Are you a REBEL & it’s getting in the way of being organized or productive?

Have you had the desire to “be more organized” but something inside pushes back against this idea? 

Do you go back and forth between beating yourself up about the state of your space and wondering “what is the point?” 

Are you able to start something new & stick with it when it feels important to your identity & how you represent yourself, but have a hard time following through if you don’t really believe in what you are doing?

Maybe you are a REBEL and you need to start OWNing it!

Here’s what I mean.

I work with all different clients and I wish I could say that I offer a one-size-fits-all approach, but it just doesn’t work that way. There is no “right way” when it comes to decluttering, organizing, or being productive because we each bring our unique experiences, personalities, quirks, and tendencies to everything that we do!

Which is why it is so important to get in touch with what makes us “tick” so that we can stop pushing, struggling, and hitting road blocks, and instead start tapping into strategies that allow us to shine.

Finding out what motivates you & allows you to “buy into” what you are doing is important!  And this is especially true for someone that longs to create systems & spaces that function with ease.  

So what does being a Rebel have to do with this?

Gretchen Rubin, a best-selling author, researcher, & the creator of the Four Tendency framework has studied habit formation & determined that people fall into 4 different groups based on how they are motivated. Her 4 Tendency framework explains that adopting new habits may be easier for some people than for others.

You can take her free quiz here and find out if you are an Obliger, Upholder, Rebel, or Questioner.

Your tendency offers insight into how inner & outer expectations affect your ability to form new habits. And habits often play a role in keeping spaces tidy.

What if you are a Rebel?

Gretchen says, “Rebels resist all expectations, both inner and outer alike. They want to do what they want to do, in their own way, in their own time — and if you ask or tell them to do something, they’re very likely to resist.”

The Rebel’s natural tendency is to push back against many of the methods that often work to get and stay organized. Consistency, scheduling, accountability, or rewards typically aren’t going to work for Rebels, which means that if you are a Rebel then you think outside-the-box and that can be exciting!

It’s time to embrace your unique tendency and work with your resistance. Let go of the notion that you are doing anything wrong when you aren’t able to get yourself to start or follow-through. Instead when you feel the desire to clear clutter, create new systems, or develop a new habit, consider these ideas.

Identity

Do it because it enhances who you believe you are. When you are able to link your actions to your identity then you are more likely to be motivated.

Challenge

Your natural instinct is to push back against outer expectations, so use that to your advantage and make it a challenge. If you have been hearing a voice that told you that you’d never (fill in the blank), then prove that voice wrong by doing it.

Feeling

Gretchen says, “instead of keeping a to-do list, keep a “could do” list.” Tap into that desire to have choice & freedom by waking up each day and asking what you feel like doing today.

Clarity

Rebels are more likely to do things when they are clear on what they want & why they want it. Taking time before you start anything new to get clear on the reasons behind your actions will create greater likelihood of follow-through on the things you decide are important & worth your time.

Remember, you are a Rebel. Decide for yourself what feels right for YOU!

Take it or leave the tips, but the one thing that I hope will resonate is that you can take pride in the fact that you are going to find the way to declutter & build habits that works for YOU.  Not because someone says you should or you think you had better.

Are you a Rebel? Need support to start making these shifts & honoring your tendency? Fill out the form below & we will find a way to get started.

I’m here to help you shed the old patterns & worn out ways of thinking so you can create the spaces & systems that work for YOU!

Is Grief Holding Back Your Decluttering?

Are you faced with the challenge of sorting through items left by a loved one’s death?  

This can be one of the hardest things to get the motivation & courage to do.  And you wouldn’t be alone if you packed up the stuff & then let it sit for a few years.  Or maybe you closed the door on a closet or room & find yourself avoiding this space because you are not ready to face what’s inside. 

You might feel some guilt or shame that you haven’t been able to work on this stuff earlier, and maybe you are beating yourself up over how many times you have tried to start the sorting & clearing, but can’t follow-through.  

