February 2009 Issue

Welcome to returning subscribers! Thank you for your continued interest and support. I appreciate your time.

Welcome also to all the new subscribers this month! I hope you find this issue enjoyable and packed full of helpful information.

Contact me if there is information you would like to see in future issues. I'm here to serve you!

Happy Valentines Day!!

Wow -- its already February!

Hope you and your family are warm and dry this winter. We've had some ice storms in Texas already -- don't mind snow, but unless you drive a Zamboni to work, nobody drives on ice!!

It's almost Valentines Day -- but to me, every day is Valentines Day. It's my personal philosophy to treat my loved ones well every day, not just one day per year.

It's also almost time to work on those taxes for Uncle Sam -- Yikes! If you have problems locating your paperwork, use the tips in the section below on "Organize Paperwork."

In this issue:


Ten Commandments of Goal Setting
By Gary Ryan Blair (a/k/a "Gary The GoalsGuy")

I had the privilege of listening to Gary Ryan Blair speak at a conference. This guy is amazing! He really knows how to motivate and help others.

Gary is the President of The GoalsGuy Learning Systems, a highly focused training organization whose mission is to help their clients build and sustain superior performance. They accomplish this objective by helping their clients increase their sense of direction, confidence, and capability in all areas of their personal and professional life.

This guy helps the folks at NASA set goals (and there's no room for failure there)!

Here are Gary's Ten Commandments of Goal Setting -- enjoy!

Ten Commandments of Goal Setting

  • Thou Shall Be Decisive Success is a choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it. No one else can, will, or should do that for you.
  • Thou Shall Stay Focused A close relative to being decisive, but your ability to sustain your focus from beginning to end determines the timing and condition of your outcomes.
  • Thou Shall Welcome Failure The fundamental question is not whether you should accept failure. You have no choice but to expect it as a temporary condition on the pathway of progress. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and redirect resources to grow from the experience.
  • Thou Shall Write Down Thy Goals Your mind, while blessed with permanent memory, is cursed with lousy recall. People forget things. Avoid the temptation of being cute. Write down your goals.
  • Thou Shall Plan Thoroughly Planning saves 10 to 1 in execution. Proper planning prevents poor performance.
  • Thou Shall Involve Others Nobody goes through life alone. Establish your own "Personal Board of Directors", people whose wisdom, knowledge and character you respect to help you achieve your goals.
  • Thou Shall Take Purposeful Action Success is not a spectator sport - achievement demands action. You cannot expect to arrive at success without having made the trip.
  • Thou Shall Reward Thyself Rewards work! Think of what you will give yourself as a result of your hard work, focus and persistence - you deserve it!
  • Thou Shall Inspect What Thy Expect The shelf life of all plans is limited. No plan holds up against opposition. Everything changes. Therefore inspect frequently and closely, it's an insurance policy on your success.
  • Thou Shall Maintain Personal Integrity Maintain your commitment to your commitment. Set your goals, promise yourself that you will achieve them. Eliminate wiggle room and excuses. That's personal integrity!

For more information about Gary or his systems, see information on goal setting .

Organizing Paperwork

Despite the claims in the early days of computers that we would be a "paperless society," that hasn't happened. Instead, we seem to be more inundated with paperwork than ever! Why?

Well, my personal opinion is that advent of inexpensive personal computers and printers have made it incredibly easy to print anything and everything any time we want and . . . we do! We also tend to have a "throw away" mentality in the U.S. (which is beginning to get somewhat better).

You do need hard copies of some documents. I doubt the U.S. Boarder guards will let you back in the country with a digital copy of your Passport on your USB flash drive!

If you don't want to be labeled a "surface abuser," then managing paperwork is something everyone needs to learn. How you handle it depends on many things including your ability to handle scanning technology (or not).

Also, different people look for paperwork in different ways, so how and where you keep paperwork will be dependent on your personal preferences. Whether you use an expandable folder, a file cabinet or a 3-ring notebook is more of a personal preference (and the configuration of your home -- how much space you have or don't have for files).

So, take a moment and think about how you look for papers.

Visual Order Are you a "visual order" person (e.g. you have piles of paper on all your horizontal surfaces). People who have piles everywhere tend to be what professional organizers call "surface abusers." If this is your tendency, then having a more visually open system might work better for you. Suggestion: Try using a step file and see-through plastic folders that allow you to readily see what's inside (but label the top of the file with contents). You will still have things out where you can see them, but in a more organized and less cluttered fashion.

