The one thing you can do to improve your life

I'm not one for new year's resolutions. The only one I've probably ever kept was when I decided to become a vegetarian. However, this year I'm making one huge resolution that will spare me unnecessary aggravation, save time, and reduce clutter.

I'm throwing out pens that don't work.

Ok, sure, this may seem like the stupidest resolution ever, but think about it. How many times do you grab a pen to write something and discover that it doesn't work? You swirl it around on a piece of paper to activate the ink. And, if it doesn't work, you mindlessly put it back in the pen cup. You put it back! Crazy, right? Yet, so many of us do it.

If it doesn't work, ditch it! Ok, this could be said about a lot of things, but let's just focus on the pen for now.

I'm taking a vow this year and I ask you to join me. Throw away all the pens in your life that don't work (this includes dried up markers!). Leave the aggravation in the gutter! Don't waste your time trying to loosen ink that dried up in the 20th century! Decrease the clutter in your life by discarding the things that serve no purpose.

2012 is the year to say buh-bye to the duds in the pen jar. It's a small thing that can make your life better and soothe your senses with a warm feeling of calm and clarity. It's easy, achievable, and tangible.

Won't you join me on this life-changing journey?


  1. That is totally something I should strive to achieve within the next few days, if not year. My drawers overflow with dry pens and unsharpened pencils. Pet Peeve to the extreme.

    Cheers and Happy New Year.

  2. Hahaha...this made me literally laugh out loud as I pictured myself doing that exact thing a million times.  And I do it with so many things...a utensil in the kitchen that doesn't work right I will put right back in the drawer...a lipstick that is empty will land right back in the make up bag (I know this is a bit of a thought my beauty was completely natural ;-) )  
    Yesterday, I actually tackled the utensil drawer in the kitchen.  I had some of that tricky Kohl's know, the kind that means I have $40 of Kohl's "cash" to spend on anything I want but you always (ALWAYS) end up spending way more than the $40!  Anyway, I bought some much needed new utensils (and yes, it went over the $40) and when I got home, I cleaned out the drawer and threw out all of the broken utensils and replaced them with functioning useful utensils.  
    So, thank you Amber for the chuckle this morning.  And, I promise.  The next time I have a pen that doesn't work, I will throw it away at that very moment!!! 
    Happy New Year my friend!

  3. Unsharpened pencils are an easy fix, but the key is to sharpen them when you see they're dull. Don't toss them back (only to grab them yet another time and have them not ready to use)!

    Thanks for joining in on this wonderful journey! ;-)

  4. Congrats on the new utensils, Claudia!

    Our lives can be so much easier if we have the right tools and they're in good condition. Whether it be a knife, a pen, a computer, or whatnot. It's really pretty insane that we all keep things that don't work and cause us frustration in the process.

    And, I reject the theory that you're not a natural beauty ;-)

  5. I'm with socialmediadds : you had me LOL with this! I throw out and purge on a regular basis, including pens:) I just finished purging my emails, google reader and clothes closets, and today I tackle the basement. I take a "1 box, 1 drawer, 1 thing at a time" approach, and the job gets done. But now I'm double-checking my pen holder on my desk, just to be sure:) Cheers! Kaarina

  6. You're ahead of the curve, Kaarina! Kudos to you!

    One thing at a time, indeed. :-)

  7. I dunno, that's quite the commitment; I was thinking of taking on solving world hunger first...........

    It got me thinking about all the clothes in my closet I would never miss if they were gone; maybe I can kill two birds with one stone, huh? Or maybe I don't have to kill anything; that's not a nice way to start the year, is it?

    I am going through change however; I changed my gym membership, changed having a set schedule to post AND I changed the money around in my wallet. Scary stuff...............

    Happy New Year to you; look forward to seeing you around this year. 

  8. Hey Bill,

    Yes, no killing in the new year. No birds have to die to get organized.

    As for changing it up, you're rockin' the house, baby! Looking forward to your crazy antics in 2012 :-)

  9. I am lucky if I can find a pen around here but that is because my penmanship is so poor it is better for me to type than write.

  10. Well then. No assignment for you this year, Jack!

  11. I love this, Amber! These are baby steps even I can handle. Who knows? This just may be the launch pad that helps me be better organized.

    Best wishes to you, Amber, for fulfilling all of your dreams! :-)

  12. Woo hoo! First pens. Next, the world!

  13. Hi Amber,

    Powerful stuff here.

    Releasing precedes acquiring. To ring in the new let go of the old. Start with your way up from there. 

    Release is uncomfortable but by starting with little things like pens, imagine what it leads to? Bigger physical items. Relationships? Jobs you hate? The list is endless, really, and only you know for sure what to release, and what to keep, but as you become really good at letting go, wow do you grow.

    All periods of massive, instant growth in my life were preceded by release. Happens every time. When I let go, a vacuum forms, and the Universe fills it...every time.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Amber.


  14. Yes! Yes! Yes! Start with the pens, move on to other things that waste your time and offer nothing in return! Great comment, Ryan! Love it!

  15. Amber, aloha. Count me in on this life changing journey!  Can you imagine our delight when, once we have thrown out pens that don't work, each time we pick up a pen it does work?  WOW! What a concept!

    Months ago I read a post by woman who threw out 10 items a day.  (Since she had 3 children, she had more to work with than you likely do.)  Anyway, when people were exclaiming in the comments "how could you possibly find 10 items a day?"  She replied, " It's easy.  Look at how pens you keep that don't work, pens missing the caps, caps missing the pens, pencils missing the eraser and old rubberbands." 

    Now, Amber, she was experienced and had been doing it for quite some time so don't think I am urging you to up it.  To start by throwing out non-working pens is "one small step for man (or woman) . . ."

    Wishing you a year filled with exciting projects, interesting people, vibrant health, happiness in your heart and abundance in all that matters to you. Kina'ole joins me in sending Puddy and Faith our best.  Hauoli Makahiki Hou. Janet

    P.S.  Why do we put non-working pens back in the jar?  If one of your akamai readers gives you the answer, please do let me know.  ((Hugs))

  16. Brilliant post Amber. I'm not sure if you are the same, but all the pens in my home that don't work are by the telephone; so that urgent message is never taken down correctly or even taken down ;-)
    Love this analogy (it was meant to be an analogy wasn't it?). I will certainly be joining you on your adventure which will also include "toxic friends". 

  17. What a superb metaphor for giving up all the things we keep doing that make no sense and don't work for us. Those are wise words, Amber - ones I'm taking to heart in 2012. I just can't keep doing what I'm doing. Now, first to the pen jar, then on to the rest of my life!

  18. Hi Janet! Thank you for the wonderful comment.

    Normally, I don't throw things away. I always donate. But, unfortunately, there's not a retirement home for dried up pens. I do, however, always keep a box that I add things to and when it's full I donate it. I can actually totally understand how that woman could find ten things a day with a whole family. We have way too much "stuff" in our lives.

    Happiest new year wishes to you, Janet. It was a pleasure meeting you in 2011. Thanks for being such an asset to the blogosphere!

  19. Oh, I know. I always grab the dried up pen when I'm in a hurry to jot down a number. I say "no more!" 2012 will be different!

    And, yes, pens is a starting point. Once we can comfortably discard one thing in our lives that doesn't work, we can move on to others. And, yes, toxic friends is high up on the list. Second only to pens. Life's too short to surround yourself with people who diminish your quality of life.

    Thanks for the comment, Vanessa! Always lovely to see you ;-)

  20. Go, Jean, go! What's that saying? Ok, I just Googled it:

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

    Go get 'em, Jean!


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