As the winter snow blows against the windows, I find myself reflecting on the year that has come to pass and the one yet to come. During such times of change, I find it helpful to reflect on where I am and how I got here. Because just as the trees are bare, they once blossomed so they could reach this point.
You see, our habits and the results they sow often don't show up until much later in life. When you graduate from school and enter the workforce, you blossom into your future self, forging traits, mannerisms, and tendencies that all affect the course you chart. Now, it is easy to let our habits run unnoticed, lurking in the background without thought, impacting how we live. However, by reflecting on them, we can evaluate how we want to live to create a more purposeful and deliberate life. For me, I find myself in a constant ebb and flow with my spending habits, as are most Americans. Sometimes I am frugal, while at other times, I splurge. Such cycles are natural, but the changing seasons remind me to come back to the center, aiming to be deliberate. That is why as the new year approaches, I find myself thinking through my spending more intentionally, viewing each dollar as something to spend with purpose rather than mindlessly. And, to foster such a change from excess to restraint, I find the best tool is reflection. So, I ask myself how my spending will add value to my life instead of assuming the item or service I purchase is needed. Will it provide lasting benefit? Is it something that will get repeated use, or will it go to the wayside? Is the trade-off of dollars for convenience worth the price? Simple questions like these are powerful and can change your habits. Initially, it may seem difficult to remember such questions, but time will forge such deliberations into lasting habits. And importantly, change starts by creating a plan and sticking to it. So, with the new year approaching, how will you live more deliberately? I plan to make better use of my hard-earned money while better balancing my time. What about you?