Achieve Your New Years Resolution

01-14-19 Achieve Your New Years Resolution (1)

Happy New Year!

You are probably just getting back to work (or school) today after a long holiday weekend (or week). How are you feeling? Ready to jump in to a new year, start fresh, set some goals, focus on a new year’s resolution? OK, take a deep breath, don’t get overwhelmed. Do you really need to make a big deal about the new year? Do you need to change something in your life?

At this time of year a lot of people are ready to make some improvement in their lives. Maybe it’s the fact that you’ll be spending more time indoors for the next few months, so you want to focus on something that will better your life. Good for you! I make resolutions too. Did you know that according to, about half of the people who make resolutions keep them. Watch this quick video and check out the statistics.

Half of the people who make good resolutions at new year have given up on them by the end of June.

A little planning goes a long way to achieve your resolution goals. Here is how I do it. First, I look back at the last year. What were my big accomplishments? Can I build on those? Was there anything I didn’t accomplish that is still waiting? What are the things that fell by the wayside? I use my accountability group to answer these questions. We won’t be meeting until mid-month, but I’m ready. Having other people to answer to helps me become clear on my achievements and also my future goals. But you don’t need a group. Writing down you intentions is the next best thing. Studies show that people are much more likely to move forward on a goal, task, idea, project if they write it down, so do it. Schedule time to complete the next task necessary to move forward on your resolution.

After looking at last year, I ask myself, what do I want to achieve next year? I make a list for business and a list for personal. Still working on the work/life balance, so I want to have a list for both. Just brainstorm on your list for awhile. Write down anything that comes to mind. After awhile, review your list and you’ll probably find some things that are just not going to happen, for one reason or another. I’d love to travel to Bali, but realistically that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Work on your list until you feel that your goals are doable.

Now, in order to move forward you need to plan. What the saying “a goal without a plan is just a dream”. Let’s get your resolutions out of the dream category and move them into the goals category. What do you want to accomplish? What is the easiest thing you can do to move forward on that goal?

Do you want to be more active? How about parking at the end of the parking lot at work, so you  walk a little further to and from work? Maybe resolve to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Start with a small goal and then you can move on to a large goal later. What I mean is, do the stairs or walk through the parking lot for the winter. Then mark on your calendar (maybe March 1st or April 1st) the day you’ll start walking for 15 minutes after dinner each night. Whatever works for you.

People often ask me how to get started on a big organizing and decluttering project and my answer is the same scenario as above. Start by sorting you mail everyday when you come in the house and eliminating what you don’t need. Then move on to the backlog of paper once you get comfortable with your progress with the mail. Peter Walsh (famous organizer) suggests that the easiest way to declutter is to walk around your house with one bag for trash and one bag for donations. Fill those two bags -- no more.

If you do this everyday for a week it will make a big difference. Then you can build on your success and focus your organizing an area of a room or a closet. I like this idea -- one, because it’s not so overwhelming and two, because we all have stuff lying around the house that we know we don’t want or need and we just never focused on getting it out. Taking 10 minutes each day to fill two bags sets the time for you to do it.

In a past New Year’s Resolution blog post, I made a nice little list that may help you achieve your resolution goals. Happy New Year!

  1. Be realistic – Don’t make your goal unattainable. Break down big goals into smaller ones that are easier to manage.
  2. Write it down – Putting your plan into words and tracking your progress will help you focus. If you do, you are more likely to follow through and stay motivated.
  3. Do it daily – Incorporate your resolution into your daily life. The changes you are making will become so routine that you won’t even have to think about it.
  4. Don’t go it alone – Tell someone what you goal is. Ask that person to support your efforts. Or find a buddy with the same goals, so you can motivate each other
  5. Reward yourself – Set short term goals, and then reward yourself when you reach them.
  6. Start right away – Don’t put it off.
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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on January 14, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    When thinking about the questions “Was there anything I didn’t accomplish that is still waiting? What are the things that fell by the wayside?” I find it helpful to also ask myself whether those particular goals are still relevant. Sometimes projects keep getting pushed down our to do lists because they’re really not that important to us.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 14, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Janet, I have a rule, if I move a task more than 3 times I really look at whether I’m going to do it. If the answer is yes than it goes to the top of the lists and I’ll do it that day. If the answer is no I let it go.

      • Janet Barclay on January 14, 2019 at 1:51 pm

        That’s a great rule, Janet! I’m going to try that myself.

  2. Linda Samuels on January 14, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I like how the video compliments the points in your post. Nice job! This year, instead of making an extensive list of goals and mini goals, I’ve opted to use one overarching question to guide me through the year. It is, “What will I say “yes” to this year?” The qualifier for the is what interesting opportunities and events will I say ‘yes’ to without the usual deliberation and doubt. I’m going with a more flexible plan this year, and so far it’s been amazing. But I think the real point is to find what works for you. There are so many ways to approach moving forward. I like experimenting.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 14, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Linda, thanks for the complement. I’m saying YES to my business this year. I took on a large volunteer project last year. It was great, but it took a lot of time. I want to send more of my time and energy on my business and am excited to see what happens.

  3. Seana Turner on January 14, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    I have become a bigger and bigger believer in the power of “daily.” The things we do every day become a part of our mindset. Those are the things we are prioritizing (whether we realize it or not), so I say be very mindful of what you are doing daily. Some habits may be serving you, while others may not. If you want to make a sustainable change, think of what you can start doing every day.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 14, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      Seana, I agree. I am trying to make it a habit to plan my day. Writing it down is helping.

  4. Sarah Soboleski on January 14, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    I have a new year’s resolution post coming out next week! I love the list at the end – especially your points about writing it down (it’s a simple way to hold yourself accountable) and starting NOW (there’s never a perfect time to start working on a goal).

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