How to End the School Year Strong

end the school year

 

The end of the school year is a whirlwind of activities, fun, and stuff. With more activities going on, more fun being had, and more stuff coming in from school, we feel overwhelmed with organizing.  It takes a new mindset for transition and new strategies to reset your space. Check out these three tips to end the school year strong.

Create a mindset focusing on transition and reset

The month of May is just like the month of December with so much to do. Summer activity has already started with the swim team, holidays, and kids at home. Have a mindset of resetting between the busy school year and the upcoming summer fun. Set aside 2 or 3 days to transition between school ending and summer officially starting. That is when you have several days to reset with relaxation. Return to your regular bedtime and regain your momentum. Your energy will return after a few days to have the brain power to reset your home.

 

Wrap up end of the school year or spring projects

The last 10% of any project is the hardest part. That includes wrapping up the school year or spring projects you have started. Returning items to Amazon or other retailers, pulling together or discarding remnants of a project, or reviewing paperwork might be the last 10% of the project. During this time focus on straightening up the space and letting go of extra stuff that has accumulated through the spring.

 

Take time for gratitude and reflection

In busy times we often forget that time spent in gratitude and reflection yields big learning moments. During the last week of school, set aside time to write a note to those who have been a part of the school year and share what has been most valuable. Others are grateful for your sharing what meant the most to you. In a week or so after school ends, sit together during a family dinner and talk about the year.

  • What hard things did you do or learn?
  • What motivated you the most?
  • What was the best thing that happened?

These times of reflection will build positivity, resilience, and strength for you and your family.

Create an end-of-spring ritual for yourself

If you are beyond school years, it is also a time to reflect on goals. Too often time and seasons pass quickly. A quarterly time for reflection uplifts you and resets where you are in accomplishing your personal and professional goals.

How to Keep Organized With No Time at Home

organize with no time at home

 

During the month of May, it is not surprising how little time we spend at home. We are attending end-of-year activities, recitals, and more. It is now marked “Maycember” because of all the extra activities. I have noticed that having no time at home causes chaos with families. Laundry, meal prep, and organizing falters.  Check out these strategies to help you stay organized despite your lack of time.

 

Make a list of 15-minute tasks

Micro-steps are the winning strategy during busy times. Perhaps you think that list will be too long to accomplish. However, in reality, those are the most valuable tasks that are being accomplished. If there is a longer task, break it into more manageable tasks. If you are hosting a party, attending a graduation, or any other additional activity, use all your 15-minute time blocks to focus on your priority.

Outsource meal prep

Busy times call for resourcefulness. Outsource meal prep by ordering prepared meals and snacks. Local foodies share resources on social media, grocery stores have prepared meals at the front of the store, and local family restaurants offer family meals to go. Write down your plan so you know what you have available. Post a list on the refrigerator and freezer for your family to know what is ready. Make a routine of ordering on Sunday to be ready for the week ahead.

Focus on using what you have

Clutter builds up big time at this time of year. Extra Amazon and retail orders “just in case” come in quickly and pile up. It feels easier to order than to find your stuff in your home. Focus on ordering less and using what you have to accomplish the same end. Extra ordering at this time of year results in more expenses too.

Build a support team

Having a support team at this time of year makes life better. That support team starts with a cleaning team. It is a joy to have someone else take responsibility for dusting, vacuuming, and more when you are not available. Find local resources through referrals. Other support includes a lawn person, window cleaner, and power washing person.

Focus and reward routines

Use the little time at home you have wisely with routines. That might be an evening and Sunday reset time when all items get returned to homes. You will be more organized overall with less out on the counter. Establish a weekly administrative time to pay bills and go through the mail. Nothing lapses in payments or completed paper work if you have a time set to do this work. You might need an incentive for your routines. That incentive would be a reward that speaks to you, such as reading, crafts, or treats. Building that routine starts with visual reminders such as a chart or auditory reminders like an alarm.

 

Enjoy the moment

Family times, graduations, recitals, and other May events come around once a year. Give yourself permission to enjoy this time with others. Let go of your perfectionism around organizing and productivity and enjoy the moment. Busy times like these are what make memories for you and your family.

