How to gain in 2015


It’s the day after Christmas. We’ve got one week to do a quick shift from one holiday to the next. So let’s stand in the aftermath of all that is Christmas and get ready for New Year’s!

We’ve got your standard resolutions. “In the new year I will be…”

  • Healthier (thinner, faster, stronger, better at saying ‘no’ to my vices, etc.)
  • Richer (have less debt, more emergency savings, etc.)
  • Have better relationships (volunteer, spend more time with others, read the Bible more, etc.)
  • Be better to the environment (reduce, reuse, recycle, etc.)
  • Become smarter (go back to school, learn a skill, get a better job, etc.)

Do any of those sound familiar? Of course they do. Even if you’ve never done a formal new year’s resolution or don’t plan to this year, we all have had pretty much every one of those things cross our brains as things we want to do more of. What if I can tell you that there’s something you can do that will cover every one of those things and make you better all around?

Okay maybe I’m overselling it.

Changing tactics…

Look around you. Take a deep breath. If you’re like a lot of people nowadays the flurry of the holiday is over but somehow the stress still remains. All that build up and, while you had a great time watching Uncle Lou model the new skirt for your little niece, you kind of feel empty now that it’s all over. What you are left with today is all the cleanup.

  • You have to figure out how to deal with all the leftovers in the fridge.
  • You have to figure out where to put the newly acquired gifts (and sometimes figure how to get them to the correct store while meeting the return policy.)
  • You have to figure out how to take off the 10 pounds of cookies you put on.
  • You have to figure out how to pay to bills that will come after the first of the year.
  • AND you have to either fight to get every last pine needle out of the house or figure out how to put the tree away neatly so the lights will all light up again next year.

The day after Christmas is a drag.

medium_2404542656Let me help. (No, I’m not offering to eat your leftovers for you, although they sound delicious.)

Let’s have some fun with this new year and work on making all those things better.

The BEST New Year’s plan

Let’s live simply.

There’s a lot of ways to live simply. If you only eat simple foods you will lose weight and become healthier without trying. If drive simply you’ll have more money in the wallet. If you use simple forms of entertainment you’ll naturally grow your relationships.

We’ve just had a month (or two) living extravagantly. We’ve felt those rewards (and now we’re sensing the aftertaste.) Now who wants to try living simply with me? I write about this a lot. I like it. Maybe you would to.

How about a way to dip your toe in and have a daily opportunity to try to live a little more simply every day and see how you like it? Well I propose a challenge!

Hear ye, hear ye! I propose for the month of January that we challenge ourselves to simplifying our homes!

Here’s the plan.

  • Day 1- get rid of one item in your home. Easy as pie (and calorieless!)

Cluttered kitchen

  • Day 2- get rid of 2 items. Sure, that’s doable.Cluttered garage
  • Day 3- get rid of 3 items. Wait, I see what’s going on here!

Cluttered attic

And so on and so forth until…

Clutter on roof

  • Day 31- get rid of 31 items.

Can you do it? Can you make it to the end of January? (I didn’t call it a challenge for nuttin’.)

Here’s the encouragement

Unlike normal resolutions, I won’t leave you to struggle with your own will power. I will post a short motivational thought every day with an idea of where to search to find your daily item count.

So who’s with me? Who wants to give this ‘simple thing’ a try? It’s pretty simple.

Just make sure you subscribe to this blog. You may find it easiest to sign up for the email so it comes right to your inbox. The sign up is on the top left under my lovely picture.

Feel free to invite anyone else you think would like this challenge. This train is leaving on January 1st and there’s no backing it up for latecomers (although anyone is welcome to jump on at anytime but who wants to start on day 7? It’s just not as cool as being involved from the beginning.)

Oh, I almost forgot!

Take the challenge and email me how things went at the end of the month. I will pick the best response and will award a prize!

“A prize on top of being decluttered and freed from the extra stuff in my home that is bogging down my living well?” you say?

I say: “Yes!”

But oh no. I am not going to send you something to clutter up your life again. That would be mean. I will give you a copy of my favorite computer program. A program that helps you declutter your debt and clutter your bank accounts. It’s YNAB!

YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and it is aptly named. No matter where you stand with your financial goals YNAB can help you. If you can’t tell, I love, love, love this software. It’s not sleazy (which is hard for any company that is trying to sell you things.)But they really do WANT you to save money. They don’t charge a monthly fee nor are they riddled with ads. Their support and customer service is absolutely amazing. They are honest and ethical and simple.

All this and I promise you that I am absolutely not in any way paid by YNAB for all those good words. I bought this gift license with my own money and decided myself to use it as a reward simply because it’s great. I promise. I’ve done a lot of budgeting in a lot of different ways in my days. YNAB is the best.

AND YNAB provides a free 34 day trial. You could start that trial on the first, email me on the thirty-first, and have me send you the prize of the purchased license on the thirty-third so you can continue your budgeting bliss uninterrupted. Even if you start the trial and don’t get the prize and don’t choose to purchase it yourself, you will be more aware of your spending habits and that is a super good thing.

Are you up to it?

So are you ready to be healthier– less stress over stuff,

man on dock

richer– less money spent on stuff,

sailboat on empty water

have better relationships– less time spent with stuff,


be better to the environment–less consumption of new stuff,


and smarter– less brain spent wasted with stuff?


See! I wasn’t overselling it!

Let 2015 be the year of less. You’ll be amazed at how much you gain.

photd smarter– less brao credit: <a href=””>travels♥with♥blythe</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=””>lisa cee (Lisa Campeau)</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=””>Dubiosity</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc

photo credit: <a href=””>Joe Shlabotnik</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;


4 thoughts on “How to gain in 2015

  1. I did this challenge earlier this year. I made it through day 22 with a few stragglers for day 23. I then took a few days off and started furiously removing more things, but I stopped tracking. It was fun to track at first and get me going, but then it went on autopilot. Glad to see you extend this challenge to your readers!


  2. I know that I loved going from room to room purging. I’m hoping this is just the fun thing to get things going for others. It really is deliciously freeing once you get going. I LOVE having less stuff and know I should have even less.


  3. mkukuc

    I think this is a great idea..but I don’t like having to keep track. I find that if I miss a day or too, it would stress me out. I want to keep things simple. I have been slowly decluttering lots of things, rooms, closets, drawers, etc. So glad you wrote this, as it’s reinforcement for what I’m already doing!


  4. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Interesting!!! Our personal challenge this year is to get “gazelle intense” in finally kicking our debt to the curb. Can’t wait!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s