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Seven Resolutions to Avoid

Making New Year’s resolutions is a wonderful tradition to help you reflect on the past year and set your goals for the upcoming year.  But are you setting yourself up for failure? The average person breaks their resolution within 3 weeks of setting it.

Organize Anything has a list of seven resolutions that commonly get broken to share with you. Because we want you to start the year on the right note, we’ve included some great tips to help ensure you achieve your goals this year.

1) Lose weight. Everyone wants to lose weight, but when you make your New Year’s resolution “I want to lose 60lbs” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead of focusing on your long-term weight loss goal, set smaller, easier to manager goals like “I’ll go for a walk twice a week after dinner” or “I’d like to be able to lose a pant size by mid-February.”

2) Quit smoking. Smoking is an addiction and it takes the average smoker 5 attempts to quit the habit completely according to the Canadian Lung Association. Instead of trying to quit cold turkey on January 1st, make an appointment with your family doctor to make a plan to healthily cut smoking out.

3) Get out of debt. Much like the goal to lose weight, resolving to get control of your finances can be such a daunting task that many people quit before they even start. Break it down into smaller tasks such as “creating a budget and sticking to it for a month at a time” or “putting x amount of dollars of payment on your credit card monthly…”

4) Be less stressed. Don’t get stressed out about your lack of time to de-stress! Make sure you succeed in this resolution by setting aside dedicated time at least once a week that is completely free of commitments. Save 30 minutes in your day planner every day to sit and enjoy your own company.

5) Volunteer. After the luxury of the holiday season, you may be inclined to volunteer more, but it’s easy to forget this resolution when the snow is howling outside and the Christmas credit card bills come back. Instead of volunteering your time, consider donating supplies or food to a charity. Suggest a charity outreach program at your office – it’s a great way to promote corporate social responsibility at work and you may get a Friday afternoon off to help an organization in your community!

6) Spend more time with your family. With the kids loaded down with extra-curricular activities, bringing your work home with you and the general chaos of trying to juggle it all, this resolution can quickly fall to the wayside. Try combining a few resolutions to achieve this goal! Why not volunteer as a family or take a class together?

7) Make more resolutions. This will more likely have you burned out before you achieve many of your goals. Focus on one or a few and make a plan. Concentrate on a very few. When you are on track with those add some more into the mix – no matter what time of the year it is. And remember if you fall off a bit just get back on track as soon as you can.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed trying to achieve big successes with your New Year’s resolutions, break them down into smaller goals. When you only focus on the long-term goals you miss the smaller achievements it takes to get there.

Celebrate the small victories and avoid big disappointments by leaning into what you want and starting with small, achievable goals.



The Roadmap for a Healthy Business Trip

>A good business trip takes careful planning. So does maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you travel frequently in your line of work, or for your business, you know how difficult it can be to keep up good habits and how easy it is to slip into bad ones. The good news is that, with a little added preparation and smart choices, you can considerably reduce that risk. Here’s how:

Set realistic goals – Goals will help you stay focused while you are away, but be realistic. For example, instead of losing weight, why not set maintaining your current weight as your goal?

Be prepared – It’s easier to maintain your health and weight with a little preparation. For example, call ahead to the hotel where you are staying and see if they have a fitness centre. Or, for frequent stays, consider a pass to a local facility. And be sure to take along your workout gear.

Scan the menu – Taking time to review your choices will help you make healthy ones.

Consider avoiding foods with descriptions such as ‘fried,’ ‘crispy,’ or ‘battered.’ They are likely high in fat. Instead, look for high-fiber meals, like a baked potato or salad.

For baked potatoes and salads, avoid high-calorie dressings and sour cream, or extras such as meat, cheese, egg and croutons. Or, ask to have dressings and toppings on the side so you can control your portions.

Ordering a small or kid-size portion. This is a great way to reduce the amount of calories, sodium and fat you consume.

Eat on schedule – Skipping meals or not eating for long periods increases your hunger and the risk that you will overeat when you finally make time for food.

Curb the urge to splurge – Keep snacks like graham crackers and fruit on hand in your car, bag or briefcase. This will help keep your appetite in check when standing at the buffet table or ordering a meal.