Managing the Constant of Change

managing constant change

 

Change is a constant in life. Acknowledging this does not make it any easier. Navigating transitions can sometimes feel like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded. From medical challenges to switching jobs to moving homes or adjusting to a new routine, change can bring a whirlwind of emotions and challenges. With preparation, self-awareness, and the right strategies in place, you can emerge stronger and create new perspectives and ongoing systems.

Acknowledge your feelings

Recognizing and validating your feelings is the first step during times of change. It is normal to feel anxious, uncertain, or overwhelmed when faced with not-so-good news. Brene Brown would say to name those feelings.  You can acknowledge these and accept your emotions without judging yourself. Take a moment to regroup, rethink the change after a good night’s rest, and then think about what that change means. You might even welcome this change once you have taken time to reflect.

 

Create a plan

When faced with change, creating a plan of action can provide a sense of structure and direction. Break down the transition into smaller, manageable steps, set your priorities, and outline your goals. Create a roadmap to follow to help alleviate feelings of overwhelm and provide clarity. Your plan can include a timeline so that you can manage each step with the capacity you have.

 

Build a team

Do not go it alone when it comes to change. Reach out to friends, family members, a support group, a therapist, or a coach for guidance and encouragement. Processing this change, gathering data for insight, and learning from others’ experiences make change more manageable. Your team, who understand and support you, can provide valuable insights and reassurance during challenging times.

 

Utilize tools

The best plans are supported by structure and trusted tools. Effectively using your calendar, planner, notebook, digital notebook, checklists, and other visual tools helps you manage change and especially helps by removing the cognitive load. Relying on your memory is not the best way to handle change. It will be easier with this support to remember your priorities and goals.

 

Stay flexible

If Plan A does not work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet. While having a plan is essential, it’s also crucial to remain flexible and adaptable. Change happens in multiple steps and can be unpredictable. Embrace the unexpected with humor and perspective, and be open to adjusting your approach as needed.

 

Practice self-care

During times of change, self-care becomes even more important. Prioritize what recharges your batteries and promotes well-being. Keep your self-care a high priority, including daily exercise, your mindfulness practice, getting to bed on time, taking supplements, or spending time with loved ones.  Self-care builds resilience, a much-needed quality during change.

 

Celebrate each micro-step

Celebrate small victories during the process. Each step forward builds your confidence, strength, and resilience. Share these successes with your team who can honestly share joy and success with you.

 

 

Managing change is difficult, however, it is also an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. By creating a plan and choosing strategies to support you, you can navigate change with less stress. It is not ever going to be easy, but you know you can do this!

Are you ready to make a (small or big) change?

are you ready to make a change?

 

Recognizing the signs signaling the need for change in our lives is often the easy part.  It is the decision to move forward that requires commitment. Whether it’s a change in diet, healthier habits, changing a relationship, or organizing your space, taking the next steps for change requires commitment and tenacity. Others are quick to offer multiple ideas and lots of advice on how to make a change. We often feel like “it only was that easy.” What does it mean when you are ready for change?  How do you know you are ready for change?

How do you know you are NOT ready for change?

Recognizing when you’re not ready for change is just as important as acknowledging when you are. Here are some signs that may indicate you’re not quite ready.

  • You are not ready to change when others are coercing you.  You are being pushed in a direction to make change.  You’re using the word “should” or “ought to” to describe the change.
  • You have a sense of fear or dread about the change you are thinking of making. There may be underlying issues that need resolution first.
  • You know in your mind that change is good, but you are procrastinating on getting started.  The procrastination is lengthy.
  • You don’t have a great reason why to change. Your lack of “why” keeps you from having the determination you need.
  • You may be unclear about the steps to make that change. With a lack of clarity, you are unsure of
  • You are already at full capacity with your work, home, and life. There is no bandwidth, time or energy to do the work needed.

It is important to listen to these signs for readiness.

You are ready for change when…

Readiness for change is a deeply personal process that involves reflection and self-awareness. Trusting your instincts, listening to your inner voice, and recognizing the signs that indicate readiness can help you navigate change with confidence and clarity.

