- While you still have your freedom, stay home an entire weekend to get a taste of what this will be like for days or weeks.
- Plan for it – Get whatever you need to make your place an oasis. Think of exercises you can do in your space to be active. Make a meal plan with enough variation to satisfy your tastes.
- Make different meals. Try different recipes, hence the planning mentioned above. Try baking different things, making pasta from scratch or dishes that are more intricate.
- Read. Journal. Paint and/or draw. Blog. Vlog. Write a book. Compose songs.
- Take dance breaks.
- Clean from top to bottom. Organise stuff. Take naps.
- Have spa days.
- Have daily video chats with friends and family.
- Immerse yourself with positive thoughts.
- Spend quality time reading the Bible.
- Work on your budget. Learn more about personal finance and so on.
- Knit. Crochet. Sew. Mend what needs mending.
- Keep a gratitude list and update it weekly.
- Do free online courses. Google and have at it.
- If you work from home, mix it up, so it doesn’t become monotonous.
- If you have a balcony or space indoor, plant something and nurture it.
- Please add to the list…
“You can get it if you really want,
You can get it if you really want,
You can get it if you really want,
But you must try, try and try, try and try
You’ll succeed at last.” (Jimmy Cliff)
Getting to many goals involve lots of trying, self-discipline and saying no when we are burning to say yes. Saving a few dollars here and there on a drink or a meal may not seem like much. However, it adds up over time to a nice chunk of change.
Instant gratification has taken a hold of many of us. We can get deliveries at home because it’s easier. However, the fees do add up over time. I am so frugal, I nipped that in the bud. I am saving to go off travelling and exploring new lands which is something I truly enjoy. It is also something that refreshes and rejuvenates me, so I am motivated and practice cutting off some, not all frivolous spending.
What do you spend thoughtlessly on because it’s so cheap? How much would it add up to in a year?
I use to go hard at travelling for a few years but my priorities have shifted. I have travel and other goals, so I plan, budget and execute my spending accordingly. Time is moving fast and with no plan I make wake up at 50 and have nothing to show for my years of toil. That shall not be.
Practice Delayed Gratification and Save for Retirement
Today I was chatting with someone about early retirement. It’s not something I will do but it would be nice to have that option. If I prepare for that then I will be ready for retirement. As we know, public pensions in most countries are on the wane or insufficient to live a satisfying life.
Are you putting away money for retirement?
Do you think you are too young to save for retirement?
We are never too young to start preparing for our golden retirement years. If we want them to be golden, we have to practice a bit of delayed gratification and put money into that pot.
Practice Delayed Gratification to Create Generational Wealth or Financial Health
Parents want the best for their children. For many, this means going to university to prepare for their future. Saving to help children with this sets them up to be more financially secure adults. If they don’t have to take student loans or take less loans then this is a good start. Those cheap tops on sale in our favourite fast fashion shop add up over time. Do we need them or should we save those seemingly small amounts so they can add up?
People who are serious about their financial well being focus on their goals and practice delayed gratification. It is a habit for them. This is a habit many of us could benefit from.
Karl Marx wrote about Commodity fetishism in his Communist Manifesto. It is worth reading about. In our Capitalist world, many people invest in commodities that add no value to their lives and robs them of their money again and again. I am breaking that cycle. How much stuff do I need really?
Build up an Emergency Fund as a First Step
Dave Ramsey, who teaches people how to get out of debt and build wealth, advances the necessity of having an emergency fund. It is basically a sum of money that is enough to cover all expenses for four to six months or more. This is to give you some peace if there is a sudden job loss. For some people with good incomes it may be easy to save this in a short time. For others, we may need to say no to some of our treats and build it up over some time. “Try and try, try and try…”
Can you imagine the peace of mind that comes with having a fully funded emergency fund. Phew!
This isn’t a goal or resolution for 2020. This is a change of mindset, to practice habits that lead to financial health through delayed gratification.
We don’t need to know everything that is happening in the world at all times. We as people are naturally nosy, I think. Maybe it’s just me.
I know the importance of minding my own business and not prying beyond what others feel like sharing. Respect people’s privacy. Carry each other’s burdens, yes but wait for people to unload when they are ready and in their own way.
