December begins to signal a time that gets many of us geared up for the new year to come. Many of us feel the push to change our lives for the better. For each of us, the objective or goals are quite unique and often personal.
I have to admit I totally get wrapped up in setting goals for myself and over the years, my approach has evolved. Believe it or not, my goals don’t revolve around food or even health anymore, well at least not directly. Let me explain.
As I mentioned in my previous post “Alzheimer’s Disease: The Year After” the latter part of 2014 and much of 2015 was spent clearing out my mother’s home and sorting through massive amounts of her belongings. She held on to so much. Receipts, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, you name it, she kept it. She had shelves of pots and pans yet rarely cooked. We sorted through multiple bags of clothes. At the end of the day, it all amounted to nothing.
It was from this experience, and bit of help from my studies of Buddhism, I began to learn the process of letting go. Objects are just that, objects. They have a hold on you only if you let them. I vowed to never let the material keep a grip on me. My way may not work for everyone, but if it helps one of you, then sweet, I’m happy!
3 Steps that worked for me in 2015:
- Set professional and/or personal goals.
- Look at what is sustainable and achievable.
- Reevaluate often.
For 2015, my professional as well as my personal goal was to let go of what no longer mattered in my life. Pretty vague, no? Rather than saying I would get through all of my professional and personal belongings, I focused on only a few tasks at a time which meant I would have to revaluate often as I went. I only required myself 1 file and 1 bin per week. If I got through more, great, if not, no biggie.
How far did I get? I downsized as much paperwork as possible. I went through 3 packed file cabinets, 8 full drawers in all. Scanned, archived, sorted and recycled. My husband and I looked through all of the bins that remained in the basement from when we moved in about 13 years ago. Yup, 13 years! We moved about 1-2 bins per month and had donation trucks scheduled each month to force us to do it. It took the entire year, but I got through my share of mom’s belongings, by sorting and donating what she couldn’t use. I really hope many were helped by the 35 coats she held on to, most of which still had tags still on them.
What are my goals for 2016? Not quite sure of that just yet. The downsizing will surely continue. I think I am moving to scanning pictures and converting to computer scrapbooking, actually putting some fish in my office fish tank and finishing the next book. 😉
What are your goals for 2016?