1. Make managing your debt a top priority. The economy is experiencing turbulence. Eliminating debt is key. Enough said.
2. Decide what you are working toward in your career. If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there? Design your personal “road map” and figure out some milestones you’d like to get to along your journey, even if you don’t know your final destination.
3. Pursue a hobby that you love just for fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if taking an art class, starting a book club, joining a sports league or training for a marathon led you to discover some very important things about yourself. Moreover, it is very likely that this passion will lead you to meet some great people and put you in line for the next chapter of your career.
4. Read daily. With Blackberries, blogs, Google reader, twitter, and online newspaper articles there is no excuse not to read a few articles and learn something each day. We live in a fast paced world, don’t get left behind.
5. Start/build your emergency fund. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the average amount of unexpected expenses in a given year is $2,000. Cars break down, medical bills will come, and things in your house will inevitably need to be repaired. Rather than pay interest upon interest by charging these expenses to your credit card, be prepared so that these occurrences will be slight inconveniences rather than a disaster.
6. Check your FICO score. This is especially important if you are searching for a new job. Many companies will run your credit and take it into consideration before hiring you for a position. If you have excessive debt or have a history of late payments you may be frowned upon by future employers. You should also check your FICO score to make sure you are not a victim of Identity Theft. If your credit score has increased significantly, you may be eligible for lower rates on your car loan, credit cards or even mortgage. Get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.
7. Clean out your desk and office. Get all the clutter out so you can stop wasting time trying to find that one file or paper. De-cluttering should make you feel less stressed and more productive at work.
8. Commit to 15 minutes of fitness each day. This is one of my Mom’s New Years Resolutions that I think is great. The idea behind it is that you will do some form of physical activity each day. By telling yourself you only have to do 15 minutes, you are likely to get hooked and exercise more and more. You will also get into the habit of exercising each day, even when you don’t want to.
My favorite habit of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is “Sharpen The Saw.” Usually when people think of burn out, they assume they need to take a break. The truth is, when you pick up the dull saw after a break, the saw is still dull. You’d be surprised how much a work out can do to sharpen your mind, motivation, work ethic and relationships.
9. Write down what you want in 2009. Don’t be shy. It is said that you will not achieve your goals until they are written down. Also, if you believe in The Law of Attraction you know that it is important to “put it out there”: write down every thing you want, read it daily, talk about what you want with friends and family and think about it. Before you know it those things will become a reality for you.