Monthly Archives: January 2015

No New Year’s Resolutions For Me!

Do You Make Resolutions or Set Goals?

Frankly, I’m not a fan of New Year’s “resolutions.”  I don’t know why, but the thought of taking one day to analyze my life and see what I’ve been doing right, or wrong, and change it just seems strange.  Don’t we do that on a constant basis?  I frequently analyze what’s working, what makes me feel good about myself, and brings joy, happiness, and success to my life and others’.  If I need to make changes I do.  No matter what time of year it is.

Now “goals,” that’s a whole different animal.   I love, love, love goals.  Specifically, I like SMART* goals.  They keep me on track, give me accountability, and push me to achieve the things that are important to me.

I find goal setting to be invigorating.  It makes me think about what I want my life to look like and how much time I am willing to devote to each facet of it.

Setting a bunch of goals that aren’t attainable based on the number of hours in the day doesn’t make sense and sets us up for failure.  Setting fewer, more important, goals sets us up for success.  I start with five annual goals and adjust throughout the year as necessary.

 Here’s the start of my list for 2015:

1.  Reduce unnecessary physical clutter.

Yes, even a Professional Organizer has clutter.  The more time I spend with my clients, the more I desire to reduce the clutter around my own home too.  Although not overwhelming, I probably have too many knick knacks, too many unused kitchen appliances and serving pieces, and  too many throw pillows and blankets. The “too many” list goes on and on.  I need to find good homes for the items that are just taking up space and not providing value to my life.

My goal:  Spend at least two hours a week eliminating clutter from my home.

2.  Reduce e-mail clutter.

Like most of us, my e-mail box can get out of control.  Every time I purchase something on-line, I end up on a list.  Each time I see a blog or newsletter I like, I subscribe to their list.   Being on each of these lists was important and relevant at the time, but probably isn’t any more, and the stress of seeing all those e-mails in my in-box is overwhelming.

My goal: Reduce my in-box by 50% by unsubscribing or using

3.  Take care of myself.

The best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of good health.  Am I ever going to be a professional athlete?  No.  Will I devote an hour every day to just exercise?  No.  But there are some things I can do to point me in the right direction of maintaining good health.

My goal: Walk 70,000 steps and spend at least 70 minutes lifting weights each week.

4.  Maintain a gratitude journal.

I am very fortunate. I have a great life.  But, like a lot of people I know, I tend to spend more time focusing on the not-perfect areas of my life.   That needs to change.  I need to spend more time focusing on the positives. Recording them in a gratitude journal will help me do that.

My goal: Record at least five entries per week in a gratitude journal (I chose the My Wonderful Life app.) 

5.  Make sure my business supports my personal goals.

I love the work I do.  I am grateful to have fantastic clients with a true desire to change their lives. I’m especially grateful when I connect with clients in ways I didn’t know I could, like the woman that texted “You have gone above and beyond any expectations I could have had about what a Professional Organizer has to offer.  You are moving me forward in profound ways.”  She is my ideal client: open to and appreciative of the change being organized can provide.  These clients feed my soul and make my personal life happier.

My goal:  Evaluate every client to ensure they meet the criteria of my “ideal client.”

So, that’s the start of my 2015 list.  Do any of these resonate with you?

Happy New Year!

P.S.:  If any of you have, or know of someone that has, a business, please share my list of Top 10 Business Goals.

Cindy Jobs

Organize to Simplify RGB

Member Color - WebNational Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
 ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 websiteCertified Premium Subscriber, Institute for Challenging Disorganization

*Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based

2015 “Top 10” Business Goals

10As business owners, we need to constantly be looking forward and figure out what we want our businesses to accomplish in the upcoming weeks, months or years.  In addition to constant re-evaluation, most businesses choose one time per year to do long-range planning.  Every business has a different time for this process:  in January to kick off the new year; at their financial year end; during their annual Board retreats; etc.  The best time for this process is whenever it works for you.  For me, January is the best time. That’s when I get to thinking about what needs to happen to make 2015 a successful year for me and my business clients.

Here are the top ten items we will be focusing on:

  1. Take care of yourself.  For a business to thrive, it needs a healthy leader.  Taking care of yourself takes many forms, both physical and mental.  Whether it’s hitting the gym a few times a week, participating in leadership forums, or forcing yourself to take a much-needed vacation, take care of yourself so you will be there to take care of your employees.
  2. Realize that sometimes less is more.  Focus on doing a few things well versus doing a number of things part way.   Having 15 goals may sound like an excellent business strategy, but having five goals that are strategic and attainable will more than likely be a more successful approach.
  3. Learn how to delegate.  No matter how fantastic, one person can’t do everything at an expert level.  Many things can be delegated:  website development, Quickbooks maintenance, cleaning services, marketing, etc.  Identify the things you don’t like to do, or don’t feel you do well, and find someone that does.   Those people will generally be better and faster at it than you will.
  4. Review office functionality.  Annually review job descriptions, processes, and communication patterns and make changes to procedures accordingly.  Maybe your Office Manager has changed and they no longer make the mail run or input information in Quickbooks.  If so, adjust the job description accordingly.   If your business has expanded and you now have two outside sales representatives, review their territory allocations and document it.  There are many changes that business should make as they expand, contract, or change.  Ensure changes are documented and communicated accordingly.
  5. Go mobile.  According to Televox, a global technology provider, 94% of smartphone owners will look up information on their phones, make sure your website is compatible with mobile phones and tablet devices.
  6. Review compliance with Labor and Industries.  Nearly every business that employs at least one person needs to comply with Labor and Industry rules and regulations.  If you haven’t already, commit to going to a Labor and Industries seminar and educate yourself on requirements for compliance.  Do you have an Accident Prevention Program?  Do you have a Hazardous Chemical Program?  Do you hold and document monthly safety meetings?  Figure out what you need to do to be compliant before Labor and Industries pays you a visit.
  7. Refresh your website.  Customers look to your website to get a feel for what you do, how you do it, and how professional your organization is.  Check your contact information for accuracy.  If you have any links from your website, make sure they work.  Update photos where applicable.  Most importantly, have someone you know and trust use your website.  Sometimes we are too close to our own business to ascertain whether the website works for the general public.
  8. Get ready early for tax time.  Whether we owe money or are getting money back, there’s a great sigh of relief when we’ve finished our taxes.  Check with your accountant as soon as possible to ensure you have what they need to complete your taxes in a timely manner.  Ask your accountant about record retention so you can set up filing systems and purge paperwork as you are pulling together paperwork for this year’s filing.  Also, review your current business model with your accountant to ensure your business is categorized correctly, possibly an LLC may protect you on a personal level.
  9. Find a new way to engage with your customers.  If appropriate for your business, consider developing a Facebook page, Twitter account, or newsletter program.  Communicating with your customers the way THEY want to be communicated with will be the most valuable use of marketing dollars and time.  If possible, find an expert to help you through this process.
  10. Network your heart out!  No matter what your business is, we all know someone who knows someone that could use our services.  Be the first person that comes to mind when someone says “do you know anyone that . . . . .”

A theme running through these resolutions is personal engagement.  Engage with your employees, customers, and most importantly, yourself.  Figure out what has been working, what needs to be done, and who should do it. 

Although these goals will take effort and may require a bit of a change in habit and mindset; when they are put into practice, your business will be more successful and you will be a more successful, and happier, leader. 

Cindy Jobs

Organize to Simplify RGB

Member Color - WebNational Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
 ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 websiteCertified Premium Subscriber, Institute for Challenging Disorganization