What will your New Year look like?

As we count down the hours to beginning a New Year it is often the time most of us give some serious thought to what we want to achieve or prepare for next year as we contemplate the highs and lows of the year that is ending. I think for many of us the big three are health, wealth and happiness for ourselves, family and friends.

I almost didn’t use the word wealth, it kind of has negative connotations in the frugal community. I think we immediately feel that wealth is synonymous with greed or an abundance of money or assets. I believe that for most people that read my blog and drop a comment below, wealth is not something we strive for in the abundance sense, rather the peace of mind that comes with having enough money to not struggle, to pay our bills, to enable us to help our kids out, to afford repairs or to replace our washing machine or to pay our rent or mortgage. To have enough and a bit extra for a rainy day fund, is plenty enough for most of us.

Wealth, I feel, falls into five main categories

  • Financial (money)
  • Social (relationships)
  • Physical (health)
  • Mental (health, spirituality)
  • Time (freedom)

Becoming wealthier in these five categories I feel, leads to increased happiness and health. A little more money means less worry, having some enjoyable social contact or friendships means less loneliness, working on improving ourselves physically and mentally brings us better health and creating more time leads to a freedom, something we all need to pursue our passions and dreams, or spend more time on the things that make us feel happy.

So for me 2023 is all about becoming a little wealthier in each of the 5 categories and I’ve listed how I’ll try and improve these below:

Financial: I’ve spent a lot in 2022. Bought a much needed higher spec computer to allow me to run software I need for design and video creation which is part of my day job but also allows me to earn a little extra money outside work. HOWEVER, this also means that my rainy day fund has had a couple of months knocked off it so to get that back, 2023 will be a LOW SPEND YEAR for me. As part of living on WW2 rations for the year starting on January 9th, I’m going to mend and make do!

Social: I protect my alone time ferociously, almost appearing anti-social. I prefer a quiet night in to a party or a social event even though I do love people! However, I think it’s really important to have those social interactions and friendships. I’ve started having a monthly chat and wine night with a friend of mine every month. We get together, at one of our houses for a few hours and I love that. It’s good for the soul. This will be the only time I’m drinking alcohol in 2023 too (except for Christmas!).

Physical: Going back to the 1940s. Emerging myself in the simple way of eating during rationing and will be walking more, getting more fresh air. Just these two things to focus on improving my health and reducing my weight. I’ve also signed up at my GP’s surgery with the nurse for regular chats and weigh ins to help me keep on the straight and narrow.

Mental: I will find the time and money to do some therapy with a local professional to get to the bottom of my over eating. Working on my physical health, finding time for social interactions and friendships plus the counselling will I feel improve my mental health.

Time: Time is freedom and I need my freedom. It will be hard to be a little more “selfish” in 2023, I don’t like that word though. I think it’s important to prioritise free time by ensuring you get to do something that makes you feel wonderful whether it’s walking, writing, reading, art or working on passions and projects. It’s easy to let these things slip.

I’d love to hear what your hopes and dreams are for 2023. Please drop a comment below!

C xxxx

16 thoughts on “What will your New Year look like?

  1. Hi Carolyn… I 100% agree with all that you say. Wealth can come in many forms for sure… I like your strategy and approach to it !

    I have just ‘done’ a few days of ‘ration eating/cooking/baking’ and will continue to do so in January…. perhaps not 100% but as often as I feel like it.

    I too enjoy my own company… I love being with people also but I am more than happy on my own too!

    As for 2023 I am hoping to attend more of my 1940’s re-enactments and dances. I enjoy them so much and really missed them during the pandemic….thankfully the events are picking back up again now !

    Hope you have a lovely New Year’s Eve and best wishes for 2023 !

    Mel x

    • Sounds like a great plan Melanie! I’m easing myself back into rationing and getting everything ready for it to start on January 9th, the day after my birthday and the day after rationing came into effect in 1940! I hope you get to enjoy some more re-enactments again this year and hope you have a brilliant 2023! Happy New Year! xxxxx

      • Thank you Carolyn !

        I don’t blame you for waiting until after your birthday to start the ration eating again and great that it coincides with when rationing was originally brought in.

        Mel x

  2. Hello Carolyn, glad to se e you are giving yourself more self care in 2023, I plan to do the same. Esp my feet need care, and an afternoon of bathing, nail care, I found wonderful.
    Finally going to spend a few hours a week on Me! All the best, ann lee s

    • Thank you and totally agree that we all need to practice more self-care. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make us feel better and happier. Feet carry us forward, I think I need to do mine too! Happy New year Ann! C xxx

  3. We planned what we were aiming for back in October. We decided we will move all our shrubs and flowers this Spring to the front garden and only grow fruit, veg and herbs in the back garden from now on. Its will be our ‘victory garden’ so l bought a large journal in the Autumn and iv been making garden layout plans to utilize every inch for food growing. l want it to be high productive but easy to look after. l plan on even only growing edible flower and herbs for teas in the front garden. We had already planted all our dwarf fruit tree’s a few years ago so now we are self sufficient in fruit all year. We bought arches for space saving and 40 low cost containers for even growing on the patio. So now next year we plan on having a ‘no spend year’ so everything will be’ make do and mend’ but we will allow ourselves a £7 budget a month for seed buying till we can save our own. All garden items ie pots, compost etc will be from recycled items. Iv been planning and preparing all this since the summer. Even though l did need a new bathroom , iv decided to delay it for one more year. l need to get myself healthier and lose some weight, so iv been trying out all your posted ww2 recipes and written down the ones we really like ( just in case we get no internet access ) My diet from now on will be no more junk food. So l will be following along with you with the rationing meal plans.

