One day, the decision maker inside broke free. You'd think that being a Utah Wedding Videographer meant that I had already decided at least something in my life. Well, yes, but I feel like back in 2014, that was a halfhearted decision. I loved creating videos enough that I wanted to try to make money but that was the end of it.
If you have ever asked me to make a decision you know that I am pretty indecisive, like my friend Chidi from The Good Place.
It was February 29, 2016. Coincidentally, it was leap day. The day I made the first decision that would put me on a path of progress. Progress I didn't even know existed or knew that I needed. BUT I AM GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.
What was this life-changing decision?
EXERCISE. CONSISTENT EXERCISE.
Alix, what? How could exercise changed your life? That's crazy...
Hey, I'm serious! Okay sure, let me get out of the way the fact that I lost weight. That's not why I am making this post.
While I started working out because I was tired of getting asked when the baby was due (there has never been a baby and yeah that was very rude of people), I kept working out because I felt like I was on to something great. I don’t mean great abs or muscles either. Once I had made that decision to exercise it was up to me to see results. It was up to me to continue develop this newfound coping mechanism, it was my job and my choice to hold myself accountable. Simply because I decided it. I MADE THAT HAPPEN.
Shortly after I started working out I realized that motivation does not come to those who sit and wait. If you wait for the motivation, you will never start. Motivation comes to those who start and decide to keep going.
For 2016 and 2017, I kept exercising and pretty much just left it at that. In the beginning of 2018 I was having a minor surgery that we did not have the money for. Or so I thought. I grew up in a home with bad money habits. I love my parents so much but always vowed to myself that I would never subject my future children to severe money issues in the house. I felt hopeless because how do you avoid money problems and fighting about money. I had no idea. Somehow, someway, I rediscovered Dave Ramsey. I started setting up our household budget immediately and Stephen thought I was strange. I told him my fears on putting my surgery bills on payment plans and then he was okay with. I didn’t want to be paying on this minor surgery for the next year. I wanted to pay it all off as the bills came. We always have lived within our means since being married but it wasn’t rare that we would overspend on our credit card and have to pull more than we wanted to from our savings account in order to not carry a balance over to the next month.
It was a struggle to work our budget that first few months but we adjusted very quickly and a real sense of peace set in. I have an eventual goal to quit the call center, be a stay at home mom (need some kids first), and run a successful videography business. Budgeting is helping us to determine how much we spend in a month and it also helps us make necessary adjustment so that are not overspending, not even a penny. It has really helped us determine our priorities and hope to paying almost a full extra payment on our house each month starting later this year. We saved so much money last year. According to our January 2018 budget we saved 21% of our income that month. Sounds like a lot right? Well, that next month in February we saved 53% of our income. CRAZY!! Guess what? it didn’t feel like a huge change from how we were already living. We were saving up for a vacation at the same time as fully funding our emergency fund.
WE MADE THAT HAPPEN. Being debt free (except our house) really accelerated how much we were able to save. Our goals exceeded the temporary struggle to learn and grasp budgeting. I recommend it to everyone because it has truly changed our lives for the better. We’ve calmed down our saving now but keep it around 40% every month. Half for home projects or vacation and half for those reoccurring annual bills. I know it is silly but we save $24 dollars a year to pay our car insurance annually. That’s a cute top or a cheap night out! Our money mindset has shifted.
Okay…one more thing.
Because of exercise and budgeting I feel like if I devote the same kind of effort towards my business, good things are in store. This personal development journey has finally brought me to where I can work on my business wholeheartedly. I’m sharing more, being vulnerable, and not apologizing for my personality.