I’m going to level with you, mmmkay?! My 2020 aka the last 19 days have been a frickin whirlwind. I hit the ground SPRINTING. There was no light jog..where was my light jog? Am I even wearing running shoes? Nope, slippers! Listen sis, we are at the tail-end of January and I am already feeling tired. Isn’t January the month where the new year is still supposed to feel…well, new?! But then I realized something. Just by the pure nature of how this year has started, I didn’t have any time to prepare. I was able to gather the tools but put none of them in place. Although I think each and every new year is such a wonderful, fresh start, sometimes life just doesn’t work like that. The approach I’m going to take is each month is a new month, each week is a new week, and every dang day is a new day that I can try again. During this holiday weekend, I’m going to use my time wisely and invest but doing what? You may have guessed it in the title: I’m going to get organized for 2020.
And in case you’re wondering, it’s not too late! We can use every day to get back on track, to get organized, and to keep crushing it but maybe not be so tired. Are you in? Let’s do this.
Get a planner and master your calendar
Maybe you are a working mom, a single gal, a mom to lots of kids, a mom to a dog, CEO, student, etc etc. Whatever you are, you have to master your calendar.
Paper planners! Yes, we can put everything in our google calendars (I’ll get to that) but here is what I use my paper planner for:
My life goes into the paper planner. It reminds me that all that I’m doing, all that I’m putting together, is the life I’m building. It serves as a reminder of how frickin awesome God is by giving me this life. It keeps me organized because everything goes into one book. I used to be scattered between different notebooks for different things but now it’s all in one place. It’s made me feel less scattered to have one place to go back to. It’s also such a great snapshot of my year and where I was at. It reminds me that the best parts of life are little moments strung together.
Google calendar! Can’t live without this thing. It’s on my laptop and my phone and dictates my life haha kidding…kind of. My e-calendar is tasks and events broken out and broken down. It cuts out the noise and gets into the nitty gritty. I’ve been using a method called calendar blocking for a couple years now. It’s where I take my activities and my tasks and I actually block out the time on my calendar for how long it will take. This not only assures that I will actually get everything done if I just follow my calendar BUT I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not being about to do 50 things in a day when there was literally only time for 25. This method has really helped me get organized because it shows me what I will be able to do and when I’ll be able to do it. I don’t need to stress out about this random thing because I’ve scheduled time for it on Wednesday. It’s like a brain dump but an organized one.
I calendar block out the week and the weekends as they’re coming up. Things change too much to be able to plan every day out for a month but if you decide to do that and something comes up, you just move the box right on over.
Decide on a routine
I have a morning routine and a night routine for M-F. I have a Saturday morning and night routine and a Sunday morning and night routine. I have a cleaning routine, days I do errands, day I do laundry…you get the picture. I am someone who likes routines and likes structure. Having routines in place makes me feel like everything will get done, everything will be taken care of, and I don’t have to put that much thought into it. The great thing about routines is you map it out once and then you can be on autopilot. You know the next thing you’re supposed to do. Routines are also great with habit-forming. Make it a part of your routine and boom, habit formed. You can also take things out. If something worked for you in a certain season but it doesn’t know? Nix it, ya don’t need it. Be flexible.
I started figuring out my routines with a few questions. It makes me happiest when…? When my bed is made. When Scout has been walked. When the coffee was made the night before. When I know what I’m going to be wearing. Okay…so in the morning, I need to make my bed first thing. Scout has to be second. Coffee, night routine. What I’m going to be wearing…night before. What does your best life look like? When you have the perfect morning, what made it so perfect? You had time to read? Or walk the dog? Or watch the news? Set yourself us that you start and end each day exactly how you want it to. I wanted to fit more self-care into my week. So each Sunday night, I do a facemask. I wanted to wake up Monday feeling prepared so the night before I pick out my outfit, get the coffee maker ready, reset my work bag, make sure the house is neat and tidy, and make overnight oats.
Routines are taking the time to invest in your future self. And my future self at 6am who can barely remember her own name let alone what the weather is supposed to be and what’s clen to wear, is certainly going to be thanking my past self.
So often everything we do is for someone else or it’s to meet the bare minimum for life. Your job is for you of course but unless you are an entrepreneur (in that case, GO YOU!), you are contributing to someone else’s dream/vision/company. When you clean the house or run your errands, that’s to keep your life running. What are you doing that’s for you.
Think about what books you want to read this year. Or documentaries you want to watch. How you want to volunteer in the community. What do you want out of this year?
Here are a few examples for what this looks like in my own life.
I want to volunteer more. Now I know I said something for you but every time I volunteer, I’m investing in the person I want to be and that’s someone who gives back. I already volunteer at church but I want to volunteer with a cause I’m passionate about. I researched and found Heal the Bay. It is a nonprofit organization that once a month goes out with volunteers to a different beach and cleans up trash. I found an organization doing something I am passionate about plus they only go out once a month from 10-noon. Sounds pretty doable, right? Not everything you add to your life has to be huge. Small ripples make big waves.
I want to learn more. I work in the film industry and love movies so when I had a desire to learn more, I made it my goal to watch one documentary a month. On whatever. If you have Netflix, you have access to SO many!
I want to read more. Let’s list out the books and add it to the routine: at least one chapter a night. Biographies are also a great way to learn more. I personally have a stack on my TBR shelf. Learning from people before us or among us is crazy important to me. Learn more, read more: two birds, one stone.
I want to sort through my ish more. I have a journal and a devotional that I invest my time in. It helps me sort my thoughts and keeps me in a growing relationship with Christ. I sometimes fall behind but I always make time to catch right back up. It is so important to just take some time out to check in with you. Where is your head at? Your heart? Are you still living in alignment with what you want for yourself?
I want to have my dreams realized. This year, I invested in the Ellegant Excellence journal by Hilary Rushford. If you go to the link, she can explain it to you better then I ever could but the gist is to put pen to paper to organize your life with your dreams and ideas. It’s putting all those things together to make a life work together and to do it elegantly. The journal is for six months because she believes you can radically change your life in just six months. There’s a section for each month and this year, I am investing in my future and my dreams and what I can do today to make those work together to become a reality. Her motto: more joy, less overwhelm. We all need that, right?! Plus, it is currently on sale at the publish of this article. Use the code STARTTODAY for 50% off. Why is she still doing a sale? Because like me, she doesn’t think it’s too late to start this year with your dreams and goals in mind.
My final tip to get organized for 2020 is to purge. Try purging:
Toxic people and relationships
The files on your computer and phone
Your negative thoughts
Do an inventory of everything in your life and what isn’t serving you, TOSS. This would be something great to journal over. Get all your thoughts and feelings out on paper. Think about each and everyone and everything. Marie Kondo it up – is it bringing joy? No? Thank it for its time in your life and let it go. Life is too short to hold on to what you don’t need and what isn’t going to get you where you need to go.
If you only take one thing away from this article, I hope it’s this: It’s not too late to get organized. It’s not too late in the month to get started. You have this moment, this one right here. What are you going to do with it?
Meeting you where you’re at,
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