Changing something vs. trying something new

By Jaime Babiera

Three months into the Water Rabbit’s year of hope and longevity, how is your new year’s resolution going so far?

In all honesty, I don’t have anything specific in mind yet. I’m still deeply stuck between what habits I should change and what practices I should retain. With regard to money matters, I know I’m only fooling myself again if I tell you that I’m going to impose stricter control over my finances this year and refrain from impulsive buying.

That was exactly the same thing I promised myself over and over in the past three years since I started working and earning money. But as expected from a young working teen who justified mindless spending as a form of self-rewarding, I just ended up eating my own words.

So to save myself from another disappointment, I’ve come up with the convincing idea that maybe there’s no need for a drastic change until I am totally ready. In the meantime, trying new things and integrating them into my current habits might somehow work magic and lead to good progress.

Having goals to achieve at the end of each year drives us toward a life with a clearer purpose and more meaning. However, if they include changing a behavior that has been a part of ourselves for a long time, well, 365 days are obviously not enough to pull them off.

It’s fair to say that change is a process, not a mere objective that we can simply squeeze into a definite timeline. Hence, I don’t think our new year’s bucket list should consist of items that demand time and require long-term attention.

Perhaps, our focus when thinking about new year’s goals should be on exploring other areas of life and trying new things. It inarguably sounds more helpful than putting a lot of pressure on ourselves. “New year, new me” doesn’t necessarily mean cutting our hair shorter or growing a thicker mustache. Maybe we can just go easy, look around, and see what other wonderful things the world has yet to offer.

There are certainly a fair number of available options out there. One of them can perfectly help us improve our ways without forcing ourselves to undergo a change we are not yet prepared for. “Trust the process is what people say. And I think it really works for those who truly believe and patiently wait.

In case my column has inspired you to list down a few enthralling experiences you want to try this year for the first time, I’m here to tell you that it’s not yet too late. You can start as soon as tomorrow or maybe hold off until next week or next month. It doesn’t matter. Just don’t hold back once you’re finally ready.

Back to my goals for this year, I know there’s still a long way to go before I can fully transform myself from a compulsive spender into a prudent saver. I have come to realize that since changing my habits is the least of my priorities this year, I don’t actually need to pour my whole attention into one thing and put the other aside. All I need to do is find the most effective and convenient course of action that can keep my personal finances in the right proportion.

Perhaps I can start reading more about investing and try buying mutual funds. It’s not my original plan, but I believe it’s way better than having nothing to look forward to this year.