Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Goal Setting Tips

Carolyn speaking to Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Academic studies have found that as many as 88% of people who make New Year's Resolutions will break them. While that statistic is rather discouraging, let's focus on how we can be part of the 12% who succeed in 2013. 

Here are some simple strategies to achieve your goals in 2013:

1) The Fewer the Better
Rather than setting several resolutions at once, it is better to focus on one or two obtainable goals at a time. 

2) Put it on Paper
Writing down our resolutions and viewing them daily keeps our attention on the task at hand. 

3) Break it Down
Break down your goal into doable tasks that can be scheduled on your calendar. 

Do you want 2013 to be your year for personal success? Through organization I help clients find the time to achieve their personal and professional goals. Please contact Carolyn to schedule a complementary telephone consultation and be your best in 2013. 

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Would you like to learn how to keep your family organized? Carolyn will be presenting "Organize Your Family" through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed on Friday, February 8, 2013. Register with Ann Arbor Rec and Ed.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Goal Setting for the New Year

Carolyn presenting to MOMS of Northville, Michigan.

I love the fresh start that a new year offers. Over the last 12 months I have been writing a lot about goal setting, both in general and my own personal journey.

One year ago, I printed out the first page of this goal setting template from the blog Money Saving Mom and created goals for six areas of my life. Accomplishing many of the goals on that sheet has been a great source of happiness.

Speaking of happiness, in 2012 I read and was inspired by both of Gretchen Rubin's books on happiness. In 2013 I am excited to make my own "resolutions chart" breaking down my goals into daily, weekly and monthly tasks. So far, this is proving to be a great tool to move me toward my goals. 

When it comes to New Year's Resolutions, getting organized consistently ranks among the top 10. For the last 9 years, the National Association of ProfessionalOrganizers, which I am a Golden Circle Member, has sponsored Get Organized Month.

If you have resolved to "get organized" in 2013, I would love to have a conversation to discuss what that means to you. Getting and staying organized takes a bit of work, but with proper goal setting is easier than you might think. 

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Would you like to learn how to keep your family organized? Carolyn will be presenting "Organize Your Family" through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed on Friday, February 8, 2013. Register with Ann Arbor Rec and Ed.  

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Holiday Tidy Up

Carolyn makes a holiday return at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A big part of being organized is planning ahead. I see planning ahead as a little gift to myself to make things easier in the future.

As we wrap up from the busy holiday season and look forward to the potential that a new year brings, here are a few things that you can do now to be more organized in 2013:

Holiday Tidy Up:
  1. When you are ready, pack away holiday decorations in a manner that you would like to find them when it is time to decorate again.
  2. Have you sent thank you notes for gifts received? Remember, done is better than perfect. So if you can only muster an e-mail thank you, that is better than no thank you at all. 
  3. Did you travel over the holidays? If so, empty and pack away the luggage now.
  4. If you have received gifts over the holidays, make sure each and every one of them has a home. Return (or thoughtfully re-gift) any items that were not just right and be sure that gift cards/certificates do not get lost in the shuffle.  
Here's to a happy (and organized) 2013!

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Would you like to learn 5 simple strategies to keep your New Year's Resolutions? Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year" at this year's Women's Health and Fitness Day, a free healthy lifestyle event on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Register at the Women's Health and Fitness Day website.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Break Bucket List



Remember to take time this holiday season to enjoy simple things.
This year I started a "Christmas Break 2012 Bucket List" in the notes feature of my phone. This includes things we must do (renew kid #1's passport) and things we want to do (visit area museums). 

Every year my husband and I look forward to the long break between Christmas and New Year. We have grandiose plans of how we will spend the time. And every year on January 2nd we look at each other and wonder where the time went.  

While I doubt we will accomplish everything on my list, my hope is that we can use it to prioritize our precious time with our family. My idea is to balance the "have to's" and the "want to's" by alternating our activities for each day. 

When the children go back to school in January, I can rename my list "Spring Break 2013 Bucket List" or slide the items to the list I have started for Summer 2013. 

Here's to being intentional in the way we spend our time this holiday season and every day.  

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Would you like to learn 5 simple strategies to keep your New Year's Resolutions? Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year" at this year's Women's Health and Fitness Day, a free healthy lifestyle event on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Register at the Women's Health and Fitness Day website.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Your 2nd Chance: Chinese New Year

Chinese Dragon Year 2012
10 Chinese New Year Resolutions (photo credit:  rootsbd.com)
I love fresh starts. There is something wonderful about the possibility of starting new. 

In the January edition of "Your Simply Organized Life" (subscribe for free here) I wrote a little about new year's resolutions, including a couple of my own. However, I am finding my excitement over the new year start to wane. 

Life happens and it is natural for our enthusiasm to fade. For myself, the last two weeks have been extremely busy with preparing and presenting two seminars and unfortunately, tending to a sick child. The latter never occurs at a convenient time. 

Since today is Chinese New Year, I see the notation on the calendar as a second chance to clear the clutter and start afresh on my goals for the new year. I am not demanding perfection of myself, just progress in the right direction. 

The best thing about fresh starts is that we can do this any time. Maybe the year of the dragon is your time!

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. On Friday, February 3, 2012 Carolyn will be presenting "Downsizing Your Life" with Ann Arbor Rec & Ed. There is a $25 fee for this public event. Register with Ann Arbor Rec & Ed. 

Monday, January 09, 2012

Holiday Returns

Carolyn making a holiday return at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This past Christmas, Santa brought my family a few items that were not just right. 


