With Xmas behind us, there are just a few more days before 2012 comes to an end and we begin a whole new chapter in our lives. Start your 2013 with a clear head and some inspiration in your heart. Here's a list of five ways to tidy up and ready yourself for the year. The first week of January is usually quiet, so if you don't finish your list by New Year's Day you will still benefit from spending a little time on these helpful tasks in the following days. I am also including a list of some of my most helpful columns from 2012 so you will be inspired to start 2013 on the right track.

1. Clean Out Your Email

If you are a hoarder, it's time to clean out that inbox and start fresh. File away or archive emails that are important. Only leave emails in your inbox that require specific action. You may be surprised at what you find. There may even be opportunities you missed earlier in the year. Delete everything else. Be efficient and brutal about clearing out the tasks. If you didn't look at it for more than three months, and you still can't deal with the issue, then it's probably not that important. If you are left with more than 35 emails in your inbox then it's probably time to consider a personal assistant.

2. Sort Through Your Facebook Friends

Hint: If you don't know who they are and how you met them then they aren't really friends. One of the reasons you can't keep up with the news-feed is that too many people are posting things you don't care about. It was fun at first to connect with everyone. Now it's just noise. Make Facebook a useful personal tool again by reducing your friend list to people who are truly important in your life. Leave the biz networking to LinkedIn and the news-sharing to Twitter. Then you can keep up and enjoy the personal sharing on Facebook. Yes, of course, someone may be upset that they were un-friended. But heck, they didn't consider your feelings of annoyance every time they asked you to join Farmville.

3. Sort Out Your LinkedIn

Go through your list, look at the profiles and identify 10 specific people who can actually help you with your desired objectives. Send each of them a Happy New Year greeting and begin a conversation. Sort through your Groups and eliminate the ones that no longer support your interests. Reduce all your group digest mailings to once a week to unclutter your daily email.

4. Clean Your Desk

Even people who happily tolerate clutter will benefit from a freshly cleaned workspace. Every time I sort through the stacks on my desk I find papers/coupons/receipts that have long been dealt with or expired. Move as much paperwork to electronic filing as possible.  Electronic banking, faxes, and signatures can make paper almost disappear from your filing system if carefully planned and if you stop printing every important email. You'll clear your view, your mind, and might even save a tree or two.

5. Set Your Top 5 Priorities for Q1

Start the year with clear purpose. Take a few hours to identify the five priorities that will advance your journey this year. Write out your top five initiatives for the next three months and post them on the wall by your desk. Take a picture and make it the home screen on your smart phone. Post them on your mirror and by your computer monitor.  You'll be pleasantly surprised how quickly these items will get accomplished. As Napoleon Hill said, " What the mind of man can see and believe, it can achieve."

To help you achieve what's in your mind, here are seven of my most powerful columns you may have missed this year. I hope they inspire you to dream big and take action in 2013.

Get your future plans in place for your personal objectives with 7 Tips for Creating Your Own Destiny, and then get karma going your way with 5 Ways to Generate Good Fortune.

Be open to and ready for powerful learning by considering 5 Things Really Smart People Do.

Learn how to accomplish your tasks easily and effectively with 6 Things Really Productive People Do.

Get noticed with How to Get Anyone's Attention and then make yourself memorable by considering The Case for Humor.

Finally, make life fun for you and everyone around you daily with 12 Ways to Make Today More Joyful.

Thanks to you all for your support in making a popular new Inc. column this year. May you enjoy a happy, healthy and blessed 2013.

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Published on: Dec 28, 2012
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