Last week, I threw out three full containers of oatmeal and two new garlic powder seasonings. I was determined to use up the food in my cabinets instead of spending money on groceries in order to keep my financial goals for 2019. Upon attempting this, I was greeted by unopened items that expired in 2014, 2015, and 2017. This means for the last two to five years, I’ve been spending unnecessarily because I was unaware of what I had.
Sadly, throwing out food isn’t new for me. When I first started living on my own (nine years ago), I shopped like my mom did growing up, filling a whole grocery cart. My hopes were to gather enough food for the month. It never dawned on me that I didn’t have a full house of people, nor did I have the discipline to keep track of everything I purchased. On trash day, there were always forgotten items that had to be thrown away. I was operating out of habit and was blind to the problem.
One thing I rarely hear in goal setting conversations is the importance of taking inventory. In order to be disciplined, we need to know our numbers and our habits. What has kept you from hitting this goal before? How and what will you do to change that? After each week, it’s crucial to look at what was and wasn’t accomplished so adjustments can be made.
In order to be disciplined, we need to know our numbers and our habits.
Because I’ve always been good at saving, I was unaware of how much money was passing through my grip. It wasn’t until my financial situation changed that I started paying attention to the fact that I had full cabinets but was still shopping weekly. Two things that will make you take inventory, are self-discipline and hard times. I prefer not to wait for the hard times.
Self-discipline requires you to be aware of your starting point. Whether we are getting disciplined about relationships, business, finances, or spirituality, there must be time set aside to get introspective about our triggers, inclinations, and resources. In every area of life, taking inventory will look different. Sometimes we need an outside expert like a therapist, financial advisor, or coach. For other areas, we may be able to use a tracker, budget sheet, or set reminders. Remaining goals may require us to take a look at what we have, what needs to go, and how we can make what’s remaining work.
I am making the unexpired items in my cabinet work until I hit my financial goals. It hurts my heart to have to throw things away, and now that I’ve taken inventory for everything I have, I can effectively utilize my funds and my food. Then, I get to repeat this process in the other areas of my life.
This year, we are crushing all of our goals and staying disciplined. We will start by taking inventory in every area before the week is out. Make the time, to get this done! You deserve it.