Like most people, I look forward to the New Year as a means to wipe the slate clean and finally become the best person I can be. Then every year like clockwork, the stresses of life and fear of failure get in the way and let old, unhealthy, and unwanted habits creep back in to the normal routine. "This year will be different," I say with the laundry list of changes and resolutions that I KNOW I can keep only to cut away to mid-February with my head in a bowl of creamy pasta and my hand on the stem of my Cabernet big gulp wondering why I can't seem to get healthy. Well, in light of the fact that 2013 was such a craptastic year and the spectacular changes I planned for myself never happened (in fact some even went the opposite direction), I have decided to scrap the entire resolution BS and focus on three simple words....drum roll, please!
Want versus need
These three simple words will be my new mantra and words to live by in the coming year and beyond. Let's face it, I give into my desires far more than I should. These over-indulgences have put me in the situation I am in today. I merely have to look in a mirror to see the downside of giving into my food and drink indulgences. My closet full of clothes spanning SEVEN sizes is the writing on the wall that screams I am not in control of that aspect of my life! Well, that's great, but how can these three words impact my life in more ways than just diet? Here are a few examples of how I plan on using "want vs. need":
I am extremely fortunate to have a good job, and I consider myself an expert at spending money; however, I am the worst about spending money frivolously. I have enough high-end kitchen gadgets, appliances, and linens to open a Bed, Bath, and Beyond. If I want it, I buy it. This lifestyle has me putting too much value on "things" instead of experiences not to mention the drawers full of crap that I will never use (but HAD to have). From now on, when thinking about buying something...anything, I will ask myself, "Do I NEED this or do I WANT this?" If the answer is "want", then I don't need it. I want a new handbag, but I definitely don't need one. I moved into a new house and need window coverings: I want dupioni silk panels, but I really only need something for privacy and can find something less expensive.
There is no doubt that I eat well, my waist band is hard evidence to this point and it all has to do with self-control and the fact that I have none. With my want vs. need life change, I will turn this train around and use food for it's sole intents and purpose...for fuel. Gone are the days of getting curbside carry out from Carrabba's and drinking a bottle of wine for dinner. The fact that I truly only "NEED" about 1200 calories per day to maintain adequate energy to get me through the day outweighs the "WANT" that I have for a thick juicy steak and a loaded baked potato. By preparing my own food, I control the calories and drastically slash the costs associated with dining out or take out. In this instance "want vs. need" affects both food and finance.
Time above all else is the most precious gift that we have been given and I should be tried and hanged for wasting it. When I look back at my life, I highly doubt that I will remember fondly the times that I held down the couch while watching TV and wish that I had spent more time playing Candy Crush on my smart phone. Spending time with family and friends will be on my needs list in addition to using time to better myself (this includes bubble baths). While I really want to sit watch "Days of Our Life", I really need to get my ass to the gym.
This new outlook on things will be an fluid model. I can't expect that I will never give in to my wants and that I will never watch T.V. or go out for a nice meal, but I need to indulge in them in moderation and only after they have been earned. Outlining my reasonable expectations will be paramount to my success and will curtail failure. Maintaining accountability by blogging about my success and failure can only help. So here, on the eve of the New Year, I pledge this...I will put aside my wants for my needs and I will make 2014 my bitch. Happy New Year!