New Year’s Resolution: Organization and Execution

Posted by Madison on January 6, 2009

My New Year’s Resolution: Organization. Actually, execution. And I guess, I’m not alone! Organization is one of the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions this year.

Prior Year Resolutions

2007 was easy, I had one focused goal: to stop couponing excessively. 2008 on the other hand, got a little carried away. I had 8 goals, and unfortunately, with 8, it’s pretty hard to focus and complete them all. I did 5.

I met the most important one, quitting my job. Deep down, I think that was really my main focus throughout the year. So this year, I’ve decided to return to a single focus. I seem to do better with just one goal.

My Organizational Pitfall

I’m a pretty organized person in a list making frenzy, pileomaniac, over-the-top sort of way.

But that’s where I fall short… I do the research, come up with a great plan, make my list…. and then it sits… on my desk, on the counter, in my purse. Just ask my husband!

Here’s a terrific example: In 17 Tips for End of Year Tax Planning I got busy prepping for tax season. I bought TaxCut, ran my projections, and reminded myself to get all our donations together for Goodwill in time for 2008 taxes.

Twitter followers saw that I was finally cleaning out my closet on the morning of December 31. I made the kids go through their toys and my husband go through his clothes. I got it all ready to drop off… and you know where it is? Still sitting in a pile at our house.

Organized Money

Have you ever found that sometimes the things that you are best at, is also what you are worst at?

I use Microsoft Money religiously and I have a pretty solid system for monitoring 181 Accounts. I guess you have to when you run a large credit card arbitrage.

So it’s ironic that I can be anal-retentive organized in some ways, but completely unorganized in others. I guess you could call it the 80/20 rule. Or in my case, maybe the 20/80 rule!

Beyond Money

My financial world actually has a better execution rate than other areas of my life. There are lots of “hot spots” that I can think of that need better organization and execution.

Email. We all know that’s the black hole of My Dollar Plan. I read each email immediately, then mark it with the action needed…. and sometimes never return to actually complete the action, leaving some of you hanging. Hopefully in 2009 we’ll turn that around!

There’s plenty of others, but I won’t bore you with details about my freezer, my closet, or my kid’s toys.

Action Plan

2009 is the year of execution!

Getting my New Year’s resolution done in January was a pretty big accomplishment… usually it takes me until about mid-February to figure it out.

I’m going to spend some time reading and researching other ways that people have been successful with a similar problem. If you are also on the organization warpath this year, and have tips to share, or websites you like, let me know!

Oh yeah, and I’m going to drop off those clothes at Goodwill and put a dent in my email box! And it’s time to finally attack all the Free Money offers I want to sign up for!

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

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Comments to New Year’s Resolution: Organization and Execution

  1. Curious — has your arbitrage been affected by the credit crisis? That is, are you still able to find new accounts to move your money to?

    Also, with lowering savings rates, is it still “worth it”?

    No Debt Plan

  2. @ No Debt Plan. The arbitrage is still going strong. I switched all of Scott’s cards over last month without a problem. Chase was the only one that seemed to offer lower amounts.

    It’s definitely still worth it, but you have to be a little more creative. For example, I used the WTDirect $50 to $250 Signup Bonus back in December to land a 6% effective rate for some of the money.

    It’s out there, just harder to find!


  3. I think you’re my long-lost twin! Your lack of execution is exactly my problem. I like to think of myself as super organized, and do TONS of research for any and everything. I can plan something to the smallest detail, but at that point, I rarely follow through, because I’m off to research/plan my next task.

    I’ve chalked it up to being a future-minded person-the fun for me is in the planning, and it’s hard to muster the motivation to actually DO anything.

    I’ve found the to-do list on my Google homepage to be marginally helpful, provided I only put small, detailed tasks on there….the reward is in marking something off, after all. Good luck with that resolution!


  4. I feel just the same about organization. I actually have a stack of lists going back years. I carry it around with me like I’m actually going to start marking things off. Sometimes for fun, I re-write various lists in different organizational ways. It’s crazy.
    I’ve been reading your site for a while and love it–this post inspired me to stop being lazy and make my own year of execution 🙂


  5. I too have two bags for Goodwill donation. I wound up one of them to a friend who came by the house one day, she works with DFACS and I had a grabage bag full of stuffed animals from my exes, so I gave it to her to take to the kids’ shelters/homes.


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