Forego fast food where possible – If fast-food restaurants are your only option, remember that many now have health-smart choices. Be sure to ask for the nutritional information and check the calorie, fat and fiber counts before ordering. Often, these choices aren’t healthier than what is on the main menu. Avoid the value meals; the calorie content is generally equal to two meals.

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at

Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.

Small Steps, Big Changes

We all deal with clutter, believe it or not. Yes, even that friend with the spotless home. She doesn’t appear to have clutter because
she deals with clutter before it takes over her office, home — and life.

But what about the rest of us, with overflowing closets, ready-to-topple piles of magazines or bottles or spices spread over three cupboards?

The key is to tackle your decluttering step-by-step. A woman I know swears by the Wood Theory. It goes like this:

Facing a daunting load of wood that needed to be stored in her basement, she committed herself to toting one — and only one —
piece of wood to the basement every time she had to go to the basement for another reason (to unload her washer, for example).

A whole load of wood is daunting. But one piece of wood isn’t. It’s not even that heavy.

Little by little, and painlessly, the load of wood got smaller. And smaller. Until it was gone from her yard and stacked in her

Hmmm, she thought, if the Wood Theory works for wood, it can work for other tasks. Dust one slat of the blinds before going to pick up the kids at school, and the blinds are soon dusted, for example. It’s harder to avoid a small task that takes minutes — or even seconds — than it is to carve out the time to finish the entire job in one long, back-breaking session.

Here are five chores that are worth tackling the Wood-Theory way:

1. Never miss a birthday: Write one card per night while you’re watching a post-dinner rerun of your favorite show and you’ll soon have all your birthday cards for the year signed, sealed and ready to be delivered

2. Streamline your closet: Line a cardboard box with a plastic bag and place it in your closet to hold donations. Every morning when you’re getting dressed, choose one item for the box. When the box is full, take the bag and drop it off at a roadside donation bin. Repeat until the job is done.

3. Scour your bathroom: After you brush your teeth, chose one area of the bathroom to clean (wash the tub or change the towels, for example). Once the room’s clean, start all over again.

4. Organize your spices: When you run the dishwasher, choose one spice container to fill, re-shelve (in alphabetical order, of course) or toss. Your spices will be organized in no time! Consider using a drawer insert to keep spices neatly together and easy to grab when you’re cooking

5. End magazine mayhem: While you’re watching TV, keep handy a kit with scissors, a three-ring binder, page protectors, label tabs, a plastic bag and a pile of magazines. Flip through one or two issues at a time, cutting out the pages that have articles you want to keep. Put the pages in the protectors and file them in the binder, using the label tabs to separate them by category. Then bag the leftovers for recycling.

Clutter doesn’t have to seem daunting. By taking small steps and applying the wood-theory, you can accomplish big tasks in no time!

Is Your Office Set Up Working for You and Your Health

It’s time to audit your office set up.

Is your office set up working for you and your health? Position yourself and your equipment correctly to ensure a quality-working environment.

Get organized for the health of it. And remember if you have specific concerns always check with your practitioners to ensure the set up is right for you.

An improved working environment will elevate one’s overall well-being.


Eliminate Holiday Stress

Canadian Thanksgiving is here and it’s the start of the holiday season. The next few months may leave you feeling pulled in a million directions.

Your children need you at school concerts, work has extra holiday hours and commitments and your friend needs help planning a big holiday party? The extra money, time and energy during the holiday season is very stressful. Keep in mind that you won’t be of use to anyone if you over extend yourself.  Practice these holiday stress reducers so you don’t just survive the season, but enjoy this special time of the year.

1. Take a break each day for yourself.  Plan it in your calendar as you would a meeting or appointment. Schedule “you” time for at least 15-30 minutes each day doing something that you enjoy.  Whether it’s reading a good book, going for a manicure or journal writing, take the time to relax and rejuvenate.

2. Just say “No”. It’s OK not to do everything. Graciously thank people for their invitations but let them no you are unable to attend. No excuses necessary.

