A main tenant of preparing yourself for big change is all about clearing the clutter. What can you clear from your life physically, emotionally, from your calendar, or from your mind, in order to create the necessary space for change? I liken it to needing to get rid of ratty old couch before you can bring in the fancy new couch.
For some people, this is an easy task. I have some clients who have very little that is cluttering up their lives, their homes, their schedules, and so for them they are almost able to start with this clean slate.
Then there are other folks, myself often included, who feel like the clutter is weighing them down, overwhelming them, and disables them from making progress.
Case in point – my home. You come to my home and it’s not terribly messy (considering I have a two year old and a five month old), but for me, it is disorganized, many things lack a place to belong, and it feels like it doesn’t take much for it to become chaos. Thinking back, my husband and I moved into our home when our son was six weeks old. We unpacked quickly, I was dealing with postpartum, our son had colic… and so nothing really was unpacked with intention or purpose. The goal was to get things out of boxes – check.
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Two plus years later and as my husband departed for a trip to the UK, we couldn’t for the life of us find a British adaptor for his chargers. I KNOW we have three of them… somewhere in our relatively small home. And so, what happened? He had to rush out and buy one before travelling. He goes to the UK… guess what I find? Yep, now we own four British adaptors, FFS.
So, what do I tell people, myself included, who feel that the clutter is too much for them to make progress with anything else in their life? As much as you would love to wave a magic wand and for your life, your home, your schedule, your relationships to be in order, life isn’t that simple. It’s messy and chaotic. So, first ground yourself in reality. You can’t wave the magic wand. It won’t all be done today, tomorrow or next week.
What can you do? What is realistic? What would progress look like?
From my physical clutter standpoint, my husband and I have had to agree to make it a priority. And so, this weekend, he’ll be taking both kids on a day trip while I power through with some home organization. And guess what? It won’t all get done in one day. Not by a long shot. But, it’s progress.
And today? Today I clean out ONE drawer.
What’s the ONE thing that you can do today to make a difference? It could be tiny, it could be half a drawer, it could be your purse. The goal is to do ONE thing that will make you feel better, feel less cluttered, and create some mental space.
I know I’ve been talking about physical clutter, but this goes for all clutter. When your schedule is overwhelming and you feel like nothing can go, get REAL clear with yourself and ask yourself what’s the ONE thing that can drop from your schedule? Who is the ONE toxic person you can choose not to engage with this week? What is the ONE thing you will stop/start saying to yourself in order to move forward?
So often we get caught up in the big goals, the overall change that we hope to experience. And while it’s so good to know where you want to go (you can’t get there without a map!), it’s critical to take baby steps so as to keep momentum going. By doing one thing and doing it well, you get that dopamine hit that motivates you to go again and again and again.
You’ve got this. Have faith that doing that one thing, getting one percent better each day, that you will get there. By an inch or a mile, you’ve got this.