Saturday, August 18, 2012

Life & Style: time budgeting equates to freedom and success

The thing I hear most people say when they hear the word "budget" in any capacity is that they don't need to do it. It's confining, they say. I will have less money, they say, if we're talking about a money budget. I will have less time, they say, if we're talking about a time budget.

Here's the kicker:
If you sit down and make a written plan, you will have more.
More time.
More money.
More {and an improved} sanity.

Most of the inspiration for this blog comes from people we talk to. The inspiration to encourage you all in your journey came from one such conversation we had. One person was talking to us about retirement and telling us {multiple times in one meeting} how he wanted to retire and if he could just retire and he just really, really wants to retire.

He was so adamant about retiring that we thought he must have some great plans for retirement! When I asked, "What will you do when you retire?" thinking maybe he has a home business he'd like to create, maybe he has travel plans, maybe he wants to take a part-time job at a store he really likes.

His response: "Oh, I don't know. Just the rainy day things I never get around to."

Let's just say we didn't think that was a great response. Why? Because if you budget your time appropriately, that will never be a reason to retire. Jason and I fit in all our activities, both the uncommon and common ones, into our day, month, year, etc.

So first, I want to tackle the idea of putting off "rainy day" sorts of activities, the uncommon activities that you're saving for a time when you have more time.

I used to have a list of books I wanted to read. This list was 14 pages long. If I had a low month in reading, meaning that not many new books were coming out that I wanted to read, I could read a book or two from my huge list. This worked for a little bit... until I read all the books I really wanted to read.

Then, the only books that were left were books that at the end of the day, I had no real desire to read. Some were books I thought I should read, some were books I thought I would like - but whenever I looked at the books remaining on my list, I felt no desire at all to request a book from my list from the library.

I started to resent my list for dictating my {reading} life.

I could have kept that list for a rainy day. I could have said, "When I retire, I'm going to read all these books."

But if I don't want to read those books today, if I don't want to take the time to read those books today, guess what?

I don't want to read them.

The list of books wasn't truly important to me. I had made it important to me for stupid reasons. So I deleted the list. I got rid of the list.

If you truly want to do something, if you truly have the desire in your heart, you will make time for that activity today, this week, this month, this year.

If you keep putting off an activity, like say, having a garden, you don't really want a garden. Maybe you keep finding excuses. "Time just got away from me this summer," "I heard it wasn't going to rain much this summer," "I don't know the first thing about gardening," you might say.

If you won't plant a garden this year, you won't when you retire. You won't when the conditions are perfect. You'll find another excuse, another reason not to follow through on your plan.

Make a list, a real, passion-filled list, of things you'd like to achieve ever. Right now, I have a list of projects to complete this year and a list of projects to complete next year. I have a list of special cleaning activities to be completed, like washing the baseboards and washing the windows. I have a list of uncommon activities, meaning activities that are once-a-year, or one-time only.

Once you have a list of things you will actually complete, then you can make a plan for how to cross items off your list. But so long as you have a list that makes you cringe and a list that makes you want to bang your head against the wall in frustration, you will never get anywhere... retirement or not, free time or not, rainy day or not.

We'll tackle how to actually make time to complete the activities remaining on your list next week.

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