Happy New Year — You’re Fat and Unorganized!

by Katy on December 26, 2010 · 32 comments

The new year’s period is a time of reflection. Top ten lists for the previous year abound, and there’s never a poverty of new year’s resolution ideas. Join Jenny Craig or a gym, start budgeting, get organized, or better yet, buy all the accoutrements that go with your goals.

There’s one common theme that I see with pretty much all new year’s resolutions:

You are less than you should be, but buying our product or services will transform you into the person you should be.

Too fat, too unorganized, a financial mess and generally unworthy to be included in the beautiful people’s club.

Greeeaat. . . .

Luckily, there are new year’s resolutions that do not include a trip to Storables or 24 Hour Fitness. Working exercise into your day can be as simple as walking or biking errands, and if organizing all your stuff is overwhelming, it probably means that you have too much stuff.

The new year’s resolution industry, (and yes, selling exercycles, weight loss services and elaborate organizing systems is an industry) would not exist if people were content with themselves and their lives. If people didn’t feel like they were unworthy of happiness without a flat stomach and an organized closet.

I’m here to say that it’s okay to feel good about yourself even if you’re overweight or have mismatched hangers. And if losing weight or getting organized is a goal for you, then go right ahead and pursue that goal. But please don’t do it because some diet industry spokesperson makes you feel bad about yourself.

Do you make the same new year’s resolutions every year? Or perhaps you set a resolution that actually stuck? Please share your stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ann December 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I never make new year’s resolutions. If I want to change something, I don’t need a particular calendar date to start. And making resolutions for the sake of resolutions is just a set-up for frustration.


Tina @ The Shakespearean Tomato December 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I don’t make resolutions persay…but 3 years ago I did pick up running right after the New Year and I stuck to a running program for 11 months going from gasping for breath after about 30 seconds in January 2008 to running the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November of 2008. I didn’t lose a ton of weight because that wasn’t my goal, I just wanted to be fitter, healthier, and give my dog and myself some much needed exercise daily. That being said, once I did the half marathon I quit running and haven’t picked it up steadily again since then.

I have been doing some reading and thinking and I have decided I want to try and pick up a running program again this year. I would start tomorrow but we have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and it is still coming down and I am not THAT crazy!! So it will inevitably look like a new year resolution, but it really isn’t…just happens to line up at the same time.

I am also doing a ton of cooking during break so that I can try to bring the amount of money I spend buying meals at school drastically down and have healthier choices available to toss in my bag instead of Panda Express or Chik-Fil-A every day…blech for my tummy and my wallet!
So I guess you could say I am making resolutions because I am being more conscious of what I am doing and trying to make some healthy changes, but I don’t make lists that I then have to feel guilty about when I inevitably don’t end up being perfect for yet another year. Progress, not perfection!


Chi-Chi December 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I made resolutions last year around my fitness goals and I achieved most of them. I’m very proud to say that I can now do 15 pushups whereas just a year ago, I could barely eek out 5 on my knees. I think making resolutions is a fine way to outline your goals for the year so long as you are being true to yourself and realistic.


Anne December 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Some years I do make resolutions, some I don’t. This year was to focus on my writing, lose some weight, and go to Japan. Spent 10 days in Japan in late summer, wrote a full novel and made some submissions on my shorter writing, and (sadly) gained weight. I haven’t decided on whether or not I will have resolutions for 2011 yet.


Kimberly December 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I’m not making official resolutions this year either in a direct attempt to just learn to be happy with myself the way I am. I am planning on training for a 5K, but not as a resolution, more as an act of empowerment.


Lisa Under the Redwoods December 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I make the same resolution every year. Remove the jack-o-lantern from the porch BEFORE I need a shovel to do so. Most years I am successful with that though some years, not so much.

I am trying to lose weight this year. Though I don’t call it a resolution. My goal is to be thinner for my 50th birthday in November.


Ann December 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm

My one word resolution for 2011: Focus. It will help in all things.


Tracy Balazy December 27, 2010 at 8:38 am

GOOD one, Ann!!


Jessica Wolk-Stanley December 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

A few years ago I resolved to go take advantage of New York City’s amazing cultural offerings, and I did. It was a realistic resolution, helped by the fact that I lived in the big apple. I don’t know if I lost weight in the process or become more organized, but I had a great time and got to spend a lot of quality time with close artist friends.


Camere Supraveghere December 27, 2010 at 2:33 am

I’ve stopped making new year’s resolutions, because i always tend to forget them. Just like Mary Ann said you don’t need a specific date to change something in your life.


Pamkenn December 27, 2010 at 4:18 am

I think New Year’s resolutions have appeal for two main reasons – first, because they follow a time when folks have overindulged in every way and second, because it feels like there really could be a clean slate, the absolution of the calendar.
That being said, I want to say Happy New Year to you Katy. I am a much older struggling frugalista and am happy that my doses of the non-consumer advocate have not stopped. Let’s resolve to listen to our bodies, our loved ones and our world and make thoughtful choices based on that!


NMPatricia December 27, 2010 at 5:10 am

Great post. I love it when someon stands up to consumerism. Now that I got the whole “frugal” thing under ocntrol, I find the milieu of consuming in our society gets to me. I begin to feel “wrong” until I get a hold of myself and figure out that it is all this “shouting” that goes on around me that I need or need to be different (for a price). Thanks for the words of wisdom – I need to keep hearing them.


Jinger December 27, 2010 at 5:27 am

Right after Christmas every year, I have a strong urge to tidy up, organize and get my life back on track. This year, it will be my financial life. The past few weeks I have lived on credit for numerous reasons and I need to pay that card off and work on paying off my loans as well. I want to start off 2011 healthy in every way.

