New Year – A Fresh New Start!

New Year A Fresh New Start

The beginning of a new year offers a great opportunity to try new things and change for the better. Perhaps you’d like to become more organized, improve your health or have a beneficial impact on the world. This advice can help you make the most of these positive intentions:

1. Goals

Take the time to develop specific goals. Set a realistic deadline, find ways to measure your progress and write everything down. Choose something that really matters to you and would enhance your life. One person might benefit from losing weight while another individual achieves greater happiness by meeting new friends.

2. Variety

Every three or four weeks, try something genuinely new. You could play tennis, travel by train or eat at a Japanese restaurant. Maybe there’s a park you’ve never visited. Write down a list of ideas. These experiences will help you enjoy life and make a fresh new start.

Try something genuinely new

3. Generosity

Find ways to help other people. You don’t need a lot of time or money to accomplish this. Donate useful things, offer to assist strangers and give compliments. You could clear the snow from a neighbor’s driveway or steps.

4. Exercise

Good health can help you feel better about life and achieve other goals as well. Consider jogging, visiting a local fitness center or riding an exercise bike at home. If you write your time and distance in a calendar or journal, it might motivate you and make it easier to track your progress.

Do exercise

5. Gratitude

As you strive to accomplish new things and better yourself in the new year, don’t forget to be grateful for what you already have. Think about your gratitude daily and remember to speak appreciative words. Don’t make the mistake of improving your life only to take it for granted.

6. Organization

Schedules and calendars play a crucial role in bringing goals to fruition. They can help you budget your time equitably rather than spending too many hours on one or two tasks. Try to select a planner that’s portable, provides ample writing space and stays open when you put it down.

Make an effort to banish unnecessary items from your desk surface. Shred or file papers, get rid of expired coupons and throw out pens that don’t work. You’ll appreciate having some open workspace, and the burden of clutter will be lifted from your shoulders.

Office organization

7. Missions

Our “52 Organizing Missions” program could help motivate you to simplify and declutter in the new year. This affordable internet course consists of practical tasks that you can complete in 30 minutes. You may chat with fellow learners and track your progress online. Among other things, the course tells you how to streamline:

  • A house or apartment
  • Time, household chores
  • Desk and office space
  • Briefcase or purse
  • Garage and vehicle
  • Your to-do lists

“52 Organizing Missions” doesn’t just teach people to declutter places. It helps you develop the habits and mindset needed to organize your life in the long run. You can begin and complete the missions at any time of your choosing. Please visit the course page to get started.

How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

How To Stick To Your New Year's Resolution

New Year’s resolutions are a really common way to set goals. The beginning of another year seems like a great time to make a change, but the reality is that a lot of those resolutions don’t make it longer than a few weeks into the new year. Here are a few of the most important things you can do, to have the best chance of sticking to your resolutions, in January and beyond.

1. Choose a SMART Goal

Just wanting to be healthier, for example, isn’t really a goal. It’s more of a wish. Instead, choose something that’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. In other words, a SMART goal. With a goal that fits these criteria, you have something more defined that you can work for and it’s easier to see whether you’re meeting goals or not.

Setting SMART Goals

2. Start With Small Steps

Trying to get up January 1st and be someone different isn’t realistic for most people. Instead of trying to make a huge transformation right away, choose some small things you can begin to do, that will move you toward your goal. Starting smaller also helps you reduce the risk of burnout, which could cause your resolutions to falter.

3. Learn From Past Mistakes

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions before, but they haven’t been successful, it’s time to explore what’s causing them to fail. There may be some important changes you’ll need to make for this resolution, so it has a better chance of working for you. Learning from any mistakes in the past is one of the best ways to give yourself a brighter future.

4. Motivate Yourself

Willpower and discipline are both important when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but so is motivation. If you can motivate yourself to stick to your resolutions and keep moving forward, you’ll be more likely to see your dreams come true, and your goals met faster. It’s not always easy to give yourself a pep talk, but it’s an important way to keep your focus on what matters.

5. Get Support From Family and Friends

Your family and friends can be a great support system when you have a New Year’s resolution that’s important to you. They can encourage you, give you tips, and help you feel loved, just the way you are. It also gives you someone to share your accomplishments and struggles with, both of which can help you stay on track and focused as you work toward your goals.

Family Support

6. Keep in Mind That Change is a Process

Changing how you do things, whether for a New Year’s resolution or some other reason, takes time and effort. Some days will be easier than others, as well as some parts of the change you want to make. Understanding that it’s a process can keep you from getting frustrated, so you can continue to work toward your goals, even if some setbacks occur.

Don’t give up on New Year’s resolutions, even if they aren’t easy, or they take time. Permanent change can be difficult, but it’s generally always worth it.

