The stealth attacks of clutter may be sabotaging your fitness goals. We get so used to it; we gradually ignore this insidious invader in our physical and mental lives. It slowly inches into our surrounding and thoughts, weeds of clutter that choke our creativity and strangle our productivity, sapping our energy.
Physical Clutter: We leave a fast food cup in the car or on our desk, stack folders we mean to file, pile clothes that need folding, build a tower of old pizza boxes or water bottles, drop wet towels on the bathroom floor, forget to hang tools back up in the garage. Before we know it, we are surrounded by an unorganized mess, and by the time we see it, the problem seems insurmountable. We step over it; dust around it, feel guilty when we look at it, promise ourselves to work on it a little every day, but by the time we collapse in bed, our promises can wait one more day.
We tell ourselves and convince others that we know where everything is and to leave the piles alone. Quit fooling yourself. Those piles are taking up valuable physical space, draining and filling your mental space with junk. A clear mind and energetic body needs SPACE. Space to think, to rest, to plan, to be energized! Clutter, even unconscious clutter, crushes forward mobility. Always in stealth mode, clutter demands too much of our energy – energy we need for health and fitness. Energy we need to live a fulfilled life and love others and ourselves.
Mental clutter: Like physical clutter, this sinister energy drainer inhibits our ability to think clearly and react to everyday problems and activities logically. Mental clutter relentlessly hovers under the radar, making it hard to recognize. We tell ourselves our bodies will never be fit. We have genetic problems that make us overweight. Our blood pressure goes through the roof every time a certain co-worker makes a crack. We’ve always been shy, joining an exercise class would be too embarrassing.
Between work and kids, there isn’t time for cooking from scratch, can’t get a sitter so exercise is feasible, don’t know where to start, don’t know how to use equipment, and on and on the list goes until our mental clutter blinds us to new possibilities. Our heads are so jammed with negative messages, we run on autopilot. Autopilot means we are no longer in charge of our lives. We can’t see alternatives. We are blinded to options. Creativity is strangled and stagnates. Energy seeps away. So What? Clear the clutter! Immediately!?
4 Ideas to Clear Space
1.Look, really look, at your home and office/desk. Taking one space – a small one like a drawer in the desk or one pile of clothes – and touch things in the area, so you become aware of what is in the mess.
2.Question each thing you touch. Tip: Make a checklist on a piece of paper to help you remember these questions. What is this? Why do I have it? What is its function? Does it enrich my life? Does it bless me? Would someone else be blessed by it? Is it trash? After I’ve gone, will someone else have to come in and get rid of it? Eliminate as much as possible
3. Get a friend/family member go through it when you’ve finished. Bring your fresh perspective to the area and welcome their objective one.
4. Remove something from the environment when you acquire something additional. Out with the old. In with the new.
4 Ideas to clear Head Space
1. Slow down and pay attention, really listen, to the messages in your head.
2. Use this key question to help you make improvements and eliminate brain drain. “Do I have other options?”
Rushing to get out the door and get to work? Do I have other options? Rushing to get the kids to school on time? Do I have other options? Rising blood pressure when the same person pushes your buttons? Do I have other options? Refusing to try an exercise class or go to the gym? Do I have other options? Stopping at a fast-food place on the way home? Do I have other options?
3. Leave yourself notes or set an alarm and stop a few times a day to see what you’re doing and what you’re thinking. Eating? Checking Facebook/Twitter for the 10th time? Playing Spider Solitaire once again? Talking and listening to the same old conversation?
4. What are your routines? Morning, Lunch, Late afternoon, Dinner, Bedtime? What are your habits? Productive, Time wasters, Destructive? Can you drop some, change some? Do you regularly procrastinate? Avoiding dreaded tasks drains energy and leads to low or no productivity. List the tasks you’ve been avoiding and DO THEM!
You will be amazed at the energy boost you get. Being intentional about your physical and mental environment, including how you schedule time and treat your relationships will give you the energy to face your daily challenges and do the things you want to be doing. One day and one thing at a time. Move to deliberate living!