Life’s transitions usually require that we reorganize and adapt to the changes we’ve just gone through. Whether it’s marriage, children, empty nest or a change in careers, becoming a supervisor or starting a business, how we “organize life” and our surroundings needs to change. The longer we hold on to our old ways, the more resistance builds, and the more stuck we will feel.
The cathartic process of reorganizing can help us simplify, letting go of what is not as important, and integrating what we do need to bring forward. When we reorganize, we are making choices about what deserves space in our next new chapter. And by “space,” I mean Things, Thoughts or Time, what gets onto your calendar.
You needn’t have the full picture of where you are headed. You can let it unfold, organically, step by step as you learn more each day.
Regroup. Remember. Reorganize.
Reorganize – Inside and Out
You will feel a push to let go of your physical stuff. You will also find you’ll choose how you spend your time more carefully, as you figure out what’s important. You might find you are working through mind clutter, emotional clutter, and other types of clutter. Because as you feel that desire to let go of things, that’s often a sign that some internal changes are happening, or at least brewing inside.
The familiar is slowly and organically becoming your previous chapter. Take the time you need. Thank others for their advice, but stay on pace with what feels comfortable to YOU. Take small steps to embrace this feeling.
Here are 7 journaling/reflecting questions to assist you in getting “unstuck.” They will help you figure out where to start to declutter and then reorganize. Or where to start the “spark joy” process instead of what we Americans have called “decluttering.” “Spark joy” to me sounds positive, and forward thinking. It honors what you are all about. It allows you to consider what you definitely want to preserve, honor or bring forward, whether that’s internal or external.
Questions – Before You Reorganize
- What do you value most about yourself, your relationships, and the nature of your work? If we can connect your life’s organizing goals or desired results to your core values, everything gets easier. It’s easier to get started and stick with it, whether you are letting go of Things, Thoughts, or realizing new ways to use your Time. If you are starting a new chapter in a new home for example, or in a new job, and you’re all about doing things for others, how could you start doing that in your new situation? Do that first, and you’ll feel “right at home” in your new home or work situation, because it’s what you love and do so well.
- What organizing system, at any time in your life, has worked for you? Describe it, thinking about why it worked. This will tell you how to get Things, Thoughts and Time back into your own sense of order. For example, as I take on a new project, I know that I need to first get the project into my regular time management system. When I do that right away, I feel as if I can do anything! Or if you have had success with counting points or calories for weight management, how could you introduce numbers and tracking into your next new endeavor?
- Was there a time in your life when you felt as organized as you now want to be? If so, what was different then? Clients will say that it was because “I could have a single focus, like when I was in grad school.” Life gets more complicated … but if you added a little more structure into your days, you could get closer to a single focus. For example, dedicating all Saturday morning to one focus. Or each evening for 2 hours, working on your Master’s degree homework. Routines can help stabilize your time and your mind, while lots of change is going on otherwise.
- How do you talk to yourself about your organization, whether it’s about how you manage your time/life, your desk or your home? And what would you prefer? This will give you a sense of where you are headed, and you will have a marker for when you will feel the progress. Metaphors are a great tool here.
- What gets in the way of your home being as organized as you’d like it to be? How does not being as organized as you would like impact your life?
- When your life or home or work is organized the way you’d like it to be, how will things be easier? This gets at the true benefits to your life. Get very specific and you’ll find deeper motivation to start and continue with it.
- What immediate change would make the biggest impact to your current situation? Can you feel it? That’s where to start…. with a small step towards your bigger result.
Regroup & Reset
As you reorganize, you will be amazed at how much thinking you’ll do. It might be active or it may be in the back of your mind. But it’s actively happening!
Reorganizing is often a great time to emotionally process what’s going on. It’s cathartic, like running, swimming, or meditating. And with reorganizing, you are in control; and when big life changes have or are happening, having a modicum of control feels really good!
Some of this blog contains excerpts from my book. Enjoy more; click to go to Amazon link.
Remember, regroup, reorganize.
Not sure where you’re headed and don’t know where to start? You’d probably find my roadmap and coaching services useful.
Email me at Sue@CoachSueWest.com or call 603.554.1948.