  • You feel that you are stuck in a rut. You feel dissatisfied with something in your life, your work or your relationships.
  • There is a strong desire for personal or professional growth and you feel motivated to learn new skills, take on new challenges, or pursue opportunities for self-improvement.
  • You have deeper self-awareness and understanding of yourself. You are ready to take steps to make change happen because you have identified areas of your life that do not align with your goals.
  • More than just acknowledging that life is not going smoothly, you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  You remember the definition of insanity, “doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome,”  and know what that means.  Despite how difficult it might be, you are ready to do something different.
  • There are feelings of excitement, anticipation, and enthusiasm for the prospect of change and new opportunities. These positive emotions are a driving force for motivation.
  • You are researching how to get help to make the change and hone in on who can help.  It may take time to know who is the best to help and you are ready to talk to that person, start that program, or attend a group meeting.
  • You are energized to create something or be something new. You have time, energy and focus to break out of what’s holding you back and start on a new path.
  • You have a compelling reason to create a new habit.

 

How do I know when I am ready for change?

I wanted to share how I know I am ready to make a change myself.  I think about a compelling reason for the change that is deeply related to a core value.  Some of my biggest changes have come from what I think are outstanding reasons to make a change.  From there I break that into a baby step of baby steps. Those are baby steps that I can do each day. I am ready for change because I find a small way to get started on a big thing.

 

 

when you have the why you can create the how

 

The path to change is not easy. It can be moved forward with inspiration and tenacity.  I am here to help you in person or virtually to accomplish the changes you want to make.

 

Spring Forward for Personal Growth

spring forward for personal growth

 

Is it possible to use the change of clocks to move ourselves forward? “Spring forward” or the change to daylight savings time has become more of a challenge for all of us. We feel a sense of jet lag during the two weeks after we change the clock. Here are 5  tips to help us feel better and be more productive in the days ahead.

Plan an earlier bedtime

The change in the clock is something we can use to our benefit. Ease into the time change by starting your evening routines 30 minutes earlier. This is for us and our family. Turn your clocks ahead the Saturday in the later afternoon of Daylight Saving Time weekend to wake up to the proper new time and get an earlier bedtime that evening. The benefit of getting more rest won’t counterbalance the effect of the change, however, more rest is always a good thing! Keep this change of bedtime and create a routine to springboard for getting 7-8 hours of rest.

 

Benefit from longer evenings

The best perk about daylight saving time is the additional evening sunlight. Take advantage of this with an afternoon run, evening walk, or time outside. Creating an alternative to evening screen time benefits your sleep. Open your curtains once the sun rises and also spend time outdoors early in the day. Natural light in your space in the morning also aids in greater alertness. There are documented benefits of daylight for better rest and cognitive function.

 

Spring into better food choices

Spring into eating more plant-based, veggie options. Fresh veggies introduced at this season bring interest to the table. Focus your meal planning around veggies first, then proteins. Move toward fresh options that include spring vegetables. Reset your meal planning with options that start in the produce aisle.

 

Spring into household maintenance

Use this time marker to update your household responsibilities. That includes testing smoke alarms, replacing AC and heat filters, cleaning out gutters, or other annual household checks. This annual reminder for home maintenance saves money on repairs.

 

Spring into decluttering

As the clocks spring forward,  start your efforts to refresh our living spaces. Begin by selecting the simplest decluttering tasks to kickstart the process. Whether it’s tidying up a junk drawer, sorting through a stack of old magazines, or clearing out expired pantry items, starting with manageable tasks sets a positive tone for the larger decluttering journey ahead.

 

Embracing the opportunity for personal growth as the clocks spring forward offers more than just a chance to adjust to the shifting hours of daylight. It’s a powerful step towards cultivating a sense of renewal and efficiency in our lives. Make the time change a positive focus for your personal growth and success.

 

Transform Your Well-Being: The Power of Self-Care Apps

transform the power of self care with apps

 

We live life at a fast pace, a pace that requires a high level of self-care. With everyone’s busy schedules, finding time and resources to invest in our well-being can be difficult. Thankfully, the technology has brought into existence a revolutionary solution: self-care apps. These digital options offer a variety of benefits that can elevate your self-care routine.

