Featured Member: Jess Beauchemin

With a new year comes new ideas and projects. At PEERS we’re going to feature an individual member/business in between weekly blog posts or on the off weeks that our blog writer misses our meeting (I missed this week’s meeting 😦 ). Up first is Jess Beauchemin of JessBFit | Personal Training and Yoga. Since this is a new feature what I’m actually going to do this round is re-blog her most recent blog post about making room for change in your life.

“I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t found any time for myself,” said me, last week. It pains me to hear these words from my clients, and somehow I let those same words slip out of my mouth. I’m not alone in this culture of busyness, where it seems we are able to fill up every single second of time with scheduled activities, chores, and appointments. Even when a moment is not scheduled, there’s something to do: get an oil change, clean the bathroom, make lunches for the week, wait on hold listening to classical music. There simply seemed to be no space in the day to just be. This left me feeling frustrated and lacking control in my own life.

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The same phenomenon can happen in physical space. The basement gets filled with stuff you’re sure you’ll regret throwing out, your desk is lost in various piles of paper and things to do, the closet becomes a black hole for whatever you don’t put away neatly. Objects that may have been useful in the past, but are not today, still clutter your home. A lack of physical space can cause stagnation and congestion on a physical and mental level and prevent you from moving forward.

A lack of space in your schedule or your environment, it seems, can form a barrier to change. So then, how do you overcome this barrier?

Clear out your schedule

Clearing your schedule doesn’t mean canceling all your appointments next week and booking a flight to Hawaii (or does it?). You can take a less drastic approach. One way to fit in some self-care time is to book it on your calendar. This strategy has been particularly helpful for me, since I’m in charge of determining most of my work schedule. I’ve got a red block in my calendar that says “OFF” and you’d need a really good reason to get on my schedule then. You could schedule an appointment for something relaxing, like a massage, meditation session, coffee date with a friend, or an evening away from the kids. The local YMCA in Albany, Oregon plans events designed to address the latter. Parent’s Night Out provides inexpensive child care, with crafts and activities for the kids at the Y while their parents get some time off! It’s a brilliant idea.

Clean out your space

Reading this headline might make you cringe. That box of baseball trophies from when you were in elementary school? Toss it. Do you know how much stuff is in your house? In your car? In your office? Get a jump start on spring cleaning and start making some space right now. Have a yard sale, take a trip to Goodwill, or put a bunch of listings on eBay.

Recently, my friends Anthony and Rebecca set up a challenge for themselves: they committed to take 60 days to declutter their house in order to make space for change. I’ll let them tell you more. Here’s their clever video:

If you really do need your stuff, maybe you just need a better system of organization. Perhaps you could use a remodel or some simple redecoration. It’s amazing how a little cleaning and sprucing up can change the character of a space. For example, let’s say you’ve made a commitment to working out at home. You’ve even set aside an exercise room that has your exercise bike, yoga mat and other little workout gadgets. But the room is dusty, has unfinished walls, poor lighting, and also doubles as storage for your significant other’s massive record collection. You can barely motivate yourself to go in there. It’s no wonder you’re finding every excuse not to work out. Take some time to make the space comfortable, inviting, useful, and enjoyable. If you’re still making excuses, well, the environment may not be the issue.

To find more more practical examples of how to de-clutter your space, follow Anthony and Rebecca’s progress at Clean Up and Cash In. Or try the Australian blog 365 Less things.

Support change in your life by creating more space in your schedule and your environment. Take the time to create some space and notice what happens. I’d love to hear all about it.

What’s one thing you can do today to re-imagine your space or time? Share your tips, successes and comments below.

Resources to declutter your life

Clear Your Clutter, Find Your Life from Whole Living

Forget Time Management: Why You Should Practice Choice Management Instead from Entrepeneur

Managing Your Busy-Ness from Co-Support

If you would like to read more about what Jess is up to, the classes she’s offering, or general health & nutrition go to her webpage and blog!

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