A New Year, A Fresh Start — My 2014 Resolution

by Katy on December 31, 2013 · 25 comments


Today marks the last day of 2013, although in reality it’s simply a Tuesday. The beginning of a new year is an arbitrary moment in time, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t see the ushering of a new year as an opportunity to make personal changes and better themselves.

Lose weight, create new workout routines, declutter your home!

Whatever it is you are failing at, January 1st is the starting line.

I’ve never been a maker of new year’s resolutions, although I have used it as an opportunity to start new projects and routines. Two years ago I started saving all my found money in a single unspendable jar for a Found Change Challenge, and three years ago I started a 52 Weeks, 52 Letter Challenge. 

However, I am making a big whopper of a 2014 new year’s resolution, which is to work on a book. I already have an agent interested, (although she won’t sign me until I submit a proposal) so this is a very attainable goal. Note that I din’t write “easy goal,” as there is nothing “easy” about writing a book.


I will continue to collect found money, and I will continue to work on bettering myself. But a manuscript in hand is resolution numero uno.

Good thing I have one more excuse-free day to putter about the house, because tomorrow is a new day.

Do you make new year’s resolutions, and if so do you sputter out by mid-March? Please share yours in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Van December 31, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I am a constant list-maker, always too many projects floating in the brain. I want to work on a book but I’m also talking with someone on a ceramics line, art print line, illustration line, selling dried herbs, it goes on and on, my right brain is hyperactive.

Keep us posted on your book journey, looking forward to that as someone dying to write one too 😀 I posted my resolutions on the blog today, they are:

1) Move: Ride my bike for 30 minutes every single weekday. (+ Gonna be active as much as possible with my roomie.)
2) Organized: Put Everything back in it’s Home as soon as I’m Done. (Especially receipts!)
3) Adventures: Go on an Adventure to somewhere new at Least Once a Week.
4) Quality & Innovation: Do something I haven’t done before with each project. + Ask myself, “How can I take this to the next level?” with each project and implement that change.
5) Community: Get Active in the Community Again by collaborating on projects with different people


Lorraine December 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I think your book will be wonderful – insightful, funny, witty, informational, quirky -interspersed with “Goodwill, Badwill, & Questionablewill” photos….. Have I convinced you yet? Go for it – you can do it…
I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous 2014! May all your dreams come true. Happy New Years!


Dianna December 31, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I don’t make resolutions either. Sometimes I make goals, like home projects and savings goals but that’s about it. It’s more than enough!

Good luck with the book Katy! I know it will be great and can’t wait to read what kind of humor you come up with in the midst of it all.

Happy New Year!!


AnnW December 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm

If you don’t get to it, some other person with a similar message might beat you to it. JD wrote a book this fall and is now thinking about writing fiction. You can knock this out in two months if you stop reading the library books. Waiting, with bated breath. Then I will know two authors. Ann


AnnW December 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

If you don’t get to it, some other person with a similar message might beat you to it. JD wrote a book this fall and is now thinking about writing fiction. You can knock this out in two months if you stop reading the library books. Waiting, with bated breath. Then I will know two authors. Ann PS. Three authors, if you count Miss Mustard Seed, who Photographed Her Own Book.


Amanda December 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Congrats on the book. Can’t wait to read it.

My 2014 goals are:
1) Lose my baby weight before I go back to school in the fall.
2) Do a home school pre-school program with my three year old.
3) Survive, and plan so that my family will survive, my first semester of grad school.
4) Renovate our bathroom and have our bricks repointed.
5) Read 52 books during the course of the year. Grad school should pretty much take care of this one.


Sheri December 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I recently made a cork board with notes about various goals for the new year. Half are personal/spiritual and the other half is working goals (for lack of a better term). As each one is met, I will remove them from the board. If I can accomplish a few I will be happy.


Maureen December 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I love this idea! We’ve decided to try it with 2 boards so we can see both our goals as well as goals well met.


Diane January 1, 2014 at 5:19 am

As I approach 70, I have but one goal….to look at each day with fresh eyes and see beauty in the commonplace. Today will not come again. We only have the present. Enjoy today.


Bellen January 1, 2014 at 7:08 am

My goal exactly – still have a couple of years to 70 but hubby is facing it this year – same goal for him.


J. Pario January 1, 2014 at 8:11 am

Good luck with book-writing ambitions. It’s better than always looking back and wondering what would have happened if you had.

