Getting Organised For 2010

It’s the last week of 2009! God, how exciting. I LOVE the prospect of a new year! Fresh starts, new goals, rejuvenated ambition & no idea what the future might hold — it doesn’t get any better than that!

We all have ideas (some vague, some concrete) about what we’d like to achieve in the next decade (!!!). I always think it’s important to start out as you mean to continue, so here are a few ideas for you to ruminate on as you get ready for 2010!

I want to… plan my life right down to the most minute detail!

I really do love a good Moleskine for daily organisation. I have been using them for years & there is something about the sexy, simple design, good quality paper & substantial hard cover which really appeals to me. I usually go with the Moleskine Daily Planner, which is wonderful — you get a full-sized page per day which is great for workaholics or organisational freaks like myself. But I decided 2010 needed a shake-up, & where better to start than with my day-planner? I bought a Colour A Month Daily Planner Box Set, which has been sitting on my desk & delighting me with its rainbonic (!!! or PRISMATIC!) visage! You still get a full page per day, just smaller, & I’m sure it will be just dandy for my purposes. I can’t wait to throw one of its colourful little books into my purse for mega-organisation on the go!

But this is not to say that a Moleskine is the only way to go, because it certainly isn’t. You might also like to try the Muji Chronotebook Non-Linear Day Planner (here is Lifehacker’s take on it), the 8 Days A Week planner (you can use the 8th day for things you’d like to schedule in, but are not sure when — v. clever!), the Daysteps planner (they seem to have thought of everything), the Multi-Task Notebook, a planner by Kate Spade or the Llewellyn’s 2010 Witches’ Datebook. The WeekDate planner looks really, truly incredible. You can even design your own planner with your own photos & pre-scheduled events at FranklinCovey. Amaze. So don’t give up or feel resigned to the ugly diary that your bank gave you, because there really is something for everyone!

Once you get your planner, use it! Keep it on your desk & open to the day’s date. Start making lists of things you want to do at night-time — for example, plan Monday on Sunday evening. If you do this, your brain will ruminate over the tasks while you’re sleeping, allowing your subconscious mind to come up with a plethora of solutions for the day ahead. Lovely!

Organize Now!: A Week By Week Guide To Simplify Your Space & Your Life might be a good purchase, too!


I want… a great wall calendar!

Me too! Yes, a good wall calendar should definitely be on your shopping list.

Okay, so if you have a daily planner, why do you need a wall calendar too? You don’t, but I like it that way. I love to be able to see my month at a glance: that way I always know where I need to be & what I need to prepare for. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment as I see what I’ve achieved as the days tick over!

The difference between the calendar & my planner is that my calendar is strictly for things I need to leave the house for. My planner is more of a daily to do list.

It’s a fab time to buy a calendar. In most bookstores they are 50% off, because it’s after Christmas, & it is beyond wonderful to have it hanging on the 1st of January! It always feels a bit wasteful to buy one in March.

My 2009 calendar was a Tim Walker one & I cherished it. Sadly there is not a 2010 one, so I have been on the hunt for a suitable replacement. Here are some you might like.

Check out The Wizard of Oz, A Year In Yes (I have this & it is so cute, with spaces for making sweet little lists etc. etc.!), Walt Disney World (pictures of the park, YAY!), Magic Places, Hindu Gods & Goddesses, Llewellyn’s Astrological, Holly Madison (I kind of love her), Celebrations, Gods of the Bazaar, World of Faeries, Alex Grey, Tokidoki & Hello Kitty. This reversible calendar is very chic & clean. The Women of India calendar is super-colourful & An Ideal World features Indian educational charts from the 1950s. Love it. If you’d prefer to choose your own images, you can make your own calendar by connecting your Flickr account to Snapfish. Genius!

If none of these grab you, or you’d prefer not to put something on the wall, you can always buy a calendar tin!


I want to… sort out my desk!

Me TOO! We have so much in common! Well, you definitely need to begin with a good pen. What else are you going to write all your grand plans of world domination with?! The Yoropen is “the most comfortable pen in the world” & looks super-rad. You could always buy a 10-pack of Gelly Roll pens to make your to do lists more exciting, even glittery. Everyone needs a good Sharpie, especially for addressing packages (mine is magenta). I find it hard to resist scented pencils too!

…& why not keep your favourite pen in a happy Buddha pen holder? I ask you! Why not indeed!

If you have a landline — & I don’t know anyone who does anymore, but still — this phone should be essential.

Bone- & heart-shaped paper clips belong on your desk, most definitely.

As far as resources for making your life more productive or wonderful, start with Never Check E-Mail In the Morning: & Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work, Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (Gary Vee! !) & The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year.

JobPhoto by Nad.

I want to… get a better, more satisfying job!

This could be a whole book on its own, but if you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated in your job, it might be time to look for something else.

Keep in mind the following points.

It’s a cliché but it’s true — dress for the role you want, not the role you have.

Expand your networking skills. Never Eat Alone: & Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time is an excellent, excellent place to begin. It’s totally true that when it comes to getting work, more often than not, it’s who you know & not what you know.

