Burning resolutions: lose weight, conquer clutter. So what else is new?

Why have I been procrastinating for over two days about this New Year’s blog post? Probably because one of my biggest resolutions, as always, is to quit procrastinating. This is the first year I’ve vowed to send my resolutions out into the world via my blog, and that makes committing to them in writing all the more difficult. It’s already January 3rd, and I’ve broken several already, but since they were only in my head, not on paper, that hardly counts, right?

Wrong. I’ve spent the first days of the New Year basically goofing off and feeling guilty about it. But the holiday weekend’s almost over and it’s time to get down to business. Last week I broke my self-imposed “no Facebook quizzes” rule and created a “How well do you know Julie Lomoe?”* questionnaire. Here was my first question:

1) What’s my most burning resolution for the coming year?

a) To conquer my cluttering habit once and for all

b) To lose 20 pounds

c) To start making significant money from my writing

d) To sell the paintings I showed at Woodstock 1969

e) All the above

The correct answer, as my granddaughter Kaya correctly guessed, was “All the above,” but some of the resolutions are more burning than others. I could easily fill a blog post with each one of them, but today I’ll tackle just two.

Weight loss: this is an annual pro forma goal, forever unattainable because I seem to be stuck at a comfortable set point and I enjoy wine, cheese and pizza too much to put myself on a deprivation diet. My husband and I are enrolled in a “Lose to Win” program at the local YMCA, and he lost 13 pounds in the last eight weeks, while I lost a big fat goose-egg zero, although our diets are very similar. Yes, I know men lose weight more easily than women, who are genetically programmed to build up more stores of fat, but it’s so unfair, it makes me feel even more like eating!

Of the four resolutions, weight loss is definitely the least burning. Now that I’m spending so much more time online with my butt firmly planted in my chair, it’s become even more difficult. I’ve cut back on career building via personal appearances and networking, so I have less motivation to get into my “dress for success” clothes. Bathrobes and sweat suits cover a multitude of sins!

Conquering clutter: here’s another resolution I make annually, but it takes on added urgency with time, because unlike my weight, which remains fairly constant, the volume and density of the clutter grow substantially every year. Most of it’s paper and books, but I have clothes dating back to the 1960s. For years I’ve mulled over the possibility of using the fabrics in quilts or collages, but I’ve come to the realization that’s probably never going to happen. Then there are all the supplies for various long abandoned craft projects. My husband threw out all the silk flowers, but I’ve still got half a room full of beading and jewelry supplies, and I know I’ll get back to them one of these days.

Has anyone here watched “Hoarders”? It’s a reality show that airs on A&E every Monday at 10pm. As the website describes it, “Each 60-minute episode of Hoarders is a fascinating look inside the lives of two different people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis.” Many of these folks are mentally ill and at serious risk of having their houses condemned or losing custody of their children because of their cluttering habits. In each episode, a clinical psychologist, an organizing expert and a team of junk removers make home visits to help them mend their ways.

I’m not nearly at the level of the woman who was surprised to find two dead, squashed cats buried in all the garbage, but the show is enough to strike terror into my heart and inspire me to modify my hoarding behavior. Speaking of which, this post is long enough – I think I’ll go conquer some clutter!

How about you – do you have any resolutions you’d like to share? Do you believe New Year’s resolutions are a good thing, or would you rather forget about them and avoid the guilt trip? I’d love to hear from you.

*Kaya’s the one who inspired me to create this quiz, after I took hers and my daughter’s. Several writer friends have been sending them out as well. They take only a few minutes to create, and they’re an interesting way of exploring your own priorities and learning more about your Facebook friends. If you’d like to take mine and find a link for creating your own, visit my profile on Facebook and you’ll find the quiz on the lower left.

**I’m not acquainted with the cat in the photo, but he/she reminds me a lot of my beloved Lunesta. I recently bought her a soft, fuzzy pet bed and placed it on my desk near my computer. She loves to sleep in it, and it partially solves the problem of her lounging all over the desk and knocking papers down. Lunesta’s more of a tabby, and her hair’s shorter, but she’s the most marvellous cat in the world, of course.