    • This also sounds like a fantastic plan you have there! Sounds like we are having a similar year (but I haven’t planned to grow much, more herbs and some potatoes probably). my year will be LOW spend and have already decided that if I need to get clothes they will be second hand and I have to sell an item to buy an item. I’m getting low though as only have a few pairs of leggings (which I wear every day) without holes in and 5 pairs of knickers without holes in, if I buy anything it will likely be these! Am looking forward to starting rationing again on January 9th and will look forward to hearing how you get on 🙂 C xxxx Happy New Year!

  4. Happy new Year Carolyn from NZ where it’s a blue sky sunny first morning of 2023, hope the weather isn’t as bad as the BBC are saying it is over there in Blighty.

  5. Happy New Year! Ahhh sunny blue sky sounds wonderful! The weather is Ok where we are, not bad for winter really, mostly windy and rainy right now but I actually love the wind and rain (not all the time tho!!) C xxxx

  6. Happy New Year Carolyn and all here!
    2023 is starting off hot here down under, writing this in 35 degree heat, not my favourite.

    I believe you have hit the nail squarely on the head with your interpretation of wealth.

    I feel I am very wealthy, but not in $$$’s. I have a very small group of close friends and my family who are also close knit. I get so much from such a few people that I don’t need to seek more.

    This community here gives me a wealth of knowledge to allow me to be frugal and still be creative and satisfied with my cullinary needs. Though I really need to work on this this year.

    I’ve decided by coincidence to do similar, not alcohol unless it is a very specific celebration or event. And started with my food after Christmas day. My family and I have gotten together every day since Christmas Day to eat together. I have made meals every day out of left overs from Christmas. Last night we finished the last of the food. I actually had to go to the shops today. I am making very carefully planned lists and stick to them when I shop. I also have 7 lunches in the freezer from left overs. I wont be buying food when I go out. Packed lunches / meals every day.

    I need to dump about 20kg this year.

    Good luck to everyone here with their pursuits for the new year.

    • Happy New year Kim!!! Sounds like you have started the post Christmas period into the new year in a fantastic way, all those meals all ready!!! Like you are doing (and I have to be much better at), planning is key to success I think. I start back to rationing on January 9th but will be using these next 8 days to slowly come down from the excesses of the Christmas period and start planning more for the challenge. Good luck with your 20 kg weight loss this year C xxxxx

  7. Happy new year from Oz.
    I think your commitment to therapy will reap enormous rewards. As with most people who struggle with weight over many years, you know what you should eat to lose weight. It’s rarely a lack of dietary knowledge that is the problem, it’s the thought patterns that reinforces all of those old eating behaviours.

    I’m sharing a little of my experience in case it helps you.
    About a decade ago, after being morbidly obese for decades and always regaining what I’d lost, I decided to deal with it (again). Instead of starting with a diet, I started with 8 counselling sessions. I needed to get to the bottom of why I overeat or make poor choices, what triggers it, what reward am I getting from that behaviour, what are the unhealthy patterns that are on permanent repeat. It was a tangled web to unpack and there were difficult issues to discuss, but it was worth it. I did also find some sessions with a dietitian helpful, although I didn’t need those until I got to maintenance. Losing weight was something I had plenty of experience with, but I had no experience with successful maintenance, the sessions with the dietitian really helped with this. For the first time I lost weight and haven’t regained it. The support that I had was instrumental in this.

    I am hoping for the best for you. I really hope the therapy sessions and the regular chats with the nurse help you to achieve a healthier life.

    • Dear Leanne, oh we sound the same!!! Tis is spot on! As with most people who struggle with weight over many years, you know what you should eat to lose weight. QUOTE: “It’s rarely a lack of dietary knowledge that is the problem, it’s the thought patterns that reinforces all of those old eating behaviours.” … It’s lovely to get feedback from someone who knows that, it really isn’t about the diet in my case (like you). I will be doing the WW2 rationing for a year as I find the study fascinating, it’s more about WHY I overeat (healthy and less healthy foods) and how I need to replace that in my life with something else…it’s all very complicated the mind isn’t it! It’s good to hear your therapy sessions worked well for you and the support you received has enabled you to maintain the loss, congratulations, well done!!!! Thank you for your thoughts!! C xxxxx

  8. I am not wealthy in terms of money, BUT I am wealthy in terms of time and of being free to use that time how I want. That for me is far, far more important than all the trappings of modern life.
    In 2023 I shall continue swimming, which I have found wonderfully therapeutic. I reach an almost meditative state, the only time my mind is still. I am not a good or fast swimmer, but that doesn’t matter. As a bonus it’s toned up my arms and flattened my stomach somewhat, but that’s not my major reason for doing it.
    I do want to grow more food and seeds have been ordered and received, I can now plan.
    My major hope is to retire on my 60th birthday in November, it will be on a tiny income, but doable I think. Major saving taking place here, I managed to save 75% of my December wage. I won’t manage that every month but it made me realise just how little I can live on.

    • I think time is so important and something I crave more of as it enables you to fill your life with the things that bring you joy which could be simply time to take a leisurely walk, or garden, or take a drive or catch a bus to places. Wishing you all the best for November…it sounds like it will be wonderful and saving 75% of a wage is astounding!!! xxxxx C

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