I am such a Christmas lover, I really am. But after all the fun, socializing, indulgence and relaxation of the holiday season (and my birthday - it really is a celebratory season for me!), I feel like the start of January is a huge, refreshing breath. I’ve always loved the idea of a new start at the beginning of the year. You don’t need to wait for a specific date to start afresh, but it feels right to me to close last year’s book with celebration and to hit the refresh button for the start of a new calendar. So, today, let’s talk about how you can get organized for the new year.
“You need to know that being organized has nothing to do with being neat and clean. It simply means being able to find what you're looking for quickly and accomplishing what you want to accomplish efficiently.” - Harry H Harrison
1. Get your finances in order
The holiday season is always a drain on your pockets so starting the year off with your finances in order can encourage you into keeping the habit up for the rest of the year and stay smart with your spending. I always like to draw up a budget at the start of the year, taking any goals or plans you have into account ahead of time.
Tips to organize your finances:
2. Set up your agenda
Whatever planning system you use, give it a refresh for the new year. I’m switching back to a traditional planner this year, after a year bullet journaling, and I can’t wait to start filling in my agenda. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about a new planner/notebook that fills me with excitement. If you’ve never been a planner in the past, consider trying out a planning system! I have some tips in this blog on how to find the planning system that’s right for you.
Top tip: When you’re setting up your system, make sure to include important dates: birthdays, anniversaries, estimated dates for doctor and dental check-ups, prescriptions, even things like insurance renewal dates!
And I don’t just mean your physical space (although I really recommend it! Here’s a 30-day challenge, if you’re up for it), I mean everything. This doesn’t mean throwing away all that you own, just what you don’t need, what takes up space but has no use, what brings you too little joy. After, hopefully, you’ll feel lighter, more excited by the things you do have.
Places to declutter:
4. Start a routine
What better time to create a new routine? Routines are great ways to remind yourself to make the most of your time, to build habits and to enjoy your time that much more. Maybe you rush through your mornings before work, well, find something fun to add into your morning routine - add a playlist, ten minutes to watch YouTube, a walk, extra time for making an extra yummy breakfast - whatever will make your morning more enjoyable for you.
I always like to write mine down on my phone for easy reference. Routines always feel a bit forced the first few times, but they soon become natural and doing things the way you really want to do them, becomes second nature.
5. Pick some new habits to start
Likewise, what better time to pick up some new habits? Make a list of habits you’d like to try, ones that would help you be more organized (ideas below) and start building them into your daily routines. As you repeat them - and I recommend, at the same time every day - you will find them slipping more easily into habit and becoming a part of your day. There’s no need to wait for the new year to do this, but winter gives us a good chance to turn inwards and spend more time on ourselves. Indeed, the new year also gives us some motivation to start new things.
Habits to Help you get Organized:
6. Set Some Goals
It’s the new year so of course, we’re talking new years resolutions. Setting goals and weaving them through your plans for the year will help you make steady progress and stick with to them. I know I tend to be one for rushing into things very quickly, so when I set goals at the beginning of the year, I can be a little overly ambitious. But planning your goal over a year-long period will help you create a steady plan so succeed and don’t burnout.
7. Perfect your workspace
Especially if you’ve joined the work from home gang (hey ?), your workspace can have a big influence on your productivity. Put some time into organizing it and making it a helpful space that helps you work in the most comfortable and productive manner. Also, make it comfortable, add reminders that inspire you, make it an enjoyable place to be, where you feel motivated to work your socks off.
8. Create a year plan
The great thing about getting organized in time for the new year is that you have a full, fresh calendar to work with. So, dream up a year plan. I know things rarely go to plan, especially over the course of an entire year, but I think creating a plan for your vision right now is a great exercise, whether it comes to fruition or not. As things change over the year, pause, reevaluate and rewrite your plan. I’ve shied away from writing plans before out of fear that it would impede me when things changed later, but I’ve come to the conclusion that editing your plan is just part of the process and starting out with a plan is still your best shot.
Hopefully, those tips will help you get organized for the new year so you can not only start the year off on the right foot but continue walking the whole year through. In the past, I’ve placed too heavy a weight on the need for organization. It’s not a need. It’s a tool to help you, and it’s always important to give yourself the best chance at succeeding, whatever you set your mind to. That being said, it is also important to forsake organization when you need to. To be led by whim and feeling, to face things unprepared and to not panic in the face of spontaneity. Be organized, but equally, have fun.
I wish you all the best 2021 - enjoy it. Visit also my YouTube, my blog, my Twitter and my Pinterest! Love, Ella-Rose xx
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