10 Things To Do Before The New Year

As the year 2011 comes to a close there are some things that can help us plan better and be more organized in the New Year. Here are some of my suggestions.

1. Check your Credit Report:

It is a good idea to check your Credit Report.  This will help you to check for any discrepancies on your credit file.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion,  to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report, at the request of the consumer once every 12 months.

There is only one authorized website where you can check your credit for free.

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

The following FTC site has additional details.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt156.shtm

2. Check your Passport and Driver’s License:

Take some time and check your passport and drivers license for their expiration dates. If they are close to expiration, plan on getting them renewed. You don’t want to plan a vacation to some foreign country and find out in the last minute that the passport is expiring soon or have already expired.

3. Cleanup your Desk:

If you have not looked at something in the past one year, there is a very less probability that you might not need it them all. Clear everything off your desk and drawers and get rid of the unwanted books, papers and magazines. You can set up an alphabetical filing system with a folder for each subject or project. Feel free to throw away anything that is not needed anymore. If you get your credit card bills, utility bills and any other bills or statements by snail mail, create folders and sort them and place them appropriately.

4. Plan your Calendar for next year:

Planning your year and vacations in advance will help you tremendously. I used different calendars and spreadsheets in the past.

I have found the “Annual Time Block Tool” created and shared by Michael Hyatt to be very useful. Micheal Hyatt is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world.

Here is the link where you can find the ““Annual Time Block Tool”

http://michaelhyatt.com/creating-an-annual-time-block.html

5. Backup your Computer Files and Delete unwanted files:

Many times our computers fail during crucial moments. To protect your work from hard drive crashes and computer failures you must have a strategy to backup your files once every 3 to 6 months.

If you have not backed up your files recently now is the best time to do it. Buy an External hard drive and you should be able to connect it to your computer using a USB cable. This will help you to backup your data once connected. The prices of the external hard drives have dropped recently so invest in buying one and you will not regret it. The other option would be to buy online storage space online from sites like Carbonite.

You can also backup your digital pictures on the external hard drive or you can purchase online storage from sites like Picasa or shutterfly. (Some space might be free of cost but additional space can be purchased). The advantage with online storage is that those sites will allow you to share your pictures with your friends and family online.

Overtime you will be storing a lot of files on your computer. Get rid of files and programs on your computer that you don’t need. Delete the files that are not needed and cleanup your desktop of unwanted icons.

6. Change your online passwords:

Security experts highly recommended that you change your passwords every 3-6 months. If you did not change them recently, I would highly recommend changing the passwords for your online accounts now. This includes your email accounts, Social Networking site passwords, Credit cards, Bank Accounts and any other online accounts that you might have.

7. Cleanup up your Email:

We all receive a lot of junk email. Unsubscribe to newsletters and delete them if they are not needed. Create folders in your mail box and drop the incoming mails after you read into those folders if you think they are needed for later reference. If you think any email is not needed delete it as soon as you read it.

8. Social Media Strategy:

Check your Social Media strategy. Social Media (Facebook, Twitter,Linkedin) are great tools to express yourself and to be in touch with people who are close to you both in personal and professional life. These tools must be something that will add value to you and in turn you adding value to others who are your friends or connections. Check your online profiles to make sure they are current. Take time to update them if required. Check your privacy settings and make sure they are good.

Feel free to Google your name to see what comes up!

9. Update your Resume:

As we work on various projects every year it is a good habit to update your resume once a year. Take time to update your resume, if you have not updated it recently.

10. Gym Memberships:

If you have a Gym membership, plan the workout strategy for next year. Look back to see how many times you visited the Gym this year. If you find it is not worth return on your investment think about buying some home exercise equipment like a treadmill or an elliptical machine and workout at home. This way you can save time in getting ready and driving to the gym. This works out well for some people.

I hope that this information will be helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts and add comments to this post if you think of any more useful tips that can help us get more organized. I will be glad to hear from you.

Wish You All A Happy and A Blessed New Year!



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2 comments

  1. Beth Laube · · Reply

    Very through list! Being a person who doesn’t like lists – but should – it gives me a orderly map to follow. My plan is to pick two of them and then tackle two more until all is complete. It may take me the entire year to do so! thanks Paul and Happy New Year – Blessings Beth Laube

    1. Hi Beth,
      Thanks for taking time to read this post. I am happy that this list is helpful. I usually write things before I actually implement them and this process helps me visualize the path most of the time. I was able to accomplish a couple of things from this list today. Looking forward to doing some more things from this list in the next two days. Have a Happy and a Blessed New year!

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