My 2013 Goals – a Year of Ultra Simplicity

posted by Andrea | 01/15/2013

ultra simplicity

Can you believe we’re already half way through January and I haven’t said a word about goals yet?

And you know how much I love talking about goals!

Last year, I made a list of 12 personal goals and 12 business goals I wanted to work towards in 2012 — clever huh? And while I actually did a decent job of following through with those 24 goals (I’ll be talking more about this over the next couple of days), I feel like 2013 needs to be a year of ULTRA SIMPLICITY for me and for our family.

Yes, we have house and yard projects we want to work on; yes, we have personal and business milestones we want to achieve; yes, we have some lofty financial goals we really hope to reach; and yes, we’re continually striving to find just the right balance of home / work / family / life.

I’m sure none of you can relate to that though :)

So with another New Year full of possibilities staring me right in the face, I’ve decided that when it comes to setting new goals, my approach is going to be one of ultra simplicity.

What might a year of Ultra Simplicity look like?

Purging everything we don’t need, use, want, or love (even if we have the space to store it).

Saying no to things and activities that aren’t necessary.

Saying no to opportunities that we might WANT to do, but might not be the best choice at this stage in our life.

Saying yes to activities we enjoy doing, make us happy, and align with our goal of ultra simplicity.

Not stressing over small stuff.

Following our gut… even when everyone else is telling us to do something different.

Choosing to make time for family, friends, hobbies, rest, and leisure (because we all know that time doesn’t just appear)

Simple meals — I’m still loving our ultra-simple method of meal planning :)

Lots of lists (only because this is still the best way for me to organize my brain!)

Pushing ourselves in areas we need to be pushed.

Granting ourselves grace when needed.

Tracking our finances.

Saving whenever we can — but not stressing over every single penny.

Giving when opportunities arise.

Splurging once in a while!

Moving forward, even when we feel like quitting.

Pulling back when we know we need a break.

Yes, I still have SO many things I want to accomplish and cross off my ever-growing list, but my MAIN goal for 2013 is to approach each of these mini goals and projects with the concept of “Ultra Simplicity” in mind.

Each time I’m presented with a new task, a new challenge, or another request, my goal is to say “yes” or “no” based on how it will either positively or negatively affect my life and our family (not based on guilt, peer pressure, or any number of outside factors).

Yes, I realize that I will still do things I don’t love doing (laundry and dishes don’t do themselves!), I will still encounter stressful situations, I will still say “yes” to things I should have said “no” to, I will still put too much on my plate (literally and figuratively), and I will still have days when I throw in the towel and move half of my “to-dos” to tomorrow’s list (am I the only one who ever does this?).

However, through it all, I will continue to strive for the ideal balance between home, work, family, and life; the ultra-simplicity I crave on a daily basis; and the one-step-at-a-time approach to life that is OH SO difficult for my “do it now” personality!

I’m so excited to share this year with you!

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11 comments

  1. Cathleen

    01/15/2013

    that sounds like smart planning to me!
    Some wise friends once told me that life is a series of Peaks and Valleys. When you’ve had a very busy year like it sounds like you did last year (new baby, renovations, etc) it sounds like you are achieving that nice balance.
    I wish I had simplified my life more when my first child was Nora’s age, looking back I could have done with less distractions!
    I love your posts! Keep them coming!

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  2. Shannon

    01/15/2013

    We’re trying to simplify our home and our finances and I have a question. Do you have a landline phone or do you and your husband just have cell phones? We’re thinking of cutting the cord (pardon the pun) and it would save us about $40 per month.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we just have cell phones and have actually never had a land line :)

    [Reply]

  3. Jen@BigBinder

    01/15/2013

    I love it! I created a flow chart for blog stuff when I am trying to decide whether to accept offers/campaigns etc. It has to help me meet business, personal, and family goals or I have to decline. It is scary! But I know it will push me in areas I need a push and start saying no to things that aren’t truly a win for me.

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  4. Caren

    01/15/2013

    I am with you on the ultra simplicity! My goal is to be able to move to a much smaller apartment to save money and in order to do that we need to simplify. Currently I have 5 bins (yes, 5!) in my bedroom waiting to be taken to Goodwill. I am itching to purge more until I can get down to only the things that we truly need.

    I’m entering every giveaway that involves organizing so that I can live better with the things that I do keep!

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  5. Evie

    01/15/2013

    Beautiful photo of you and Nora!

    [Reply]

  6. Jenny

    01/15/2013

    I was once told that a knife is not sharp at both sides, one has to decide which side of the knife stays sharpen. I have applied this saying to my home biz and my family life and to be ever so careful not to regret one or the other. This year, my goal is “to try” to complete some old unfinished projects while embarking on the project of eating healthier – not faddish dieting – just some good old food and the right way to eat them. I have been reading your blog for a while and have come to enjoy your posts greatly, and your warm, sincere smile makes it easy to want to read what you wrote. I know I will be coming back here so yes, I am excited to have you share this year with us, too.
    P.S. Love your kitchen Remodel!

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  7. Kell

    01/15/2013

    You are my idol. After growing up with a hoarder I am working to simplify my home/life so not to follow is my loving but stressful mother’s footsteps. I hope to be half the woman you are one day!

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  8. Jacqueline

    01/17/2013

    I really appreciate these goals. It’s January 17th and I still have not had time to define my goals for this year but I’m going to use this as a baseline! I wish you the best!

    [Reply]

  9. Sherry D.

    03/09/2013

    You are not alone in this goal for 2013! Your blog inspired me to research other ways to simplify everyday life and I am now learning about the Minimalist Movement and “tiny housers” etc. I may never be ready to completely empty out our house and move our family into a 900 Square foot space, but my thinking about “things” is changing….How much time and energy I spend organizing, storing and managing things and the impact this has on our family/friends. Some of the baby steps we are taking in 2013 include:

    1. Going paperless: we have already utilized many of your tips on this and we are also working on scanning and saving any papers we need and only keeping hard copies of those we must keep. I am struggling with the recipes but I think if I can find the duo binders you have posted about, they might help.
    2. Getting rid of things we don’t really need: I look around our 20+ rooms thinking, if we were moving to a 2 bedroom condo next week, what would not come with us and get rid of those things – this is kind of fun.
    3. Spend less time planning, more time doing: I managed to wean myself of my thick “Day Timer” book – which was my best friend for years, came with me everywhere! I now use one double-sided piece of regular paper, to plan and organize the entire week and toss it when the week is over. It is a template, inspired by your post about blocking time and daily planners.

    The areas that I am still struggling with how to simplify/downsize are entertaining and my hobby (cardmaking and scrapbooking). These still make me say “but what if I will need this?”. Perhaps I will find more solutions in your posts this year. Keep Calm, simplify on!

    [Reply]

  10. Lynn Durkovic Nelson

    04/11/2013

    I love it! What a great plan!! It is very inspiring :)

    [Reply]

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