Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 - Preparation Time

As the new year approaches it seems natural to want to set some goals and lay out a plan to achieve those goals.

My goals for the coming year fall into three main categories: health, money and personal achievement.


The saying goes, if you don't have your health then you have nothing, or something very similar. Watching my father be consumed by pancreatic cancer and the affect his illness and subsquent death had on everyone around him, health has become a very high priority for me.

Luckily, making health one of your big rocks can also be a huge money saver. Buying (or better still growing) fresh produce and preparing it simply is much cheaper than buying a pre-prepared and packaged meal. Buying cheaper cuts of meat (gravy beef, lamb necks, etc) and creating slow cooked stews and soups is also cheap, healthy, filling and most importantly, nutrient dense.

The Health plan for 2011 is to:
  • Ramp up the kitchen garden so we can increase our intake of fresh, organic vegies
  • Reduce our sugar intake
  • Remove all commercial convenience foods
  • Increase our sun exposure to optimise vitamin D
  • And make exercise an integral part of our lifestyle.

Like it or not, money or more specifically debt is the chain that keeps us shackled to a job or lifestyle that steals our spirit. I'm lucky, my only debt is my mortgage but that debt also attracts liabilities like rates, insurance and maintenance. I could avoid the debt and the liabilities by renting but I'd also be at the mercy of the market and the landlord. No thanks! My mortgage is about half the average and therefore very manageable but some of the large maintenance tasks are now due, like replacing the tin roof.

In 2011, the challenge will be to undertake some minor enhancements, some major maintenance and pay down the loan.

Specifically, the Money plan is to save money by:
  • Spending less - on everything
  • Making every litre of petrol (gas) work hard by only using the car when necessary and making sure it's a multi-purpose trip
  • Earning more where and when I can
  • Learning how to do more of the maintenance tasks myself.
Personal Achievement

We all have dreams that we'd love to see come true. In 2011, I will set aside time to work toward making one of mine come true. Finding the time to dedicate to a purely personal goal can be a challenge. Work, family, friends and life in general all make demands on the time we have.

In 2011, I will make time available by:
  • Turning off the TV - the greatest time waster ever invented!
  • Establishing routines to ensure everything (well, mostly) gets done
  • And, scheduling time specifically for working on my personal goals. 
Using patchwork economics to ensure that every little bit counts will be a guiding principle for my 2011 goals. Each tomato, capsicum and pumpkin that comes out of the kitchen garden and onto our dinner table is another patch added to the quilt. Each trip taken on foot rather than in the car, each book borrowed rather than purchased, each dollar saved rather than spent adds more patches. It is the small things done regulary that make the biggest difference.

What are your goals for the coming year and have you thought about how you will achieve them?

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