When I asked the 400 women in my private facebook group, A Work in Progress #LivingFullyBalanced, what topics they’d like to learn more about, the answer was clear.
They wanted to learn how to clear the CLUTTER.
And they weren’t just talking about decluttering the physical stuff.
The group was desperate to know how to eliminate the clutter and chaos in their minds, as well.
Clutter is all around us.
We see clutter in our homes and workplaces. We hear it in the constant din of the TV keeping us company as background noise.
And just the other day, I couldn’t get gas for my car without being blasted by the loud video on the pump... designed to distract me from the rising numbers as I fill my tank.
I so get it.
As a kid I was never able to work on a big school project until I cleared off my desk and organized my room. And that’s still the way I function best today.
Here’s why many of us feel anxious and unsettled much of the time.
A cluttered space creates a cluttered mind.
In our hustle, bustle days it seems like every second is filled with never ending to-do’s and external stresses.
We’re getting it from all sides.
Our lives are busy. Our days are full. Our families and careers need our attention.
So, how do we create a sense of calm control, when we live in a culture that pushes us to do more, be more, own more?
I’ve spent years of my personal and professional life learning and practicing the most efficient strategies to tune out the external noise in everyday life so that I could tune in to what I already knew to be true for myself.
And from all of that work (I’d say the equivalent of a double master’s degree in life balance), I’ve developed a simple, structured approach to loving your life again...even among the chaos and clutter.
Clearing the clutter is actually quite simple, but, I’d never say that it’s easy.
Even though it’s not easy, it’s quite possible to clear not only the physical stuff of our lives, but the mental clutter, too.
Here’s one powerful tool that I teach my clients.
Use it today and you’ll feel the difference immediately.
~Practice Daily Rituals~
Rituals honor what we value and rituals simplify decisions.
Ritual #1: Make Your Bed
Making the bed prepares your day for success.
The physical act of smoothing out the wrinkles in the sheets, is like smoothing the wrinkles of the past and creating a blank canvas for your day ahead.
Since one third of our life is spent in bed… this routine totally deserves our daily attention.
I get that asking you to make your bed sounds pretty rudimentary and inconsequential.
However, those two minutes you spend making your bed, as elementary as it sounds, will give you a sense of accomplishment.
And then here’s the cool thing.
A sense of accomplishment boosts dopamine (aka “The Reward Molecule”.). If you want to get a quick hit of dopamine, set a goal and achieve it.
Making our beds in the morning is the fastest and easiest way to get a hit of dopamine first thing in the morning.
I don’t know about you, but I’m all about setting goals and achieving them. Bonus points if accomplishing that goal is guaranteed!
So, making your bed is one Daily Ritual that’ll clear the clutter in your home.
Ritual#2: The Daily Intention and The Daily Recap
Those who successfully manage stress and overwhelm, are intentionally creating their best day.
They’re writing/reading/pausing for at least 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
Hal Elrod, calls it The Miracle Morning.
“Know that wherever you are in your life right now is both temporary, and exactly where you’re supposed to be. You have arrived at this moment to learn what you must learn, so you can become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want.” - Hal Elrod
Most people we consider to be successful, spend the first hours of each day alone, to reflect, think, meditate, create or read.
I want to encourage you to find something that motivates you and look forward to it every morning. That becomes your Daily Ritual and it sets your day up for success.
Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO, spent his mornings re-evaluating his work and desires.
In his speech to a graduating class at Stanford, Jobs said, “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
For 15 years, Starbucks President Michelle Gaas, has set her alarm for 4:30 a.m. to go running. Gretchen Ruben, the popular author of The Happiness Project wakes up at 6 a.m. and works for an hour before her family rises.
A purposeful morning isn’t something that just happens. You’ve got to consciously and intentionally create it.
Your Daily Intention and Daily Recap are personal to you, and can take any shape you’d like… a gratitude journal, daily goals, overarching goals, reading inspirational books, prayer, meditation, practicing yoga. The list is infinite.
What you choose to do to set your intentions for the day is not as important as doing it.
I know you know this, but we all need reminders from time to time.
The impact is not so much on WHAT we do.
The impact is in the actual DOING.
To make it easier for you to establish your new Daily Ritual habit, practice your daily intention before you engage in your day.
Once you check emails, turn on the news and answer text messages, you’ve been drawn into reactionary mode. And it’s way harder to extradite yourself once you’ve been sucked in, than it is to just not go there in the first place.
We feel calm and in control when we choose how we want to respond.
One of my personal goals is to stay off the computer for the first hour of my day. While I can’t seem to do it all the time, when I do, I notice a decided difference in my productivity and sense of calm.
It’s important to me that I’m the one who creates my day. I don’t like to give my power away. (I know...we really don’t have control over anything., but it’s just plain silly to let my electronic devices dictate how I spend my time, don’t you think?)
Here’s another tip for those of us who want to end our busy days as strongly as we can.
Begin to practice The Daily Recap in the evening. This creates a healthy bedtime mindset.
There are infinite ways to practice your Daily Recap. Again, how you choose to practice is personal and unique to you.
One of the easiest ways to implement the Daily Recap is to simply take a pen and paper and list what you’re grateful for. Or you could list three accomplishments of your day.
Clients of mine who’ve had difficulties sleeping, find that doing a “brain dump” has helped them get those anxiety producing thoughts out of their head, and onto paper.
Just having the assurance that you no longer need to remember what’s on your mind, is often the key to a better night’s sleep.
While I know all of these tips to be life changers, as a coach I’m keenly aware that it usually takes more than just knowing what to do in order to clear the clutter for good.
Maybe you have a sense that there’s more to clearing the clutter than just in the act of doing it.. And if that’s the case, you’re so right.
Being clutter free is a mindset.
The key to being clutter free is in adjusting your mindset.
If you’d like strategies designed just for you, click to get on my schedule for a complimentary Strategy Session. We’ll uncover what’s been holding you back, we’ll figure out your next best steps and if you want my help going forward, we’ll explore that, too. Living Fully Balanced… because running on empty doesn’t have to be your norm.
Like her clients, Lisa Bobyak works hard at making the best choices, with what she has, where she is. Although she’s not perfectly balanced all of the time, she knows first hand that the right information and support can mean the difference between all-or-nothing thinking and feeling healthy, happy and whole. Wish you knew how to get off the hamster wheel? Ready to trade in your "stress bunny" ways? Feel weighed down by heavy negative self-talk? Learn more about her services, or hear the latest radio episode of Living Fully Balanced with Lisa. Check out and Like what’s happening on the Living Fully Balanced Facebook page. When you’re ready for strategies that will help you love your life again, talk with Lisa,