Cassie’s not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, so instead I make 2020 intentions. They’re not big life changes I’m trying to make, or something I expect to perfectly execute (and when I don’t, give up on in a week); they are just things I want to be more conscience of and intentional about.
Even though I fully understand that the start of a new year is ultimately an arbitrary marker of time passing, there’s something that I like about sitting down, reflecting on the past year, practicing gratitude, and thinking about things I want to work on for myself in the new year.
So, here are the three intentions I settled on for 2020.
1. Develop habits that promote increased energy and focus
*(and actively build an environment and systems that contribute to my success in building these habits)
My partner and I are both pretty busy with work, social activities, side hustles, traveling, and creative pursuits. It’s not a bad busy, and I think we do a good job of balancing the busyness of work and play by also taking days to just relax.
However, I still have found myself over the past year going through periods of very low energy and less-than-great focus. This is something that I want to actively work on this year.
I know this is a large and somewhat vague intention (which usually aren’t successful), but I do have specific and concrete things that I think will help with both the energy and focus.
But if I learned anything in 2019, it’s that you can’t just rely on willpower for this sort of stuff. (Sorry, past self, but it’s just not strong enough.) So, my plan is to create systems and alter my environment slightly to promote these new habits.
Though I have a whole list, I’m only going to work on one new small habit each week until it starts to stick easily. My habit to focus on during the first week is drinking more water (especially in the morning). So, I set a water bottle on my nightstand before bed, which naturally will help me drink a serving of water first thing when I wake up.
Next week I’ll be trying to go to bed at the same time each night. To help me do that, I’ll set an alarm on my phone for an hour before bedtime to remind me to start finishing things up and preparing for bed. Sure, it probably won’t be 100%, but even if I get to 60%, that’s a lot better than nothing.
2. Spend less time on my phone and social media
Cassie and I take turns calling each other out for using our phones too much by asking, “What are you doing Scrolly McScroll Scroll?” And I gotta say, I probably earn the title more often than she does.
I don’t like feeling so attached to my phone. It’s a bad habit that I want to kick for my own sake, but also definitely before having kids, even though that’s still a few years off.
I know willpower won’t be enough (see previous note to self), so I’ll be deleting a lot of apps from my phone — at least for the duration of January — and moving all of my apps off of my home screen. I’ll still be able to check on things via the computer, but I’ll set it so that I have to manually log in each time, which hopefully will keep me from mindlessly, automatically going to those websites.
After a month, maybe I’ll see if I can handle having the apps back on my phone with a time limit, or if I’d rather just keep them off indefinitely.
3. Actively adore my wife
It’s my first year being married! And this year will be our fifth together as a couple. We have a good thing going and we already spend intentional time on our relationship, but it’s important to not get too complacent and to remember to put the work into your relationship that it deserves.
Like I said, we get pretty busy with work and life, but setting aside weekly time together is always a priority that keeps us feeling connected while also giving us the chance to touch base. Plus, I just love planning surprise dates.
You might be thinking this isn’t really about money. And you’d be both right and wrong.
For one, I’ve already talked about how my mood affects my spending, so by working towards increasing my happiness and energy, I’m more likely to feel more in control of my spending.
But more importantly, even though the blog is called Butch on a Budget, I think of it less as a blog about money and more as a blog about intentional living and working towards happiness and more control of your own time. Money just happens to play a major role in all that.