Thoughts for the New Year

(Images from Apartment Therapy)

I came across this thought provoking post (What Do You Actually Use) on Apartment Therapy several months ago and have been musing on it ever since. There is no doubt that we are part of a culture that is driven by the notion that more is better, and as a blogger I play a part (though to be fair, my honest intention is not to make anyone feel as though they simply must buy something or other in order to be happy). Of course it is also not a profound conclusion that de-stuffifying our lives is really what we are all after. Just check the covers of all the magazines this month. Each one enticing us with promises of a fresh start for 2011, better organization, prosperity, etc. Every year it’s the same thing…

(My favorite bowls)

So I say let’s do it guys! No more hanging onto the old (literally and metaphorically). Let’s really make 2011 the year that we stop saying what if and actually make our dreams a reality. There are a lot of things on my list to work on, but for me the new year has to start with acknowledging that my life is better with fewer possessions in it, and that the things I keep and purchase need to be ones that truly compliment and enrich my life. No more time and money spent on things that merely fill the space. My 2011 is going to be lived with intention and passion…what about yours?

I shared another resolution of mine over on Samantha Hahn’s blog yesterday. A few more things I’d like to accomplish in this next year include (I’m writing them here to keep myself motivated):

  • Continue my healthier eating/working-out progress throughout 2011 (almost 10lbs down so far – woohoo).
  • Vastly improve my money budgeting skills.
  • Travel to visit out-of-state family and friends regularly.
  • Finally take a photography class and learn how to use my camera properly.
  • Actually attend the photography group I joined (so far I’ve been too shy to go).
  • Ride bikes with my daughter and take walks with our dogs more often.
  • Find beauty in the everyday – even if I have to look really hard to see it sometimes.
  • Remember that the journey is the destination and appreciate each day more fully (even the really tough ones).

What are your resolutions this year? I’d really love for you to share some of them here with us in the comment section below. xo Ez

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  1. monicalee / / Reply

    OH! I have to get rid of old stuff…not as in "my grandmother's nice things" old stuff….but what DO I actually use? Nothing else will fit in my house…I posted something alongs this line about crowding my house with more holiday decorating…it is almost suffocating!
    Lots of resolutions…making more 'room" in my home for creativity….A MUST!

  2. Desi / / Reply

    We have some simular resolutions.

    • Come around to the realization that the Universe is out to support me a little faster everyday.
    • Start putting my intention/attention on the stuff that matters most to me.
    • Run more often. ie 2 days a week isn't cutting it.
    • Ease into barefoot running.
    • Get outside and feel the glow of the sun more, not the glow of my laptop.
    • Learn more about photography. This may include the purchase of a SLR.
    • Get out of town more. A lot more. It helps me to appreciate where I'm at.
    • Cook my way through Ad Hoc.

  3. Ez / / Reply

    These are great guys! Thank you so much for sharing your resolutions here.
    Desi – I second your plan to spend more time feeling the glow of the sun vs. the computer screen! :-)
    xo Ez

  4. jenn / / Reply

    What an interesting article — thanks for sharing! Throughout the last couple months I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I actually use and need at home. And, this weekend we started clearing out what we don't need. It's such a great feeling! I'm excited to begin living 2011 with a more intention.

  5. laura evans / / Reply

    i just went through my kitchen throwing out the 30 or so lids we had that didn't fit the 10 remaining pieces of tuperwear & well a whole lot more. I was very theraputic (& all kinds of fun).

    have a wonderful day!

    ps. love those bowls of yours … where are they from?

  6. Alex / / Reply

    I've been thinking about resolutions a lot lately as well!
    Many of the ones you posted resonated with me. I have a big year coming up (graduating from school, moving cities etc.) so my new year's resolutions are to try and increase my energy and productivity. I hope to do this by exercising more/eating better, spending less time surfing the internet, and more time planning and accomplishing my goals.
    Great post!

  7. Jan / / Reply

    i'm with you Ez! we have been living with the bare minimum since we moved to our new place a yr and half ago – waiting to renovate, we haven't unpacked a lot of things. i have totally realized i don't need so much of it. it has really made me aware, and i actually like the pared down life. happy new year to you, and i wish you much success with your new years goals. xo jan

  8. Eva / / Reply

    What an inspiration post! Good luck with all of your goals!

    I'd like to make much more progress and get the flow of my new blog, finish editing my book, and find a school to attend. I've not said that to anyone yet, so thanks for getting me to really think about it and write it out like this. :)

  9. ALI / / Reply

    Great post- love the resolutions! Mine are:
    * get my blog and small side business up and running
    * practice speaking spanish
    * put more effort into the way I dress (I really think I have it in me to look cute, but I get so distracted sometimes!)
    * make more time to play music
    * do awesome at my new job
    * eat healthy, gym, etc :)

    thanks for prompting me to actually write them down!

  10. Jessica / / Reply

    oh gosh, that article is right up my alley…I'm a nostalgia clinger haha :) I hate getting rid of anything!

    I still need to sit down & ponder my resolutions….Thanks for the inspiration!~

  11. Jeanee / / Reply

    Hey Ez!

    I started reflecting on 2010 and making my resolutions. They are not complete yet but "Vastly improve my money budgeting skills" is one of mine too. And…

    • start a garden (now that we are in a house!)
    • set a bedtime
    • cook 1 new recipe a month
    • throw a party at our house
    • brink my snacks to work (I never have any leftovers to bring + I like leftovers in the oven)

    Happy 2011!

