What I learned in 2020…and why I’m not writing a typical “year in review” post.

Every year, I write a “year in review” post where I list the biggest and most important things that happened throughout the year. Since 2020 wasn’t a normal year, I’m not going to write a normal post.

2020 was a difficult year- I don’t do well with the unknown. I’m a planner and a control freak, so not knowing what comes next is super hard. As a Christian, we are called to trust God always, but sometimes it’s hard to let go of YOUR plans and trust in HIS plan. I learned some things from this crazy experience we called 2020.

  1. Things can change in an instant.

We were doing life and everything was great and normal, and then a global pandemic showed up. I thought we’d be out of school for two weeks. We went back to school eight months later. Then, all of our additional activities were shut down. We literally had nothing to do and nowhere to go but we spent lots of time together and we made it work. We even managed to have fun.

2. Be grateful for what you have.

You may not have everything you want. Most of us don’t. When you actually have time to stop, sit still and reflect, you will find you have more than what you need and plenty to be thankful for. 2020 taught me to be more gracious and actually make time to do so.

3. Find joy and beauty where you can.

bright blooming goldenrods on thin stems in field
Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

I very clearly remember walking with my neighbor one day and noticing a goldenrod flower on the side of the road. Goldenrod is a weed, and it’s pesky, since most of us are allergic to it. However, the flower was a vibrant yellow and even thoughI typically regard it as a nuisance, I noticed just how pretty it really is. Have you ever seen an entire field blooming with goldenrod? It’s beautiful.

Put your hope in the right thing- JESUS.

Jesus is the only thing that can bring us out of the place we are in. Healthcare, vaccines and practicing good hygiene are all important, but they can’t save us. If there is one thing 2020 has taught me loud and clear, it’s that Jesus is the only thing in my life that is constant and certain. Everything else can change in an instant, but He will always remain. God has a plan, and while we rumble through this life not knowing his plan or why things happen, He knows. That’s sometimes hard for me to swallow, but it’s true.

Lessons aside, 2020 wasn’t all bad. We had to cancel a vacation, but we were able to save some money. We were finally able to complete a large remodeling project we have been trying to finish for seven years now. We were also able to spend a large amount of time with one another and enjoy each other’s company. We were adopted by a stray cat and a stray dog who have both become members of our family. We finally replaced our aging, no air-conditioning van. Some good things happened in 2020, too.

I genuinely feel like we learn something every year. 2020 taught us a lot. While it wasn’t all bad, I am sure I’ve never been so happy to see a year end before.

Happy New Year, friends. May 2021 bless you and bring you great joy.

What’s your vision?

Have you ever created a vision board?

If you’re unsure what a vision board is, it’s just a visual format of your goals for the year. Make a board with pictures related to what you want to accomplish and put it someplace where you will see it daily. Studies have shown that this is more likely to make you accomplish your goals.

But, what does a vision board look like? And how do you make one?

This is the vision board I started last week. I’ve since added a lot more to it. My goals for this year are to travel (depending on COVID), lose the rest of my weight, focus more on blessings instead of stressors, eat at home more and incorporate more self care.

If this vision board doesn’t float your boat, there are other options.

I found this one on Pinterest. I can’t find the original post but I love the use of words.
Source

I love this one. It is simple but board is also very neat looking.

Maybe creating a collage isn’t your thing and you want to do a graphic organizer instead. Check this one out: it says 2014 but you get the idea.

Pinterest

There are also a number of free vision board printable you can find just by doing a Google search. You can also use planner stickers if you like. The possibilities are endless.

Here’s to kicking off 2021…and hoping it will be much better than 2020.

Simplify Saturday: Simplifying your savings goals

Simplify Saturday: Simplifying your savings goals

Simplify Saturdays

January is Financial Wellness Month, and even though it is now February, it isn’t too late to create some financial resolutions.  One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight, or exercise more, but how many people make resolutions concerning their finances?

I myself have set some financial goals this year: I’d like to build up our savings account, to pay off credit card debt, and reduce non-necessary spending.While most of us want to think big and make big goals, it’s actually better to create smaller, achievable goals and Earnest is available to help with your financial needs

In order to meet my financial goals for this year, I have divided them into quarterly goals.  I like this approach as it gives me a timeline to aim for. By March, I’d like to begin putting $100 in the savings account each month. I’ve already begun to do this.  By June, I’d like to eat almost all of our meals at home instead of eating in restaurants to save money. By September, I’d like to reduce our nonessential spending by implementing “no-spend months.” That means I’d only make nonessential purchases every other month. And in December, just in time for Christmas, I’d make it a habit to comparison shop to get the best deals.

Earnest created a graphic for setting financial goals throughout the year. I really love their plan for saving money and challenging yourself to set measurable, specific goals.

Angela_Earnest_moneysavings

I hope you’ll join me on the 2018 Money Saving Challenge. Have a wonderful weekend.