Author: Helena Zachariassen, Home and Lifestyle Editor
I’ve never been a fan of new year’s resolutions. Two weeks into the new year I had usually already failed them all and the mountain of guilt grew higher. It’s a little bit like being a cat or a dog person. You either have a preference or you don’t. And it’s also totally OK not to like either! Right now social media is bursting with classes and webinars and challenges to make your life great again, and all is to start now! Covid or no Covid, I find that all this January fuzz has way too much pressure, which nobody needs more of. However, I LOVE long term intentional goal setting and making mindful plans for the new year. Allowing it to take time and implementing tiny changes at a pace to suit yourself and your family is key to sustainable success.
Join us on the journey to tiny lifestyle changes – HAPPY & TIDIER NEW YEAR!
Up your home game, one tiny step at a time
It looks like we’ll be spending a lot more time at home until we have this pandemic under control. Let’s focus on what we are able to control – OUR OWN HOME. You can choose to make small intentional changes with a big impact: Up your game (but do not try to up it to perfectionism!)
#Tip 1: Start your day with an accomplishment: air the bedroom and make the bed
This may sound too easy and self-evident, but believe me, it’s not. It has a big impact on you if you start the day with accomplishment, positivity, and intention. Opening the windows, letting the day with fresh air in, thinking of (or write down) a few things you’re grateful for and eventually making the bed is the first set of activities for your morning. Your first accomplishment. Make these activities into your 5-10 min meditation in the fresh air and think mindfully about your day and what you wish to get done. Remember to be kind and talk kindly to yourself without adding pressure. And leave the phone out of sight until you’re ready for the day, physically and mentally. A tidy space leads to a tidy and calm mind.
#Tip 2: Make time for true focus as well as empty time
Multitasking is a thing of the past. I cannot emphasise this enough – it is absolutely crucial to focus on as little as possible! Being busy as parents, entrepreneurs, and/or employees and only having a limited amount of hours in the day to focus on your work, I have only one tip for you: focus on a few carefully chosen topics for each day. Your to-do list should be manageable and realistic. Depending on the day I have around 3-5 topics on my daily to-do list. Yes, only. It makes me so happy when I have managed to tick them all off. And if not, they will get on top of the list for the next day. Remember: less is more! Lastly, don’t forget to actually schedule empty time into your day. You need it to refresh your mind, getting creative, going outside, or simply for being present, for yourself or for your loved ones.
#Tip 3: Empty counters and clear surfaces
Trying to keep countertops in the kitchen and other surfaces free from stuff and clutter has made a massive difference to my family’s daily life. In the kitchen it means that you have a lot of space to spread out when you cook or bake. No large amounts of utensils or spices and oil bottles to move around. Keeping on display only the bare essentials makes the kitchen a joy to cook in as well as a breeze to clean afterwards. The dining table is equally important to keep clear so there is space for the kids to do their homework or arts and craft projects. The entrance is your welcome area, try to keep it tidy at all times to welcome both yourself and visitors to your haven of harmony.
#Tip 4: Returning things to their homes after use as quickly as possible
Make it into a habit when coming home to return bikes, kick-boards, jackets, shoes, backpacks, hats and mittens to their homes. It is also a means of respect towards your belongings, to put them to rest after serving you well. And it also means you will always know where to find them when you need them again. Win-win.
#Tip 5: Take 10 mins to tidy your home daily
Involve each family member, put on some happy music and get going! Do this each day approximately at the same time, before or after dinner for example. At the end of the day put away recently used toys, games, work papers and school stuff where they belong. It doesn’t need to take long to maintain a certain basic tidiness of your home when you make it fun and do it together!
#Tip 6: Take 5 mins at the end of the day to clear your inbox
Less to do’s = less overwhelm. Process your emails into folders (ideally max 7) on a daily basis. The goal should be to have an empty inbox every week or even every day, if at all possible. I will be talking digital decluttering on Zoom this coming Thursday, January 14, if you’re interested in knowing more! You can sign up here for my (free) online workshop organised in collaboration with Our Happy Place.
Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, our team is talking about – Swiss travel, expat living, mental health, nutrition, wellness, recipes, home & lifestyle and activities for children. Stay well and stay with us!
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