Three Vital Reasons to Ditch Perfectionism in the New Year

Hello.  My name is Brenna, and I’m a recovering perfectionist.  

That’s right. I said it.  I struggle with perfectionism.   Or as I like to call it, being an overachiever.  For some reason that just sounds less offensive.  You know, more playful.  Less anal.  Whatever makes me feel better, right?

Let me back up for a second.  I’m assuming you all know and struggle with perfectionism too.  But, just in case you don’t (You lucky thing, you!) or you’re in a deep state of denial as was I, I’ll start at the beginning.

First of all, what IS perfectionism? 

According to dictionary.com, perfectionism is defined as a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands the highest degree of excellence and rejects anything less. 

A PERSONAL standard DEMANDING the HIGHEST degree of excellence REJECTING anything less. 

Those are some pretty harsh words right there.

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Cast Your Cares- AKA The Brain Dump

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed.  Stressed out.  Beaten.  Devoured by life and its responsibilities.  

Raise your hand if you’ve ever dreamed of running away.  Of starting over.  Of leaving with nothing but the clothes on your back and hightailing it. The destination doesn’t matter all that much, does it?  You just want out.  

I’d like to introduce you to a very special person in my life.  A confidant of mine.  Someone who’s never let me down or betrayed my trust.  Someone who answers whenever I call and has never judged me, no matter how pathetic or overwhelmed I may be.  

The Brain Dump.  

A good friend and mentor of mine prefers to call it the Brain Blossom.  She thinks it lends a more positive, less gross connotation to this handy little strategy but personally?  My brain doesn’t blossom.  It doesn’t open up and flourish.   Something beautiful and delicate isn’t unfurled. 

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The Goal-Setting Tip that Changed My Life

Time is a precious commodity. 

And, regardless of your life station, time is the great equalizer. 

Whether you’re a billionaire or a college kid scraping to get by, we all have the same number of hours, minutes, and seconds of a day. 

When we waste time, we can never get it back. 

When you really think about it, time is our most precious commodity. 

There are a plethora of resources available to help plan your day. Some even go so far as to help you set goals.  So what’s missing? 

We’re missing the forest for the trees. We’ve got it all backward. We seem to focus on so heavily on our day that we miss our lives.

While it’s great to have goals and plans, we have to be cautious. 

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15

We can have the best-laid plans, but ultimately God decides.

Am I advocating we plan nothing? Of course not. I just think we need a different approach.

So what is the goal-setting tip that changed my life?

Creating legacy goals

Rather than planning my day and setting a few arbitrary goals, I spent time figuring out what really matters to me.

We’ve been doing it backwards…. planning our day, reaching a short term goal, and maybe reaching a long term goal. And if we really thought about it, we’d realize what we’ve been doing doesn’t even matter in the grander scheme of life.

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What Being Disorganized Really Says About You

I think it’s time we had a little talk, me and you.  

A frank discussion about what the disorganization in your life truly means.  

Maybe what it’s a symptom of.  

Maybe what it’s costing you.  

An open, honest, and perhaps even a little uncomfortable conversation about the truth of living a disorganized life.  

Perhaps a dialog about unnecessary busy-ness.   Empty busy-ness that adds nothing of value to your day.  To your legacy.  

A discourse on how disorganization effects things like your time, money, and energy.  How it impacts your relationships and the joy you experience, or don’t, on a daily basis. 

Deep breath.  It’s truth time.

You ready? 

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11 Questions to Ask Yourself About How You Use Your Time

Time.

Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster define it as “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues”. 

The Rolling Stones claim it’s “…On my side. Yes, it is.”

According to the Steve Miller Band, it “…Keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future”.

And Ecclesiastes 3 assures us that “For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven…”  

In my professional opinion?  Time is our absolute greatest commodity.  And we squander the crap out of it. 

I’m not just talking about procrastination here.  You know, the act of putting something off until the last minute.

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Your Organization Questions Answered: Part 1 (Systems, Labels, and Kid's Artwork)

People ask me questions all the time.

All. The. Time.

 As soon as someone figures out what I do for a living, one of two things happen.  Either the questions start rapid fire or they slowly back away, first murmuring and then shouting words that sound a whole lot like “She can never come to my house.  NEVER COME TO MY HOUSE.”

