- Just threw out 146 pages of a novel I wrote back in 2009. And it felt great. Bye bye terrible story line. Man, I really beat that dead horse for a while, too. Full misunderstood, starving artist mode and everything. I had to admit it finally; IT WAS TERRIBLE. I can write well, nobody ever has disputed that. But I absolutely wrote, quite possibly, the worst novel of all time. There was no need for this ratty, marked up, physical copy when I have it hoarded on a file somewhere on my Macbook Pro and Google Docs (which I will literally NEVER read over again). If I can detach from old writing which is extremely personal for me, you can do it, too. I realized that there was no room for better writing when I kept holding on to this badly written unfinished project. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I still wanted to finish it- to prove that it wasn’t garbage, to prove I wasn’t garbage. When there’s too many open wounds, too many unfinished projects, you can’t create quality content. You must make peace and get rid of it once and for all, like a bad ex who keeps liking all your instagram pictures or texting “hey” every 6 weeks randomly.
You know what you need to let go of. Get rid of all that knitting. You know you only knit half of 3 scarves, the corner of a baby blanket for a kid who is now 6, and have a ball of unraveled, knotted yarn- not to mention that night we don’t talk about when you used the needles as chopsticks for that late night Chinese food binge after a few drinks.
PS, WHY IS THE WINE ALWAYS GONE?!
- #tornado #chaosmethod #organized#author #writing #novel #girlboss#professionalorganizer #WINE #tidy#decor #wine
Letting go of things that are not necessarily junk or trash and that are in nice condition can difficult.
I mean, you bought that side table 9 years ago and it has just NOT let you down!!
It is easy to think of another use for it or someone we can give it to at some unforseen date in the future. It can make you feel guilty to have made so many purchases that are going to waste. Money you earned and then spent is just sitting there in piles, but Goodwill just doesn’t seem like the right place for it and selling it on ebay just seems like too much of a hassle. And so it goes, back into the box, with a promise to yourself that you’ll use it some day or it will be nice gift to someone. Every once in a while, this gets accomplished. Most of the time, it doesn’t. It sits there.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to let go. Easier said than done, right?
That is because forcing yourself to give something up that you aren’t ready to is attached to the guilt you feel of wasting money on it.
But, you haven’t wasted money on it. Every single thing you’ve ever purchased has had its purpose. Even if you never used it.
This is because purchases that are made when stressed, sad, or discombobulated are made to relieve emotions. Was it a wise purchase? Maybe not. Was it a useful purchase? Most likely not because it has never been used. BUT did it serve it’s purpose? Yes. As petty and mild as it seemed, you bought that item to relieve yourself. Even if you’ve had an addiction to spending, it was a relief of the feelings of addiction. Even if you went through a hard divorce or death, you were spending to cope. I am not here to justify everything you’ve purchased, I’m here to tell you that your purchase did serve a purpose and that you must change your thoughts to give thanks to that object. Be thankful that you had the resources to purchase it at the time and that it relieved you of some type of anguish or made you feel happy at the time.
We cannot cling to the past forever, so owning up to the purpose of the object and then letting it go is the best way to move on.
In the future, there may be some treat or trinket or keepsake you’d like to give as a gift to someone. But, you do not need to hold on to every single gift, every single bargain purchase, every single deal you caught in the meantime. An investment is something that increases value over time- if you purchased things at a discount or received them for free, you need to acknowledge the truth of the objects you are harboring and let them go.
Thank your belongings, acknowledge their purpose they served you, and send them off to someone else , whether that be by goodwill, by ebay or by someone you know, RIGHT NOW.
Today, pick one item that is hard for you to give up but you know it serves absolutely no current purpose. Generate strength and step outside of your comfort zone- hold it in your hands, remember the precise moment you bought it or it was given to you for free, thank it for being there when you needed it to be whether that is through retail therapy or simply having the joy of receiving a gift from someone, and then let it go. Get it out of the house.
