It wasn\’t until New Year\’s Eve that I realized the importance of this particular holiday: not only was midnight ushering in a New Year but a new decade as well. This is an opportunity to change your life for the better. Don\’t allow yourself, however, to get swept up into media hype. In other words, you don\’t have to revamp your entire life all at once. That endeavor is a sure fire invitation to fail! Now that I have the first three books out in the ‘One Year to…\’ series covering an Organized Life, Work Life and Finances, I thought I\’d share three tips to jumpstart the process in each of these areas. Let\’s get the 2010 ball rolling…

One Year to an Organized Life

  • The healthier you are the happier you will be and the easier it will be to focus your attention. As a proud cancer survivor of seven plus years, I know first hand how terrifying it is to lose your strength and vitality. This year decide to eat better, add an exercise routine and do something to relieve stress. You don\’t have to become a vegan, train for a marathon or live on a mountaintop with the Dalai Lama! Start small: cut back on sodas. Drink more water. Walk around the block every day or take the stairs at work. And meditate for a mere five minutes. You\’ll find more details in the book. (Each one also has a detailed Resource section.)
  • Establish good habits. You don\’t have to ‘rock the house!\’ You could, however, make your bed every day; wash the dishes when they are dirty rather than letting them pile up and, of course, my all time favorite, put your keys in the same spot the minute you enter your home. If you already do these things, bravo! You\’ll find new habits in every month of Organized Life.
  • Start a journal. Everything you do that bothers, irks or disappoints you has a starting point in the past. When you uncover that seed, you can quite literally plant something new in its place. We live in a cause & effect Universe. This means we always have the power to change. It requires recognition and dedication. But that\’s exactly what you have for the old situation! You are just shifting your focus.

One Year to an Organized Work Life

  • Are you happy in your job? Are you doing what you love? If the answers are no, don‘t quit tomorrow! Take some time to journal about what would make you happy and fulfilled. Once you identify your goal, you can start to research the steps to make it a reality. If you need a degree, which university or college would you go to? How much does it cost? Do you qualify for a scholarship? Every goal starts with a dream. But it becomes a reality with hard work and planning.
  • Whatever your work goals or assignments, they will be easier to achieve if you have a working file system. It takes time to create one but these hours will yield untold benefits as the years unfold. You will save more time than you expend now by not having to search for papers. You will feel powerful and in charge. There\’s no downside to this initial time commitment. I have detailed instruction in One Year to an Organized Work Life including what supplies you need.
  • Don\’t get lost on social media sites. You are in charge of the time you spend at each. Set a timer if you have to and don\’t go overboard. If you find you are addicted, ask yourself what these sites enable you to avoid. I would bet there is something in your world that frightens you and that Facebook and Twitter take your mind off your fear. Enjoy your social time but keep your eye on the things that will make you truly successful in life.

One Year to an Organized Financial Life

  • We all shun the ‘F\’ word, don\’t we? Well, I am afraid I have to use the ‘B\’ word. Yes, it\’s equally scary…\’budget!\’ If you want to be financially secure, you must understand what you have coming in and the amounts you spend…and on what! We have detailed instruction in the book to help you. (I wrote this book with financial planner Russell Wild). I think you will find it\’s the small expenditures that are throwing you for a loop. If you indulge in multiple designer coffee drinks a day, you can start saving just by buying a good quality thermos, and a pound of great coffee. What is the little expense that drains your paycheck?
  • Capital One has a great slogan: ‘What\’s in your wallet?\’ I\’m going to tweak it and ask: ‘What\’s on your credit report?\’ Your credit score determines so much including the rate you pay on loans and whether or not you qualify. You can\’t achieve the American dream without a good score. You\’re entitled to a free report from all three credit bureaus each year. Spread your requests out so you can monitor any changes that occur. You will have to pay a few dollars to see your actual FICO score. We have an entire chapter on this critical topic.
  • Do you treat money with respect? If you have change rattling around the bottom of your purse, paper money stashed in your pockets like trash and receipts free floating everywhere, the answer is ‘no.\’ You would be surprised how much better you will feel when you have an adequate wallet and a system for saving receipts. Respect works in all relationships even the one with your money.
New York City native Regina Leeds has brought order to home and work environments across the United States since 1988 when she started her company, Get Organized! by REGINA. Currently based in Los Angeles, her clientele run the gamut from movie stars to business people and housewives. Regina regularly travels throughout the United States to assist her clients. Regina is the author of two books: The Zen of Organizing; Creating Order and Peace in Your Home, Career and Life and Creating a Place Without Losing Your Space: a Couples Guide to Blending Homes, Lives and Clutter.