Changes in seasons are so inspiring, aren’t they? Especially spring-time. The warmer weather seems to trigger some sort of inner organizational guru (aka Spring Cleaning.) There are many ways to stay organized or to set new goals for yourself. Here’s my top 10 tips for tapping into your inner organizer:
- Get inspired. Take a quick browse on Pinterest to get ideas for how to organize your shoe collection, buy an organizer and fancy pen, or pick up a good read. I would recommend Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You don’t have agree with everything (I do not personally thank my socks at the end of the day), but she does have some inspirational ideas that guaranteed will motivate you.
- Ask honest questions. And answer them honestly! If you are doing a purge, this is a must. Do you need that item? Is it serving a purpose? Do you use it for its purpose? Do you enjoy that item? If no…should it stay?
- Compartmentalize. Divide up your life into different segments and set 1-2 goals for each one. This will look different for everyone. Example: Faith, food, family, finances, fitness.
- Make a list. I looooovvee lists. One of my favourite feelings in the world is to cross something off my to-do list. Sometimes I write down things I’ve already done just to cross it off the list (be honest, you list-lovers have done it too!) Compartmentalize for your to-do lists as well. Vacuuming, healthy breakfast ideas, bank meetings and piano practice on the same list makes me feel scattered. Use your categories from tip #3 and create a list of to-dos under each one. Prioritize your list based on timelines or how it aligns with your personal goals.
- Set goals, and good ones. Use your categories from tip #3 and consider what you want to change or accomplish for every category you create. Make them specific – if your goal is too broad, it’s hard to know where to even start. Give yourself a timeline to accomplish each goal. A good place to start is 1 short term goal (in the next week or month) and 1 long term goal for each category (in the next 6 months or 1 year). If life changes, no problem. Roll with it and reset if necessary, but don’t stop pursuing your goals.
- Use a goal tracker. You can set awesome goals and tuck that paper away in the never-to-find-it-again drawer (we all have that drawer). Instead, write them on sticky and put it on your fridge or mirror. Better yet, plug them into your My Viva account and reflect on them every day. You’ll be amazed at your progress when you actually track your goals!
- Meal plan. Sit down 1-2x/week and plan for 3-4 days at a time. Create a grocery list as you go. My favourite strategy is sitting down on the weekend with my calendar white board, my computer, a couple cookbooks, and a nice hot cup of tea. Yes, I also sometimes light a candle and play soft music, okay? It’s a peaceful way to plan for the week and select the groceries I need on an online grocery site for delivery or pickup. Once a month I do a big bulk shop for the shelf-stable items and incorporate those into my weekly plans. Healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner can come together quite easily with a little forethought and organization.
- Sync your schedules. If you feel like you are constantly herding kittens, invest in a family planner app or calendar. Each person can enter their events or commitments, so you can see who needs to be where when. TimeTree is a great free app that allows all invited members to enter in their events.
- Self-care time. This may be the most important component of your week or month (or day!). Please be sure to build in time for you. This may be a pedicure, date night with your spouse, a vigorous walk, a coffee with a friend, or quiet time with a good book. The purpose of self-care time is refill your tank so you can continue to pour into others around you. Schedule this like an appointment and do not budge on this commitment. If it absolutely needs to change, reschedule it back as soon as possible.
- Journal or reflect. If life just feels chaotic, we may actually need to take a step back and fairly evaluate what’s on our plate before we can make effective changes. Reflect on what’s going well and what’s a challenge. Collect data on yourself and you will start to unravel your own unique story. This doesn’t need to be elaborate. It might just mean shutting off the car radio on the drive home and reflecting on your day and your goals.
Remember, these are all just suggestions! Finding what works for you will be the most successful strategy you can do. If one tip didn’t work well, tweak it or try something new until you find your fit.
By Raina Beugelink Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist)