(Not “Gluten” Free. Gluten is one of my best friends.)
I have had the same New Year’s Resolution for about 6 years now, Get Your Shit Together (GYST). My personal “Crazy” is related to food, finance, and organization. I realized that all my Crazy was related a few years back. I make impulsive choices with very little reason. I eat more than I should because I really like (junk) food and it tastes good. I buy a lot because I like everything (and in my defense, everything likes me). I have a lot of clutter because I like these things and don’t get rid of old things when I bring in the new things. I have been going to Weight Watchers for several years now (second or third time around, but who is counting?) and noticed that when I am on a diet, I also spend less money. And when I meal plan, then I eat better, and also spend less money. So my sides of Crazy are really all parts of the same Crazy.
While researching for my GYST 2015 Pinterest Board, I came across this article by Skinny Mom, “13 New Year Resolution No-Nos“. Skinny Mom told me that the reason why my annual GYST New Year’s Resolution failed year after year was because it was way too vague. So I made a list of specific goals for 2015, wrote them down in my GYST Debbie 2015 Journal, and broke it down in to parts. I then stumbled upon Becoming Minimalist’s article, “The Simple Guide to a Clutter-Free Home“. This was the first time I associated the word EXCESS with all of my challenges. This really struck me so I decided to write a list of Excesses.
IT ALL MADE SENSE NOW. I have poor health because I eat too much and I sit too much. I am financially frivolous because I shop too much and spend too much. And my house is messy because I own too much. And my life is too busy because I schedule too much. This felt like gluttony to me, so I decided I should go on a Glutton Free diet.
I took my list of Excesses and crossed it with my specific goals for 2015 and came up with a Master List of Change. I reflect weekly on my accomplishments and plan the following week’s goals. I journal within the week whether I am succeeding or struggling to stay on track. And for the first time in 6 years, I am slowly but surely getting my shit together! I am 7 weeks into the New Year and have made great progress!
So far I have decluttered and reorganized my kitchen cabinets, dining room hutch, TV cabinet, scrapbooking/craft armoire, the kids’ craft cabinet, the bathroom cabinets, my master bedroom closet, and my husband’s closet. And because my house is looking so great, I have been adding special touches and decor to each room. I expanded my wall gallery to the staircase. This has been so fun! Friends can stop by unexpectedly and I don’t have to freak out and throw everything into a box in the laundry room (I called those “OH SHIT boxes” that usually stayed that way for months and months after the visitors left). I have donated 13 large garbage bags and thrown away a ton.
Okay, so I have really struggled in this area. I just can’t seem to stop eating! Every night I talk myself through a plan for tomorrow but then tomorrow comes and I forget all about it. The only accomplishment I think I have made so far in this area is that I have gone to my Weight Watchers every week. This at least keeps me in check and reminds me of my big picture goal.
I have made 3 changes with my shopping and spending habits.
- I make my own coffee drink every morning. I will admit that this was not by choice. My favorite coffee shop closed on December 31st so I could no longer get my Frozen Almond Rocha Mochas anywhere. They were nice enough to show me how to make it and sold me their magic mocha mix so I can make my own at home. This is saving me easily $25 every week.
- I go to the store with a list and I stick to it! I used to be a couponer which really taught me how to save money. It also encouraged me to spend money on things I really didn’t need just because it was a really good deal. It was very hard for me not to shop the toy clearance sections after Christmas. But as I declutter my house, I come across all these little things, these extra things that no one actually really needs, and the majority of my donations are unnecessary excesses bought because they were a really good deal.
- I also decluttered my email! I unsubscribed all of my junk mail. I was getting about 35-40 emails with savings and deals full of Must-Haves. I no longer see any of the deals so I no longer feel like I need to have the deal. (The only thing I kept is I still follow My Frugal Adventures on Facebook.)
Having a Glutton Free life means less plans. I have been known to have 4 activities planned for 1 day and when asked if I am free that day, provided them with the 2 hour window that we had no plans. We still have a very busy schedule, but I have started saying NO to plans and am trying not to make more than one plan on a given day.
So while I certainly don’t totally have my shit together, I am definitely on my way as I start my journey to a Glutton Free life!