Monthly Archives: January 2011

How To Be Happy

by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, & everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.
  4. You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you.
  5. Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
  6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy, enmity, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places.
  10. Don’t hold post-mortems. Don’t spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don’t be one who never gets over things.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Two Thousand & Eleven

I’m generally don’t ascribe to the New Year’s Resolutions thing, but I do have some goals for these next 365 days. These are more Things I want to Accomplish Post Graduating from College, & not strictly because of the new year.

Spend Money More Wisely
I’m starting this by creating a budget & tracking my monthly expenses. Hopefully I’ll acquire smart spending (& saving) habits for life. I’m going to get started by using a monthly budgeting Excel document that I saved a few years ago. If you’re interested, you can download it here through SendSpace. We’ve also decided to cook more meals at home, not eat out at all during the week, & to start using a grocery list for planned grocery shopping days. We make a lot of impulse decisions at the grocery store, we buy ingredients for one meal at a time, & we don’t plan ahead with a menu. This year I want to quit all of that so we can save money, & hopefully eat a little healthier.

Reach My Savings Goal … & Continue Saving
Since I became employed full time in June, I’ve been storing away roughly half of each paycheck. My paychecks are by no means substantial, but right now I have almost no bills to pay, thanks to my parents. Halfway through June I’ll reach my savings goal that Andrés & I agreed upon as being the major prerequisite before we start the process of moving in together. We both recognize I’m in an amazingly blessed position to be able to graduate with no debt & to be able to save like crazy, so we agreed I should put a good chunk of money away while I can afford to.

Move Into a Career Position That Offers Advancement (& Better Pay!)
I hope to be able to move into a career advancing position within the next six months. My current position, which is low-stress & easy, is not at all challenging & does not offer me room to advance my career. It is the perfect job for someone who’s working while finishing up school, but now I feel like I’m ready to take on more. I’m going to polish up my resume & start seeing what’s out there for me. I am terrified & excited. Mostly terrified.

Move Out of My Parents’ House
My parents were gracious enough to let me live at home rent-free through the last 3.5 years college, & even through working full-time. They are extremely generous by paying a lot of my bills while I save up enough money to be able to move out. I’m not sure how long they’ll let this arrangement stand, but I’m not going to overstay my welcome. After I reach my savings goal in June, I will to start the process of moving out of my parents house.

DIY More Projects
I want to start creating some of the projects I have saved up in my bookmarks folder. Starting with these map coasters that will go lovely in Andrés’ condo. I also want to create an elephant print like this one on Etsy. When we move in together, I want to build a headboard for our bed using this tutorial from YHL & this tutorial from Jen Woodhouse.

Well, there you go.

I guess 2011 is going to be a busy year for me & for us. 2010 was pretty fantastic: I started working full-time, I made a couple awesome new friends (one of which I have a baking date with tomorrow!), Andrés & I celebrated our one year anniversary in April (& our two year is fast approaching!), we took trips to Philly, Williamsburg, West Virginia, & New Jersey & booked our Boston trip for February. I hope 2011 blesses us just richly.