“Never cut a tree down in the winter time. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The Spring will come.” – Steve Jobs
I don’t know about you, but spring time always seems to say to me “new beginnings”. It always seems like the time of year where I feel renewed energy and the need to either start new or start fresh. While the usual stuff has been on my mind for spring, such as decluttering, deep cleaning and prepping my yard for spring, I have had a few new inspirations this spring that I wanted to share with you.
Winter always feels long and drawn out and this year was no different. By the end of February I was feeling completely burnt out and stressed out. I ended up letting a lot of things fall behind that I had not meant to let slip through the cracks, but it gave me the mental space I needed to gain clarity and focus. I recognized my burn-out and the need to evaluate my business practices. I also had to evaluate if I was doing what I was meant to be doing.
Where I started:
Once I realized how burnt out I was, I put the focus back on myself first. I started with the most basic of things – getting my diet cleaned up and started meal planning and prepping again. Next, I began to focus on setting up better sleep habits and increasing my water intake. I also got into see my doctor to get more serious about getting rid of my headaches and migraines and started booking appointments for my self care. I let these things fall behind absent mindlessly, but they make a world of difference when I do them. I also started taking my dogs for walks again and added exercise into my day. While this all seems like a lot, and for the first two weeks it was, once I began to get back into the habits that I had fallen off of, they didn’t seem like difficult tasks anymore, but rather, things that I was looking forward to.
What I re-evaluated:
Normally when I re-evaluate I find that I am doing things that are not in alignment with who I am or what I want to work towards. This year I actually didn’t feel this way. I felt that what I was working towards was something that I was still really passionate about and believed in, but my set backs had left me feeling confused and defeated. I started listening to some great podcasts again while I was walking my dogs to help figure out if I did still feel the same and how I should move forward. And the universe sent me a doozy as the first one I listened to: Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast, episode 448: These 3 Things indicate its time to Pivot or Quit. You really can’t get a more direct message from the universe other than getting smacked in the face with a 2x4 with the message written on it. As I listened – I realized that I did not need to quit – I needed to re-evaluate what I needed to do and if there was a better way of doing it. And I also realized – I could spend all the time in the world researching what I could do to make what I was doing more efficient – or I could spend the money to read books and take courses to speed up getting to where I wanted to be. I was shocked at how quickly I felt my passion and my spirits rise as I started working my way through courses to help set things up the way I wanted them to be.
In my massage therapy practice – I realized that I was not utilizing all the tools that I could be using to do my notes faster and more efficiently. I’m very fortunate to be using Jane as my booking system and CRM because they have amazing webinars and video tutorials for how to create note templates that are so amazing. It may have taken a few hours in the beginning to set up all the features I wanted to take advantage of, but my notes went from writing story books of information to get everything in there to checking off tick-boxes of the most commonly reported things that I note from my treatments. I swear it cut my charting time down to a quarter of what it was before – and I would rather be doing ANYTHING but charting. I also started scheduling time to do my charts rather than hoping that I would get them all done after my shift when I was tired and not able to mentally focus anymore. This also cut my charting time down significantly because I was working when I could focus and not when I was spent and easily distracted.
In my business – I started taking courses to make the tasks that I need to get done more streamlined and made use of best practices. I couldn’t believe all the great tips and tricks I wasn’t using in my business because I never knew about them. Getting started with a new way of doing things plus making the time to get through the course is A LOT, but I know that in a few short weeks it will pay off BIG Time! I’m also super excited about these new streamlined processes because I feel more in control of everything and I know it will produce a more professional and polished delivery to the people I’m excited to serve.
In my home life – I got on top of what I want to get done and scheduled it! I dug out my Happy Planner and got really serious about making sure that all of those things that I had floating around in my brain of “don’t forget this” got written down (Trust me – if I had a Remeberall – it would be glowing angry RED all the time!!) Once they were written down in a list, I tackled them one by one – until they were either finished, scheduled or delegated. For me, there is something so cathartic about seeing a check-list that has all the items ticked off – I even added little things to my check lists just so I could check them off to feel that sense of accomplishment. I got back into the habit of planning my tasks for the next day the night before – removing the decision of trying to plan my day the day of and waking up with a plan in mind made it that much easier to get stuff done right from the start.
How I moved my mind set:
I once had a great manager, Afif, who had an affinity for quirky sayings. When we would talk about what I was working on and what I should be working on, he would say “Prioritize the priorities”. To that point I had always been a person who made a list and worked on it from the top to the bottom and did not deviate until I was finished (and to-do lists rarely ever end). He taught me to write the to-do list, and then re-organize it so that the most important, most timely items where at the top and the other stuff was at the bottom – and to keep re-evaluating my list as I added to it. Just because something is new, does not mean that it should be added to the bottom. This helped me out so much because it helped me to focus and be more efficient rather than productive. He also taught me the value of “Eating the Frog”. “Eating the Frog” is when you take the thing on your list that is the least appealing to you and you do it first – because everything after that will feel so much easier and lighter. By creating to do list and get the hard/yucky stuff out of the way first, your day feels so much more fulfilling when items on there are not constantly weighing you down.
I started using a mantra. I’ve never been one for self affirmations, mantras and such – but I am starting to realize that there is a lot to be said for using them. A quote that I had heard many times before spoke volumes to be and became my forgiveness to myself as well as my motivation – “If it was easy – everyone would do it”. I’m not sure from who or where this quote originated, but it really helped shed light on what I have been working on. Not everyone succeeds in what I am trying to accomplish, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Most people will quit before they get there. So I keep reminding myself that if I want to succeed that I have to keep moving forward and that if this was easy, everyone else would already been doing it too. So I give myself the grace to struggle and be slow, but also the kick that I need to keep moving forward and not stop.
If you feel like its time to renew yourself, I created this quick checklist to help you get started! It has some ideas on how to renew yourself, your practice and your mindset! Hope you enjoy!
Download your free spring renewal checklist here