From Where I Sit – Say No to Resolutions

All of us put 2003 to bed in uniquely personal ways. Some, no doubt, polka-ed the night away. Others spent the evening at the movies with a tub of popcorn and Jack and Diane in “Something’s Gotta Give.” For those few souls who haven’t eaten their body weight in carbs in the past few weeks, some fine dining was likely in order. Others spent the night under a toasty duvet watching the latest DVDs. We spent the evening playing a board game with friends. For Big Money. Hell, Roy and I were ahead $2.25 at the end of the night.

For anyone affected by the heartbreak of BSE or skyrocketing insurance premiums, utilities, or untold private challenges with health or relationships or money worries, good riddance to ’03. By and large we are a resilient, hopeful people who believe that this year has got to be kinder and gentler to all.

Just as the closure to last year was shaped by personal preference, so too was the initiation to the new year. With no hangover to nurse, I spent part of the day doing the GST rebate forms for the last quarter. Hardly a favorite task but part of my new strategy of tackling some of these types of jobs head-on. Better that the rebate get back into our hands than languish in government coffers interest free.

I’ve incorporated some practical tips from my part-time job as an accounts payable/accounts receivable clerk that will translate nicely into our situation. Perhaps more importantly, I’ve got a new mind set as well. Handle each piece of paper only once. Be aware of deadlines and due dates. Create a special folder to track those matters requiring follow-up. Track and maximize every single opportunity to save money. Double check charges–mistakes do happen. Give your business only to those firms and people who serve you well. But I digress.

I’m so past the point of making resolutions. It seems to me to be a contrived, artificial concept with failure virtually guaranteed. It wasn’t always so. When I was young and foolish and oh, so intense, I faithfully made a long list of “intentions” most of which fell quickly by the wayside bringing with them a feeling of failure and guilt. I’ve since come to learn, that at least for me, successfully incorporating change into my life works better by other means. The reason for change must be strong enough. The timing needs to make sense internally, not be dictated by the calendar. I’ve learned to cut myself some slack, to accept that there is more than one way to live a life, to make course corrections as required not to some arbitrary schedule.

What I wish for you, dear reader, is a new year filled with blessings and insight. And if some behaviour or thought patterns no longer serve you, change them–on your terms and with your timing. It can only improve the odds for success, from where I sit.

[Editor’s note: Don’t forget to obtain your educational tax certificates from AU in February (information to follow in the next Voice issue) and use them to save a bundle on your taxes this year. If you don’t need the credits, make sure to register them Revenue Canada to roll forward for another year, or give them to a family member who can use them!]

*Reprinted with permission