Gosh, less than a week to Christmas and so much to do! Where do we get the time to recover from one year before we hit the next and start all over again?!?!
That lull time in between Christmas and New Year is ideal. It’s that time when you sludge about from over-eating at the Christmas table; or when you loll back by the beach with a book in hand. Or generally just take it easy.
Use that time to do a few things that will set you in a great frame for the year:
Clear out the clutter
Feng shui endorses getting rid of the old to make way for the flow of energy and the new. No matter where we live or work, we’ve always got stuff we stockpile that we don’t need, and that others may benefit from. So start in one place that’s bothering you – it may be the bookcase or the wardrobe or the pantry. (For me, it’s the pantry – heaven knows how old some of those herbs are!). Set aside an hour and a half and clear out what you can. Stick to the timeframe or you’ll just create a real mess and end up spending the whole day and then get frustrated at the extra work! Bag up the things you can give-away and toss the rest into the garbage. When you’re done, celebrate with a little treat – for me that may be a tipple from the bottle of sherry in the pantry
Our inboxes (plural because most of us have more than one), get chock-a-block full of material that no longer serves us. We may have subscribed because we wanted the info at the time or we may have received the newsletters for some other reason. Go through your inbox and unsubscribe from anything that does not add value, annoys you or just doesn’t inspire you or make you feel good. If there are a few you want to receive but don’t want them cluttering your inbox, create a rule for them to go straight to a holding folder so you can look through them when you need to. I use this for newsletter that may give me ideas for my blog content for example. Just make sure you schedule time to go through them and clear then out regularly. While you are in your inbox, answer any outstanding emails and file away important ones, deleting what is no longer required. Just because you can keep electronic ‘stuff’ doesn’t mean you have to!
Commit to better habits
Reflect back on what could have been better and you’ll realise our results rely on our habits. Decide to develop and practice new, better habits in the new year. For me there are two:
- adopting D.I.N. Come on – I know some of you procrastinate like me. “I’ll do that later” becomes a mantra. And, ‘later’ never comes. But a big snowball of to-do’s does pile up. So I commit to Do It Now. When I’m handling something and I know it will only take a couple of minutes, I will do it now rather than file it away for later or rescheduling it. When I receive an email or a phone message I will do it now rather than trusting my memory to respond later. I’m working on the principle that by doing it now I will avoid that piling up of overwhelming tasks and letting things slip away in time.
- eating fresher food. I realise my energy levels are higher when I eat less manufactured or produced food (think take-away, frozen, junk, heavily sauced and smothered restaurant food) and have more fresh vegetables and salads. When I’m more energetic I’m usually more productive as well. So next year I am continuing my recently developed habit of eating the freshest food I can wherever I am.
Really take the time to think about what this next year will look like for you. What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities? Where will your time and energy be best spent? How will you maintain focus on the important things rather than the urgent or unimportant? Spend the time during this break to map out a series of four 90 day plans. Those 90 day plans need to be about the BIG things you want to achieve and how you will achieve them. The everyday will take care of itself but the big things get lost in the busy-ness. Keeping a visual roadmap of the year’s key outcomes will inspire you and remind you so you can reflect on more achievements at year’s end.