A Clean Slate: New Year Resolutions

A Clean Slate: New Year Resolutions


I think the New Year can be a real mixed bag. On the one hand, as you near the end of the year you are celebrating and pushing every excess you might dare, knowing that January 1 offers you a clean slate. You feel invincible, and that anything you've done to yourself and others can be erased with a swish of a calendar page. On the other hand, you're coming down from extraordinary high times...time off work, time with loved ones, time alone, party time! Creating a balance, and a way to ease into the New Year is a challenge. I used to spend lots of time setting my "Goals" for each new January. Then I realized that I NEVER GO BACK AND REVIEW THEM. And they sit quietly, patiently waiting for me, in the lovely red journal I bought for myself more than five years ago. What's different this year? I'm limiting myself to this post, and 10 minutes to jot down a few manageables. We don't have time to belabor this, do we? I want to make shit happen.

Make Your Magic

I've broken it down to a few categories that provide plenty of room for multiple resolutions. Three's a crowd? Just pick one or two. Rules? Keep it simple and direct. Active not passive. "Oh, so I'm going to be more healthy."  "I'm packing healthy snacks to bring to work everyday."

1. Micro-Resolution: Pick something tiny! I strongly believe it's the little things that make a difference. My husband made a mid-year resolution to make the bed everyday. He's done it, kept to it, and receives uber satisfaction from the practice. Gretchen Rubin gives this little change A LOT of attention in The Happiness Project, which is essentially a year of resolutions. I consider her an expert on the subject.

2. Health Resolution: Who hasn't picked something health-related as a new year resolve? Go for it! If you have a list of desired changes, try setting and achieving them quarterly instead of tackling them all right out of the gate. Set the goal, establish the habit for three months, then hit up another. Bam!

3. Personal/Professional/Parental Resolution: Sure, you can establish one for each of your personas. OR  just focus on ONE area that needs extra attention: "I'm saying 'yes' to my kids as often as possible." or "I'm only going to swear at work if it's an actual emergency." or "I'm going to increase my sociability and engage with the other soccer moms instead of playing Words With Friends on my iPhone."

4. Maintenance Resolution: Say Yes to Success! What's one thing you have accomplished or felt great success from in 2013? Will you vow to keep it going? Maintaining is almost MORE critical than creating the habit. Plus, it's nice to have a leg up on one of your resolutions. Consider it an easy win.

Extra Credit

New Year's Magic: An article published yesterday in The Atlantic, sparked my curiosity about the parallels of religion and New Year's traditions (excess, celebration, coming clean).

Making New Year's Resolutions: 5 Key Questions to ask Yourself, at The Happiness Project

Forever Young: The Queen Bee Turns 90

Marcy90_0005The MatriarchLovin’ on my gram isn’t always easy. She’s a feisty red head, at heart, in her youth and now via bottle. Still, Marcella is the Matriarch of our tight knit family and we love her Madly. She has a brood of 4, plus 5 grands and 4 greats. Married to the “Chief” for more than 50 years, our family has a strong foundation and sticks together through it all. The in-laws are IN, and they accept our eccentricities. Through marriage and divorce, sickness and health, we all come together. While the Chief left us a few years back, Marcella Jean (or “Maxy”) turned 90 today, and this is how we celebrated.

Home Movie I know there must be some 8mm clips, recorded somewhere. But I don’t have them, so I created a simple scrapbook-style movie of fave family moments and images from Grandma Marcy’s life. While In the Mood by Glenn Miller nearly me drove me out of my gourd (longest 3:26 of my life), I had some fun with Herb Albert’s Tijuana Taxi, the bubble gum popper I’m into Something Good by The Bird and the Bee, and finally, the heartfelt yet peppy version of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. It came in under 15 minutes, which seemed to be the perfect amount of time for everyone to giggle, sigh, and regret some awesome haircuts (did someone say perm? or um, mullet?).

