How To Organize Your Life In 2019, According To Female CEOs Who Have It Together

by Mia Colona
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The new year is on the horizon, and it's no secret that this is an instinctively ideal opportunity to recharge, reset, and, most importantly, start fresh. After all, the start of a new year feels like the perfect time to evaluate your current state while thoughtfully setting new intentions — whether it's something as daunting as vowing to finally clean out your kitchen cabinets, or as exciting as figuring out how to better organize your life in general, professionally and personally.

While the phrase "new year, new me" is popping up across Instagram feeds everywhere, the idea of reinventing yourself completely is equally as overwhelming as it is unnecessary. Instead, focus on streamlining your life in 2019 by setting attainable goals and sticking to them rather than enforcing huge changes. The truth is, it’s often the small yet impactful adjustments that actually push you across the finish line, and who better to shed light on how to get there than a handful of top female CEO’s, founders, and entrepreneurs? Read on for their helpful tips and tricks that will have you feeling inspired to not only rethink your approach to New Year's resolutions, but keep you on track for year-round success.

Jaclyn Johnson, CEO & Founder Of Create & Cultivate And Author Of WorkParty

Jessica Bordner Photography

"I think the biggest prep work you can do for the new year is to reflect on the past year. What worked? What didn’t? Review where you can improve, then create new goals, tweak processes, and make adjustments as necessary to set your business up for success. It makes all the difference in how 2019 will be different from 2018.

As far as organization, I’m pretty old-fashioned. I love a good old pen and notebook (as well as Google Drive spreadsheets, Microsoft Teams and Dropbox; I’m not completely analog!) for project planning. For finances, I’ve always used QuickBooks — I’m so glad I took tracking finances seriously from the beginning, because it’s made managing my business so much easier."

Naomi Hirabayashi And Marah Lidey, Co-Founders And Co-CEOs Of Shine

Photo by Dabito

"The most effective goals aren’t forced into our lives — they’re a part of our lives. We all know (or are) that person that starts the New Year with massive expectations of how much better we’re going to be that year. But, by mid-February, 80 percent of these goals flop. We recently surveyed our community of two million millennial women, and asked: What, then?

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Shine members said that the first thing they do when they don’t reach one of their goals is criticize themselves — thinking things like, 'Why couldn’t you do better? You’re not good enough.' This year, we’re calling it. Enough is enough. The most important thing you can do is to set goals that lead with self-compassion. We call it hustle and heart. It means hustling, but with self-kindness when things inevitably get off track."

Justina Blakeney, Founder Of Jungalow, A Lifestyle Brand, Shop, And Blog

Photo by Dabito

"I've made a few minor changes in my life recently that are small but have helped me immensely.

First, I bought a watch. Actually it's a Fitbit, but it's the smart-watch features of it that I'm talking about here. My screen time on my phone has gone down by an average of six hours per week, and I'm pretty sure it's because I don't have to pick up my phone to see who is calling, read a text, or see what time it is. Picking up the phone less means I am getting less sucked in to social media, news, or other needless distractions.

Second change is walking phone meetings. I have at least one phone meeting per day that usually lasts for about an hour. I leave my office and walk for the duration of the meeting and get some much-needed exercise and sunshine at the same time.

Third, I got a see-through water bottle with measuring bars on it. (Mine is a Nalgene bottle.) I have a goal for how much water I need to drink in a day and the meter on the bottle motivates me to get me to my goal. The fact that its see through means I can see how much more water I need to drink in order to meet my goal. As a very goal-oriented individual, this has helped me to double my water intake in a day. My skin is clearer, my bowel movements are more regular (sorry, TMI), and even my hair is less dry. Yay!"

Erica Cerulo, Co-Founder Of Of A Kind

Image by Jennifer Young Studio

"You know when you're out to dinner with a friend, and she recommends a book? Or you're in a meeting with someone who raves about a productivity app? Well, each month, I start a new note in my phone that's meant as a dumping ground for all of these random bits and bobs — things I want to jot down and dig into later that I don't trust myself to remember.

I never delete these notes from my phone, which also means that I can resurface a recommendation with some amount of ease if, in January, something someone suggested in August suddenly becomes relevant."

Iva Pawling, CEO And Co-Founder Of Richer Poorer

Image by Richer Poorer

"I live and die by keeping my life orderly and planning ahead for everything during the week. Juggling two kids and a business makes it impossible for it all ever to go entirely as planned, but I find if I shoot for a whole lot of structure in my days, I end up with a relatively predictable amount of output knowing some things will fall off.

My calendar runs both my personal and professional life, and I color code everything from in-office meetings, to workouts, to my son’s basketball games. And to balance that out, I try to keep our weekend clear of plans to give us all some room to breathe."