Hello, January! It’s that time of year again for us to make our New Year’s resolutions, whether it be exercising more, indulging less, being better to yourself, being better to others, preparing for a big change in your life or just slowing down to be more mindful and live in the present. I love the beginning of every year as it holds promise, potential and hope for making a clean, fresh start.
January is also National GO [Get Organized] Month, and it’s only fitting: there is no better time in the calendar year to turn the page, turn over a new leaf, get organized and begin again.
So, how about dovetailing your resolutions with aspects of getting yourself organized? Organization requires a plan, creating habits and sticking to a system. Almost any resolution you make begins with having a vision, making a plan about how to get there and being faithful to that plan. And let me let you in on a little secret: the process of getting organized will help you stay true to your plan and achieve your goals.
This is the first of several blog posts in celebration of GO Month.
My Morning Ritual
One resolution that I’ve made this year is to abide by my new morning ritual: a glass of lemon water, time to journal, time to plan and time for me.
There are numerous benefits to starting your day with lemon water, which include helping with digestion, flushing your liver, boosting your immune system, giving you healthier skin and helping with weight loss. After reading about all the benefits and more, I’m on board! I’d like to add a big shout-out of thanks to my neighbors for planting, growing and caring for the lemon tree which produces an abundance of lemons at this time of year.
I have kept journals throughout the years, but only when I needed an outlet to pour my thoughts and torrents of emotions, be it from a boyfriend who was breaking my heart or a job that was really stressing me out. I’m in a fairly good place in my life right now, so why journal?
My business coach, friend and mentor Lisa Montanaro journals daily, and has for years. She recently shared a study that extolls the benefits of keeping a journal, from healing yourself emotionally to living a healthier life to being happier. Sign me up! I’ve been journaling daily since the new year began.
This is the third stop on my morning journey. You can’t take a road trip without knowing where you’re going to go or how you’re going to get there, so shouldn’t you also map out your life? Whether it’s for the next 6 months, that week or that day, planning your life, outlining your goals, defining your priorities and listing steps to get there will put you in charge. It’s very empowering!
There are many wonderful apps out there now that help you plan and be more productive – a few that I’ve tried are Todoist and Wunderlist – but my all-time favorite way to plan is to write out my thoughts on a paper planner. And my all-time favorite paper planner is the Planner Pad. I know, we’re moving towards a paperless society (and I’m a big advocate of that!) but this is different: rather than just keeping “to do” lists on your smartphone, you categorize your projects, list things you need to do under each category, assign a day in which you are going to do that task, and finally, dedicate a time on that day you are doing it. It is a really brilliant system! And since I have so many categories (business admin, marketing, professional development, volunteer work, my son and me) I usually have a full list under each and can visually see which day I’m going to accomplish what.
Time For Me
This one is a constant work in progress: we always put ourselves last, don’t we? As a mom, my 8-year-old is first in line in the morning for breakfast, playtime, cuddle time or reading – so for now, journaling is filling that “Time for Me” role. My ambition is to get back to walking every morning. I’ve practiced yoga and walked for exercise for years – but time is tight and getting away for a yoga class in the middle of the day is a luxury I can’t afford right now. I am on a mission to return to my daily morning walk: it’s a beautiful way to clear your head, set your priorities, admire the beauty all around you . . . and get in my 10,000 steps! (yes, I got a Fitbit for Christmas – thanks, sis!)
Following these steps each morning sets me down the path for a productive day – and any goals (or resolutions) I’ve made are within reach. May you all find ways to seize the day and achieve your own dreams.