Make A Difference
Small Steps For Big Change…
“I’d love to volunteer, if I only had more time.” “I’d love to do more traveling, if only I had more money.” “I’d love to learn to play the piano, if only I had more talent.” While a lottery win likely isn’t in the cards and we can’t add hours to the day, shifting your priorities (even a little bit) can really impact your mindset. Change teaches us new things. It builds our resilience and flexibility and primes us for growth. Don’t wait until there’s more time or money – you can be the change today.
Building Your Bank Account
For one week, track every dollar that you spend. Chances are, some of those dollars were spent out of convenience, like going through a drive-through because you didn’t have time to pack your lunch. Others might be more maddening, like a late fee on a bill that you simply forgot to pay on time. We don’t want to deprive you of life’s simple pleasures, but a bit of planning can help you avoid wasting money.
• Set up auto-pay for your monthly bills. It remembers those due dates even when you don’t. For non-monthly bills, mark your calendar for a week before they’re due to remind you to send them off.
• Make a budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but having a basic sketch for how much is coming in and how much is going out will help you avoid late fees and interest charges that are simply dollars dumped down the drain.
• Plan your meals. Yes, you should treat yourself to dinner at our fantastic locally owned restaurants. However, those last-minute decisions to just go out because nobody can answer the “what’s for dinner?” question can blow your budget in a hurry. Meal planning and grocery shopping with that plan in mind will help ensure that on the days you planned to eat at home, you actually eat at home.
• Reward yourself. If you made your own coffee, packed your own lunch or paid that car registration on time, take the money you saved and put it away. When you have saved enough money for your reward of choice, treat yourself and enjoy the satisfaction of being the boss of your own wallet.
Clearing The Clutter
You will hear zero judgment from us if your office is a disaster – you should see our workspaces during deadline week! But it sure feels good when we set aside some time to return everything to its place.
• House/office clutter: Set your timer for 10 minutes at the end of each day to tidy up your spaces. While it can feel impossible to carve out enough time to mop floors and fold a mountain of laundry during a busy week, those daily 10-minute “quick cleans” make a difference.
• Calendar clutter: Review the upcoming week to remind yourself what’s on the agenda and decide who’s shuttling kids to practice, etc. Going into Monday with a clear plan will help you start the week knowing you’re ahead of the game.
• All about you: Regular exercise helps your mind and body, and it doesn’t have to be a full-on workout. Two 10-minute walks per day get your blood flowing. Yoga stretches or quiet meditation clear your mind. After a long day, these simple actions can restore your energy.
• “No” is a complete sentence: If you’re too busy, tired or simply don’t feel like doing something, we hereby empower you to just say no. Boundaries keep us healthy.
• Read more: Trade in some screen time for time with a book. The library is full of wonderful treasures that are free for the borrowing. In addition to being entertaining, reading can reduce stress and help you sleep better.
• Find a new hobby: Have you always wanted to learn to paddleboard, play the flute, grow a garden or knit? Shasta College has an array of options in its community calendar, or find a local group that specializes in the activity that interests you and pick their brains.
Being Of Service
• Volunteer: The North State is full of nonprofit organizations that desperately need helpers. From feeding animals at the humane society to greeting people at a local hospital, there’s bound to be someone who needs your skill set. You can find all kinds of volunteer opportunities by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211norcal.org.
• Share your wisdom: Children need caring adults in their lives, and many of our local seniors struggle with loneliness. Teaching a child how to bake cookies or helping your elderly neighbor figure out FaceTime not only helps them, but building that human connection is good for you, too.
Each of us has the power to change the world around us. How will you be the change? •