Dear Dieting Resolution:
It was fun while it lasted.
Sincerely, the End of January
Ah, dieting; you always start strong but
somewhere near the end of the month, your resolve starts to fail you. This
year, stay strong with a host of electronic tools that will keep your weight loss
resolution on track.
Women's Health Magazine:
Best Apps for Weight Loss: This useful article features three weight loss apps and makes the case that their real time
feedback helps you make smart food choices. Plus, when you track what you eat,
it's difficult to lie to yourself or overlook indulgences. The proof is in the pudding!
Shape Magazine: The Best
Free Apps to Help You Lose Weight: Weight
loss is not just about diet, exercise is a must as well. Shape Magazine rounds
up 10 must-have exercise and diet apps that will have you fit as a fiddle (and
with a smaller middle!) in no time flat.
Finally, what good are all these weight loss
apps if your diet is easily derailed by the office pastry platter? For healthy
office snacks, that keep your engine humming and your diet on track, read our
past post Healthy Office Eats.
Yup, It's Possible.
Multitasking gets a bad rap: sometimes doing two things at the same time
makes perfect sense. Take organizing; when you streamline and edit your
belongings down to the things you truly use and value, you create the
opportunity to donate unwanted items to those who might better use them. Think
of it as purging for a cause.
Take a look around your home. Have stacks of unread newspapers? Turns
out the ASPCA can use shredded newspapers for
animals' cages. Outgrown clothes?
Dozens of organizations will happily take them off your hands. The same applies
to unneeded cars, unneeded sports gear and even books and toys.
If charitable giving is on your mind in 2013, we've rounded up a list of
organizations that would love the coat off your back (or those toys off your
Mission: Helps people with
barriers to employment learn job skills.
Donations Accepted: Clothing,
electronics, appliances, furniture, and more.
Mission: Community programs,
homeless services, rehabilitation, disaster relief.
Donations Accepted: Clothing,
furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, electronics, and more
Vietnam Veterans of America
Mission: Provides aid to Vietnam-era
veterans and their families.
Donations Accepted: Clothing, baby
items, house wares, electronics, small appliances, tools, and other items.
Mission: Supports individuals struggling with
challenges such as at-risk youth; the frail elderly; men and women returning
from prison; homeless individuals and families; people with disabilities, and
those recovering from addictions.
Donations Accepted: Clothing,
furniture, toys, and household goods for their thrift stores.
Dress for Success
Mission: Provides interview suits and career development advice to low-income
women in over 75 cities worldwide.
Donations Accepted: Women's business suits and other
professional apparel, footwear, and accessories.
Mission: Provides low income job-seeking men with training, career
counseling, interviews, and professional clothing.
Donations Accepted: Men's suits, dress shirts, ties, shoes,
briefcases, and other interview-appropriate clothing.
Mission: Distributes shoes to people in need in over 125 countries.
Donations Accepted: All types of new or gently-worn shoes:
athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, and
Stuffed Animals & Toys
Animals for Emergencies)
items for children in emotional, traumatic, or stressful situations such as
natural and manmade disasters.
Donations Accepted: New or gently-used
Mission: Provides a "home-away-from-home" for families with
Donations Accepted: New toys, food, and household products.
World Computer Exchange
Mission: Provides used computers and technology to schools, libraries,
community centers & universities in developing countries.
Donations Accepted: Computers,
laptops, printers, hard drives, peripherals, software, and more.
Cell Phones for Soldiers
Mission: Recycles cell phones for money
to purchase calling cards for troops.
Donations Accepted: Used cell phones.
Kars for Kids
Mission: National organization addressing the educational, emotional and spiritual
needs of Jewish children and their families.
Accepted: All types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, motor homes, boats,
airplanes, farm equipment, and construction equipment.
Habitat for Humanity Cars
Mission: Builds and rehabilitates houses for families
Donations Accepted: Cars, trucks, boats, RVs, motorcycles, and
Mission: The prevention and cure of diabetes.
Donations Accepted: Cars, trucks, trailers, boats, and RVs.
National Kidney Foundation
Mission: Funds programs and medical research to
prevent and treat kidney disease.
Donations Accepted: Cars, vans, trucks, and boats.
derails the fun of a snowy, winter day faster than a missing mitten. And
arriving at the mountain with one ski pole instead of two? Big bummer. Take
time to organize yourself for maximum winter fun.
