In 2007 I resolve to…

I’m not one to make a lot of New Years resolutions. Despite spending my days helping others with goal setting, time management and organization, I don’t always practice what I preach. I’m well aware that setting SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time limited) goals will increase the likelihood of attaining those goals. But personally, I just like to put down a few rough “guidelines” for change in an upcoming year. You know, so I don’t feel like a complete failure when I don’t achieve them, because clearly, they were just guidelines to begin with.

Just for kicks, let’s revisit a few resolutions from 2006:

“Be in the moment” more often with the kids. If getting rid of “free” cable TV counts, plus spending more time reading to them and playing outside, then I think I did okay on this one.

Maintain weight. Big fat loser on this one. Inability to zip or button pants will surely drive me back to the gym next week.

For some unknown reason I said I was going to run a 5K in 2006. I think I’d had one too many glasses of champagne when I scribbled that “guideline” down.

Two overnight trips alone with Carter (no kids!). Yeah, right…

Increase net worth. Jury is still out on that one but it looks promising thanks to less buying.

Grow my business by 50%. Check plus! Maybe that’s why I didn’t achieve many of my other goals.

Read more. If reading the New Yorker and Time Magazine counts, then I’m doing okay. If I meant reading an entire book, then I think I’d give myself a B-.

The pledge to stop shopping came up mid-year so was not part of our resolutions for 2006. The end of our “consumer-free” experiment is right around the corner on January 9th. However, we’re considering going beyond that date, but expanding the rules a bit. I think our entire family has benefited from this experiment in ways that I would like to see continue into 2007. Financial, spending more quality time together, learning to question want vs. need, realizing that we’re not being judged by our clothes, house and furniture–well, at least not by the people that we want to surround ourselves with in the first place. And even organizationally–not bringing new stuff into the house makes it a lot easier to maintain the organizational systems we have in place.

So, in 2007, one of our resolutions will be to continue not to shop for unnecessary items. Exceptions will include food, toiletries and pharmaceuticals, and replacements for items that are broken or worn out. We’re all in need of a few clothing items–we continue to get rid of stuff we don’t need, use or love even though we aren’t bringing new stuff in–and to be honest, our closets are looking a little bare. So a few exceptions will have to be made for clothes. We also have a few necessary house projects (e.g. leaky skylight in need of repair) we’d like to work on this year. And I will definitely be purchasing myself a new lip pencil in ’07.

I’d also like to pledge to change the way we shop in 2007. I’m committed to supporting local stores at University Mall, in downtown Chapel Hill and in Carrboro. But if I must visit a big box, I’m allowing myself to return to the joys of Target.

And, if you can stand it, I’d like to continue to blog about our family’s attempts to live with less, simplify life, and have less of an environmental impact. “Going green” is everywhere these days. I’ll try not to state the obvious or just repeat the headlines–but I do think it’s important for families to engage in this discussion and try to create ways that we can make a difference. Our meager attempts to shop a little less are just our way of doing our part to help our planet stick around a little longer so our kids can enjoy it.

Happy New Year! What are your resolutions for 2007?

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