Get it together for the new year

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published January 7, 2015

 Joe and Elaine Solf dance among strings dangling from balloons during a New Year’s party at the American Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights last January.

Joe and Elaine Solf dance among strings dangling from balloons during a New Year’s party at the American Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights last January.

File photo by Sean Work


METRO DETROIT — In the fall of 2012, Michelle Bonsu was stopped in her tracks when she glanced in the mirror and did not recognize her reflection.

The native Detroiter — who recently moved to Chicago — said she felt lost in the shuffle because she didn’t set enough time aside for herself.

The wife and mother of four said she now recognizes herself after losing 30 pounds and gaining her life back.

Bonsu, who utilized the services of Naomi Prince — life coach at Livonia-based Diamonds in The Ruff Body Imagery — said Prince gave her the tools to encourage herself that day.

Since then, Bonsu has kept her New Year’s resolutions, and this year is no different.

“My goals for the New Year are really to renew what I’ve accomplished this year,” she said of continuing to keep 20-30 minutes daily to herself.

“Before, it was all about the kids, and I totally lost myself — I didn’t really do anything for me,” she said. “I just say write down an idea and put it in a place where you can see it. It becomes a mantra, a pledge you are more likely able to obtain.”

When it comes to getting organized for the new year — whether with finances or fashion — professionals offer tips on how to do it right, come 2015.

Prince said sitting down and examining your life — and what it is you’re trying to achieve for the New Year — is a start. 

“Then you can begin to visualize achieving all those goals. That would help someone trying to get themselves together for the new year,” Prince said.

Prince, also a personal stylist, said her clients are transformed from the inside out by knowing their self-worth first — you don’t have to wait until January for that.

“It is more than putting on Gucci and Prada —  it is putting on self-esteem and self-worth,” Prince said.

Donna Lindley, professional organizer and owner of Rochester Hills-based Organize Your World Inc., said January is definitely the most popular time for people to get organized.

“Nothing feels better after the chaos of the holidays to get back on track and get organized,” Lindley said. “I think the biggest mistake that they make is trying to do everything at once.”

Lindley said by using SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused and time-bound.

“You want it to be very specific: I’m going to organize my basement by Jan. 31 is very specific — something that is measurable.”

Attainable goals are realistic, while time-bound goals are set for a certain date.

“Everybody works better with a goal that has a deadline on it,” Lindley said, adding that telling someone else about goals keeps people on track, too.

Marilyn Capelli Dimitroff, certified financial planner at Bloomfield Hills-based Planning Alternatives, said getting on the right financial foot in January is necessary.

“Your goal has to be (over your lifetime) to build a pool of assets that will take over when you stop working,” she said.

With cash flow, Dimitroff said, set enough aside for your future.

“Get a handle on spending,” Dimitroff added.

She said she has clients set up some form of automatic savings where money is transferred once a month to an investment of some kind, like a mutual fund.

“People do that with 401Ks and retirement plans at work, and that works effectively because it is automatic, because you don’t see it,” she said.

She said people should also create a “pseudo plan” by setting up an investment account in their name and having a fixed amount of money taken out on a certain day every month.

“You have to figure out what the right amount is,” she said. “If you commit to doing a regular amount, even if it small, in general, we …  just adjust other things.”

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