With all of the extra stuff that the holidays brought to our home, things were getting a little cluttered. Leaving the packaging in place, I separated the items we really did not need.  


Then I went about gathering the receipts that I could obtain and scheduled making the returns in my calendar. 


Between appointments last week, I made my returns and even found a couple of bargains, making sure I did not bring more into the home than I left with. 


Overall, the process was super easy, especially at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan where a fellow shopper agreed to snap a photo of me with REI team member, Matt (pictured above at left). 


I did not have the receipts for a couple of items, but it was clear where they were from. Both stores offered me a gift card credited with the lowest item price. In one case, the store credit was so low that I did not feel it was worth it to make the return (this item went into my re-gifting box). However, I accepted a gift card from the other store and will make a point to use up the credit for something that we need in the near future. 


In many cases gift cards or gift certificates do expire. Be sure to make a point of using up those gift cards in the next few months, before they expire or get lost in the shuffle. 


Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. On Saturday, January 14, 2012 Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year:  5 Simple Strategies to Keep Your New Year's Resolution" at the Women's Health and Fitness Day in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a free event. 

Monday, January 02, 2012

Packing Up the Holidays

Carolyn Packing Christmas Ornaments
In a previous post on accepting imperfection during the holidays, I mentioned that my husband is a get it done sort of guy. 


Normally, we leave our Christmas tree up beyond New Year's Day, but my husband decided that in 2012 it needed to be done on New Year's Day. Hence of the photo of me at left packing up ornaments yesterday. 


Here are some tips for packing and storing seasonal treasures such as Christmas ornaments, menorahs or other holiday items to avoid damage and allow for easy access. 

For seasonal decorations that will be stored in a basement, attic or garage I like to use 66 quart or smaller clear plastic storage totes (a corner of one of my totes is shown in the photo). If you already have similar sized totes or boxes, please use what you have before buying any additional items. I find that totes larger than 66 quarts become too heavy and do not fit easily on most shelving units. Cardboard boxes work just find, but will not protect from moisture, bugs or rodents. 
As you pack up from the holidays, wrap each item individually with bubble wrap, tissue paper or newspaper. Use what you have on hand. As you might see in the photo, I like to reuse the boxes and bags that many of our ornaments came in. Always label both ends of the tote, preferably with a removable label so that the box can be re-purposed if need be in the future.

When you are packing up the holidays, think of Stephen Covey's Habit #2 from the bestseller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Begin with the end in mind." Pack up your holiday decorations in a way that you want to find them when the holidays roll around again. 

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. On Saturday, January 14, 2012 Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year:  5 Simple Strategies to Keep Your New Year's Resolution" at the Women's Health and Fitness Day, a free event. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stress Free Holiday Tip #10

Toy Soldier in Chicago
Tip #10 Have Fun


The holidays are now upon us. This is the time when we all have a choice. As a recovering perfectionist (see holiday tip #8) I have to remind myself that I can choose to stress over all the little things that might need to be done. Or I can make another choice and focus on having fun with my family these next two weeks.  


After a few bumps in the road, I have chosen to have fun. Only the really essential tasks will make it onto my to-do list and calendar, while the others can wait.


I have decided that what I have done thus far is enough. Those last few gifts that I did not purchase can go on  the list for birthdays. The stockings will be hung as a family activity, but the other decorations can stay in the box until next year (note to self, start earlier next year). What my family really needs is for me to be present and not stressed out. 


So, this holiday season, please remind yourself to be really present with your family. Most likely, it is the experiences, not the stuff, that will be remembered years from now. 


Happy Holidays!


Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Carolyn will taking a break from blogging until the New Year. On Saturday, January 14, 2012 Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year:  5 Simple Strategies to Keep Your New Year's Resolution" at the Women's Health and Fitness Day, a free event. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stress Free Holiday Tip #9

Tip #9: The Reason for the Season


As I near the end of my 10 Tips for Stress Free Holidays, it seems time for contemplation over why we do all that we do during the holiday season.
No matter what faith or what holiday you will celebrate this season, I hope that you will take time to remember why you celebrate. At the end of the day and the end of the holiday season, that is what matters most.
I know that finding time for yourself or any type of quiet contemplation can be difficult at this time of year. In my home there is still some decorating to be done (if I so choose), shopping, wrapping and finishing up that photo book for my mother that I started way too late.
However, I truly believe that if you take a few minutes out of each day to ground yourself during this busy season, you and your family will benefit tremendously. This can be done alone, with your family or with a group.
One of my clients makes a point to wake up early before her family for quiet time. Many of us choose to worship with others in a spiritual group. In my household, opening up an Advent calendar and eating the chocolates inside is an evening ritual that includes a chance to remember why we celebrate Christmas in our family.
Whatever holiday you are celebrating this season, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzah, the New Year or something else, take a few moments out of each day to remember the reason for the season.
Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Carolyn will be speaking on "The Secrets of a Simply Organized Life" this Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at the Dexter United Methodist Church monthly soup and salad dinner.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year 2007!

Simply Organized Life is entering its second year in business full time. We would like to thank all of our clients, blog readers, seminar attendees and others that have helped make this business a success.

A New Year is a time that offers us a fresh start and new hope on our personal and professional journeys. We look forward to helping new and old friends on their organizational journeys in 2007.

Now is the time to bring out the new calendars and set goals for the New Year. What opportunity a New Year and a blank calendar brings!