In One Year and Out the Other–Embracing the New Year



In one year, out the other. Over the years I’ve made a boatload of New Year’s resolutions. Some have been wildly successful–like the year I learned to shift/drive a 10-gear dump truck. Others, like the year I vowed to perform an actual cartwheel, were fabulous failures. Then there were the times I looked back in disbelief that it had been an entire year that I didn’t become a marvelously reinvented version of myself. 

As I reflect on the past year (filtering out world events and tragedy) it was a good year for me. I killed it.

I grabbed the New Year by the lapels, gave it a smooch, and swung it around on the dance floor.

Figuratively speaking of course: I hope to dance on the bar of 2017, lose my phone, and sing show tunes all the way home to 2018. Rockin’ in one year, and Rollin’ out the other–with success, pride, and good health. 

You see, you are the same person you were on December 31 as you are on January 2. The difference is that on January 1 you are ready for change and craving it. In 2016 I invented something I call “modified minimalism.” It’s for people who envy minimalists, but aren’t quite there. Maybe I will never be. I have come light years, and that’s A-okay. 

For a while I’d been following the blog “Becoming Minimalist.” Its founder is a father and all-around likable guy. His commitment to minimalism exceeds what I’m ready for, though. Nonetheless, I found his blog both motivating and inspiring. So much so, I considered myself a modified minimalist. I define it as “someone who admires the simplicity of minimalism, and makes a daily effort to be mindful of  unnecessary clutter.”

Whatever commitment you make to yourself in 2017, I hope you rally some great support. That my friend, is how you keep the motivation alive. 

Next I devoured Mari Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”  While everything doesn’t resonate with me (for example, thanking my hand bag) it is a life changing read. 

I didn’t simplify our entire home in a weekend. But that first weekend I loaded my van with tons of items to toss and donate. Then I proceeded to do the same, almost every weekend for a year. So it began. A year long journey that I will happily continue in 2017. 

I’ve cleared out the basement, the closets, boxes from college, and loads of toys to reclaim a now tidy playroom. Next I transitioned to a capsule wardrobe, and I practice something similar with my kids’ clothing. For a whole year I de-cluttered, downsized, and organized a family of seven in less than 1,200 square feet…like a boss. I killed my 2016 New Year’s resolution.

I’d give myself a pat on the back, but it isn’t over. I’m a work in progress. I always will be.

In the end, 2017 is an opportunity to integrate my newfound anti-clutter mantra into my lifestyle. That’s when it will be successful. I hope to share more of this journey with you in 2017. Join me on the resolution dance floor, embrace the New Year, and come as you are. After all you always had it in you. Let the New Year make it official.


  1. Thank for the excellent read Airial. I’ve been working my way to a simpler life too. One that would give me more quality time with my children instead of dealing with all this stuff in our home. I spend too much time cleaning neglecting what’s really important, time spent with my daughter. I found minimalism spoke to me, but I’m not quite ready for the extreme of it yet. It’s baby steps for me. Your blog assured me that there is no right or wrong getting there, that there is no time limit to complete the dreaded tasks of loading up the car and driving here and there to donate, recycle, or throw in the dump. And that it does take time. What’s really important for me, is that I make the effort and stick to a plan that will get me to my end goal of a minimalist lifestyle, or somewhere in the middle. I also find staying out of stores will help me too. Learning to repurpose my old items is becoming my new way of shopping. Which is great because I say money! And my husband is happy. It’s a win win in our home

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