I mean minding our own business on a small or large scale really build contentment. Imagine following all the news in the world and taking all the different pathos knowingly and unknowingly. This kind of thing can really weigh on you without you even being aware of it. Sometimes it is necessary to bury your head in the sand.
Focus on your goals and don’t share or over share them with any and everybody. Pour your time and energy into doing things that develop you as a person. Mind your business and be intentional about this. It can be as simple as turning off your phone for a night, reading a book, listening to some good music and eating some scrumptious food.
I know minding my own business is one of the many things that help me to be content. Instead of focusing on what other people think of me and the like, I keep it moving. Everyone has his or own life to live. Don’t let the opinions of others about you and your life cause you to lose your focus.
What is your business? Knowing this in every detail is vital and worth pursuing. If you don’t know your own goals and dreams then how can you mind them?
When tempted to step into other people’s business, remind yourself it doesn’t concern you.
Yes, there are occasions where you may need to help others, use good judgement. This is different from unknowingly being pulled into all kinds of matter because of social media and the like.
Chase contentment and keep your eyes on your goals and your own life.
It’s easy to back away from life and just allow it to drag you down. Stuff happens and sometimes they bring us to our knees or even on our faces sometimes. Resolve to keep going. Each time get up and get going.
This thought came to me today and I decided to share it here for those who might need to see this.
It’s interesting how we can be moving and doing things, like busy bees but just be buzzing around in circles accomplishing nothing. It’s necessary to stop, relax our minds and allow them to refresh. To keep going requires a healthy mind that is active and working for us.
When you are tired, take time to rest and do what recharges you.
Keep going when others say less than positive things to you or about you.
Keep going when things are not going the way you want them to. See how you can be innovative and push yourself to live your best life at different stages.
Life is worth living intentionally, so know hard times will come as will good times. Resolve to keep going regardless. Remember better days do come as life cycles through.
As a teacher, I talk with my students often, about the importance of reflecting, as they go throughout their time in my class. There is often much focus on looking ahead to accomplish different goals and dreams. There is also merit in taking the time to reflect and look back as we prepare for what’s ahead.
What are some merits of reflecting?
One thing that reflecting does is to show us how we have grown. This can be physically or mentally; let’s focus on mental and emotional growth. I am gratified to see my growth in these areas. I can look back at past relationships, experiences and things that were very hard spots in my life. I have grown through them and learnt how to be a better me. I have developed and honed my critical thinking skills and effectively manage how I react to different people and situations. When you look back at your life, how have you grown?
I am learning to be content with where I am in life. I don’t have all the things I desire but when I see what I have accomplished in the last few years, I have peace. I am reminded that I have what I need and different things come at different times. This also reminds me that I will look back at where I am now and see some changes as time passes by. I tell myself be patient, remain hopeful and keep moving.
I also learn to value the people I have around me now because they may not always be here. I lost my mother a few years ago and I am glad I went to be with her often, though I live on the other side of the world. There is nothing like spending time with those near and dear.
Reflecting also helps me to remember that things may seem hard now but time will pass. Like the other unpleasant things before, they won’t last forever. My response to them and how I handle them is what is important.
I remind myself to be open-minded, flexible and positive despite what is happening in my environment.
Reflecting as you look ahead
Reflect to seek out the positives and negatives that you have learnt from life. Use this knowledge to prepare for the future. Know how you approach and deal with different situations and people in the past. Be proactive and think about how you can make necessary changes to benefit you as you look ahead.
Mistakes are great learning opportunities. What can we learn from some colossal mistakes to avoid pitfalls as we forge into the future? This can be anything from spending crazily at certain times of the year to trying different diets; just about anything. One mistake I made was to have developed the habit of buying clothes just because they are on sale. Have I learnt from the folly of my ways? I sure have. When you live in small Japanese apartments this can be quite a nuisance, so I have cut back on that.
From reading this blog, you have probably noticed that I am passionate about living on a budget and being debt free. I reflect quite a bit on how I spend and think about how I can save and reward myself more meaningfully. Travel is my extravagant hobby, so I make certain concessions for this. I travel differently now than I did a few years ago because though I enjoy it, I have other priorities like saving for retirement. You are never too young to begin saving for retirement.
