A List of 10 Productive Things You Can Do To Start The New Year Off On The Right Foot

It’s the start of a new year which brings with it a fresh sense of optimism about the year ahead. We WILL keep up with our gym routine, we WILL finish that self-help book, and we WILL stop eating so much takeaway. We won’t fall back into the same habits and routines that kept progress at bay in 2022 and which brought about a sense of failure at our lack of discipline and perseverance.

Whatever your goals may be, it’s essential you start the new year off on the right foot. Rather than lazing about feeling unmotivated, scrolling endlessly on your phone and letting the dust accumulate around the house, it’s the perfect time to get yourself organised and sort out those menial jobs that you’ve been putting off. Not only will you complete life-admin tasks that need to be done, you will feel accomplished and satisfied with the structure and purpose that your days are filled with.

Here’s 10 things you can do in January 2023 to give yourself a good start to the new year:

  1. Clean your food pantry. Sick of the dire and chaotic state of my food cupboard, in the first week of 2023, I popped to Kmart and purchased storage containers and food labels. I then spent the better part of 4 hours (efficiency is not my strong suit) meticulously organising everything into a neat and orderly fashion. Now every time I open the cupboard, a wave of satisfaction comes over me. Everything has a place and I know where to locate my oats. Success.
  2. Book your dentist appointments, skin checks and other health-related appointments. During the silly season, your health can take a back seat as you prioritise family-time, sunshine and drinking more alcohol than a boat full of pirates would. It’s now time to organise the appointments that you may have been neglecting, and just a quick phone call to schedule them in can make you feel organised and productive. It’s easy to delay going to the dentist or doctor, but you will only feel regret at your lazy-self if you continue putting this off. Time to be an adult.
  3. Go through your clothes cupboard and toss/give away anything you haven’t worn in over a year. Time to be ruthless. Stop holding on to the fluro crop top that hasn’t been fashionable since 2007. The sheer top isn’t coming back in sweetie. I have a habit of clinging to clothes even if I haven’t worn them in several years (or ever), as though to give them away would be like saying goodbye to a dear friend. Remember, no one really gives a crap what you look like. If YOU like the look of something and/or it’s practical, then keep it. If not then send it to the charity bin and say hello to more wardrobe space.
  4. Organise your phone. Maybe it’s just me, but the state of the apps on my phone is appalling. I have 10,000 photos – much of them just minor deviations of the same photo but with slightly different poses. My notes section is just random bits of writing where I thought I had something profound to say but upon review it look like they’ve been constructed in the midst of a particularly bizarre acid trip. There’s apps downloaded that I haven’t looked at since the days when “corona” was just a revolting beverage (sorry, not a beer drinker). If you can relate to this, it’s to clean up this mess and become the organised person you’re destined to be in 2023.
  5. Write down a weekly meal plan and grocery list. I despise that feeling of overwhelm about food. When you’re staring in the depths of your fridge or (now incredibly organised) food cupboard wondering what on Earth you should make that is satisfying and won’t make you feel like a sluggish potato. If this is you, I highly recommend writing down a list of meals you are going to eat for the week ahead, and a corresponding shopping list. If you are stuck on meal ideas there’s an incredibly fascinating search engine called Google, or my Instagram page has so many easy ideas for meal prepping: instagram.com/tarzi_health. It takes a bit of effort at the start, but it saves you a lot of time in the week when everything is either already made, or you know exactly what you are going to make for each meal.
  6. Clean your car thoroughly – inside and out – and book it in for a service if needed. There’s two types of people in this world – those who meticulously care for their car as if it’s an additional member of the family, and those like me – who leaves dollops of bird shit on their car for weeks until they decide it’s socially unacceptable to drive it around in public and a wash is needed. If you are like me, it’s time to devote a mere 20 minutes of your time to thoroughly cleaning your car. It’ll alleviate the embarrassment of driving around with dried faeces on your windscreen, and booking it in for a service will ensure your car is getting the maintenance it needs.
  7. Sort out your budget and finances for the year. Excel is like a foreign world to some, but i’ve been assured that it’s a fantastic tool that can help us create a thorough, useful and visually-appealing budget spreadsheet. You can google budget templates for Excel to get started. This is the year you can really get on top of your finances and set some intermediate and long-term savings goals. There’s also a plethora of podcasts and books dedicated to improving our knowledge on finances, and now would be a great time to start delving in deeper.
  8. Buy a (pretty af) diary and start writing your daily to-do list. This year, let’s all make an oath that we won’t lose interests in writing our daily plans in our dairies, and we won’t stop writing in our 2023 diaries in early February. Let’s make it a priority to continue planning our days/weeks and months even during the more hectic months. Whilst motivation cannot be based solely on external factors, I firmly believe that I am motivated to write more in my diary if I have a stunning diary to jot down my daily tasks, appointments and to-do-lists.
  9. Sign up for a fitness challenge; book into your gym classes at the start of the week; or organise when you are going to exercise with friends for the week. 2023 is the year of getting in shape, I hear. It’s important that we prioritise movement and exercise as much as possible so we can experience the positive physical and psychological implications associated with exercise. People can often be critical of fitness challenges because they often don’t facilitate long-term behaviour change, and people usually just slip into their old habits as soon as the challenge is complete. For me personally, the whole reason I became so invested in health and fitness was because i signed up for a 6 week challenge. Often these can be a great way to give us a taste of the gym world and provide a great starting point for beginners.
  10. Ring the pest man and organise to have your house sprayed. This is probably only relevant for me as an Australian who is petrified of cockroaches and any other revolting insect that scurries or flies away in a manner akin to a criminal fleeing a heinous crime scene. Nevertheless, it’s an important life admin job that will make you feel content knowing that when you open a draw late at night you won’t be confronted by a ghastly insect or an eight-legged eyesore.

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