Accessibility at Your Fingertips

One of the most significant advantages of self-care apps is their accessibility. No matter where you are or what time it is, you can access a variety of wellness resources right from your smartphone. You might need a quick meditation session during your lunch break or guidance on improving your sleep hygiene before bed, these apps are available whenever you need them, empowering you to prioritize self-care amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

 

Personalized Support Tailored to You

One-size-fits-all wellness advice has given way to customized approaches to self-care. Self-care apps leverage the power of technology to offer personalized support tailored to your unique needs and preferences. Through algorithms and user input, these apps can curate customized recommendations and interventions designed to address your specific goals and challenges. Whether you’re focusing on managing stress, improving your fitness, or cultivating mindfulness, these apps can adapt to your journey, providing guidance every step of the way.

 

Engagement and Accountability

Staying motivated and accountable to our self-care goals can be a struggle at times. This is where self-care apps truly make a difference. Many of these platforms incorporate gamification elements, such as progress tracking, achievement badges, and social features, to enhance user engagement and motivation. By transforming self-care activities into interactive and rewarding experiences, these apps inspire you to stay committed to your well-being journey and celebrate your progress along the way.

 

Community and Connection

Self-care is not just about individual practices—it’s also about fostering connections and support networks. Many self-care apps offer built-in communities where you can connect with like-minded individuals, share your experiences, and offer encouragement to one another. Whether you’re seeking advice, inspiration, or simply a sense of belonging, these communities provide a supportive environment where you can thrive and grow alongside others on similar paths.

 

Holistic Wellness

Last but not least, self-care apps empower you to take a holistic approach to your well-being, addressing not only your physical health but also your mental, emotional, and social wellness. From guided meditations and fitness tracking to mood journaling and gratitude exercises, these apps encompass a wide range of tools and resources to support your overall wellness journey. By nurturing all aspects of your health, these apps help you cultivate resilience, self-awareness, and a profound sense of fulfillment in your life.

 

There are numerous apps available to support self-care across various aspects of physical and mental well-being. Here are some popular ones that cater to different aspects of self-care:

  • Headspace:
    • Purpose: Meditation and mindfulness.
    • Features: Guided meditations, sleep exercises, and mindfulness practices.
  • Calm:
    • Purpose: Stress reduction and relaxation.
    • Features: Guided meditations, sleep stories, calming music, and breathing exercises.
  • MyFitnessPal:
    • Purpose: Physical health and nutrition tracking.
    • Features: Food diary, exercise tracking, and a supportive community.
  • Sleep Cycle:
    • Purpose: Improved sleep quality.
    • Features: Smart alarm clock, sleep tracking, and analysis of sleep patterns.
  • Daylio:
    • Purpose: Mood and journal tracking.
    • Features: Daily mood logging, journaling, and insights into emotional patterns.
  • Happify:
    • Purpose: Emotional well-being and stress reduction.
    • Features: Activities and games designed to boost happiness and resilience.
  • Finch Self-Care:
    • Purpose: Mental well-being and self-care management.
    • Features: Mood tracking, self-care activities, journaling, and community support.

Remember that everyone engages with apps differently and the use and effectiveness of these apps can vary from person to person, and it’s essential to choose the ones that resonate with you and your needs. Some apps offer free versions with optional premium features or subscription plans for a more comprehensive experience. Always check the app store for the latest reviews and updates.

 

Do you have a favorite app for your self-care?

Turn from Cold and Dark to Sunny and Warm: Finding Support in Winter Days

finding support in winter days

 

Dark, cold, snowy, and rainy weather can take a toll on our emotional well-being during the Winter. Add to that the anxiety you feel as our world has become chaotic. Winter can be an emotionally challenging season for many.  As a certified professional organizer who specializes in working with ADHD clients, I’m here to help you navigate this Winter with strategies to find joy, stay organized, offer support, and have meaningful conversations that nourish your soul.

