Saturday, January 12, 2008

My New Year's Resolution(s)

I haven't made a New Year's resolution in...many years, can't actually remember the last time I actively made a resolution.

But I'm turning 30 this year, so it seemed a good time to start making resolutions again, especially since there are habits that I really do want to make and break.

Some of you may know (but most probably don't) that I entertained the idea of starting my own professional organization business. I paid for two years of website hosting, I bought a few books on getting organized and starting your own business, I took a NAPO introductory telephone course on professional organizing. And then I got another stage management job, and the whole thing went down the tubes. I got busy, I started to doubt my abilities to run my own business, I looked around at my life and how not organized my personal life is, and my two biggest cheerleaders left town. That's around $200 that I'll never get back, but the nice thing about starting an organizing business is it takes very little investment money to start and there's not much overhead.

My resolution for this year is much more attainable than trying to start the business up again. My resolution is simply to get myself more organized. Once I get my personal life manageable, then in the future if I want to start a business I'll be in a much better place. I'll have practiced the methods I would be teaching my clients and feel much more confident in my abilities and authority and a consultant. Also, in looking into professional organizing, I started to ask myself questions about my own personal goals, many of them financial: such as wanting to be able to travel and wanting to own a home someday. These kinds of goals require financial organization and planning. So without further ado, my goals for 2008.

1) Organize my space. I want to develop a better system for putting things in their proper place, instead of having my stuff spread all over the office and the apartment. I will need to enlist the help of my partner on this one, but so far I think he's on board with me. I have a fairly decent filing system already, I just need to create a couple more categories to really incorporate all my needs for paper organization, and I need to make sure I use it correctly.

2) Organize my time. Plan out my day at least minimally each day so that I have time to do the space organization, to work on paperwork for work if necessary, exercise and etc. I need to develop better habits so that I give myself only so much time to play around on the computer and then move on to the next task of the day. As I'm about to go into rehearsals at Steppenwolf, I may even try meal planning for the week ahead so I can spend less time worrying about what I'm going to eat.

3) Organize my money. I made up a budget at the beginning of this year, and I want to start tracking my spending habits and the end of each month to make sure I'm sticking to the budget. I also want to continue being good (and hopefully get even better) at keeping and filing receipts related to tax-deductible expenses.

I realize that these goals are at best a bit vague right now. How will I know if I've achieved these goals? What is my measurement of success?

Well, every book I've read about getting organized stresses that the point of being organized is so that one can achieve one's goals in life. So the first thing I need to do is figure out my life goals and write them down somewhere to remind myself. These goals will include short term goals as well as long term beyond 2008 goals. Once I have my goals it's a matter of making a plan to get there, combining time and financial management. For 2008 I may take a page out of arduous' book and set monthly goals for myself. Tonight my plan is to sketch out a schedule for the week, and at the end of week I'll see how well I did.

1 comment:

arduous said...

I have to say that the monthly "resolutions" are the best things that have happened to me. I'm actually able to complete them, I think because I know I can give them up when the month ends. But often times I don't give it up when the month ends, because once you get used to a new habit, you don't give it up.

I think these are great goals. A suggestion- you might want to start using Quicken or Microsoft Money (if you don't already) and start setting up separate savings accounts for things like travel etc. (Or one savings account, but know how much money is allocated for what purpose.) Do automatic deductions. Maybe $25 per month into each category? Retirement, travel, moving fund etc? I think ING which has a pretty high interest rate also has no minimum balance.

Also, when you're organizing, Ebay and Amazon Marketplace are your friends. I made about $150 selling some old textbooks on Amazon.