The UK welcomes the changing of the clocks this weekend… thank goodness for that.
I am one of those people who crave sunlight and balmy summer evenings (despite being pale and interesting!) and love watching the seasons change (despite still being tucked up in my coat and frequently warming my toes on a hot water bottle).
Spring feels such a refreshing time for me and often I get a new wave of inspiration and motivation. The light brings optimism, new opportunities and usually a flock of exciting summer activities; weddings, festivals, days out etc.
I relish the feeling of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ - laying a new summer duvet on the bed, seeing the new season of fruit and veg arriving in the shops and perhaps the chance to ditch one of the many layers of clothing.
At busy times of our lives, we may still not be getting what we want. We are living in a state of ‘busy’ rather than ‘contented’. Time and money may feel scarce and those intentions and resolutions we set at the beginning of the year can feel out of reach.
I am a great believer in shaking things up and making space for the new. It often doesn’t have to be a huge change- for example we have recently moved a book shelf from the hallway into the living room. My bruised shins are grateful but also it was opportunity to assess what we had.
I love books (and definitely, despite protesting, have the potential to become a full time hoarder) but I couldn’t see what I had and therefore wasn’t enjoying them. The unit became a dumping ground collecting all kinds of nonsense.
By making time to complete this small activity, I have started to approach the rest of the 'stuff'… although I am way off various shades of oatmeal and minimalism Kelly Hoppen style.
Bizarrely since this turn of events, all sorts of unexpected opportunities have started to appear. Who knows if there are linked, but I have to say mixing things up, moving stuff around and taking endless giant blue Ikea bags to the charity shop have been very therapeutic.
When I meet with clients, many know what they want. They can describe it in detail. They can articulate the vision beautifully. But what they need is an action plan, so they come to me to have them break it down and create a strategy.
So what would you like to welcome this season? What would you like to accomplish or tweak this summer?
Write down some ideas and thoughts.
Here is a five step plan to help you get started...
1. What are the main obstacles that are standing in your way? Knowledge? Money? Time? Information? Resources?
If someone could provide you with a magical ‘can do’ kit what would be in it? Who would be your mentor? Who is doing what you would like to do?
2) Get clear on the detail
Sometimes we feel we have to wait for the perfect amount of time or money. Once you have identified your obstacles, break them down. If you need more time, how much time do you need. What could you with it? How could you release more time? What or who is taking up your time and how could you improve this situation.
3) Small changes, major impact
Once you have identified what you need, how could you make this happen? Sometimes we can become swamped in the enormity of a task and don’t know where to begin. Start by writing a task list and then highlight the most important ones that are going to provide the greatest results. Although an investment, purchasing a course can be highly effective or commiting to a couple of days away focusing solely on your goal can promote significant change. Be creative in your thoughts and focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.
4) Be aware of the self talk
Sometimes we can get in our way- I’m not good enough/I’m not that kind of person/It’s too difficult/ I’ll get found out/ What will people say/ *insert your own version of mind chatter*
Often these thoughts have been ingrained within us, so may take some time to alter. Bring them into your awareness next time you find yourself hearing them, then offer an alternative… ‘What could I do if I wasn’t stuck by this belief?’
5) Get stationary happy
Writing down your thoughts and action plan will increase your productivity and allow you to measure your progress. I find post it notes, endless lists, wall charts and notebooks in every handbag are great for jotting down ideas and potential plans. I can clearly see the thoughts in front of me and I relieve the feeling of being completely overwhelmed.