I love January 1st. I especially love the brand-new calendar, empty of dates and to-do’s but filled with promise, hope, and possibilities. A new year is like a clean slate, where anything is possible.
With this perspective, and perhaps a bit of a haze leftover from the holiday “cheer”, I think about my New Year’s resolutions. Like forty-something percent of my fellow Americans, I use this time of optimism to set goals for the year. At some point in my life, I have tackled most of the “top ten” of popular resolutions, focusing on money, health and quality time with loved ones. I have had varying levels of success, resulting in some of the resolutions being repeats on my list and some, much to my surprise, lasting beyond the end of January.
This year, my resolutions will once again focus on money, health and loved ones but with an energy efficiency slant.
Money. With the fairly gloomy economic outlook, “save more, spend less” is becoming a common mantra in American households. In our house, our version is going to be “save more energy, spend less money”. A lofty sounding goal but how do I accomplish it? Starting with the easy tips on this website, I’m going to make a list of 12 tips (one for each month) to do in 2012. By signing on to Duke Energy’s online services, I will be able to compare my savings from the prior year’s spending. Maybe not an exact science but I know if I overcomplicate this, my likelihood of sticking with it will be much less likely!
Health. I’ve mentioned in a prior blog that my slow cooker is one of my favorite appliances. I’m going to invest a bit of time looking for some healthier versions of my favorite recipes. I’m also going to seek out a few ways to use my microwave beyond popping popcorn and melting butter. When I do my meal-planning each month, I will incorporate one new healthier meal a week. 52 new recipes over the course of the year seem pretty doable.
Loved ones. Ah, yes… the family. Achieving MY resolutions requires getting the guys in my house onboard. This may require some stealth and mom-ingenuity. But I am determined to succeed in spending more quality time together AND have their help in “save more energy, spend less money”! My “how to” plan? First, our family nights are going to shift from sitting-in-front-of-the-TV-with-laptops to blowing-the-dust-off-the-board-games. Second, we are going to use the plethora of reusable water bottles we have for more than lacrosse games; I am going to recruit my son to keep the dozen or so bottles we have filled and in the fridge. Double win on this one: less plastic waste AND we fill up the extra space in the fridge to maximize the energy use. Lastly, I’ve signed the hubby up to run a 10K with me in the spring – we are going to get healthy and moving together. But let’s keep that between us until I figure out how to finesse that one.
Are you a resolution-maker? What are you going to do in 2012 to “save more energy, spend less money”? Please share your ideas with us – and check back with us for more tips to try.