Staples: Cold winter
weather means wintry ailments like the flu, chapped lips and runny noses. Stock
up essentials like chapsticks and tissues online. And be sure to stockpile
necessary meds such as fever reducers, sore throat lozenges and cough syrups
before illness strikes; dragging your feverish self to the pharmacy is never
fun. Consider purchasing travel sizes of chapsticks, hand
cream and tissues to keep in your hand bags or the car so you're never caught
Bag: If your family skies (or ice skates,
sleds, etc,) create a designated to-go bag for every member
of the family. Store hats, scarves, gloves and ski or skate passes and other
must-have items here. Don't forget the sunblock! Sun exposure during skiing and
skating can take a toll on unprotected skin. Take time to restock the bag after
each use, so when you get an unexpected snowfall, you're ready to hit the
slopes, confident that all your needs are close at hand.
your hall closet or mudroom into your winter command central. Swap out the
off-season gear and create a caddy that houses tissues, extra gloves,
chapsticks, etc. so family members can help themselves. Task hanging sweater
organizers or bins with storing rolled up ski pants, hats, gloves, etc.
Wet: Winter means dripping boots and bulky
gear. Designate a metal tray to capture wet boots and shoes near
your door and use a coat rack protected with outdoor paint for hanging sodden snow
suits and accessories to dry. Apartment dwellers may want to place an
attractive rattan hamper near the front door to capture wet items.
trips and skating outings can all add up quickly. Ward off empty-wallet
syndrome by clipping coupons and taking advantage of promotions. Designate a
small wallet or pouch to keep savings offers close at hand. Your bank account
will thank you.
the cold weather draws to a close, evaluate what gear and apparel need to be
replaced, and stock up on sale items for the following season. If kids will
have outgrown items by the following winter, don't store the bulky items during
the warmer months. Arrange to pass along the unneeded items to friends or
relatives or donate them to charity.
we understand your to-do list is long. Same here. But some things just never
seem to get done, right? Time for some gentle prodding: make 2013 the year you
add these five simple steps to your usual to-dos. Most only take a few minutes
of time to complete. Happy more productive 2013.
up earlier. This may not go over well with the night owls in the crowd but rising
and shining even 15-30 minutes earlier each day will jumpstart your day. More
time equals less stress and better organization. You can even use the extra
minutes for exercise or other wellness activities such as mediation or
got mail!...somewhere. Check your spam folder weekly for emails that have gone
astray. And if you have multiple email accounts, do a weekly review to make
sure important messages aren't being missed. Finally, take 10 minutes at the
end (or beginning) of each week to free up your inbox by clearing out old emails
and responding to outstanding items.
out your 401(k) contributions. Each month countless employees leave money on
the table in terms of matching funds from their employers. If a reduced
paycheck is daunting, cut costs elsewhere to make up the deficit. There may be
no such thing as a free lunch, but free money? Yup, it exists.
your credit history? If you're like many Americans, you have no idea. Given
that identify theft is increasingly on the rise, staying on top of your credit
history is critical. Once a year, use the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian, and
TransUnion--to both monitor and protect your credit. Many experts caution that
credit monitoring is just the first step, and advocate signing up for two years
of a free credit freeze at each of the three main credit bureaus. With a
freeze, no one can look at your credit profile without having you first allow
the ban to be lifted. So crooks can't open accounts or buy items under your
Extra Credit: Overachievers,
we know you love to add a little extra to your routines. How about a thirteenth
mortgage payment versus twelve? Did you know that by adding just one extra
payment annually, you can shave as much as five years off on your loan? For homeowners in your fifties, this can mean
one less expense during retirement. Now that's golden!
Alphabetized spice rack? Check. Clothing sorted and
stored by color? Check. Drawers and medicine cabinets purged of odds and ends?
Check and double-check! Face it: You are an über-organizer.
In search of uncharted terrain to organize? Check out
this round-up of projects that only an org junkie could love.
Journal: Document 2013 from start to finish with a 365-day
photo project. Perfect for new parents or anyone with a passion for detail:
take one photo each day of your child, your garden, your yard, or whatever
inspires you and share the results on a blog or in a photo book. For
inspiration, read Are You Doing a 365 Photo Project?
Star: Do you collect toy cars? Or other small memorabilia? Make
a statement by massing your items together for an
eye-popping storage meets art display.
Get chart smart with this kitchen cabinet organizer
that doubles as a measuring conversion chart. Now you're cookin'!
Houses: Seeing is not only believing, it's organizing. When
you can easily eyeball where things belong, odds are good that items will end
up in the right spot. So embrace the glass jar, perfect for decanting cooking supplies and for corralling craft materials. People who live in
glass houses...are organized!
Store: Sure your closet is color-coded but are your shoes stored and organized by photo? Yeah,
now we're talking über-organized!
Shoe addicts, meet your dream closet!
