Debt Pitfalls: Forgetting to Follow Through
This is just a quick post to start the week off in the right direction: the biggest change I’ve had in my personality has been learning to follow through with things. I actually had the idea of starting a blog over 3 years ago. It was not a very clear idea (just a personal blog with guest posts by my friends) but I wonder if it would have grown if I had done it and stuck with it. Then I had the idea for a shower foot-scrubbing device I coined the Scrub Shack, and it turns out it got invented at the same time I was thinking of it: Avivo Shower Sandal Footscrubber. There have been others, but I’m not living in the past. I’m just reflecting on how much better I have been since the beginning of 2011 on following through with things. Here are a few things I finally got right in 2011:
Exercise: I got back into working out regularly and playing tennis regularly. I feel better and it gives me energy to do other things, so I am not just coming home from work, falling on the couch and watching TV all night.
Writing/Blogging: This blog is already 4 months old and posting regularly keeps this blog active and reminds me that paying off all of my debts is one of the best things I can do to improve my situation. Plus, I have always wanted to be a writer and yet never exposed my written work to anyone but myself. I’m getting a little better at writing and am putting together some ideas for a few good books, which is one of my top goals in life. I’m planning a big revamp after 6 months of blogging, which is the point I will have proven to myself I can be committed to the American Debt Project: getting me out of debt, motivating others to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and understand what gets us so easily indebted in the first place.
Work: I started my job in February 2010, and with my inconsistency record, that is the longest I’ve EVER held a job. And even though I should be making more, it all comes one step at a time. First, be good at a decent-paying job, then move on and be great at a better-paying job thanks to the first job.
Spending: I’ve been desperately trying to pay off my debts since 2008. And yet, I was still regularly visiting TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, going out to eat a few times a week, and taking trips to Hawai’i I couldn’t afford. I always felt like I HAD to do things. Well, I’ve finally stopped going to the stores, eat out way less often, and don’t make promises to visit people or places when I can’t afford it. I know it sucks to say no all the time, but I am seeing results and it’s worth it. I sometimes get overwhelmed and think there’s no way I’m ever going to get out of this financial blackhole, but I would be even less likely to get out of it if I was shutting my eyes and hoping it will magically go away. That’s like hoping the fried chicken smell is going to leave your house after you deep-fried a smorgasboard of meat, potatoes and cheese. Do you have an industrial fan? Because that smell doesn’t just fade. It only seeps in deeper.
Business/Investing: I’m working on some things as side investments/income. I’m still in the early stages, so it’s not worth analyzing yet, but I know that being consistent and spending some time on those ideas every day is going to pay off.
People: I’ve been getting better at staying in touch. I hate when I call someone and they don’t call me back for a week. And yet we all do it. I’ve been getting better at being responsive, and seeing my family and friends who live nearby regularly. I really miss the family and friends who don’t live in California, but I know I will be a better family member and friend if I can take care of myself and not complain about my situation, and when I finally do visit, it will be with an ease of mind I don’t think I’ve ever had.
I know, why all the back patting and self-congratulating? I told you I need a good start to MY week! But seriously, this is just part of the “following through” and “paying my debt to society” themes I’ve been focused on. Persistence does pay off. Even if you’ve never been persistent, never followed a routine, never broken a bad habit, never kept a job longer than 6 months, a new focus and new dedication will pay off and help you change any of those things. If I can do it, that means even the laziest, most self-satisfied and easily distracted type can get there. As usual, I found the idea of persistence perfectly captured at Genius Types. I think he got it right when he said, “The reason 20 percent of the people make all the money is because 80 percent of the people quit early.”