  12. Traci P. / / Reply

    Um, Ez, I think you've been walking around in my brain. Replace the word "daughter" with "husband" (I'm not a mom) and "photography group" with "editor network" and our resolutions are pretty much identical. Good luck to you; may the momentum build and build until next New Year's Eve!

  13. Courtney / / Reply

    What a timely post for me! I've been bracing my husband for a large round of paring down throughout our home. I think we sometimes tend to hold onto things thinking that we have some plan for it one day or that we'll come to a time where we say, "oh if I'd only held onto that." In addition to decluttering my home physically one of my goals for 2011 is to mentally declutter by only taking on one project at a time rather than allowing myself to become distracted with new projects – usually resulting in more physical clutter too!

  14. anna / / Reply

    love this post, great inspiration. I'm a new reader and really enjoy your posts. Love those bowls too!

  15. Donna / / Reply

    My goals for this year are similar to yours.. staying organized and purging unnecessary things I own, get more serious about photography, and manage my money better (like starting a Roth IRA, what??). I believe all of these things are possible, just need to find some motivation :) Good luck to you and happy holidays!

  16. WoonHung / / Reply

    Thanks Ez, I really appreciate this post. I am guilty – owning too much & then spending valuable time/energy packing, organising & arranging them. I find it so silly now, when there are more important things to look after.

    Hubby & I bought a new place & moving in 2 years. I need to cut back on all the things I've hoarded before our move. And spend my time on the other things that matter in my life – family, friends, cooking, reading, exercise, learn a new skill etc.

    I thought I should share this from a fellow designer, who wrote on her blog & it makes alot of sense. Its from altho I can't find where the post is exactly from. She says:

    I'm currently at this stage where I don't want to acquire any more stuff, because I already have so much, & sometimes I start to think my belongings are taking over. A few days ago, I actually heard myself say that I'm spending so much time "managing my possessions", sad isn't it?

    Happy Hoildays Ez! I'm changing for good!

  17. Janneke / / Reply

    Hi Ez, it's a crucial point you raise. Although stuff is often great, it's important to consider the impact of a product on people and the environment. How was it produced, how long will it last, and what will happen to it when I do away with it? Check the Story of Stuff for a great little animation of consumerist society. Have great 2011!

  18. Loulou in France / / Reply

    I don't generally make New Year's resolutions because I believe that if I want to change something or work on something or try something new, then why wait for January 1? Just get going!
    There is one thing I've been avoiding for a while now and I need to get it done: painting our bedroom. I loathe painting, but don't have the extra cash to hire someone to do it, so just need to bite the bullet. So I resolve that by the end of this winter our bedroom will have a brand spanking new coat of paint.
    Enjoy your photography class! That sounds wonderful.

  19. Andreia / / Reply

    Thank you Ez for this post! I share some of your goals for 2011. I'm taking note of some goals I would like to achieve regarding my store+site+passion. I wish I could do it for a living and be a stay at home mum of my four little children (wich is very difficult here in Portugal where most of moms have to work outside). On February, I must return my full-time job, after these wonderful months of maternity and I'm making plans to have a good balance between eveything.

  20. mosey / / Reply

    been thinking a lot about these things too of course as the new year is upon us. a few of my new year goals:
    + home: find a great apartment to buy.
    + health: exercise regularly, eat plenty, strive for energy.
    + love: find more patience and understanding when it comes to my husband's work travels.
    + work: prove myself for my desired position.
    + self: stop the daily, useless, stomach-hurting worrying. remain relaxed. shed reservations.

  21. kelly / / Reply

    oh, this was my little resolution for myself. i really want to declutter my life, especially in terms of what i really use. too much clutter is created from things i like, that i never use or wear. it can be really frustrating and messy after a while! i want to stick to basics!

    thank you for posting this! it's very helpful (and supportive) to know a lot of people feel this way.

    ps. those are my favorite bowls, too! i use them for everything! =)

  22. Miz.Jo / / Reply

    I think this is so valid. I regularly clean out my possessions. My mom used to tease me about getting rid of everything until I have nothing left. But, truly, we all need less than we tend to want to hold on to.
    Now….. if I can only get my hubby on the same page as me.

  23. beth / / Reply

    i've been thinking along those same lines, ez. my new-ish blog is hitting on one of my five resolutions each day. they are to:
    *dream less, do more
    *make my home my sanctuary
    *ban buttcrack from my wardrobe (and other fashion dilemmas i'm sick of)
    *live in the present
    *cook a fancy pants meal once a week

  24. Ez / / Reply

    I have so loved reading each one of your resolutions everyone! Thank you so much for sharing them with us all. I'm so inspired by all of you and ready to get started on 2011 already! :-) xo Ez
    @ Laura Evans – Thanks! The bowls are from Anthropologie.

  25. Catherine / / Reply

    Hi Ez! Great resolutions. I think many people feel along the same lines. After reading a great book called Thanks! (subtitle something like "how the science of gratitude can make you happier), I'm really impressed with the effects of keeping a gratitude journal, and hope to really ingrain it as a daily habit in 2011. The author cites a bajillion studies that find people are more motivated, more pleasant to be around, happier, have whiter teeth. (Ok, maybe not that last one.)

    It's a little like applying that Wm. Morris quote to your emotions and memories – "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." I think consciously selecting out the good things in your day helps you do that with thoughts. Best wishes for a great new year, and for lots of resoluteness to make your life what you want it to be!

  26. JWK / / Reply

    I desperately needed to read this before cleaning out!! This year I hope to enjoy the little things and take life one day at a time…

  27. kristy / / Reply

    Hi Ez! Excellent post and great new year resolutions… surprisingly similar to mine!!! Have a grand 2011 and may all your wishes and dreams come true!

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