January 20, 2021, Inauguration day, was the start of President Biden’s term as the 46th President. He has mentioned that he has an ambitious plan for his first 100 days. That got me thinking why not create my own 100-day plan? Think of all that you could do/change/create or improve in 100 days. What would that feel like?
What better time to start fresh, clean out the clutter, establish new healthy habits, add some volunteering time or just add some structure back into your day than January (which is officially Get Organized Month). We are still in the midst of the pandemic and many of us are spending more time at home. We all have our own burdens and losses but today I felt a sense of hope and a pervasive calm that I haven’t felt in a long time. If you are not feeling it maybe it is time for a change. Change starts small and builds. Everyone can take baby steps in the direction of their dreams and it can start today.
Step 1: What is your intention for 2021 (or more manageably) the first quarter of 2021? An intention is defined by Google as, “a thing intended; an aim or plan.” Living with intention means living a more balanced “on purpose” life that you are directing. It is turning off the autopilot and making conscious choices about how you want your life to be. Or an intention can just be the state of mind you want to focus on.
The cover of my new planner from (www.plumpaper.com ) says “Make today count” and I picked it because it was the message for my year and also because I could create the calendar part to work for me. (You can design your planner to fit your needs.) It has places for the top two priorities for the day and a space for the goal for the week. I added in a habit tracker where I can check off the days, I keep that intention.
Step 2: If organization has been a struggle for you then start by creating routines. If your routine includes emptying the sink of dishes before going to bed, then you are building your organization muscle at the same time that you are managing your time and energy. Soon you may discover the dishes go straight into the dishwasher and don’t collect in the sink. Adding a 10-minute pick up to your evening routine can help make your mornings run smoothly. No more searching for the car keys or important bill because they are in their places. What would make a successful routine for you?
Step 3: Choice Architecture. I love that term but it doesn’t really seem to mean what I think it should. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by too many choices and as the day wears on our decision-making power can get used up, making it more difficult to make decisions. Choice architecture is about designing the environment so you don’t have to choose. Setting up things so you have no choice like workout clothes on the end of your bed or that big project laid out on your desk or connecting new behaviors to already established habits so that when you brush your teeth you also drink a glass of water (or whatever it is you want to do).
Start small and just keep moving in the right direction. Keep your intention in focus, keep tweaking your routines until they REALLY work for you and set your environment up for success. If you miss a day, forgive yourself and start again. The new research says it takes 66 times of doing something before it becomes a habit. If you need ideas or strategies to help, I will be posting to FaceBook daily tips for the next 100 days so check us out there.