Great news, we’re still in January and it’s not too late to claim 2017 as your year! Here are my Top 10 recommendations to achieving a healthier Mind, Body & Soul;
1. Out with the old, limit the new
Many of us struggle with clutter. For an eye opening and manageable approach to organising, I highly recommend the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo. You may have heard of the KonMari Method™, Kondo’s guide to simplifying by sorting through your possessions. Carefully considering which of them “spark joy.” I promise that it’s life changing.
Over the holidays I cleared out at least twenty boxes for donation, and those were just clothes. It felt so liberating to let things go that no longer serve me well. Nevermore will I keep a shirt that doesn’t make me feel great just because the sleeves happen to be long enough. Uncomfortable fabric, be gone! It doesn’t matter that it was once an expensive item if I’m not wearing it. An ill-fitting piece may have already served its purpose if it was given to you, because care was demonstrated at the time. Now, you have permission to part with it. Kondo claims that, once you have your house in order, your other goals will pick up speed.
Tiffany’s Top Tip: Begin by re-purposing one worn t-shirt as a dust rag. We all have them. This may be the momentum you need to get through the rest.
2. Develop a healing ritual
Carve out time every day to visualise your goals. Perhaps you commit to waking up half an hour early to stretch or make a cup of tea. Alternatively, you may set aside time in the evening for a solo walk or soak in the tub. The point is to make time for yourself that’s distraction-free. No Netflix, no playlist, and certainly no social media. Try living in quiet for long enough to let your dreams solidify. Nobody can develop a clear vision if they are constantly bombarded by demands for their attention.
Some may benefit from journaling to let ideas for projects flow. From this practice, it became clear to me that I need to write, take photos, and cultivate supportive relationships. I’m happy to report that I’m making progress in all three areas. For more positivity, check out Mike Dooley’s Love Your Life 30 Day Project. This can be done any time of year at your own pace.
3. Solidify your goals
There’s nothing like translating your ideas into visual reminders to prompt the identification of next steps and development of timelines. Whether you define your intentions with paper and pen or a keyboard, you’re allowing your dreams to coalesce into a plan. A little over a year after I committed to the idea of getting published, my first article was posted online. This was nothing more than a personal journal entry. Supplement this effort with vision boards. You can cut up old magazines to create a paper collage or create a Pinterest board devoted to digital images of your ideal office space, car, home, or vacation site.
4. Begin taking steps
Take those goals and develop an action plan. For each goal, list three things you can do today, this week, and this month to move forward. Living abroad may not happen overnight, but you can start researching employers or cities of interest today. Take one small step such as setting up a search for housing in your price range. You’ll be surprised at how quickly plans materialize once you spot your dream home or discover an ideal employer.
5. Identify your influencers
A friend once asked me who I’d invite to dinner if I could fill a table with any 5 of my heroes or influencers. I was hard pressed to come up with names. I realized that I’m value driven and I could use a few positive role models. It didn’t take long to discover the healing work of Kris Carr and business savvy of Marie Forleo. Check out KrisCarrTV and Marieforleo on YouTube – they are both delightful motivators! I’m also a big fan of Marine Biologist and Ocean Activist Sylvia Earle, which is more of a personal interest. Once you find people who inspire you, there’s no end to the possibilities that emerge in your own imagination.
6. Adopt a title
If your passion is hosting, shouldn’t “event coordination” be among your listed skills? I don’t care if you’ve only created one wedding invitation; you’re now a “Stationery Designer,” if that’s what you aspire to be. You must begin communicating who you are now so people know who to call when they’re ready to hire. I’m not advising that you stretch the truth, but you don’t need to work for National Geographic to identify as a photographer or be on the New York Times Bestsellers list to claim your title as a writer. If you create magnificent cupcakes, you’re a baker. Now, go update your profiles so your network knows this too.
7. Align yourself with kindred spirits
Find your people. Did you ever get suspicious that you are only operating at 75% of your potential? For a while, I felt like a faded carbon copy of my true self. It was not until I happened upon a group of like-minded women that I began to feel engaged in my own life again. One great meeting of the minds and an event write up later, I’m now a content contributor for Tall Guides and I could not be more thrilled!
Sign up for classes, register for events, join groups, and do whatever it takes to get yourself out there shaking your tail feathers. I don’t want to lose the introverts here (I am one myself), so keep in mind that these can absolutely be small, quiet groups. The point is to surround yourself with people who share your interests to stimulate discussion and generate new ideas and leads. Everyone needs allies!
8. Achieve flow
Have you ever been entirely absorbed in an activity or creative outlet? Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines this state of consciousness as flow. While an athlete may achieve flow in their sport of choice, an artist may arrive in this state via painting or sculpting. I occasionally experience flow while I’m cooking or baking. Finding yourself in this state takes a bit of experimenting, practice, and cultivation of experiences. Your state of flow could be one new class away.
9. Take good care of yourself
See how great you feel if you get at least eight hours a sleep per night. Try one small dietary change such as replacing soda with water for a week or adding a green smoothie. Once you’ve effectively adopted one improvement to your routine, add another, and another until you’ve found your groove. Treat yourself the way you would a small child in your care for one week. You’ll love the secure and happy creature you become.
1o. Improve your surroundings
Borrowing heavily from Julia Cameron’s suggestions in The Artist’s Way, I set out to make small improvements to my physical space to improve my energy levels. I started by replacing worn-out items with fresh ones (pillows, sheets, towels, etc.) and populating my living room with plants. For less than the price of a dinner out, I found six adorable succulents that brighten my home and mood simultaneously. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can drastically transform a space into an inviting place to set about working on project you.
I’d love to hear from anyone who adopts any one of these approaches. Does it work for you? Do you have any other recommendations that you can share? How much closer are you to being the best version of yourself? Leave me a comment below.
To read more from Tiffany or to connect with her on social media, head across to her author page