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The old rule of thumb was that your housing costs should be roughly 30 percent of your household's monthly budget. However, that ignores transportation costs, which can be significant if you have a long commute to work. I'd feel so worried that I'd done that enough times that I appeared flaky. I'd be buoyed by guilt and end up having to see whatever it was through. Not only was I making a rod for my back, but it also muddied the waters of communication. My Yes, of course started to be met with Are you sure? In wanting to be good old Jayne, who'll do anything for anyone as though that's something to be applauded, I learned that doing anything for anyone is absolutely not a byline to aspire to. I think all children of a certain generation were fed this line. It was commonly used when you didn't eat all of the food you'd been served. Parents wanted to see an empty plate and for us to be grateful that there was food on the table. And while I can understand the importance of children being brought up with an awareness of their privilege, I don't think to eat for eating's sake teaches that lesson all that well. As a child, I ate more than I needed to because it was important to clean the plate. Who or what in your life could potentially help you further your affirmations? What websites or resource centers can help you plot towards a specific want? Which people can you introduce yourself to and see if they may be willing to support you in one of your goals as a friend or mentor? Note that not all wants need to be far-reaching. You could have something as simple as, I don't like living in this small dingy room -> I want a cleaner, more spacious living arrangement -> I like to give away things I'm not using anymore, freeing my storage up so I don't have to clutter my floorspace. I sweep floors or paint walls as a way to de-stress. If a lightbulb is faltering or a window is getting dirty, I'll replace/clean it respectively so that I am happy with the atmosphere in my room. Whenever we feel lost or need direction, the Want/Don't Want game can set you off to a great start, and the results you get off it can be used to help you develop or even redefine what standards truly matter to you, and which ones you can let go.

Stand for What You Want The great thing about these exercises is that they get us to focus on what we want without getting bogged down in the frivolous. And so it's best to add up your housing and transportation costs and make sure this total is no more than 45 percent of your household's monthly budget. There's a handy online tool called the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index (htaindex. These details are important to real-estate-based futurecasting because the effects of going over budget, to the point at which you run the risk of being house poor, can be so debilitating. As ThinkGlink notes, When families spend a higher portion of their income on housing costs, they spend less on other needs like healthy eating, exercise, preventative care and they're more likely to postpone medical or dental care. They're also saving less, if they manage to save at all, for emergencies and retirement. Tapping Into the Future Forces Maddox is not the kind of guy who sits on a project, so he wasn't going to let me leave Boston without finishing our talk. I agreed to grab a drink with him after the conference and explain every step of the futurecasting process. You need to find your people, I repeated as we settled on a plush leather sofa at a nearby pub. Remember, finding a home isn't just about money and real estate. When I speak to my parents now, it's clear that they inherited that old chestnut and were using a blueprint afforded to them that they hadn't questioned. To this day, I still clear my plate. Even when I don't like the food, even when I'm full, and even when I have been served a ridiculously large portion. Scraping my leftovers into the trash continues to be a source of guilt. Rationally, I understand there are much more constructive things I can do to help those in need, but some boundaries are more ingrained than others. When things went downhill for me and depression hit, I would hope and hope and hope for someone to come along and fix my life, my brain, and me. As if by magic, they'd telepathically sense my pain, my wishes, and my all-at-sea-ness and ride in on a white stallion and sprinkle fairy dust and take over and everything would be just fine. There's a part of now-Jayne that admires the sheer fairy-tale-ness of then-Jayne's mind.

