It’s a busy time of the year. For some, it can feel overwhelming. Then comes a new year, just around the corner, when we’re exhausted from the end of year push yet determine to change some things. In many cases, we then overwhelm ourselves with pressures to make changes.
If we’re overwhelmed or feel pressured to change (often from ourselves), there are some simple things we can do. Baby steps. Sure, we want to live a more organized life. We want to be better connected to friends or family. We want to serve more, prayer more, learn more, grow more. But there are no easy buttons. Only steps we can take. Here are a few you might want to try. Today.
- Purge your incoming emails. As you receive one from an organization you really don’t want to hear from anymore, take a few seconds to scroll down and click that “unsubscribe” button, usually at the bottom of the email. If you stay attentive and take action on just a few emails each day, it won’t take long before you’ve considerably cut the volume of your emails.
- Make space in your phone and/or other device. While you’re waiting in a checkout line, at a doctor’s office, or some other “few minutes’ pause,” free up some space by deleting or reorganizing photos, files, and more. Even if you get rid of a few at a time, it’s a few less you’ll have to go through later, when you’ll have accumulated even more.
- Clear the clutter around you, whether it’s in your office or home. Each day, get rid of ten things. It can be junk mail, clothes, toys, books, or whatever. If you get motivated one day and clear out more, or don’t get around to it one day, keep the next day’s goal at ten. It will become a habit, and before long, you’ll have to search items to clear out…and be more intentional about what you bring into your space.
- Try a new food or bake a new dish this week. You might be in a food rut. Keep your expectations realistic. Try new things one at a time with some “regulars” in between. Then, slowly but surely, you can incorporate the new items that work well.
- Replace what you take away. Anytime you take an unhealthy habit away from your life, it leaves space that will fill with something. If you’re not intentional, that space will often fill with something equally as unhealthy. Sure, you curb a bad habit, but you invite another one. Choose well.
- Invite (the right) others into your life. Ask someone trustworthy to hold you accountable. If you want to pray more, study more, smoke less, drink less, exercise more, eat less, clean more, pursue God more, or work less, tell a trusted friend. Touch base regularly through a quick call, text, or a private Facebook group.
Know what (or who) you’re pursuing. You can leave some things behind but still spin your wheels without an intentional pursuit. Grow. One step at a time. One moment at a time. Once intentional choice at a time.