The KonMari Method

Goal #7: Simplify

Like any world-class procrastinator worth his salt, I began my process of eliminating clutter by reading about how to eliminate clutter. For days. All the while no clutter elimination actually happened, but hey, it is important to have a game plan.

Oddly enough, it proved to be extremely helpful, because as I was poring over simple living and minimalist blogs and whatnot, I came across this book.

The author, Marie Kondo, runs a business in Tokyo solely focused on transforming the houses (and possibly, the lives) of her clients. She calls her approach the "KonMari" method - a play on her first and last names - and she promises that once you adopt it, you will never revert to clutter ever again. Yes it sounds like an infomercial, and the title is very cheesy, but I bought it anyway.

Two days later I found myself hauling eight giant garbage bags down the stairs and into the trash bins. My sister caught a glimpse of my closet and was incredulous. "Did you throw away all your clothes?!?" she asked. The question remains if I shall, indeed, never return to my cluttered life again, but from where I am right now I am extremely pleased.

Kitchen Misadventures: Roasted Garlic

0. Start with an entire bulb of garlic.

1. Remove the outer skin, and cut the top off.

2. Drizzle with olive oil.

3. Wrap in foil, and pop into a pre-heated air fryer (160C) for twenty minutes.

4. Enjoy. ^^

2015: Goal Setting

They call it the "fresh start effect" - that phenomenon behind gyms being full, employees reporting to work early, and junk food not getting consumed in the days immediately after the New Year. The idea is that people are more likely to purse their goals with renewed vigor following temporal landmarks - in this case, the start of a new calendar year. And while we've all had our share of broken resolutions, I think it's still a good idea to harness this not-so-newfound motivation.

Photo taken at the start of my first (turbulent) flight of the year

Goal #1: Go someplace new.
Or: Shop less, Travel more. Research has shown that experiences provide more enduring happiness than material things, and yet here I am stubbornly going through purchase after purchase. It does not compute. And as much as I love Tokyo, there is still the rest of the world waiting to be discovered.

Goal #2: Read at least one book a month.
I used to be able to read a lot, back when I still had to commute to work. Now that I only have to walk to the office, I feel like I no longer have the time to read, when in fact I have plenty - it's just that I have to do it at home and not inside a moving vehicle. I probably would have to spend less time on Facebook, but hey, that's a good thing.

Goal #3: Create a capsule wardrobe.
One of my key insights from the minimalist project is that I have a closet which does not make sense, primarily because I keep buying 'meh' pieces just because they are on sale. So my target for this year is to create a cohesive wardrobe that reflects my own personal style (if you could call it that) with pieces I truly enjoy wearing. It's time to stop looking, and feeling, frumpy.

Goal #4: Learn something new.
Last year I signed up for (beginner) German classes. They were paid for by the company but conducted externally. There was the initial trepidation of being in a tiny classroom with strangers, but I ended up immensely enjoying myself. In fact, I never missed a class, even if we were allowed to skip up to three, and I completed it with a sehr gut rating in the written exam (of which I am disproportionately proud of). Hopefully I'll be able to take the next round of classes, but at any rate I have (re)discovered that there is joy to be found in learning new things. Indeed, now that I think about it, the people I admire the most, in the office and elsewhere, are the people who never stop learning.

Goal #5: Have a better grip on my finances.
I am simply way past the age when "do not go into credit card debt" is an acceptable financial goal (for the record, I didn't).

Goal #6: Yoga.
I have been wanting to practice yoga for ages, but laziness always gets the better of me. That, and the fear of going to a studio full of strangers by my lonesome. I know for a fact that it goes away after the first class - as evidenced by my Barre3 experience - but that initial step is always the most difficult, isn't it?

Goal #7: Simplify.
There is beauty in living with less. 2015 is the year I get rid of all the clutter.

Ready. Set. Go.