Three Tips to Prepare Your “Inner House & Garden” for Winter
Autumn is here and the light of day is rapidly growing shorter. It’s that time of year to get your closet, home and garden ready for winter. Projects abound! You’ll read many reminder lists to clean your gutters, seal the cracks, drain your spigots, change the filters…and so on.
If you honor the rhythms of nature, it’s time to gradually turn inward, to become a bit more self-reflective.
Externally, you’ve probably started your list of fall chores. Even with the busy demands of work, kid’s extracurricular activities and holidays quickly approaching, you cannot help but need some time to reflect, go inward, slow down a bit.
Now, your boss is not going to give you this time! Your kids are not going to think of your need. You spouse may not be aware, but hopefully he or she will also work with you on this as you raise the question! Because, internally, it’s also time to prepare for more a bit of self-reflection, to gestate, to put closure to projects you’ve begun in 2011, to acknowledge your accomplishments and to prepare yourself for new desires or advancing projects you will manifest in 2012.
The preparation internally is a similar list to prepping your house, garden or closet! Read my list of three tips below!
Three Tips to Prepare Your Inner House For Winter
1. Projects: Repairs and Fix-Ups
If your office, closet and garage are anything like mine they go through a period of total organization, followed by gradual disorganization, mess—even chaos! Let’s apply this to projects, both external and internal. DAY ONE take 10 minutes to make a list of the following items. One day later, DAY TWO, take 10 minutes to flesh out the action steps. One day later, DAY THREE, take 10 minutes to get it all on your calendar and begin your repairs and fix-ups!
External Projects: This list includes house, office, work projects, your basic to-do list. These are projects you’ve started that you want to finish before the end of 2011. DAY ONE, write them all down. Break the final steps towards completion into do-able action steps. Write those down. DAY TWO, get out your calendar. Schedule the date for completion. Then back this out and schedule the dates and exact times you are going to work on completing the project action steps. DAY THREE, begin.
Internal Projects: I imagine that earlier in 2011 you made some resolve to exercise, sleep more, meditate, play more, learn something new or something that was for you personal (maybe also professional) growth. DAY ONE, make a list of everything you wanted to do in 2011. DAY TWO, ruthlessly review your list. Which items did you give up on and still want to bring in within the next year. Star these. Which items became less important to you throughout the year. Cross these off. Circle those items you want to implement or further within the next few months. DAY THREE break down the action steps, put them on your calendar and begin.2.
2. Relationships: Check for leaks
The type of relationships you choose and how you participate or engage in your relationships can energize or deplete you. It’s time to check for energy drains and energy leaks. It’s a good time to reflect on your choice of relationships and how you want to participate or engage.
*Make a list of those relationships that are loved ones, commitments or responsibilities: Relationship with your spouse or partner, children, aging parents, siblings, colleagues, business leader, boss, team participants, and so on. Then ask yourself: Am I fully engaged? If not, why not? Am I bringing 100% of myself to each relationship? (This is not amount of time spent; this is quality of time and your presence and engagement in the activities necessary for the relationship to sparkle.)
Make notes: How would I need to “step up” to be fully engaged? List simple, doable action steps you can do to make change.
Make a note where you act like a victim or feel at the mercy of someone or something else. What would you do if you were proactively improving your relationships versus being reactive?
List 2-3 changes in your behavior that would improve each of these relationships. Begin implementing tomorrow
*All other relationships and relationship activities: Do a quick scan of all other relationships and relationship activities in your life. Make a list. Beside each list put a #1 = energizing and fulfilling. #2 = Neutral. #3 = depleting or draining.
Review the amount of time you spend in each of these relationships. Make a choice to spend the greater proportion of your time with those people who are #1’s on your list, those people who energize you. Decide how you will say “no” or let other activities and people go or how you will allocate less time and energy to those that are not energizing to you.
3. Change Out the Old; Bring In Something New
Every season presents a natural time to prioritize, to let go of the old and also to bring in something new. It’s like fashion magazine articles that focus on the hot new accessory, or color, or shape to complement what is already working in your wardrobe. That’s why you go through your seasonal clothes, shoes and boots to see what is needed this year; what new accent or item or change would add surprise or fun or spark.
When it comes to your inner self, the same is true. As you do TIPS #1 and #2 you are cleaning out the old and prioritizing, repairing and stopping up any leaks in your life. It stores your energy to focus on what you want to bring in to your life in the coming year, in the next stage.
*Begin to reflect on your intention for the coming year 2012. What is important to you? What do you wish to do, to accomplish, to change in your life?
You have a few months as you close out 2011 to steep in your desires. Allow yourself to dream a bit. How would I really like my life to be – 18 months from now?
Write about these desires. Then back it out and ask yourself: What are 2 – 3 tiny steps I could take toward making that dream a reality.