Staring Down A New Year

2016 is quickly coming to a close, as 2017 looms over the horizon. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to kick 2016 to the curb. It has been the worst year of my 48 years on this earth, and I'm over it. If it could go wrong, it did. If it could get worse, it dropped to new lows. 

But it is now in the past, and I'm now starting to look deeply int 2017's eyes with a new hope and a new attitude. Something that I've not really done in awhile. 2016 started out as a whirlwind and it didn't stop until it had firmly left me bruised, battered, and laying flat in it's tracks. But for 2017, I'm sober to what lies in store. I'm not going in blindly and without caution. 2016 taught me never to do that again.

So, this is how I'm looking at 2017:

New beginnings
I started a new job two weeks ago after being laid off at the beginning of November. I actually wasn't upset over it, as it was expected. I was ready for change as my life had really taken a toll physically, emotionally, and mentally while I was there. The majority had nothing to do with the job, but it did effect it a great deal. So, I'm going into 2017 with a new endeavor and a new confidence in what I do for a living.

New attitude. 
2016 had left me struggling to understand who I was and had been in the past. It actually took professional intervention to get me to reacquaint myself with my inner child and my inner peace. Going into 2017, I've come to realize what is most important and that is my well-being. I am no longer going to allow myself to be treated poorly, misjudged, or misguided. Already, I've noticed that I am more engaged with the people around me and have a much happier outlook on life itself.

New health initiative. 
2016 was hard on my physically. Between major surgery, two hospital stays, way too many ER visits to count, and an intensive outpatient treatment program, I am left nearly 30 lbs heavier than I started the year. At the moment, I have a herniated disc that was aggravated in a fall in early October, and am waiting a second spinal block procedure in early January. Once I am released to work out again, I have already made a reservation with a weight loss program that I have had success with in the past. The Onion Factory in Anderson, Indiana helped me lost over 50 lbs less than two years ago. I felt great and looked great once the weight was gone, but between a mental breakdown and a sports injury (plus the living nightmare called 2016), I gained all (plus more) of the weight back. Since I know that the program is a great success, I signed up for their eight week onion camp program to kick start my health and weight loss goals.

New financial outlook. 
After being one paycheck away from bankruptcy, and then having to face that reality when I lost my job, I am making it both a short and long term goal to get my finances in order. Luckily, I do not have credit card debt (I abhor them and I want to strangle the store clerks who won't let it drop), but with a student loan that has no end in sight, a car payment, a mortgage and the ensuing list of utilities, I need to strip down my finances and see where I'm going wrong. For one, I was eating out basically every day, sometimes three meals in that day. When you add up $10 to $20 meals up to three times a day, you are left with almost nothing in the end. So, I have signed up for the Crown Money Map program through Crown Financial Ministries. It is a biblically-based program that helps individuals become better stewards with their finances. I took the classes almost 15 years ago, but I've gone through so many changes over the years, that I barely remember the principals. So, I decided to try their program objectives one more time. I'm also a big fan of The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I am looking forward to retiring with no debt, including a completely paid off house. And at 48 years old, that time is coming awfully quick.

New successes in minimalism.
Decluttering and simplifying life have been a hobby of mine now for several years. My home is still far from being perfect, but I get closer to that goal each month. I still follow The Flylady's advice with the help of my accountability partner to keep me in line each day. I want to make a renewed effort to finally reach a point where I can professionally start offering my help as a professional organizer, instead of just giving advice over the interwebs in this blog. I want to live a life of freedom from "stuff". And I want to continue to help you reach that point, as well.

So, as I say goodbye to 2016, I am eager to see what 2017 will bring. It is easy to sit down and write out resolutions and goals like I have done here, but putting them into fruition is a whole different league in itself. So, take life by the horns and make it into what you want it to be. No one has ever said you have to lie down and take your lot in life as finality. You have the ability to make changes and do what you need to improve upon what you have now. It takes grit and determination to just do it. So, go get 'em and don't go down without a fight.