As my last blog post was my first blog post, I am on that steep learning curve to success! I did want to add to my more general list of items(that I mentioned last time) that you can accomplish during the wonderful 31 days of January. Being from the Deep South and living in the snowy North, I appreciate, but am not really a fan of frigid, icy, snowy weather. Other smaller, bite-sized jobs are:
- Clean out your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator and freezer. You might be surprised to see what ingredients you have on hand.
- Clean out your closets (if you didn’t do it in December, for the tax deductions). Plan your new look for the new year! I found several items in my closet that I wore when Reagan was President.
- Research and plan any upcoming household jobs, like painting, redecorating, or gardening
- Make sure important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations) are on the calendar, whether on paper or digitally.
- Plan your social events for the year, such as cookouts, parties, dates with your SO, sports events, and concerts. Looking at the calendar and planning ahead not only is for your attitude, but also for your budget. Buy season tickets.
- Plan your doctor appointments for you and your furry friends. Ditto on the budget.
- Plan your maintenance activities for the year. For us, this includes car inspections, heating and air conditioning check-ups, and spraying for bugs.
- Review all business dealings: insurance, wills, budgets, and upcoming expenses. Even if you don’t have all your tax forms yet, you can start listing your deductions and gathering your receipts.
- Clean out and throw out, a drawer at a time. Dave Ramsey has a good list of how long to keep important documents:https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/organizing-your-important-documents
Finally, read inspiring, motivational things to put you in the right mindset for the coming year. It’s easy to get drained by the holidays and the cold weather, but just as the seeds are hiding under the snow, make this a time to prepare for future fruitfulness!
Hope everyone’s holidays were happy and that you all are ready to start a fresh new year! Even though January is usually a terrible month for the weather, I have grown to love it because it is good month to stay in, plan for the year and learn new things! I have not always been a fan of Martha Stewart, however, for several years running in her syndicated column, she gave a great list of things we should put on our yearly calendar in January, so that the year would not fly by without some productive and pleasurable activities. Not just for hibernation, January offers time to:
- organize documents for tax time
- plan garden and house projects,
- plan vacations
- start on a bit of spring cleaning
I mean, really, who wants to stay inside and clean when the sun finally does come out? Real Simple’s website offers a great list for January, as well:https://www.realsimple.com/checklist/january-to-do-checklist . Another reason for good advanced planning is so that to be prepared for life events. While working on taxes,
- assess the budget and cost cutting strategies
- visit your local retirement planner to see if you are on track.
As I pondered what to discuss on my blog over the past several weeks, I had several experiences that gave me food for thought. I realized that it could be helpful for my readers to discuss life events before they happen, so that they do not catch you uninformed. My father and mother were excellent planners, so even though we have had to work out details, their business preparation has made life less stressful for our family. During Christmas, my husband and I went back home to visit my best friend, whose husband had brain cancer and unfortunately, died last week. This turn of events happened very quickly, and although my friend had time to process what happened, it definitely was a huge life change. It is never pleasant to discuss the particulars of your illness and funeral, but it certainly makes things easier for your family to know what you want, before it is too late. There are many options available, but we will discuss that later.
So, here’s to everyone’s having a good, prepared year.