Reflections of 2009 and Resolutions for 2010

Fashionably late by 3 days I’m going to do my New Year’s resolution blog today. First I’m going to write about 2009, which in a lot of ways was a banner year for me. I made a lot of progress and improved in a lot of positive ways.

 I briefly read over last year’s resolution facebook note that I wrote and I did not get out of credit card debt completely as I planned. But I made it possible to do so during this year. I think a big part of growing up is living within your means, and being independent. A couple of years ago I read a Suze Orman book and she stated that if you’re following your passion or what you want to do as a career, taking on smart debt can be a good thing.  She meant charging rent, getting groceries, and other necessities in order to get started in your field. For years I did that to get started in NYC but I also charged bar tabs and other stupid things on my credit card. Thankfully this year I broke that cycle completely. In 2009 I didn’t use my credit card at all, so all of my expenses we’re paid by what I earned.

 Maybe life changing things happen through out one’s life, but in April passing out standing up has firmly steered me away from drinking.  A couple of weeks ago I saw a movie and was up until about 1 or so and the next day at work I was tired. The after 4 am or later nights seem foreign to me now and not desirable at all.  For several months it was an adjustment, and I didn’t really know what to do with my time. Even now I probably have less of a social life, and I don’t really see some of the people I used to drink with at all anymore, but I feel some ties I have are stronger because I can focus on conversations, and I am not always seeking new experiences.  So I can take people for what they are, and not glamorize all interactions. Quitting drinking for me has been the most positive thing I’ve done in recent years and shortly afterwards things started to improve for me.

 In June or July I got tired of nursing my knee and started skating regularly.  Two of my friends from the previous year welcomed me back, and weather permitting I skated on most of my days off. The park system in NYC has expanded greatly, and a skater here has so much variety, that it’s a great place to skate. This has helped my disposition and has made me happy. I think skating or other sports can by a positive thing in people lives to stay active. Also as an adult you focus on the activity and not the b.s. or peer pressure around it. I am not trying to make the New York City skate seen at all, and don’t care about that. But that is what I’ll do when I can. Also in 2009 I started going to the gym, I kind of have a pattern of going for a couple of months, and then stopping for a few months. Even with being sporadic I’m in better shape than I was in 2008.

 Basically my goals for 2010 are a continuation of the improvement I made in 2009 with health and personal finances. Since you really want to know I’ll provide specific details for these goals. I’m good at making goals, and hopefully I’ll improve on follow through.

 I’ll start out with finances, because that is simpler. In 2009 I cut my credit card debt more than half. I’m hoping with a similar tax refund as last year, and making slightly higher monthly payments I can pay it off by spring or summer.  I forgot to mention, a big thing I did in 2009 was that I quit smoking. Will with the patch, and I’m almost done with the ten week program. I’m confident I’ll continue to be a non smoker and a non drinker this year, and as a result I’ll be spending much less money.   A pack a day habit in NYC costs 250 dollars or more and a couple of nights out drinking a week could be a lot more than that. Looking at that math it’s easy to see how I got in the credit card mess. Without those two things though, I can pay my bills with ease, and should be comfortable actually.  Another expense is eating take out and restaurant tabs. I’m making it a goal to grocery shop regularly this year. I don’t have to prepare all of my meals, but it’s stupid never to eat in.  Also, some of the budgeting tips online tell you to write down everything you spend money on. I don’t think I’m actually going to do that, but it is a good idea for me to monitor and be observant of what I’m spending my money on.  I do have student loans too, but I’m not worried about those because it’s low percentage rate, and will continue to pay the minimum for awhile. So after I pay my credit card debt I’m going to try to start saving for once, maybe this year will be a start of saving for my future.

 Now I’ll get into the fun part, of health or exercise goals for this year.  My writing goals and some intellectual goals are on hold for awhile with the exception of this blog. So I need some purpose, and something to occupy my time away from work. I decided I’m going to kick it in high gear with the gym and skateboarding. Today it’s like 20 degrees and a wind chill that is brutal. If the next few months are as cold as it is today, I may not be able to skate regularly. That’s unfortunate, but what I can do is really train at the gym. Instead of simply 3 days a week go there most days of the week. It is about 4 months until spring and 4 months is an adequate amount of time to get in dangerous shape.  I’m going to do light lifting and concentrate on cardio. Most nights of the week I get home at 7 at night, and it would be better to be in a routine of going to the gym than just doing nothing in my apartment. Hopefully there will be some warm spurts this winter and I think if they temperature is 35 or over I’ll skate on my off days. Maybe I’ll try to go to some of the indoor parks in the tri-state area.

 This took me what seemed like a long time to write this. Sometimes writing doesn’t come easy, but I should force myself to do this once a week. While I wrote this I listened to an internet radio, and I recommend it.

 Lastly, happy New Year, I think it’ll be a good year.

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