New Year's Resolutions

Resolutions...a very good place to start

In the spirit of Chinese New Year and The Year of the Dog, I thought I would share my alphabet soup of practical organizing and productivity words to help build your lists. It's not too late to start visualizing and manifesting your goals for the next twelve months. 

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RE Assess Begin where you are. Take a look at what is and isn't working for you. Know what you want to feel in your home and work spaces. Real change begins with having a vision, and, remembering that vision.

RE Boot Check your computer and phone. Update settings and make sure that they suit you. Are your emails out of control? No time like the present to unsubscribe and delete, delete, delete!

RE Cycle Do you have a designated space for recyclable materials? Make it easy on yourself to follow through with this goal by taking a little time to set up a space in your kitchen, office, garage, or the side of your home to collect the items that can be repurposed. 

RE Define  Know the difference between a project and a task. Break down your goals into manageable pieces. Celebrate the completion of each task with a little mental "high five" rather than wait until the entire project is finished to acknowledge your accomplishment. 

RE Finance February is a good time to reevaluate your budget and commit to following it. Tax time is here. Gather what you need to complete your returns.

RE Enerergize Repainting your walls is a simple and inexpensive way to change how a room feels. Consider colors that enhance the feeling you want in each room and have fun with it. 

RE Group No budget for new furniture or decorations for spring? Edit your spaces by removing what you no longer need. Try rearranging what remains to make the room look fresh. Regroup favorite photos as a collage on the wall or group books by their jacket colors to add a focal point on a shelf.

RE Hash Do your files need revision? Do you have three files with similar names making it difficult to remember which one houses what you seek? Make a decision to simplify your labeling. While you're at it, purge old, irrelevant files, and shred anything with personal information.

RE Inforce New habits and resolutions need reminders. Reinforce your commitment by writing things down in your planners and calendars. Add visual reminders until what's new becomes habit. Use them and keep them easily accessible.

RE Juvenate Commit to self-care! Schedule regular time to restore your energy, to decompress, and, to find your calm center in ways that fit you. For me it's a manicure or a few hours at the beach. 

RE Kindle Is there a hobby or skill you want to pursue? Make time for something that makes your heart happy and to remember your creative self. Take photos, write in your journal, fit a puzzle, binge watch old classic black and white movies. Do YOU!  

RE Linquish Let go of what you no longer need, use, or love! Let having less to clean and take care of, lighten your load; and, at the same time help someone in need.

RE Move This is a good time of year to remove toxic items stored in your garage. Check your local waste removal companies to learn where to take old batteries, old paint and stains, and electronic waste. 

RE Number If you can finish something in two minutes or less, why wait?  For me, it takes longer to add some things to my list than it does to actually complete them. In the spirit of getting things done: keep it simple, know your priorities, and keep your main task list short. 

RE Organize Be sure to edit your belongings before organizing them. Purchase any containers, shelving, or organizing systems after you decide what to keep. It saves time and money in the long run.

RE Pair Are you having trouble finding a replacement for your favorite shoes or boots? Consider having the soles repaired by a cobbler. They'll be good as new for a fraction of the replacement cost.

RE Quest There are only 24 hours in a day. Be sure to utilize resources that are available, request help when necessary, and delegate tasks. Whether at home or work, many hands make small work!

RE aRange Keep items you reach for the most often where you can easily access them. This may require you to remove and rearrange the contents of your cabinets, shelves and closets. 

RE Sale Do you have a growing collection of gently used clothing? Take them to local consignment shop. Be sure to repair and launder items before reselling or donating.

RE Turn To quote Peter Walsh, "Don't put it down, put it away!" Return things after using them. You will save time over the long run and will thank yourself later when you can find it in its designated place.

RE Use I'm a big fan of reusing and repurposing common household belongings in new ways.  My favorite multipurpose rock star item is the mason jar. There are a million uses for them, they come in several sizes, and are inexpensive. 

RE View Don't let perfectionism hinder your path to what you want to accomplish. There are very few jobs that require perfection. Why not take a new view of your progress and let good enough be good enough?!

RE Wire Have you considered feng shui or space healing to bring clarity and energy to your home or office? I have recently explored these options in ma petit chateau and have found setting intentions, writing affirmations, and deliberately arranging my environment to have positive benefits. 

RE eXamine Schedule annual appointments including vision and dental screenings. Remove old, expired first aid and medications in your bathrooms and cabinets and replace what you still need and use on a regular basis.  

RE Ykjavik Iceland anyone?! It's not too early to put travel plans for summer vacation into motion. Begin with your destination, lodging, and transportation arrangements. 

RE ZZZ! Finally, I cannot stress enough the importance of adequate, restorative sleep. It sets the tone for your whole day, at least that has been my experience. A calm, uncluttered bedroom with no signs of work when you awaken is a good place to begin. Know your caffeine limitations. Has your promise to yourself to limit caffeine wavered? Add that to your resolutions. Finally, take a look at your bedtime routine. Does it need tweaking so that you feel relaxed enough to fall into a deep sleep?  

Happy New Year! May it be filled with less stress and more joy!

 

New Year's Resolutions...How resolving to create and cultivate a great year puts the wheels in motion

Resolving to create and cultivate a great year may feel beyond your control; yet it is a practical, smart goal. Aren't we the most excited and engaged in work and play that is important to us and that is interesting to us? Don't we feel the most pride and greatest sense of accomplishment and self worth when we have worked through challenging obstacles and opportunities that scare the hell out of us?

