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2022: Year of New Beginnings

Every New Year, I send a greeting card to my clients to set the tone for a good beginning. I was especially happy to find the boldface words below in a card because they precisely captured my thoughts. January is named for the Roman God Janus, who is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. Janus was onto something since the New Year is the perfect time to make changes for the good and end habits that just don't serve us well. Let's break it down:

less worry.
I've had enough of worrying for the last two years—how about you? I am by nature not a worrier, and frankly I’m exhausted. Generally, if I’m worried, I try to solve the problem I’m worried about or work hard to accept that I cannot change the situation. I’m also big on “peace of mind” for myself and my clients. So, if you’ve put off important things such as scheduling a mammogram, writing a will, or calling a friend who could really use cheering up, in on your schedule and get it done. 

more fun.
Each year I try to plan trips and projects that will bring me joy. My idea of fun involves planning vacations/trips with friends and family or planning a project around our money pit of a farmhouse. If there isn’t room for fun in your life, you may need to start saying "no" or set boundaries so you can take your life back and do the things that really matter to you. Click on these popular articles on my website: How to Say No and How to Set Boundaries to learn how.

less anger.
It generally takes a lot to make me angry, but if it involves something I'm passionate about or there is an injustice going on, watch out. One way I lessen my anger is to put my money where my mouth is and set up monthly donations for the non-profit organizations that are making the world a better place. When I see commercials or new stories that upset me, at least I know I'm already donating to the people at th organizations who are trying to make a difference. Another way to lessen anger and negativity: get off social media, unfriend, unfollow. Do it for your mental health.

more laughter.
I have a tray of scrabble letters on my dresser that spells “laughter”. I bought it on an excursion my BFF and I took to Santa Barbara. We laughed so much during that trip because of the experiences and people we encountered, that I wanted to be reminded of it each day. If it’s been a long time since you’ve laughed, find a podcast (my favorite is Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me) or stream a movie that will make you snort with laughter. My husband and I are now enjoying Ted Lasso for exactly that reason! 

less spending.
When we were planning our kitchen/addition, I found it very easy to curb my spending. That kitchen was my financial goal and it kept me from spending unnecessarily. Setting goals is how we organize our spending and avoid the pitfalls of 24/7 advertising on every device we own. Affluenza is a harmful or unbalanced relationship with money or its pursuit. Don’t catch it. Set your financial goals for the year so your spending reflects what YOU want. I use the app CreditKarma.com on my phone so I can follow my credit score going up, my debt going down and track unwanted breaches. Here's a great resource to limit spending: 80 Things You Don't Need to Buy.

more creating.
I spend a lot of time creating new spaces and creating more space for chi (read energy) to flow in my clients’ homes. Creating new spaces by removing the unnecessary furniture and clutter can give your spaces a whole new life. Encouraging energy to flow in your home creates a calmer and more creative environment that helps you breathe and function more confidently. Read this article on the 5 Ways to Unblock Your Home’s Chi.

less stuff.
If you’ve read my book, Organize This, you know that the first step to organization is letting go of stuff. The less stuff you have, the less time you spend taking care of it. Every purchase you bring through your front door has strings attached to it and demands attention. It takes time to find a home for it, clean it, wash it, dust it, assemble it, repair it, refill it, buy batteries for it, remember you bought it, find it, find a home for it, keep track of it, cook it, freeze it, paint it, store it, fold it, file it, find a use for it, iron it, wear it, dry clean it, mend it...well, you get the idea. Use this article: A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything to get you started.

more appreciation.
It’s likely that the present situation in Ukraine has us appreciating our lives, our families, and our freedom in a way we haven’t before. Life goes by so quickly so being appreciative and grateful is one way to boost our energy and our mental health. To learn more, read this article Being Grateful: How Feeling Gratitude Can Boost Your Mental Health.

Finally, try to not let the daily grind, your worries, and the haters bring you down. THIS YEAR, let’s shoot for less worry, less anger, less spending, and less stuff. Let’s look forward to more fun, more laughter, more creating and more appreciation. Who’s with me?? 

 “How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
not what you got, but what you gave.”

Michael Josephson