Happy New Year everyone!
Raise your hand if you are feeling a bit blue from the annual post-holiday letdown?
It’s cold, I’m broke and my festive house feels a little empty without the lovely lights from my now-stored December decorations.
It can be a struggle, to be sure, but I always try to find the silver lining and remind myself that new beginnings and a fresh start are always possibilities each New Year.
I am fully aware that most of those January resolutions end up falling by the wayside within a month — just compare the parking lot of your local gym on the first week in January and again around Valentine’s Day for proof of that fact!
That said, here are a few refreshers, complete with some homework, to help you start 2022 strong!
• It’s All About Being Organized: I don’t know about you, but I waste a lot of my time looking for things.
Did you know the average person spends 12 days a year looking for things?
Can you imagine what you could get accomplished if you had that dozen or so days back?
Use the New Year as an excuse to hit the reset button on yourself and get those who you love organized!
Buy an organizer, subscribe to one of the many organizational apps, and purchase storage cubes or other organizers to help consolidate your physical items.
For example, my kids spend each day looking for their shoes. Every. Single. Day.
My solution? All shoes have a home in a specially designated cubby — next to the door — so they are easy to take off and put on, right where they need them.
While getting them to actually use the cubby is another battle, we have a place to put them.
The same goes for coats and gloves — anything that we can streamline to make coming and going is a good place to start.
My challenge to you is to find one area of your life to organize today and get it done.
Once one area is done, you will be addicted and ready to tackle another area!
• An Extra Hour a Day: I always say to myself that if I had one extra hour a day to do things, I would be happy — yet I find myself wasting time perusing my phone or doing things that don’t really bring me much joy or productivity.
This month’s homework is easy: Take five minutes today to think about — and write down if you are so inclined — five things that make you happy.
If it isn’t something on that list, you should not waste your spare time doing any of it!
Is it spending time with your kids, drinking your morning coffee or just watching your favorite show on television?
Is there something that you think would make you happy that you aren’t doing? Could you find room in your life for that? If the answer is yes, work to create 60 minutes daily dedicated to those joyful things!
• Digital Detox: Oh boy, am I guilty of spending a ton of time on social media.
Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with people, but I can really get dragged into the aimless scrolling and before I realize it, an hour has passed by.
I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent scrolling through my social media feed.
Between Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and others, there are a lot of ways to waste a lot of time.
I tracked my usage one Saturday at three hours!
According to some articles I have read (on my social media feed, of course), the average person spends over five hours a day on their devices!
Can you imagine all the productivity you would have even if you put half of those hours back into other tasks and activities!
If I had even two extra hours, I could add exercise, more sleep, and meaningful time with my kids!
Those activities give me a lot more joy than any aimless scrolling ever could!
Here is my challenge to you in 2022: Limit your social media usage to just an hour a day — that can be at the beginning or end of the day or even three or four 15-minute increments throughout the day.
Do this for a week and write down some things you were able to get done instead.
I suspect the detox will be easier than you think.
Make sure you put limits on your children’s social media and electronics usage too — call it a “boot camp” to make it fun for them — and reward them with fun family activities for staying on target!
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)