Theme for 2017: Simplify

January 3rd, 2017

Over the years, I’ve learned that New Years resolutions aren’t really for me. I get motivated in the beginning of the year, and then it tapers off (which I guess is pretty common). I am actually the type that likes goals and deadlines, but they need to be regular and in shorter intervals. At work, we do week-long sprints, which keep us on track and lets us be flexible if priorities change.

In 2017, I’d like to have that sort of outlook instead! I’ve seen people set monthly goals, and I think that would work a lot better for me. In addition to that, I like the idea of setting a theme for the year – a general idea of what I’d like to strive for. I’ve chosen “simplify” because I feel I really need to do that in my life. These aren’t necessarily goals, but ideas for me to consider for the upcoming year.

1. Simplify my surroundings. My work spaces, both at home and work, are a mess. I don’t need to keep so many things at my desk. Also, I shouldn’t feel the urge to bring my laptop to every meeting or always have my phone at my side. I don’t need more things to distract myself.

2. Simplify the things we own. Long gone are the days when I was a sentimental pack rat. Over the years, I’ve accumulated too much stuff, and I’m tired of the mess in our house. I should figure out what I can donate, sell, or throw away to reduce clutter.


3. Simplify our house. Contrary to above, I actually want to buy more furniture to help with organization. We could use more shelves and dressers to keep things in place.

4. Simplify my work load. Part of being a team lead is learning to let go and delegate tasks. This includes helping my team’s career growth, so they can step up to these responsibilities. I shouldn’t be leading every project on my team and doing every code review. It’s not practical and doesn’t scale. I should focus on helping my team grow into these roles.

5. Simplify our yard work. When you live in a hot place like Texas, a full green lawn doesn’t always make sense. I’ve been wanting to xeriscape parts of our lawn to lessen our work load and be more environmentally friendly.

6. Simplify my hobbies. I have many hobbies, and I’m not willing to let any of them go. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t simplify them to be easier to keep track of. I have too many websites (most of which I don’t update), I own too many DSLR lenses and art supplies (most of which I don’t use), my sewing room is a mess, and my game backlog is too long. There is much I can do here to clean up!

I don’t even plan on doing all of the above this year, but I like having a pool of ideas to consider. I might do some of them, and things might change along the way to make some irrelevant. It’s more for me to get some thoughts down for moving forward.

To kick things off, here is my first set of monthly goals for January!

1. Unpack the “box room”. When we moved into our house, we stuffed all the boxes into a bedroom and then unpacked as we needed things. 5 years later, there’s still boxes in there. I need to unpack them and figure out what’s left. This goal doesn’t include actually cleaning the room though. Taking it step-by-step!

2. Start and finish a single player game. Gotta work on that game backlog!

3. Set up a dash cam in my car. This was a to-do last March, and I still haven’t done it. Good job, me.

4. Start reading an Ember tutorial. (Ember is a Javascript framework.) This was something I wanted to learn last year, and I still haven’t done it. Time to take baby steps and start by reading a tutorial.

I’ll start with that and see how I do after a month :) What about you? Do you prefer yearly resolutions or shorter-term goals?

18 Responses to “Theme for 2017: Simplify”

  • Liz says:

    What is the dash cam about? I’ve seen a few people mention them more last year, but have yet to figure out their purpose.

    Good luck in your monthly goals! I totally feel you on wanting to simplify things. I’ve been slowly working towards simplifying my room. It’s just a process. 😖

    • Cat says:

      Ah, dash cams basically record video as you drive. It’s handy if you are in an accident and have to prove what happened. I was in an accident once where my story and the other person’s story didn’t match, so it was a frustrating experience :( If I had a dash cam at the time, it would have made it easier to prove my side.

  • Tara says:

    Good luck with your goals 2017 :) It’s good you have a theme going on for you. Seems like a lot of people want to live a more minimalistic life. I’m a sentimental packrat, but I’ve no desire to let go of those things yet X_X It’s so hard throwing away stuff that means something to you, but I should change that mentality and de-clutter a lot of my things.

