I was talking with our daughter Leah this morning about setting goals for 2013 and she said, “New Year’s resolutions don’t usually work.” Some people, like Steve Errey at LifeHack, would say she is right. Franklin Covey did a survey which showed that 33% of people break their resolutions by the end of January, primarily because of having too many other things to do and not having enough commitment.
So why bother making resolutions, right?
But I love the idea of a fresh start, don’t you? New year, new dreams, new possibilities. Bob Kiser, life coach, motivational speaker and mediator, says resolutions and/or goals can work if they are based out of kind, honest, self-reflection.
The word resolution has the prefix re, which in the original Latin means “again.” A solution to your problem(s) – again. What didn’t work in 2012? You can find a new solution for it in 2013!
This weekend I am spending time preparing for 2013, continuing to dream big and continuing with goals that I had already made. I accomplished some things in 2012 that I set my mind to and believe I will accomplish even more in 2013 with God’s help, persistence, and (smart) work! Here’s some tips to get you ready in all areas of your life for the new year:
1. Declutter. I spent time last night cleaning off my desk. Chaos on the outside makes me feel chaotic inside. I typed up 19 pages in a Word document from all the notes on my desk from training telecalls and webinars I attended in 2012. Now instead of having piles of paper all over my desk, the notes are contained within one document in a file folder (“Business – Misc. Notes”) on my laptop. I threw the papers away. This is one way to tame your paper tiger.
Today I also cleaned out and organized my closet and drawers. As you’re organizing, evaluate everything. Determine its practicality and usefulness. More importantly, do you even like it? If not, why do you own and keep it? People often have way too much stuff. If you are not careful, you will wind up on Hoarders.
I tend to be the other extreme, throwing out everything, including -when we were first married- Ray’s Tony Lama , ostrich-skin western boots that I thought were just a pair of dirty, old, tore up cowboy boots, but were valued at about $800 (Ray said the heels just need re-soling).
Evaluate if you actually want or need the item. Did you ever wear that shirt this year? If not, toss it into one of three piles: give away/sell, throw away, or store. Summer tank tops and shorts can be stored in plastic bins that you can find at the dollar store or Walmart, or relegated to one of your bottom dresser drawers. Photos and scrapbooking materials can be organized and stored in the plastic bins, too.
Today I pulled out a plastic bin in my closet of some of our children’s books and other memorabilia and put it into our utility room to give me more breathing room in my closet. What feels crowded in your home? Make room for the new in 2013!
You can also declutter your digital photos. Create new folders in your “Pictures” section on your laptop and/or upload them to Facebook or an online storage site like Google Drive or on Photo Bucket . Keep only the high quality pics.
The end of the year is a good time to organize and/or delete old files on your laptop or computer – yes, all those telecall replays you’ve been meaning to listen to and PLR articles you didn’t use!
I wasn’t planning to get a fresh start this way, but after I came back from Canada, my laptop tore up. It would’ve cost more to repair it than to buy a brand new one, so for Christmas Ray’s gift to me was a new Toshiba laptop.
This actually helped me to get rid of a LOT of files that I didn’t need anymore. I now have a “clean slate” and much more room on my laptop!
Today I also sorted through bills: current utility bills and debt. This is probably one of my least fun activities in life. Do you dread looking at bills as much as I do?
But to my delight today, when I opened one “bill,” there was a $10 check inside from an organization (yes, it was legit!). Ten dollars doesn’t sound like much, but it was money so I was happy about that – and so glad I opened it instead of just tossing it!
Go through all the cabinets, closets, drawers, nooks and crannies in your house. Be ruthless. Throw all that crap away! (unless it’s Tony Lama ostrich skin boots!)
If you didn’t use it all year in 2012, why would you need it in 2013? If you can’t bare throwing stuff out like my husband (who almost classifies as a hoarder), then give it to someone, Good Will, or a thrift store. Or have a garage sale and make money from it. But don’t keep it another whole year!
2. Clean. Tomorrow my goal is to clean the house: dust, sweep, mop, do bathrooms. Why not start out the new year with a nice, clean house? A messy house is a major cause of stress that can potentially damage your health even more than losing your job.
Force Get your kids to pitch in and help. You are not a maid. This is growing them into responsible adults and helping them to overcome laziness. My brothers, sister, and I used to hate when daddy would wake us up early on Saturday mornings and make us vacuum or wash the wrap-around front porch of the house, but now I appreciate it because it taught me a strong work ethic. I’m not sure our kids appreciate it yet, but one day hopefully they will!
