(Simplifying - Part II)
My to-do list was too much. I was getting ready to reach my limit and that I needed to make a change. Having my home organized is obviously a huge help, and saves me time. But I needed to get the non-tangibles organized - my thoughts, time, and tasks. What I needed to do was exactly what I do for my organizing clients - I had to figure out what system worked for ME. I needed to get rid of what wasn’t serving me.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and yes, we choose how we spend that time. But we also have different commitments, responsibilities, and priorities. There will be times in our lives when we choose to be busy, and times when we don’t have as much of a choice. Something that may work in a season when things are running smoothly may not work when the unexpected arises.
Now instead of trying to do ALL of the things, I am:
Building good habits. I started small. After 40+ years, I now make my bed every day. Nevermind that it only requires pulling a duvet up over a fitted sheet. Baby steps.
Being realistic about what I can accomplish. I love a paper planner and look forward to my weekly goal planner arriving in the mail each year. I plan out the year with gusto, then end up with a lot of blank space. Now I’m not even attempting to fill out the goal setting and weekly pages in my 2020 planner. I started using a simple weekly planning sheet (courtesy of Origami Day) and ordered a monthly planner for 2021.
Focusing on one goal and task at a time. We can’t truly pick one thing and forget about the rest, but I am being much more - umm - intentional about choosing the highest-priority tasks and seeing them through before starting on something else.
Tuning out unnecessary distractions. I love tv. I admit it. It’s an escape, and I totally view it as a form of self-care. If I find a really good show, I get so sucked in that I will let it distract me from doing something more constructive. So, until I am in a place where I don’t feel like I’m treading water, I’m on a tv hiatus. And instead of trying to learn through all sources of media, I am reading books. I’ve always enjoyed reading, so it makes it easy. (It also gives me a much-needed break from electronics.) Now it’s just less suspense, and more how-to.
Working with a coach. Just like my clients need help with organizing, I needed help with my business. I researched several coaching programs, and instead of spending weeks over-analyzing which was the right fit and how much money it would cost, I went with my gut. Having a one-on-one coach gave me the accountability I needed, and someone within the industry could understand my needs and struggles.
Trying to build healthy eating and exercise habits. I love to eat. I really love to eat dessert. I hate to exercise. I figure if I can find the discipline for these two things, the rest will be cake (no pun intended). Plus, the benefit of feeling better and having more energy will positively impact all areas of my life.
Re-focusing on my kids. The silver lining of COVID was the extra time with my family. I had always worked outside of the home and was suddenly given the gift of being at home with my kids. Now they’re back in school and I’m feeling disconnected. It also really hit me when my oldest turned 12 last month that he is well over halfway through his time of being under the same roof as us. So, I am making a conscious effort to do things with them that don’t involve reminding them to pick up after themselves and do homework. I’m also saving for some awesome vacations because the time we have to take our young kids on adventures is finite.
Who knows how long it will take me to master my new habits, but when I do, I’ll do something else to keep learning and growing. The moral of the story is to figure out what works for you. Don’t feel like you have to do all of the things all of the time. Instead of jumping on to the latest trend in self-help or what seems to be working for “everyone”, listen to the people who really speak to YOU. The people who you want to hear more from. The people whose advice you put into practice. If it’s not working, cut your losses and move on. And give yourself a lot of grace.