Happy New Year!


peter December 27, 2010 at 6:37 am

No more lists, no more searching for a better way, a faster way, reading someone else’s way; just live my life, enjoy each day, and know what I already have is enuf. My new mantra starting today. PBH


JM December 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

That’s excellent, Peter. “What I already have is enough” really says it all, doesn’t it?


peter December 28, 2010 at 6:16 am



Marianne December 27, 2010 at 7:10 am

Ha, the title of this post made my morning! I was grumbling through my un- tidy house to make my breakfast ( something sensible after days of indulging) and this put it all in perspective.

I think that resolutions can be useful and the new year does bring a sense of new possibilities …spring is on the way, days are getting longer again….My resolution is to walk my dog more often and eat more fruit and veggies.


Laura December 27, 2010 at 8:58 am

Not so much a New Years Resolution, but my husband and I decided that our lifestyle (eating and basically not exercising) is unacceptable and we don’t want our daughter to learn this from us. They have a tiny gym room at his work and after work he has decided to stay for one hour there. Instead of watching the Today Show for an hour I will change it to FitTV and do the workout whenever I can in-between kid-playing time. We’re still working on menus, but our problem is mostly portion control.
In addition to the healthier us, we are starting a savings account, and saving enough to hopefully pay cash for a van for me that I can carry the kids around in (I have a car but I can’t fit the kids in it, so insurance is suspended since I can’t drive it anyway).
Again, these are more just your everyday goals, but I think New Years is a good motivator to start something, I good starting point so I’m not going to knock it :]


Katy December 27, 2010 at 11:12 am

I do believe that accepting ourselves the way we are frees up our energy to do more with our lives.

Examples would be:

No longer feeling that our home have to be Martha Stewart-perfect to have friends over.

Feeling that we have to look perfect to participate in activities we enjoy.

Giving up the people we think we should be in order to be the people we enjoy being.

Feeling that we have to be perfect is a stifling way to live our lives.



Laura December 28, 2010 at 9:10 am

I totally agree, my “resolutions” aren’t so much to be perfect, but more to help me be more like I want to be. Not that I am striving for perfection or constantly disappointed in my life, but realizing that I have control over it and I want to make it better.

I am probably making no sense at all :]


Elaine December 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

I don’t generally make New Year’s resolutions, either.

Some years ago, I was the newsletter chair for my local chapter of a professional association. I made New Year’s resolutions FOR some people. I remember a few:

Eat more fruit. Adam & Eve

Visit the blood bank more often. Count Dracula

Buy a cow so my children have fresh milk. Mrs. O’Leary, Chicago

Let the kids get a pet. Noah

Get a theater subscription so my wife and I can get out more. Abe Lincoln

Jump all the way to the moon! Neil Armstrong, age 5

There were about a dozen or so. It’s so much easier to make resolutions for other people (even fictional characters).


fairy dust December 28, 2010 at 10:54 am

I love this!!!!


Nienke December 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm

While I was thinking about a resolution, I came up with lots of things I wanted to improve or change. Untill it finally hit me: next year I’m going to be nicer to myself. 🙂


Jennifer December 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I do make resolutions, but they aren’t always to lose weight or get organized. Last year was to save money and to improve my posture. My posture is much better LOL. I figure that is a good one. Next year it will be to also drink more water.


Miss Roman Apartment December 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Um….you’ve seen my resolution list for 2010 right?


So, you know this week is all about hysterically trying to finish off as many of my 134 resolutions as possible…


Katy December 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Okay, that was too much. You needed to add “nap, due to complexity of list.” to you list.

And what the blarg was the “missing cash” about, and how much was it?!



Erin December 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm

My new years resolution usually focuses on a deed that I can focus on. One year it was making sure all the rechargeable batteries were always charged and the kids toys always had batteries in them. The next was making sure I gave MasterCard no monthly interest fees. Last year was to buy nothing new (sort of). I have been able to build year after year on the tasks that keep my life positive and the task becomes easy to follow through the year later.
This year it is to make things that I could buy….soap, lip balm, candles, bread, bagels, English muffins, knitting/sewing, and convenience food.


sandy December 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

I usually don’t make resolutions because I never remember to keep them, but I do try to rearrange furniture and stuff around the end of the year. It makes my house feel new and is a very frugal way to do that since I didn’t have to buy anything. So far I’ve done my bedroom, making it feel roomier. I still have to do the sunroom (the former master bedroom), so I can lizard in the sun with my house plants on cold, sunny days. Right now it’s too crowded to feel comfortable.


Dmarie January 5, 2011 at 7:32 am

I’m a believer in N Y’s resolutions. Even if they don’t stick, I’ll have lost nothing & maybe gained something for trying. This year count me among the 13% who resolve to spend less, save more in 2011. Already making conscious efforts to use less water and electricity and cook from my own pantry. Expect great blogs like this one to help keep me motivated…thx!


Lesley December 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm

You rule, Katy!

This year I have one: eat lunch in the lunchroom at least three times per week instead of working through lunch at my desk and getting crumbs in my keyboard (bleh). I am supposed to take an actual break at lunch but I hardly ever do, and I thought last week as I sat there trying to eat and work, wouldn’t it be great if I just went and sat down somewhere with my lunch instead? Everyone else does it. Why don’t I? So I’m gonna do it.


Sarah December 22, 2018 at 9:16 am

I do Dry-uary, not drinking through January. I’ve recently added a low carb diet in January as well . It is a gentle re-set after the excess of the holidays. And it feels do-able since it is just a month.


Marcia Richards December 24, 2018 at 4:12 pm

I am going to give myself a break this year. I do 99% of holidays (all the cooking) and all the shopping and my husband has dementia and my house isn’t cleaning itself and I will need some help gardening and snow shoveling too. So however I need to rearrange my hours and my budget, I will do it so that I can have a break from overdoing everything!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: