Posted January 14 2011, 7:31 AM PST by Tara Sharp

Practical resolutions: preparing for the best in 2011 (Part I)

Posted in Buying, Selling, and Living by Tara Sharp

The transition from the holidays and 2010 is behind us now, and we are well into the first month of the new year. Once 2011 officially started, I believe I heard a collective sigh of relief echoing throughout the following days.  2010 was a good year, much better than we had anticipated it being--for most of us anyway. 2011 feels like a beacon of light, illuminating the path to an auspicious year ahead; a new year, a new decade and what seems to be the worst is behind us.

For some people the New Year is just a party or another day, for others it is a time of reflection and resolutions, and for others it is a benchmark--a way to remember annual projects. I am not really a resolutions person myself; I figure if I do not make it, I cannot break it. I do, however, remind myself to up the ante on what I should be doing anyway and to plan for goals and projects ahead.

The hard part is sticking to the plan after the luster of the New Year starts to fade. For the rest of January we will be offering resources on making and keeping home resolutions, whether you want to update your current home, start saving and shopping for your first house or sell the home you have. Here are some tips to get you started making your home resolutions:

BluePrint2Resolutions 101

Everyone’s list of things to accomplish in the upcoming year is different, but one thing is pretty universal: most of us are too ambitious for our own good. The best thing to do is make reasonable goals for yourself and work towards accomplishing them one at a time. So be realistic. You may not renovate your entire home, but in all likelihood you can finish your kitchen remodel.  You may start the year with plenty of momentum; just remember to pace yourself when it comes to big goals--it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Here are some tips to keep your goals in check:

Set a goal: I find it useful to create a bucket list of all the things I want to do and prioritize the most important, most time consuming and most expensive. Your goals and what you do to accomplish them will differ whether you are making your home more your style, saving to buy or preparing to sell. From this list you can prioritize the goals in order by urgency, seasonality, and difficulty. If you cannot fit all your projects in this year, move them to the rolling 2012 bucket list.

Make a budget: Do your research and make an informed budget. If you are looking to renovate, you will want to make a plan, check resources and make an informed budget. If you are looking to save up for your down payment on a home, you will want to assess how much you need to have saved in order to have enough to put down, and create a budget plan. Creating a budget is a great way to keep your finances in check and keep your projects as affordable as possible.

Set benchmarks: If you have a big goal, breaking it up into smaller bites is the best way to stay motivated. If you can do a little bit every week to keep your home clean and tackle an organization project, you are more likely to sustain the momentum than if you attempt a complete overhaul. Also, there’s one great thing about goal setting, budget making and project planning: the more you practice, the better you become!

Stay motivated: Your resolutions may already be going by the wayside now that we are caught back up in life-as-always. It may help to write out your resolutions in a central place--a document on your computer desktop, a list on your fridge, or benchmark reminders in your mobile calendar. The key is to keep your resolutions at the top of your mind so you can work towards them a little bit every day/week. For more advice on how to keep your momentum, go here.

The new year offers the chance of renewed energy to accomplish the goals from past years and start fresh projects. This is the first post in a four-blog series about setting home resolutions, come back to see more information on making your existing home more personal, and buying and selling your home in 2011.


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  • [...] This is the second post in our four-part home resolution series. Find the first article on how to identify and plan for your new year’s goals here. [...]

    Posted January 17 2011, 2:31 AM by Making your house a home (Home resolutions, part II) | Windermere Real Estate Blog

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