Time for the ritual of the new year.

I’ve done pretty well with new year’s resolution.

For many years I didn’t bother. Why make a resolution you’re going to break? It just makes you feel bad.

I made the typical ones. Lists of them.

Then a few years ago I decided the way to really succeed at at a new year’s resolution was to reflect on your life, what you wanted to do, and pick one thing that you really, really wanted to accomplish. Just one thing.

That worked.

Three years ago I started aggressively recycling. Our city waste management dept. issued blue recycling bins years ago and I’ve used them. But every year they issue a paper on what they’ll accept and three years ago they really expanded it. Not just aluminum, plastic and glass bottles and newspaper and cardboard. Now they take all sorts of glass (like the jars you buy stuff in), all of the metal cans you buy food in, and a lot more plastic. So I decided to really study the list and recycle as much as possible. It was a real struggle but after a year I was pretty good at it. And I’ve kept it up, which is what you’re supposed to do with a resolution…keep it up, not just do it for a year and then forget about it.

Two years ago I decided I would make an attempt to eat breakfast every morning. Okay, drink breakfast. I started with 2% chocolate milk. (Later switching to 1% and now I drink orange juice because it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in and the milk does.) I’ve kept up with the breakfast and with getting 8 hours of sleep a night or more. (Not so easy this year when I have to get up at 6 am for freakin’ high school. I can’t wait until I retire.)

Last year I decided to really try to blog. My blogger and wordpress blogs aren’t as regular because they are public only. But I have kept up pretty regularly with the livejournal blog because I can make that private for just my friends or hidden from everyone but me. So I’ve kept that up for the year pretty well. An average of at least one entry per week probably.

I also decided to cut out high fructose corn syrup, which I did in May. Yes, you can add resolutions during the year. There is no rule that says you can only do them at the beginning and that’s it. In July I decided to drastically reduce sugar. Then in August I started taking Omega3 supplements and cutting way back on white rice and white bread. In September I cut back on bread. No more sandwiches every day for lunch. In October I started taking probiotics; Goodbelly every morning with my orange juice.

So what’s it going to be this year?

While I am still pretty tired and still don’t have the energy I used to, I am going to make an effort to get my house clean. I am going to get all of the cardboard boxes and packing stuff bagged and recycled, get my kitchen clean and keep it clean, and clear off the dining room table. My goal is to have everything put away in it’s place and a place for everything by next Christmas so I can have a tree.

This will probably involve some selling on etsy and basically giving stuff away at garage sales. My Mother will have the occasional garage sale and I’ll be taking stuff over there.

I’ll also have to start hauling stuff up into the attic. The attic I need to tackle during the cold months as it gets pretty hot up there. It is still a mess from when the solar guys moved stuff to install the panels and when the solatube guys moved stuff to install the skylight. While there is stuff up there that also needs to go, that is going to have to wait for another year. I think it will take me a good portion of the year just to get the house in order. I have such nice decorations for Christmas, Easter, Halloween and even Thanksgiving. I really want to start decorating my house again like I used to.

Pick one resolution and concentrate on that one. After a year, it becomes a habit and you can move on.

And you’ll feel good about accomplishing that one thing, rather than bad about how many “failures” you have from that list you made.

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