January 3, 2013
By Hellen Buttigieg
There is so much buildup at the end of the year that it can almost feel like a race to the finish line. Then January 1st arrives, the social calendar calms down and the cocooning begins as you prepare to ride out the rest of the winter. Before you jump right back to everything you were doing before the holidays, take some time to look around and decide what needs to change. Not that you have to go making grand resolutions for the new year – unless that’s your thing – but look at it as an opportunity to free yourself of things that weren’t working for you. Try new methods that may improve your life in little, noticeable ways.
Get clear on the year ahead If setting New Year’s resolutions is not your thing, there’s another way of defining what you’d like your life to look like – create a vision board. Get some magazines, glue and a poster board and start cutting and pasting images that you feel drawn to or that represent something you’d like to be or have in your life. If you would like to learn more about the power of these dream boards, and have a look at some of the ones I’ve created personally, check out my blog post, Creating a Dream Board (WeOrganizeU.com)
End procrastination by knowing your payoff Ever wonder how to motivate yourself to tackle that daunting task you’ve been putting off? Rather than dwelling on the chore itself, turn your attention to how you will benefit once the job is done. If you can come up with two or three compelling ways your life will be better as a result of completing what you’ve been procrastinating on, you will find the inspiration to take action.
Make your ‘someday’ a reality How many times have you wistfully said, “Someday, I’d like to…” It’s interesting how we often procrastinate on doing the things we most want to do. We continue to put it off because something more pressing always seems to come up. But life is short, and habitually putting off doing those meaningful things that bring us joy can literally suck the life right out of us. One thing that I personally find very effective is to catch myself when I say I’d like to do something, and immediately pull out my calendar and schedule it in, even if it’s not for another month or two… or even six. The trick is to allow enough time to prepare for the event in advance and, once the date approaches, treat it as you would any other appointment you’ve booked with someone important – keep it.
Make decisions fearlessly Clutter often represents unmade decisions. Many people struggle with indecision because of the fear of making a mistake (especially perfectionists). It may seem easier to avoid making the decision, but by doing so, you are deciding to procrastinate and stay stuck. Whenever possible, make decisions as you go along, before they accumulate. Although there’s no guarantee you will make the right decision, you will be taking the option that appears to be the right thing to do at the time. Avoid berating yourself if the outcome is less than you had hoped, and besides, there’s usually some recourse. See it as a great learning experience and move on. One effective decision-making technique is to ask: “What’s the worse thing that can happen if I make the wrong decision?” and “Can I live with that consequence?” This usually puts the decision into perspective and helps you make it confidently.
Hellen Buttigieg, CPO, is a Certified Professional Organizer, life coach, TV host, author and owner of We Organize U. Visit her website, WeOrganizeU.com, for a free e-Book on how to find more time, energy and inner peace. Contact Hellen at 905.829.2219 or info@WeOrganizeU.com
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