Commentary

Self spring cleaning

April 5, 2018

By Sarah Sobanski

As you come down from your Easter food high, you might be getting ready for some spring cleaning. Once the chocolate has run out, you’ve had a nap and you can do up the top button on your stretchy jeans, of course.

There are lots of little projects that pop up come springtime. With the nice weather you can bring out that old, dusty dresser and finally refinish it. You can get to the raking you gave up on last fall. You can clean out the crawlspace, bleach the entire house, alphabetize your record collection or any other assortment of odd chores you put pressure on yourself to do so you can mostly feel bad about not doing them. Like dieting from here until the docks are in so you can get last year’s jean shorts past your left thigh — not likely.

While you might have considered every chore for spring cleaning — to double polishing the good silverware — have you thought about spring cleaning in a way that creates actionable change in your life?

I’ve mentioned dieting or eating healthier already, but that’s a more common one that people ponder as the snow seeps into the ground. Or after any holiday, really. That third helping of grandma’s special dish was allowed because you’re starting your diet tomorrow, right?

But what about something like finally creating a budget to take that trip you’ve been dreaming of?

Heading into April, we’re coming out of budget season. We’ve watched all levels of government release or, at the very least discuss their budgets.

Have you ever taken the time to record your expenses? What’s ​your total ​discretionary income? Are there dollars that you could be setting aside? One of my goals is to build a buffer between myself and my winter hydro bills.

While you’re reorganizing your finances, what about prioritizing your goals? Look ahead five years. Where do you see yourself? How are you going to get there?

We can set smaller goals that will lead up to our larger goals. Breaking down what you want to accomplish can mean the difference between never getting started and being successful.

You can attend a class to build the skill set you want to become a master of an art, or get the job you think you’re born for. You can’t pick up a paintbrush and be Vincent Van Gogh. You can’t apply to be an astronaut one night after thinking the stars were pretty cool.

​Maybe you​ never have enough time to do everything you want. You’re always running around. You never get time for yourself.

Have you considered developing​ a schedule for your personal time? Are you any good at time management?

What is that proverb? Time doesn’t appear to those who wait for it but to those who seek it. Your time is as valuable, if not more valuable, than your finances and yet we only “budget” for one.​ It’s time to change that.

Spring brings rebirth for many things. People speak of new beginnings, fresh starts. There’s a sense of freedom that can come with remembering yourself and giving yourself the tools to accomplish what you want, need.

Sometimes the only thing standing in your way is you. Stop being your biggest critic. Go get ‘em.

         

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