Monday, January 7, 2019
New Year, New Me…. Yeah, sure
It’s that time of year again! The time of year where we all pretend that this is going to be the year where we change our lives for the better. We gather the courage to take a picture of the new healthy meal we just prepared or how great our butt looks in these new yoga pants. No screenshots of our bank balance though, can’t do that. This new year, new me stuff is an epidemic of nonsense but at its roots, it really isn’t that bad. I am all for self-improvement. I can think of at least 12 things I’d like to change about myself. As my first post of the year, I am going to take you through 10 resolutions that are doable and will make your life better, a lot better.
1) Stop Complaining
I am going to let you in on a little secret and it will change your life. No one gives a shit about you, literally at all. Okay, I am sorry, I am sure there are a few people that care about you a little. I am certain you are well loved. You do have to realize though that there is no one in your life that cares about you enough to halt their dreams for yours, and why should they. Life is hard enough as it is, now we must carry a couple people on our backs as we go along? So, if we know that no one really cares about us, we should probably stop complaining. Let’s be honest, no one likes a complainer. They bring down the whole vibe. Beyond that, it makes yourself miserable. It brings you to a negative zone. I have never met one complainer that is happy. There are so many things we cannot control, so chalk those things up to that. You CAN control your outlook on them though and life in general. So do that and quit your bitching.
2) Earn more money
I got in an argument with a family member about taxes a few months back. This person was bitching and moaning about how the government steals from us. While I do think we get taxed quite heavily, I do think there is a solution. EARN MORE MONEY! Do it now. Do it right freaking now. People have this weird misconception that the more you earn, the more meaningless it becomes because of the tax rate. That is a bullshit lie, probably started by poor people. We live in a progressive tax system, meaning that you get taxed on every dollar over a certain amount at a higher rate ONLY for the dollars over that threshold. Making 50K at a 20% tax rate means you take home 40K. Making 500K at a 50% tax rate means you take home over 250K. Do you think the guy who makes 500K is bitching to the guy making 50K about taxes? He is probably finding ways to pay less of them like finding deductions. There are 2 reasons why you are broke: You either spend too much money or don’t make enough. Chances are it’s a combination of the two. Make a vow to earn more money. PS: Earning more money doesn’t make you greedy, it makes you smart.
3) Spend less money
Here is another one that gets me thinking. So, so, so many people complain about being broke, yet they have the latest gadget or handbag. Even worse they complain about it while sipping on an expensive cocktail. We have to curve our spending this year. I am 34 years old and I have seen how our society puts an emphasis on consumption. I almost puke every Christmas when the news anchors cheer about how spending is up this year. Yay! More people are overstretching themselves with debt! This is not good for anyone, except the banks and large retailers. It strains our economy because we go through large swings instead of steady upward outcomes. On a micro level, it wastes our time and puts us behind the eight ball of debt. Living day to day sucks, I’ve been there. The only way to get out of that trap is to spend less.
4) Save some money
If you are not saving money you will always be broke. There are a million excuses to not save money. Something will always come up. Kids, family, the home, events, vacations, a recession. Life gives you excuses but in all reality, the reason is always internal. You make a decision that your future is not important enough to you to sacrifice a little bit right now. You have to understand that every month you put money away you have bought a month of financial freedom when you are older. That’s the beauty of compounding my friends. Make a vow to start a savings program, now.
5) Watch less TV
Is it just me or has television become just terrible? I stick to the news and sports and even I am getting a migraine from the news. It has been proven that people who read more and watch less TV are more successful both in life and financially. They are generally healthier, wealthier and even happier. Television has become an absolute pile of trash and is making our society less productive by the minute. Watching less of it will make you a better person, you can trust me on that.
6) Eat better
I have recently tried to focus on my eating habits. I have noticed a huge change. I have more energy, I am less hungry throughout the day, and I have even lost weight. All I did was actively try not to eat any sugar or carbs. Now I am not a huge stickler for this diet. I know some things I eat have hidden sugar or carbs, but I avoid the obvious things. Lots of veggies and drink plenty of water. It is honestly not that difficult and the effects are amazing. The hardest part about changing your diet is the fact that it takes time to see results. After about 2 months I have seen them, and it has made me want to go further with it. Eating better will make you more productive, less tired, and in a better mood. Oh yeah, and you’ll live longer too.
7) Drink less or not at all
Now I love an adult beverage as much as the next person, but I am aware of how incredibly bad it is for us. Having worked in a bar for 15 years I saw the effects of someone’s lifelong drinking habit. These men do not look good. It damages almost every aspect of your health. Now there is nothing wrong with having a drink after work or on the weekends. There is also nothing wrong with having a few too many here and there. We need to understand that having too many, too often, is a killer. It hurts your emotional stability, your health, and your wallet. Alcohol is damn expensive, and hangovers make everyone miserable. Make a vow this year to drink less and I guarantee you will be happier.
8) Get a good night’s sleep
Most of us are overworked, underappreciated and damn tired. Getting a good night’s sleep is the first step to having a productive day. It is essential to rejuvenate your body and recharge your mind. We are often overstimulated with technology. I find that if I sleep with my phone nearby, I can’t sleep. When I put it in the other room I sleep very well. Make a vow to get to bed early and have an hour of no technology before bed. It will allow you to decompress and get ready for rest.
9) Forget the flakes
I love people, well some of them. Actually, not many of them. Okay, so I don’t really like people. Remember in point one where I mentioned how no one cares about you. Let’s revisit that. We all have only a certain amount of time we can dedicate to each other. Work, family, rest, are all essential. Do not waste your time on people that either bring you down are just aren’t important to you. How do you know they should not be important to you? If you are the only one making an effort, there’s a sign. If they are always negative, or bitchy, or just straight up annoying, there’s a sign. 2019 for me is a flake free year. To the curb, they go. Make a vow to surround yourself with people who bring you up, not let you down. You are the sum of the 5 people you see most. Write those people down on paper and then tell me who you are. Kind of scary eh? Let’s all find better people. There aren’t many of them, but they are out there for sure.
10) Focus on yourself
Adding to the last point, making your life better has got to be priority number one. You CANNOT be of any use to anyone else if you are not healthy, happy and financially stable. When I see someone who will give the shirt off their back to someone I cringe. Keep your shirt and show someone how to make their own. The most successful people help people all the time, but only because they have gotten themselves to a place where they can do that. It doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you noble. If your lifelong mission is to be the best that you can be, people will be helped because of that. That is the natural order of things. This only comes through focusing on what you can do to make your life better and there is no better time to start than now.
I will end this post with one last tip. Take some time this year to improve your life, even if just a little bit. One word of advice: You don’t have to broadcast it. #newyearnewme is vain. It’s self-serving. It’s cliché, it’s not genuine and quite frankly it usually falls flat on its face. The real winners are quietly going about their business, breaking necks and cashing cheques. A goal accomplished with no witnesses is still accomplished. A healthy meal cooked without an Instagram post, is still delicious. A squat that tightens that booty will still turn heads even if you don’t take a pic. Keep your goals tight and believe me it will feel that much better when you smash them. Here’s to 2019, our best year yet!
“Self-improvement is the name of the game, and your primary objective is to strengthen yourself, not to destroy an opponent.” – Maxwell Maltz
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