Friday, January 1, 2010

Yes to a New Year's Theme and Gifts, Not Resolutions

At this time of year, many of us are thinking of the new year ahead and about changes we'd like to make in our lives or ourselves that we can put in a tidy package called a New Year's Resolution.

But I ask, why does January 1st have to feel much more important than May 7th or September 12th? Ah, I's that itty bitty part of us that seeks perfection. The part that loves a very clear, very defined starting point and that loves to feel ignited by motivation. And what could be more motivating than starting something on the very first day of a brand new year?

I used to be that kind of New Year's Resolution maker...the one who met the new year bright eyed and excited with a list of life-changing resolutions in mind. Like this article says about the science behind failed resolutions, I mistakenly thought that I could follow through on that list of New Year's resolutions if only I had a bit more discipline. I even built in negative consequences to my resolution (like the money spent on a gym membership to force encourage me to like to exercise!)

So, in defiance I suppose, I have sworn off making any sorts of changes for the last few years just because I've brought out a new calendar. However, I admit, even the anti-resolution side of me has been a wee bit excited by all of the tweets, blog posts and articles I have let myself read lately.

Maybe that's because, in early 2009, I realized that life had lost its flavor and, by April, I had decided that I was ready to put myself in the line of priority, and right in front. I later realized that this was just my inner awareness coming back to me after having been in a depression funk for a few years. With the second half of 2009 devoted to taking care of me, and sharing what I've learned with you all as well, I'm feeling very motivated to continue and see how awesome I can make 2010.

Now that I'm excited and ready to meet a new year, with an attitude of making positive changes for as many of the next 365 days as possible, I will declare my New Year's Theme for 2010 to be: Take Care of Me...the full year version!

Here are the gifts I plan to give myself in the coming months. I truly hope I get to the big gift but otherwise I will just enjoy the stocking stuffers!

Accepting the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge for 2010

Clutter and unfinished projects around here don't stand a chance!

Taking care of my body by being kind to it
(enhancing my best traits on the outside and eating well to take care of me on the inside)

As Sally says it so succinctly:
This is the only body you've got.
Be kind to it.
Befriend it.
Work with it, not against it.
Care for it tenderly and you will be a much happier person.

Continuing to live a cash-only lifestyle (started in 2009)

The new component this year will be to put money into a high-yield savings account every month that will become the money I spend on 2011 expenses. I’m tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck and will eventually be using money that’s spent a year gaining interest instead of new money that hasn’t!

To regain the inner peace I have lost during the past few years

I'm not ready to give any specifics on this one just yet.

What will your New Year's Theme be for 2010? What gifts are you going to give yourself over the coming months?

Below, I've listed some ideas to get you thinking. These were part of an email forward I received but do they ever work for new year, new you inspiration!

But, first, I would highly recommend you read Dani's insight on how to prepare for change and Leo's definitive guide to sticking to your New Year's Resolutions. They are definitely inspiring!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Themes ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Simplify and unclutter your life.

Never borrow from the future.
(If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.

Develop a forgiving attitude.
(most people are doing the best they can)

Be kind to unkind people.
(they probably need it the most)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Gifts ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Get organized so everything has its place.

Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.


Practice gratitude.
(Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.)

Go to bed on time.

Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

Delegate tasks to capable others.

Slow down.
Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

Pace yourself.
Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

Separate worries from concerns. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

Do something for the kid in you everyday.

Get enough rest.

Eat right.

Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

Write down thoughts and inspirations.

Sit on your ego.

Talk less; listen more.

Every day, find time to be alone.

Top 5 Posts:
How I Define Clutter
Decluttering: A How-To
I'd Rather Stay Home From Work and De-junk
Decluttering Made Simple (27-17-7)
Ever Felt Afraid to Declutter?


  1. I love it! We started with the financial issue last year. we are trying to reduce debt, and save for purchases. We are doing O.K., but still have room for improvement. I too am trying to de-clutter. That is VERY hard, but I know it is the right thing to do. I hope you are successful

  2. @bearcrafts Thank you Gina!

    Clearing the clutter and handling the debts (later to become growing the savings) feed into one another. When I began really clearing the clutter (more than just the infrequent decluttering marathon here and there), I realized that spending money was just a band-aid measure for how I dealt with life's troubles. Instead, I now get excited by watching the bank account balance increase instead of bringing new whatevers into my house! One of the BEST ways to clear the clutter is not to let it in the door in the first place. ;-)

    I hope you, too, are successful with both your financial life rebuilding and your clutter clearing. I'm here if you ever need encouragement!

    ~ Suzanne
    365 Days of Decluttering Challenge
    Taking Care Of You

  3. Just to say hi and wish you a Happy New Year and all the best. Your blog is interesting. Your surname sounds very Greek. If you like travelling please visit my traveling blog. Thanks and kind regards. Philip

  4. @Phivos Nicolaides

    Hi Phivos. That was kind of you to stop in and say hi. I also wish you a happy and prosperous 2010.

    My husband is Assyrian. I'm not much of a traveler but thanks for sharing your blog.

  5. I decided to make January my month of retail abstinence. It's my reaction to the waste and excess of the holidays. I didn't do too badly this holiday season but still wanted to go retail free.

    So I've said no to buying things besides food, gas, medicine, and cat litter. No to movies, restaurants (unless traveling), no to ebay, even though I have been meaning to buy a phone for months. And--this is the big one--NO LATTEs.

    The no lattes is hard but so far, so good.

    One dividend I've found so far is that I'm saving a lot of money. Just from not eating out and skipping the lattes, I've saved quite a lot already.

    Another dividend--I seemed to have more time this weekend to do what I wanted to do. Guess the shopping and lattes take time, too!

    I am still looking forward to learning what I say YES to while I'm saying no to retail.

  6. @Molly Dove Wow, you're doing great on your plan. I'm so proud of you!

    Saying no to retail is an excellent way to not add new clutter in our lives; whether it's financial clutter (not utilizing money properly, buying on credit, etc.), physical clutter (an object), mental clutter (guilt/stress/etc.) or body clutter (I'm a mocha drinker myself but you & I both know they ain't that good for us! ;-)

  7. I took the challenge today....

  8. @Tina Welcome Tina! Congratulations on accepting your own 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge. I've added your blog to the list of challengers on the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge blog.

    As you mentioned on your blog post about joining the challenge, you & I both agree about the link between mental clutter and physical clutter. Decluttering physical objects can become a bit addicting, as well as decluttering the mental clutter that was with it.

    Congrats, again, on taking this journey with us and getting rid of unwanted, unneeded, unused and unloved items in your life!

    ~ Suzanne
    365 Days of Decluttering Challenge
    Taking Care Of You


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