Reflect, Reset & Refresh
"By changing the basic structures of our life and space, we hold the power to create the life we want"
January's theme is, you've guessed it! 'Reflect, Reset and Refresh'. The New Year is a popular time to set new goals and make resolutions. Truthfully, most of us fail miserably at carrying them out.
The question is: Can you actually set goals and achieve them?
Yes you can! Don't get your notebook and pen out just yet though; we've got some work to do before that.
This month I'll be walking you through how to set yourself up for success through resetting your environment, both physically and digitally, planning ahead, and most importantly to learn from the past.
Begin with your Environment
What better way is there to refresh than decluttering and organising your physical space? Science has proven that our environment affects our mood, behaviour and actions; sadly, our spaces often remain overlooked.
What I am NOT suggesting is a complete, top to toe home declutter! But if you want to (and have the time to), go for it! What I AM signifying is identifying specific places in your home that are 'annoying' you. Take a moment to walk around your home and really see the spaces for what they are, and list those areas (no matter how small) that cause you pain. Your list may be as long as your arm, or just one area! Common zones include chaotic kitchen cupboards, overflowing wardrobes, and muddled fridges.
I'm not going to get deep into the 'how-to' side of decluttering and organising in this post; however I will give you a couple of my best tips.
Do not buy containers before you begin! Why? You don't know how much you will have, or what the area will look like at the end; you may decide to reshuffle areas and categories around to utilise the space! Buying containers at the end can save you money, as you can clearly identify the areas that need them.
Keep it simple by creating three options: Keep, Bin, Donate. Don't overcomplicate it!
Most importantly: make it a point to find a home for everything! This is my ultimate mission for each and every item. I truly believe that this is the dividing line between being able to maintain organisation and falling back into cluttered chaos.
Our Environment and Goals are Connected
Did you know that we are more likely to act in harmony with our homes rather than against them? How can we achieve this? Let me explain.
If an aspiring artist had to pull out her equipment from an awkward high cupboard every time she wanted to paint, do you think she would paint as often compared to storing it where it's easily and quickly accessible?
Of course she wouldn't. It would be much easier not to, because there's difficulty and resistance in the way. Resistance is the pain we associate with carrying out the action now, thereby overshadowing any feeling of pleasure we'll get in the future by doing it.
As humans we lean towards the 'path of least resistance'; it's a natural pattern of behaviour. Like water will always flow down the easiest route, so do we. We do things that consume the least amount of energy and effort possible, such as scrolling through Facebook, eating fast food, watching TV.
Ask yourself the question: how do I want to feel? Take that feeling and couple it with a positive action you can take (often reflected in our goals).
Coming back to our painter analogy, let's say she wants to feel creative and calm. By having her equipment nearby she can more easily achieve that feeling because she doesn't need to go through as many pains as before.
You can fully utilise the path of least resistance to your advantage, making it easier to take action on your goals and more difficult to be thrown off course. As you declutter, recognise these structures - those that cause the pain and resistance - and change them to be in harmony with how you want to live, who you want to be, and how you want to be known by.