Tip #1: Smile at Everyone
Smiling prevents wrinkles – seriously! When I look at pictures of my Grandmother, I see myself in her, and not just because fat cheeks run in our family. When we smile, it’s like a Christmas tree, all lit up. And even if you don’t have fat cheeks, smiling creates positive energy that boosts your spirit from the inside. It’s a great way to help yourself be happier while also spreading the feeling to those around you.
You should try smiling at someone who looks miserable. If you keep smiling, they will almost surely follow your example.
Tip #2: Give Time to Someone New
You probably know that getting paid by the hour defines time as money. So, giving time to someone new – helps you keep things in perspective.
When I say ‘things’, I mean having a home, a family, food in the fridge, transportation to come and go, network of friends, other things. Think about making a ‘blessing’ list of all the things that you have, which you often assume everyone has.
When temperatures were below freezing last year, I met someone new at church – a guy named James. He was sleeping under a bridge with cardboard as a mattress and a thin blanket coverlet.
He told me he was new in town and had landed a job that started the next Monday. After he got paid, he would be able to rent a room somewhere until he could afford something better.
James made me think about all the things I was taking for granted in my life. James was simply thankful to have a job lined up and had no complaints of his current circumstances. He made me more aware and got me thinking about how I could share what I had in ways I had not thought of before.
Tip #3: Check your Bank Balance Before Going Shopping
Years of balancing your checkbook (or maybe not enough years?) have probably made you despise doing it. But go ahead and balance it today. Why? So that you can plan ahead for any extra expenses during the holidays.
One method I have used in the past is the envelope system. With so many bank transactions now electronic, sometimes it is easy to lose track. So, you can simplify the balancing process by setting aside money for gifts and party expenses using an envelope for each category.
That way, your budget is in each envelope, and you can manage how much you spend or save during this time of the year. When the envelope is empty, hopefully you will have made all your planned purchases and will not be tempted to keep on spending money that you don’t have.
Of course, these holiday spend envelopes would be in addition to keeping up with your regular bills and expenses. However, starting the new year with a clean slate and being up to date on paying your bills creates a good feeling!
Tip #4: Look Up and Out, Never Giving Up
For those of us who own a business, we are familiar with the phrase “working on your business, not just in it.” This tip is to look up and beyond today.
You might consider using the following steps for goal-setting and timelining your next steps:
Tip #5: Prepare for the New Year
In the preparation stage is where the real fun begins, when we purge the old to let in the new. This tip is twofold – financial and non-financial.
Do Up the Financial Side
Gather all your financial and other documents for the previous year to organize for your year-end reporting. Consider using Dropbox or Google Drive to scan and digitally store your yearly documents, setting up similar files for the coming year.
De-Clutter Your Home and Office to Free Space
Make a visual inventory of your home and workspace to identify clutter. This is an ideal time to de-clutter by storing or discarding items (or even giving things away) that are not creating joy in your life.
By de-cluttering, your mind will be more agile so that you can engage in new conversations and new activities without being bogged down.
Use these tips to help you do what you love and enjoy what you do! Be blessed.