I look forward to starting a new year with a list of ideas, goals and resolutions (I actually only set about 2-3 new resolutions, I don’t like to face the let-down of failure).

Neighborhood park

I draw inspiration from a number of different resources that I keep on the bookshelf in our study {sometimes I need a refresher mid-year}. There are a couple of books that consistently motivate and help remind me of what my priorities are.  One of my long time favorites is the 1986 publication of “Living a Beautiful Life” by Alexandra Stoddard.  This book is a go-to reminder to stop and enjoy day-to-day living.

Living a Beautiful Life, Alexandra Stoddardimage via Amazon; order book HERE

In her book, Alexandra offers simple steps for enriching daily life.  While I’ve read the book many times over the years, when re-read I always uncover some new information like:

  • “Work smarter, not harder.  When overwhelmed, take a break from whatever is causing pressure and attend to some necessary tasks that will please you and bring instant gratification.”  This is sound advice for me since I work full time and sometimes find the stress of all I’d like to accomplish too much to handle.
  • One of my favorite recommendations from this book is to always take time to bring fresh flowers into your home.  Ms. Stoddard even gives you tips on how to make a fresh bouquet last longer than the typical short number of days.  There is something so simple and satisfying about fresh flowers in the rooms we spend the most time in.  During the winter months when our gardens are mostly bare of blooms, a small bouquet from your local florist or market can give you a lift.

Even if you have to buy a flowering house plant…flowers put a smile on my face!

  • “This one is a favorite…Daydreaming can help the brain promote essential cross-circuiting of your creativity.  Giving your brain a nap; it will work smarter.”   How lucky for me…I love to daydream.

Above all, as the New Year looms, starting out with a positive attitude, throw in determination for good measure, and a short list of goals and you can make home life in 2011 the best yet.

Do you have any resolutions you’d like to share?