Maybe you work full-time outside the home and don’t have time to really clean your house for the new year. Or maybe you are a new mom nursing her baby in the middle of the night and you don’t have the energy. Hire someone to help you!
Get your home spic and span clean for 2013. You will feel better and so will your family. If finances are an issue, you might be able to barter with someone or with friends: you’ll trade child care while your friend goes out for a date night with her hubby if she’ll come over and clean your house for a few hours.
3. Business. Take some time to pray to God about your business. God is the CEO of my business at www.BethJones.net. I always pray before the beginning of a new year for God to give me wisdom and direction for the coming year. I don’t want to do this without Him and without His favor and blessing!
Look at what worked and what didn’t work in 2012. Are you in over your head and overwhelmed? Maybe you’re trying to do too much. Maybe there are some things you need to delegate-or get rid of completely because it is not what God has called and anointed you to do!
I am a STRONG proponent of outsourcing. This weekend I just took a big leap of faith and hired my first VA – marketing assistant and consultant. If you feel you can’t afford to hire someone because you’re not bringing in a lot of or a consistent income, then think about bartering with a VA or tech help —or pay what you can to get at least some tasks done during the month to free up your time.
Also, consider asking family and friends to be your prayer partners for your business. Because I have big dreams and big goals for my business for 2013 and I realize I can’t get there without God and others’ help, I asked some people recently to consider being part of my official intercessory team.
I now have six women on my intercessory prayer team for my business for 2013. God wants to bless you and your business so much that you become a blessing to others, but the enemy Satan doesn’t want this to happen and he will attack and distract you to keep that from happening.
You need to surround yourself with prayer warriors who will cover you, your family, and your business in 2013!
Another area of business is Joint Ventures. Who were you connected with in 2012? This year I had the privilege of meeting my new friends Tony Robinson, Doreen Penner, and Karen Wells! What a blessing they are to me. I also partnered with Jennifer Whiddon in a Joint Venture, selling her beautiful, hand-stamped, sterling silver necklaces at my site – this custom-designed necklace is available nowhere else!
Did your connections in 2012 bear good fruit – or cause a lot of chaos and drama in your life? Sometimes God removes people from your life because He doesn’t want you joined at the hip with them. He never wanted you to be connected with them in the first place, or it’s a new season for you (or them). Don’t let anyone try to control or dominate you, making you feel guilty for moving ahead. That comes out of their own insecurities.
Ask God to bring the people into your life who He wants you to be connected with for His glory. God has incredible new connections for you in 2013! Be open and alert to the new thing God is doing in your life. Step out and step UP!
Try new things. Find out what Pinterest is all about. Consider buying a smart phone if you don’t already have one (I use my Evo smart phone for my business almost every day and Sandi Krakowski says 2013 is the year of mobile and video, so stay alert to new trends in biz!). If you don’t have a coach, hire one! (I offer coaching services!)
Do what it takes to succeed in business in 2013! Determine that you will make money in your biz and prosper and will make an impact in this world!
4. Relationships. Look over 2012. What wasn’t working, including your relationships?
Was your marriage or your relationship with one of your children filled with strife, resentment, or marked by drama? What needs to change to improve your relationship – is it you? Are you walking in love, forgiveness, and humility – or anger, bitterness, and pride?
The Bible tells us to be at peace with all people, if possible. Sometimes it isn’t possible. Some people will choose to wallow in their own pit of unforgiveness, bitterness. They will blame others, refuse to take responsibility for their lives and problems, have a victim mentality, or be a drama king or queen. You can only do your part and leave the rest to God.
Sometimes you have to just let go and let God do His work in their hearts in His timing. Continue to pray for that person. Walk in love because love is the most powerful weapon there is. But if there’s something you need to do that can impact that difficult relationship, do it.
Ask God to help you love that person by His grace. It’s not easy to love the unloveable, but that is what God does with you and me! 🙂
At other times, you may have to actually walk away from the relationship. You may have to set firm boundaries or, in extreme circumstances, cut off the relationship, such as in cases of abuse, abandonment, or other toxic situations.
If you were created to be an eagle, you are meant to soar. A toxic relationship can hinder or stop you from flying. Work on yourself inside first; then the work on the relationship will be easier.
