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Buckle down, make resolutions stick with advice from experts

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — New Year’s resolutions invariably involve hard work and doing something you don’t want to do, but there are people in Rio Rancho willing to help.

According to the resolutions statistics compiled by Statistic Brain (statisticbrain.com), the three most common resolutions for 2014 are, in order: lose weight, get organized and spend less, save more.

Get ripped

Staying fit and healthy, which is similar to losing weight, is number five on the list of common resolutions, which made the advice from Shelby Smith, who runs CrossFit HellBox fitness training center in Rio Rancho, all the more relevant.

He was adamant that his business doesn’t advertise or cater to the crowd that works out for part of January and then drops the classes.

“We work one-on-one and we like to keep it to as few as possible. … We want to work with people that desire to change themselves,” he said. “We don’t want to take your money, we want to earn it.

“About 70 percent of the people that come in the doors stick with it. All those preconceived notions are just preconceived notions. … It’s less about fitness and more about accomplishments, and it’s addicting.”

To learn more about CrossFit HellBox, go to crossfithellbox.com.

Get organized

Getting organized is, not surprisingly, also about discipline and attitude, according to Kit Anderson, the owner of Anderson Organizing Systems (andersonorganizing.com). As a certified professional organizer in chronic disorganization, Anderson deals primarily with people with a diagnosable mental issue, such as attention deficit disorder, mood disorder, brain trauma or hoarding disorder.

Her advice, however, is apt for just about anybody trying to cut the clutter.

“People can’t get organized for a variety of reasons,” she said.

She worked with a client with ADHD who had a hard time in the morning because her medications had worn off the night before, she said.

The woman had to put her alarm clock across the room, set for an hour before she had to wake up. She would wake up, walk over and silence the alarm, take her medications and go back to bed for an hour, Anderson said.

That’s one way she helps people not only structure their clutter, but also their lives, she said.

“When are you at your best … what kinds of activities can we plug into that time period?” she said.

One client ran her own business and had trouble filling out and sending invoices, Anderson said. The solution was for her to schedule doing the invoices from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., which the woman said were her best hours.

Anderson also said that, although lots of stores have set up alluring displays of all their organization products, it’s important not to be drawn in.

“I generally do not recommend buying products. I encourage people to work with what they already have,” she said, “especially for people that have a problem with acquisition. They think, ‘I can do what I love doing; I can go to a store and buy.’ … Decide first what to keep and what to get rid of, then where it is going to go.”

She recommends that if you intend to buy an organizational aid, measure the space it will go in, and measure again and then once more to make sure it will fit and function as you want.

“All of this is no fun, but it will save you a ton of money,” she said.

Get on a budget

Knowing how much money you spend, according to Rochelle Divett, is the first step to budgeting.

It may seem obvious, but as a financial adviser and marketing director for Oxford Wealth Advisors (oxfordwealthnm.com), in Rio Rancho, she has seen plenty of people who don’t have much of an idea how much money they spend.

“The biggest thing we find is that people don’t have a budget. It’s really hard for us to give you advice without a budget,” she said.

Most often, she sees people who are around 50 and planning for retirement. But managing and sticking to a budget is something that is good for anyone to do at any age, she said.

A basic budget includes all major income and expenses — broad categories include what is coming in from paychecks and other sources and the money that goes out for things like utility bills, mortgage and entertainment — and it should go back at least a few months.

From there, she and her clients look at how much they can save each month to reach the financial goal and build a monthly budget. The next step, she said, is simple but may be the most difficult: Stick to that budget.

“If you don’t stick to it, you don’t have a budget,” she said. “There’s no point. … It’s discipline, which is every New Year’s resolution.”

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