All through December, the focus is on trimming the tree, until January, when the focus is on trimming the waistline... but there’s so much more to trimming than baubles, beads and bellies. Trimming down has a way of freeing us. We can fly higher because we’re not weighed down so much.
Trim Your Possessions
I love to ‘clean house’ at the end of every year. I go through my closet and take out everything and 20% is not allowed back in. I go though the books I’m finished reading, and set aside 10% for charity and 10% for friends and then I do a sweep through my house for anything else whose time has come.
Taking it to a charity does many things. It puts your stuff to good use, it helps others in need, it’s a great tax write-off and it just feels good to help.
Trim Your Expenses
Lowering your expenses is not just for bad economies anymore. There are so many ways to save money, with very little effort, and without sacrificing quality. You can cut out those things you just don’t need (I got rid of all the “special packages” that the cable company offers; you may even want to get rid of the cable altogether). You can exchange one service for another that’s less expensive (like shopping around for phone service or insurance). You could even ask for lower rates, if your service provider wants to keep you as a customer. And, of course, there are always coupons (same great product, only cheaper).
Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
Trim Your Associations
When MySpace and Facebook first came out, it became a race to see who could get the most “friends”... but seriously, ask yourself this, if you were ever in need of help, who would really come to your rescue and who would just tweet about it? And IRL (In Real Life) how many people do you deal with that take up more time than you’ve got?
It might seem bad to separate yourself from others. After all, no one likes being ‘rejected’ just as much as you might not like being seen as ‘selfish’ but it’s time to take a close look at all the people in your life. There are those that really love and care about you... and they’re not getting as much time as they could because of these ‘other people’.
Trim Your Commitments
It’s amazing how much stuff we DO. We spend so much time DOING that we have no time to get anything DONE. I know, I know, the world will come to an end of you don’t do XYZ; and if you don’t do it, it won’t get done... yadda yadda yadda. Sit down and look at your calendar. For every five things you do, consider dropping one of them. That’s 20% right there.
Trim Your Extras
And then there’s just STUFF… you know, the miscellaneous stuff that just sort of tags along in your life. I’d list them, but I just don’t have the time. Don’t worry, if you look, you’ll spot them. Just look at everything in your life, and if it’s just sort of “there” which doesn’t really add much to your “here” then just let it go.
If you do all that, what you’ll get in exchange is more time, more space and more money. Then you can take your remaining 80% and give it your all!
If you forget the list, just remember P-ossessions, E-xpenses, A-ssociations, C-Commitments, E-xtras. You’ll also get PEACE… and isn’t that really what it’s all about?
And keep the light on!