A few days into 2011 now, how are you feeling? Are you still on track to meeting those resolutions you've set? Hitting the gym? Working on that budget? Are you taking 2011 by storm like I've seen so many posts and articles advertise? On some of those levels, like the financial ones, I very much hope that you are. I mean, I even wrote a post on having some un-resolutions. This is not a post asking you to get your thoughts on paper or how to measure your goals. We've done that a lot and there are a ton of great resources all over the web right now. What I do want to do is talk about how I'm being more productive moving from Blackberry to Android (sorry Blackberry we had a good 5 year run) and about what should be doing now to kick 2011 in the face.
So I have officially nestled myself professionally and privately into the warm glow of an Android device and I have to say that I absolutely love it. I think one of the best features, or lack of features, so far is my inability to mark all incoming emails as read. This is forcing me to at least open my messages when I'm out and about - it's huge. Because of this I am missing fewer messages, returning messages more efficiently and not missing out on great opportunities. Does it take a little time - sure. Has it helped me to start kicking 2011 in the face - absolutely. I'm really enjoying the Google Market and interface of my device. I do miss the keyboard a little bit but you get over that when you open up an internet browser that actually lets you surf the internet. There are a few Apps and services like Square that I will probably be reviewing because I think they are great tools for small businesses and most of them are free.
On to helping you guys kick 2011 in the face! Well regardless of your resolutions you should be taking action. Having good intentions and hoping for the best is only going to slow you down. Get your schedules out and make time for the things you need to do to reach those goals. Here is a list of some of things you should be doing to get the most out of 2011:
- Start keeping receipts. Track your spending and reconcile between what you're actually doing and what you budgets say you should be doing. Oh, and if you didn't already..get some kind of budget going!
- Go set up another checking account or two. Even if you don't have explicit goals go set up another account or two and start auto depositing. I'm sure you'll think of something to save for or at the very least start that emergency fund.
- Stop playing Angry Birds. If you have downtime between meeting, at work, or at home start investing your time into making yourself better. Start investing in you! I know that sounds a little cliche but pick something that will help you be a more savvy consumer or educate you on better money handling.
- Everyone needs a side hustle. If you're looking for a new hobby why not make it something that might earn you a few extra dollars a month. Turn what you are passionate about or good at into a bit of freelance work. Places like Guru, Elance or Freelancer are great places to start.
- Open your statements. Make a real note this year to open all your statements. If you don't open your retirement plan's statements how will you know if it's still invested like you want it to be. Don't trust your advisors to reach out and connect but take it upon yourself to be proactive, track them down and make them review your accounts! This is a great time of year to reallocate or reassess your portfolios.
There are way more than five things I could have listed but these were as action oriented and as low impact as I could think. So add them to your to-do list and start to make some positive changes. Start kicking 2011 in the face today!
If you have any other ideas on how to keep 2011 rolling along feel free to leave them in the comments below! I love hearing from you guys!