Whew… Heavy stuff.  

But let’s shift the narrative away from the shoulds & shame.

I want to share compassion, and hopefully some relief, by letting you know it’s okay.  Those strategies, that probably haven’t felt like strategies to you, are exactly what you needed to do in the midst of the the change & grief that this loss created.  

Grief is a powerful, individual journey & no one can offer the roadmap or timeframe that will predict when YOU will be ready to deal with the stuff left behind.  And forcing yourself to “power through” may get the job done, but the process will likely feel harder & more overwhelming than it needs to be.

So if you are grieving and wondering when and how to tackle this project, I want to offer a few thoughts that might create a little light in a space that can feel dark & hard.

First, work to let go of comparison

We each deal with grief & loss in our own way & in our own time, so commit to go at your own pace without judging your action or inaction based on someone else.  There is no need to rush the process or feel guilty if you haven’t been ready. 

Recognize that this physical stuff seems to hold a lot of memories, but the memories are actually inside of you

You get to keep the memories regardless of whether you hold on to the stuff.  The dusty wine bottle from your first anniversary or the shoe box of old baseball cards are reminders of your time together & the person you love, but they don’t tell the story.  The stories are in you. 

Create new avenues that will cultivate your favorite memories

As you come across pieces that spark positive stories & happy memories, you can take a picture to create a visual reminder of that event. Or use a journal or voice dictation on your phone to collect the feelings, thoughts & images that come to mind.  Keeping the physical item will become less important once you have created alternate ways to trigger the memories of those good times with your loved one.

Allow the letting go to happen in stages

There will be some things that are easy to sort & clear and those are the first areas to tackle when you start the process.  This easier stuff will offer you practice & build your confidence.  And remind you that letting go creates a feeling of relief & lightness

As you dig into the stuff that feels harder & you are faced with a tough decision, you can offer yourself permission to put this in a “maybe” pile or keep it “for now.” It’s ok to go slow & keep more during your first sort. You can come back after you have taken a break. Once a little time goes by & you get more practice letting go, then those hard decisions might not feel so heavy.

Honor the items you keep

If it feels right, place the items that you keep in areas where you can enjoy them. Allow those good memories to resurface every time to notice the item. And if you aren’t ready or it doesn’t feel right to wear, display, or use the items, then dedicate a tote or bin that will keep them safe from deterioration.

Feel proud of each step you take on this journey

It may feel like slow work and you might get frustrated that you aren’t able to move through things faster & make decisions quickly. But, there has been alot of emotion wrapped up in this stuff. Remind yourself that each decision moves you one step further. You are moving ahead & you can be proud of the courage & strength it took to start this work.

Sending you love & encouragement.

If you’d like to share something that you have found helpful or would like to tell me more about your situation, I’d love to hear from you. Share it below.

Finding a Way to Lighten the Load

We are in the middle of one crazy winter here in Minnesota & I am finding that as the snow & snow days continue to pile on, my patience & energy are quickly melting.

But I know that this season will eventually pass & that my grumbling isn’t going to change Mother Nature’s plans. And it does nothing to help the mood around our house!

So today I am committed to making a shift & here’s how.

First, I’m going to acknowledge that IT’S OK to be CRABBY! This has been one loooong haul! At times it has sucked! Plans have had to be changed or put on hold. Calendars rearranged then rearranged again! My flexibility buttons have been pushed to their limits!

So yes! It’s ok to be crabby! I’m going to allow myself to feel it! Maybe even scream it!!!

Then it’s time to MOVE ON & look for some small moments of gratitude.

Here are a few that are coming to mind for me:

  • The treadmill has been dusted off & given some use.
  • We have been able to offer a helping hand around the neighborhood with our trusty snowblower.
  • A choir concert was cancelled which meant we had a night in to play a new card game with the kids.
  • We are making history (and lots of memories) with each snow fall!
  • We are fortunate to have a warm house to protect us from the cold.

After that I am going to offer myself a little SELF-CARE. All of this time indoors with my kids (and husband) around has depleted my energy reserve. This introvert is going to offer myself permission to retreat into a good book or take a couple hours off to do a hobby that I enjoy. I may even bundle up & brave the biting cold to enjoy a quiet walk.

And then I am going to continue to tell myself that this is temporary. Winter is only one season & it will have to move on eventually!

My expectations may have had to shift a little to adjust to the weather’s unpredictability but eventually routine will re-emerge. We will talk about braving the winter of 2019 & feel pride that we found ways to persevere.

This quote in Of Mess & Moxie by Jen Hatmaker, reminds me that even if another storm blows in this week & adds another couple inches to our snow banks, I am the one that gets to choose how I will respond.

YOUR TURN…

How are you handling the unpredictability of this winter weather?  What have you done that allows you to keep perspective, reserve energy, or make the best of this season? I’d love to hear it!

I believe that the more we offer each other permission to be ourselves in our struggles & in our joys, the easier this world becomes for us all.

What if you chose NOT TO do a few things?

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.”

– Buffett & Clark as quoted in Essentialism

When I read this statement, I thought of all of the choices that come our way each day.  I thought of the ads & other junk mail that fill our mailboxes & then create our paper piles on the table.  I thought of the daily barrage of emails that ask for attention as our inbox count continues to rise. And I thought about the amount of time that we are able to allot to ALL of the tasks that we have hopes of doing each day.

Often, the time needed for the amount of tasks & activities on your list is just not there. And when you realize that is THE TRUTH, then it’s time to make a change.

This is when recognizing the power of choice in your life really becomes a game changer. When you truly embrace that YOU get to decide what to spend time on & what you can let go of, then big shifts can happen.

Here are some tips on how to begin choosing what is important & necessary vs. the things that you can decide not to do?

Start by practicing this skill in an area that feels safe (fairly risk-free) or in an area of your life that has been nagging at you to make a change. Often your gut knows what is important & what really feels like a waste of time to you.

First take a step back. Pull back from the immediacy of things & take a look at the overall picture. Make a short list of the things that are non-negotiable (you need or want to do these things). When it comes to mail, the short list might include bills, personal letters, & medical benefits papers (this list is different for everyone). Those are the things you will make sure you do.

Now look at your usual patterns with curiosity. Ask yourself if you are doing things out of habit or because you have always done it that way & haven’t considered another option. When it come to mail, you could ask yourself if you need to keep the subscription to the magazine that never gets read? Or think about how much energy you might save if you immediately recycle the ads & junk mail.

Then create a statement that becomes your “new normal.”  These are the words you can tell yourself every time you are tempted to do more than is necessary or essential. Use this statement or create one that feels true for you:

“I am choosing to spend time on things that are urgent & align with my values.”

Deciding NOT TO open all the extra ad emails, the coupon flier, and the junk mail is a choice that can open time & alleviate stress.  When you choose NOT TO spend time on these things, you can hit delete, recycle or shred without the guilt.  You have made a decision not to allow your time to be taken up in this way.  

And remember that you can choose not to do something for a temporary amount of time.  If Paper or emails are overwhelming you RIGHT NOW then your choice to limit yourself in this area could be what you need for now.  Once you feel like your inbox is more manageable or your piles have decreased, then you might CHOOSE TO spend 5 mins looking at ads on a Sunday night.

As Greg McKeown says in Essentialism, “our options may be things, but a choice – a choice is an action.  It is not just something we have, but something we do.” So grant yourself the freedom to NOT Do a few more things & instead spend that time on the stuff that really matters to you.

Let’s Connect!

Fill out the form below & tell me about the things that you DON’T DO that have changed how your day flows. Or be in touch if you are ready for a partner that can help you declutter the things that are holding you back from what you truly want to DO!

How to Shift out of Robot Mode and Engage with Life

Some days can feel like a blur.  Work, emails, appointments, kid activities, meal prep, exercise – the list goes on and the clock ticks as I continue to push through one item after another.  These are the days when I can easily slip into “robot mode.”

When robot mode gets turned on then my day revolves around production.  I become very efficient and very determined.  I find myself driven by the voice in my head that thrives on “Look how much you are getting DONE!”  A mechanical human with eyes focused on the next thing & a heart guarded to keep emotion at bay – no time for that!! 

And robot mode feels very stiff.  I am unable to flex with life’s curveballs.  The clock & the to-do list are constantly on my mind & when something unplanned gets introduced, I get resentful & cranky.  “How dare you mess with my timeline!” I scream inside.

It has taken years of falling into this pattern to realize that a robotic life is not the life for me.  It may be efficient, productive and keep the machine of my family & work running, but it doesn’t account for joy, creativity & the wholehearted love that I need & crave.

I know that in order to live a fulfilling life I need to take my time on things and be open to embrace moments of spontaneity.  I long to enjoy beauty and feel the wonder & awe in everything that surroundings me.  I want to be engaged and ready to connect with the people in front of me. And I am happiest when I sing and laugh each day.

But the stiff armor is always waiting for opportunities to trap me into it’s more, more, more mentality, so I work to stay watchful and be proactive.  Here are a few simple strategies that keep me from getting stuck in robot mode or pull me out when I am head down & my to-do list is running on overdrive.

Create A Daily “Enough” List 

Each day I write down the three things that I really want to accomplish for the day.  These are the items that feel the most essential to complete given all of the moving pieces of the day.  Keeping a smaller daily list of tasks allows for a sense of completion and the freedom to invite spontaneity.

When I catch myself trying to add more items to my daily list, then I stop, turn the page & instead write them on a separate list that captures ideas for the whole week.  This practice eases the urgency.  I haven’t forgotten about these ideas/projects, but can give myself a break about getting to them right now

Shift the Focus

When my head is spinning & I can’t stop watching the clock, I use a simple trick that I learned years ago on a yoga retreat.  I shift my focus to something far off, like the sunset or the top of a tree and allow my gaze to blur – zoom out.  After a few minutes, I turn my eyes toward something close by & focus on one tiny aspect of that thing – zoom in.  This shift from grand to tiny is a simple practice that brings me back to the present & keeps the big picture in mind.

Take A Daily Dose of Nature

Each day I make time for a few moments outside.  I might spend it walking my dog, eating lunch in the sunshine, or stepping out to watch the trees in the breeze.  The amount of time varies, but this time in nature offers the expansion that keeps my focus from becoming narrow & rigid. 

Make Eye Contact

If I have stopped making eye contact with the people around me, then I know that I am in robot mode.  I stop & look into eyes of the person right in front of me and there is an immediate shift that breaks down my armor.  I am no longer running on auto-pilot, I am open to whatever emotion is present in front of me. 

Be Moved by Music

I find that I switch right out of robot mode when I turn on some good music.  I can’t help but engage with the words & feel a lightness in my body when songs that I love are playing.  I love to listen & sing along while I cook & find that music makes me feel flexible & light- no robot allowed unless I choose it as a dance move! 

End the Day in Gratitude 

I keep a small dated journal by my bed & each night I write 3-5 simple things that bring a sense of gratitude, contentment, or joy.  This simple ritual doesn’t take long and has become a peaceful way to re-center & take stock at the end of the day.

On the days when robot mode is in full gear, it requires a little searching to find gratitude.  But those are the days when I remind myself of immediate things like my warm bed or the ability to breathe in and out.  This practice is simple, consistent & has become a habit that allows me to tune in to my heart each day.

It is easy to get stuck going through the motions, but my life is so much more enjoyable when I am engaged, flexible, open & present to the people & things around me.  I know I wasn’t meant to be a robot.

Can you relate?  What helps when you find yourself stuck going through the motions?