Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bags and Habits

Here are my goals/resolutions for 2012. I'm 15 days in to the new year and it's not a bust yet - so I figured I could publicize them to the world!

1. 52 Bags. I'm getting rid of 52 bags of stuff in 2012. They can be any size bag. So far they've been pretty big - but I'm sure that will change as time goes on - or, who knows, maybe they'll get bigger. The hope is that by the time I get well into this project I'm really evaluating my materialism and consumerism and taking a hard look at the extravegance in my life and finding ways to bless others in the process. So far, I'm on track.

Bag One: Random things - mostly the stuff that's been sitting in a "get rid of" pile for a while - I just sorted through it and bagged it up. I'll be doing trips to donate these things once a month, so at the moment the bag is still sitting in my room.

Bag Two: Books. I sorted through my books to get rid of the ones that either I've had for years and never read or the ones that I've read but have no desire to read again. Anything that was currently going for more than $1 I put on to sell and the rest I dropped off in a "books for charity" box that's near my house. The charity supports adult literacy and I had a number of Christian living books in the donation - so I hope they bless someone somewhere! I'm going to put the money that I get from selling anything in my "52 bags" project aside for now and am praying about what God will have me do with it. It may go towards my goal of paying off debt, but more than likely I feel he will show me some need that I can meet that represents the antithesis to my life of "stuff" - I'm just keeping my eyes and heart open. Just a few dollars in there right now from the book sales - but hopefully it will grow!

Bag Three: That would be this week - the plans are to go through my closet and get rid of those thngs that I say I like, but I never wear. There are very few things in my closet that I just don't like. I'll try to sell some of them - I can pretty reliably sell my used clothing for a pretty good price - so that should hopefully add to the account mentioned above. Things that don't sell will be donated to a local thrift store that provids vouchers for women in crisis to shop. But, I could end up with a different bag of stuff this week!

2. 12 Habits. One new habit a month - striving to make 2012 a very intentional year and inspired by my friend Cynthia over at Hippie Housewife. The goal here is to simply implement new routines, habits, into my life. Big or small. Life-altering or just things that might make me ponder some of the simpler things in life.

January: Initially the habit was to implement a regular yoga routine. My younger brother got me the book MegaYoga for Christmas - and I read through it and started the routines and tried to program the routine in the book into an iPad yoga app - but the combination of bending my body into odd shapes wile simultaneously reading a book and watching a screen to figure out the next pose has proved problematic - - so the MegaYoga DVD is on my to-buy list and it will be February's habit. This month - the habit took me by surprise - it's something I realized I was doing different and then I started becoming intentional about making it a priority. It's going to sound silly - but the habit is making my bed.

As silly as it sounds - I can already see that it's changing the tone and focus of my day. That simple act says so much - - it speaks of order and beauty and purpose. It's a physical act that ends the time of sleep and begins the time of activity. And, at the end of the day, pulling back smooth covers to climb in between the sheets is satisfying. With my bed made - my small living space feels more conducive to doing other things - I gather the throw pillows that have been tossed about my desk space and arrange them on my bed - and suddenly my desk is free to be used to write a note to someone or to work on my finances or to do my Bible study.

There are other goals for the year - starting grad school, building up my emergency savings, reading more non-fiction books (something I can never seem to discipline myself to do with any regularity.) But mostly - it's a year about little steps and little things being a big deal in the end.

I hope everyone else is having a good start to 2012. I pray that it is a year that reminds you in countless ways that there is a Sovereign and Holy God.