by Judy M McCutcheon
‘Tis the season to be merry and bright, and there is an extra dose of giving and love emanating from us. So, how much are you going to spend to show your love or more importantly, do you need to spend to show your love?
The new year is upon us and the making of resolutions would soon start making the rounds, and we all know what happens with those after the first week of the new year has passed — we go back to our same old habits and the love just seems to dissipate. But for this new year, I want you to make not a resolution but rather to be resolute in your love for yourself so that you can do the things that serve you. It does not matter what area of your life needs improving; what’s important is your goal to make it better. It could be in your relationships, it could be in areas of your health or it could be in areas of your finances. Every area of your life is in some way impacted financially depending on the decisions you make. Whether it’s impacted negatively or positively, is solely dependent on you.
Some sage advice for those of us in love and thinking of either getting married in the new year or moving in together. Those are 2 big steps, and to help it work, you must make money conversations a central part of your relationship. Money conversations are the least romantic, but can have a great influence on your romance. Study after study reveals that money is one of the leading cause of relationship breakdown. We never really want to have that money conversation, because it’s viewed as taboo to talk about money. There are many relationships where one partner doesn’t know how much money the other is making, and this happens more often among men than women. It could be a matter of distrust or like some men have said to me when I ask them about it, “if she knows how much money I am making, she will want to spend more.” Whatever the case, it is imperative to have that money conversation, it can save you tons of heartache in the future. It is critical that you make time on a monthly basis to evaluate your financial position. Look at your goals in the short, medium, and long-term and check that you are saving enough to achieve them; if not, look at ways that you can cut back to get you to where you want to be. A budget is critical to achieving your goals.
What about loving you enough, to ensure that your life is going in the direction that you want it to go? To some, this may seem selfish, but in the grand scheme of things, what is really important? If you look around, you will realise that people are just dying; today you see them and tomorrow they are just a memory. In the final analysis, what matters most? Is it important that you live your life based on other people’s expectation of you? Or do you want to be able to live life on your terms, not hurting others but doing what you need to do to make you happy? Remember everything is about context. Ladies if you are in a relationship that no longer serves you, resolve today, to move on — forget about waiting for a payout. You may have to be alone for a little bit, but that’s okay. It is important that you fall in love with you first and foremost before you love someone else. You may even have to find a job to maintain yourself, but isn’t that better than being in a loveless relationship and having to depend on your partner for your upkeep? Love of self is important; the Bible did say to love your neighbour as you love yourself. This implies that you must first love yourself.
Let your health take centre stage in the new year. Too often we neglect ourselves for the benefit of others. This year be selfish, take care of you. It is virtually impossible for you to be of good use to anyone if you are not in a good place, mentally, physically, or emotionally. Get in the zone of your life, so that you can get to that place, where peace passes all understanding. Start an exercise regime, either joining a gym, walking, running, swimming, or doing Zumba, whatever you do, just move. Your body will thank you, and you will feel better mentally. Ultimately, it’s about you; I know that we are all busy with work, family, etc, but carve out some time for yourself to do the things that fulfil you and speak to your soul. Take some time this new year for you, and make loving you a central theme.
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Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net
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