So I am one of those people who reflects on the new year, thinks of it as a sort of new beginning and a chance to right the wrongs and give things another try. I like to have a list of goals and I am always feeling pressured to get things done. Making progress is my number one goal. For example, I ended up being home on Christmas Eve when I had planned to go into the office and so I used that free day to clean out my linen closet and reorganize it. I got rid of a lot of stuff. Like twin size sheets. I can't recall the last time I had a twin size bed in my life! So what was I doing with a set of sheets? No idea. But they are gone now. And I am also one of those people who buys gifts all year long and keeps them in the closet. The top shelf of the linen closet is the "gift area." It is great! I have hooks on the wall with gift bags. I have things organized and marked and then I don't feel rushed when someone's birthday comes up because I've already got something for them up there in the gift area with a post-it on it. Here is a confession, sometimes when I buy something particular for someone I put a post-it on it with their name written down so that if I happen to die before giving them the gift Dave will know who it was meant for. Is that weird? Whatever. I know I am going to die some day, might as well anticipate the trouble before it occurs. So anyway, just spending some time getting that closet in order made such an improvement upon my mood! I love opening the door when I walk past just to see how neat and organized it is! I know, total nerd!! So I guess what I'm saying is, I like progress. But I also feel short on money and time. So this year I decided that my new year resolutions are fives and tens.
Allow me to explain. Five dollars is not all that much money. But, it can go a long way in improving one's life. A half-caf-non-fat-vanilla-latte is my favorite drink in the whole world. It costs less than five dollars and it is not cheap, but the joy I get from it is worth the expense. Especially because it is not something I get every day. I try to limit myself to one per week and I schedule them for what looks like it will be the crappiest day, so it is something to look forward to. There are lots of ways that five dollars can improve my day, week, month, life. I just don't spend five dollar bills. Well, I do eventually, but I save them up first. I save five dollar bills and then when I am going on a trip or see something I really really want, I use my stash as "mad money." When we went to Asheville in October I had enough mad money to buy a sculpture from one of the artist studios we visited. Fantastic use of five dollars (times a bunch, but still. mighty oaks from little acorns grow.) Also, five minutes. Not very long, but sometimes it is long enough. Five minutes to text someone a goofy picture to make them smile. Five minutes to meditate. (There are even a series of books that make this super easy.) Five minutes to make the bed in the morning so that it looks neat when you come home (I actually make my bed every day and I CAN'T IMAGINE NOT making it, but I know some people think what's the use, I'm just going to mess it up again later. I don't really understand this line of thinking. It is like someone saying they enjoy elective surgery, but I'm not a judge. If you are not alone, make a rule that the last one out makes the bed. That one works pretty well.) SO five dollars or five minutes. Both can have a big impact. Throughout this year I'll share five and ten posts to let you know how I am doing. Five and Ten Progress Reports. That sounds promising, doesn't it?
And tens. The tens are minutes only. Ten minute resolutions. There are so many things that can be accomplished in just ten minutes. Like a quick workout. Ten minutes of a circuit of jumping jacks, squats, burpees, lunges, crunches and push ups is a good workout when you don't have 30 or 40 minutes. And there are tons of ten minute workouts out there. I like the free ones on Fitsugar.com and there are free ones on Hulu too. And a series of dvds called Ten Minute Solutions. (If you are thinking of buying a work out dvd, go to collage video because they have previews of most dvds so you can get an idea of whether you'll like the instructor, etc.) Even on a day when I have to be in court early and that means getting up super early so I can take the first shower, I can still fit in a ten minute workout. And I feel so much better than if I skip it. And ten minutes of preparation at night is going to have a big impact on my morning. If I grind the coffee and get it all set up and put the automatic timer on the coffee maker I will have coffee when I wake up with no effort in the morning. It seems small, but it is HUGE! And if I use some of that ten minutes to make sure my bag is packed and I know what I am going to wear in the morning, that too means I will have a much smoother morning. By the way, it is about this point in the epistle that I feel I must clarify something. I am not intending to take credit for any of these ideas. I have no original ideas, I am merely sharing what others have said many times before but for whatever reason has taken me until now to realize is part of the key to my happiness. Making coffee and picking out your clothes the night before? This is nothing novel. But there are so many mornings I have stared into my closet thinking that every.single.thing. in there is ugly and horrible and unwearable. And then the next day it is all fine. Mostly, anyway. Oh, and a ten minute walk at lunch or anytime of the day can be so refreshing. Just to get out and move around. Even when it is cold outside, just to walk for a few minutes is so good. So look for five and ten posts in 2013. How about you? Resolutions? Goals? Anti-Resolutions? Discuss.