 

Start with your space

Create a cozy and organized space in your home. Start by decluttering your surroundings which can reduce distractions and those being of being overwhelmed. Donate or pack away items that are no longer needed, and focus on keeping your space neat and organized. A well-organized environment can provide a sense of calm and control, reducing stress and anxiety. Take time each day to create the order you want in your home.

 

Build routines that support you

Establish routines that support you. With ADHD, establishing systems and setting realistic goals is essential for maintaining mental health during the winter. Think of systems that work best with your personal style, especially systems that rely on only the slightest of energy. Break your tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and use tools like to-do lists, calendars, and reminders to keep track of your progress. Systems for meal prep and laundry support you in accomplishing daily tasks, creating order in your space, and helping your mental well-being.

Connect with others

Embrace what you love about the season with others. Winter is a time for meaningful conversations while inside. Plan gatherings with friends and family to share experiences and time together. At the same time, remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Be the person who builds others up, empowers others to take appropriate risks, and cheers others on their paths. Stave off perfectionism with realistic conversations with others about productivity and ownership. Celebrate your own and everyone’s successes. At the same time, approach those things that are not working as failures but rather as opportunities to do something different even though change is hard.

 

Embrace nature

Research shows the importance of vitamin D with natural sunlight for mental health and sleep hygiene. Keep your time outdoors brief and brisk with quick walks. Admire the beauty of freshly covered snowy landscapes. Stay inside and start a new exercise class with yoga or pilates. if you have the means, take a trip to a sunny warm climate for a short time away. Nature has a calming effect and can help you clear your mind and be present.

 

Practice self-care

Acknowledging and recognizing anxiety is the first step for self-care. It is important to know when to reset, slow down, and up your level of self-care. Consider coordinating yoga and pilates in your daily routine. These practices elevate your sense of well-being. Self-care can look like being sure to go to the doctor as needed, exercising, hydrating, eating healthy, and setting aside time to do what you love. Building a bigger team to help with your home and family is as much self-care as anything else. That includes your coach, therapist, doctor, certified professional organizer, cleaning person, and any other support.

 

A warm Winter embrace is here for you. By organizing your space, setting realistic goals, connecting with nature, having meaningful conversations, and practicing self-care, you can feel joy, be at peace, and have mental well-being during the cold months. With the right strategies and a positive mindset, you can make winter a season of happiness.

2024 My Word of the Year: Reimagine

2024 word of the year reimagine

 

 

As we enter the new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect, set intentions, and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead. Instead of the traditional New Year’s resolutions, many are turning to the practice of choosing a “Word of the Year” to guide and inspire their journey. I love the simplicity and beauty of this practice. I also want to share the thoughts behind the word that will be my compass for the year: “Reimagine.”

Choosing Your Word of the Year

Selecting a Word of the Year is a powerful practice that involves choosing a single word to reflect your intentions, aspirations, and the energy you want to bring to your life this year. Unlike traditional resolutions, your word offers guidance and clarity for your life and at work.

Here’s a guide to help you choose your word:

  • Take a moment to reflect on the past year. What lessons did you learn? What areas of your life do you want to enhance or transform? Consider both the challenges and triumphs.
  • Are there recurring themes or goals emerging from your reflections? Is there a common thread that reveals a particular focus?
  • Consider your emotions for the coming year. Do you seek joy, courage, balance, or growth? Your chosen word should resonate with the emotions you want to cultivate.
  • Your vision of your year will empower your Word of the Year. What images, colors, or themes come to mind? Visualization can help uncover a word that aligns with your aspirations.

The Power of “Reimagine”

Now,  let me share with you my chosen word for the year: “Reimagine.” This word holds a world of possibilities that encourages curiosity and challenge, fostering creativity and innovation.

  1. Embracing Creativity:
    • “Reimagine” challenges us to approach life’s canvas with a palette of creativity. In my career, relationships, and personal growth, I am looking towards a spirit of innovation that will open up possibilities.
  2. Adapting to Change:
    • In a world that is constantly evolving, “Reimagine” invites me to embrace change with open arms. It encourages a mindset shift which includes viewing challenges as opportunities for growth and transformation.
  3. Cultivating Resilience:
    • Life is a journey filled with twists and turns. “Reimagine” prompts me to bounce back from setbacks and find new paths. I look forward to cultivating additional resilience.
  4. Expanding Perspectives:
    • “Reimagine” encourages me to break free from limiting beliefs and explore different perspectives. This word opens up the lens of curiosity, empathy, and understanding.