5. Finances. All Americans are concerned over the economy and finances are tight for many people. The global price of food has risen by 37 percent. Gas and other items are higher priced as well.
If 2012 was a financial struggle for you or you didn’t achieve your financial goals yet, one way to begin preparing for 2013 is to begin a savings account. Even if you can only put $100 (or$10!) a month into the account, then that can still help you reach three to six months of expenses saved up, which works great as a “Murphy Repellant” according to financial guru Dave Ramsey. You also want to save so you can fulfill your dreams; for me, that would be traveling all over the world!
Another tip is cutting costs. In 2012, I evaluated my business expenses and decided to go from the popular and well-known “Cadillac” newsletter/autoresponder system to one that was free, which does the very same job – delivering my bi-monthly ezine to my list of subscribers at www.BethJones.net. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it saves me $240 a year.
There are some areas where you don’t need to cut costs. You might even need to invest MORE money, such as with coaching, training classes, or more education. Remember you are worth it! You need to invest for there to be a payoff! Identify wise investing vs. foolish and extravagant spending.
Look at where you’ve been spending money in business and in personal finances. Create a 2013 budget based on your family’s desires and needs, being sure to include some “blow money” -or else, as Dave Ramsey says, you will blow your budget! Make it a workable budget. But find places where you can cut costs and begin to work toward wealth.
God wants to bless and prosper His people – not so they can buy more toys, but to advance the gospel and His kingdom. (I share more about this in my upcoming ebook for women entrepreneurs, so stay tuned!)
Just as you organize and declutter your house, you can do the same thing with your finances. Find a system that works for you to manage your finances and to keep on top of them every single day. One system is managing your finances online through your bank and your utility companies.
I pay some of our bills online; paperless personal finances also helps you to tame the paper tiger and is faster and more efficient. Paperless finances will help you to get rid of clutter, relieving some of your stress.
6. Good health/Fitness. This is probably the area where most people make new year’s resolutions. “Lose weight.” “Lose 20 pounds.” (or 50) We get sick of making the resolutions – and then failing at them, don’t we? Probably a better alternative is to think in terms of health/fitness.
When you think of the word “diet,” it immediately makes you feel resistant. We don’t like being told NO about anything. No, you can’t have that coke, ice cream, fast food, delicious cheesecake dessert.
But when you focus on personal health and fitness instead of “dieting” or “trying to lose weight/inches,” it takes the pressure off. One tip I received last year from family health coach Bess Blanco is simply drinking more water.
Water helps you to lose weight, makes your skin look younger, gives you more energy, makes you more alert at work, helps you to fight against flu and other ailments, and has other benefits.
I also learned to start cooking simple, healthier meals for my family. I don’t like to cook, but Bess gave me recipes that didn’t have me in the kitchen for hours, which were also healthier alternatives for my family and me than Sonic or other fast food places. One of my favorites is a Mexican enchilada recipe.
You can begin to add salads, brown rice, and fresh veggies and fruit to your grocery list and add 15 to 20 minutes of aerobic activity, three times a week, to help you and your family with fitness and good health for 2013.
7. Personal Growth and Development. This includes becoming closer to God each day, using your spiritual gifts, being part of a community of believers in Christ, overcoming your sins and weaknesses, strengthening your character by making choices of integrity, growing in knowledge, continuing your education and training (leadership, business, marketing, social media, etc.).
Did you grow and improve in 2012 – or stagnate? In my 2012 signature Unveiled: G.I.F.T.S. Process coaching group, I shared in the “T: Train and Teach Others” module that I believe we should be life-long learners.
I love learning new things, love reading books, love attending telecalls and webinars, love gleaning from others. I always have a stack of books on the nightstand beside our bed to read, and am continually signing up for new training calls and webinars. What about you?
What area of your life needs improvement? Ask God and others to help you identify that area. Did you grow closer to God in 2012? If not, what is interfering with it- working too hard, fatigue, spending too much time on Facebook or Pinterest? Or is it your weight or a shopping addiction?
We usually know what we need to work on! Dedicate time in 2013 to work on that weak area, but also to strengthen the areas we are strong, such as leadership, speaking, coaching, writing, parenting, homeschooling, etc.
These are a few ways we can prepare for the new year 2013. I believe it’s going to be a GREAT, exciting, prosperous, fruitful year.
Spend some time today and tomorrow preparing as best as you can – then watch God at work in and with you for the adventure!