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How will you change your world this year?

How will you change your world this year?

What will you change in your world this year?

We have seen this week that what was normal is not okay for many people, black people in particular. I have already written on facebook about the tragedy of George Floyd and many others. A friend shared a picture of our kids protesting the death of Eric Garner 6 years ago. Their sign read “I can’t breathe.” I am a white woman from New Zealand and I have lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years. This is my inherited world.

So I ask, what will you change in your world this year?

Maybe you are in a position to affect policy change. Please do. Please make sure that the most vulnerable of our population are cared for, nutured, and encouraged to contribute their worth. Because they are worthy.

Maybe you are a business owner who is looking to hire. Who will you hire?

Maybe you are part of the privileged. Will you support higher taxes to ensure public schools get the funding they require? Will you donate time or money to help kids who need it most? Will you support our police departments to be less of a police force and more of a police community support?

Maybe you can have a yard sale to benefit a local group doing good in the community (Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program has chapters in many places around the country, including Los Angeles: https://www.obama.org/mbka/)

Maybe, instead of buying something that you want, but don’t need, you could donate to a cause, or hire a young black person.

Maybe you are a black person – I encourage you to dream, don’t give up hope, and help us help you. Keep asking for what you need. I will listen. I will vote for the people who can affect positive change for you. I will support those organizations helping you. I will ask my clients to donate their items they no longer need to support causes that help people in need like you. I will stand with you and not be silent.

ID the scope of your organizing project

ID the scope of your organizing project

The first step to any project is clearly identifying the scope of the project. Specifying what your aims are as a closed project will help you to know when it is complete. However, you don’t need to drill down into the details as you’re outlining your project. 
 
“Getting organized” is not specific enough. Equally, a list a mile long with specific instructions such as “Create 43 hanging folders, each labelled with 3.5 inch tabs with 20 point Arial font with the following labels… and filing all the loose paperwork into those folders, being sure to purge any utility bills older than…etc” is probably too much detail at the beginning of a project. 
thought bubble
Here’s how to identify the scope of a project. 
 
Choose an area to organize. It can be as small as a drawer in a bed side table, or a shelf in a closet. It could be as big as a whole room. (Again, “organize the whole house and the garage” is a bit too broad). 
 
Imagine how you want the space to be at the end of your project, and make that your goal. You might want to specify that all horizontal surfaces are clear or with a certain number of decorative items remaining, or perhaps that all like objects are together, or that you only want one of each of the types of objects in the space. However you choose to state it, someone else should be able to come into the space and say, “Yes, you’ve done it!”
 
Know what you will do with the items that don’t belong in that space before you start. Dealing with these items should be part of your project – as long as they don’t expand the scope of your project. For example, you might need to move some items to the garage from the room you are organizing. If the new space is organized, then go ahead and put those things away. But if it’s not, it’s okay to put them in a holding place until you can organize them there. (See last week’s blog post about the domino effect.) The point is to come back to the project you started, not to get distracted by another space. 
 
How to start a project when it seems overwhelming

How to start a project when it seems overwhelming

One of the biggest concerns people have when they start an organizing project is where to start. We call it the domino effect.
 
51648948 - row of dominoes in a circle shape on a neutral background
 
There are some clothes in the home office that need to go to the bedroom closet, but the closet is stuffed, so we’d need to make some space in there to put the clothes away. There’s some sporting equipment in the closet that really should go in the garage, but there’s no room in the garage unless we put the bulk supplies in the pantry. But the pantry had a few boxes of paperwork that used to be for current paperwork, but that are now so stuffed that you can’t fit any more paperwork in there and the stuff in the boxes is kind of out of date and could either be recycled or archived in the home office, except there’s no room in the home office unless we take out the extra clothes that should be in the bedroom closet ….
 
It’s like a slide puzzle. And we want to do it with the fewest moves possible. 

pocket sliding fifteen puzzle game isolated on white background. with clipping path

 
Start with making sure you have some space in the room you are working in. So purge (recycle, donate, return, sell) items you know can go. If you need instant gratification to give you some momentum, focus on large items you know you don’t want so you clear the biggest amount of space in a short amount of time. 
 
Stay in one space. Resist the urge to start moving things in other areas. That way your effort will produce the biggest visible return.
 
Once you’ve cleared some space, you can use the space for one category that makes sense in that space. Sometimes that is nothing, and that’s okay. 
 
To extrapolate, to start any overwhelming project, start with a small do-able piece. The start is the most important part. It’s easier to keep up momentum. 

How to make big goals happen

So you’ve got a big goal this year. Congratulations!
 
So, you’re in one of two places.
  1. You’re excited, you’ve already taken some action, things are rolling.
  2. You’re stopped. Suddenly you’re afraid of failing, overwhelmed, don’t know where to start. You’re about to decide that you didn’t really want that big goal anyway.
 
How do you go from being in category 2 into category 1?
 

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The business of business: Know your Metrics

Last week when you set your goals, you made them measurable. (How else can you know if you’ve achieved them or not?) Most goals have several actions that will lead to the successful outcome. We could put it like this:
 
Action1 + Action2 + Action3 = Result
 
For instance, perhaps you have a goal for a certain amount of income per month. Let’s take a simple example; a coach wants to make $40,000 per month. In order to do that, let’s say they need 32 clients a month. Their client load has 20 ongoing clients per month, so they need 12 new clients a month, or 3 a week. If their enrollment process (call/seminar/ lead generation) has a conversion rate of 25%, they need to speak to 48 new people a month to get those 12 new clients in a month. 
 
So at this point, there are several possible strategies to meet the goal. Increase the client rate, increase the number of ongoing clients, increase their conversion rate, or increase the number of new people they are speaking to each month. Implementing any of these strategies will help to achieve the goal.
 

Change Action 1 + Change Action 2 + Change Action 3 = Change in Result 
 
However, attempting to change everything at once will usually end in a worse result. It’s too much to focus on. So choose one strategy to work on at any given time. Determining the strategy that will have the biggest impact will give the coach the key metric to focus on.
 
In our example, since the coach is currently only speaking to 20 new people a month, they decide to focus on increasing the number of new people they speak to a month. So they track the number of new people they speak to and focus on increasing that number. 
 
Which ever metrics you decide to track, make it easy to record the data and to retrieve reports as you progress towards your goal. If you need suggestions on what metrics are important, or how best to track them, give us a call. 

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Setting a household budget for the year

Setting a household budget for the year

Okay, so you set some new goals last week. Can you do them? Are they realistic? An important question to think about is do you have enough time and money to do what you want to do?
 
Here are some guidelines that will help with financial budgeting:red dollar sign
  1. Live within your means.
  2. Save first, spend afterward.
  3. Invest wisely – know how your dollars are being put to work – they might as well be doing something good in the world.
  4. Know how much you spend on necessities vs. discretionary items. 
  5. Plan for everyday expenses and one-off expenses as well as allowing for unexpected expenses.
  6. Treat the numbers objectively. It’s better to pay off a high interest credit card first than a low interest one.
  7. If your expenses are higher than your income you have two options – reduce the amount you are spending and increase the amount you are earning. 
  8. If you choose to carry debt, understand the consequences upfront.
  9. Use banking software (if available) to track your spending so you have an accurate picture of what you spend, not just a guesss

Right now you are looking at the whole year, but of course things can change. Reassess mid-year if needed, or if big changes happen in your life, such as a new job, raise, or large unexpected expense. 

Feel free to adjust your goals as needed!