As the New Year begins your hopes are high for creating major change. We all share in this worldwide enthusiasm. But if you expect miracles you will be sorely disappointed and find yourself in the ‘Resolutions don't work' camp. Please take a minute to read the blog post I shared before Christmas. Are your goals are realistic? Did you craft a plan to make your wishes your reality?

I believe that being organized will make success in all your endeavors much easier to achieve. Imagine living and working in spaces that feel as if they are literally nurturing you. I've written a series of books to help guide you but for today let's look at five easy steps you can take to jumpstart the process. I'll post the next five on the 15th of January. That's about the time most folks are giving up and embracing the comfort of ‘same old/same old.' Once that first domino goes all the others follow, right? I promise your first domino will be painless. Are you ready?

1. Make your bed every day. This simple action gets your entire room ready for a new day and new experiences. Some people get tripped up because their beds are a bit complicated to make. I'm not asking for military corners nor do I want you to be ready for a photo shoot with Martha Stewart. The easiest bed to make is one with a top sheet and a comforter. If the sheet is securely tucked in at the bottom it should only require a bit of smoothing to be back in place. Fluff the comforter and the pillows and voila! You are ready. Do you have too many pillows or stuffed animals to do this quickly? Are you using a bedspread that requires extra time to achieve that ‘magazine look?' Rethink your priorities. Don't make life difficult.

2. Have a designated spot for your keys and your glasses. A tremendous number of hours are lost each year while people go on a quest for these essential items. Give them a home and honor it! By the way, what are you avoiding with all this searching?

3. Walk for 10 minutes a day. If you are a gym rat, are devoted to your yoga studio or are training for a marathon, I applaud you. But the average person is sedentary and one brisk 10-minute walk a day can do wonders for how you feel. Take Fido with you and share the fun. As time passes don't be surprised if the time you want to spend walking (or doing whatever activity you choose) increases. Those of us who love exercise do so because it makes us feel good. It helps us look good. And best of all it helps us stay healthy. There's no downside to a brisk walk every day.

4. Drink water! Are you under a lot of stress? Water consumption will ease those feelings. Are you thinking that you are not a water drinker but it's OK because you consume coffee and soda instead? All liquids are not created equal! But I'm not asking that you start with eight 8-oz. glasses a day. That's the ultimate goal. Place onee 16 oz. bottle on your desk in the morning and make it your goal to consume four of those a day over time. When I was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago I wasn't big on water consumption either. But you have to drink water to flush the chemo drugs out of your system. Guess what? I got hooked and now I love water. Stay away from sweetened or flavored water. Go for the pure experience. Your cells with thank you.

5. Just do it! Every day you walk by things that need to be done in about a minute or less. You acknowledge them but you don't do them. In 2012 stop and take care of these miscellaneous tasks. This will give you a sense of completion in seconds. You'll start to crave that feeling from bigger demands. Here are a few examples of less than a minute tasks you have probably avoided like the plague: hang up your coat instead of looking at it draped over a chair; rip the plastic off those clothes that just came home from the cleaners. You don't want to seal in carcinogenic chemicals into the fabric. Wash your coffee mug instead of allowing it to languish in the sink while the dregs color the bottom. If you open cupboards and drawers, close them! Shred junk mail that has your personal information on it. Be brave and realize that a magazine that hasn't been read in two months isn't destined for anything but a pile. Recycle it or donate it to a friend or doctor's waiting room. What tasks do you acknowledge but avoid?

I'll be back on the 15th with the rest of my Jump Start List for a great 2012.

About the Author

Regina Leeds

Regina Leeds is a professional organizer and a New York Times best-selling author with eight books to her credit.

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