Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fall Cleaning

Over the past year, I forgot the joy that can come with waking up with the sun. Since moving to Israel, we have shifted our habits towards getting up a little later, staying up a little later, mostly because that seems to be more of the norm here.

Yet the past few weeks have been busy (when we've been in Tel Aviv, that is) and alarms before 6 am have started to be set again. And while it’s not like I pop out of bed energized and ready to go, when I actually am out of bed, I’m glad that I am.

I kind of like shuffling around in the haze of the morning, needing some lamp light as I take a few minutes in the morning to write. My coffee seems to be more of a warm friend than just a morning staple, and even the dogs don't want to be up yet.

Anyways. Onto the topic at hand. This past weekend Andrew and I took some time to do some fall cleaning/planning. And it was great - and since it's that time of year when we could all potentially use a little motivation pre-holidays, I thought I would share some thoughts.

Now, I've always found planning/organizing to be riveting, I love that shit. But if you personally feel on point with setting goals, staying organized, etc. - or you feel like this post might put you to sleep - then go ahead and click away now. No hurt feelings.

I love goals, always have always will. Yet to be super upfront, I'm not very good at actually following through on those goals.

Why is that, Kait?  

Well recently I realized that you can't just set goals. You can't just write them up on a board, and be like OK I WILL NOW MAGICALLY LEARN HEBREW this month. Doesn't happen that easily - at least not for me. 

(I've been saying since we moved here that I will actively teach myself Hebrew via apps, podcasts, etc. Not like conversational Hebrew, but words and phrases - which I have organically been learning some over the past year. However, three times now I have set the goal to 'practice Hebrew' and three times, I hardly practiced Hebrew.)

Enter: Systems. Systems - or methods - are the plan that you put in place to actually stay on track.

As a disclaimer, none of what I'm writing are my original ideas - and if you want to read more about where I first read about it, here you go.

I see systems as the game plan that you go back to; where you check things off.
More on that in a minute.

I am lucky enough to work for someone who is HUGE on self-development, reading new ways of doing things, you name it. He's constantly throwing articles at me, book suggestions, etc. As an English major, I'm a sad excuse for a book reader. However last month knowing that we had two back to back trips coming up, Andrew and I ordered a few of the books that he recommended to have for our plane time.

I won't sit here and list out the books and give full-on reviews. But what I will do is tell you a few things we did the past week or so - systems we have set up - that we feel have really put us on track.

1. We 'fall cleaned'. This was mostly just my idea, the apartment needed a deep cleaning, and in the process we threw out a bunch of stuff we didn't need. It's rejuvenating, and something that I now believe should be done with every season - because honestly it's just good for your soul.

2. Make a system.  I have a variety of goals and improvements I want to make in my life the last few months of this year (and into 2018). Here is what I have in place for October:

super high-tech, I know

And it's working. Why? Because the empty boxes are there, screaming my name. It's the reason I currently have the numbers 5 6 and 7 written on my hand in Hebrew, so that I learn how to say them today.

3. (This is so mature I can't believe I'm about to type this) Do a check of your finances. Where do you stand, do you have goals in place - and do you have SYSTEMS to make sure you're following up on those goals?

That sounds super boring I know, I was REALLY resistant with Andrew about it for a long time. But we both read one book in particular (if you want the name, message me) that made us realize there are a lot of easy things we can be doing to save more efficiently. And it's not like 'stop ordering your lattes' and 'don't buy organic oranges' - it's way bigger picture than that. So on top of fall cleaning this past weekend, we also set up a few automatic systems to be a little bit more financial savvy. 

Again, I can't believe I'm writing about money, but I wouldn't write about it if I didn't think it was important - and easy for anyone to do.

That's it. Three fairly simple things, that honestly put us both in good moods, and made us feel well-equipped moving forward. I would also show you an example of Andrews "system" that he has written on our white board, but honestly I can't even understand what it says.

If you were looking for some motivation, hopefully this gave you a little bit. If you have officially moved me into the category of 'boring people in your life' - I apologize - but hey, I'm four months out from 30 years old so I guess you should have seen it coming  ;)

Cheers -