Take time to reflect to understand yourself more, make some changes to benefit yourself moving forward and to see your growth. There are far more benefits to reflecting on your life as you plan for what’s ahead. I hope you’ll enjoy these as you reflect.
Do you have a dream that seems to become dormant as time passes?
Is there a dream you have that you are afraid of pursuing because it seems too big?
Has life just come and made you forget to dream or keep going after a dream you have had for a while?
Keep your dreams smouldering. You may have to expand the dream or tweak it in some way but look for ways to feed the fire for your dreams. A dream dies only when we lay it to rest.
Learn to unpack that seemingly impossible dream and look at it with new eyes. How can you shape it so that you can accomplish it step by step. Remember to look at how to build something you dream of and not only think of the final product. Dream, research and plan well to enjoy success. Remember to season your expectations with time – some things take time.
Do you want to go back to school, travel the world, start a business, live abroad or whatever other dreams you have? What’s holding you back from pursuing this dream and breathing life into it? Knowing this, is the first step to bringing a dream to life. Interestingly, many of us never take practical steps to birthing a dream before giving up on it or trying to do so.
There are some dreams though that take hold and won’t give up on us. We try to tamp down this dream and live around it but it is there smouldering. That one may be the very one to pursue. Don’t let fear hold you back or thoughts of what others will think. I know sometimes a lack of finances may be an hindrance. However, we should find ways to cut back and save up to pour into such a dream or find a side hustle to get funds to invest in it. Dare I even suggest borrowing a modest loan with a low interest rate to use for this purpose? Think about it.
Finally, never stop dreaming. It can be a simple thing such as wanting to be more active and outgoing. The dreams that I am talking about here aren’t fairytale things. I am talking about goals, short term and long term that add value to your life. Essentially, at every stage of life we ought to build on old dreams or generate new ones as we grow.
Go ahead, take the first step to bringing that smouldering dream to life. Do the research, set a timeline and map out different paths to bring it to fruition. We often think, “what if I fail, but what if you fly?’
We all have dreams and goals as well as aspirations. There is nothing wrong with having lofty ones as well as small safe ones. We also want to accomplish or fulfil these at specific points. Unfortunately, life often has different twists and turns that may mess with our timelines. This means that we may not be where we thought we would be and certain points. As a result, we may feel disappointed and even lose motivation sometimes. What do we learn at these times?
Even when we do not meet certain goals on our timeline we are growing. It may not be in the way we envision and we may not be ticking off the goals we want to, when we want to, but…
How about other positive things that are happening that are helping you to mature and be a better you?
What can we learn through reflection about things that do not happen on our timelines? Embracing this is a part of growing. Something as simple as being flexible and changing how you view that situation is beneficial.
Remember to go at your own pace and remind yourself of this, when you feel like you are not where you want to be. Each person has his or her own journey. It’s so easy to forget this from time to time amidst expectations set out by society, family friends and even yourself. Give yourself a break. Applying that mindset when needed is a a part of personal growth.
Be on guard about mapping your timeline based on what others are doing or have done at a certain time. They are not you. You are not them. There is much growth in moving forward amidst disappointments and the unexpected events that delay dreams and goals coming to fruition.
There are some things that you can accomplish by yourself just by being disciplined and working hard, yes. There are others though that you can’t control – even though some people tend to differ on this. I am talking specifically about finding a committed partner for marriage and the ability to have kids and do so at a particular time or at all. It’s best to be open-minded and live life fully. Unfortunately, many people allow these disappointments to take away from the beauty of their lives.
My growth and the pace at which I grow looks different from everyone else’s. That’s life. Focus on finding another way to accomplish a dream. Embrace singleness, being childless or adopt a child (I know this sounds simplistic but getting into this mindset brings so much peace).
If you get nothing else from my diatribe, remember slow growth is still growth. Keep going and learn to be content where you are as you plot about how to move forward. Go at your own pace. This is something I remind myself of often. We all do well to remember this.