It’s a new year and the perfect time to start anew. If you’re one of the millions of people who make New Year’s resolutions and don’t keep them, don’t beat yourself up. We are all in the same boat. Sometimes we just need a little push.
Trust me, I am no neat freak. But when it comes to my daily life and accomplishing my goals, I’ve found a great way to sift through all the random thoughts I have and put them into action.
Have you ever seen the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It? Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, it’s a cute movie about a working mom who is trying to balance her career and family life. She has to travel a lot for her job, and she’s constantly feeling guilty for leaving her young children. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when she returns from a trip and is lying in bed trying to go to sleep, but her mind is going through The List of things she has to do during the week. If this is how your mind operates when you’re trying to get some precious shut-eye, here are a few tips:
1. Get a planner.
Planners don’t have to boring anymore. Remember those FranklinCovey ones? Not knockin’ those if they work for you. But I personally use these adorable Happy Planners that you can get at Michaels stores. They have so many stickers you can use to decorate them, and they’re so great for daily use. I also have a small Recollections planner. Maybe you’ve bought planners before and by the end of the year, found them empty. Once you get the hang of jotting down your to-do list, it becomes easier, and more fun. It took me a few weeks to really get into the habit of filling in my planner each day. Now, it’s become almost therapeutic.
2. Take advantage of your phone calendar, notes, and reminder apps.
If you aren’t a paper-and-pen kind of person, your phone already comes with ways to make your life more organized. It’s all about creating a habit. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit and stick to it. But I believe when it comes to our phones, we can make habits stick in much less time.
Think about how often you look at your phone each day. Now, think about whether you immediately open the same app whenever you unlock your phone. Unless you’re making a call or texting, odds are you open the same app first before moving on to others. Or maybe you play games on your phone. Think about how easy it is to get into the habit of opening that game to check on your stats. If you can do that, you can easily form a habit of using your Reminders app, or your Calendar app. There’s so many apps out there, I’m sure there’s one that works for you.
3. Use journals and notebooks.
There really is power in writing things down. It makes whatever thought you had real, not just something floating along in space. Write down your goals for the week or month and put them somewhere you can see each day to help keep your mind focused and your intentions clear. This is different from what you would write in your planner for the day. I use my planner to track absolutely everything, but I use multiple journals for different things, such as my Bible journal, my notebook for blog post ideas, my creative writing journal for poetry and short stories. You get the gist. And if you hate writing in notebooks, sticky notes get the job done, too!
4. Reduce clutter.
There’s nothing like a messy home to make you feel overwhelmed. I try to donate items I no longer need in Winter and Summer. Right now, I’m going through the process of moving back home before my wedding in June, and I’m not even close to being done packing. But I didn’t realize I had so many things! Especially items of clothing. It always seems like I have nothing to wear to work. But, oh, I definitely have 10 different pairs of pants. And don’t get me started on shoes.
A few ways to get rid of clutter: Immediately put away laundry when it comes out of the dryer; donate items 2-3 times a year; clear out your bathroom cabinets and drawers every 2-3 months; when you get home from work and change into your lounge clothes, put away your shoes and jackets right away; make your bed each morning. I used to never make my bed. But just doing that each day makes me feel like my bedroom is somewhat clean even if it’s not.
5. Turn off the TV.
I make a habit of spending 30 minutes to an hour of no technology before bed. Usually, I’ll read a book or my Bible until it’s bed time. Take this time to let your mind relax from the day. Don’t focus on what other people are doing. No Instagram scrolling. Take a nice bath or warm shower, and use it as an opportunity to clear your mind.
Getting organized doesn’t have to be entirely about focusing on the next to-do. It can also be about being intentional with your time, and taking care of yourself.
How do you get organized? Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!