Another New Year is upon us and as always my thoughts go to what I want to work on in the new year. Do you make resolutions?? I dropped the habit of making resolutions a while back, instead making yearly goals. While goals are similar in nature to resolutions, they allow me to break down what I want to accomplish into smaller steps throughout the year and track my progress.
Goals from past years are still firmly in place within our home. Once I had the goal that I would menu plan each week to save money and time. We have faithfully been planning a menu for years, which has saved us money and reduced our stress over the years. Hopefully menu planning is slowly improving our health as well. We continue to try to limit the use of processed food and make most things from scratch.
Our attempt to stay away from processed food is also changing our taste. This year for Christmas Eve as we were starting to come down with a virus of sorts in our home we tried to make the appetizer spread more convenient. We bought a few boxed appetizers at Sam’s Club to add to our homemade ones to make meal prep a little easier. The comment heard around the room, “your eggrolls are better”, “Your (insert boxed food item) is better”. My family rarely likes convenience food anymore. Except of course my hubby’s preference for Kraft Mac & Cheese vs my homemade Mac & Cheese.
Three years ago my hubby and I set the goal to address our financial life. We attended Financial Peace University and made a goal to become debt free. By March of this year we will make last payment on our credit card debt. We will be free of credit card debt! WOW!! We then will conquer our massive student loan debt in pursuit of a simpler, debt free life. We have faithfully had a weekly budget meeting to discuss our financial goals each week since our first meeting on October 8, 2010.
As you can see, setting a focus goal each year has allowed us to add our goals into our routine and maintain the progress we made. Goals we set three yeas ago are firmly implanted in our routine and we feel very off balance it we don’t plan a menu or have a weekly budget meeting.
The last few days I have been spending some time thinking about what I would like to improve for our family in 2014?? It finally came to me as I lay in our bedroom battling the illness that has spread through our house since Christmas Day. Do you love the feeling of being on vacation? I do, one thing I love is being in a room with very little stuff. Surfaces in the hotel room are clear of clutter and everything is easy to tidy each day. It provides me with a sense of peace, relaxation and rejuvenation.
I look around my bedroom and only think, I wish I felt better so I could clean this place up. I want a simpler life and for me the more simple my life becomes the more content I am in my life. I love my life, but I would like to spend less time looking for misplaced items, trying to straighten up things we rarely use. I no longer want my bedroom to be the dumping ground for things without a home. I want to value relationships and not the maintenance and upkeep of our possessions.
I am not just talking about just de-cluttering our possessions, but de-cluttering our lives as well. As a working mom, I know the value of my time. Am I doing things with my time that I am doing out of obligation or wondering what others would think if I quit doing this. Time to de-clutter those things to add more time to bless others.
While our house is fairly organized, it takes time to maintain that. Our home is not large, but it is the home of many people with many things. Our household consists of my hubby and I, our youngest son, my brother-in-law, my father-in-law, my niece and her 1 year old son. We also have a PCA that comes daily to assist my father-in-law each day while we are at work. So the simpler our life, the easier it is for us all to live together and maintain a home that runs smoothly and doesn’t take all our time to maintain.
So my goal for 2014 …….We’re simplifying in 2014!! My goal is to pare down our possessions this year and live a simpler life. We will value our relationships and not our possessions. While I have been attempting to get closer to my definition of simple living each year, 2014 is the year to really focus on this goal!! I want to have a home full of what I love (nothing else) and inviting!
Wishing you a happy New Year and a simpler life in 2014!