Elizabeth Elizabeth is a divorced mother of two elementary-aged boys. She is a former English professor and lay minister who now manages the office and communications for a local church. When she's not working or writing, you'll usually find her cooking for her loved ones or hanging out at coffee shops and bookstores. Contact her by e-mailing her at Elizabeth@mumblingmommy.com.

It’s that time of the year again: time to consider last year’s goals, brainstorm about the year ahead, and make a few new resolutions.  Last January I revisited my 2014 resolutions, but this year I’m ready to start fresh even adding decluttering to the list. Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in 2016:

Resolutions Galore: Decluttering, Date Nights and More

1. Simplify.  I work part time so that I can spend more time with my family, but as an extrovert, I need time with people every day. With both kids in school this year, it’s far too easy for me to over-commit myself as a volunteer or just find more reasons to be “out and about” than I really need to, which often means spending money. (Honestly, I envy my more introverted friends who are happiest when they’re at home.) But packing my life with wall-to-wall activities can leave me tired, stressed, and worried about over-spending.

This year I resolve to simplify: stop saying “yes” to everything that comes along; cut back on “errands,” which are often “an excuse to get out;” and spend more time on things that matter to me instead of things that just keep me busy. What about my need for people? That brings me to my second point.

2. Spend more time on friendships. I love my friends, but it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and not see or speak with them for weeks at a time (except on social media). This year I’d like to take more time to develop my friendships, old and new. I think more coffee dates with friends and less time at Target sounds like a great way to spend 2016.

3. Decluttering and beautifying my home: I got rid of a lot of stuff last year, but there’s still work to do to get rid of everything we’re not actively using. I also have a lot of ideas for projects around the house to make my home more organized, streamlined, and beautiful. But it’s easier for me to think of great ideas than to get around to doing them!

This year I’ve decided to focus on one room or “zone” of the house each month. (A “zone” could be half of a room, in the case of our large basement area, or two smaller rooms, such as bathrooms.) First I’m decluttering the space, and then I’ll work on little projects that I’ve always wanted to do that take more time than money — repainting a wall, fixing up an older piece of furniture, etc. Giving myself a month for each space means that it’s not “all or nothing” each day; I can work on it a little at a time.


Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

4. Set aside a dedicated time for writing. I love to write, but I usually do it in fits and starts. Instead, this year after all of my decluttering, I’ve decided to set aside a set amount of time each day that is solely devoted to writing; and it doesn’t have to be early in the morning (that’s never worked for me.) I’m going to experiment with a few different times of the day to figure out when this will work.

5. Have a healthier relationship with my body. Confession time: lots of little gray hairs have emerged in the last couple of years, and I’ve been vigilant in pulling them out immediately. But last month I decided to stop fighting it. I have no desire to color my hair, since it’s hard to stop once you start. And I’m tired of feeling like “aging” is a bad thing. Instead, I’ve decided to think of my emerging grays as natural highlights and let them come in as they will.Like a lot of people, I’d like to lose weight, too, but my focus will be on what makes me healthy — physically, emotionally, and spiritually — instead of feeling like I have to punish my body to make it fit society’s standards. I usually eat healthy food anyway, but now I’m taking longer walks and cutting back on caffeine — because these things help me feel energetic and healthy — not because I “have” to do them to get to a certain size before summer hits.

6. Be more forgiving. Another confession: I tend to hold grudges. Recently I let go of a particularly painful one that had festered for months; and it felt so good to just be over it. This year I’d like to let go of anger more quickly than I have in the past.

7. Last but not least: have more dates with my husband. Now that our kids are older (kindergarten and second grade), it’s much easier to leave them with a sitter or grandparents than it was a few years ago. My husband and I consider a “date” to be any time when the kids aren’t with us. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy; recently we went on a walk in an area with beautiful Christmas lights, then enjoyed hot chocolate by a roaring fire. The whole date cost less than $7, but the time spent together, without distractions, was worth much more than that.This is a longer list than last year, but setting these goals helps me evaluate my life and my priorities and focus on what matters most to me. What better time to do that than the beginning of a new year?

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Category: Life Changes

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