The item I am picking today to appreciate is a bunch of clothing I bought too small several years ago that I thought I’d get into and never did. They served a purpose: I was coping with weight gain and trying to set a workout schedule. Buying goal clothes made me feel like I was going to squeeze into those tiny ol shorts in NO TIME and it was exciting.
20 lbs and 5 years later… a tankie has turned into a crop top and a miniskirt has become a bandeau bra. This wasn’t the plan!
I kept them in the closet in the hopes that I’d lose the weight, but I know that even when I do, I sure as hell will not be going back to 5 year old clothing. I will be raiding whatever store where I now fit into a smaller size. Maybe I spent money on something that never had use, but it did fill a need for me back then.
Can you do that? One piece you have been stalling on giving away? Today, do it. Just one.
What can you say goodbye to and thank for serving a purpose, even if it felt like a waste?
I must admit. I enjoy a good rummage through a pile of shit. We all have one of these. Some of us have nothing BUT these. It’s like a secret rebellion against everything calm and collected and structured and pristine in our homes and offices. When the floors are spotless and the dishes are away and the filing cabinets are perfect, somewhere, someone has a secret drawer filled with gum, a pencil, 4 condoms, a rusty razor blade, a chewed nipple from a baby bottle when there are no kids in the house, q-tips, half a granola bar, business cards you couldn’t match to a face if your destroyed liver depended on it, a sock, a mini notebook filled with 3 pages of hopes and dreams, someone’s baby tooth with a cavity in it, and coffee stained magazines you were going to use to cut out for your vision board.
Where’s your secret little hoarder spot? I know you have one. If you say you don’t you’re lying about weird shit.
Yesterday, you were full of brunch and candy and mimosas and possibly the gospel, incense staining your hair- but today…
Today you and I are going to get serious about getting organized.
Serious about getting your sh*t together.
Serious about organizing your diet. Your morning routine. Your work. Your goals. Your emotions. Your body. Your office. Your home. And that terrible garage.
We’re going to do this together, and Im going to push you. Because I used to be a hot mess. And I know what it takes to get it together without compromising creativity or freedom- in fact you’ll be accumulating more.
All of my little tornados are going to calm the natural disaster that are their lives. I’ll be posting here, but the motivation that will light a fire under your ass I’ll be sending via email each week. It’s guaranteed to be the push you were looking for.
So cocky, Monica Fay- how can we be so sure?
Because this is pretty much what I do. It’s me. I’ve been an extreme motivator with an entirely sickening amount of energy and sunny disposition. And I’m about to imprint it allll up on ya so you can achieve any goal you’ve ever lost the fire for.
Lets. Do. This.
Sign up for the email list HERE
See you soon. Leave a comment if you’re IN. Tell me why you need a change.
Let’s keep this momentum going!
Let’s leave the chaos behind. Lets. Get. Activated.
I’ve accomplished some really tough sh*t. I’ve also been an epic quitter.
And what I’ve realized is, no matter how big or small your goal is, no matter how motivated you are, no matter what tools, time, or “accountability partners” are available to you, if you don’t have the commitment to getting to the end result, nothing will get you there.
But isn’t that what we’re all searching for? How to STAY COMMITTED?
That’s the hard part, the task we are hoping to achieve isn’t THAT difficult if we really think about it. There’s so much information on HOW to accomplish something- weight loss, writing a book, running a marathon, making a million dollars- but all the information in the world doesn’t put that unwavering determination into place.
After feeling for many years that my life was a series of unfinished dreams, things I started and never actually completed, I knew enough was enough. I was tired of explaining to people who were excited about my ideas that I had shared with them that I had put that plan on the “back burner” or that it was “coming along”, knowing that I hadn’t worked on it in months. The worst was telling people that I was, yet again, “starting fresh”.
Starting fresh. I hate hearing that. Most of the time, we don’t need to “start fresh”. We need to KEEP GOING.
What some of us do in our goal seeking is make a mistake, quit (or just do it here and there), and then feel really bad about it and vow to start over.
