At the end of 2014 there are millions of people making resolutions to improve their life in the 2015. They are resolving to lose weight, stop smoking, spend more time with their family, save money, or exercise more. All of these are laudable endeavors. You, however, have dreams of organizing your life, realizing that doing so will free up your time and energy to tackle those other issues.
If you want to organize your life and environment in the New Year, but aren’t sure how, here are just a few ideas of resolutions you can make:
- Organize your home
- Set up your office
- Organize your finances
- Manage your time
Home & Office Organization
Resolutions related to organizing your home or office are going to similar in content and execution. Generally there are three steps involved: de-clutter, organize, and develop new systems.
At home you will likely want to divide this resolution over time, rather than attempting to do it all at once. For example, you may choose to assign each room of your home a different month. So in January, you spend the first week of the year de-cluttering your kitchen. The second week is for setting up an organizational system. The third for developing new systems for shopping and cleaning, and the fourth for evaluating and adjusting those systems. Then in February you move on to the family room, laundry room, etc.
Establishing new systems is going to be the key to achieving an organized home or office. If you don’t know exactly how to handle new purchases, mail, and things your kids bring home, you will just find yourself having to de-clutter and reorganize again and again. At work you need definite systems for filing, dealing with email and interruptions, and handling new projects or you will soon be under water again.
Financial Organization & Time Management
While money and time may seem intangible, you can approach these resolutions as you would your physical environments, with a few slight adjustments. Start by assessing your current situation instead of de-cluttering. Next organize your files and accounts (money) or calendar and commitments (time). Then develop systems for dealing with the various aspects of each (paying off debt or dealing with invitations to events). Lastly, evaluate and make adjustments to those systems.
As with home organization, if you have multiple financial goals you may want to divide them up by month. Maybe January is for budgeting with February for creating a debt payment plan and later months designated for savings, investment, retirement planning, etc.
There are many websites, books, and blogs that can teach you how to get your finances in order or manage your time. Check with experts to find budgeting software, calendar apps, and other tools that can help you with these types of resolutions.
An Organized Approach
Whatever your resolution, having an organized approach is the key to success. If you just state “I will spend more time with my family,” you are less likely to meet that resolution than if you have a system or plan in place. Identify specific practices that will support your resolution and identify milestones along the way. Instead of “I will organize my house this year,” write out a plan that indicates what tasks you plan to achieve by which dates and what practices and systems you will implement to make that happen.
In addition to writing it out, make sure that you are accountable to someone who can be your support system. Choose a resolution buddy from amongst your friends or seek out support groups online who are working on the same goals.
Be sure to track your progress against that plan throughout the year. If you fall short, that’s okay. Just adjust your plan and move forward. Most importantly, be sure to celebrate when you do meet milestones. That positive reinforcement will help you stay on track to the next step of the process.