Making Room for 2013

By Erin Lozano

Financial New Year's ResolutionsWhat do you do to make room for the year ahead? Sometimes we’ve got to clear out before we can call in all that good stuff we want to generate from now till end-2012. Here are my favorite three steps to help you achieve your financial resolutions for the new year.

1. Out with the Old (Purge, Baby, Purge)

Renewal takes space. Make physical and psychological space by getting a box, walking through each room in the house, and choosing something from it to give away. Use a box or an opaque bag that you can’t go back through. No reconsidering! Just put the items in the box and move on. Then close up the box or bag, get another one, and go through the exercise one more time.

The objective is not to clear out stuff you don’t need. It is to simplify. Take what you are living with, in a way you feel streamlined and efficient, and raise the bar. Take it one notch further, out of your comfort zone. This practice has an amazing capacity to keep you on your toes, keep your thinking fresh, and to keep your resources flowing. It also helps you organize. When you take a radical step, the steps that follow are not as difficult to complete.

Before you kick it off, call Good Will or your favorite charity, and schedule a pick up for the day after your purge. Leave the stuff on the street for them to pick up, and feel lighter as they drive away.

2. Complete the Incompletes

I used to treat year-end like it was finals week in college. Before I would take vacation, I would tie up all the loose ends, and set them up to be completed in the New Year. This is easy to do, and you’ll be surprised at the renewed energy you get, knowing the stuff is off your plate…even if it is re-calendared to the future.

First, create a list of incompletes. Write down everything that is incomplete from 2009, from phone calls you didn’t make, to projects you didn’t finish, to the friend you haven’t spent quality time with in a while. Then go through and either complete those items or create new agreements and timeframes within which to complete them. If you didn’t get the chance to have lunch with that friend last year, put it on the list, send her an email, and plan it for January. Create opportunity for the year ahead by getting your list down, and your completions done or rescheduled by the end of January.

3. In with the New

Every year I write a letter that describes what I want to create. Then I burn it. Ritual is remedy. It’s one more way to energetically clear out and make space for the new.

If you like to bring out your creative side, try making an art project out of the concept of vision boards. Pick up a small canvas from a frame shop, cut pictures from magazines that represent emotions and experiences you want to have in the new year, and make a personal vision decoupage.

When I’ve done this in the past, the final product was so attractive that I hung them decoratively in my house. They are gorgeous, and all year, I’m looking at images that remind me to live my goals and desires. It’s a way to create a vision board that is more alive and artistic, and visible.

Erin Lozano is COO of, a unique Cash Flow Management tool makes your financial future as important as your financial history. Automated to all of your online banking and credit accounts, Green Sherpa handles expenses and plans up to twelve months ahead to give you 100% visibility on your goals.

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