Start Setting Personal Goals for a Happier Life this New Year

Start setting your personal goals for a happier life

As the new year approaches, it’s a great time to think about setting positive personal goals. Many people have recently shifted toward goals involving new skills, travel, family life, or paying off debt, according to People magazine. These tips can help you choose and achieve your intentions.

1. Affirmations

If you begin each day by saying or thinking positive affirmations, you may find it easier to stay enthusiastic and reach your goals. An affirmation is basically a positive statement about yourself or your life. Here are a few simple examples:

  • “This is going to be an excellent day.”
  • “I have the ability to overcome any challenge.”
  • “There are many opportunities to succeed.”

2. Journal Writing

Write about your experiences in a journal at least once every week. Make a note of enjoyable moments, progress toward goals and interesting things that happened. As time passes, you’ll appreciate being able to read about past experiences in far more detail than you’d otherwise remember.

Start journal writing

3. Avoid Complaining

Try not to complain for the next three weeks. Complaining causes you and others to feel negative. That negativity may gradually spread to every part of your life, making it harder to achieve goals or enjoy anything. If something really bothers you, try to change it instead of complaining.

4. Think Gratefully

You’ll feel better when you think about what you have rather than focusing on what you lack. Personal goals might not seem so far out-of-reach when you consider the amazing things you already benefit from. Remember the good people in your life rather than those who bother you.

Likewise, it’s important not to take things for granted. Nothing is truly guaranteed, including life itself. If you have caring friends, good health or a safe, comfortable home, don’t wait until they’re gone to appreciate them.

5. Enjoy Nature

Consider adding the enjoyment of nature to your list of goals. Even if you live in an urban area, there are probably birds, trees and perhaps a river or bay nearby. See the sunset or watch clouds pass the moon on a windy night. You may find it surprisingly uplifting after days of chaotic schedules.

Enjoy the wonders of nature

6. Offer Praise

Like nature, a compliment doesn’t cost anything. Try setting a goal to give other people genuine compliments every day. You could praise how someone performed a task or comment on a positive trait, such as kindness, generosity or fairness. The person will feel better and be encouraged to continue behaving the same way.

As you work toward your personal goals, you don’t necessarily need to set a specific deadline to accomplish them. Just remember to think about your progress at least once every week in the year to come. This will help you make any adjustments needed to stay on course.

Tips to Make your Home Look a Lot Like Christmas

Tips to Make your Home Look a Lot Like Christmas

There’s a cold crisp in the air, and you are starting to see signs of the fast-approaching Christmas holiday season all around. When shopping, you notice that businesses are decorating their establishments to help usher in a season of good tidings. 

As we get closer to gathering with loved ones to celebrate the birth of Christ, you can reinforce the festivities by sprucing up your dwelling. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you make your home look a lot like Christmas!

1. Outside Your Home 

While you will be spending much of the holidays indoors, given the weather, it’s important to decorate the exterior with Christmas in mind, as it will put you in the right mood as you arrive home each day from work, errands or school. And making your home look a lot like Christmas on the outside will help you share the joy with all your neighbors and visitors.

Christmas Lantern

Select some festive lanterns and hang them outside. You can get versions that are solar-powered, with LED lights that will last a long time.

These lanterns will, of course, supplement the strings of Christmas lights that you hang on the roof and intertwine around the trees and bushes. You might want to add to the display by installing lawn and roof decorations too, such as inflatable Santa Clause and elves figures.

Christmas elves

And remember to hang a lovely holiday wreath on the home’s front door.

Change out your ordinary welcome mat at the front door with a Christmas-themed mat, to further set the mood before people enter your dwelling.

2. Inside the House

You can never go wrong with setting up your Christmas tree earlier rather than later, no matter what the size you and your family prefer. 

In fact, you can use any type of plant – be creative if you are looking for some vegetation that goes beyond the traditional tree.

Christmas Decorations in the Living room

Make sure to festoon the tree with plenty of lights and some tinsel. Family heirlooms as well as new ornaments will help to round out the beautification of your Christmas tree.

Place candy canes as decorations, to further get into the holiday spirit.

On the table, place a winter-themed bouquet with your local plant life.

Christmas decors

In anticipation of Santa’s visit, you’ll want to hang up some stockings over the chimney, where you can then stuff them with treats such as candies, fruits and little toys.

For even more coziness in the living room, put out some luxurious red or green blankets and pillows. And remember to put holiday-themed pillowcases and sheets in the bedrooms.

3. ‘Tis the Season for You and Your Family to Have a Merry Time Together

Decorating your home now for Christmas will give you and loved ones plenty of time to spend time together and getting everything ready for the upcoming celebrations. 

We hope that these tips will help make you and your family feel merry and bright,  as what this season is about.

Christmas with family

How to Sort Your Black Friday Shopping to Get the Best Budget Deals

How to Sort your Black Friday Shopping to Get the Best Budget Deals

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, people are eagerly anticipating getting together with friends and family to share some great food and catch up with the loved ones they haven’t seen in a while. But another aspect of the holiday that excites people is the promise of some amazing Black Friday deals.

