We're exactly one week away from the start of a brand new year--another perfect opportunity to reduce the clutter, simplify, better manage your time and reach your goals.
- Don't set too many resolutions. So many resolutions are started at the beginning of each year, and so many of those are broken before the noisemakers are stored away. Why not make a list of three resolutions that you want to work on this year and focus on those?
- Keep your goals realistic. When you set your resolutions, don't set them way out of your reach. For instance, if you want to take off a few pounds this year, rather than promising yourself you'll lose 20, instead focus on losing 1 or 2 in January. Then, reset your goals for February, March and so on.
- Catch up. Spend this week getting rid of things you no longer need--donate them if that makes you feel better about it. Finish your laundry pile and clean any dirty dishes. Weed out old toys, old appliances, old cosmetics or anything else you no longer use. If you have way more than you can handle, consider hiring a professional organizer and/or a cleaning service. Either would be a good investment to help you start the new year fresh.
- Promise you'll be nice. That is, nice to yourself. This means that amongst all the chores, work and projects you have to do, always add fun things that you enjoy doing when you're writing up your schedule. Why not pull out your new year calendar and fill in at least two fun activities, ranging from working on your hobby at home to going out on the town.
- Don't put that down. When you're done using something, put it back in its respective home. I promise that if you do this in the upcoming year, you'll never end up with piles of clutter all over your home. (By the way, if an item doesn't have a home, do yourself a big favor and designate one now.)
- Team up. Get together with a spouse or a friend--either in person, on the phone or through email--and tell each other your goals. You can then both motivate each other to keep those goals, or inspire one another to keep going if one of you falls back on those goals a bit. You're more likely to reach your goals if you tell people about them, and especially if you are cheered on.
- Get rid of 7 things each day. Get rid of paper you no longer need, email you're done reading, plastic containers that have been gathering dust, and basically anything else that isn't of any use to you. If you get rid of 7 things each day for the entire year, you will have lightened your load by 2,555 items!