Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
- Albert Einstein
What are you thinking about at the end of each calendar year? Does the end of one year roll in the next without positive anticipation of better things? Maybe you’re “all-in” throughout the holiday season, awakening in the new year wondering where to begin; many people do just that.
I’m all for having fun and enjoying this festive season; I enjoy it even more when my quality think time and annual reflection and assessment have prepared me to wake up to hit the ground running in the new year.
A calendar is a fantastic helpful tool for stability and upward mobility when utilized intentionally. The calendar tells me where I’ve been, which helps me reflect on the “well done” and “could be better,” it helps me plan, so I know what, when, and where to expect better things with a degree of certainty.
Minutes hours days, months, and years are either our best friends or our harshest taskmasters. Time cannot be harnessed or stopped but, we can learn to cooperate with it to our advantage.
Reordering Your World
"The best way to get something done is to begin."
- Author Unknown
The end of the year is a time for proactivity. Dave Ramsey notes, “According to a study by the University of Scranton, 60% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Nearly one-third of them won’t make it to Valentine’s Day.”(1) The reason for failing is being unintentional with the hopes and dreams for a new year.
Approaching the new year is always exciting for me; it means a fresh start with a clean slate. Yes, like everyone else, some projects begun late in the year will be with me at the beginning of the new year; I see this as an opportunity to take a fresh look at my objectives.
Whether planning a new personal development journey or expanding your business, a year-end personal assessment is always a good idea. I schedule quarterly assessments every year; at this writing, my quarterly assessments for next year are already scheduled. My third and fourth quarter reviews are my time for uncluttering everything personal and business.
I like the term “action plan,” it reminds me to commit my thoughts (intangible) to my calendar (tangible). Steve Maraboli wisely states, “The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts; it gives you what you demand with your actions.”
My Home Office
Since I work from more than one office, I begin at home. I start with clearing my desk then move to my files. I then index any new books not entered into my library. I agree with Ramsey that this automatically clarifies my mind, focusing on what’s important. It is like starting fresh every day.
Addressing All Things Digital
I Go through my phone, laptop, desktop, tablet, anything digital. I am deleting files that are no longer relevant. I’ll utilize external storage to save documents, photos, correspondence, and personal notes worth saving. Digital devices need a periodical cleaning, just as file cabinets do. As part of my digital cleaning, I’ll check for available updates for my devices. Regular security scans are always a good idea. Once my workspace is clear and reorganized, I begin turning my goals into strategies until they’re ready to be scheduled.
Revisit Personal and Business Goals
To me, “A new year” means not bringing a previous year’s clutter with me into the new.
I prefer to consider new possibilities, probabilities, options, and opportunities without being distracted by last year’s clutter hovering over me. Dinah Craik says, “…Keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.”
- Eleanor Brownn
(1) Ramsey Solutions https://bit.ly/32ftUKn