Goodbye 2016 Hello Plan 2017

Goodbye 2016 Hello Plan 2017

It’s best to set a plan instead of a goal. You can control a plan, but you are always chasing goals trying to catch up with them. Your plans walk with you all the way.

Yes it’s the end of 2016. Are you one of the people who are saying, “I have no idea where the year went?”   Guess what, it went. Never to return. All the plans and hopes you had and all the things you wanted to accomplish left with 2016.   How many things you planned for 2016 that became a reality?

It’s time to create a plan for 2017. I am not talking about a New Years resolution. Remember it is a New Year for one day. With this in mind the resolutions you created that you kept for the first 24 hours of the New Year, is mission accomplished. The 2nd of January is not called the New Year it is January 2nd. The New Year left 24 hours ago.

Now let’s look at the plans you might consider making throughout 2017. You will have to take some time to work on those plans. During that time, you should not spend time looking at how you let those plans slip through your fingers in the lost plan section of 2016. Do not go there, nothing to gain looking back.

If New Years resolutions have not worked for you in the past make a short list. Three items should be tops, making a list with five items is stretching yourself. Setting you up for failure.   Check your record of success in the past before making a long list. How have you done? Remember your previous behavior is indicative of your future behavior. Take this into consideration when making your list.

The best way to target your plans for 2017 is to make a short list of the things that really matter to you. Vague or plans with no thought will treat you the same they will not materialize.   Plans that will work for you must be specific, describe it in as much detail as you can. Measure your progress towards the plan?   What have you done or what are you presently doing to ensure this plan becomes a reality. Is it a pipe dream or is it something you can attain with the resources at your disposal. Have you chosen a plan that is realistic?  Can you attain at this time of your life? Most important of all, when do you want to attain this plan. Give it a date in 2017 a real date, like August 20th 2017.

Now you have your list, place it somewhere where you will read it everyday. You noticed, I said read it everyday, not see it everyday. Reading and seeing are two completely different activities.   You should pause and read your list. Then ask yourself what did you do yesterday toward reaching this plan. What can you do today toward this plan? Ask that question everyday and note your progress and success.

If you follow the above plan you will have a very successful 2017.

It’s no point crying over spilled milk. The best and only choice is to look at the spilled milk, skip over it and walk in 2017. Do not look back.

Tessa-Marie

Find what works for you.

 

Finding your spot in a financial world can be very difficult sometimes. It becomes even more challenging when a very good friend in different circumstances encourages you to follow their plan.

In life, there are several things that work for one person but would not apply to another. When it comes to finances, it is even more glaring. Too often we decide to make decisions on things that work for our friends or family. After years of trying what was fool proof for them we find out it just cannot work for our family. It is absolutely imperative we realize that the plans that were set for their family five years or more ago may not apply to us five years later.

When listening to what works for someone else take a moment to look at the make up of their family very carefully, before considering implementing their plan in your life.

Here are some things to help you make those decisions:

  1. Do you have the same or similar income?
  2. How many members of the family are contributing financially?
  3. How many people make-up their family?
  4. What is their total debt?
  5. Is it the same amount as yours?
  6. How long ago did this plan work for them?

There are numerous other factors to consider, but these are just a few of the important ones when considering a financial plan.

The very best advice is to listen then take small sections of their plan and see whether it will fit with yours. If you are not sure seek the help of a financial advisor. Your financial institution is able to help. If the person is not prepared to help you learn to manage your family finances, keep looking until you find someone who will at least point you in the right direction.

The Internet is loaded with all kinds of information. Search until you understand what is being discussed.   Do not get discourage. Attend all sorts of financial seminars and take notes. Ask questions. Watch shows where financial advice is being given

Most important of all, do not give up.

Tessa-Marie

What I did on October 27th 2016

It was a cold rainy and windy fall day in Toronto. Not the type of weather to be out and about.

After the normal things that a retiree does, leisurely enjoying a coffee, reading the paper and just taking in the sunrise, I decided to tackle my cluttered washroom cupboards.

The very thought of doing it was intimidating and I wondered how far I would get before giving it up all together and finding something more exciting to do.

Then I remembered in one of my blogs, I asked all of you to do some de-cluttering. Well I suddenly felt like the parent who had told their children to clean their room but I hadn`t cleaned my own.

First thing first, I began by gathering all the things I needed. Large garbage bags, gloves, wet rags, some vinegar and dry rags. Now I was ready to tackle the clutter.

I began at the top of the cupboard, it was very dusty but not much clutter. Note to self I thought, I should dust this more often. Then the lazy voice in my head said to me; Why would I dust there when it`s not bothering me and no one can see it. I shrugged off the voice.

I did not realize that this type of dialogue with my internal self would continue throughout the process.

The first cupboard has two large shelves that were filled with over the counter medicine that supposedly fixes whatever is not going well. There was the Vicks vapor rub, cold syrup and then of course Tiger balm. I have no idea what to do with Tiger balm. I had it in the cupboard so I must have bought it for some reason. Maybe it was on Dr. Oz. This is when that voice started again, listen it said, you might need it for something you never know. No, I said go away! and into the garbage bag went the Tiger balm, miscellaneous tablets including headache tablets. I never get headaches. Whenever I say that to my siblings they tell me it’s because I swear so much. My friend Corrine Chapin will never pick me up any more headache medicine after hearing this.

