Debt Reduction, Everyday Living, Good Reading, Minimalism, Random!, Reader Input

Happy New Year! And a book giveaway

I don’t know if this is a sign of the times or if I’m getting older, smarter or what, but last year’s ball drop wasn’t witnessed by my husband or I. I was sitting in bed going through a mountain of magazines, clipping out what I wanted to keep and pitching the rest, while my husband was downstairs in the basement, playing a computer game. We were both drinking water, because we were slightly dehydrated … from the multiple pots of coffee we had drank throughout the day.

I think this was the first New Years that we’ve ever spent at home. We’re not crazy party folks, but we usually have a group of friends that we go out with. Unfortunately for us, the roads were icy last night, so I got to hang out in my jammies and tried to be productive. It was blissful.

I’ve thought more about the goals that I was to achieve in 2011. (Note – I didn’t say resolutions … I just have a plan and I’m trying to stick with it.) So far, I’m still formulating and the goals that I have so far are exceedingly … normal. I guess its more of a roadmap of things that I want to do this year as opposed to how I’m going to better myself. Here goes a little bit of my thinking process:

– I will get over my hatred of using my cell phone. I cannot explain this quirk, but I do not call people. I email folks. I’ve also been known to send handwritten letters in lieu of making phone calls. To this end, I have three guinea pigs that I’m going to be testing this on … my grandma Phyllis and the two friends of mine that I consider to be as close as sisters. I’m going to try to call them weekly and failing that, they will hear my cheerful voice at least monthly. I just need to be a better person on this front and hopefully it will radiate on out to other folks in my life.

The irony? I’m one of the first points of contact at my work place when people call in for sales inquiries. I actually have a pretty decent demeanor on the phone. It just doesn’t extend to my personal life.

– I will travel to Willmar, Minnesota in 2011. I know … why Willmar? It was the first place that I lived in after college and I worked there for three years. During that time, which is now over a decade ago (yeow! Where does time go?) I made friends with an incredible group of co-workers, who I still think of on a regular basis. And it’s been many years since I’ve gone back to visit. And most of my friends have never met my husband. I cannot wait to see these folks again.

– I’m going to plan out and sink money into an emergency fund. Yes, I say that every year, but I’m getting embarrassed at my failure to actually accomplish this.

– I’m going to get rid of more stuff in 2011, instead of holding on to so much crap.

– I’m going to be more mindful when I’m making purchases … I think that about 75% of what I buy is unnecessary and it’s holding me back from financial freedom.

So with that last goal in mind, and because I do love this book enough to buy an extra copy (did that in 2010 … so there) and send it to someone … I’m sponsoring a giveaway on this site. The book is “Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping” by Judith Levine. I’ll do an actual book review on this on a later post, but the condensed version of her story is this: Judith and her partner decided to go a year without shopping … they made of list of things they could absolutely not live without (beyond the “necessities”, those were Internet access and a newspaper subscription) and this book chronicles the year that they lived. It’s not a perfect book – at one point, Judith kind of cracks in a consignment shop and buys an outfit, but it’s one of those books that is good food for thought.

Here’s the rules … post up what your New Year’s Resolution is and what you’re going to do to accomplish it. It can be losing weight, it can be learning the banjo, it can be paying off debt … The giveaway ends on 12 noon CST, Friday, January 7th. I’ll announce the winner of this book that evening. This giveaway is open to people anywhere … there was one time that I shipped a copy of one of my favorite novels to an old friend in Russia, so I believe in the power of the postal service. 🙂 Tell your friends, send Tweets, do what you gotta …

I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year.

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5 thoughts on “Happy New Year! And a book giveaway

  1. I have posted my 2011 goals on my blog profile. I actually have 2 sets of goals, depending on whether I’m working or not, but even if I’m still job-hunting, I have goals to fully fund my Roth IRA and save $100 a month into my emergency fund.

  2. Patientsaver — good for you!

    I’m coming up a list of with 300 things that are good about myself, not based on actually doing something (possessing the capability is different than doing), because this is part of my journey toward tackling my food demons. For much of my life, I have always thought about what is wrong with me, or that I am only good enough if I’m doing something, and therefore I’ve turned to food as a little “release” if you will, a moment of bliss, that allowed me to escape from feeling bad about myself.

    I’m starting a blog about this, because my hope is to recruit my friends (including you my dear!) to guest post about things that they are good at/like about themselves, and by sharing our mutual likes, build each other up.

  3. My goals deal with health & wealth. Health: take my medicine as I’m supposed to & start going to the gym twice a week (for a start). After going 10 times, I can buy myself a work-out outfit.

    Wealth (or lack thereof!): I’ve written a list of all my debts, smallest to largest. I’ve got goals for no. of months/years it will take to pay them off (except unfortunately for my student loans which I’ll be paying til the day I die). Debt & money are so overwhelming for me it helps to list them out & have specific goals in mind & accomplish something….even if it’s just paying off a $75 medical bill, for example.

  4. Goals for 2011: (1) Create a family “charity fund” where we put our change for each month, then pick a foundation or charity to donate to. 1st one: our local Wildlife Rescue Center two suburbs over that cares for animals that have been injured in the wild.
    (2) Actually wear the sketchers shape-ups I purchased back in August, and walk at least 10 miles a week on the treadmill at the Y. (3) Increase retirement contributions by 1% every other month leading to an eventual 15% of income. (4) Continue to track weekly expenses. (5) Have an ongoing list of things that are needed by the household/family. (6) Continue to use coupons for purchases and outings.

  5. My goal, and I’m happy to say my husband is playing along, too, is to get healthier in 2011. We’ve had the luxury of youth on our side, but as we get a little older, we gain a little wait, we get a little out of shape, and we’re tired of it. We’ve also seen several older family members’ health decline recently, so we know what’s in our genes.

    So far, in the six days that have been 2011, we’ve been doing Jillian Michels’ 30-day shred (ouch), eating better, and talking about our goals. As the weather warms, we’ll move our activities outside, and continue to be more concious of what we’re putting in our bodies. Doesn’t mean there won’t be an occasional treat, but we’ll enjoy it extra much!

    Thanks for the challenge!

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