Hello, 2019! I adopted a new mindset this year: to minimize chaos in my surroundings and schedule. And there’s a lot to shed given my tendency to accumulate stuff: drawers of postcards and knick-knacks from past travels; boxes of greeting cards I’ve either received or plan to give; and clothing I haven’t worn in 5+ years but can’t part with because I may love them again. In addition to overstuffing my shelf and closet space, I jam-pack my schedule til it’s bursting at the seams. And not just with social commitments! Subbing extra classes and binge-watching Netflix are taking their tolls on my mental peace and productivity. So, here’s the low-down on how I plan to align my actions with this new mindset.
A To-Do of 3: Unlike years past where I mapped and planned my daily activities to a T, only to be disappointed with myself for not checking off all dozen to-dos, I’ve adopted a simpler approach of writing down just three items that I call the “Big Three” to tackle each day. And they aren’t necessarily all that big! Accomplishing small things like organizing my jewelry box or paying my insurance bill gives me mental satisfaction and clarity. Each day, I jot my Big Three in a notebook (adorned with a pink G, of course) that’s small, lightweight, and welcoming.
Joy in the Future: I too have been swept up in the Marie Kondo craze. Those mess-turned-minimalist pictures make me yearn for that deep exhale post purging my stuff. But going through my pile of clothes to see what sparks joy hasn’t been the most joyful endeavor. I’ve been faced with old Halloween costumes, new clothing from shopping sprees that happened last decade, and CDs from the hottest 90's boy bands. As I go through these items, I’ve indulged in a bit of time to enjoy, including trying on old clothes and listening to my fave CD tracks - before asking myself the question, “Shall I bring this item into my future?” If the answer is no, I give these items a fond goodbye and feel the happiness of donating to my local Goodwill.
Schedule Me-Time: I’ve been feeling a little worn down lately. That’s partly due to the recent holiday season, with lots of anxiety-inducing family gatherings and travel on the books. I’m turning the activity meter down a few notches these days. I’ve decided to create more weekly windows of ‘me-time’ to stay inside and relax, as well productivity periods to catch up on email, run errands, and (you guessed it) de-clutter my space. During these time chunks, I put on some upbeat tunes, light a candle, and get to work on my Big Three (see #1 above), and then some. After this balanced time for myself, a night out is welcomed and well-deserved.
Cut the Time Drains: My new mindset means I’m breaking free from those things and people that are draining my time. For starters: mindlessly scrolling through social media. I’ve been known to squander away hours scanning feeds. Not only do I get a serious case of FOMO, but I feel guilty for spending too much time on something that really doesn’t benefit my body or mind. I’ve recently set up time limits for my most frequented social media apps that remind me to put my phone down and come up for air. I’ve also applied this time limit tactic when it comes to interactions with toxic people. I’m prioritizing my precious time and peace of mind.
This year will bring about major life shifts for me, including moving into a new house (more on that later), merging lives with my significant other, and (*crosses fingers*) stepping into an awesome but challenging new job. As I take on these adventures, my new mindset will ensure I’m free from anything (physical or otherwise) that may create unnecessary life clutter or weight.