Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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2017, that happened

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My last blog post that did not feature a book was in July. That’s quite a few months of happenings with no writing. In fact, after doing a quick scroll through of my 2017 blog I now realize I’ve only posted 7 times outside of my book of the month posts. Seven:

  1. one year old
  2. finally 2017 (a look ahead)
  3. ry-guy
  4. mediwift
  5. t-man
  6. 15 days: my iphone withdrawal story
  7. four(teen)th of july

Either there’s not a whole lot going on for me, or a whole helluva lot. To be honest, definitely some of both. So, yeah, that happened. I do want to continue my recent tradition of reverse bucket listing my year. This year’s list will serve two purposes: it’s a great way to reflect on the good times of 2017, and is also a list of blog posts soon to be featured here:

  1. Hosted wintry guests
  2. Went on a cruise
  3. Celebrated weddings in Newport, RI and Sundance, UT
  4. Traveled to the western USA with my family
  5. Saw the Grand Canyon
  6. Went to Vegas
  7. Followed my savings plan
  8. Coached a growing group of girls
  9. Attended my 10 year high school reunion
  10. Completed another year of my ECE degree

I’ll stop at 10, because that’s been my modus operandi the previous two years, but there may be an extra post or two coming down the pipeline with happenings from the eventful 2017 – like my epic summer vacation. Get ready, 2018 is here.

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precision nutrition

This is a website and nutrition concept I’ve mentioned in the past. Dr. John Berardi and his team take on clients every six months and work with them to figure out just what the best nutritional plan is for them.

The Precision Nutrition team just last week had their pre-release and took on new clients. It is now open to the public to sign up (if it isn’t already sold out). I put my name on the pre-sale list. But didn’t sign up.

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I was really tempted. I read the entries on the site and have even read their e-book (40+ pages of fun). On their website they often talk about how to change oneself and consciously form habits. this, above all else, is what I am most interested in.

They talk about making small extremely manageable changes, all working towards the final goal. In this case being more physically fit. I really like this whole concept. Have a goal? Write it down. Then consider what it takes to get to that goal. All the steps aren’t necessary, just the first one. The first, super easy step that, of course, is manageable. Start there, see how it goes. It goes great! Continue on to the next tiny, super manageable step. Not working out? Revise the first step, how can it be easier? Does the first step need to be in a slightly different direction?

These things seem so logical to me. Sounds like something I could do. So I really wanted to try it. Even better, it seems like something, a way of working with oneself, that could be applied to any subject matter. It doesn’t just have to be nutrition habits. or work out habits. It can be learning habits. Habits at work. Anything. Not only am I very interested in the nutritional field in general, but habit-forming is something I would love to learn more about. And I wanted to learn it from precision Nutrition.

I’m using the bast tense seeing as I did not sign up for the Lean Eating Program. I was fully ready to do so. But then I considered the price, and where I’m at financially right now, today, this week.

Although I’ve saved up for that big party I mentioned, and although I counted my 25 before 25 goal of saving money as complete, I’m not quite where I want to be. I’ve certainly made some steps in the right direction, but I want my Nest Egg to grow and accommodate an entire years worth of living expenses. I want to have a better cushion, and maybe save for a vacation or two. I examined my finances, and although I can afford the Precision Nutrition coaching, technically, I have decided to wait. At least 6 months.

I’m going to follow my savings plan perfectly for 6 months. If I am able to do so, THEN I will join the next group of Lean Eaters.

I’ll keep you posted.

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twenty four. save money

money money money

Now, this is most likely going to be an ongoing goal for a long time. You know, retirement and all that. (Seeing as I’m soon to be half way to 50 it is high time to be focusing on my retirement funds.)

I actually already have a post with an eerily similar title, found here. Where I talk about my tips and strategies on saving money, posted back in February. I had even talked about financial decisions in January of the previous year.

Since February, when I refocused my savings plan, I have been able to grow a small personal savings, as well as save for a rather big party I’ll be telling you all more about later.

Honestly, I’m a little astonished. It really has gone well. This saving money thing. The hardest part for me is the patience required, it does take time to save money. Time and self-restraint. It means saving the extra money after getting a raise instead of allowing monthly spending to increase just a bit, or putting away the tax return instead of getting a new gadget (even if it’s only $50).

All this time I’ve had a specific goal, the party, to save up for. After the party I’m sure there will be more things down the road to save for, but I don’t yet know what they are. Building up a better Nest Egg sounds like a good plan, though.

Time will tell.

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24. save money

Number 24 on my 25 before 25 list is to save money. As you may remember, last January I talked about saving money. I had realized that a lot of people I know had included saving money on their list of resolutions, so I took some helpful hints that intelligent people have shared with me and posted them here.

Now let’s see how good I am at following my own advice. If you recall the three tips, boiled down, are:

  1. Cut up all your credit cards.
  2. Minimize shopping.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it.

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If we take a look at the first one, cut up all your credit cards, since January 2013 I have actually done the opposite. Before 2013 I did not have a credit card. My excuse is that I am trying to build credit. My past experiences with credit cards have taught me to be careful with them, so I try to keep this in mind. It’s one of those reward credit cards that I also try to justify having seeing as it is a great rewards card. We’ll see if I keep the card throughout 2014.

Moving on to number two, minimize shopping. This one I have been more or less successful with. More successful with when I have less money, and less successful with when I have more money. If I want to reach my savings goals by the time I turn 25 I will have to focus on saving more when I have more money, rather than spending more.

Number three, create a budget, I have done since I wrote the first post. Sticking to it is a different story. I have stuck to my budget for the past 5 months though, so at least I’m moving in the right direction.

money money money

In the coming months I’m going to refocus on my own advice. Follow it a little more. Let’s see how that goes. I wish I disliked spending money in the way that Ishmael dislikes spending money. Things would be easier then.

“The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us.”               – Herman Mellvile

As long as we put child birth aside, I wish I agreed more with him. It’s probably a good idea to model one’s choices after Ishmael’s opinions, right?

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achieve your financial dreams

I’ve noticed that a lot of people I know, and stalk over the Internet, have made resolutions involving money-saving. This is great, I say, I’m all for saving money.

money money money

more money

While banks and financial groups tend to release money-saving tips, or money spending don’ts this time of year, I feel I have something extra to bring to the table. So I want to share that with you. In my years, I have implemented quite a number of money-saving strategies, and I feel I have now been able to wade through the get-rich-quick schemes, and the save your way to millions ploys to deliver you what really works, in three simple to follow steps:

Tips on saving money for 2013:

  1. Cut up all your credit cards. The trick to saving money is to stop spending it. While you’re at it you should cut up your debit cards, and increase the security on your bank accounts so that it is required to take a week or more to withdraw any sum of cash. That’ll teach you.
  2. Minimize shopping, only buy the necessities. In today’s day and age marketing and advertising is just screaming for you to spend all your money and spend it now. In order to avoid temptation it’s probably best you never go outside. Or watch TV. Or read.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it. On the surface this may seem like the most difficult of the three tasks, but I think you’ll find without access to money and no temptation whatsoever to spend it, it’ll become wonderfully easy to follow the plan you lay out for yourself. In fact if you can survive never leaving your living space with an excruciatingly limited access to your funds this third task will be the easiest of them all!

Live long and prosper.

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