    Delegating tasks as a leader can be very difficult. I’m the type who wants to do everything, but I’ve come to learn that there are some tasks I need to assign to my co-workers and others I know I just cannot do . . . I’ve become more upfront about delegation, but I know I could do better.

    Hope you’ll meet your monthly goals :) Good luck!

  • Georgie says:

    I’m just like you! :) I go about writing to-do lists daily, and every night I write a quick note for the next day. I treat to-dos as small goals and I’m happy if I complete one in one day. I don’t get too worked up over the other things I didn’t get time for. I like to have a direction to head in but I don’t like super specific long-term goals. I strive for short-term goals! As long as I have a rough idea of certain events and due dates in the near future, I am happy to stick with short-term goals and focus on progress rather than the actual goal 😄

    I like that you even had a box room in the first place! There is that whole idea behind packing all your things and taking things out only as you need them, because then you realise what you don’t take out (and it’s usually stuff you don’t need). I think if some things can be easily replaced and tend not to have much sentimental value, they can go. I am keen to hear about you simplifying your life – it’s something I started to do many years ago and I go between calling it simplifying, decluttering or minimalism. 😆

    I started learning more JavaScript a couple of months ago and I recently found that the best way to do things is to not fear picking up new work and challenge myself. In the past I would just try to palm it off to someone else! Good luck with starting your journey on learning Ember :)

  • Holly says:

    I love this! Having a theme sounds like such a good idea for some one who doesn’t like setting goals.

    I’m always looking for ways to simplify my life, and like you I want to invest in more furniture to help with organisation in my house. I’m hoping to buy a new desk with draws this month so I finally have somewhere to keep all my paperwork.

    I’ve just ordered a dash cam using some vouchers I got for Christmas, and I’m excited to get it all set up.

  • Michelle says:

    Those are great goals to have and I’m slowly doing that too: simplifying my life by getting rid of the toxic people in my life like my mother.

    And possibly work on myself better and make me a better person that I can be proud of in the end :D Good luck to you my friend!

  • Kya says:

    Having a theme for the year is such a great idea! I really hope that you are able to do that to many areas of your life. Even if it’s only some of them, that would be a huge benefit. :D

    Good luck on the first round in January. You got this!

  • Pauline says:

    I love the idea of having a theme for the year. I remember when I got into bullet journaling that was one of the things I picked up from them. Good luck with simplifying your things! It’s always one of the things thats hardest to do because we think we NEED them but in actual fact, we already have something functional enough you know?

    I prefer a mix of long term and short term goals! :-) Happy 2017!

  • Nancy says:

    Good luck with your new approach with your goals! Thinking of it, monthly goals seem more doable than annual goals. It is easier to predict the environment 30 days ahead instead of 365/366 days and adjusting it the next 30 days if needed.

    I like the idea of simplifying life a bit. I stopped bringing my laptop to meetings if someone else is already bringing it and leading the meeting. Even though I might be bored, it’s better to not get distracted by my laptop XD.

    With all of the cool stuff you have, those shelves will come in handy! Xeriscaping some parts of your yard sounds pretty neat. Don’t forget to share this! I’m curious to see how it ends up :). I used to have a bunch of websites too @__@. Simplifying them will ease your to-do thoughts.

    Ahhhh I’ve been wanting to buy a dash cam for my car but it seems like a lot of work to get the wiring done properly so it’s not hanging in the middle of my car.

