Happy New Year!
I’ve always have mixed emotions about the start of a new year. Certainly there is bit of sadness to see another year end, and looking back on the year I can see the ups and downs that I journeyed through. I’m eager to shake off the lower moments I experienced and relive the happier memories I made. I think of all I accomplished in the last year and also what I might have done better. It is through these reflections that I celebrate the start of a new year and the hopes and dreams that come alive with it. The story of 2019 has yet to be written and we have the power to create our story and edit it as we move along in the next 365 days. What story do you want to write this year?
We start each year with many resolutions and goals which are often tossed aside within a few weeks (if not sooner). I’ve been guilty of this myself. It’s easy to desire change and much harder to actively pursue it and see it through, This year I don’t want to jot down a quick bunch of “sounds good” “should do” resolutions. I have contemplated my 2019 goals for a few weeks, making certain to choose things that are both meaningful, challenging and still feasible for me to accomplish. What are the most important things that I want and why? Do I have the time to attain them? How will go about reaching these goals? I must start with a plan, even if I need to revise that plan as I move forward.
I think the biggest reason people don’t follow through with their resolutions is because they don’t map out a plan of action. It is not just WHAT you want to do - The WHY and HOW are also very important to have thought out. The WHY allows you to recognize how important a goal is and provides clarity to your emotions. The HOW lays down the directions and how to take the first step.
Here are my three goals for 2019, including why I’ve chosen them and how I will begin tackling each one.
1. Further improve my shopping addiction recovery with emphasis on the areas that I have identified need work.
WHAT & WHY:
First, I’d like to improve on my excessive buy/return cycle. Although, I have reduced my overall spending and am more careful about what I choose to add to my wardrobe, I find that I am still initially purchasing and returning too much. This is a problem because I am wasting time shopping for things I obviously don’t really need, and also wasting time having to repackage and mail back the items. I feel I am lacking in discipline to just “tell myself no”, and also not properly discerning what I really need to begin with.
Additionally, I’d like to improve on how I deal with a surge of shopping urges. I seem to do okay when faced with a single trigger causing a shopping urge, but if I have several triggers working on me simultaneously then I start to cave, Why am I sometimes reverting back to a spoiled child who must get what she wants? I feel this also ties in to telling myself “no" and learning to accept it.
I will need to discuss these issues with my therapist. She will guide me with ideas, exercises and actions I can take to work on each of these areas. You can count on a few future posts discussing these issues and ideas to improve them. I also will increase my use of the "Urge Strikes Tool". I did not use this app much during the holidays and I believe it would have forced me to slow down and better evaluate my purchases.
WHAT & WHY:
I want to declutter my house starting with my basement. I stalled in my decluttering project once the holiday season started, and now I need to continue this quest. I yearn for more simplicity in my life and truly feel the first step is to simplify my home. I have too many areas of my house that cause me stress due to the clutter. I’ll go into my basement or open a closet to find something and just turn away with disgust. I give up looking before I even start because the task seems too daunting.
I’d like to remove at least 50% of what is currently stored in my basement, keeping a small amount of sentimental items (like photos and some old keepsakes) and my seasonal decorations. I’d like to pair down the stored decorations to only items that I am actually using. I’ve collected too many decorations through the years and many just sit and collect dust. Once the basement is cleared, I will have space to add a second washer and dryer (something I should have done years ago).
In addition to cleaning the basement, I want to simplify every room in my home by storing less on my kitchen countertops, placing fewer knick knacks on my bookcases, limiting items stored neatly in cabinets, and creating a closet wardrobe that looks and feels lighter.
To clean the basement I will be enlisting the help of a friend to assist me in unemotionally sorting through things, keeping me from getting sidetracked, and to help with all the physical labor involved. I will box up items for donating and throw away or recycle anything I’m not saving, I will then have the basement cleaned and will purchase proper storage containers for the items I am keeping. I will arrange to store seasonal decorations together in one area with properly marked containers. This is a huge project and I expect it will take multiple days to complete.
After the basement, I will tackle each room in my home through the assistance of Joshua Becker’s 12 week online “Uncluttered” course https://my.becomingminimalist.com.
I am not certain I can complete my decluttering in 12 weeks, but I feel the course will provide me advice and motivation to get it done at my own pace.
I will also continue following more blogs on minimalism. I don’t see myself ever really becoming a minimalist, but there is a lot I can learn from them to improve my life. In the past, I’ve joked about how I’m always cleaning out my basement, bathroom cabinets and clothing closets as if somehow each area is a black hole that keeps absorbing more and more. Truth is, I am constantly purging them because I keep buying more. The only way I’ll ever maintain my decluttering efforts is to stop purchasing more stuff.
3. Improve my blog.
WHAT & WHY:
I am going to move away from having a set schedule for which days of the week I post to the blog. Although committing to Tuesdays and Fridays helped me to build the blog, I sometimes found it difficult to produce a quality post if I was rushing to get it completed. Often, I need more time to research or develop an idea before I can write about it. I need to fully work through my thoughts and writing, and not feel the stress of making sure I “just write something” so I can post on time! I still plan on posting every week, but will not have an exact day. I’d also like to “tweak” the aesthetic style of the blog, and look into possibly changing platforms.
Instead of having set days to release posts, I plan on having a set schedule for working on my blog. Since I started the blog, I would simply squeeze in writing here and there whenever I had the time. Now, I feel it would be better to schedule days/time for writing. I will never become the writer I’d like to be unless I make it a priority and set aside the time in my life to fully pursue it. I will also be taking another writing course starting next week (one that is geared towards blog writing). Having a set time for writing will help me to balance both the work for my course and my blog.
As for the other blog improvements, I will start by researching and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the platform I am currently using (Wix) with Wordpress. If I feel that Wordpress would be a better fit for me, then I plan on moving to that platform before (or during) the summer. I may hire someone to do this task for me since I am not sure I would have the time to both transition the blog and keep it regularly updated. I will need to determine the cost of these improvements and decide if they are really worth implementing.
I have clearly set some challenging but also rewarding goals for myself. I truly hope I can meet each and every one of them this year and I will certainly be sharing my journey with you…with all the ups and downs. To stay accountable to my goals and also track my progress, I will do a “check-in” every three months assessing where I’m at and determining any necessary adjustments. I am also open to other ideas as to how I can go about implementing my resolutions, so please comment or email me your suggestions.
If you haven’t yet set a 2019 goal for yourself, it is not too late! Just remember to really think it through, understand why the resolution is important to you and put together a plan for how you will begin to achieve your goal.