If you’re pressed for time, here is some advice to help you prepare for Black Friday shopping, so you get the best possible deals to fit your budget:

1. Set Your Budget

First, list all the necessary items you’ll be buying, based on your budget. This will let you see at a glance that you’ve arranged something for each person on your list, and you can adjust the ideas to make room for another item as needed.

piggy bank in a grocery cart

2. Source Items Depending on Brands 

If you already have a preferred brand in mind because you trust and respect its current line of products, you’re ahead of the game. It’s a good idea to look for items on your list, such as a watch, bathrobe, toy or woodworking equipment according to the manufacturers you prefer.

If you have a lot of items to buy, consider breaking them out into different lists, each for their own store. That way, you won’t forget to get something and need to rush out at the last minute to complete your shopping on Christmas eve.

3. Search Online to Get More Information

Knowledge is power, so it’s in your best interest to carve an hour or so out of your busy schedule as soon as you can, to go online and look for the most enticing offers.

You’re not just looking at various prices. Going online can help you find the layouts of stores so you will be able to quickly navigate the aisles later in person, to help you find the items on your list as efficiently as possible.

two ladies shopping on Black Friday

Remember to follow your favorite manufacturers, brands and stores on social media, because they may put out announcements about special offers close to Black Friday. So, check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the very least, to learn about some potential bargains and opportunities to buy everything on your shopping list.

4. Do Reconnaissance

If you have time, check out prices not just online, but also by going into stores. This lets you also check out the quality of the merchandise you have in mind ahead of time. If a product doesn’t meet your standards, you’ll still have time to look for an alternative item and keep your recipients happy.

5. Giving Thanks for Family, Friends and Great Deals

a family celebrating Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving has become a ritualized day of over-the-top shopping, as consumers go online and flock to brick-and-mortar establishments in search of great deals. Preparing well in advance for your Black Friday shopping excursions, whether via the Internet or in shops close to home will help you stretch your budget. This means you can buy more things for the people you care for, while adhering to your established budget.

How Can I Stop Procrastinating and Start Being Productive

How can I Stop Procrastinating and Start Being Productive?

You want to get in shape, have a clean house, finish an important project at work…but things just keep getting in the way. If this sounds familiar, procrastination could be preventing you from moving forward and getting things done. In many cases, we procrastinate because we either can’t decide what to do next or are simply getting distracted from the things that need to get done. The tips below can help hone your focus and ensure you are able to avoid some common procrastination pitfalls — and boost your productivity as well. 

1. Define Success

What do you actually want to achieve? Sometimes it can be difficult to get started if you are not even sure what you want the end result to be. Whether you want to complete a single task or a step in a more involved project, defining what your goal is and what success looks like is critical to getting started. In some cases procrastination isn’t about not wanting to do a task — it’s simply not knowing where to begin or what to do. 

a happy lady

2. Dump Distractions

Life can quickly intrude, making it difficult to stick to tasks. While some emergencies or urgent situations could disrupt what you are focusing on, keep everyday distractions to a minimum. Turn off the phone (or at least turn the ringer off), don’t check your email or socials and avoid launching any new project while you are trying to complete the one you are focusing on. You’ll be far more productive if you can focus on the task at hand and complete it. 

3. Take Baby Steps

A task can seem overwhelming if it is too large or lacks focus. “Clean the kitchen” sounds like an easy thing to do, but if you’ve just cooked a big meal or haven’t tidied up lately it can be tough to know where to begin. Break big things down into smaller steps and you’ll be more likely to meet your goal. Some smaller steps for the kitchen task above might include; 

  • Throw away all trash
  • Put away leftovers
  • Put dishes into the dishwasher
  • Clean countertops
A woman overwhelmed with tasks

Each of these steps will move you towards your overall goal — and listing out specifically what needs to be done also makes it easy to see your progress. You’ll find it easier to stick to any task, even a simple one like this, if you break it into manageable steps. 

4. Spot your Most Productive Times

Make the most of the best hours of your day, If you are a night owl, then projects that require your attention and focus may be easiest to complete later in the day, when you feel fully alert and awake. For morning people, the best time to get things done is likely right after breakfast. Your peak time of focus and attention is uniquely yours, and identifying when you are most productive allows you to best allocate your time.

A woman making crafts

Take a few days to really tune into the time of day when you seem to get the most stuff done. Chances are you’ll discover you are most productive at a specific part of the day. Use this info to make sure tasks that require your full attention and brain power are getting the attention they deserve.  

Focusing on the things you want to achieve will help you get past any procrastination and roadblocks. Once you begin to see progress, tackling tasks at the right time, with the right amount of focus will help you eliminate procrastination for good.