Leave No Trace 2017

At the end of each year, we evaluate and make our goals for the coming year.  We’ve made many improvements in 2016 by reducing our waste, installing solar, buying less, and keeping our house and it’s possessions minimal. Now we look forward to 2017 Goals.

  1. Buy No Books: I subscribe to Smithsonian Magazine to keep my brain challenged and cultured. In 2016 I bought Kindle books as well as used books and I regretted it.  The used books have all been donated because I simply don’t read them. In 2017, I will just stick to Smithsonian and watch my gardening videos. If I have a need to read more it will be classics that are free on Kindle.
  2. Zero Waste: In 2016 we started being more conscious of excessive packaging and moved toward buying in bulk. My husband hasn’t totally bought into the idea of buying bulk produce with no plastic packaging at the local store instead of just grabbing the big bag at the warehouse store but I’ll be making sure that this year I stay ahead on grocery shopping and eliminate the need for him to shop at all. This all comes “packaged” as me doing him a favor but it’s really just zero waste and me.
  3. Cooking and eating responsibly: Although we’ve done a great job as a family transitioning to a plant-based, whole foods eating lifestyle, we haven’t been as watchful about wasting food. Along the lines of Zero Waste, we want to step up our efforts not only because it’s the right thing but because it will save us money.
  4. Keeping House: Although we like a clean house and have loved Becoming a Minimalist in our lifestyle as a family, we haven’t been the best at keeping surfaces clear or cleaning. In 2017, we’ll be more vigilant about leaving no trace by cleaning up right away and streamlining processes in cooking and cleaning in order to keep a happy and healthy home that is aesthetically pleasing to all of us.
  5. Keeping Time: Our life has become busy by choice, not hectic, just busy with two jobs for myself, a new job for the SO, and Charter school for the child. To keep ourselves sane and our lives peaceful, we will be following our time management tools and using them on a daily basis. Weekly planning will be done every Sunday for the week ahead with sights on goals and essential tasks to be completed. This ensures that we get things done without the stress of trying to remember everything or haphazardly fitting things in our schedule. We don’t fill our lives up with the unnecessary, only what we need and truly enjoy. We thrive on effective routines.
  6. Grounding: This year we look forward to continuing to ground ourselves by getting out into nature such as gardening, hiking, walking, and taking time for the spirit. We don’t choose to belong to an organized religion but we do like to recognize what is important and what truly isn’t such as material possessions, status, and wealth. Of course, we need to survive but we will continue our minimalist lifestyle as well as the emphasis on environmental responsibility to keep us grounded.
  7. Joy: 2016 has been a life-changing year with some good, some unexpected, and some not so good things that happened. We changed jobs, our child changed schools, we adopted a cat and said a heartbreaking goodbye after a terrifying illness to our dog. Through it all, we still found joy in the good things that the year brought us such as new friends,  jobs we love, new challenges, and final peace. In 2017, we look forward to seeking out the joy and recognizing how good we still have it in our lives.

We don’t stress about our goals. We keep them as a guideline and try not to beat ourselves up if we get off the track every now and then. The idea is to have a good life.