Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcoming in the New Decade

Image from Vintage Culture.

Christmas has been a blizzard of activity as well as just a straight-up blizzard this year. My visiting family has turned into my stranded family, and my home feels crowded and crazy. I think this isn't an abnormal way to feel at the holidays, though. It is easy to become stressed with extra people and extra planning (not to mention extra pets, if they happen to be part of your family package), and one can forget to slow down and count one's blessings. My own frustrations with the blizzard and my crowded apartment lead me to stop and think about how I live my life.

The end of a year is always a time for reflection, so it makes sense that the end of a decade would be doubly so. This year, I would like to create a list of the parts of/moment from my life over the past decade that I am most proud of and the parts/moments I would have lived differently in hindsight. I think analyzing my past will give me a better shot at improving my future (as long as I take in what I need to and process it all without dwelling on anything - good or bad).

As I review my year, I also like to make my New Year's Resolutions. Though, the word "resolutions" has always bothered me, as it seems like I've just "resolved" to do these things, when really, I have usually been working on them for ages. It's not New Year's Resolutions so much as a restating of my goals. Anyway, here they are, and I've also included some tips and tools from other blogs I love.

1. Become an organized person: Always have goals and action plans to help reach said goals. Know where information you need is. Don't let your home become disorienting or muddled.
Suggested reading/tools: Sara Cottner of Feeding the Soil and 2000DollarWedding has the most amazing organization binder I've ever come across. And she was kind enough to put her downloadable templates online!
I also am loving Simplify 101 which sends email tips and has online organization courses. Give it a looksee.

2. Create daily: Continue writing and finding joy in writing. Collaborate often. Don't hesitate and second guess your creativity. Blog. Create things you can and will use. Make all the time, whether it's poetry, music, movement, food, or decor. Always make something.
Suggested reading/tools: Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist's Way, also wrote a book called The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, which teaches one to turn off all the voices that say why we can't write and to pick up a pen and go at it. I love this book and recommend it constantly. You will write if you read it.

3. Be fiscally wise: Control spending. Manage your budget wisely. Build up a safety net. Pay down student loan and credit card debt whenever possible.
Suggested reading/tools: I've been using Mint to budget, though it is a little frustrating when I transfer funds from one account (checking) to another (savings), but it emails me a weekly report and keeps information in one place.

4. Love: Show the people you love how much they mean to you. Don't forget to tell people even if you think they already know you care about them. Be kind to strangers, animals, people you love, and even people you don't really care for.
Suggested reading/tools: Volunteer Match can show you tons of ways to help others, and you probably know lots of ways already.

That's it for my upcoming year and decade really. These are broad goals, yes, but I think the simpler ones are the steps within these, and they will certainly make appearances here on the Cozy Rustic blog.

Happy New Year, everyone!


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