Still at loss for resolutions as January slowly slips
away? Fear not, it's never too late to
We've rounded up some "Jan Plan" inspiration to get you
motivated. And if it slides until February? Hey, better late than never....
Keeping: Give your house the old spit and polish with the January Cure from leading home site Apartment Therapy. You'll be decluttered and neat and tidy in no time flat.
Loss: Fans of TV show The Biggest
Loser know that fitness guru Jillian Michaels can help you drop pounds. Now, lose
weight at home with Michael's 30-Day Shred workout,
designed to help users shed 30 pounds in 20 days with a 20-minute daily
workout. Lose weight, win a healthier body.
Flatter Abs: Anyone can do anything for 30 days, even if
it's ab-burning crunches. This 30-day regimen from Women's Health Magazine starts slowly and builds as your endurance grows. Ab-flattening
eating strategies are part of the equation. Go for it - your jeans will thank
Health: Holiday shopping sprees can do major damage to your
budget. If you've racked up whopping credit card bills, or wish you had a
better handle on your overall financial health, this 30-step
path to financial wellness is
More: Heartbreaking stories about natural and man-made
disasters filled our airwaves and newspapers at the end of 2012. If 2013 is the
year you want to make a difference in the lives of others, read 30 Ways in 30 Days for inspiration about how you can help Ronald McDonald House or other similar
Relationships: Would you be willing to spend 21 days to
vastly improve your relationships? Gretchen Rubin of
the Happiness Project thinks so and she's crafted a 21-Day
Relationship Challenge designed
to make your relationships more loving.
Getting more organized tops
many a resolution list. Move from resolution to success story with some
organizing inspiration from Pinterest.
Many common household items can do double-duty as storage. Clever organizers
use everything from a cheese grater to vintage cups and saucers for
jewelry storage. How about a DIY drying rack for your laundry room? See how
this repurposed ladder does
the trick. Or declutter a bathroom or kitchen counter with this shoe rack. Put
your best (organizational) foot forward!
Face: Tame makeup clutter with these ingenious storage
solutions. A magnetic board teamed with beauty products bearing small magnets equals
storage magic in this clever DIY. Or think vertical and hang your tools on a wall in
attractive canisters. We also like this smart idea for sorting makeup
Space: Think you lack the space for effective organizing? Look
up: your ceiling is the fifth wall in any room, task yours with storage duty
with these handy organizers. Other resourceful ideas for finding space where you least expect it, include
using peg board to turn empty walls into spaces chock full of storage options. Finally, use the
space under window eaves for fun places like a book nook, dreamy shoe storage,
or this adorable perch for a pooch.
Fun Space: We think organizing is fun and after you see
these fabulous and funky organizing ideas, we think you'll love it as much as
we do. Banish boring shelves with some of these spectacular
shelving ideas. How fabulous is this bookshelf man? We also love organizing with color: the links here, here and here show how every family member can be assigned a color for effective
organizing meets pretty palette. Even boring papers can be transformed when
rainbow hued. See ideas here and here.
You multitask like nobody's
business, juggling work, home and family demands all week long. Now, with 2013
in swing, it's time to add New Year's resolutions to the mix.
Keep all your balls in the
air, and all your resolutions on track, by plotting your progress in the new Ampad® Versa™ Crossover Notebook,
offers a crossover design that
takes the best of a notebook, binder and dividers and puts it all in one. Want
to log your exercise time? Keep track of healthy recipes? Capture inspirational
articles on quitting smoking? Get more organized? Whatever your New Year's
goals may be, Ampad® Versa&trade can help you keep track of all the moving parts.
Adds Up to Productivity
New Year is a fresh start, so why dive into it with an outdated notebook? Now,
Ampad® Versa™ lets you manage multiple projects or subdivide one large project into
smaller sections. Plus, the highlighting flags make finding and organizing
notes easier than ever. And you can reorder and reorganize your notes, again
reimagines the notebook; use it for your own 2013 reinvention.
sticking to resolutions are an inescapable part of the January landscape.
But while experts are
everywhere offering tips and tricks for remaining committed to resolutions, few
pundits take a "no resolutions" approach to ringing in the New Year. In the
spirit of "there's two sides to every story," we take a look at the notion of
skipping resolutions altogether. Hey, you still got the champagne!
Make New Year's Resolutions: They're Not Good for Your Health: If you're thinking
about adopting a healthier lifestyle, eliminating resolutions may be the first
step, according to this article: Don't
Make New Year's Resolutions: They're Not Good for Your Health. The article posits
that sticking to resolutions can create stress, rack up unnecessary expenses
and can cause depression when resolutions are unmet. Rather, the article
promotes the notion that the healthiest, happiest, fittest people are those
that develop successful patterns in their lives--lives which
involve achievement and close relationships. By building on successes, whatever
they may be, and by maintaining committed relationships, health and wellness
naturally flow as part of their "active, achieving, and dependable lives." So
socialize with the healthy and happy - wellness is contagious!
