1. Perfect Your Processes
Yes, I do make a point to say “practice makes PROGRESS,” but did you know that in the olden days, the word “perfect” was closer in meaning to the word “complete,” as in not missing anything?
Being proactive in your processes is really the first step to creating a climate of change in your home and life, because sheets always need changing, floors need sweeping, people need to eat, and you need to recharge in order to do anything else besides those obvious tasks! I used to call chores and mundane daily tasks “toothbrush tasks,” because they are the kind of things that should never really make it to your to-list. In spite of their routine nature, these types of things have a huge impact on the family if they are left undone, done inconsistently, or focused upon to the point of damaging relationships within the family.
2. Pursue Your Priorities
Last holiday season, something happened inside me after long months of being proactive in my processes of daily life. I FINALLY felt free to progress in an area of priority to me: meaningful but fuss-free special events and holidays. I created new holiday traditions for my family, and worked hard to give meaningful gifts to each family member. I even created a notebook to house my thoughts and notes from the holiday and put away our holiday décor and supplies in an organized fashion. This year, that pursuit of my personal priority paid off so much. In fact, I felt unwell for much of the holiday season, but the previous year's preparations allowed us to enjoy a cozy Christmas without a lot of fuss and hurriedness. The most joyful moment for me was when my husband said that it had been the best Christmas he remembered in a long time!
3. Plan Your Projects
One thing I always marvel at on the organizing journey is the power of planning. Planning makes goal reaching possible where “resolutions” do not. There is a Chinese saying, “I have a tree in my heart,” which means that you can visualize something; and is like we say, “I get the picture.” If you can trace the steps necessary, and you know the cost, the time, and the effort something will take; then you will get excited about it, discover that you mean business, and gain rock solid confidence in your ability to carry out your plan! Then when things goes sideways, your processes carry you through; and when things aren't “perfect,” your good humor and underlying priorities will carry you through. Consistently revisiting and revising your plan will dash all false fears, and further cement your resolve.
“Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” ---Unknown
This is a powerful proverb which can help you power through emotional snags when “things aren't going right.” The more you automate and and establish ways of making those routine processes run smoothly, the more time, energy, and creativity you free up for pursuing your passions and priorities, and the more clear you become. It has been my experience that Processes, Priorities, and Plans initially work best when you work through them sequentially, but that after you have been consistent, they all work together like pieces of a beautiful picture puzzle!