dave Ramsey’s program because it is known to work! Step One: Create a savings plan with $1,000 for emergencies and Step Two: The Debt Snowball. I haven’t read the chapter thoroughly but I think this is how it works: List all your debts from smallest to largest (excluding mortgage). Pay the minimum on all the bills except the smallest one. Every dollar from your budget goes to the smallest one until it is paid. When that one gets paid, the money you used to put towards that one now goes towards the next one on the list (plus the original minimum) and so on and so on. Any unexpected money also goes towards the debt, whichever one is next on the list. I love it! I can not wait to start seeing all my debts paid off and be financially free!!!
**** My living accommodations are provided by my job. That is a great perk and I am grateful for that and that it also comes furnished but it’s not totally my taste. Just because I am in a furnished rental space doesn’t mean it can’t be homey and comfortable and feel like it’s our own. I love design blogs and I look forward to turning our space into a place where we can relax at the end of the day. As cheaply as possible of course.
So that’s it! I feel much better about these revised resolutions!