I love (and need) a new year

I’m not a big celebrator of New Year’s Eve. I just can’t muster up much excitement for a moment that occurs so late at night, is often associated with crowds and noise, and does not even come close to the excitement I feel about Christmas. Who’s with me?

NYE aside, I do get excited at the beginning of a new year. It feels like a breath of fresh air- a hopeful time for trying something new. It feels like a natural time to clean and organize, work out, detox from Christmas foods, etc., and everyone is doing it, so there’s an element of community support. There also seems to be a community feeling of, “We won’t make it until March with these new things,” and that bums me out. From my time in the field of applied behavior analysis, I know that people can change their behavior! It just takes some planning, and the resolutions (I prefer “goals”) should be specific and measurable. I’ve failed at my share of “resolutions,” but as I put more thought into the process I have tried and succeeded with different goals: weight loss, keeping a journal, even decreasing my driving speed. Last year a major goal for me was living with a new diet, which I adopted in order to address some health issues (more on that another time). This year I have my spiritual goals which I discussed in previous posts- learning about humility and memorizing a Bible verse each week. But I’d like to have an external goal this year, too.

So what I’m focused on this January is getting my home routine under control. In the fall I stepped away from a part-time job that came with full-time stress, and had a tough time getting back into the homemaking groove. Initially I felt exhausted, and probably truly needed rest, so that is what I did. I maintained the bare minimum- cooking, laundry, trying not to let high-traffic surfaces become disgusting. Otherwise, I was flitting about here and there, doing the things I had missed so much when I was working. Before I knew it, December was in full swing. While I was grateful I had time for things I couldn’t do before, like accompany my husband on a road trip, join a Bible study, start learning piano chords from a friend, go on a youth retreat, or babysit for friends; I was disappointed that I didn’t have a routine in place.

Now that another hopeful January is here, I know what I need to do: create routines and follow them. For the past week I have been getting dressed (out of pajamas and into something else, even if it’s only house- or WalMart-appropriate) and putting on makeup first thing when I get up. I also do some really light cleaning tasks like wiping down bathroom and kitchen surfaces. After about a week of this, I’m feeling motivated to keep going. I even dug out and went through an old list I had written up for tidying each room of the house.

I think I was just waiting for January to roll in with its hope and potential. Cue the Mary Tyler Moor theme song: “You’re gonna make it after all…” 🙂

My morning/evening/tidying routines are based on FlyLady. This site is an excellent resource for controlling clutter and taking control of your home. As a newlywed I learned a lot of my homemaking skills from this site! Be warned, the cheese factor is high, but the principles are really good. Behavior-analyst-approved.

I was also inspired to take better care of my home when I saw this article on Club31Women.

I would love to hear your thoughts- do you make resolutions/yearly goals? Or, what has been your experience with learning to care for your home?

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