It’s the new year and time to make a list of things I won’t do…errrrr… resolutions I mean.
At the beginning of every year, for years now, I have sat down and made resolutions. Every year, for years now, that’s about all the progress I made. I wasted time carefully selecting my resolutions, which did not make it past January or in some cases did not make it past New Year’s Day!
So, this year is going to be different, I hope! Rather than resolutions like exercising more, eating healthier, etc., I made a to do list of things that I want to accomplish this year, which I can re-evaluate every month and add to or hopefully cross some items off my list, so it will be an ongoing endeavor as opposed to a once a year flop. I think a to do list fits how I roll better than resolving to stop or start doing something.
In making the list, I realized that the most important things involve getting rid of the things that unnecessarily take up my time so that I will have time to do other things that I want to do. So, the first item that my New Year’s to do list focuses on is decluttering. My rationale is that if I declutter our home, trying to keep it clean will not take as long as I won’t spend so much time cramming stuff in drawers and closets to get it out of sight. As a bonus, I won’t spend so much time looking for things crammed in the afore mentioned closets and drawers as there will be more room to organize the things that we actually use, making them easier to find. Plus, I can’t relax and enjoy the things that I want to do if our home looks like an episode of the Hoarders’ T.V. show.
The “30-Day Minimalist Game” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of theminimalists.com involves “Finding a friend or family member: someone who’s willing to get rid of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.”
I plan to do this in January and maybe into February, March, etc. – however long it takes, but with a few tweaks. I will get a box and add at least one thing to it daily (more if I find more) and disperse it – sell, donate or trash it – at the end of the month or sooner, if I have time. Having it out of the house by the end of the day each day isn’t practical for me since I work full time from home and I don’t make it to town every day. A little less ambitious, perhaps, but again, that’s the way I roll.
Other things on my to do list include converting my print books to Kindle so readers will have another purchase option; and creating a month’s worth of meal menus that I can use over and over, although I will start with one week or even one day and then add to it so it doesn’t become a laborious task that I don’t get around to doing.
I think the key for me is to be flexible, as unexpected things come up, so the beauty of a to do list is that I’m not necessarily on a deadline, other than wanting to get it done as soon as I can, and I have to admit, I find it rather satisfying to physically check an item off of a list when I complete it, something that I don’t have with resolutions.
One reason that I have never stuck with my resolutions is that I always pick things that I don’t “want” to do; otherwise I wouldn’t have to “resolve” myself to do it in the first place. Maybe I need to do them, but I don’t waaaaannna! I think having a clear focus of the rewards for doing things that I don’t really want to, like my reasons for decluttering, and putting them on a to do list where I can check them off as I complete them will help me to see my actual progress and provide more motivation than broad resolutions like trying to exercise.
We all have our own way of rolling – either accomplish something in bits and pieces or put in a marathon session and get it over with at once. Either way, a to do list works, but the main thing is to just start somewhere.
Eat A Frog or Two…
Mark Twain wrote, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, do the hardest thing first and get it out of the way and the rest of the day will be easy peazy. I think this could apply to longer term goals as well. Do the things first that will create more time for you to do the things that you actually want to do. I think it’s also important to know why we want to do the things on our list as that is our motivation!
What’s on your to do list for 2018? Let me know in the comments below. To get started, I have created a free printable to do list that you can download and print here.