I'm about a month late on this one, but its given me time to adjust. I have one major over-arching goal this year (call it a resolution if you will): I can't buy anything new*. Now, see that asterisk? Let me 'splain:
* I can buy most "consumable" goods: food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, gasoline, medicine, a massage, etc.
My usual food rules still apply (whole, local, sustainable, blah, blah). While I don't think I'll need to buy much in terms of person and cleaning supplies (I have a stock pile and I make a lot of my own), I've allowed myself the wiggle room to get my dishes clean come November.
* I can buy, barter, or accept donations of new-to-me-used things.
I have enough of everything I need. But if that changes, I can buy used from garage sales or thrift/consignment/reuse stores (although with all the concerning things I'm learning about the Salvation Army, this option is getting harder to find). I can also take used items of the hands of friends and family (like every couch I've ever owned). Or I can barter, swap, trade, etc.
* I have an emergency clause.
We need new headlines in the car? There's a small fire and we lose all our pillows and underwear? The fridge/stove/dishwasher/laptop break? Okay - but we're taking the path-of-least-consumerism. We would do any repairs we're able to do on the vehicles. We would replace our old burned pillows and underwear with the most sustainable ones we could find. We would repair any damage we could do the appliances, look for used, etc., before buying new. (The TV does not count and would not be replaced...gasp).
Why no new stuff? Why this year?
Why not? Our house is cluttered and hard to keep clean. Our budget has been expanding each year and we want to keep it in check in order to pay off our student loans and save up for a house as soon as possible. We want to move soon and we certainly don't want to move all of this crap to a new location! I want to be happy with what I have. I want to feel free from the pressure to improve my life with stuff. I want to spend more time with friends and family. I want to reduce my impact on the environment. I want to live a simpler lifestyle so that after I graduate I can take the job I love instead of the job that pays best.
I addition to this year long goal I have monthly focuses as well. In January my goal was to find a new internship and get settled in there. Check - I'll tell you all about it later. In February my goal is to stop gaining weight! I've gained roughly 10 pounds a year for the last 6 years and I'm well beyond sick of it. While my eventual goal will be to decrease my weight, I'm starting small by adjusting my eating and my walking with the short to goal to halt that dial.