Hello 2013. What is it about facing a new year that puts some spark behind motivation? We meet a new week 52 times a year. We face a brand new day 365 times a year (366 this past year). Yet facing a new year tends to at least draw a thought to new resolutions.
I’ve heard people say they don’t make New Year’s resolutions so they don’t break them. Avoiding disappointment isn’t bad. Yet whether it’s done at New Year’s or another time, considering better habits is a good thing.
In reviewing top 10 lists from varied sources the last week, I found the most repeated goals are to 1. Exercise more, 2. Lose weight (or eat healthier), 3. Get organized, 4. Quit smoking, 5. Volunteer more (or help others), 6. Spend more time with family and friends, 7. Get out of debt, 8. Learn something new, 9. Drink less alcohol, 10. Enjoy life (or have more fun).
A few of these don’t affect me but I can relate to most of them. However sometimes too long of a list creates less chance to succeed. So this year, I’m focusing on ONE resolution.
Sounds simple enough yet it could actually lead to conquering all of the above.
It would definitely be easier to start fresh. Unfortunately, I have to backtrack and clean up a heaping amount of stuff from counters, drawers, closets and even entire rooms. And often, that’s what it is. Stuff. Stuff that should have been trashed long ago. Trashed, given away or better organized. But it hangs around and creates chaos. And it sucks away energy.
Clutter isn’t just about the physical stuff. It’s also unnecessary thoughts that hang out in my mind. Oh how refreshing it would be to free myself from worrying or dwelling on anything negative. If it’s out of my control, why let it bog me down? Release it!
And yes, clutter refers to the junk food and lack of following through with good intentions. So eliminate the unhealthy choices of what I put in my mouth. Eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more water truly does make me feel better. That also provides more motivation to exercise. Huh. Eliminate body clutter. Sounds fabulous!
In turn, I have more energy when living healthier which could create motivation to get rid of more stuff.
Picture your drawers and closets holding ONLY things you need. Wow. What if my closet didn’t have any of those clothes or shoes that I haven’t worn for at least a year? Holy cow. Instead of being crammed full, it would be so much easier to find what I actually want. And if (when) I lose weight, I deserve to buy new clothes. And what’s in that pile on the closet floor? If I wanted something from there, would I know where it is?
I’ve often said I could take a vacation with all the time I spend looking for things. If the clutter was eliminated from my life, there would be less chance of burying things. Like the old adage goes, “A place for everything. Everything in its place.”
Some people are naturals at this. Their work space and homes are most often neat or can be within a matter of minutes. I am definitely NOT a natural. It’s difficult for me to sort and toss. I just might need it someday. But will I? Unfortunately, so much of the stuff that we’ve saved we don’t remember we have anyway.
Next year, I’ll probably still have the same resolution as it’s something to constantly work at. But I can do it. Baby steps. Just one step at a time. And the more junk I release from my surroundings, my mind and my body, the happier I’ll be.
Gee. Look how many of those top 10 can be conquered if I simply . . . . ELIMINATE CLUTTER.
Happy New Year. Now let’s get on with it!
LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. E-mail: