It's the start of the year, and that means getting organised. For me, it also means not reading or watching excessive posts on new year goals, or new year, new me, weight-loss diets and the likes. Because most people start off the year on a high with great hopes and dreams, but seeing it all to the end is a different story. How has the year started for you? I have chosen to slow right down because I worked right up till 4pm on the 31st! We completed our final design project- a lavender, grey and silver nursery with sumptuous velvet and silks for a precious little darling due to arrive any day now. Today, I am slowly getting into my new year state of mind by preparing to embrace all of 2022- i.e. the good, the bad and the ugly. Because I believe life consists of almost equal parts, negative and positive experiences, and I am glad to be alive. So if you are already feeling overwhelmed with the abundance of good vibes posts- but have zero excitement, here are some tips to ease you into the best of this new year for you. As usual, mindset is everything, so first we turn our attention to the mind.
You are not in a race.
Every new goal or habit does not have to start in January. How about using this month to tie up loose ends, declutter your mind and space and get rid of projects you have no intention of finishing? Sometimes letting go is hard and if you need to dedicate some time to do so, it will serve you well. Examples of things to let go of are
all the fears you had last year that did not materialise, and the hopes and dreams that did not happen- no thank you, COVID. Take time for self-care and appreciate the efforts you put into simply making it to the end of a tumultuous 2021. Your 'new year, new you' can begin next month or the month after if you are still working on last year's activities. No one is keeping score!
You may feel under pressure to jump right into your goals. My advice? Start slow. For example, I have a vision of going on a raw plant diet. To give you the full picture, I am a card-carrying steak lover. I eat for pleasure as well as for sustenance, and I have never completed a diet. To go from my current carnivorous state to eating strictly raw veggies will be setting myself up for failure. So I am considering The Petronella Diet- thank you, Tabitha Willett, which is all veg, but cooked and tasty. The operative word here is 'considering.'
I have also given myself permission to fail. Ease yourself slowly into new routines, so your new habits become sustainable as a lifestyle. Just because we feel positive and gingered up does not mean the emotion is sufficient to see us all the way through. Start, then pick up the pace as you journey along.
Avoid generic completion dates
At the start of 2021, I had six goals, and my deadline for all of them was 31st Dec 2021. Now, one of my favourite clarifying questions is What's your intention? I ask this question when I want to ensure I am making a move for the right reasons, listen to Episode #5 of my podcast for more on that. At the end of my goal-setting exercise, I questioned the deadline for the launch of my podcast. Really, it wouldn't take twelve months to complete it. The real reason was that I was avoiding commitment. Once that became evident, I changed the date to April, and I met that deadline. Random dates like 23rd of June or 16th of March gives you a less generic finish line- you can even personalise it by choosing family birthdays as your cut off dates.
Remove the burden.
Do you agree that you don't have to do it all? I don't know where the thought which says 'it isn't real unless you do it yourself' originated from. That isn't fact. Keep the end in mind, which is at the end, I did it. If your goal is to make sure you have healthy meals seven days a week, you don't have to prepare those meals. Engage the services of a chef or go for a subscription service. If your goal is to make sure you organise your inbox, how about hiring a VA a few hours a month? Beginning with the end in mind will remove the burden of the process, leaving you free execute quickly and move on to the next.
Invest in good stationery
When it comes to getting organised for the new year, I consider it a sacred event. I get into a full ritual mode with my planner, notebook, pens, and calendar. I'm a pen and paper girl first, before syncing into my digital calendar. Treat yourself to some good stationery. I have used The Day Designer for years because it is beautifully designed with a range of pretty covers. Besides, it really does help me stay organised; it has one day to a page, with time slots on the left and a list maker or brain dump on the right. Regarding journals, I don't buy a new journal each year as I simply use one until I run out. I prefer an A5, lined notebook and I have used the same brand for years. It features inspirational words at the bottom of each page, and with 400 pages, I get a lot of use out of each. Finally, you need a good pen. One that glides smoothly yet does not bleed through the paper- although that's usually down to the paper itself. I am currently using Pentel BL107, which I purchased from Amazon. Here's wishing you the very best that 2022 has to offer- I like to think that our lives are not up to the year. Instead, we make the year work for us regardless of the ingredients we have to work with. The podcast, Living Inside Out, shares life and business lessons that lead to mindset changes, and you can listen and subscribe here. I look forward to connecting with you more this year!