  • Claudine says:

    I like this idea of a yearly theme and monthly goals! I’m not too big in New Year’s resolutions too, and I find that I just get disappointed at the end of the year because I didn’t get to achieve them. Themes give a general idea of what I want to achieve and it actually sounds more motivating and doable, at least for me :)

    I’d love to simplify so many aspects of my life too – and I agree about having too much stuff! It’s high-time that I cut back too and decide which ones I don’t need anymore. Hope you get to achieve all your monthly goals and hope your 2017 is off to a good start! :)

  • Rezina says:

    I’m the same way. I always set resolutions for myself and fail to follow through. I think part of it is having unrealistic expectations for myself. I like your idea of setting a theme for yourself for the year. It probably makes achieving goals a lot easier and isn’t as restrictive.

    I bought Kirby Planet Robobot that you mentioned (and I also see on your backlog) and it’s sooooo much fun! I think I like it more than Super Mario 3D Land, haha.

    Good luck on all your ideas!

  • Kimmy says:

    I guess I never thought about simplifying my hobbies. I have a lot, and some I don’t do as often, but then I rediscover them and start to do them again. Or I find a new hobby and start to obsess over that for a few months. I’ve been wanting to purge my apartment of things I don’t use. Clothes, art supplies, books, ect. But I’m terrible at getting rid of things.
    I do like the idea of giving myself monthly goals, goals that are doable within the course of a month of course.

    Good luck on yours!!!

  • Amy says:

    I think it’s great that you’re setting monthly goals instead of yearly ones. I’m kind of doing that by scheduling in my goals this year, but some things I want to try and do over a longer timescale. My priorities change throughout the year though, so maybe monthly is actually a better idea.

    My game backlog is also ridiculous, because I rarely get time to play. There are so many games I want to complete, but then they bring more out and the list just gets bigger. Good luck completing a game this month – I think that’s a very realistic goal.

    Wow, I can’t believe they’ve been in there five years! A lot of my stuff is still at my parent’s house, even though I moved out over a year ago, so I should probably start doing the same.

    Good luck with your goals!

  • Ella says:

    I wish you well on all your goals. It’s hard to keep resolutions, I’ve decided to just do mini goals, it’s easier. Still, there will be things that sidetrack us from what we really want. Here in Texas it’s a miracle if anyone can keep their grass green. I live in Texas too! :) Take time to learn new things, but remember to take it one thing at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself silly. Remember that things will fall into place. All the best to you this year! :D

  • Becca says:

    I can totally relate to this! One of my goals for this year was to get organized and to declutter. I hate messes and I own so much stuff that I don’t need or use. I like that you’ve set monthly goals for yourself to – I might steal that idea for myself! It definitely makes reaching that overarching goal more attainable!

    I feel ya on the game backlog. I’ve vowed not to buy any more games (except I’m totally buying Stardew Valley for my birthday) until I’ve played all the ones that I have already. I have games from two Christmases ago that I still haven’t played!

    I want to get my garage cleaned out because we have boxes in there from when we moved in about 8 months ago. I can totally see how those boxes have sat in your room for five years because I’ve had no motivation to unpack the stuff that’s in our garage. XD Good luck with your goals this month!!And I look foreward to reading more about your simplifying!

  • Carolynne says:

    I love your simplify theme. What a great idea. Life should t be so complicated. I hope you can accomplish what you set out to.

  • Ongaku says:

    Simplifying sounds like a great idea. I started to do that with a lot of my stuff. Like trying to get rid of a lot of things I don’t need by cleaning out clutter and removing big furniture with smaller or nothing. It makes me feel more comfortable in my house with less. I don’t want to end up like my grandparents with too much junk – not to say her house is dirty, just she has so many decorations and dumb furniture. orz lol

    I agree with small goals. I started an 8 week diet and wanted to get under 150. I made the goal but now I really want to get under 145 and then start working on muscle strengthening and flexibility – but slowly.

    Good Luck with all your goals!

  • Kim says:

    I have a couple of goals but they don’t have a set deadline, one will probably take the year or maybe two and the other will be ongoing and more of a lifestyle change.
    1. Get back to my goal weight
    2. Save money (I have a set figure in my head and know how much I need to put away each month)
    3. Decluttering

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