What are you doing New Years?…

clipart copyWell, has 2013 been all you hoped it would be?

The end of the year seems to be when we all look back on the past 12 months and decide if we think the year was a success, and at the same time start thinking about what we think next year should bring.

This seems to me to be a long spread of time over which to judge your success. When we look at a year in total, we tend to forget the little successes we experienced along the way, or appreciate the changes we may have made in our lives to improve ourselves, or perhaps even improve how someone else lives their life.

When we look at our activities, I think we should look short term first. What are you going to do in the next 10 days to improve your life or that of someone around you. Also, what have you done in the past 10 days to help ensure that? I bet we can all come up with a 10 day plan, and likely even be able to measure our success.

Once you master a 10 day plan, start looking at 30 days and gradually grow your plan as you grow your skills of observation and measuring your activities. I have seen too many people decide by March that their year is shot, because they cannot see how they can achieve their 12 month plan, based on the first 3 months of the year. That same person will have had many successes in those same 3 months that they overlooked because it was not part of their grand one year plan. Think how much more enjoyable your year might be if you celebrated your successes frequently. Do you think you might be a more positive person, who can visualize a year of success?

Think of it like someone who wants to run a marathon. If they get winded the first time out running around the block, does that mean they will never be able to run the marathon? I don’t think so… If that same person had been a couch potato before heading out to run around the block, I hope they were able to celebrate that small achievement, which they otherwise would never have tried.

I challenge you to look at 2014 as a series of 10 or 30 days stretches. Make yourself some short term goals, and push yourself to do it, and celebrate when you are successful!

This next 10 days could be a great time to challenge yourself to do any number of things; eat less cookies, don’t stress the preparation for the holiday dinners, don’t argue with that relative that pushes all your buttons, visit family or friends that you might otherwise not have made time for, spend time with friends and family. Pick your own challenge, then try it.

These may seem like simple things to do, but how many of us are already stressed that we have not got the shopping done, don’t have the house decorated, don’t know when we are going to visit uncle charlie (pick your own relative)…

Aim for 10 days on target for your goal, and see what happens. You can likely manage the short term stuff… heck, it’s only 10 days. And I guarantee you will feel better about yourself and your ability to accomplish things when you see what you have mastered in 10 short days.

Happy Holidays everyone! Talk to you in 2014!

THE HOLIDAY SEASON – A TIME FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY – BUT LET’S BE SAFE!

Yes I know this post is late again, but it is the Holiday Season and I have been busy, you know guys, all that last minute stuff! My sincere apologies.

Every holiday season there always seems to be some tragic story about a fire, automobile collisions, or just some freak accident so I thought I would just give you a few safety reminders.

When it comes to real Christmas trees, make sure it is a fresh cut tree. When you bang the stump on the ground very few needles should fall. Also the needles should bend, not break and the stump should still be sticky with resin. Your tree stand should hold 2-3 litres of water and it should be topped up daily. Keep the tree away from any kind of heat source and never use lighted candles on your tree.

As far as decorations go, choose ones that are flame-retardent, non-combustible, and non-conductive. Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes as this combination is highly combustible. Your light sets should be Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved. Make sure you use the proper lights for the environment – indoor lights for inside and exterior lights for outside – do not mix these two types of lights.

Make sure your wood burning fireplace has been properly serviced and cleaned before starting your fire. Never burn gift wrappings, boxes etc. in the fireplace as they burn too rapidly and generate too much heat.

Remember not to overload electrical outlets. This is a common cause of house fires during the holiday season. Make sure all extension cords are CSA approved and make sure they are plugged fully into the outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.

Last but not least – make sure ALL your smoke detectors work!!

All the best to you and your family this holiday season and the coming year!

The Diary of a Disappointed Seller

NO, MY HOUSE IS NOT SOLD!

Many of you are aware I have been trying to sell my house for about the past year.

Is your house sold? must be the most frequently asked question when you have your house on the market. Take my word for it, if the house was sold you would be tired of hearing about it. The great price I got, the house I bought for of course a really low price, ad nauseum. I know, people are curious and assume it is sold and are just making conversation…

If you have never been in the ‘expired’ situation, you can’t appreciate the stages a homeowner goes through. Try to imagine the entries if one kept a diary.

Dear Diary:  I’m so excited!  We’ve decided to move!  There’s a few things we need to do to get ready, but it won’t take long

Dear Diary:  We’ve been working on the house for 7 months but we are finally ready to get it on the market. I hear houses are selling pretty fast!

Dear Diary:  Wow, just a few days and already we’ve had lots of people through!  How wonderful. Just waiting for an offer.

Dear Diary:  It’s been a month now, no offers yet, but the REALTOR® says the house shows great and the feedback is good.

Dear Diary:  3 months now… Never thought people made appointments then were an hour late, or worse yet didn’t show up!  Or those REALTORS®… Book a preview and don’t come “it was just a preview” they say.

Dear Diary:  Exciting! A REALTOR® just called. They have a buyer who must see the house immediately. They need to buy today and he thinks the house is perfect!  I  rushed home and got things all spiffed up. It looks great! Oh- got to stop. They have arrived early.

Well, that was a waste. Here 5 minutes. Didn’t want a one storey house… Didn’t the REALTOR® know that?

Dear Diary:  Open House today. Been cleaning all day. Hope someone comes and likes it.

Dear Diary: Well, it hasn’t sold, and it’s been 6 months…maybe we should just stay…

Yes, those entries reflect reality…

My house is off the market at least for now. Many tell you now is a great time to sell as there is less competition and houses show nice when decorated for the holidays and snow can hide some ‘issues’…

Well, I look at the flip side. Less competition – fewer buyers too, so less motivation to make an offer. As for decorations, if you need decorations to sell, maybe some staging would help. As for snow… What a mess with boots etc especially when you are all cleaned up and decorated for the holidays.

Disappointment aside, we will be going back on the market.  I just hope the ‘diary entries’ are fewer and more positive this time around.

And perhaps a heads up to my fellow REALTORS® out there. When we make appointments, let’s consider how we might feel if we were the home seller waiting for the showing, or getting the house ready …

Oh, and once the house is on the market again… don’t bother asking if it’s sold. You will know when it does… believe me