Lately, I have been spending a lot of my time doing things I would rather not. Say, for example, cleaning vomit from the interior of my car, bleaching poop off the toilet (don’t ask if you don’t want the gory details), homeschooling one child who has told me on a daily basis “I quit your homeschool Mom” and spending countless hours on the phone haggling with the insurance company and doctors office over prescriptions. All of these activities do not even crack the top twenty list of things I would like to be doing on any given morning. Instead, I was left feeling like my life was not own. It was veering out of control being driven by something or someone besides me, and I needed to halt it pronto! Are you feeling that also? Your life is not your life right now? Here are four easy steps to regain control of your life!
1. Get rid of clutter: It is time to get rid of both physical and emotional clutter. Look at the physical items that you no longer need or use. Can those items be repurposed? Or is it time to sell, swap, or giveaway? Be purposeful in what items you let back in your home and life. Emotional clutter can weigh a person down just as much as physical clutter. It is time to make amends. Say I’m sorry. Let others know if they have wronged you, so they can say I’m sorry. Let go of routines to make room for new ones that reflect who we are and where we are in our lives. Clutter takes up too much space in our lives–physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. If it is not needed anymore, it is time to let it go. Easier said than done because I am the queen of let’s keep it just in case.
2. Spend time with people that matter to you: It is important to look at the quality of time you spend with people. Ask yourself are you missing quality connections with friends and family. What is making you miss those connections? Is it time? Is it work? Is it a lack of motivation? Do you feel like you don’t know those around you? Time is precious use it wisely and with those that matter most. Use time with intention. We all have heard the classic line “It’s been so long. We need to catch up soon.” But do you catch up? Do you make the point to see that person in real life? What about spending quality time with the family? Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents altogether and not because someone died. Maybe it is time to start making some of those connections with those friends and family in your life.
3. Decide which commitments are most important: Complete existing commitments, negotiate if needed, but fulfill the obligations. Then only fill your calendar with commitments that are in line with your morals and values not because someone guilted you into it. I am also the queen of reluctantly saying OK to a commitment because someone said something to me. It sounds great at the time. But then actually completing the task is dreadful. Remember it is OK to say No. Practice it. Say it. Repeat it as many times as necessary. Stretching ourselves too thin, doing everything for everyone, makes every commitment seem super important. That is not how life works out. We can’t be everything to everyone. Assessing what is most important to us helps us make the decisions that will be most meaningful to us.
4. Assess the way you use your time. It is a fact of life that old habits die hard. We may have many good intentions, but routines are routine for a reason. We do not even realize that we have a routine, because it is what we always do. When we are asked why do you that? The answer is usually, ‘Ummm, I don’t know.” Is it time to reexamine our habit of going out after work with friends to catch a drink? Spending habits on the weekend? Spending habits online? Eating out? Is it time to cut back social media, texting, gaming, TV, movies? What would you do with the extra time? What could you do with the extra money that you saved?
Our lives tend to be messy and crazy leading us to these great big adventures. We spend time with friends and family. We spend time on social media, watching TV, Netflix, and movies. It can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety like we are don’t have control over what is happening around us. Here is the news: we can regain control of our lives with the willingness to look inside and remember what is most important to us.
All my best to you,