My New Year’s Resolution for 2024: Use What You Have

My New Year’s Resolution for 2024: Use What You Have
New Year's Resolution: Use What You Have, A Firm Foundation (pastel) by Polly Castor

I have so much!

And I find having a yearly theme a helpful focus, not as a hard, self flagellation reformation tool, but as a gentle, purposeful guide toward intended progress, with plenty of forgiveness and compassion thrown in. Besides, I know it is especially powerful to write down one’s goals, so here they are!

For me, this New Year’s resolution–Use What You Have–expands into several compartments:

  1. Have a “no buy” year: I have so many art materials, pens, inks, paper, pastels and paints! I have shelves of books to be read! I bought new clothes in the fall. I need to restrain from taking anything more in materially and instead use up, read, and wear what I have. I’m giving myself a moratorium on shopping, with a few essential loopholes. My caveats are: gifts, food, gas, repairs, tickets and travel related expenses, book group books, workshop materials, replacing broken things, and clothes only if I find myself thinner or invited to some special occasion requiring something I don’t already own. (I also rather desperately need a new computer and photo editing software, but that was intended for last year so is grandfathered in.)
  2. Use what you have that you don’t usually use: On our anniversary we went out to dinner, and I dug out a piece of jewelry that we’d gotten on our honeymoon to wear, and our daughters claim they had never seen it. How much else in my house languishes under utilized? This year I’m going to try to use these things. We already use our good china more than most people. I intend to expand this category to include other types of things I own, using them now instead of waiting for some other time or occasion.
  3. Utilize my physique: I’ve got plenty of energy, but work sitting most of the day. If I don’t get on my walk at Huntington, my step count is shockingly low. They say, “Sitting is the new smoking,” and I don’t want that. I want to utilize my muscles, and spend out my energy, not just mentally and emotionally, but also physically. I clearly haven’t always prioritized this. It takes both time, and a willingness to push myself outside my comfort zone– translation: don’t be a wus if it is “too rainy” or “too cold.”  I desire to be the kind of person who just does it, without even being tempted by any excuse to the contrary.
  4. Use my water purifier: We got a great reverse osmosis water purifier, and the water is wonderful right out of the fridge. I want to triple my consumption of this delectible beverage.
  5. Utilize ever-present spiritual good: I already have infinite spiritual good always with me. But how much of it am I accepting, let alone using?  This year, I’ll own and utilize more of the amazing good God always has for me, and amplify it more into the world.
  6. Repurpose and promote: I have so much art, so many blog posts, so much inspiration, so many ideas, lots of experience and wisdom, great workshops to give, and tons of love. I’ll strive to sell that art, expand the reach of the blog, spend out my inspiration, try out my ideas, help more people, give more workshops, and express more love. Many of you have asked for a podcast or a book–or several– or both. Maybe some of that can happen this year, if I’m not busy thinking I don’t have everything I need!

“Use what you have,” initially sounds restricting, but I’m seeing it as freedom and license and gratitude and health and focus and fruition. May it be a surge forward with no effort expended in accumulation.

What is your New Year’s resolution, or theme or word for the year?

My Private Hideout in the Sun-drenched Forest (pastel) by Polly Castor


Coming into your Power (pastel) by Polly Castor
I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Eliz Crowley 6 months ago

    “A Firm Foundation” is beautiful! I love the colors, and it looks like a house full of books.

  2. Ruth 6 months ago

    Great clarity of goals, all of which are applicable to my home, family and me. Thanks!

  3. Sue+Krevitt 6 months ago

    GREAT idea, Polly!!

    There is an INFINITY of Good…both absolutely and relatively-speaking, at hand! If I make better use of BOTH of these, it has to benefit my world.
    So, my Resolution: DO THIS!

    Thank you, as always,
    and a Very Happy New Year to you!


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