It is that time of year, the quiet lull between Christmas and New Year’s. The time to grab a cup of coffee, your favorite pen and notepad, and make a list of things to do for getting the new year off to a great start!
I’m not necessarily talking about New Year’s Resolutions, rather the ideas we want to bring to life that are attainable and purposeful. Each year I vow to lose 60 pounds, make up for lost time with family and friends, get debt-free, etc. Each year, I miss the mark. Until now.
Rather than create a bucket list of lofty goals and ideas, I use this time between the hustle, bustle, and holiday reverie to think about actions to set myself up for success in the new year. Success, for me, is being ahead of the game on appointments, bills, celebrations, menu planning, and so on. In addition to caring for my family, I am a full time math teacher. It is important for everything in my life to be purposeful so I can be the wife, mother, teacher, and friend I can.
My time is very valuable and being organized and as stress free as possible is key. The following list are ideas for starting the year off organized and ready handle daily living, home keeping, and work life. I’m sure it is not inclusive as we all have different journeys. Perhaps my list is more than you need or perhaps there is something not included that you might add. Is your coffee ready? Do you have your pen and paper handy. Let’s get started on our initial list for January.
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January To-Do Kickoff List
- Purchase and set up a new calendar, planner, or bullet journal for the upcoming year.
- Schedule medical, dental, and vision appointments for the year for yourself and all family members. Record each appointment on your calendar.
- Inventory and purge medications and supplements taken daily. Make note of any medications to be refilled and call your doctor.
- Schedule salon appointments for yourself and all family members for the year. Yes, record these on your calendar as well.
- Update contact, birthday, and anniversary information for all family, friends, and contact info for businesses in your address book. Don’t forget to record birthdays and anniversaries in your calendar!
- Purchase new toothbrushes for all family members
- Replace filters: AC, fridge water dispenser, auto oil and air filters
- Check smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors for battery replacements.
Little Actions with Big Payoffs
- Purchase birthday and anniversary cards for the year for family, friends, and colleagues plus a small variety of specialty cards (thank yous, best wishes, new baby, etc).
- Set up a cute basket or decorated box to store the special occasion cards (sorted by month or occasion), your address book, a book of stamps, stickers, and fun writing pens so you can quickly send love and wishes.
- Create a week or two of meal plans, including shopping lists for each week to keep on hand when time is tight. Don’t forget to include grab-&-go items for breakfast, snacks, or lunch on the run.
- Clean out your car, have it washed and detailed, have the oil changed and the tires checked.
- Create of list of home repair, including priority, that needs to be planned and budgeted.
- Create / review your budget for the year. Include non-recurring expenses, plan for savings, projects, and infrequent income cycles.
- Schedule time for 1 – 2 date nights per month and book child care now.
- Choose 1 – 2 special family activities or day trips per month and add them to your calendar now.
Conquer Big Projects, little by little
Identify only one “big project” you can reasonably accomplish for each month, or choose four “big projects” you could reasonably accomplish each season. Start with a brainstorm list, then pare down to an amount that is doable. Don’t try to do it all at once or even all in one year! Focus on purpose. Here are a few to get you started
- Clean out clothing, shoes, and accessories and organize closets and drawers
- Purge books, toys, games, magazines.
- Organize (and purge) photos and memorabilia
- Home improvement projects (DIY vs. contractors needed)
- Write goals and plan baby steps for long-term projects like loosing weight, dumping debt, etc. Share these goal and plans with your loved ones, solicit their support, and invite them on the journey with you.
Whew! What a great start to a list! What would you add?
The January Kickoff List Part 1 is about to post and my coffee cup is empty. I look forward to sharing Part 2 – Monthly Calendar & Resources in the coming days. In the meantime, I hope this list has inspired you to create one that works for you.