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 😊

Out of excuses

It is quite obvious just how much I have been neglecting this blog. And I find myself out of excuses as to why I have not been writing. Putting procrastination aside (which is clearly the main reason), my job has also taken up much of my time and afterward, simply resting from work.

And since I have my freelance work, I can still claim that I write every day. Or most days anyway.

But it is not the writing I want to do. In fact, it is quite tedious at times as I am not engaged in the topics I write about.

The discovery that I feel most inspired to write when I am traveling is somewhat helpful. But it would kind of mean that I should take trains more often to places I’ve not been before. As lovely as that sounds, it is currently not feasible. I have a commitment to my job, which I actually enjoy doing as well.

But I do know that once I’m done with it, I will move on – quite literally.

If I have no reason to stay, it will be time again to leave.

Until then, I can’t wait for the next trip to happen and to feel in the mood for writing. It’s not as if I feel that I have nothing to say when I’m sitting at home. Quite the contrary. I always have something to say.

I watched this video on YouTube yesterday, where this guy talked about his Dopamine detox experience for the past year. He didn’t just do it for a day or a week. He went for an entire year on this journey, and it was very interesting. He was incredibly blunt, and I am not exactly his target audience (young guys are), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get something out of it.

I know I’ve fallen into the same trap as so many others when it comes to instant gratification. Scrolling through Instagram to read yet another uplifting post, cliché, or watching the umpteenth video of a cute parrot or parakeet.

Or deep-diving into YouTube, watching videos about minimalism, financial stability, traveling, backpack reviews, and whatnot.

But all I do is watch. Or read. I kill time. I’m not doing anything. And I tell myself I deserve a break.

Sometimes that is even true. But who needs to spend hours on social media? Sure, I take some valuable lessons away and some things do stick. But beyond that, I am not moving at all. In any direction. Or with purpose.

Another video I watched talked about how fatal inaction can be. Letting everything happen to you and not taking action. Whether that is writing a journal, going for a walk, doing that work-out, paying off that debt, approaching someone new, or even just saying no to more work on your plate.

There are so many ways in which we can and should take action but never do. We feel powerless and let things happen. We let our lives happen to us instead of taking charge of it. How is that acceptable?

Sure, there is a time and place for social media. It can serve a purpose. But surely not for hours at a time.

And feeling like a slouch on your sofa and complaining about that flabby belly is not going to improve by eating more junk food and putting off yet another walk or work-out.

I’m officially out of excuses.

Let’s get going.