by Donna Stellhorn
It’s January, and we are between New Year and the Lunar New Year. Typically at this time of year, we imagine how we want our lives to change over the next 12 months. We think about the resolutions we have made in the context of establishing better habits in our lives, and we have begun (or at least are thinking about beginning) to make efforts to make these changes happen!
This year, 2017, the feeling is even stronger! This is a “1” year. When you add 2+0+1+7, you get 10, and 1+0 equal 1. A “1” year signals new beginnings, a fresh start, an opportunity to try a new path or plan. Also, we’re entering a Rooster Year. Rooster energy is one of managing resources and capitalizing on opportunities. This will be the Year of the Fire Rooster! As we feel the Rooster energy this year, we’ll find ourselves being more decisive, focused and ready to work towards our goals.
Feng Shui can help us keep our resolutions. Let’s examine three popular resolutions: working on a side business; losing weight; and finding a new relationship. Let’s explore some easy changes we can make to focus and stay on track.
The number one tip I have for you is to create an environment that supports your goals. After so many years of doing Feng Shui, it’s gratifying to finally see big-time authors like Gary Keller and Tim Ferriss talk about the importance of having a supportive environment. It turns out it’s crucial for success. Distractions in the environment can derail even the most dedicated person. Let’s think about what it means to set up your environment correctly, so it can support you when you’re not feeling particularly motivated or strong.
Let’s take the first popular resolution: getting a side business going. If this is your goal, chances are you’ve already cleared out a space for a home office and have your computer ready to go. Now it’s just a matter of getting into that office. Between the door to the house and your office door, you can run into a whole series of distractions. You may have a large TV in your living room, and just opposite the TV sits a comfy sofa. The remote, with it’s friendly, easy-to-push buttons, is right there on the coffee table. You say to yourself, “I’ll just spend 5 minutes catching up on the evening headlines.”, and then 4 hours later you’re still in front of the TV.
The solution is to make it more difficult to follow the impulse to sit down in front of the TV as you go from your entryway to your office! For example, you could take the batteries out of the remote, or unplug the TV before you leave in the morning. If you must watch the evening news, maybe you can do it from an uncomfortable seat in the living room? Perhaps you can change your schedule upon coming home, and avoid entering the living room at all. Can you have dinner right away, and then go straight from your dinner table to your office?
The point is to identify external hindrances to your goal and find a solution.
If your goal is to lose weight, look to your kitchen to determine whether your environment is helping you or hindering your efforts. Studies show we tend to grab for what’s readily available, something right at eye level. When you open your refrigerator, are the fruit and veggies tucked away in the bins? What’s on the easy-to-see shelves may not be as healthy. Some people advocate removing all sweets and snack foods from the kitchen, but if you have a family, this can be impractical. Instead, simply make it harder to get to the junk food (hide them in the bins and at the back of the shelves) and easier to get to the healthy food (place fruits and veggies at eye level at the front of a shelf).
Back when I had a second refrigerator in the garage, I would store all the snacks in that frig and all the healthy stuff in the frig in the kitchen. Amazingly the extra three minutes it would have taken me to go to the garage was enough to convince me I didn’t want a sweet snack. It curbed the impulse to grab a cookie.
You can do this with pantry items as well. Place the candy and chips on a very high shelf, or far back in a deep cupboard. If you find you have to get on your hands and knees to crawl into a cupboard each time in order to retrieve your favorite cookies, you will eat less of them. This is just one example of dozens of things you can do in your kitchen to reduce distractions and improve your chances of weight loss success.
Finally, let’s think about how your home environment affects you as you look for a new relationship. When looking for love, one of the keys to success is to get out of the house and meet someone! This can be challenging when you’ve come home from a full day at your job. How can you muster the energy to change your clothes and get out the door again? For some people, this can be a serious obstacle. Home may be filled with comforting distractions, essential daily tasks, and home improvement projects.
In this case, keep the things you need to get you out of the house again right next to the door. The further you get into the house, the harder it is to leave again. In the morning print out the event flyer that has attracted your interest, and tape it to the door. If you’re changing your clothes before you go out, perhaps you can place the appropriate selection in the half bath by the door and change there (taking your work clothes to the hamper or closet later.). Hang a romantic picture by a door you often pass to remind you why you’re out there looking. Consider leaving your cell phone in your car, so you have to return to the car to retrieve it.
These are just some examples. Your situation is unique to you, but you can absolutely set up your home to be a supportive environment for your goals. I would love to help you with this and show you how to shift your environment to bring you success. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org