Sunday, January 4, 2009

New year, new attempts

I'll admit it. It's day 4 of 2009 and I have yet to write any New Year's Resolutions. The weight thing? It hasn't changed for a decade, despite various attempts.

The organization thing? To the outside world, I may be beyond hope.

So rather than write a bunch of useless pratter, here are a few things I do want to achieve by the end of 2009. If you have great expectations, I hate to let you down. Right now I'm about baby steps and getting through life.

Curb my passion for paper. As my coworkers can attest, I have a very difficult time letting go of the paper trail (a problem made worse by computer systems that don't track records of changes). This year, I hope to make decisions quickly and opt to reduce my paper output when I'm able to, hopefully stopping the problem before it builds. (Note that I did not say I would clean my desk or any other empty promises. I'm just cutting back printouts!)

Grow a little more. Our gardening plan for 2009 is to grow more fruits and vegetables (yes, we've decided our two mandatory bushes we have to replace will be blueberries). Ideally, we'll have the funds to put in raised beds, as we're apparently not allowed in our subdivision to have anything that gives the faintest appearance of dirt without grass. If not, we'll look into renting a community plot from the city to save on the initial costs this year.

Give greener. Ideally, this means more eco-friendly and heartfelt gifts. If I can't go greener in the traditional sense, I'll at least plan to buy presents that foster creativity, feed a passion or help someone learn something new. It certainly beats a blinking, beeping pile of plastic that will soon be forgotten. (By the way, thanks again to my family for the noisemakers...Whatever happened to the batteries-aren't-required toys?)

Plan my menus. This will help reduced any unplanned or unbudgeted splurges at the grocery store and cut back on those additional shopping trips or last-minute decisions to grab a rotisserie chicken or a take-and-bake pizza on the way home from work. When my husband and I wait until the last minute to plan the night's dinner, that's when we end up settling for the least healthy option. Also, when I plan I can better take advantage of specials, what's in season and piggy-back to make multiple meals and work lunches (for less work and money than if I did them separately).

Spend wiser. While I've been vigilant for months on watching our budget, I want to work on ways to buy smarter with the funds we do have on hand. Our resources are limited, so I want to make sure that I'm not buying duplicate things, generating a lot of trash in the process, coming home with lots of plastic bags or collecting more stuff in the process.

Happy New Year!

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