This weekend was Navroz (Persian New Year) , which is when I normally start my resolutions for the year. This year I tried starting them like normal people on Jan 1st, and now that Navroz and a bit more than 2.5 months of 2009 have passed, I’m assessing how my theme for the year is going. My theme? HEALTH – ALL aspects. Physical, Spiritual, Environmental, Financial, and even Emotional.
So far, I’m mixed on how I’m executing. Overall, it is going ok. Near the end of last year there were a few areas which had been neglected for far too long, but I’ve been steadily making progress this year, where I think I’m close to the tipping point on most of them.. But there are generally 3 areas that I am struggling with and want your advice on addressing them.
1. Personal Space / Environmental Health – Well I’m a bit of a pack rat. I keep things for lots of dumb reasons. I keep things because of potential sentimental reasons, or I keep magazines for an article that I like, or I keep clothes because I KNOW one day I’ll look good in them again, or sometimes I keep things just simply because I think they are cool. However as more and more gets packed in, your home starts to contradict every Feng Shui and personal space edict.
So I’ve taken to taking back my personal space in my flat (I like to call my loft a flat…). Premise number one: what is the point unless you can actually utilize it.
First, the magazines. Solution – scanning, and storing – what is the use of the info unless it is readily available? I’ve scanned the articles I want, and all the remaining mags will be the theme for my next house party…
Next, the ‘stuff’. Solution – ALL items (including candles, trinkets, souvenirs, kitchenware, books) must be reduced by 30%-40%. I somehow had 3 Rubix cubes!?! Maybe I should have an indoor yard sale…
And the clothes. Solution:– Well I’ve actually been converted to Farhan Thawar’s Closet Inversion method. but with a couple of additions. if there are more than 2 photographs anywhere with a particular shirt, it gets dumped immediately. If I have more than one item of the same colour and similar look, the older one gets dumped. And finally, any items older than 2 years old from disposable fashion retailers (H&M, Zara, aldo), gets dumped immediately even if they have been worn recently.
It’s going pretty well – I’ve even been able to reduce my storage space that I was renting. I’ve got about 10 boxes to dump.
NEED: I still have a digital onslaught. I have WAY too many backups of Outlook pst files, media (photos, videos, music), and general business / tech docs. What tools are people using to maintain their digital files? One particular need I have is to be able to merge all the contact details that I have across various PST files, and or other phone sync products. Also I want a media manager which does NOT modify the photos during storage. The tools I’m using right now all lack in some way or another. What are the rest of you using?
NEED: I need a cleaning lady. The lady who was helping me before has moved and now I can’t find anyone consistent. References anyone??
2. Financial Health: I’m not risk adverse – when it comes to my finances, I am not risk adverse and have never really thought much about long term planning in the event that something (god forbid) should ever go wrong. But perhaps with age, you become a bit more aware of the potential dire consequences.
Nothing wrong with being risk adverse – but that doen’t mean you need be stupid. it’s a matter of balance. In the past month, I’ve set up my TFSA, and consolidated my RRSP accounts. I’ve also reallocated my investments with 25% in non-volatile assets. Doing this, allows me to be more focused on my risk associated assets. My mind is now freed from nagging thoughts of protection, etc. Next Step: need to understand recent Soros and Buffet moves who seem to be selling America…
NEED: My general accountant is crazy expensive – I need a recommendation for one that wants to do some serious nitpicking grunt work. Or maybe just a temp, who will tally all my expense receipts, etc. Currently, I simply throw them into a box in my den, and each month I put them into an envelope and move on and start anew. Maybe there is a better way to do this.
Yahoo Finance – I’ve used this or years. But I am now finding that it doesn’t meet my needs since it doesn’t support Options trading as a transaction in their portfolios – which I really don’t understand since technically, it shouldn’t be any different than supporting stocks. So I’m looking to potentially move to another tool. Perhaps one with a public API to extract additional info when I’m feeling nerdy and may want to develop a personalized app for my future G1 purchase…
3. Physical Health: Ok so as of Dec 31st, 2008, I had somehow gained 20lbs over the course of the previous year… despite going to the gym about 3 times a week and playing some sort of sport at least once a week. My thought was that it needs to be my diet, so not only did I up my cardio and weight training, but I also changed my diet (or so I thought I did) – Result: In the past 2.5 months I’ve put on an additional 10 lbs and my Body Fat % has gone up to 24% (Yeah, that’s close to obese!!)
NEED: I’m starting to HATE the gym. I used to love to go to the gym, until about 3 years ago where I started to play team sports more again. Now I can’t get myself to go to the gym on a consistent basis. who can help on this?? Maybe it is too routine? Maybe I just need different motivation? I was thinking of taking P90X. thoughts? I’ve been using FitDay.com which is pretty good. Thinking of using Calorie Counter for the iPhone as well.
NEED: I need someone to come look at my diet and tell me why what I’m doing ain’t working! I need help in getting leaner and building muscle – maybe someone who wants to be my drill sergeant. I need help with my diet – I’ve started cooking at home more, but I find that it takes too long or the quick stuff is boring… Over the past couple of years, I’ve been able to get my ‘highs and lows’ under control (according to a naturopath I went to a couple years ago, I’m on the brink of Type 2 diabetes) and I need my diet to counter that… Basically, look at my diet and tell me why I gained 10 lbs despite be more focused??
Need: My Sleep patterns SUCK! Someone help me on this too…
Give me your suggestions, advice, or feel free to step up to the plate and offer services!