Resolution Ideas for 2012


New Year Resolutions for 2012

Resolve to Downsize, Reduce Debt Fast and Gain Time

If your life feels like it is spinning out of control and you are being buried under stuff with an unmanageable schedule that has you running from dawn until midnight, here are some simple solutions you can make today.  As you may know, I live in Italy most of the year and have adopted the European lifestyle of quality vs. quantity. These are simple yet powerful ways to downsizing your stuff and schedule, while creating a lifestyle that gives you time and freedom to choose how to spend your precious days. Are you acting or reacting to life’s events?  Don’t be the pinball in an arcade game anymore!

Disconnect! Stop doing everything that doesn’t bring you joy. Busyness is a false sense of importance and robs you of time. Become acutely aware of how you spend your time and money and what influences you are allowing into your mind.  Turn off the TV, turn on some music, spend time outside in nature daily by walking in your neighborhood or park or riding bike without headphones or telephone. Learn to enjoy time in the beautiful home you have created.  Practice by spending a full day or long periods at home without TV and check email and/or your cell phone once every 4 hours. You control them, not the other way around. Give yourself unhurried time to remember your passions and things you wanted to accomplish that got pushed aside by daily life.  Eat your meals sitting down in a lovely setting and enjoy every undistracted bite. Live with purpose, not circumstances. Choose how you spend your precious days. Look for the good things in your life, right them down and say thank you.

How to Make Things Happen in Your Life


Sharon from Canada Asks:


Could you tell me what you feel you have done so far to be successful?

Your question is stately perfectly because you said thus far. Success is temporary. I am a work in progress. Once a thing is accomplished and the “thrill” has died down, then a new thing comes to mind.  The key is not to become “fat and happy” and let the mind become numb with routine and compliancy.  Always keep learning, growing and questioning. What can I discover, create or participate in?  Who can I help?  Become a go giver.  Here are some simple steps take to stay on track.


1. Stay focused on your goal.

2. Surround yourself with others who want the same things and accept help.

3. Don’t listen to anyone negative. Operate out of joy, not fear.

4. Develop self control and habits that draw you to your goals. Keep your word, eat well, love your body, turn of TV and read/learn, change your daily routine and teach your children to do better.  Become aware of every move and thought you make.



On a different note and hopefully very useful to those surviving abuse that you are helping, Sharon,  is that change is constant, but it up to the individual to mold it for good.  I knew that my time as wife, mother and worker had come to an end.  It did not fill me the way it had in the past. But before I could create a new life of living inItaly, I had to make some changes.  I had to stop doing a lot of things before I could create a new life.  Stopping working at my job, stop living in my home and liquidate my possessions, stop being in a relationship, and accept that my daughter was an adult and living in another state. All of these were anchors for me to stay in my current situation and my choices to change hurt other. Change is scary and sometimes difficult, especially at first.


But follow your heart and do it anyway.  I said yes to new situations that felt right and no to other choices that came up that felt wrong. Make your best choice given your options at the moment.  If it does work out, adjust and try again and again. Never give up.

Ask Barbara – Sonya from California


Hello Barbara,


I just wanted to thank you and to let you know that as of today, I will live without reservations. Your biography and blogs which I happened to somehow tap into this morning has opened my eyes and given me new hope to life. I too, have had a steam of misfortune but with your help, I will make all the necessary changes to full fill my dreams at living happily ever after. So far, from what I’ve read … you daughter is grown up and moved away to school? Which tells me that you have no little kids, right?  I have 9 and 10 year old sons …is it possible to include them into the “living without reservations” with little money?  Should I stay in the relationship I’m in to get a degree in something to be able to support my kids and myself before moving on? …


 I’ve already decided to make changes in my life starting today at dinner time. We are going to sit and have a family dinner and no TV involved. But, what else can I do with my kids in the meanwhile? I’m going to buy your book right now.


Here’s my dream list:

–          To live on my own with my kids

–          Run a marathon

–          Travel on a friendly budget

–          Meet wonderful and positive people and keep them in my life

–          I want to be a role model for my kids and be happy.

Sonya from California


Dear Sonya,


I love your dream list and that you place such a high priority on your sons.  Your primary role as a mom is provide a loving and encouraging environment for them to grow up and become productive members of society.  That doesn’t mean buying things, it means spending time with them and appreciating their natural charms.


Include your child in activities that are free.  Make a picnic, take a walk in the park, dip your toes in a lake, go for a bike ride or play board games and Legos.  Think time, attention and eye contact.


Share childcare with another single parent. Every time you think about hiring a babysitter, think “exchange.”  Share in getting the kids to and from school and trade Saturdays or girls-night-out with another working parent.


Get a “working” 1 or 2 year degree that you are practically guaranteed instant employment. Go for a sonogram technician or dental hygienist rather than an associate’s degree in business.   Becoming a real estate agent is great, but will take time to grow a business. You need an immediate dependable pay check.


Definitely start training for a marathon today.  Join a running group so they can teach you how to prepare.  You will meet all kinds of wonderful new inspiring people who are also improving themselves. Start running in 5K runs in your town. Sign up for a marathon in another city so you get to travel too! Your kids will be so proud of you.


Treat to your partner what you want to be treated.  Think of little ways to make them feel important and loved- making a special meal, a single flower, a note, watching their favorite movie together, playing their kind of music or just greeting them when they first come home from work and giving them your undivided attend for 10 minutes.  Go on date night and remember why you fell in love in the first place. Of course, if they are abusive, that is totally different.


When you are happy and feeling like your life is moving forward, everything will change!


Good For You!!