One of my main intentions for TSS was to help people get their lives in order, so that they could do the inner work needed to change. When making any kind of change in your life, it means expending more energy which requires the need for more rest. Coming home after a long day to a messy home and then needing time to process is too much for anyone. This is why I’d like to go over how much your environment can play a positive role in your day to day life and support you in achieving your goals.
For myself, I was fairly organized but would have neat piles of things I had to do in different places in my home. This clutter was distracting and I would end up ping ponging from one task to another until several tasks were done. Over time, as I continued to work on inner patterns, I also continued to change my environment. This meant keeping what I used and what was important to me, as well as better organizing my spaces and time. Changing my environment also meant looking at my friends and activities I participated in.
I’ve gotten to a place where 90% of my items have a home, are purposeful and match my intentions. Now before I start something, I think of what my intentions are, how long I will spend on those tasks and the order I’d like to go in. This change has allowed me to be calmer, more at ease and focused, as well as more efficient. Through the work I do, I know that setting up an environment to match my intentions has been key in making this change a reality. What I didn’t realize was that there is a whole science to it and reasons why it makes such a difference.
What’s getting in the way of your Spaces
In Making A Goal Friendly Environment Scott H. Young talks about elements in our environment that affect our ability to change and how we can use these same elements to our advantage.
These are the things in your direct surroundings that can evoke certain thoughts and desires to then cause you to act and behave in certain ways. For example, seeing a bag of chips can cause you to salivate and eat them when you are trying to eat healthier.
Direct cues – are when your environment has a direct effect on your decisions. For example, you want to go to the gym in the morning so pack your bag and have it by the door so you can go without having to prepare and procrastinate in the morning.
Indirect cues – are subconscious cues that have indirect effects. For example, if you have a clear desk it’s easier to focus and you are less distracted.
Young notes that, “changing the subconscious influence can begin to subtly shift your entire identity. In other words, by changing the subconscious influence of your environment it begins to change you.”
This is one of the reasons the work I do can be so powerful for individuals, because of the indirect effects it has on a person’s state of being. They feel different, act different and this leads to making better decisions that align with their true self and intentions.
Another reason for creating an environment to match your intentions is that it pushes you to plan and organize your life. Ironically this gives you the Time + Space to allow life to happen, go with the flow and be able to adapt without being depleted.
How to Create An Environment to Match Your Personal Goals
Be clear on what you really want and let go of the rest. This takes time and won’t happen all in one go. It’s better if it doesn’t because it gives you the time to look at patterns, beliefs, or habits that created the clutter and distractions.
Some questions to ask yourself that will help you assess your situation and intentions:
What do you want to focus on in your life right now?
How does this connect to your life purpose?
What do you have in your environment that signals changes that match your intentions? (This includes your friends, colleagues, location, habits, spaces and lifestyle)
Who is around you? How do they support what you want?
Where do you spend your time? How does it match what you want?
How does your environment support your growth and intentions?
What can you let go of that’s getting in the way?
Organize + Design
This means everything from your belongings, to mapping out your week, chores, meal planning, and self care.
Take one step at a time. I always recommend doing your spaces first, this has an immediate positive impact on your time management. Then when you’re finished you can address your schedule, which affects the habits and routines that you need to change.
Remember that intentions are reminders to focus on what you want and what’s important to you. Here are some ways you can get into the habit of checking in and asking yourself in the moment what your intentions are:
Reminders: this can be anything from a dream board, word of the year, post it’s (keep them minimal though), screensavers, etc.
Environment: now that you have created a space to match your intentions how can you do this at work or at home, if you started there. What else can you do to create a space that inspires you to live out your intentions?
People: Birds of a feather flock together. How are the people you are surrounded by in alignment with your intentions? This doesn’t mean getting rid of long time friends. Rather, look at how you can also spend your time doing new things, like joining groups and making new friends to help support your life vision.
Support: Is there a coach, counsellor, book, class or workshop that you can take to help you get the education and/or support to make the changes last?
Boundaries: What boundaries do you need to set for yourself to ensure you stay on track? What do you need to communicate to others?
Being organized and creating an environment to match your goals is a way of life that helps you live out your intention and values.
What can you let go of to create your dream space of inspiration and clarity?