Getting started

Let’s keep the momentum going. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to keep following through, but it is my intention to do just that.

So, when you’re fed up or dissatisfied with your status quo, where do you get started changing things? Often, we try to go cold turkey (so to speak) by attempting to change things in an unsustainable way. You want to quit smoking? Throwing out all cigarettes is going to work for about as long as the craving kicks in and you’re heading out to buy a new pack.

You want to cut down on alcohol, sugar, junk food? Throwing all related food items out or pouring your liquor down the drain is also only a temporary fix. What is going to stop you from having a beer when you go out with friends? And that side of fries your friends want to share? And afterward, a piece of cake because why not?

Clearly, none of that works because it isn’t sustainable.

So, here is what I am going to do. First, I take stock. What is my status quo?

  • I have a part-time job that I truly like. It’s beneficial for several reasons as it pays a steady income, and it covers my medical insurance and comes with some social insurance and retirement benefits.
  • I have also my freelance work, which pays well but the main challenge here is that I don’t enjoy the subject matter I write about. I stick with it because it pays well. Do I feel secure in this income? Not always. Assignments can be steady, but they can also be so sporadic that I am unsure whether I will make enough to get to my desired income for my next invoice.
  • I’m not writing for myself nearly as much as I want to.
  • On a personal level, I’m dissatisfied with my current shape. I cycle to work at least three times a week and the job is quite physical in that I walk around a lot. I get plenty of movement this way, but my strength and flexibility are not where I want and need it to be. I do feel flabby in places and I’m not happy with that. That said, this is a question of comfort and health rather than one of looks or beauty standards (which I care nothing for).
  • I spent too much time on social media, reading the news four times a day, browsing YouTube for the latest videos that may interest me and just do the equivalent of online window shopping (looking through my favourite online shops without every buying anything, which is good, but it is still a waste of time).
  • Finally, my financial situation. I have a little bit of credit card debt, but that is in hand and I’m paying that off every month. It does keep me from putting that extra money towards my savings. Also, whilst I don’t have a shopping problem as such, I need to cut down on that.

This is a bit of a conundrum, to be honest. I’ve been putting a capsule wardrobe together with only sustainable clothing during the past year. I spent some money on that every month in order to have the wardrobe that will keep me going for years to come. I’m almost done with that, which is good, but it has been somewhat expensive. It’s also one of the things that have had me falling into YouTube spirals about minimalism and anything else on the subject. And I’ve done extensive research about materials and whatnot. You name it, it’s been taking up a lot of time and it’s been cutting into my funds.

I’ve made some mistakes along the way and purchased items that I ultimately decided not to keep. This is certainly one of those things that get me a quick dopamine fix when I make a purchase, but it is leaving me with some regret when I realize that maybe I should have returned the item I initially liked because it doesn’t quite work for me.

Anyway, I’m looking at my status quo with brutal honesty, which may mean that I don’t like what I’m seeing. There is no way around that, though.

So, once I have looked at where I am at, the next step is to look at where I want to be:

  • I’m happy with my part-time job, but a raise is in order. So, I that’s the next goal here.
  • I’m not happy with my freelance work. I want to find new clients and potentially diversify my streams of income.
  • I want to be stronger and more flexible.
  • I want to waste less time on social media or just doing things that don’t serve me.
  • I want all my debts paid off.
  • I want greater financial freedom.
  • I want to write for myself.

It’s not too difficult to look at where you are at and then to summarise where you want to be. Next, I’m going to have to come up with a plan of getting from where I am to where I want to be.

Stay tuned 😊

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