Although it’s definitely possible (and often a good idea) to make resolutions throughout the year and to write to-do lists more than just once in twelve months, the fact that January is around the corner could be the ideal starting point for you if that’s not something you currently do. Why not? January is seen as a time that’s perfect for new beginnings, so if you want to get more organised and get more done, this is the ideal time to do it and make it a habit for the year ahead. With that in mind, here are some of the things you might want to include on your January to-do list to get you started.
Something that often gets put off and really shouldn’t are home repairs. Whether it’s because you don’t know how to do the work or the problems seem too small to worry about (or too big to deal with), the fact is that if you have issues within your property, you need to get them fixed. If you’re a renter, that’s a simple enough task – call your landlord and ask them to fix the problems for you. If you’re a homeowner, on the other hand, you’re the one who’s in control, so you’re the one who needs to do the work.
Of course, if you prefer, you can hire experts like electricians and plumbers to make the repairs on your behalf. That’s often the best thing you can do because unless you know exactly what you’re doing, electricity, gas work, and plumbing can be dangerous (or lead to bigger problems if you get something wrong). Plus, when professionals do the work, they’ll be quicker and more efficient, and they’ll get better results. Even though it will cost you money, in most cases, it’s worth it in the end.
How long have you been driving around with that warning light on your dashboard? If you’re like a lot of people, it will concern you while you’re in the car, but as soon as you reach your destination and get on with whatever it is you need to do there, you’ll forget all about it. Then, when you get back in the car again, you’ll be reminded, only for the whole cycle to start all over again when you park.
Make it your mission to get that light dealt with and make an appointment to take the car to a professional mechanic to have it looked at. Yes, it’s annoying and disruptive (especially if they have to keep the car for more than a few hours), and yes, it can be a costly exercise, but would you really be able to manage without the car for the long term? Because if you keep ignoring the fact that repairs are needed, that’s what will happen; your car will probably stop working altogether. At the very least, it’s not going to be safe to drive, and that’s not a good situation to be in if you’ve got family to take to and from different places. In fact, it’s not a good situation to be in even if you’re the only one who’s ever in the car!
If your car is very important to you, getting it serviced regularly and fixing problems right away is vital, so make sure you write down the date of the next service and MOT and that you know where to book it in should anything go wrong and one of those pesky engine lights shine up on your dashboard.
In addition to this, it’s also a good idea to make sure the car is generally in good condition. Clean it regularly, get your alloy wheels repaired and made to look great by Rolling Rims, and check the fluids like the oil and water regularly. The more you take care of your car, the longer it will last and the more money you’ll save over time, which is why doing these things really needs to be on your January to-do list.
A New Job
New year, new job? Perhaps so, and if you’re not currently happy with the job you have, or you need (or want) to earn more money, or perhaps you just want to try something new, it’s well worth starting your search in January.
When you think about it, you work most of the time. If you work eight hours a day and sleep for about the same amount of time, there’s not too much time left for everything else, and you need to fit family time, hobbies, and exercise, not to mention eating, into those few leftover hours. If you don’t want to be too resentful of that fact all the time, which will only lead to misery and low productivity, it’s wise to find a job that, even though you have to spend most of your waking hours doing it, makes you happy – or at least doesn’t make you sad!
Start by updating your CV so that it has all the information an employer would want to see on it. That’s especially important if you haven’t changed jobs for a while, as it’s most likely going to be out of date. Once you’re happy with your CV, you can start looking for jobs. Remember, if you’ve decided now is the right time to find something new, so have many other people. On one hand, that means more competition for the jobs that are available, but on the other, it means there are more jobs around as people put in their notice; you should be able to find something that suits you, and with a good CV and a well-crafted (and specific) cover letter, hopefully you’ll land some interviews too.
Quit Bad Habits
We all have bad habits, and some are worse than others. However, if you know they’re bad, whether it’s something minor like nail biting or something much more serious like smoking or drinking too much alcohol, January is a great time to put a stop to all that and start the year on a more positive, bad-habit-free, note.
Quitting habits is never easy; they’re called habits for a reason, and a lot of the time, you might not even realise you’re doing whatever it is you want to quit. If you do realise, then actually stopping could be incredibly hard, even leading to physically unpleasant symptoms, as would be the case for someone with an alcohol or nicotine dependency. However, as hard as it might be, quitting is much better than continuing, and starting your hard work in January with the aim of being rid of whatever that habit happens to be by December is a great goal to have.
That’s the key to quitting bad habits; trying to quit all at once is often too much, too soon, and it makes the entire process much harder than it needs to be. Taking it slowly and giving yourself time to do it bit by bit (and taking into account any times you might fall back into old habits) is much better. You’ll feel like you’re accomplishing something, and you won’t try to rush, which usually ends in disaster.
Oh no, not exercise! Do you really want to include that on your list? Well, yes, you do. Regular exercise is crucial if you want to be healthy and lose weight (even if you don’t want to lose weight, exercise will keep your body functioning in the way it’s meant to, and you’re less likely to get ill). The problem is that although some people do exercise as much as they need to, and some exercise a little bit, others don’t do any at all. If you fall into either of those last two categories, adding exercise to your January to-do list is essential; you’ll finish the year a lot healthier than when you started it.
As with quitting bad habits, starting to include exercise in your routine needs to be done in small steps. Just try to add a little at a time because if you try to do too much, it will feel like a lot of effort for not much gain, and you’ll probably decide against continuing by the end of January (or February if you’re particularly dedicated). Work out what you can do and don’t do any more than that, but as you get more and more confident (and fitter), you can start to do more. Gradual increases are definitely the way to go.
Review Your Finances
Did you (or will you) spend quite a bit over the Christmas period? Don’t worry – everyone did. Whether you spent the extra money on presents, additional food, parties, or decorating your home, December can be a hugely expensive month, which means January can be a particularly tricky one when it comes to budgeting.
This is therefore the ideal time of year to review your finances. Take a look at your income and outgoings (as well as anything extra you might owe after Christmas) and if there’s anything you can do to make things easier, such as cancelling subscriptions you no longer need or working out how to pay off a debt more quickly, put it into action. Once the extra spending has been paid off, you can start putting your savings into a separate account so you’re ready for next Christmas; it’s never too early to start preparing!