Ready, set, go!
Well, at least this is how we would like to imagine the beginning of a new year: just push a button whenever we are ready to start. However, fortunately or unfortunately, this is not the way it works. Unfortunately, because it would be very nice to have an autopilot, to make things start happening immediately after we press that button. Fortunately, because it is our nature to gradually adapt to the right things, at the right moment. This is what allows us to analyze the situation and detect if there is something wrong, and how it can be solved.
For most people, the beginning of a new year is really the start of something new, a new chance, a new life. We want to leave behind all the mistakes we made, and all the targets we could not meet. We want to renew our goals and determine some new ones. This is when people try to lead a more orderly life, setting up new rules in order to succeed in their new – or renewed – projects. It is the ideal time to make a deal with ourselves, and do our best to have a productive year.
Nevertheless, year after year, there are people who leave all their projects unfinished, either because they lack the necessary organization, or the much needed commitment. They are usually the ones who find it difficult to adapt to a routine and follow the rules. Even when they have the best intentions, they end up feeling overwhelmed, when they do not get immediate results.
Adaptability is a human characteristic. Therefore, we must try to get results without overloading ourselves.
Changes take time, dedication and patience – a lot of patience. As organizers, we know that the organization process might be a burden for some people, especially those who confuse organization with perfection. They think their home, work environment, or schedule have to be perfect. We are not perfect – far from it. By organization, we mean functionality, flexibility and convenience in our daily lives. However, it does not start by simply pushing a button.
For example, when organizing an environment, you have to clean, analyze, rearrange and adapt, in order to get more accessibility to every item. Perfection is not the target. One room at a time, one piece of furniture at a time. If you dedicate one or maybe two hours a day to this task, by the end of the week, you will have worked from seven to fourteen hours, taking the organization of your home to the next level. This is the same amount of time you could easily have spent on social media or some equally unfruitful activity.
Nowadays, we have a lot of different tools to organize our time, such as agendas and planners, if you are the old school type. There are also apps for all kinds of need, in case you do not like your handwriting, or prefer something more up to date. These are the best tools to help you plan your day, your month, and your year.
You might start with a simple calendar, where you could write down all the important dates, such as birthdays, events, vacations, medical appointments, and deadlines to pay your rent or renew your car insurance. In case you feel the need for something more detailed, you can go for an agenda or planner. Then you can also establish daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. It will be very easy to check them from time to time, to see if they are being fulfilled.
However, please remember not to get overwhelmed by the urge of doing everything by the book, and this is even more important for those who are not used to this kind of demand. The new routine can bring anxiety, in case you happen to be too demanding on yourself. Organization is a tool to improve your lifestyle, and not a means to create new problems. Do it on your own pace, day after day, but do it. You are not a little robot, you are a human being, so respect the natural flow of life. Overloading and over demanding can easily turn into anxiety and frustration – and this is exactly what we do not want.
In order to know if it is going to work, you have to try. Do something to improve your lifestyle, and in the end of the day, enjoy that amazing feeling of a job well done!