I find that the first step toward making a change or opening the door to a new opportunity is in writing it down. Simple, right?! We have been encouraged time and time again to make lists. Why is this so powerful? Could it be the laws of momentum?

To set the wheels in motion, begin with a pen and piece of paper. It is that simple. Now...make a list of all the unconnected, random ideas and thoughts for your future. Set no bounds or limitations upon time or practicality or finances or physical limitations. Make the list long...100 things, tasks, projects, dreams. There will be time to break down your list into measurable tasks to add to your calendar later. What is important in the beginning is to release your desires out into the universe even if no one sees your list but you. The energy that it takes to make this list begins a new pathway toward discovering what is important to you and  remembering what makes your heart joyful. And it puts you into momentum.

Keep moving. Review your list often. As you check off your accomplishments, enjoy the renewed energy and momentum. Take yet another step toward your dreams by adding items to your calendar. Schedule those appointments that keep you in good health. Schedule those daily and weekly tasks that make a difference over time. Dare I say, get moving, literally? You can't eat seven apples on Sunday and you can't exercise seven hours on Sunday to make up for a week of less than healthy choices. Make yourself important enough to schedule time for the things that really do add to your sense of health and well-being. Added to your calendar, in writing, they are more likely to get done.

What about the things that we write down year after year that don't get done? Do some things show up year after year never to be completed? Perhaps finances keep you from making these dreams come true. Perhaps you feel unsupported or simply overwhelmed. Sometimes it simply comes down to time. Whatever the reason, decide this year to make it important...or, remove it from your list. Yes, you read correctly. Take it off your list, set yourself free, no guilt. Maybe your needs have changed.

But if this thing, this missed promise to yourself, this possible dream continues to nag at you, then it is time to become courageous and take the first step, and then the second which might just be reaching out to someone else to coax you along. Think of it as catching the draft from a fast car. Ask for help from a friend, a colleague, a professional. There are many resources available and people who are skilled in assisting you to break down your goals into manageable parts. Some of them will sit by your side and walk you through the process if that is what you need.

We are now into the second week of the new year. Are you ready to get started reaching for your dreams? No time like the present!

Wishing you all happy beginnings and a year of unsurpassed expectations.

Spring Into New Year's Action...begin right here, right now

Why wait for Spring to get started. If you are motivated and inspired, then why not start today?

One of my favorite movies is "Under the Tuscan Sun." The protagonist, Frances, has purchased a house in Tuscany and in a moment of panic and overwhelm she says, "The trick to overcoming buyer's remorse is to have a plan. Pick a room and make it yours." I do not have buyer's remorse, but I DO understand the feeling of overwhelm. Whether you feel a sense of dread over post holiday clean up, or feel overwhelm due to life changes, I propose that you pick a room or a space in your home that is not being used to its best ability and consider changing it to make it your own.

Whether you have 15 minutes or 15 hours at your disposal, there are small tasks and projects that will make a tangible difference to your comfort and use of your spaces. Take those increments of time and repeat often until you feel and see the change that make a difference to you. Block out time on your calendar and commit to creating an environment that works for your life as it is right here, right now.

First step is choosing one space or room in which to work your magic.  Let me share what I am doing in my own spaces in hopes that it will help you to visualize.  I found myself with New Year's Day completely open and at my disposal. I wandered through my house, room by room and found one space calling to me for change. The space felt heavy!  Despite pretty furniture and freshly painted walls, beautiful art and good lighting, it was missing something. And, I acknowledged that no one spends much time in this room. Even guests will gravitate to the family room, which although always a bit messy and dusty, has an air of comfort, a welcoming quality. My daughter weighed in on this and with her careful honesty shared her thoughts on what would make the unused room more inviting. Real estate is too valuable to sit empty as they say; so I listened with an open mind!

Step two is to move and use existing materials. I urge you not to rush out to bring more into this space. Live with it and look for things in other parts of your home that will make this newly repurposed space work even better. You probably have many treasures that make your heart sing.

Step three, keep only those things that bring a smile to your face, or serve the purpose you choose for this particular space. This goes beyond de-cluttering and cleaning. This is about creating a new energy in your surroundings. Remove unwanted items from the room. Period! These items go into one of three places, the garbage, the sharing pile, or the recycle pile. Do not bring them back into the room. If they belong somewhere else in the house, put them away! The space will begin to feel different, more open and lighter. At this point in the process, I like to sit for a minute and savor this feeling before moving on to the next steps.

Step four, look at the space from several angles while positioning the furniture. No one likes to sit facing away from the door or entry. I am currently working on the room that you enter from my front door. Adjusting the seating has already made a difference to how the room feels and I noticed that my son came in, sat, and chatted with me few times over the course of the afternoon. He had helped me schlepp the heavy pieces and is now a stakeholder in the success of this project.

Step five, finishing touches may include dusting and cleaning the floors and windows and  a little paint touchup on newly exposed walls or baseboards. No time like the present. And if you have put your label maker to good use, the paint cans in your garage will be easy to sort through and this little refresh will take but a few minutes. More on labeling later.

For now, Happy New Year and let's do it it with less stress.