A page of my Best-Self Journal
Happy New Year!
We are now more than a week into 2017. How is it going for you so far? I attended a series of workshops in the last few months of 2016, and one of the themes that has really stayed with me is that 'small things can make a big difference'. I have been working really hard in the last few weeks to implement some small changes to make a big difference to my life.
If you sometimes feel that life is getting away from you, or that despite your good intentions you never keep your new year's resolutions, read on to get a couple of ideas about some of the small things you could do to get 2017 off to a fantastic start. And keep it that way.
The biggest game-changer for me has been an emphasis on planning out my day. Until I got used to doing it, this was somehow a small thing and an enormous thing all at the same time! I'm still not doing it absolutely every day, but I do it most days, and when I do, I really notice the difference. I have found that it makes me feel in control of my day which is an amazing feeling! It means that there is no space for anxiety about getting things done or getting somewhere on time as you've planned it all out.
Now that might sound a bit dull to some of you, but it really isn't. As you get used to planning your day, you begin to have a much more realistic sense of what is achievable in one day. I have also found that it has helped me to think about what is important to me. My daily plan isn't just a long list of mundane tasks. The idea is that you plan so that you get the essential stuff done, but you also factor in time for the things that you want to do. It can help you to think about what you don’t want in your life any more too.
So, 1-4pm on a Saturday might be set aside for family time. You don't have to decide in advance what it is you want to do if don't want to, but just setting aside that time (and planning the rest of your day realistically) means that family time will happen! You might choose to have an hour set aside in your evening, for reading/ watching tv/ spending time with your children/ social media or whatever it is that helps you relax. The key is, that by planning when you are going to do certain things, it allows you to take control of your day (and stops you wasting hours scrolling through facebook!).
The one thing that really helps me with this planning is my Best Self Journal. It was recommended to me at the end of November last year and it really has helped. The journal is designed to last for 12 weeks, but as each page is blank, if you are on holiday, or you just decide not to use it for a day or two (I confess that there were several days in the limbo-land between Christmas and New Year that didn't get planned!) then you don't waste the pages - you just pick up again on the next page when you are ready. I will definitely be putting one on my birthday list! If you are interested, you can find out more here – you can also download some pages to try before you buy (and for those of you like me, that love stationary, it's a really lovely book with a hard front and back covered in dark blue fabric, has nice thick pages and a bright yellow ribbon to mark your page - see mine above!).
One thing at a time
Becoming more organised is key to taking control. I mentioned above that by planning your day you become more realistic about what is achievable in a day. Another thing is to become more focused.
Multi-tasking used to be the thing that we were all supposed to be able to do - if you weren't juggling 5 different things at a time then you were a bit of a waste of space. I've never been good at multi-tasking (how can you ever get something done properly and to the best of your abilities and actually finish it if you're thinking about a load of other things at the same time?), and so I'm very relieved that single-tasking is the new big thing!
I think this approach applies to everyone regardless of whether you work or not. I read the article 'Why single-tasking can make everything better' by Lauren Laverne, last week which explains it all very nicely. Since I've been taking steps to plan and be focused I would totally support the findings that suggest single-tasking reduces stress, increases productivity and improves focus and decision making. If you want more of that in your life read the article here - it will take you 6 minutes!
What do you want out of 2017?
You might decide that being more focused and organised is a great idea so that you can feel more in control of your life. Fantastic. But do you know what you want 2017 to be about for you? Life really could get dull if it’s just about managing the family diary or your work schedule (or both).
Why not set aside an hour or so one evening this week (tonight would be great) to make yourself a list of some of the things you would like to achieve in 2017? You might have one big goal (being able to run 5k in 30 minutes. Or just being able to run 5k!) or you might have lots of smaller things (having a relaxing bath one night a week). Then think about what you’ll need to do to make it happen. The big things will probably require long-term planning, the small things might just need a bit of thought and organisation. Whatever your goals, try taking some small steps today to help you have the 2017 you really want to have.
Need some help?
If you like the sound of all that, but you’re not quite sure where to start or where to find the energy or motivation then I would love to hear from you! Homeopathy is at the heart of what I do, but I also offer homeobotanicals (more about them soon) and can advise on organic skincare and supplements and can suggest small changes to your lifestyle to help you get back on track. Book in online for a free 20 minute chat or drop me an email to find out more.