Expanding Your Horizons This one in particular worked well in my home. My husband used to keep copies of the paid bills for the month together wrapped with a rubber band and thrown in a dresser drawer. I didn't feel comfortable digging through piles of papers that way. Suggestion: The solution for us was to get an expandable file folder. The one I purchased came with prepared labels Jan. through Dec. By using the expandable folder, my husband could still keep the monthly bills together with a rubber band, but they were organized by month and easier for me to find as well.

Cabinet Fever A lot of people use file folders and have some sort of file cabinet. This works well if you have the money and space for a cabinet. File cabinets don't have to be ugly eye sores. Many look like fine furniture. You might be able to find something in a second hand store. Suggestion: If space is a premium, try spray painting the cabinet, placing a strong board on top and set a comfortable cushion on top of the board. The file cabinet can serve as extra seating. Consider purchasing colored file folders and color code your files (but keep a list of your system for future reference).

Binding Traditions I worked for 4 years as the bookkeeper for my church. Our records were stored in a three ring binder, which worked quite well as we had minimal paperwork. This solution might work well for you, especially if you are young and have limited amounts of paperwork. Suggestion: Make an educated guess at the size of binder you will need -- you don't want to get one too cumbersome. It works well to utilize index divider tabs to sort your papers into categories (bills, tax receipts, bank statements, etc.). You can even find index divider tabs that are color coded. Some even come in a strong plastic that can be reused every year.

Get Scanitized Scanning is a wonderful way to keep the majority of your paperwork in digital format. Many scanners are inexpensive these days. Some are more pricey, but come with a software component that allows you to search for and retrieve records easily. Suggestion: Look into the various products -- NeatReceipts (see January issue of Messy Makeover Magazine), or Pixily.com (stuff your bills into a prepaid envelope and drop them in the mail -- within a few days you can see your scanned documents on a personal webpage where you can store and search for your items easily). A simple flatbed scanner may work just as well as these more pricey items.

If you feel you need help conquering your paper clutter, look into www.straighten-up-now.com's new feature -- a Directory (by state/city) for a professional organizer in your area or, click on this link to go there now:

Go to the Directory

PRODUCT REVIEW -- The Socket Sense™ Surge Protector

No more blocked sockets or multiple power strips under your computer!

With all the electronic gizmos we utilize every day, keeping them powered is a necessary part of the job. Keeping them powered usually involves plugging them into an electrical outlet of some sort. Almost everyone is aware that a surge protector is necessary to keep our gizmos safe in the event of a power surge. But, there's a problem. . .

What's the problem?

The majority of these surge protectors have outlets that are close together. Many of the power adapters for our electronic gizmos are large and bulky. That means you can only get a few gizmos plugged into that one surge protector strip. Most of the time we solve the problem by plugging in multiple surge protectors into the nearest electric outlet or (I hate to admit it, but I've done this myself), plugged one surge protector into the one useful outlet left on the previous surge protector so I have room to plug in my remaining power adapters. Yikes!! This is not the best solution (can you tell from my reaction)?

The solution -- The Socket Sense™ Surge Protector!

The Socket Sense™ surge protector handles all power adapters with ease. Simply expand or contract the movable sockets to adjust for the best fit. Compare this to a typical surge strip where power adapters typically block one or more sockets. Socket Sense™ can do the job of two ordinary surge strips.


• Fully Adjustable Sockets • Surge and Ground LEDs • 2160 Joules of Surge Protection • Cable Management Channels • Six Foot Power Cord • Metal Oxide Varistor Components • Power Switch with 15A Breaker • Keyholes for Wall Mounting

Socket Sense™ Surge Protector comes with a "No-Block Guarantee." Socket Sense is guaranteed to fit any power adapter on the market, or your money back.

Learn more by watching the video on this site:


The price is $29.99, but will save you lots of cord clutter and protect the investment in your electronic gizmos!

I hope you enjoyed the February 2009 issue of Messy Makeover Magazine. I consider it a privilege that you took your valuable time to subscribe and read this magazine.

If you feel you've missed an issue, please be sure to allow this publication on your email server/browser. You can always check the back issues by clicking on the link below.

In next month's issue:

  1. I Hurt/I Buy
  2. Resolutions: Crossing Over Into the 'New'
  3. Product Review (another surprise)

Stay tuned for the next issue!


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