But there's a sadness on reflection, too, that I had learned such helplessness and spent so long riding out those tough days waiting and wishing to feel better. And this was compounded by the boundaries I tended to construct around myself that prevented me from asking for help in the first place. Note that it's okay for your likes and dislikes to change as you gain new perspectives through information and experience. It's also okay if you sacrifice short-term wants in favor of your overarching physical and emotional needs as an individual, so long as you're still able to muster up the motivation for all your long-term desires. Be sure to build up habits to support the fulfillment of your most important or pivotal wants, as this will reinforce your resolve. However, another way to keep yourself on track when life throws you one curveball after the next is through keeping two separate lists of standards for your life. You can make these lists right after this article, or after you've read the article as a whole a few times. Whichever you feel ready for. The first list requires a fair bit of self-knowledge, and may have to be amended a few times. This is fine, so long as you still feel satisfied with the direction you're going in. It's your life, after all. This list will be your Compulsory Standards for Bad Days. It's about people. The sellers, the buyers, the agents, the brokers. And the really great thing about all of these people is that they want you to buy a house. Okay, I'm with you, Maddox said. But wait, there's more, I said. Once you've identified the people who will help you realize your future, next you need to search out the tools and resources that will help you reach your future. Sure, apps might be part of it, and also loan programs and savings plans, I said. Again, I'm not a finance or real estate expert.

Your people will be able to help you identify these tools. Then there's one last group of people you need to pull together: the experts. In wishing with all of my might that someone else would swoop in and help unstick my life, I was underestimating myself and overestimating what other people could do--particularly considering this was a time when I wasn't even helping myself. I remember when someone on Twitter told me, not in the kindest of ways, that my wishbone was where my backbone should be, and it stung. It stung hard. But it was true; I was hoping that someone else could help me in ways that I could help myself. I could be my own knight in shining armor. Both my husband and I are introverts, and our home feels like a sanctuary where we can restore, wear our most ragged comfies, and recharge. As much as I'd like to be the sort of person whose home is open for people to roll in whenever they'd like, there's nothing quite like the thought, or reality, of people turning up unannounced to set off a bout of panic. It doesn't matter who it is or how dearly we love them; Working from home makes it trickier, too; This list, at a minimum, should contain the basic self-care standards vital for your overall well-being, as you presumably want to feel content and healthy as a baseline. For my list, brushing my teeth, drinking water whenever I am thirsty, stressed, or feeling foggy, and having at least one healthy meal a day are all non-negotiable for me. I do these things whether I'm having a rough day or not, because I know that if I don't, then the next day will be even rougher. When I was staying with my grandmother, I also made it non-negotiable to show her gratitude as well as research something relevant for either my personal or professional development each day. The second list is your Compulsory Standards for Ordinary Days. This should consist of all of your previous list, as well as extra standards to boost your cognition and wellbeing (eg exercise or journaling), and specific, solid actions that you can take toward your overall goals. It should also include a list of principles that you know you won't bend on; Your Compulsory Standards are to be treated with respect, so that you will be encouraged to treat yourself with trust and respect in turn;

A better alternative in this case is to set a standard or promise for self-improvement on a topic that you're struggling with, so that one day the promise you wish to make can become realistic for you to hold. Through this, you'll become better at standing up for yourself and what you need in a wide variety of conditions. Yes, these are the people who have already done what you're trying to accomplish, whom you can learn from, I explained. In your case, these would be people who have similar situations to yours--maybe someone with a spouse and a couple of kids who bought a house in the past and was successful at it. Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, Maddox said excitedly. They could also be people who are experts in finding loans and researching neighborhoods. Makes sense. Maddox nodded. Despite his enthusiasm, I could tell that Maddox was starting to feel a little overloaded. But I wanted to make sure I laid out the entire futurecasting process for him before skipping town. The final step is the backcast, I started. Wait, I'm going to have to start writing this down, Maddox said, pretending to search his pockets for a pen. The inner conflict that arises from this is feeling like we're unreasonable and rude in wanting some advance notice, because when I was younger we'd show up unannounced to our relatives' houses and they didn't mind. Or did they? That is the question! Oh boy, I've come full circle on meetings and very rarely have them nowadays when a Zoom or a conference call will do. Old boundaryless me attended every meeting I was asked to participate in--my calendar would be jam-packed with meeting after meeting after meeting. It was a minefield because I'd have to allow a buffer for travel and a buffer in case the meeting overran. A considerable amount of time was spent either rushing to the next meeting in earnest or twiddling my thumbs because I'd built in too generous a buffer. I've probably lost months to meetings, and traveling to meetings, that neither bore fruit nor moved any plans further forward.