There is no time like the New Year to try out new routines and organizational strategies. I find that creating order in my schedule and physical environment increases my emotional clarity. Similarly, feeling emotionally disheveled and swamped impacts the way I engage with my space, move through my day, and interact with those around me.
I think mental, emotional, and physical health are interconnected so I like to approach my personal organization efforts in a holistic way. Below are some suggestions for putting your time, space and heart in order this year.
- Purchase a Planner. I may be a tad biased, but I recommend “Plans” (available here) :). Designed to be more than just an agenda, it’s set up to support you in achieving your goals. It helps pinpoint a few points of focus each week, breaking down your big picture goals into more manageable activities.
- If you aren’t a paper/pen person, download OneNote or Evernote (both free apps). Create “Work” and “Personal” digital notebooks so everything on your “to-do” list can be safely held in one central place. For more tips on using OneNote, read this.
- If you find your mornings are rushed, try waking up 30 minutes earlier. Give yourself time to enjoy your morning, have a nice breakfast, and relax before starting your day.
- Do you work a Monday to Friday job? You can make your mornings run smoother, save money, and ensure you are eating healthy food all week by making your lunches for the week on Sundays! Check out “Whole Lotta Lunch” – recipes, tips, and grocery lists are provided to make your weekly meal prep easy!
- Are you trying to increase your fitness this year? Look ahead to your upcoming week, and schedule your workouts in advance – you will be more inclined to prioritize and plan around your exercise schedule if it is written down (and even more so if you book your workouts with a friend!)
- When you know you are coming into a busy time at work or within your personal life, try booking appointments with yourself for “Nights Off.” If it is written down and intentionally scheduled, you are more inclined to give yourself permission to take it. This can help protect you from getting swept into the chaos and instead, feel grounded and clear.
There is an established link between physical clutter and mental clutter. The more you can clear your physical environment, the easier it will be to have clarity about what you want to bring into the new year.
- Spend time de-cluttering and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. I really recommend reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The solution is most likely NOT buying more organizational containers, but instead lessening the load of what you already own.
- Identify the “hot spots” in your home, meaning the places that tend to accumulate clutter (for me it is the kitchen table!). Take the time to notice what kinds of things are routinely piling up, and deliberately assign a home for each item. You are more likely to put things away if there is a specific place it makes sense to put it. Maybe you need a key hook by the door, or a purse hook inside your closet.
- If you are someone who would like to downsize or de-clutter your space, but feel overwhelmed by the idea of actually doing that, you can hire someone (like me!) to help you.
- Commit to thoughtfully celebrating the birthdays of your family and friends. Start the year by adding important birthdays to your Planner (collect the addresses of the people you love and keep them in a central location). Write reminders to yourself a week or two in advance of each birthday so you can maximize your efforts.
- Make this the year of self-love and self-care. Are you up-to-date with your doctor visits? Schedule all of your check-ups in one fell swoop (physical, dentist, eye doctor, etc.) and keep a record of your visits so you can keep track moving forward.
- Do you struggle with body image, anxiety, depression, your relationship with someone, an unhealthy habit or addiction? Make this the year you seek help. Know that everyone is struggling with something, and it is courageous to do something about it. If counseling feels like too big of a step, start by reading one of Brené Brown’s books.