At the first of the year, many of us engage in making self-improvement promises we may - or may not - keep. We promise to diet, to be better with money, to quit smoking or drinking. We may also make promises to improve our homes. If that's the case, try getting started with the following ideas:

Get rid of Excess Weight: Even if we don't want to admit it, all of our houses have a few pounds we could shed. From the diorama you made as a fifth grader that is stored in your basement to the five plastic Christmas trees that live in your attic, chances are you have a slug of items you could definitely live without. Taking a day and sorting through all of these extraneous items is a great way to do a little spring cleaning over the winter. What's more, the next time you move they'll be less stuff to pack.

Stop Procrastinating: We all do it: we put things off till tomorrow, with tomorrow never quite getting here. Most people have chores they've been putting off lingering in the household air. Perhaps you've been meaning to clean out your gutters, or maybe you've been meaning to get hardwood floors. Maybe your house is begging for new carpet or is desperately in need of new windows. Whatever you've been putting off, make a New Year's Resolution to get it done.

Do Something Healthy: What you do with your house is a great way to dictate what you do with your life. If one of your resolutions involves health, try soliciting your house to help you. Plant a garden full of vegetables you can use to keep your house stocked with healthy food or turn your spare room into an exercise area. You might be surprised how much easier it is to be healthy when you have your house to help you.

Have Some Cosmetic Work Done: It seems kind of vain, the way we all put so much importance on looks, but if your house is starting to lose its appeal, it might be time to do something about it. New windows, a new paint job, repaving the driveway, cutting down the five foot weeds lurking in your front yard; if you don't know quite where to start with improving your home, start outside and work your way in.

Splurge: So many times New Years Resolutions are filled with what we need to do instead of what we want to do. When it comes to your house, this is often still the case. However, from time to time it's okay to splurge. Apply this way of thinking to your house. Maybe you've been dying to install marble counter tops in your bathroom or perhaps you've always wanted a Jacuzzi in your backyard. Don't only make this the year you get things you need to get done, but also make it the year you get things you want to get done.