Be aware that higher-level positions usually get about one-fifth the number of applicants that a lower-level position does. Most people aim low. Hilariously, if you apply for a more prestigious role, your odds of getting it are actually better than if you go for the job which pays less! Plus, you never know. I have told this story a zillion times, so feel free to tune out if you’ve heard it before, but I got a job as a book buyer for a university bookstore when I was 18 years old because a) applicants were few & far between & b) their first choice turned it down because they wanted more pay. It was a great job, too — sitting in a café all day, talking books with reps from various companies? Brill.

Give some thought to what you’d really like to do, & try not to be too “practical” about it. If you want to do satisfying, fulfilling work, you need to listen to your heart, not your head. Additionally, if you keep going for the same sort of job, you’re going to get the same kind of result.

Update your résumé!

David Barton gymDavid Barton Gym, aka Best Ever.

I want… to get fit & healthy!

Take advantage of the post-Christmas sales, but not the ones on big boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates! Think about gyms, health clubs, dance classes, etc. — after Christmas, everyone wants to work off a bit of the turkey, mashed potatoes, gargantuan pieces of fruit cake et al from the season of glut. All businesses in the health & wellness sector know this, & you better believe they want your dosh!

So do some shopping around. See what the deals are. Get a few tours. Grab some day passes if you can. Do some research. (Plug “gym or company name” + “review” + “your city” into Google & get cracking!) Purchase wisely, though! If you’re buying from a gym, these memberships often last two years, & while $x may not sound a lot, multiply it by 24 & you may feel quite differently.

Don’t be afraid to drive a hard bargain, either. Tell your membership advisor that you’re shopping around, & see what else they can offer you. If they can throw in some free personal training sessions, so much the better. In fact, the personal training route is a great way to go because the right trainer can give you a mission, encourage you & motivate you — three things you can start to lose sight of if you’re just slogging away under your own steam.

All gyms have their advantages & disadvantages. What is it that you really need from a gym? Good yoga classes? Women only? Personal trainers? A spa? Work out your criteria & then purchase a membership accordingly.

If you’re not of the gym predilection, plot an exercise schedule which suits your lifestyle & STICK TO IT! Self-discipline is key if you want to see results.

As in all areas of life, in order to really achieve something, you need to set a goal that pertains to it. So set health & fitness goals which inspire you, & then get busy!


I want… to eat better!

It’s best to deduce what “eating better” means to you. Less meat? More vegetables? No meat at all? No fried food? All home cooking? More regular meals? Less snacking? Macrobiotic? Vegetarian? Vegan? Raw? Organic? Once you know your definition of healthy eating, you’ll know which direction to head in.

Get some books & do some research, see what you can find online, visit a nutritionist or buy some kitchen equipment that will make your journey easier. Go food shopping, & remove the foods you’re trying to avoid from your kitchen. Make an eating plan & then make sure you have what you need every day so you can keep to it. Half the battle, truly, is just in being organised.

If you want to start with a hiss & a roar, you might like to try something to clear you out. I am going to do a juice fast in January through Blueprint Cleanse. You can do it without supervision or hand-holding, but because I have never done it before & I am a wuss, I’m doing it through them! If it’s something you’re interested in too, you can read an FAQ here.


I want to… move forward & put the past behind me!

Start by cutting loose the negative people in your life. Work out if you’re in a destructive relationship. Set goals for 2010 which wow & inspire you. Improve your home with a dash of feng shui. Come up with some affirmations of what you want for 2010, & recite them every morning & every night. Remember to count your blessings & practice gratitude every day (not just Thursday!). Breathe. Be good to yourself.


I want… to achieve HEAPS!

This is something I did on Saturday evening with a friend of mine. We weren’t planning it, it just happened. After shopping, we crossed the road & sat in a diner. We sipped milkshakes & were talking when I said to her, “What do you want to achieve next year?” We started discussing our goals. She even pulled out her notebook & read me the list of things she wanted to do. As we talked about our plans, we came up with ways we could combine them, or help one another, or people we could introduce the other to who could assist them. We encouraged one another & talked about how great it would be to do this or that or the other thing. It was really fantastic. I would recommend doing this with a friend, lover or family member — anyone who you know will be supportive (very important). If they’re just going to try & talk you out of it, you’re wasting your time. Don’t spend time with dreamkillers!

If you are going to do this, I would recommend doing it when you have no time constraints, & also I would suggest that you phrase everything as if it is already happening. So, instead of saying, “I want to get fit & healthy”, you can say, “I am getting more fit & healthy every day”. Bring it into the present. If you are always phrasing things out in the future, they remain there: in the future, distant, just out of grasp. Pull them to you with your words.

The reasons for sharing your goals are multiple, but one of the best is that it will give you a jolt & make you accountable. Before you said anything out loud, it was just an idea floating around in your head. But now your friend knows about it, & can check on your progress, help you if you want them to, & encourage it to blossom into the real world.

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” — Yoko Ono

What do you want to do, manifest, achieve in 2010? Where do you want to go? What does your dream year look like?

Here’s to the start of a beautiful decade!

P.S. It’s Mercury retrograde which is a little daunting but means it is the perfect time to look back & reflect before launching into the new year. You will get the best results in 2010 if you take a moment to review 2009! There is a FABULOUS Cancerian new moon eclipse on January 15th, which is the best time to start fresh & go wild, so start psyching yourself up for it now!