The clutter on the following six shelves in that cupboard was all my doing. The lotion and potions in those cupboards was worth thousands and I mean thousands of dollars. I found a cream intended to be used just for the right side of your face, if you sleep on your right side to prevent wrinkles. I sleep on my back. What was I thinking with that purchase? The cellulite cream was the funniest. Why did I think it would work? The sales lady told me cellulite would disappear from my thighs. I forgot to ask her where it would go. I guess it did not matter because it is still there, it did not disappear and I could not see the difference so I stop using the cream. More money down the beauty drain.

Purple or any hew of purple eye shadow calls to me. Its like a magnet, but I am allergic to any shade in the purple family. Knowing this, why do I have so many of them? I am sure some sales lady told me it would accentuate my dark brown eyes. Really? All it did was puff up my eyes and break blood vessels. So I heard the voice said, maybe you are using too much? You know the voice said less is more. I ignore the voice and threw them all out.

The nail polish was another story. I mean, a whole other story. There was so many brands and bottles I thought I was at Sephora. Thousands of dollars down the beauty drain. The nail enhancer, the nail grower, the nail strengthener, the nail dryer, the fast drying nail polish, the decals and the nail extender. The voice said, well now that you are retired you have the time to use these products, so you better keep them. No I said and out they went.

Feet and toes section of the cupboard. Do you know I had purchased nail polish just for my toes? I must have bought this in New York. When in doubt blame the Americans. It had hardened in the bottle so I could not use it. The ever-faithful voice suggested I soften it in the microwave. No I said and dumped it. Then there were all those knives and tools to take away half my feet and make them soft and smooth. Since I had not been trained professionally on how to use them, I swear on my first attempt I would have end up in the emergency room. The voice, came through again, saying I would save money by doing my feet myself. No I said, I tried it once, my back hurt and I cut my feet. It does not work for me so in the bag they went.

Since de-cluttering was going so well I decided to take on the shower area. It was much easier. I threw away all sorts of shower gels and shower scrubs. Some scrubs hurt and after one use I never touched them again. I do not like the feeling of sand on my body unless I am at the beach. The voice stayed very quiet while working on the shower stuff, I wonder why?   Maybe it was the swear words I used when I remembered the feeling trying to rinse off some of these scrubs off my body. I guess the voice did not like that feeling either.

I completed the task. Congratulated myself on a job well done. Then the voice said what about me I helped? You did not I replied, if I had listen to you the cupboard would be the same and nothing would have gotten thrown out!

This is not my usual style of blog post but I hope you enjoyed it and perhaps you might be motivated to attack the bathroom cupboards on a wet, cold, or gloomy day.

Tessa-Marie

Getting Ready For Winter 2016 -2017

Winter is the longest season we have in Canada. It is not a longer season in months than any of the other seasons. Because it generally starts in the middle of fall and runs into spring, it makes it feel like its six months of winter.

I am offering you a few suggestions to help you get through those long nights and very short days of winter. As you know getting your finances in order is essential but also is planning for the changes that happen as we go through life.

Today we started with a balmy 13 degrees. Yes fall is here and winter is coming. I know you must be thinking I should find something else to do instead of writing about those cold mornings that are sure to come.

There are few things we need to prepare for the cold winter days ahead.

Take some time this weekend and go through your coat closet. Check all your fall and winter coats and jackets for loose buttons, torn pockets, broken hems or those that are just ready for the dump. Select the ones you did not use last winter. Do you really think you are going to use them this season? Make a pile of those to keep and those to donate or chuck. What about your winter or fall boots, are they still wearable, or should they be sent to the shoemaker for a new set of heels? If they are too scuffed and you did not use them last year, make a choice to donate or trash them.

Now let’s see what we can do in the clothes closet. This is also a great time to dispose of the summer clothes you did not wear this summer. Remember donate or trash no other rule.    The fall and winter garments. Take everything out of your closets spread them on the bed on the floor wherever you can find space. All the sweaters, tops, slacks, jeans, yoga pants check them out and go through the very same process you did for your coats. Too tight, to big, torn, buttons missing, need cleaning or have not worn since you were two sizes smaller.   Make the same pile, keep, donate or trash. Immediately placed those to donate and trash in bags. When this is done, go through the keep pile again and sort out those for cleaning or laundering at home. This will take the better part of a Sunday afternoon so I recommend that you put on some music, pour a glass of wine and get busy.

Once you have your items in the bags the next big step is to take them out of the house. The sooner this is done the better you will feel. Take the donate pile to a recycling depot or call one of the charities and they will be pleased to be able to pick them up from your home. Plan to take the pieces you will be wearing early in the season to the cleaners first. Plan this carefully as cleaning bills are extremely high. You will have to make sure you only take the pieces you need and can afford to pick up at the cleaners before a major storm comes calling.

After doing all of this you might need to replace some items. The stores are starting their fall and winter sales. Those of you with a clothing allowance this is a great time to benefit from sales and refit your wardrobe.

Now that you have those wonderful tips, I urge you to take advantage of some of them to get yourself ready for our longest season.