Around this time last year I was feeling overwhelmed, defeated, and lost. I had been rejected for the third year in a row from six Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs, struggling to stay motivated, and I had no clue what I was going to do next.
I was losing hope. Fast.
Luckily, it didn't take too much longer before I found a way to refresh my mind and start new. That's when I found IIN (The Institute for Integrative Nutrition). It became the time of year, for me, to get a fresh start and take on a new journey. Isn't that what spring is all about?
This time of year means many things for many people but, in most cases, it simply means...spring cleaning time! Feeling overwhelmed all of a sudden? Don't be! I'm not talking about the spring cleaning that everyone hates doing. I'm talking about how to take spring cleaning to a new level and use it as a tool to clean out your mind and start a new journey. Starting something new can be scary, like leaving behind my desire to be a Physical Therapist (PT) to start a new journey with IIN. I learned pretty quickly that in order to get myself going I had to make room the new stuff. "Out with the old, in with the new," as they say.
Did you know? The name "April" comes from the latin word, aperio, meaning to open or bud. All the more reason why Spring is the perfect time of year to get a fresh start and get clear about your goals.
The biggest question I had to ask myself was, "Is this what I truly want?"
When I found IIN I realized that maybe my desire wasn't necessarily to be a PT, maybe my desire was to help people get better and get healthy. Once I realized that was my true intention, I noticed that starting this new journey didn't seem so scary anymore and I was able to turn that energy into excitement.
Today I want to share with you my simple tools to feeling refreshed and ready for new goals this spring. You may not be struggling with getting into a DPT program, or feeling defeated and lost. Maybe you just need that extra bit of motivation and clarity to get you moving on that annual cleaning load you've been dreading since last spring, or on that new workout challenge to help you feel ready to put on a bikini.
Here are my simple tools to help you feel less overwhelmed and ready to take on anything:
- Clean out the Clutter - Before getting to the good stuff, it's probably a good idea to make room for all the new you'll be adding in. This doesn't mean you have to go back to school or anything, I'm talking about your brain. The only way I could help myself from being so overwhelmed was to have a clear mind. A simple way to clear your mind is to write out all your thoughts on paper, pick out the ones that aren't working for you anymore (negative or doubtful thoughts), and get rid of them! They're crowding your mind with unnecessary clutter and not giving you the space to add in the new stuff you want to accomplish.
- One at a Time - Often we try to juggle so many things at once but let's face it, we can't always do it no matter how much we try. It's time to dial in on what truly matters. Single-pointed Focus. In order to get serious and get moving on some of your goals this spring, a good rule of thumb is to start with one. Choose the one area that you feel needs the most of your attention. By focusing on what’s most important first, we eliminate the stress of trying to accomplish everything at once.
- Priority is a Virtue - It's about that time to get serious about time. Time management is key in getting your projects in order and completed. A simple and easy method I use to organize my thoughts, goals, and to-do's happens all in one place...my planner. This doesn't mean go out and buy yourself a planner, but scheduling tasks into your calendar (whatever that might be for you) and spreading them out into smaller, manageable steps will assure you it will get done.
- Turn Fear into Excitement - This is a tough one. Doing new things scares us, and certainly realizing there is way more "cleaning" to do than you thought can easily send you running the other way. Now that you’ve gotten rid of some of the clutter, you’ve opened up space for the new stuff you’ve been waiting for! Breathe. This is more exciting than scary. Recognize that YOU have accomplished so much already and before you even know it you’re on the next project. Feel the fear, but do it anyway. Give yourself the credit you deserve, you’ve gotten this far, now take the next step.
- Take Action - In order for you to get ahead and start fresh you need to start implementing steps NOW. It seems there is so much to do, so little time, and you’re only one person. I totally get it. Been there, done that. When losing hope after getting rejected for the last time, I noticed that sitting in the corner hoping for things to just happen for me wasn't realistic. YOU have to hold yourself accountable to your word. You committed yourself to it and you should stick to it. Not because you have to, because you want to.
There’s nothing like starting your spring cleaning projects and not feeling ready. We often want to start new goals and end up feeling overwhelmed and confused because we simply have too much to do already. This is the time of year to get a fresh start and clean out the clutter to make room for new refreshing finds. Get serious about what really matters to you and put your goals into manageable action steps that will help you feel ready for that thing you were looking forward to enjoying this summer!
Now, go out there and get 'em.