Spring to me is fresh flowers, birds chirping, green grass, cool breeze and bright colours. At springtime, most of us think of cleaning, organizing and clearing clutter from our lives. While it’s the best time to do these things, there are several other ways to organizing your life that doesn’t involve washing windows and clearing clutter from your space.
If a daily life of stress and feeling over-worked has become the new “norm” for you, then you’re probably in the ranks of two out of five Canadians whose daily lives are packed with stress and added responsibilities. Take a deep breath – It doesn't have to be that way. It’s time to identify that certain parts of your life and what you do affect your overall health.
My personal experience
At the start of the year, I had a few plans and goals in place, however, I was not prepared for the setbacks and limitations and honestly, I had no contingency plans in place. This is not a ‘norm’ for me, but when life throws you curve balls, you have to learn to swerve them. After forcing myself to sit quietly every day and analyze my situation, I realized two things ~ it’s about aligning your life with your values and living a more holistic life. This means living and allowing yourself to feel as if you’re being nurtured and growing. It’s about knowing what makes you happy and feel complete. Next is to stop worrying about “what-if”, “why did I” and “how can I”, and focus on “what do I want” and “what will I do”.
A good number of people have areas in their lives that they want to improve – ie. their health, relationships, career or financial affairs. I have put together these four steps as a stepping stones to bringing awareness to our wants and needs and become conscious of what’s holding you back from living a healthier, more organized life:
1. Cut Back on Your Responsibility: If you’re spreading yourself too thin, you’re not allowing yourself to be in alignment with your purpose and your values. In fact, you are increasing stress and hindering your ability to perform at your very best. I am guilty of this one when I took on several projects and commitments with unrealistic deadlines. Before I knew it, I was staying up late at night trying to get things done and crawling into bed at 2am. I knew it was not healthy for me and I soon realized that I had to learn to say “no”. Now I choose what projects I want to take on and whether they are in line with my values and beliefs. This was a very important and hard decision for me, but now I see a significant change in my outlook on life and my schedule.
2. Never Compare Yourself to Others on Social Media: Here are some scenarios – A friend buys a dream home or car, a colleague gets a huge promotion or another friend goes on an exotic vacation – and posts everything on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t get caught up by the perfectly cropped pictures. Social Media is for information, but keep in mind that not all information is accurate, so by no means should you allow another one’s accomplishment leave you second-guessing your own accomplishments. Focus only on your goals and how you plan to implement them. In other words, don’t be tempted to keep up with the Joneses. You don’t know how they got to where they are.
3. Stop Procrastinating: Putting things off is so easy, but the longer you put things off, the more difficult it will be to get it done. Here is a method I’ve used which has proven to alleviate my daily list significantly. Whether it’s a small or large order, I decide that I’m going to get it done ‘today’ and for me, it means no distractions and some delegation. I turn off my cell phone and all social media, then designate a time to work on the task with one goal in mind – to get it done. When I delegate (which I still struggle with), I usually make contact with my resources for any expertise help if necessary, then I take it back. Yes, I’m possessive that way. You can also make yourself accountable by telling someone what you will be working on, and even go further by making a promise you will show them the end result. This will make you put more effort into getting it done.
"An emotionally draining relationship will leave you feeling worn out and feel like you’re being used by the person. Learn to let go or speak up."
4. Get Rid of Negative Relationships: More than anything else, this situation could be the most draining of all as you are hindering yourself from being in alignment with your purpose and your values. An emotionally draining relationship will leave you feeling worn out and feel like you’re being used by the person. Learn to let go or speak up regardless of how much of a history you have. Let the person know how you feel and be polite. If he/she is not willing to make changes, then be prepared to cut them off. Never let another get in the way of your energy and enthusiasm by dragging you into their negative emotional life. Leave this to the professionals – yes a therapist.
I hope these tips will serve as a launch for you to generate a healthier more organized day-to-day life. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but the most important thing is to get clear on what’s important to you and what guides you to making your decisions.