17 February 2014

A January Spending Freeze

Tell me  I'm not alone:

After Christmas (which is my VERY favorite holiday), I'm just about over it.  

I'm not sure if it's the extra decorations or the extra cookies, but once January hits, I am in need of a pretty serious cleanse.  I crave clean surfaces, meals at home, and a little bit of quiet - in all senses.

This January, as a response to my post-holiday stuff-bulge, I decided to challenge myself with a spending freeze.  You've seen other online friends do the same thing... Nancy, Lara.

If you do a spending freeze (or a cleanse or personal challenge of any kind), I think you should do it for your own reasons, not someone else's.  So before I began, I jotted a mental list of what I wanted the freeze to be all about.  Here's what I came up with:
  • It's for January
  • It's for simplicity
  • It's to save money
  • It's to delay gratification
  • It's so I can use what I have
  • It's because I'm tired of random stuff
  • It's for discipline
  • It's because I don't actually need many of the things that I buy
  • It's for thankfulness
I successfully finished my freeze (with a couple pre-planned exceptions like a gown for the Junior League's 25th Anniversary Gala - I rented my red Badgley Mischka stunner from Rent the Runway and a spray tan for the same), and have hardly felt better.  It feels good so complete something that's kind of hard but good, doesn't it? As the month progressed, I paid special attention to the times it was hardest. Here's what I learned:
  • Target is a money spending dollar grabbing black hole.  I do almost all my grocery shopping (which was not part of the freeze for me) at our local Super Target, and that home decor area is like an evil little super-powered magnet. I found the best thing for me was to stay away from that part of the store. No problem. If I can't see it, I can't buy it. 
  • Holiday clearance is tempting. But I don't NEED (or have room to store) any more holiday decor. So I walked on by. AND IT HURT SO GOOD.
  • There is an element to shopping that is therapeutic. And that's not really so good.  By focusing on thankfulness and simplicity, I loosed that therapeutic power, and mid-way through February (a non-spending freeze month), I'm happy as a clam without the extra junk.
I'd love to hear from you if you've completed a freeze or fast like this.  Here's to more thankfulness and simplicity and less mental clutter!

07 January 2014

A Radical Legacy (2014 Part 4)

This is Part 4 in my 2014 Goal Setting series (all graphics via Lara Casey). Here are the previous posts:

How I can plant good seeds in 2014: 

  • My Monday night girls - by doing whatever I can to help them grow in their faith and in relationship with one another.
  • In Junior League - through the ways we're impacting the community and also in relationship with my fellow leaguers.
  • In my work - by being part of helping people make good choices about the legacy THEY will leave, and by empowering them to do so. Also, I can be a good leader and help our team realize more of what they can do to plant good seeds in themselves and those we work with.
  • On this blog - by being a place of encouragement and where you can come to be uplifted. I hope your life is made better when you stop by.

My radical in 2014 is to set good boundaries in all things.  Boundaries mean discipline and intentionality and impactfulness.

My song for 2014 is BRAVE by Sara Bareilles. Is this song totally over played? I don't care. I love it.  I want to be brave. Brave about speaking Truth. About setting good boundaries. About sharing good news. I want to be brave to overcome a fear of failure or rejection or change.

06 January 2014

A Vision for 2014 (Part 3)

Today is January 6, but because it's the first Monday of the new year, it feels like 2014 is just starting.

I've been thinking a bunch about what this year can look like for me, and how committed I am to intentionality in life. Letting days coast into nights - one into the next - without thought about vision or what the ACTUAL impact is that I'm making on the world is NOT the life I want. Life is short. My opportunity to bring good news to other people is short. Let's do this.

I'm following along with Lara Casey's goal setting process, and I've borrowed all the graphics from her.  

Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)
My vision for 2014 has two arms:
People + good news - How can I make people's lives better? How can I help people learn more about the impact they can make on the world? I want to give them good news - about themselves, their impact, about Jesus, and about what's in the crockpot for dinner. How can I be a better leader - at work and in the community? 
Healthy Cammie - I would like to be the best possible version of me. This means setting healthy boundaries in work and relationships and with social media. This means saying no so that I can say yes to something different. This means cooking food that fuels my body and being active so I feel energetic and optimistic. This means taking time to do nothing and taking time to just have fun. This means saying no to comparison. I was made to be my best ME - not my best version of someone else.  
  • Procrastination - procrastination makes me weak
  • Comparison - it's the thief of joy
  • Mindless social media - what a waste
  • Being run by other people's priorities
  • Perfectionism - done is better than perfect.

  • Intentionality and tracking - nothing measured, nothing managed.
  • Sabbath - a day of rest
  • Cultivating gratefulness in my heart
  • More plain old fun
  • Priorities over urgencies

My word for 2014: Intention