This is the time of year when my family and friends, amidst Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas cookies, declare their New Year’s Resolutions for the coming year. And since we all survived the End of the World without a scratch, it looks like 2013 will be here before we know it, in just a few days!
The typical resolutions end up like some of those Christmas gifts we didn’t ask for but got anyway… left, forgotten, under the bed or on a shelf somewhere. We see them in March or April and think, “Oh yeah, I should do something about that…” but eventually they just fall into the void. Common resolutions include things like:
- Lose weight
- Start _______ (something you’ve had plenty of time to start already)
- Start a vacation fund
- Join a gym
- Quit smoking
These are all admirable goals, but if you haven’t started already, why is January 1, 2013 going to be any easier a time to start? When I wanted to start walking daily, I just decided that day I would take a walk every day. It was a Saturday. Do I still walk every day? No, it’s cold out and I have yet to get winter boots or gloves. But I didn’t wait for Monday or the first of the month or the first of the year to start doing something I wanted to do. In any case, here are some new resolutions that you can make that align with your minimalist ideals. The best part is, you don’t have to wait until 2013 if you don’t want to, you can just start today!
- Remove one thing from your space per day. This could be old mail, or it could be a shirt you’re not wearing or a pair of earrings you got for Christmas and know you will never wear. Declutter one item per day (or per week if one per day is overwhelming).
- Eliminate disposable cups. This is an idea I got from Sandra at Living Lagom. Bring a travel mug or cup with you to coffee shops or restaurants like Chipotle that use paper cups even for eat-in customers. Or, you can sit down at a coffee shop – they usually have proper mugs and cups for eat-in customers if you request them. For every disposable cup you DO use in 2013, put $1 into a charity fund for an environmental organization, and/or find one disposable cup in the garbage to recycle. I love this resolution!
- Participate in Project 333, just once.
- Flip your hangers, set a deadline, and honestly get rid of the items you haven’t worn after your time is up.
- Stick to a one-in, one-out rule and eliminate one like item for every item you bring into your home in 2013.
- Eat three (or more) vegan meals per week. This is a non-scary way to reduce the amount of high-cholesterol meat, eggs, and dairy in your diet. I can’t tell you how many people say to me, “I want to be vegetarian, but bacon!” or “I would love to be vegan, but cheese!” Meat and cheese and eggs aren’t necessarily bad for you in moderation, but so few people truly do consume them in moderation. A resolution to eat three or more vegan meals per week will increase culinary creativity, as well as help instill a sense of moderation without banning all of the bacon and cheese you crave. Just only have bacon once a week. (Is my boyfriend reading this?).
- Don’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the kitchen. This has been my kitchen motto since I moved into my apartment in June, and it’s always wonderful to have all my dishes clean to start each day.
- Quit smoking. Make the resolution every day. The cravings will go away after about six months (according to my mom). You can do it.
For 2013, I have several mini-resolutions. I haven’t decided on their order yet, but I would like to try the following throughout the year:
- Project 333
- One month without a microwave
- No disposable cups (all year)
- Reverse 100 Things Challenge (declutter 100 items in a year)
- Upcycle old shirts into grocery produce bags
- One month without eating out (yeah, right)
Are you making a New Year’s Resolution?