Six ways to kick off your new year

We’ve all experienced the new year downer. You haven’t planned your budget so you enter the first month with empty pockets. You’re running around like a headless chicken trying to get the kids enrolled in school, and your exercise routine and meal plan is a bust.

When holiday season kicks in, so should planning for the new year. It’s easy to get caught up in buying gifts. So, in order to prevent falling into the new year grind and rut, here’s how you can organise your life before the party starts.

  1. Keep a paper trail
    Do you constantly fight your way through papers when you’re looking for an account that needs to be paid? Stop being a paper hoarder and start a filing system, now. Scan in all your important documents and papers and keep track of them in a cloud, or online storage facility. Then, make extra copies and file them away – hard copy-style. Colour code the different files and types of documents throw away documents that aren’t needed and file anything important immediately.
  2. Plan ahead
    We often think that New Year’s resolutions are enough to kick-start the year, but these lose their effect without proper planning. Go old-school and keep a diary or journal. If you’re tech-savvy, create calendar alerts on your phone. Create to-do lists and prioritise the important things – NOW. Getting the admin-heavy tasks out of the way now (like buying school uniforms, for instance) will set you on a good path to start the year.
  3. Watch your pockets
    The festive season has the ability to pull the wool over your eyes and make you spend, spend, spend! The solution to your money problem is simple: budget. Make a list of all your current and upcoming expenses and draw up a budget for each item. Make use of budgeting apps too, if needed. A great rule of thumb is always: cash is king. If you don’t have the cash, you don’t need the item.
  4. Organise your contacts
    Your contacts aren’t just numbers in your phone; look at them as opportunities to network and build relationships. Maintaining a good contact list will boost your productivity when January rolls around, so save contacts to your phone or online with an app, and record any information about each contact that might be important for future opportunities.
  5. Less is more
    Don’t make the mistake of rushing through your work as the year speeds by. Choose a few important tasks that you haven’t had time to do, and focus on them wholly and with intent. Use the end-of-year pause to do things you need to, but haven’t had time to get around to. For example, brainstorm ideas to improve your business, plan properly if you want to do renovations on your home in the new year, or fill out the forms for that short course you planned on taking during the year.
  6. Stay on course
    The new year is an opportunity to start over, and achieve more. Work smart to stay motivated.

    • Stay positive because positivity keeps you motivated. Appreciate and celebrate your small AND big achievements.
    • Make small achievable goals to motivate you to reach bigger ones.
    • Don’t beat yourself up about the mistakes that you’ve made, but instead use them as learning curves to do better.
    • Find out what interrupts your motivation and remove it. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and you know you tend to eat mindlessly when you eat while watching TV, rather eat somewhere else.
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