Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Anyone who knows me well knows that I like my life to be organized! It’s an on-going process and I strive for continuous improvement. Organization often leads to simplification. Simplification often leads to the creation of positive habits across all parts of your life including physical health, mental outlook, social engagement, spiritual connection, professional potential, and financial stability. These ten suggestions taken from the Health Coach Institute touch all of these key lifestyle areas.
Food: Clean out your fridge, your pantry, your kitchen shelves and keep only what is fresh and useful to you and throw away anything that has passed its sell-by-date, that you don’t use, that’s gone bad or that contains harmful substances. Make space for the food you love, the spices you enjoy, and the ingredients that inspire you to cook.
Clothing: Go through your wardrobe and dressers and donate or sell any clothes that you haven’t worn in the last year, don’t make you feel GREAT, or have stains or holes in them. Only keep the clothes that make you feel like the person you want to be. This is (according to Marie Kondo) a great place to start your decluttering spree.
Work Space: Imagine your client is walking into your work space. What do they see? A total mess or a clean, organized, calm space? Organize your papers, your stationery, your bills, and keep only what you really and truly need and use. Paperwork and desk clutter have a way of making our brains crazy like nothing else. Do yourself a favor and declutter your work space.
Technology: Have a million tangled cords stuffed in drawers that you have no idea where they plug in? Take them to the dump to recycle responsibly. Have hundreds of photos from last year’s trip taking up space on your phone or computer? Copy them onto a hard-drive and delete them on your phone or PC. Similarly, if your inbox is over 200, 1000, 3000 emails full, don’t you think it’s time to delete them?
Home: This is a huge undertaking so give yourself enough time to do it well. Go through every corner of your home and create four categories: One to sell, one to give away and one to throw into the garbage and one to keep. Author, Marie Kondo suggests your start with clothes, then books, then papers, then miscellaneous, and lastly mementos. She also firmly believes you should keep only what gives you joy. You’ll be shocked at how little you actually really need once you do this. You may need a friend to help you let go of sentimental stuff so call on your peeps to help you.
People: Are there people in your life who are just weighing you down? Taking more than they give? AKA energy vampires. Be assertive, put up your boundaries and let them know that you value your energy, are simplifying your life and don’t have space or desire to engage in energy-draining conversations or arguments. Instead, start hanging out or calling in people in your life whose energy and drive you want to mirror so you can learn from them what it takes to step into your most empowered self ever.
Schedule: We are all guilty of trying to do a million things at once and be everything to everybody but the person who suffers most is you. Simplifying your life means simplifying
your calendar so it’s not jam-packed with a gazillion scribbled activities 24/7. Give yourself space to breathe, rest, relax and just be. Cancel ‘commitments’ that you feel obliged to attend, and only go to those that come from your heart. If that weekly gym class is not working for you, quit it and find something else that does. If visiting your long-lost relative is nothing but draining, cancel it. Stick to what energizes and rejuvenates your soul.
Thoughts: This is probably the hardest one of all since our thoughts are not easy to control but it can be done. Negative, self-defeating, worried thoughts can plague our minds and weigh us down. One of the best ways to start simplifying our lives is to simplify our thoughts. So, experiment with what works for you, be it meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, hiking, biking—find ways to clear your mind and the rest will follow.
Money: Asking for, dealing with and accepting money is something that a coach deals with on a daily basis. In the Sophic Steps Habit Change Program, we take you deep into how to have a better relationship with money and in the meantime, there are easy ways to start this process. Simply start today with decluttering your wallet or purse. Organize your notes, your coins, your receipts, your cards and show money that you respect it, and it’ll respect you back by showing up more for you in your life.
Time: We are plagued by the “I have no time” lifestyle and “I’m too busy” paradigm but what if that was all an illusion, and actually, you could feel like you have all the time in the world for the most important things in your life? How much simpler would your life feel with a sense of having more time? A lot! Right? We often say that you can’t pour form an empty cup so, similarly, you can’t live a happy, fulfilled life if you have no time. Starting now, carve out space in your day to go for a walk, talk to a friend, listen to the birds, stretch, rest, sleep. Doing less will reward you in so many unexpected, wonderful ways.
Use these steps to create organization, simplification, and margin in your life!
(Source of the 10 suggestions: Health Coach Institute – March 2020)