I'm just dropping in with a brief update to let you know why you haven't heard from me for quite some time and what's in the works. Since I started this blog about 3 years ago my personal life and health has become the victim of serious "scope creep"! In my passion and enthusiasm for helping people I found myself saying "YES" to so many new clients and new ventures like guest blogging, pursuing coaching training and the very intensive Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization program, press interviews, writing a column, joint ventures, group coaching programs and much more that I found myself working 12-18 hour days, 7 days a week for the last 6 months since I got back from our Thanksgiving vacation. I didn't even take holidays off. The results have not been pleasant to say the least.
Not only have I exhausted myself and my husband, we also have several family events that are requiring a lot of attention. In addition, a storm blew threw our town early this week and took down over 200 trees including 4 on either side of our house. We have a huge cleanup job in front of us.
As a result of all this chaos, I've had to step back and take a long hard look at my commitments and see how I can carve out the time I need to not only fulfill my most important commitments but also work on a plan to get my life back in balance. This past month has required much soul searching and making many VERY painful decisions to say "NO" to activities that I REALLY LOVE, but have to stop for a while so that I can "sharpen the saw" as Stephen Covey says.
Since this is a blog about keeping life NEAT & SIMPLE, I thought I'd share with you my current plan taking a "Summer of Seeking Simple Sustainable Success". After all, it's not success when everyday becomes painful to get through.
I'm using a model suggested by my friend Dwayne Melancon of "Genuine Curiousity" : It's called Stop, Start, Continue.
I have made a list of Activities that I will stop or finish up, some that I will start, and some will continue.
STOP (Some may restart again in September or October)
- Cannot accept any new clients until probably September or October.
- Cannot accept or initiate any New work-related Projects until a current project is completed or unless I delete a current project. This is going to be REALLY HARD!!!!
- Put a hold on all "non-paid" writing activities like blogging and my monthly column (I already miss this)
- Stop reading all blogs for the summer at least
- Stop doing in-home residential organizing work and also will no longer have any organizers working for me. Instead I will refer all residential work to others.
- I will be refocusing my business to individual and group coaching, teaching, blogging and other writing. This transition should be completed by October and I hope to start blogging regularly by then.
- Create a master time schedule with time blocks that ensure I make time for family, social life and friends, volunteer work, home, self-care, professional development, and time off.
- Simplifying home maintenance and garden to take up less time and energy.
- Focusing more on my health this summer.
- Working on NSGCD certification program assignments and complete all the Book analyses and other time consuming assignments this summer.
- Reading and studying for my ADD specialist exam in September
- Preparing for NSCGD Conference in September.
- Working with current residential organizing, coaching, and business consulting clients until I reduce my client hours to 16 per week and phase out all residential clients or transition them to coaching for maintenance.
- Complete 5 major projects I committed to work on for clients that have been suffering and dragging out due to my overcommitment.
- Working on a sustainable master plan and calendar to take my blogging to a whole new level and to continue the AWESOME joint ventures underway, and the new group coaching work I've been doing. I can't wait to tell you more about the new vision for Neat & Simple and for me.
As much as I love everything I do, there is a point when even doing things you love can run you into the ground. Letting oneself become exhausted and melting down is NOT a sustainable life strategy. Periodic reviews like this are what help keep me sane.
So for now, I'm putting this blog and all other online life on hold, but I look forward to returning in the fall with a renewed spirit and the capacity to focus on the coaching and writing work that allows me to serve more people and that gives me a sense of meaning and purpose that I can't even begin to describe.
Thank you all for reading this. I hope you will continue to subscribe to this blog and stay tuned to see how my "Summer of Seeking Simplified Sustainable Success" turns out : )
I wish you all a wonderfully simple and satisfying summer that renews your spirit!
Yours in seeking the simple life,
Ariane : )