It’s fresh start time, but I have the attention span of a flea and am by necessity, cheap. Can I commit to anything workable? Here are my thoughts.
As I stared at the piles in my office it occurred to me that I have spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours on organizing things with files, baskets, shelves, cabinets and those cute crafty inventions on Pinterest (which I nail, by the way … NOT). Yet as small business owners, our most valuable assets are not the papers on our desk or files on our hard drive, but the things carried in our hearts, souls and bodies: our memories, experiences, ideas, and feelings. How much do we invest in processing and sorting all of that?
In my case, not nearly enough, which is why for years I have felt like I’ve been pitched overboard into a sea that some days is calm enough to almost let me reach my tropical island, before a wave sucks me under, rakes me across the coral and bounces me offshore. Regimens to fix me are numerous, it would seem, but as mentioned, routine is my sworn enemy and to survive on a writer’s budget, I’m cheap. As a result, I need resolutions that are super easy, cost next to nothing, and give me results NOW. Here are my Top 5 resolutions for staying organized and energized this year.
1. Breathing. I know, obvious and overstated. Yet, when I’m overwhelmed or jabbed by a spear of self-doubt, my breathing becomes so constricted and uncommitted that the air I take in could barely keep a bird alive, let alone fuel the brain and body cells I need to do soemthing constructive. Deep breaths: a gift we can give ourselves anytime we need it.
2. Water. Again, I heard this so much I tuned it out, until I tried it. I added five glasses of water to my day: one when I got up, one with each meal, and one before I went to bed. Some days, I found I drank more but even on those days when I didn’t want any, I was glad I drank them. I could actually make decisions about what to recycle and what to keep, when I had the liquid fuel I needed on board.
3. Art. A favourite song. Better yet, a whole list of go-to songs for every occasion and mood: for reflecting, for planning, for jumping in and tackling that bloody overstuffed closet once and for all. Add to that a photograph or painting that inspires or transports you to another place, a mini vacation before stepping back into the fray. That quirky little statue on my shelf is there not because it’s valuable or even beautiful, but because it reminds me of the tacky Florida gift shop shaped like a wizard where our family had a blast two years ago. We all have these things in our home, our office, our car even, but sometimes forget to let them in and absorb their goodness.
4. Plants. For anyone who knows me, this is hilarious. I’ve killed everything in the garden, including the plastic stuff. But I’m finding as I become more mindful, I am keeping a plant or two alive, and that’s a great feeling. So much of small business ownership is intangible, where you can’t see or touch that which you are building, that it’s encouraging to witness progress of any kind, whether its a seed sprouting roots or an herb producing enough leaves for dinner. And, if it doesn’t work out, compost it, learn from it and start again.
5. Time. 15 minutes. One-quarter of an hour, once a day, all to me, to snuggle in a blanket, meditate, read a chapter, colour a page, or nap. Fifteen minutes is nothing to to the folks out there needing our energy, expertise, and services, but it is an eternity to us: time enough to rest, be thankful, and to dream.
These are simple, which works for me. Self care is not something that I was taught or had modelled for me in my formative years, and as we know, learning things with an adult body and brain has its own set of challenges. I may never graduate from remedial self-help, but after my glass of water this morning I’m pretty sure I can get one more pile in my office sorted. Then who knows? Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to writing Book Five.
Wishing a terrific year to each of you, full of what works for you.Jennifer Hatt is author of the Finding Maria series.
Read more of her blogs, and about her books, at www.FindingMaria.com