Now, those questions I get asked?  Sometimes they’re just straight up curiosity about the things I have seen, and OH SWEET MOTHER, you should see some of the things I’ve seen.  I have seen some STUFF, lemme tell you.  Rarely, if ever, do I run screaming and crying in the opposite direction though.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I actually never run screaming and crying in the opposite direction as long as someone is open for a little bit of help.  

If you’re sitting there shaking your head thinking “This chick hasn’t been to my house yet!” Lemme tell you a little secret.  There’s always going to be someone who’s in better shape than you are, and there’s always gonna be someone who’s in worse shape than you are.  And let’s get this straight right up front- There is no shame in my organizing game.

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The Secret to Organizing When You Don't Know Where to Start

Picture this.  

Your eyes flutter open. 

Still nestled in your cozy bed, you realize today isn’t just an ordinary day.  You realize today is…special.  You almost feel… Huh.  You’re not sure.  It’s been years since you’ve felt this way.  Is it?  Could it be?  Are you motivated?  Your heart starts to pound.  Yes!  YES!  You’re motivated.  REALLY motivated.  So motivated that you wonder for a split second if you’ve been body snatched.  As you briefly ponder what body snatching even means, you pinch yourself to make sure this isn’t some cruel dream.  

All at once, the craziest idea flits through your brain.  THIS is the day you’ve been waiting for.  Been praying for.  This is the day you’re finally gonna tackle your--cue dramatic music--OFFICE.  

Well, no one in your family actually calls it an office anymore. It’s actually known as “The Room You Throw Yourself in Front of If Company Shows Up Before You Can Slam the Door.”  

Today is the day.  THE. DAY!  It’s organizing day, baby!

You leap out of bed, shoving children and pets out of your way.  You’re ready!  You’re finally ready!  Sprinting through the house, you smell victory in the air.  You’re gonna show your office who’s boss today.  No longer will it mock you.  No longer will it hold 250 square feet of your home hostage.   Those craft and office supplies, piles of paperwork, broken toys, outdated phones, and discarded purses?  Well, by the end of the day they’ll be begging you for mercy along with all the other crap you’ve tossed in there for the past six months.  

Before your family can distract you, you’ve barricaded yourself inside.  A chair is shoved under the door knob because your youngest has an uncanny ability to pick locks.  You pause to catch your breath.

You’ve got everything you need.  Motivation.  Heart.  Determination.   Your right hand reaches out for the light switch.  You take one more deep breath and smile broadly in the shadowed room.  THIS. IS. IT. 

 

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3 Must Have Tools to Organize Anything

Mmmmm there’s nothing quite like it, is there?  The anticipation.  The thrill of the chase.  The forbidden visions that frolic behind our eyelids… You weren’t expecting it.  You definitely weren’t seeking it out, but here it is.  Opportunity.  Want.  That burgeoning sense of desire building in your gut. You bite your lip as you luxuriate in your options… Do you dare? 

Your mind made up, the world fades away as you reach towards your intended… Your fingers gently caressing your beloved as the last vestiges of doubt fade from your mind.  Perhaps you exhale to clear your thoughts.  At the very least a satiated smile overcomes your countenance.  Ahhhhhhh…. AND IT’S ON SALE! IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY!

Yes, ladies and gentleman, those good-looking organizing tools will get you every time.  It’s like you have a sign tattooed across your forehead that shouts “I LOVE ME SOME ORGANIZING TOOLS!  I DON’T KNOW HOW I’M GOING TO USE YOU, BUT YOU’RE COMIN’ HOME WITH ME TODAY!  I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO MEET ALL OF MY OTHER UNDERUTILIZED ORGANIZING PRODUCTS!”

Yep, yep, yep.  I’ve been there myself.  Quite often, actually.   Oh, I’ve been seduced.  The cuter they are, the harder I fall.  

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8 Ways Living An Organized Life is A LOT Like Your Walk With Jesus

God is not a god of chaos.  He just… isn’t.  He isn’t down with disorder or confusion.  (1 Corinthians 14:33 BTW I may have paraphrased a little bit!) I mean, really?  Could He have made such efficient use of seven days if he was all discombobulated?  Heck, no.  

God is all about organization.  All about order.  And I love it.  I absolutely love it.  It’s good to know at least someone’s got His ducks in a row, right?  That’s not where the whole God/organizing parallel ends though.  No, no, no.   There are actually a number of parallels between living an organized life and living a life lovin’ the Father,  the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Don’t worry, I’ve only highlighted eight of them!

1. Constant effort is required

You don’t just make the mental decision and then-BOOM- your life is sunshine and waterfalls. 

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