Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Frugal Files: Settling Down and Changing Focus

Hey there!! Frugalicious Diva here for another week to challenge your thoughts and actions about your life on the frugal and fiscal levels!!

Last week, we discussed Project Reach In. This challenge allowed you to spread the holiday cheer while sparing your pocketbooks (or wallets for the men). Over the coarse of that time until now, we've experienced Thanksgiving that was probably abundantly full of cooking and spending time with loved ones. In addition, we've also encountered the frenzy of Black Friday, the support of Small Business Saturday and the confines of Cyber Monday. Whew...aren't you tired?

Well, while the sales ads fade, why don't you take a break too? Settle yourself and give your pockets a well-needed rest. You have a little over 30 days left of 2011. Sit down and think about how you can really make those last days count in your life overall. I've said this before and I'll say it again, "You don't have to wait until January to make new goals or resolutions." You can start any time, so start today.

I started similar challenge, because you know me, Challenge Queen, but used the last 40 days to do 40 things to better me. You can do the same. Let's try these on for size:
  • Write your broad goals for the next 6 months, 5 years, and 10 years
    • Write your specific goals under each category
    • Write your individual action steps to get to each goal
This will help you focus on the future for you and your family. You can target areas like career, health, money, spirituality, creativity, self-esteem, leisure, etc. This allows you to stretch your thinking about what you can accomplish, as well as gets you in a proactive seat to get it done.

  • Look for a mentor in your chosen field
    • Get first hand experience from someone who has been where you want to go
    • Use their expertise to write a better story for yourself
This is very important because having someone else to help you is a true leader's secret weapon. There are plenty of successful people before you, so why reinvent the wheel. Follow their lead and achieve your own success.
  • Open a special savings account and use it has your "Bad Habit Account"
    • Want to break a habit, then save the money you would have spent
    • If you spend money on the habit, match it in your account
I really like this idea because it tackles our instant gratification mindset. It helps us to create new, more positive habits with our lives and our money. I'm not saying to not enjoy life, after all, we are Frugalicious, but we want to have good, healthy habits and that includes a healthy wallet.
  • Write a list of 10 things you have always wanted to do, no matter how "crazy"
    • Set out to do each one and once one is done, replace it with something else
    • Include your family and friends to help you write the list or join you in this quest
This helps you not only stretch your thinking, because in the process you will be learning. It also helps to stretch your thinking about yourself and the life you live or want to live. It is an excellent self-esteem builder to do things you thought were impossible or unattainable. It also gives you more life knowledge and a larger frame of reference. It opens up the creativity in us and allows true joy to come in.

So for the next 30 or so days, reflect on the personal instead of the pocket. You will most likely still spend money, especially since it's Christmas time, but at the same time you will be teaching yourself and those around you valuable lessons. It's not just about the money. You have a real life to live. Make it count beyond overspending or collecting trinkets. Dig deep to see what's already in you.

Until next time...peace!!

Frugalicious Diva

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