Moving into the New Year has brought a refreshed mindset and clarification of where I would like to be in my friendships, relationships and well-being in the next 365 days onwards. Outside of money, my focus is to reduce ‘waste’ as much as possible in these above three fields and let go of that which are not adding value to my current well-being and future goals.
- Accept that some friendships are what they are.
I’ve learnt to accept that while some friendships are deep, long-lasting friendships with aligned goals, others are more surface-level. While it’s fine to have both levels of friendships, I’ve learnt to invest less time and energy into the latter. These friends are not bad people at all; they are fun to catch up with every now and again and have a great party weekend with however as I move towards 30 years of age, their long-term goals are beginning to diverge with my own, which is to start building a strong financial future now.
- Let go of family issues and conflicts.
Fighting over who is right or wrong or holding onto history to the point of estrangement (in previous generations) is something that has been ‘normal’ in my family for a long time. While it has been a struggle for me to deal with over the past 15 years, this Christmas trip has lead me to realised that it’s better to let conflicts go than fight to change someone else’s way of thinking. Some may never accept responsibility for their actions, always think they’re always right, always feel like the victim or point the blame at others. Moving forward only I can change and control my own life and actions and not the actions of others, even though their actions may put themselves in a worse situation. While most of the time it was a matter of (dis)respect on top of the underlying issue, the best way to manage this is to distance myself from the issue and let others deal with the consequences of their actions or inaction, especially if they are already aware of the potential after-effects.
- Let go of things which do not add value to my current well-being.
Travelling is a constant reminder of the quantity of things that I own but do not need. For the past 5 years, I’ve travelled only with carry-on for trips up to 3 weeks long across different seasons. This Christmas trip back home was the first time checking in luggage instead of bringing carry-on, and cemented the belief that most of the clothes and products I brought were not needed and not used. It’s easy to distract myself from my goals through cheap thrills and things which are instantly gratifying, instead of investing time into something harder but more fulfilling. First project when I arrive back in Sydney – sort through the apartment and donate/sell or throw any items which I no longer value, need or (in the cheesy words of Marie Kondo) bring me joy. Biggest challenge of the year – go out less and invest the time, energy and money into projects which will bring me closer to where I want to be.
- Invest in few but quality items.
I can give credit to my sister for enlightening me on this one years ago. Consumer culture these days is a disposable one – products are cheap to buy, low in quality with a reduced life span. It’s culturally acceptable to buy things with the intention of discarding after use, instead of buying with the intent to keep, repair and maintain it for a long time. Though affordability is a legitimate argument, I find that when I buy fewer better quality items, it has greater longevity and I have a greater appreciation for the craftsmanship and make of the item. Having fewer things means that, by default, items owned end up being better quality and made to last.
- Stop comparing myself to others
By nature I am always comparing myself to others across everything from career to money to beauty. It’s one of my biggest weaknesses and often find the anxiety from constant comparison is a personal block to progress as over-analysis of the situation causes analysis-paralysis. Challenge for this year? Care less about my position to others and what others think…and just do it!
xx Miss Piggy