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.

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.

8 Tips to Get Organized for the Holidays

8 Tips to Get Organized for the Holidays

The holidays are a fun time of year, but they can also create stress if you allow them to clutter your home and schedule. You may be overwhelmed by the combined demands of things like cards, shopping, gift-wrapping, decorating, cooking and travel. Fortunately, these tips can help you get organized and enjoy the season:

1. Set Priorities

Don’t try to do everything; decide what really matters and focus on it. Is it really important to decorate the outside of your house or travel long distances for a party? The answers are different for each person. Some priorities to consider:

  • Mailing paper cards
  • Giving thoughtful gifts
  • Preparing a holiday feast
  • Donating to charity
Set your priorities

2. Send Cards Soon

If you choose to mail paper holiday cards, be sure to buy, write, address and send them early. Otherwise, they might arrive late or create stress as you hurry at the last minute. It’s wise to mail them by December 17 (earlier if you send any overseas).

Make Christmas Cards

3. Be Flexible

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your traditions. Maybe it’s time for some new music, movies or decor. Around one out of four people decorate for the holidays before late November, according to Martha Stewart’s website. Do what works for you and your family, not what your grandparents or “most people” do.

4. Simplify Gifting

Take the time to plan ahead before you shop. Write lists, set a budget and resist temptations to overspend. It can be stressful to find one ideal gift for each person. Consider giving a few small presents instead. This way, it isn’t a huge problem if the recipient doesn’t like one item.

5. Wrap Efficiently

After buying gifts, wrapping paper and clear tape, set aside a special wrapping area in your home. It should provide plenty of space and be free of unrelated clutter. You’ll need scissors, labels and a pen or marker. Some pleasant holiday music might make the task more enjoyable.

Simple way of wrapping gifts

6. Remember to Relax

Don’t let this time of year become too hectic. Regardless of how many things you still need to do, always devote some time to relaxation each day. You could watch an old film, read a novel, do yoga or draw with colored pencils.

7. Stay Healthy

It’s easy to forget normal healthy habits during the holiday season. Many people also eat and drink more than usual. You’ll feel better if you remember to exercise, prepare nutritious meals and sleep at least seven hours. Drinking enough water can also make a big difference.

Exercise and Eat Healthy foods

8. Forgo Perfection

While perfection may seem common in magazines and TV shows, few people really have the time and money needed to achieve it. No reasonable person truly cares if your cards, gift-wrapping or decorations are flawless. A decent effort to make things presentable is quite sufficient.

Finally, remember to concentrate on the true meaning of this special time of year. The holidays weren’t created with retail “doorbusters” in mind. Reflect on what really matters in life, and take some time to brighten the lives of people around you.

How to structure your day to improve your health

How to structure your day to improve your health

Living in chaos (or just being messy and disorganized) can take a toll on your mental and physical health. While some individuals prefer to keep things loose, in the long run, they may be at risk for running themselves ragged without some structure in place.

Consider how much time you spend looking for lost things such as car keys or your phone, delaying your journey. 

Or if you want to run an errand to shop for items in two stores, but forget to make a stop along the way at a third business, it means you have to go out again. This wastes time, fuel, and attention. And having to make up a trip could mean taking time out of another important task that day.

Here is information about why and how to better structure your day and boost your health.

1. Give yourself a break from time to time

If you don’t step away from your demanding tasks, whether at work, school, or home, you could wind up exhausted, leaving you more vulnerable to getting sick. Take regular breaks, turning away from your tools, computer, or customers so you can rest and recharge, every day.

Give yourself a break

2. Reduce your working hours, if possible

While you may not have much flexibility at your job today, see if you can minimize your hours by arranging for some flex time or to work from home. But if your job can’t accommodate your need to work less, for the sake of your health, it might be time to start looking for another job or even change your career path.

3. Try some gentle movement

Instead of sitting in the break room or watching short videos on your phone while eating lunch, consider going for a nice walk for half of your mealtime break. You’ll look forward to getting some fresh air. Punctuating your workday with exercise as well as nutritious meals will give you some structure.

4. Focus on eating nutritious foods

Junk food from vending machines, fast food, and dodgy food trucks may give you a quick hit of calories, but it’s not really a substitute for proper, healthy meals. You can pack your own vegetables and fruits from home for snacks, and find healthier restaurants near your workplace.

Focus on eating nutritious foods

5. Do something restorative, just for you

Maybe a trip to a day spa with a friend, or attending a cultural event like a great movie, play, or concert is what you need to unwind and have some fun. Or, look for a fun adult education class in your area. Perhaps you would like to learn about meditation, yoga, or how to do a certain type of exercise. These are examples of restorative activities that can serve as springboards for your imagination.

6. For Better Health, People Add Structure to Make the Most Out of Each Day

It’s not always so easy to carve time out of your busy schedule to take care of yourself too. Making a habit to structure your daily tasks will give you more freedom, so you can be productive as well as get the rest you deserve and need.

