It’s hard to believe that the New Year is already here. Before we know it, January will be over.
If like so many of us you are feeling unorganised for the year ahead, I am here to tell you that it is not too late!
We work best when we are organised so spending some time planning will pay off in the long run and help you get on your way to a great 2015.
Getting organised will help you to re-focus, feel motivated and be on your way to achieving your goals and having a great year.
1. Get yourself a good calendar or diary
This is number one in my book. As a busy working mum, there is so much to remember – work commitments, family commitments, kids appointments, birthdays, birthday parties and the list goes on.
Without a calendar or diary you will feel unorganised, forget appointments and important dates.
You may like a hardcopy calendar or you may like to use an online one. Whatever your preference for organising your life, you need to get onto it as a priority if you haven’t already.
If you like a physical diary or calendar, here are some that I recommend.
2. Plan out your year
A yearly planner is a great addition to your calendar or diary. Having a yearly planner that you can put up somewhere visible in your home is a great way to record all the big events happening during the year; school holidays, weddings, birthdays, holidays from work, day care closures, overseas travel, public holidays, anniversaries and the list goes on.
Having a yearly planner allows you to plan out your year and gives you something to work towards or look forward to.
I have already scheduled my holiday to Bali in the middle of the year on my yearly planner.
3. Evaluate and organise your budget
A budget is another essential for me. Not knowing what money is coming in and what money is going out can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unable to pay your bills.
It is important to re-evaluate your budget regularly and for me the start of the year is a great time to do it, especially after the increased spending over the festive season.
A budget allows you to evaluate your current financial situation and set out your financial objectives for the year ahead. You may want to save to buy a house or go on a holiday or pay off some debts. You cant do this without knowing your budget.
There are some great budget planners that you can download online otherwise you could use whatever system works for you.
4. Set goals
As each year rolls around it is great to set yourself goals so that at the end of the year you can look back to see what you have achieved.
Break your goals down into the different areas of your life whether they are family, career, financial, fitness or wellbeing goals. Think a few key areas that suit your life and break your goals down under each.
Write them down.
Keep them where you can see them and review on a regular basis whether that is weekly, fortnightly or monthly – whatever works for you.
Give yourself time frames for your goals but also give yourself some flexibility to tweak and change them as the year progresses.
If you want to get creative with you goals you could make yourself a vision board, incorporating your goals. Once it is done you need to put it up somewhere that is visible.
This is a fun activity to do and placing it somewhere visible will constantly remind you of what you want to achieve for this year – keeping you on track.
5. Plan your meals
We all lead busy lives and having to think about what to cook for dinner every night can take a lot of time out of your day if you don’t have a plan.
Since going back to work after having my children, meal planning has become a saviour. There is nothing worse than leaving work, picking up the kids, getting home and having to plan what to cook.
Taking some time out of your week to plan you meals will save you time, save you money and reduce stress.
Planning your meals also leads to healthier choices and better meals for you and your family.
This can become a really quick activity once you are experienced in planning your meals and will free up your time to focus on other activities.
For more on meal planning and a free meal planning template, read my post ’10 reasons why you should plan your meals’.
6. Clear your clutter
Plan some time in your schedule to clear the clutter. Tidy up your office, sort out your wardrobe, clean out your kitchen cupboards, linen cupboards and any other spots around your home.
Get rid of anything you don’t use anymore – Divide these into three areas;
Those that can be sold
Those you can give to charity
Those you need to chuck in the bin
If you have an office, the New Year is also a good time to clear the clutter from your desk. Get your files into order and continue with the filing system throughout the course of the year. Not only will it keep you organised, but you will know where everything is and if you keep on top of the clutter you won’t be doing this in a year’s time.
Having an organised home and office = an organised and focused mind. You get get focused when everything around you is in chaos.
Sarah is wife to Ben, mum to Hudson and Ashlee. In her professional life she works as a Marketing and Events Manager in the non-profit sector. She is passionate about mums returning to work after having kids and has created working mums collective as a place for working mums to connect, share stories and advice, celebrate successes and really support and empower each other.