As a teacher, writer, and editor (and someone who has finished a book-length manuscript–a dissertation), here’s some of what I learned the hard way:
–Make a regular commitment of either time or pages. This needs to be unbreakable except for disasters and emergencies. So “I will do X pages a day (or a week)” Or “I will work on the book every Tuesday morning from 6-7 am” or whatever.
— Keep a log of how often you write… date: start time/stop time.
— Make a list of why you are writing the book and keep it handy.
— Remember that words on a page can be edited and revised, i.e. fixed. A blank page isn’t going anywhere. So lousy writing is better than no writing.
— Keep a list of book-related mundane tasks for when you don’t feel like writing, such as tracking down sources or proofreading. That way you can keep working even when the Muse has left you to go lie on a beach somewhere in Greece.
— Don’t fret about how slowly the first chapters go. The ones that follow will come faster.

Hope this helps! Email me if you have questions.


Katy January 1, 2014 at 11:38 am

Wow, great list! I think I’ll print it out!




J. Pario January 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I look forward to your book coming out!

It’s a lot like saving money, actually–steady, consistent work pays off.


Better Choice January 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

I have been really inspired from your blog and am doing the compact for 2014!


Katy January 1, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Yay! I need to write a post challenging people to join in so you’ll have lots of company!



Diane C January 1, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I’m raising my hand to help with proofreading. Get going, girl!


Nichole January 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Please update us on your book writing process! I would love to hear of your take on uncluttering the writing process!


Happy Mum January 2, 2014 at 5:07 am

Hello Katy & All! Happy New Year. Sorry to use the Comments section for this question. I stopped receiving new Non-Consumer blog posts by email (maybe 2-3 weeks ago?) — although when I tried just now to re-subscribe, I got a message saying I was already a subscriber. Anyone else have this problem (and a fix), by any chance? (The emails aren’t going into a Spam folder. Hmmm…) I don’t use Facebook etc, so can’t follow on those. Of course I can just check the website everyday, but I do like seeing that Non-Consumer column in my email in-box — I’ve been enjoying it for years. Ideas very welcome. Good wishes — and good resolutions — to all for 2014!


momsav January 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I had the exact thing happen to me. Every week or two i remember to come check out the web site. Big bummer!


momsav January 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I’m having issues with this web site, too. I’ll be surprised if this goes through. Big bummer, all the way around!


Jean January 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I am having the exact same problem as Happy Mum–no Non-consumer Advocate in my mailbox, which I sorely miss! Also tried to re-subscribe with the same results, and have checked my spam folder, not there either. Also not a Facebook user, so have been checking the website, but I also enjoyed seeing it pop up in my mailbox! Not having this problem with other blogs I subscribe to….


tna January 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I think this year I will cut out thrift stores. I don’t really need to buy much and if I do need something I’ll just look for the best deal, new or whatever. I may need a new towel this year, at the thrift store they cost 4 bucks and at Wally’s they are 3 bucks….at a garage sale probably a buck. I live in an area that has wonderful thrift stores but I have enough clothes and shoes to last a couple more years, all the kitchen stuff I need and a vacuum. I am going to up my produce consumption and cut back on other stuff, reach for a carrot or apple instead. Having to go out of state a lot this year has hampered my walking and biking so I’m going to get that going again no matter where I may find myself and keep a daypack instead of a purse so I always have food, water, clothes, a book and anything else I might need handy.


Jennifer @Little Blog in the Big Woods January 9, 2014 at 7:43 am

I will be in line to buy your book Katy! You rock!

I usually do a “one word” type thing for the new year, didn’t this year. I usually have a list of yearly goals written for different areas of my life like, financial, personal, family, I did do that again! Looking to get more life insurance and put more savings into retirement and college funds. Also saving up for a used van or some other larger vehicle as I feel we have really started to outgrow our car, especially on road trips, which are fairly frequent as all family live 2-5 hr drive away. I really love my life and feel like we are moving in the right direction so I’m just planning to keep on keepin’ on!


lori July 26, 2014 at 4:46 am

My 6 year old daughter started the found change challenge in the winter. We haven’t done a tally yet, but we did find $ 20 on the way to school one morning. The best part is that she is learning money denominations and adding, if there is more than one coin she adds them to tell us how much she found. Win win!


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