I don’t know what it is about the simple act of changing a calendar year, but New Year’s Day is always a time of resolutions and renewal in our home. We take this chance to start fresh and change things which we have not been happy with the previous year. While some things cannot be changed, such as medical issues and the nagging car repairs that come at the most inopportune time, there are many things about our lives which we can change when we set our minds to the task.
The first tradition we have at our home is that of buying a wonderful and decorative calendar to hang on our wall. Sometimes we are given one for the holidays, other times we purchase our own. Every New Year’s Day I remove our old calendar and hang our new one. In the process, I first copy over any important family dates such as birthdays or anniversaries which I need to remember throughout the New Year.
Many people set out to celebrate New Year’s Day by making resolutions which they really don’t have any real desire to fight to keep going throughout the year. If you have ever been in a health club or gym in January, then you know how many people can be there that you will never see again come February. It would be almost funny, if it wasn’t so sad.
The key to making your New Year’s resolutions and having them become reality in your life is to start small and really dedicate yourself to what you want to change in your life. If you are overweight, or even simply want to get into better shape, start with eating better and walking around your own neighborhood before you shell out the big money for a membership to a gym.
Another good way to spend your New Years Day is to take the opportunity of the New Year to clean out and purge your living quarters. It is very common to bring home your gifts from holiday celebrations and then have no where to put them. By doing some much needed de-cluttering and purging you can have space for all of your new treasures and make some nice donations of your unused items as well. Two of the best places to get rid of your unwanted items are through your local thrift store or freecycle.org. Thrift stores will generally take just about anything which they can re-sell to others. With freecycle.org you send out an e-mail to your local area and the person interested in what you have to offer will come pick-up your unwanted items. Both your thrift store and freecycle.org are good ways to keep your unwanted items out of the landfill.
In our home, we spend New Years Day first transferring the calendar, and then we move into the kitchen where we go through all of our cabinets and take a good inventory of what is in each of them. For things we have a lot of, we make an effort to use some of it up in the next few months. For things we will need to purchase we put them on our master shopping list. While we are in the kitchen we also try to find items which make good donations to our local food pantry. For instance, if I have been getting great buys on soup and have 30 cans of it, I will usually give half to our local food pantry and keep the rest to cover us for the rest of winter.
On addition to some of the suggestions above, it is always a good idea to look at the New Year as a time of renewal and a time when you can make changes to your life. However, rather than having lofty resolutions which you cannot keep, start small and make goals to change things over the next year or even longer. By making realistic goals you can change the things in your life that you choose to.