Reduce, reuse, recycle my New Years Resolutions…

Every year I say I won’t make a list. I won’t fall into the gimmick of making a list of New Years resolutions, because it’s just another digit on the calendar turned and nothing else has really changed. And they never work longer than a few weeks.

But there’s a mental milestone that seems to creep up in my memory, whether I want to admit it or not.

I’ve made typical lists in the past, and then bought things I thought I needed to help them work this time. That’s the shame of New Years–everybody’s trying to do better for themselves, and the marketing departments of every retailer, gym, and manufacturer start clapping their hands with glee.

Yes, new gym memberships, new exercise equipment, new technology to help me.

That’s my problem now–I have too much new-old stuff from previous resolutions.

Well, I’m amending my typical list of resolutions, and am determined not to spend a penny more than I already have, and am writing them to keep myself accountable. I think this year I’ll tape them to my mirror with some affirmations to work with.

My Heavily-Edited List of New Years Resolutions for 2018:

1. Lose 75 pounds. Put exercise in your daily schedule and work with what you’ve got.

Seriously, if writing down “lose ____ pounds” every year actually worked, I wouldn’t still be carrying a squishy Michellin around my middle today!

Instead of focusing on the end game (which every self-help article has ever said, anyway), I need to focus on what I have. I can’t afford anymore Kickboxing classes, which stinks, but I still have equipment. It’s time to focus on what I have.

Before New Years day, I’m going to collect all the exercise equipment I have: videos, clothes, etc., and look up ways to make new ones with what I’ve got. I’d love to save up for a kickboxing bag, but if I have a canvas bag I can stuff with a ton of heavy blankets, old winter clothes, etc, and hang it up–voila! That’ll do til I can save up for a real one.

I have a good bicycle that still works, and must look for safe places to ride it, because I love riding my bike, but there’re too many loose dogs around here. I can also be on the lookout for good walking paths when I visit Houston, clean out the weight room of other stuff so I can actually use my equipment (or better yet, move it to the living room so there’s room to use it all. TV’s in the den.).

Oh, and before New Years Day, I can get my pedometer and start wearing it again. Get a good idea of how many steps I take and find ways to increase them in time for the New Year.

Considering how sedentary and lethargic I’ve been the past several months, that would be a fabulous, educational start.

2. Get rid of useless crap in your office. Throw out a bag of crap every week until you’re satisfied the junk is gone and you can get organized.

It could be just plain laziness, but my office looks like a total wreck because of all the stuff that doesn’t have a home and just keeps piling up. More than half I’m sure I could throw out, I just don’t have a clue where to start.

So, I am going to get some good garbage bags and fill one each week, periodically going through the house and adding things to it to dump out that can’t be recycled.

If it can be recycled, then I need to put it in the stack. However–

3. Organize recyclables Take that stack of paper and old magazines that’s been sitting against the wall in the living room the past 5 years and chuck it out already!

Yeah, part of it’s laziness, the other part of it is those handy green paper-recycling dumpsters I used to be able to count on have dwindled rapidly. I don’t live in a recycle-friendly area. But I did find a few dumpsters–many, many miles away …I just need to load up the back of my car when I know I’ll be in the area and not forget before another year passes.

4. Read 100 books–again

Well, how else will I have fodder for book reviews? And how else will I clear my shelves unless I read a bunch and throw out the ones I’ll never read again?

And I’m overambitious in my reading goals every darned year. 100’s just such a nice round number…and I have far too many books right now. Speaking of which–

5. Don’t buy any books in 2018! Take a realistic look at your budget.

Uh, yeah, right. Books are my crack and if the only rehab option is cat videos or FUX news, then I’m happy to keep this addiction.

But yes, time to re-evaluate the budget and what I can really afford to spare. I did alright or a few months there, before I signed up for more MasterClasses and bought supplementary reading material. I actually avoided using my credit card for a few months. I could do that again.

And I need to keep to that, remembering what’s really a need versus a want.

6. Chisel Write my writing schedule in stone my planner, and keep to it.

I’m too broke for stone, and I don’t think it’d be very easy to color-code it, anyway.

But if I can keep that date each morning with my cup of coffee or tea, my pens and my notebooks, then I’m good to go for other things. I need to make time for lots of things, but this is very important. I’m tired of not writing stories again, and need to make it my priority.

I also am taking plenty of Masterclasses, a few each week, like back in college. I need to give myself time to do them, and stretch them out. I have to treat these online courses like in-class courses I used to take and make sure to do the assignments and all. I did some preliminary buying and will read some of the books suggested in advance. Otherwise I will be on time with “assignments” (or as close to it if a day trip’s needed).

7. Get my video camera fixed (or save up for a new one) for my film-making class in a few months.

I am forgetful and have to write this one down. Suddenly, my camera won’t read my batteries and says they’re out. Either both my batteries crapped out on me and the charger’s giving a false read that they’re full, or there’s something wrong with the connection in the camera itself. I hope I don’t have to get another one.

8. Get up early to write stories. Be ready to write at 5 am each morning, rain or shine. Sunday morning can be later, like maybe 7 am.

That’s abhorrent, even for me, but the problem is, that’s the only guaranteed time of morning where I know I’ll have a few uninterrupted hours to myself. So, starting next week I am working on MasterClasses in the afternoon or evening and need to have my schedule up and running. This one I’m starting tomorrow (I already flubbed it up by not getting up til after 5 this morning–wasn’t even tired, so I dunno why I didn’t just get up. Hmm…)

9. Clean house every week. Get all that old furniture you’re just piling crap on and donate it to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a church–anybody who can haul it off for you and will appreciate it.

Yeah, too many decades of other people’s furniture and it needs to go bye-bye. But getting the crap out of it and off of it needs to happen first, otherwise it’s creating MORE clutter in the long run. That’ll take a while to get to…besides, I want the weather to improve if nice people are coming to my house to take it off my hands. They shouldn’t have to show up and work in dismal icky weather.

And cleaning will be much easier when there’s less crap to move and less furniture to collect the dust.

10. Exercise more. When bored or antsy, get off your butt and MOVE!

I have a lengthy list of bad habits that tend to contribute more to my lethargy than giving me energy. I want to be healthier, not slower, and I’d love to have next year’s resolution include training for a half-marathon…but that won’t happen if I can’t get my butt out of my office chair. I need to channel my itchy energy into anything else–cleaning, play with the dog, make a day-trip out (if I have gas for it), just MOVE!

This one might be hardest of all.

But it’ll be worth it (and puppy will be happy if I’m with her more, anyway), long as I keep it in mind and actually DO IT!


Hopes and wishes for a better 2018 for all of us, and what we want for ourselves, our families, friends, jobs, and country.


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