The Resolution: Get Organized
Your Coach: Rachel Rosenthal, a NoVA-based organizing expert and founder of RachelRosenthal.co
Essential Advice: “We are so busy and are running a mile a minute, but having your physical space organized will lead to many benefits,” says Rosenthal. “Not only will your space be more calm, but so will you as a person, and you’ll feel less stressed and have more time to focus on what really matters to you.”
Ready, Set, Go!
1. Make gradual progress. “Instead of making a laundry list of items that need to get organized right away, divvy up areas of your home for every month. Focus on small areas, like the inside of the drawers, first and use the momentum to carry you on to the next month and next area.”
2. Schedule it in. “Like you would for a dentist or doctor, schedule in your organizing time. If you don’t make an appointment with yourself, you are bound to put something else in its place.”
3. Get a buddy. “A support system is always helpful when you’re taking on a new venture like getting your home organized, and it is easier to accomplish your goal if you have someone to hold you accountable. Best of all, have someone who can take your trash and make it their treasure!”
The Resolution: Learn to Cook
Your Coach: Maria Kopsidas, owner, Cookology Culinary School (with locations at Dulles Town Center and recently-opened Ballston Quarter)
Essential Advice: It comes down to control, says Kopsidas. “Most of us in this area are Type A and think we have it all under control, except when it comes to what we eat. We need to let go somewhere, right? I get it, but food these days can be the cause of a disease or the cure. Eating at home after sourcing and cooking your own food can make you feel healthy—and in control.”
Ready, Set, Go!
1. Conquer enough recipes for one week. “I make the same thing every week for dinner because I know what my family likes. These recipes are tried and true and will get everyone off their phone and to the table.”
2. Put it on autopilot. “Make your grocery shopping trips robotic. I shop at the same grocery store every week, which means I know exactly where everything is. I even know which checkout person is the fastest, and I can shop and checkout in 30 minutes”.
3. Prep with patience. “For moist heat cooking, better known as saute or braising, heat your pans slowly. Don’t put the burner on high. Here’s a trick: run your hand under the water in the sink briefly, flick that water off of your hand and into the pan, if the water rolls, your pan is ready. Add olive oil, butter and onions, saute and relax.”
The Resolution: Save More Money
Your Coach: Gina Lincicum, a NoVA-based blogger at MoneywiseMoms.com
Essential Advice: “All it may take is one large medical incident or other unplanned expense to push you into debt and cause long-term effects on your finances. According to Bankrate, almost 25 percent of people across all generations have nothing set aside in an emergency fund.”
Ready, Set, Go!
1. Start tracking. “You need to know what money is coming in and where it’s going out. Figure out where every dollar goes.”
2. Adopt a ‘pay yourself first’ mindset. “By paying into savings accounts and debt payoff first, you learn to live off of the rest while setting those goals as priorities.”
3. Make a budget and review often. “When you make a plan for every dollar, nothing gets ‘lost.’ Think of a budget as a tool to help you achieve financial goals rather than seeing it as holding you back. Then review the budget regularly and look back monthly to see how you’re doing.”
The Resolution: Travel More
Your Coach: Angel Verde, a Virginia-based travel expert and host of the new Amazon Prime Video show A.W.O.L.—Air, Water, or Land
Essential Advice: “Travel and vacations aren’t just about relaxing and recharging,” says Verde. “It’s also about how the unfamiliar forces us to be more open to other people’s way of life and trying new things you’d otherwise overlook.”
Ready, Set, Go!
1. Don’t over plan your itinerary. “Whether it’s eating at a certain restaurant, doing an activity or seeing a landmark, pre-planning no more than one thing each day lets you enjoy that one thing and not feel rushed or over committed.”
2. Go on overnight trips. “They are fun and can be very spontaneous. To make the most out of them, keep it to a two hour or less drive from home. Overnights are less about what you end up doing and more about just getting away for 24 hours, which can be really recharging and enjoyable.”
3. Save up for vacations in advance. “Traveling within your means and with a pre-set budget is far more enjoyable than just charging for everything and getting billed for it afterward. Money is a huge stressor in so many facets of life. The more stress you can remove from travel, the more you’ll enjoy it and want to do it.”