Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year, New Goals

I always think it's a bit silly of us all to make New Year's resolutions. Of course I recognize the value of using the start of a new year to mark your own fresh start, but the truth of the matter is that usually our resolutions only last for about a week or so. Not always true, but many times it is.  I know when I want to make a change I go BIG and crazy and it gets to be overwhelming and time consuming.  This past year, not on Jan 1st, somewhere like Aug 28th, I made a goal to halt the weight gain that seemed to be taking hold of my body.  I knew from past experiences that going BIG was not going to work.  So I decided on small tweaks.  The small tweaks worked, I now weigh less than I have for at least 10-12 years.  It is nice to start the year not saying this will be the year I will lose weight, but now I have a new goal.  After shaving about 10 percent of my body weight off, I want to do the same for my spending.

This is a tough one.  Since converting to a stay at home mom in 2008, I have been shaving off expenses and certainly all the low hanging fruit has been picked. Combine that with the cost of food, gas and every other necessity going up and you have a challenge on your hands.  Like the weight loss goal, I already have the tools; I think I just need to make a few tweaks.  I like to use coupons but I don't always bother because I am busy. CouponMom has a great philosophy, buy when the price is right not when you need it. This requires planning, so just as I have put mandatory gym visits in my weekly schedule, I need to put shopping planning sessions into my schedule too.  This of course requires meal planning, something I used to do, but somehow stopped.  I saw a great Tweet this morning about meal planning by the author of 3 Boys and a Dog.  She had some great common sense suggestions, things I had been thinking about, but put into a laid out plan.  I think this will be helpful for tweak number one.  I will set aside time to figure what I have in stock, what is on sale and use that info to plan a menu for the week.

So while my normal plan action is to go BIG and crazy with a new goal, I think instead I will reel myself in and start with this simple tweak.  Maybe this New Year's resolution thing isn't so silly, although I may change my mind tomorrow when the gym is overcrowded with people going BIG.