New Year's Resolutions Don't Work - Here's Why: Did you ever stop to think that goal setting
is akin to declaring that your life isn't good enough, that happiness is always
around the corner and is missing and absent from your life right now? The
article New Year's Resolutions Don't Work -
Here's Why, makes the case that when we constantly
resolve to make changes, that when we look ahead to a goal, rather than
focusing on, and enjoying the present, that we miss the chance to focus on the
happiness and success that is currently in hand. Food for thought, no?
Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work: This
article suggests that many resolutions are made with pie-eyed optimism that
generally doesn't translate into success. But rather than truly eschewing the
notion of New Year's goal setting, the author does in fact make the case for
something quite similar: planning. The article advocates making time for an annual
(or better yet, quarterly) planning session(s) to lay out goals and concrete
strategies for moving the ball forward. Read on for more about why taking
stocking of your life or business, and planning for growth or change should be
a part of your 2013: Why New Year's Resolutions Don't
Did you notice how
your office looked more festive and welcoming around the holidays? The seasonal
décor, baskets of treats and smiling faces gave your workplace an extra glow.
Carry that good
feeling througout 2013 with this round up of advice for jazzing up even the dullest
10 Design Tips for Tiny Offices: A welcoming environment doesn't need to
be costly, as the tips from these ten small startups prove. Snacks and smiles
go a long way to warming up any atmosphere. Other ideas include punchy paint
colors and pets. Yes, Fido is a welcome guest in some offices; they see the
paws-itive benefits of interacting with furry friends!
9 Pieces of
Furniture That Make the Work Day More Fun: Put
a smile on even the grumpiest face
with fun furniture. From a swing set that
doubles as a conference table, to a green rug designed to mimic picnic grounds,
to a ping pong conference table, these designs will put some play in your day.
5 Rules for Office Feng Shui: A calm, clutter free workplace gives out a welcoming
vibe. This beginner primer for organizing your work environment promotes energy
we leave you with a mind-blowing design project from a German company that used
over 55,000 Lego bricks to
create a divider wall in their office kitchen. This year-long
project may not be in the cards for every workplace but it shows that when
creativity meets teamwork, magic can happen!
No excuses this
year: we have fantastic apps to keep your New Year's resolutions on track.
Add Exercise: Put your money where your mouth is and link
your fitness goals to a monetary incentive (or penalty) with the GymPact app. Users commit to a
number of workouts and tie each to a monetary sum, when you show up, it adds
up. Skip a workout and cough up. Users can even join in a group and challenge friends/family/coworkers.
Other helpful exercise tracking apps include MapMyRun's app and the Nike Training app. Or use the mobile
companion to the monster exercise hit p90X with this app. Get up and get going!
Smoking for Good: Dump
those cancer sticks once and for all with the iQuit app, which lets you track your decreasing
cigarette schedule and plot your progress on social media. The social element enlists
positive peer pressure: your social network can cheer successes and rally
support if you stumble.
Watch Your Money: Whip
your finances into shape with the Expenditure app, which tracks spending across categories
as well as one-time only expenses. The user-friendly interface shows where the
money is flowing. Or check out award-winning app Mint.com,which lets users track,
budget and manage money in both checking and savings accounts, as well as
credit card accounts, investments and retirement funds. Reminders also help
prevent late fees. You'll love the price tag: free!
Be More Organized: Ready
for a more organized 2013? Productivity app Evernote,lets
users create and save notes, pictures and voice memos and sync them across your
phone, computer and the Web. Never lose
track of a to-do list again. When you team Evernote with a time-management tool
such as OmniFocus, which
lets users track tasks by date, person, place or project, you're on your way to
an organized day. Still procrastinating? RescueTime, not
only tracks all
your time, it'll block you from visiting distracting websites when you work.
Get Up Earlier: No
time for resolutions? Wake up earlier
each day with the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, http://bit.ly/Vw6Jzr an intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes
you in the lightest sleep phase of a set period so you wake up feeling rested
and relaxed. The app offers lots of customization such as 15 alarm
options, sleep cycle monitoring and wake-up options. Use your extra morning
hours to keep your resolutions on track.
Finally, if the
thought of tracking all your resolutions across various apps makes you overwhelmed,
this one-stop-shopping app is for you. Centralize all your goals in one spot
with the All
My New Year's Resolutions 2012 app. http://bit.ly/YoTDYf
Happy New Year!
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.