It's time to put energy and creativity into the new world. After all, it's just the first day of the new year. We all have an equal chance to start anew; live on a clean slate.
Today is the perfect time to carefully start the beginning of our new year. Yes, there are still 364 days for the year. But you only get one chance to live-- your first day of the year. Personally, I feel compelled to take stock on how I'd like to tackle the year ahead.
Winning. Achieving. Both are by-products of sensible planning and commitment to pursue one's goals.
This year, as we start building a new life as a married couple, I'd like to believe that we're going to be smarter in our choices and decisions. In 2013, I am committing to be faithful as a "partial" stakeholder in attaining our 12 targets.
1. Be debt-free, this year. Last year, we were financially-challenged. We had a destination wedding to pay for. Although in hindsight, that wasn't really an excuse to neglect the other areas that need financial savvy. Okay, there are some loans that will not be paid off until 2015 but I think in the great scheme of things they were called investment, so am taking them out of the equation.
2. Save more. Financial gurus have been drumming it up -- save at least 20%. Pay yourself, first. This year, we're going to do that. I WILL add a couple of thousand more every payday to my forced savings account in our coop. Am concerned that we are in no position yet to be prepared for emergencies. This year, it'd would be a year of setting up our Emergency Fund.
3. Tithe consistently. A christian steward must at least give a tenth of his/her income. I pray that I can be more generous. Although, no one can out-give God. But by His grace, I wish to give more.
4. Buy our life insurance. We are no longer single creatures; we need to be prepared for the inevitable. I shall set up an appointment with my finance buddy and God-parent Berna.
5. Travel together. Our destinations this year are Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Taipei and Singapore. The US and Europe remain to be a dream. We'll see where God will put our resources.
6. Read often. Am a self-confessed bookworm. This year though I'd challenge myself to read, finish and write a short review of a book, every week. That's 53 books in one year. In 2012, I've read so many books but I haven't actually recorded the total count of titles I slept with.
7. Sleep earlier. They say that there is no such thing as sleep-debt. But I've tricked myself into thinking that I can pay off all the unbelievable late nights I've accumulated either for being out with friends or reading... mostly, reading. This year, I'd pay more attention to the benefits of sleeping early. This means, I should be able to manage my time well. And really just learn the art of living a balanced life.
8. Wake up early. I've been a perennial late comer. I don't really know what happened in the intervening years but in high school, I went to school earlier than everybody else -- at least the ones who did not ride our school bus. We'd arrive in school by 6:15am for a 7:45am class. Into my adulthood, I've forgotten somehow the value of being an early bird. Perhaps, I've been jilted by the myth of the early worm? haha, kidding.
Like the emperor in his new suit, I've been tricked into thinking that I look good in it. To be more precise, that it's okay to be late. At work, there were years that I would wallow in the thought that I've wasted precious money by having my pay deducted from all the incurred late minutes. Yet, I haven't changed ways.
Then, I got promoted which gave me time flexibility. I deluded myself into thinking that I can easily just punch in late (scan, actually) then, go home later than the official working hours.
The past year have shown me that it's not quite the same. Hence, my resolve to come to work on-the-dot at nine in the morning, everyday. No excuses.
9. Enrich my soul. Go back to the habit of setting a side a time of the day for quiet time to reflect and commune with God. I pray also that my hubby and I will be able to join a bible study growth group so we grow in our faith. I long for the day that I'll be on fire again in my relationship with God. And that may this be the year that we start bearing fruit in our Christian walk.
10. Attend yoga class, regularly. It's painful to admit ones failure to stick to an exercise regimen. However, I've come to terms with the reality that my sporadic physical activities do not really give me the kind of joy and satisfaction I get from yoga. Even if I don't exhibit the right form, all the time. Even if I don't have the stomach to wear proper yoga clothes because my current body is not yet ready for all the mirrors surrounding the hot studio. Even if the heat adds to my consternation at all the yoginis in front of me dazzling me with their yoga poses and non-existing body fats. Yes, even if.
11. Set aside a fund for our future home. Realistically speaking, a huge amount is needed for us to get started with our home project. I'd like to believe that it is prudent to designate the year, as the time that we set aside a predetermined portion of our income into the House Project. This way, when 2014 comes rolling in, we are more prepared and we don't have to incur a tremendous amount of debt.
12. Be kinder and gentler. The universe smiles at the world when its inhabitants are kinder and gentler. I'd like to live by the command to be "quick to listen, slow to anger."
Of course, it wouldn't hurt if my husband presents me a new Prada bag sometime this year. But really, it would just be icing on the cake.