3. Question your traditions. Traditions are wonderful, but ask yourself if everyone is still enjoying them or whether the time and effort is worth it to you and your family. Ask family members which traditions they really enjoy. Then think about altering those traditions to better suit today’s busy lifestyle.

4. Don’t buy into bigger is better. Whether shopping for a gift, creating a warm evening for friends or cooking or baking, think of ways to simplify. Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.

5. Maintain your regular exercise routine. Don’t schedule your workouts around your other activities, schedule your other activities around your workout routines.  Try to go to the gym, swim or exercise at home at the same time each day. If you need to go to the store, park far away from the front entrance and get some exercise while you are at it. What about bundling up and having some fun with the kids outside? Give yourself and loved ones the best gift of all this holiday and take care of your health first. 

6. Get to bed at your usual time or earlier.  It can be tough to squeeze everything in that needs to get done for the holidays after work and throughout the day.  Sometimes people make up for this by staying up later hours.  With festive activities like parties and concerts keeping you up at all hours, it’s time to head to bed early on those nights you are at home. If you find yourself just flipping through the TV channels and considering your rerun options, make going to bed early a priority and a better use your precious time.

7. Eat properly.  Don’t use the holidays and stress as a reason to over eat.  Although the holidays bring with them sweet treats and extra appetizers, try not to make food the prime focus.  And remember, just because someone offers youn something, you do not have to accept.  It is not considered rude to politely pass on a food or beverages.  If you have ordered something out on the fly and the portion is large consider packing half of it to go and you will save both calories and on time preparing another meal. Remember there is no rule saying you must eat everything on your plate or everything that is handed to you.  Pick and choose the healthiest foods and indulge on those.  Be selective with richer foods and treats and eat smaller portions.

8. Watch your alcohol consumption. Although some people believe alcohol decreases your stress, it is only a temporary solution.  Try to stay away from consuming too many cocktails as this will interfere with your digestion, calorie intake, sleep and overall energy and well-being.  When you are careful with what you drink, you will eliminate consuming too much at holiday parties which can create stress issues bigger than post holiday pounds.

9. Cut down your gift giving list.  If you have way too many people to buy gifts for this year, try having a family, friend or work gift draw. Often people are very excited about this idea, and are just waiting for someone to suggest it.  This will help to relieve you of what to get, time to get it and money to budget.  It’s simple, the fewer people you have to buy gifts for, the less over all stressors for you.

With all the additional stress that can be added this holiday season it’s important to practice some de-stressing activities to make your holidays the festive and joyful time you really want it to be.

Healthier Workplace Leads to Healthy Returns

>You know that the key to a long and happy life is good health, but it also makes good business sense. Consider this: Physically fit employees not only take fewer sick days, they also are more productive, and that helps to keep your bottom line healthy too. While you can’t push your employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle, you can encourage and provide them with opportunities to get and stay fit, such as:

– Take stock of your office vending machine. Replace high-fat and high-calorie items like pop and chips with more healthy and nutritious snacks.

– Do you have an office cafeteria? Look at adding health-smart items to the menu.

– When it comes time for a team-building retreat or exercise, why not choose a program or location with physical activity opportunities?

– Reward employees who make healthy choices. For example, sponsor your company’s softball team.

– Office events and parties are great opportunities to promote healthy living while having fun, like a skating party.

– Create a team of executives and employees to look at and promote the benefits of good health in your business.

– Install a water cooler. Drinking more water is essential to losing weight and staying healthy.

– Offer a weekly lunchtime program where employees can learn how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make it fun and interactive; have cooking classes with a local chef where employees can learn how to prepare more nutritious meals, and then sample them for lunch.

– Make your office more exercise friendly. Install a shower for employees who bike to work or jog at lunch.

– Because fitness club fees can be expensive, look into corporate rates to give your employees added incentive to get fit.

– Make physical fitness a contest between departments. This is a great way to build team spirit in your company. Start a walking or running club and keep a weekly tally of weight lost or kilometers walked and offer a monthly prize to the team with the best overall performance.

When it comes to changing your employees’ lifestyles and habits, think of it as an investment. It takes considerable time, effort and dedication, but it’s one that will result in significant returns for your employees (an improved quality of life) and for you (improved profitability and profits).

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at

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