What's Your Word of the Year?
I realize it has been a little longer since the New Year, however, I feel as though it is the perfect time to discuss "the word of the year."
What is the word of the year?
Put simply, it is one word that you focus on for the entire year. The idea came to me at our work's Christmas party. Gary, the CEO of our company gave the advice of picking one word to focus on for the New Year. This suggestion stuck with me for the following couple of weeks.
Then, a coworker mentioned that her cousin picks a new theme for the New Year and focuses primarily on that theme (for example, 2018 = gardening, 2019 = run a marathon, 2020 = fill in the blank).
I loved this idea. I thought that choosing one word to focus on for an entire year vs. focusing on reaching several goals would be a helluva lot easier.
My word for 2020?
to make something easier to do or to understand
Yes! Perfect! I want 2020 to be about simplifying my life. What exactly does this mean to me?
A non-particular list of the things in my life I wish to simplify in 2020:
How and what I choose to eat
How I choose to exercise
Let's start with the most obvious part of my life I wish to simplify: my belongings. It is not hard to understand WHY someone would want to simplify their life by going through everything they own. From my perspective, people (myself included) accumulate way too much "stuff" throughout their lives. Don't get me wrong, I donated, recycled, and threw away what I could before I moved to Wisconsin but looking around at still how much "stuff" I had in my apartment created this urge to deep clean and get rid of things!
Fully fueled by my new word for the year: simplify. I decided to start right away by going through everything I owned in my living room. The result? I cleaned out old school binders, recycling around 5 lbs of paper that was sitting on my shelf collecting dust. Buh-bye!
I looked through old books and textbooks that I have finished reading and decided to donate/give them away to others. I am the type of person who only reads a book once.
I filled one garbage bag full of items that I could neither donate or recycle.
Additionally, I ended up selling a large bookshelf I had that was holding all of my extra "stuff". Cha-ching. I simplified and even was able to make some extra spending money.
Tip: If you need extra money, try cleaning out your room, house, or apartment, and see what you can sell on Facebook Marketplace to earn some extra ca$h!
If you're at all like me, then you too most likely get a little rush from cleaning the house and getting rid of items that no longer serve you! It is such an amazing feeling. A feeling that I hope continues throughout the year.
I won't get too far into finances because I realize everyone has different needs and wants and means to fulfill those needs and wants, but simplifying finances to me means to cut down your non-student or non-mortgage debt as much as you can (if not completely) within one year so you are solely putting all of your resources towards paying down your student loans or mortgage.
This means cutting down or eliminating your:
credit card debt
Challenge yourself to be unnecessary debt-free by the end of 2020. This could mean getting really tight with your money and also keeping track of where you spend your money.
One rule that has helped me manage my finances is the 50, 30, 20 rule.
This rule entails the following:
50% of your finances go towards your NEEDS. These are the items that you really cannot live without paying for. Examples: rent/mortgage, bills (i.e., car, phone), groceries, travel expenses (i.e., gas)...etc.
30% of your finances go towards paying off your debts and anything left over to save
20% of your finances go towards anything "extra" that you may just WANT such as entertainment for the month (i.e., movies or concerts), eating out, or a new hair product.
Most people get into trouble when they don't realize how much money they are spending on items that do not fall into one of these categories or perhaps spend too much in the "WANT" category. Know your spending trends and adust or simplify!
To me, eating simply means to cut out those triggers that I know cause me problems (i.e., acne, diarrhea) like dairy and simple sugars and to nourish my body with foods that I know are fantastic for me such as a variety of colorful fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean meats. Sometimes all I crave is a great salad with a bomb dressing. I like to KISS (Keep It Simple Silly).
Do you ever feel like there is always pressure on you to always be in competition about something?
Even working out?
Don't get me wrong, competition is great and is needed at various times in your adult life but every single time you workout? I don't think so. I enjoy to strength train - specifically, Crossfit style training, but I could no longer justify spending $120+/month to do that sort of training. This workout style is something I have stuck with for 8 years. I don't think I am ever going to NOT train in some sort of Crossfit-style capacity. However, with my 2020 word to simplify, I needed an alternative.
Therefore, putting money towards my own home gym was one of the smartest decisions I made (and probably will ever make). Not only does it save me money but it also saves me time and the feeling of always competing. See, I want to workout how I want to workout. I don't need to do Olympic-style lifts - I am NEVER going to compete. I don't need to know how to do a handstand walk - I don't foresee myself needing to walk on my hands for any reason. Would it be cool to learn how to handstand walk? Hell yeah! But, "functionally" is not needed in my personal fitness library.
Save money on fitness? Check.
Save time on fitness? Check.
Get a great simple workout that targets all of my personal goals without the frilly extras? Check.
Make fitness more simple? CHECK!
There you have it. One word. Multiple applications. A more simple way of living and spending.
What is your word for 2020? I would like to hear from you! Let me know in the comments!