No matter what stage of life you’re in, the end of summer is a time of transition. During the month of August parents will be getting children ready for the new school year. Many folks will be on vacation thinking about the return to home, work and ‘real’ life. Lots of teens will be leaving home and heading off to college. And still other folks may be dreaming about how to use retirement to enrich their lives come fall. What do they all have in common? An organized plan will make all these transitions a bit easier.

Let me ask you a few questions:

  • Is your environment chock full of miscellaneous stuff?
  • Has it been your modus operandi to be late to every appointment?
  • Do you make a mental plan to make each September the start of a new cycle in your life only to habitually fall into the same old/same old routines?
  • Is t difficult for you to imagine success in your new endeavors?

If you answered ‘yes,’ to any or all of these questions, take heart. You’re in the majority of readers. Let’s take a quick look at some ways to shake up the routines that have run your life up until now.

  • ‘Stuff’ can clog your environment. It can be as difficult to move around freely as it is to think clearly. The usual culprit is not having been taught the skill of organizing. The second most likely suspect is not knowing the power of the decision making process. Stuff collects when we fail to decide where it should go.

    A bit of journaling will uncover the reasons for the ‘stockpile of stuff.’ I’ve got journal prompts for every area of the home in One Year to an Organized Life. Why should you spend time examining the past? Because until you lay down new mental tracks, you are inclined to allow the old causes to produce the same effects. It’s basic psychology. It’s powerful. And it’s in your hands to change.

  • Time is a commodity like food or money. You use it or lose it. Unlike money, food and any other replaceable commodity, time never gives you a second chance. It’s literally now or never with every second of our lives. People squander time for a myriad number of reasons but at the heart of the matter is usually some kind of fear. Maybe showing up late makes you the star of the show. You unconsciously fear you have no other way to be special. Perhaps making your friends and colleagues wait for you or delaying the delivery of work projects allows you to feel powerful and in control? Or maybe you fear success or failure in the projects assigned to you? If you are late with the promised results, the pressure to succeed will be off you. Once again journaling will reveal the reason you are not living life to the full.

    This fall will be given to you only once. This is not a dress rehearsal. Perhaps it was my experience with cancer eight years ago that makes me so acutely aware of the precious nature of each moment. Don’t wait for chemotherapy, an accident, a death in the family or any life emergency to drive this point home. Make a plan. What do you want or need to accomplish? What are the individual steps you will have to take to make this goal a reality? As you look at the steps, do you have what it takes? Are you strong enough to do the work? Have you met the underlying financial demands? Should you postpone or charge ahead? Make a plan and honor it. You’ll always have the memories from this time to remind of you of the fall you finally took control of your life.

  • If your life has never supported your wishes, dreams or goals, what’s going on? Are you eating the right food? Are you drinking enough water? Do you exercise each day? Do you have spiritual beliefs that nurture and support you? These are all key ingredients in your success. If you falter in one or more you can of course still be a success. It will simply be more difficult.

    Take a look at the practical side of life. Are you spending too much time at various social media forums? Are you going to bed late and over sleeping? Do you rush out the door with a donut in your mouth in the morning? A little planning and a dash of self-control can literally change your day-to-day experience making you more productive and powerful. Why not give it a whirl for 21 days and see if you like the benefits?

  • Very often it’s our loved one who hold us back. They do so unwittingly of course because they fear that changes in you will cause seismic changes in their life experience. Change that’s embraced and chosen is a powerful tool. Change that is foisted upon us can be terrifying. Comfort your loved ones with your words and a solid plan. Yes, you’d like to return to school and get a master’s which means you won’t be free to travel on a whim or play golf every day but that doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner. It means you’re trying to become the best you can be in life and that means a more fulfilling relationship. Why? Because fulfilled people are happy and that’s a lot sexier than anything for sale at Victoria Secret this fall!
  • The Siren Song of September

    Next month we’re on the inevitable march to the long, holiday season. Allow the natural energy that fills your mind and body when you realize that fall is coming to infuse you with a drive to be more productive, healthier and happier than you have ever been. An organized environment will enhance your journey. It will provide a springboard for greater accomplishment, joy and meaning. What have you got to love but your old fears and that same old/same old routine that’s boring you to tears?

    New York City native Regina Leeds has brought order to home and work environments across the United States since 1988 when she started her company, Get Organized! by REGINA. Currently based in Los Angeles, her clientele run the gamut from movie stars to business people and housewives. Regina regularly travels throughout the United States to assist her clients. Regina is the author of two books: The Zen of Organizing; Creating Order and Peace in Your Home, Career and Life and Creating a Place Without Losing Your Space: a Couples Guide to Blending Homes, Lives and Clutter.