 

Choosing your Word of the Year is a lovely way to set the tone for the upcoming year. Whatever word resonates with your heart, let it be a guiding light toward growth, joy, and fulfillment. Here’s to a year filled with wonder, transformation, and the joy of rediscovery!

In Honor of Get Organized Month 2024

 

January is Get Organized (GO) month! This annual celebration of all things organizing connects with goals and New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Getting organized is always one of the top 3 New Year’s resolutions.

 

This year take a non-traditional route to getting organized. Throughout the month, each blog post will share not-so-typical strategies to declutter, create routines, and schedule time for what is important to you. Here are some ways to find success in your organizing at home and work.

 

Making change happen

Having an awareness that things are not working is the first step in making change happen. However, it takes commitment and accountability to move forward. Finding your “why” helps you commit to new habits and routines. Sharing your “why” and finding partners along the way help you be accountable for the new habits.

 

Working from  your strengths

Too often we learn about organizing strategies that will not work for you. Learn more about your learning modalities and work from these strengths to help you create systems that will work for you.

 

Think systems

Creating systems is one of the best ways to be organized, save time, and maximize productivity. A system is a method or process that you create to carry out repeated actions in a consistent way. Even better, systems can be automated and streamlined to maximize efficiency. A system is the best way to save your sanity.

 

Add strong self-care as support

Energy and ideas work together to create change. The more energy you have, the easier it is to modify your lifestyle. That energy comes from self-care like a good night’s rest, hydration, exercise, and time in the sunlight.

 

Enjoy this month’s blog posts as you enter a fresh new year!

Baby Steps to Boost Resilence

Baby steps to boost reslience

 

Resilience means the ability to weather challenges, recover quickly from difficulties, and the capacity to spring back into shape. In our uncertain world, we utilize this quality every day in our work, home, and life. Every day, we face tests where things take longer than expected, become more complicated, and can be frustrating. Boost your resilience through self-care by incorporating one or more of these baby steps.

 

Connect with others

Take a moment to actively seek opportunities to connect with others. Engage in small talk by asking about your colleagues’ weekend plans, inquiring about their family, or establishing common ground, such as discussing the importance of coffee to start the day. Start a new hobby or engage in a philanthropic project to find new energy and build friendships. Building camaraderie starts with these small conversations and establishes connections.

 

Plan outdoor time

Research highlights the significance of spending time outdoors. It rejuvenates our systems by providing Vitamin D, aids in disease prevention, and enhances overall well-being. Take a few minutes to step outside, whether it’s walking from the parking lot to the office or strolling around the backyard. Enjoy coffee or lemonade outside at a coffee spot. Sit outside for a few minutes every evening as the temperatures cool. Tend a container garden with fall herbs. Your time outside will benefit your sleep too.

 

Pause and express gratitude

Take a moment to reflect on one positive aspect of your day. Embrace that brief moment of joy and appreciate something that brought you happiness. Place a small souvenir from a vacation at your desk or add a photo to your screen to remind of you of your time away. Write a note to a friend, pick up a funny card to share, or text a quick thank you.

 

Escort your devices out of the bedroom

A great night’s rest without blue light or interruption makes all the difference for your productivity. Sleep well with time away from what keeps you awake.

 

Share kindness

A colleague shared how a few minutes of time on the phone about a concern helped another person do so much. She declined payment for the phone time and instead that person donated to the local food bank instead. The power of helping makes a big difference. Find a small way you can share kindness in a difficult situation. It might be acknowledging that others are doing a great job while in their own difficult situation with emotional support, bringing food to a family undergoing difficult circumstances, or letting someone ahead of you in line.

 

Choose a way to cultivate your resilience through pausing, reflecting, and taking time for self-care. Squeeze in a few minutes daily for this important skill that builds emotional resilience.