As the stores begin to show sign of the holidays, I feel the excitement of the upcoming season, along with a bit of apprehension. I know all of the stresses this time of year brings. In order to enjoy the upcoming season to it's fullest, I know I need to remove as many unnecessary stressors as possible. I call these "pebbles"in my shoe. Those small irritants that steal my time, energy and confidence little by little, making the bigger tasks seem more difficult. Before the holiday season is in full swing, is the perfect time to address a few of these so we can start the upcoming New Year on the right foot.
1) Identify the "pebbles in your shoe". What’s dragging you down? Is it that messy junk drawer? The closet full of clothes that don’t fit any more? A scattered approach to menu planning and grocery shopping? Use a journal to record your thoughts.
2) Decide whether the issue is one that’s worth addressing now. A messy junk drawer? If you can’t find what you need when you need it, you are likely repurchasing items like superglue, tape measures, etc., That’s a waste of money and mental energy that could be put to better use.
3) Create a plan of attack. Is the issue one you need to take on yourself, or can you delegate it or hire a professional? If the faucet’s been dripping for months, and you never seem to have time to watch that YouTube video on how to fix it, maybe it’s time to call a plumber. Grocery pick up and delivery services save so much time. Is that option right for you? Maybe your teen can drive over to the store this week. Can you arrange for a charity to pick up your discards, rather than taking them in yourself? Be creative in your approach.
4) Use a timer. Most tasks take so much less time to accomplish than we imagine! When my children were small, each afternoon I would set a timer for 2 minutes per room. I would set the timer and the three of us would tidy the room as quickly as we could until that timer went off and then we would move on to the next room. We made a game out of getting the house back to order each day and it only took 10 minutes to tidy the entire downstairs. If you have trouble finding time for those tasks you don’t feel like tackling, like cleaning the junk drawer, set a timer. When the buzzer sounds, you’re free! Set the task aside and spend time on it again tomorrow. Give yourself a small reward for getting it done, maybe a walk with a friend or some time reading.
When we take time remedy the small issues that sap our energy, and allow ourselves the freedom that comes from taking care of them, we find ourselves more able to devote ourselves to the interests and relationships that nourish us. We are able to live more vibrantly. Give it a try this week, and let me know how it goes.