17 thoughts on “Burning resolutions: lose weight, conquer clutter. So what else is new?

  1. I gave up resolutions because of the guilt of always breaking them, but if I did make them – lose weight and get rid of clutter would be high on the list.

    I have seen that show once – afterwards, I immediately cleaned out a couple of drawers! I should watch it more often as incentive to get rid of unnecessary stuff.

    • Hi Jane. I watched Hoarders again last night. Wish it would inspire me to immediately clean out anything! It makes me think about it, but thinking isn’t the same as doing.

  2. Hahah! I don’t really make a lot of resolutions. More like, “keep exercising.” “Finish writing WIP.”

    This year I add to that “promote book being published in June” and “figure out some creative way to pay my mortgage.”

    Here’s to the new decade: may it be better for the world than the last!

    • Hi Lisa, thanks for checking in. I hope you’ll identify yourself further. Good luck with your book – what is it?

  3. I don’t make resolution about weight loss anymore. It’s totally fruitless. But getting rid of procastination is a good one. Thanks Julie for sharing the resolutions. I think the photo’s a gem!

    Really Angelic

    • Hi Patricia. Are goals more palatable than resolutions? They sound about the same to me, although the word “resolution” has more of an urgent, militaristic sound. But hey, whatever works.

  4. I actually ended up here from Google because of clutter… LOL. That’s one of my top priorities for 2010. I just keep stacking it and shoving it into a corner and now all the clutter has grown into a MONSTER.

    I have no idea how to kill it.

  5. Hi Julie,

    I love your honesty! Re: Clutter and procrastination: Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator? What type did you turn out to be? I’ll be you have a P as your fourth letter in the four letter type! I am an IFSJ. Betsy

    • Hi Betsy. I’m an INFP. But what does this have to do with clutter and procrastination? I want to study the types further – one of my New Year’s resolutions.

      I’m still collecting Meyers-Briggs types via the Jung typology test. Still have found hardly any extrovert writers. Still time to take the test and let me know what type you are. Go to http://www.humanmetrics.com, and see my relatively recent blog about it.

  6. Hi Julie,

    Loved the pics of the cat and the Christmas tree! (Yes, I’ve been AWOL for a while and just saw the tree.)

    Your resolutions are entertaining. I’m a natural hoarder myself, but I like to think I have it under control. In my Mom’s house, we had a ‘junk drawer’ where we stored everything that might have a future use. In my first appartment, the drawer grew to a closet. Once I moved to a house, I had a ‘craft room’ where I stored all those unfinished projects and materials for future projects. When that room was bulging at the seems, I finally caught on that I MIGHT have a problem.

    I now have a defined hoarding space in the garage and I’m not allowed to outgrow it. It helps that I no longer think of it as stuff I might use in the future, but as stuff ‘someone’ might use. This way, I find homes for things that I can’t bear to throw away. Schools and shelters love to receive craft supplies. Every winter there’s a call for clothes, blankets, etc. for the homeless and I can usually find something that fits the bill in my stash. I find it’s easier to part with my treasures when I know they’re going to be used. Things I could never throw away are fairly easy to give to good causes. This wasn’t the case at the begining; I had to develope and nurture the attitude over time.

    Now about weight loss…I may have to vote for a bigger basket.

    Happy New Year,

    • Hi Charlotte,
      Thanks for the thoughtful reply – I find it very helpful, especially your defining of a “hoarding space” in the garage. Our basement is also our garage, and I already store many of my paintings there. But it’s damp, so it’s far from ideal.

      I also like finding homes for things and giving them away. I donate books to our library for their sales as well as to a small independent used book store. I need to find a more meaningful place to give used clothes, rather than dumping them in those big green bins that allegedly benefit people in Africa or some such.

      As for weight, I’m addressing that today via the Y’s “Lose to Win” program I mentioned above. A new seven-week session started last night, and this time I’m determined, or so I tell myself.

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