2021 is coming to an end and 2022 is right around the corner. It’s time to think about plans for the new year.
For a while, probably due to depression and an unhealthy outlook on life, I avoided setting resolutions. Setting resolutions has been more of a recent thing in my adult life. One that I set some time ago was to remove mentally unhealthy things, negative influences, etc. I’ve kept this up and it has actually resulted in a drastic reduction in the use of social media. I’ve also improved my health significantly.
2020 and 2021 have been kinda shit. For obvious reasons. Going into the global pandemic, my weight had reached the lowest it had ever been in my adult life. My nutritional health declined over the last couple of years and so I gained a little weight back. My diabetic health also declined for a time. I’ve focused back on my diabetic health and gotten it back to a decent place, though.
This year, I moved into a house. I finally left my shitty poorly managed apartment and got my dogs a proper back yard. Sort of. The rental house market is beyond stupid. If you thought house prices were out of hand, the rental market is probably far worse. I took what I could get. I needed out of that shithole apartment. My intention was to buy a house when leaving that apartment, though. And I’m just not ready. I’m not even ready now. My biggest problem is some lingering debt and not enough savings for a down payment.
So I have a few resolutions for 2022 related to all of this.
- Concerted focus on my health
- Reduction of belongings
- Elimination of debt
There’s a few things to work on here. First, is my dietary and nutritional health. I’m already on a pretty good path on this one, so I will be, primarily, working on further improving and working on not falling off.
Second is physical fitness. Many years ago I had a really good amount of effort towards this that didn’t yield results thanks to having a bad doctor that was prescribing medications that made it impossible to lose weight. I lose confidence and interest in exercise as a result. Changing doctors was awesome and all, but getting back to working on my physical fitness has been a challenge. A few years ago I kicked this back up a bit, but then fell off again and haven’t been back. During that last bit, though, I discovered I enjoyed using rowing machines and got a cheap one. It kinda sucks, but I decided if I can get myself into a good routine with it, I’ll reward myself with a nice water rower.
My diabetic health is also a concern. My HbA1C is kinda bad and the disease has progressed to a point where my doctor thinks this is probably the best we can do. And he’s probably pretty close to right. The problem I’m encountering is if my sugar gets below 80, I feel horrible and I have to do something about it. So I end up taking in more calories. So I’ve already been working on improving on this balancing act and hope that my next diabetic checkup is even better. Getting below a 7 A1C is fine, and being able to just hit it where I’m at with the disease is pretty good, but I want to see how low I can go without the major sugar lows.
Every time I move, I feel the pain of how much stuff I have. Moving sucks, in general. But being a single guy living alone with his 2 dogs, 40-50 boxes of stuff seems excessive. Filling a 1500 sq ft house seems excessive. Using an entire bedroom for storage seems excessive.
But it’s not just about how much stuff I have, in general. There’s a lot of stuff that just stays out of sight and out of mind. I’ve been in this house for a few months, now, and there’s still stuff unpacked.
As much as I have been attracted to the minimalist lifestyle, I don’t think it’s something I want to try to push. However, I do need to have a concerted effort of getting stuff gone. I’ve made a big deal about the goal of never using my garage for storage to the point that I can’t park in it, and as of now, there’s no risk of that. Both my car and my motorcycle are comfortably in there.
My goal is to make it so I can move a bit more comfortably, and be able to move into a smaller house if it suits me. I don’t need a lot of space, and I don’t want to need a lot of space for living. I’d rather have a good sized yard for the dogs to be able to run. I have other priorities that may dictate the size of my house that I ultimately buy, but I don’t want the sheer amount of stuff I’ve collected over the years to be part of that equation.
And, honestly, it’s just frustrating to see how much stuff I have that just stays hidden away. Minimalists tend to come to the realization that we collect stuff as a means to measure our success, but how does stuff that’s always hidden away do that? It doesn’t. And it’s frustrating when I have stuff that I do use, but struggle to find a place for because stuff I don’t use is in the way. So there’s a mental health component to this.
I’ve acquired a bit of credit card debt. I let it get out of hand. It started taking a significant portion of my income and I got to the point where making progress on it was becoming very difficult. I consolidated it into a term limited personal loan because letting credit card debt linger means you can end up paying for what was purchased several times over. I chose an aggressive term for the loan to pay it off faster, but it still takes a significant amount of my income. There’s no one to blame but myself on this one. But instead of putting away all that income into savings or investments, I’m pissing it away.
My plan is to eliminate this personal loan by the end of 2022. The sooner the better. By the end of 2022, I literally only want my monthly recurring payments going to rent, car payment, utilities, and other necessities. Lingering credit debt and personal loans are a waste of money and I’ll never see returns from that extra money spent. And while I still have that hovering over me, that’s still money I can’t spend without further penalties of some kind.
Only when this is done can I get myself into a position to buy a house and live the comfortable life I want for me and my dogs.
So I’m keeping it simple and easy. These are all realistic goals for me. I’m not going to OKR this, though the debt one really has a result to target.
I’m not going to say 2022 is my year, memes aside. It’s going to be a tough year. To accomplish some of this, I will need to face hardships. Although, I do recognize that I am in a far better position than many other Americans.
I will likely be renewing my house lease so I’m probably going to be living in the same place at the end of 2022. I’m not sure how long I will be here, but my intention is to limit my time in this house as much as possible. Additionally, my intention is to leave this house by moving into my very own house, not another rental.
So 2022 is really going to be a transitional year for me.