Storytelling I am big on thought here, short on action. I think it’s fantastic to have recorded stories of our family’s history.  Have I done anything to make this happen? No. StoryCorps does this all over the country, and I love to hear the vignettes on NPR. In the spirit of StoryCorps we had everyone share a memory of the Birthday Girl. I video-recorded each one with my iPhone. It’s a start. My M opened the series with a reading of Invitation, by Shel Silverstein, and B drew her a picture of a bird. Which he promptly left at home. My nieces sang “You Are My Sunshine” with a little help from their Oma. The stories were funny, soulful, and grateful. Meticulously planned and lovingly spontaneous. I saw the origin of (many of) my beliefs and quirks through the eyes of my dad, my aunts, uncles and cousins.


Ohana Family. It’s in the way we lead that children are cultivated and grown. Relationships nurtured. Parenting is not so much about following rules. The rules are inherent in the WAY we are raised and HOW we guide and inspire our own children. Not in a list of do's and don'ts.  I know not everyone is as lucky to have family near by, or willing to travel the distance for these milestone moments. But making the effort means so much--and teaches the next generation that connecting really does MATTER. Family first.

Motherhood Manifesto

For tomorrow night's Collective meeting I'm facilitating the topic of Motherhood, with my lovely co-host Sierra. One of the exercises we came up with was to create our own motherhood manifesto...or mantra, or vision statement. My content is original and personal, but in no way can I claim the design--I'm unabashedly inspired by the work of Aardvark on Sea, found via this blog post from Alphamom. I look forward to creating a family manifesto as well, with the help of Max, Beck and the Mister.

It's a New Year

With a January birthday I'm blessed with an alternate new year. After losing my way on resolution road, I really embrace this opportunity for a new direction. I know it's only 3 weeks later, and really I do begin with the best intentions. But then I get a little lazy. And distracted. Then I turn another year older. Yikes! Focus. Here goes...

My life is not perfect, but it's perfect for me. We laugh and we yell. We kiss and we fight. This house of testosterone is a total blast and I'm so glad that I can be their queen bee. Even though I'm awkward and accident prone, I try to juggle about a million balls at a time. Do I need to tell you that it doesn't always work? Oh well. I gave up on perfection a while ago. I prefer eccentricity.

For this year...(in a nutshell): keep up the exercise. drop the diet coke. write. a lot. set aside time for truly fine. write some more. make some new money. nest. love. box. smile. drink damn fine coffee.

A Good Exercise

Here I am, putting it out there. It is said that you are more likely to stick to your goals if you share them with friends and family. Really. Do I have to?

Yes. In 2009...

  • I will spend more time outdoors. In my backyard, on a trail, up the mountain, at the beach.
  • I will exercise 4 times/week. Including spinning, which I love.
  • I will be flexible in my definition of exercise. It is a walk with a pal. It is yoga.
  • I will be more realistic with myself and my expectations of others.
  • I will eat really excellent food. In moderation.
  • I will plan {more} meals with enthusiasm and creativity.
  • I will listen more. Judge less.
  • I will make time for my business each week.
  • I will paint and write and read {books. not magazines}.
  • I will create and stick to a budget.
  • I will get my oil changed regularly.
  • I will reduce my carbon footprint.
  • I will show my love in new ways.

Dear Diary,

Dear Lucy, That's your official name now, because Diary is simply a bit drab and really not personal at all. At times, I may even refer to you affectionately as Lulu. Greetings! I've officially made it 50 days into the launch of Truly Fine Design. To begin, why blog? It has come to my attention, in the crash course of marketing and managing a small business in the new millennium, that creating a BLOG is as important as creating a website. My greatest fear in starting this little monster is for it to seem cliché, ego-maniacal, or worse, boring. I'm going to treat this media as a window into my Truly Fine World of entrepreneurship, motherhood, art & design, stationery (of course!), fashion, culture, communication, and literature. That's just a start...in essence, whatever rings my bell. Hopefully it chimes for you as well. If not, at least I have a record of the journey, Subscriber:1.

Yours truly,