Turn Household Chores Into Easy Workouts

Turn Household Chores Into Easy Workouts

When it comes to getting enough exercise, you might not feel like you have enough time in the day to work out. But that’s really not the case. You can turn a lot of your everyday activities into forms of exercise, so you can keep moving, burn calories, get stronger, and still get all your household tasks completed. Not sure how to get started? There are lots of routines you can create for yourself, depending on what you typically do around the house each day. Here are a few ideas to get your household chore workout routine started.

1. Cleaning Can be Great Exercise

As you clean your home, you can also be getting exercise. Just the act of cleaning is good enough to burn some calories, and it’s far better than sitting when it comes to health and activity levels. But if you want to do more than just move around a little, you can also find ways to make your cleaning more of a workout. There are two ways to do that. One is through more effort in the actual cleaning, and the other is through incorporating actual exercises into your cleaning routine. Both can be very valuable.

Person wearing pants and white shoes standing behind brown broom

2. Do Chores and Workouts at the Same Time

Adding exercises to chores isn’t always difficult, and there are a lot of creative ways to do it. For example, you can do squats while you’re folding laundry, so you’re not taking any extra time out of your day for one task or the other. You can also dance while dusting, vacuum for at least 20 minutes at a time without stopping, and clean windows with large, consistent arm circles to feel the burn. Doing things like planks and pushups while cooking is another great way to get more of a workout.

A person in workout pants tidying up the lace of her rubber shoes.

3. Plan Your Household Cleaning Around Exercise

You can also plan your household cleaning and other chores around getting exercise. In other words, if you know you’ll be going for a walk, consider what you can walk to and what you can bring back. If the store is close by, for example, walking to get the groceries you need, and then exercising while you’re meal prepping or cooking, is a great way to incorporate both of these important tasks into your day. You can also use putting away canned goods as a way to lift weights, for example. Creativity is key.

A woman sitting on a bed while doing yoga

4. Make Sure to Take Some Downtime

Even though it’s great to exercise while doing household chores, don’t forget to take some time off. If you’ve done squats with the laundry one day, you may want to give your legs a rest the next day. How much downtime you need depends on how intense your workout is and how often you’re doing it. Some people do household chores each day, so their house stays clean. If you’re doing that, consider a cleaning routine where you can work your legs on certain days, arms on other days, etc. That can be a great way to have a clean house, while staying healthy and active, too.

How to Organize Medical Records

How to Organize Medical Records

When it comes to organizing medical records, there are several good reasons to do so. There are also a few different ways to do it, and it’s important to choose the way that’s going to work best for a particular person and their records. What’s right for one person might not be right for another one, and that’s perfectly okay. Here are some of the main things to consider when organizing medical records.

Track medical history and progress for treatment and medical options

1. Track Medical History or Get a Second Opinion

One of the biggest reasons to organize medical records is to track medical history and progress. That can help with treatment and medication options, changes that need to be made, or simply to verify what’s been tried in the past. Additionally, when there’s the need for a second opinion it’s easier to get a high-quality analysis when the records are all there to be easily seen and examined.

2. The Details of Patient History  

A patient’s medical history should be detailed, and there are a lot of specifics found in these records. That can include test results, progress reports, medication dosages and changes, clinical findings, and family health history. Insurance forms and printouts from the pharmacy can also be stored with medical records in order to have everything in one place.

Storing medical records in a file folder

3. Record-Keeping Box or File Folder?

There are a couple of different ways to store medical records, and a record-keeping box is a common option. So is a file folder. Which one is chosen depends on personal preference and also on the number of records that have to be stored. For a large number of records, a file folder may not be big enough and a box may be a better choice.

4. Make Sure It’s Up-To-Date 

One of the most important things about keeping medical records organized is making sure that — however they’re stored — they’re up-to-date. If the records are outdated, they don’t really give the information needed for anyone to get the information they need from them. That can mean that treatments aren’t chosen properly or diagnoses get overlooked.

Keep medical records accessible, organized and up-to-date

5. Records Should Be Ready and Accessible  

Another important thing to note about organizing medical records is that the records need to be able to be accessed quickly and easily. If all the records are there but they can’t be reached, there’s really no value in them. Instead, being able to get to them fast matters. Then if there’s an emergency the records are available and can benefit the patient.

6. Take Full Advantage of Technology

A lot of care providers are starting to offer online record-keeping options for their patients. For any records that can be stored that way, taking advantage of that opportunity is a good idea. There are apps and programs where these records can be quickly and efficiently accessed. But make sure that log-ins and passwords are noted somewhere safe that’s easy for the right people to find.

Take advantage of technology as care providers are starting to offer online options

By making a few changes to the way medical records are stored and organized, it’s possible to be safer and have a better chance at a good health outcome when a medical record review can make the difference.