My New Year’s resolution is to try to be a bit more mindful of what I’m doing. Now I’m no Dalai Lama, no yoga guru. I think being mindful means just paying attention to what I am eating, drinking, spending.
Eating wise I must admit I like to stuff my face. Cookies, my wife’s coffee cake, hash browns, chocolate chips, I like them all. My plan is to try to eat more vegetables, fruits, and healthy protein. Less dumb carbs. Less trying to find happiness at the bottom of a bag of Cheetos.
In terms of drinking, I am a lover of wine, and beer, and an old fashioned or two. I’m gonna try in 2016 to keep it to weekends only. Or special occasions.
And money. Yeah money. I definitely in the past have often bought myself a pair of $200 Diesel jeans or $80 Lulu shorts to make myself feel good. This year, my hope is to buy fewer things, and to only buy things when I “need” them, not when I “want” them. At this point in my life, I don’t need much. I have a big closet, and a big garage, both of which are full of crap I haven’t seen let alone used in months or years. My hope this year is to use spending more like a hammer, as a tool for when I need it, not as a balm to make me feel better in a stressful and anonymous world.
When I was a kid, I wanted a bike. It was a black and yellow Schwinn scrambler BMX dirt bike. My Dad said sure, you can buy it, but you have to split the cost with me. Coming up with $30 in those days, maybe 1980, was like a life sentence, it could have taken a year. So I mowed lawns, and I shoveled snow, and I babysat. And a year later, I bought that bike, and it was the sweetest thing I ever bought and ever owned. And you know why it was so sweet, because I had to earn it, and consider it, and still want it a year later. And I still did.
Mindfulness. That’s what I’m gonna think about this year. With food, with drink, and with spending. Just like I did with that bike back in 1980.
I was inspired to write this post by a cool Israeli startup I am working for called “Change”. Change develops an Invisible Service that links to bank and credit card accounts, analyzes money transactions and discovers bad financial behavior (symptoms). It then matches those symptoms with behavioral treatments that are executed through smart sms messages (nudges). My hope is that “Change” will be a key asset as I seek to stop wasting money.