Here are 12 great ideas you can implement before Christmas to set yourself up for a fantastic 2012.

Book into a workshop. You’re bombarded with invitations every other day. You ignore most of them, but some do pique your interest and you think, “yeah, I really should go to that.” But you find you can make plenty of excuses not to go. Find a short course, seminar or workshop that resonates with you and sign up. You’ll have plenty of time to work around the excuses to make sure you get to it. You’re welcome to come along to our next (free) workshop – visit and register your interest. We’ll let you know early in the new year when it’s on.

Build a Budget. Having control of your spending will help you reduce stress and help you get what you want. The MoneySmart team have got an easy to use, downloadable excel version here:

Conserve for Christmas. No, not this year! It’s all too late now!! You’ll just have to pay off the credit cards quick smart in January! Why not set up a regular savings plan so you have your Christmas Fund ready to roll this time next year? You won’t have to rely on credit cards to get you through and you’ll be surprised how much you’ve saved. Perhaps you’ll have enough left over for a holiday! Talk to us today to start your Christmas 2012 savings plan!

Rev up some resolutions. Did you know that only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions?1 Get in early and set some 2012 resolutions now! For 6 ways to make resolutions that work, read this article:

Check your beneficiaries. Give yourself some peace of mind by making sure your beneficiary nominations are valid and up to date. Estate Planning is all about making sure the right people get the right money at the right time. For assistance with implementing the right structures and strategies to ensure you and your family are fully prepared in the event of your death, call us today on 02 9417 6011.

Create a reading list. Are there books out there that you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t got around to it yet? For me, it’s novels like Great Expectations or Lord of the Rings. Design a reading list for next year that gives you an even complement of trashy, inspiring, educational and relaxing so you’ve got a book to hand for any type of mood. I’m always looking for a good book, so feel free to share your current literature with us on Facebook at

There’s an App for that. I upgraded to an iPhone recently and I am loving it! Whatever your smartphone, there’s an App for that. My favourites to keep me organised, focused and connected are: Errands; Card Munch; and LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook Apps. I love my grocery App from IGA for a simple shopping list and to stay calm and relaxed I meditate with Glenn Harrold and play Words or Hanging with Friends!

Travel safely. If you’re planning a holiday whether in Australia or overseas, make sure you take out travel insurance. But, did you know? A good quality Income Protection policy operates worldwide and provides in-built benefits that will reimburse accommodation and travel costs for a family member to stay with you if you’re more than 100km from home or pay for your airfare to return to Australia if you suffer a sickness or injury. Don’t have Income Protection or need an insurance health check? Call us today on 02 9417 6011.

Recipe A Day. If you’re like me, you don’t always find time to plan out the week’s meals and before you know it, you’re stuck for ideas and heading for the unhealthy fast food or snacks. There are plenty of fantastic people out there wanting to send recipes to you whether via a phone App (like AllRecipe’s dinner spinner) or emailed daily to your inbox - I enjoy Martha Stewart’s Dinner Tonight ideas (

Find lost money. I see that many of my new clients have several super funds out there that they’ve lost track of over the years. Take a stand and make the commitment to finding your lost super. Then, make an appointment with your financial planner to help you understand how best to consolidate your funds and plan for your retirement. (It’s closer than you think). Did you know? You can also search for ordinary money with ASIC’s unclaimed money online search here:

Connect with your Community. Get more involved with your neighbourhood by volunteering at a local organization or finding a creative way to give back. In 2010 38% of the adult population (6.4 million people) volunteered. Reasons volunteers cite for their decision is firstly “knowing my contribution makes a difference” followed by a personal belief in a particular cause.2
As a Toastmaster for 6 years now, I enjoy leading our Speechcraft programmes and seeing the development of the participants as they improve their public speaking and communications skills. It gives me a great sense of fulfilment to be able to share my knowledge and experience with others.
Visit to find your next volunteering opportunity.

Clear the Closet. While it’s a great place to start, this can be an exercise for more than just your wardrobe. The pantry, fridge and linen closet will likely also benefit from a clear out. But more than this, what about your mind? What unhealthy and limiting beliefs are you holding onto, stopping you from achieving your goals? As you clear out your wardrobe, de-clutter your mind with some meditation and journal some of your beliefs, ready for working on in the coming year.