When you screw up, do NOT go back to the beginning. That’s like driving to a friend’s house for the first time and every time you make a wrong turn, you just drive all the way back home so that you can start over fresh. Get back on the correct freeway and KEEP GOING!
Here are the 5 Steps I use to achieve all of my goals (like the time I ran two 26.2 mile marathons two weeks apart from each other and fainted in the middle of the second and had to be carried into an ambulance by 4 hot Marines.)
1. The Clear End Result
What, exactly are you going to accomplish? Set that down. That very, very clear result you desire. Do not make it unclear, it must be VERY specific.
This is an example of unclear: I want to lose weight. Here is clear: I want to fit into a size 4, I want to weigh 140.
Unclear: I want to travel more. Clear: I want to go to Spain in May 2014.
Unclear: I want to get out of debt. Clear: I want all of my credit cards to have a zero balance and my credit score to be 740.
2. Work Backwards.
Most people want to run at their goal from the start line. Well, when I was running my marathon, even though I hadn’t run the course yet, there were markers directing me where to go next, how far I’ve gone and what I’ve accomplished. There was also a course map provided to give me an idea of the elevation I would hit, the hills ahead of me, and bathroom and water stations.
Why don’t we do this for business? And for weight loss? And for wealth goals?
Starting with the end in mind, plot backwards. What is the one thing that has to happen immediately before you reach your goal before it happens? What has to happen for THAT last step to happen? What “mile markers” are there for you along the way to your goal that tell you that you’ve made progress? WHat will it take to reach each of those indicators?
When you have a clear map of how to get there (from the end point), you end up right where you are now: at the start. But this time, you know where to go.
3. The Routine
Commit to a schedule. Hey, you don’t skip meals very often do you? I mean, maybe you have a bad day and forgot to bring lunch to work on the same day that you were running out and couldn’t grab breakfast. But you’re right back at it the next day, like clockwork, eating your weird little tuna sandwich and coconut water.
“That’s silly Monica, we need food consistently to survive, to have brain power, to have energy.”
Well, why is it so important to feed your body if you’re going to starve your goals?
Give your dreams the DAILY nourishment they need to survive, have power and energy to be accomplished.
Every day, without fault, you should be doing something that moves you forward. It should feel WEIRD to not feed your goal on an off day. You should feel starving when you miss a day.
4. The Mantra
The one thing that keeps me going each day to reach a goal is my mantra. I usually pick 3 words or a sentence. When I am running, I say a phrase over and over in my head (and it eventually becomes real words, I know people on the street think I’m talking to myself) . I say something like, “You can do this, run more, keep running. You can do this, you can do this. Just to the tree. Just to the tree. You can run to that tree.” Over and over and over, I obsessively fill my head with encouraging chatter, the same variations of sentences over and over and over. And it pushes me. Then when I get to the tree, I don’t want to stop there. I then make more dialogue in my head to drown out the fatigue, the “I’m fat”, the “ok I think I went far enough for today” chatter. “Go, go, go, you’re fast today. Keep running, keep running, look how close we are. Just to the stop sign, just to the stop sign. Hello stop sign, just to the light pole just to the light pole”. I find a rhythm and it becomes addictive and almost euphoric.
5. The Heart
Use your tears to give you a reason to keep going. The depression. The hurt. The anger. Did you really feel this hurt just to give up NOW? Really?
Did you work this hard this past week restricting yourself of food or social media or buying things just to give it all up?? When it gets tough to keep going and you want to break down, think to yourself, I am not going to quit because I’m crying. I’m going to cry to keep going. The pain is the point that means you are ALMOST clear of the addiction to a passive lifestyle. The pain is the end of your old habits physically being transformed into new, amazing behavior, which will get you that goal.
Let’s Keep This Momentum Going.
Come hang out with me on Facebook so I can motivate the hell out of you to get organized and get going.
So! Exciting news!
I’ve created a daily to-do list, organizer, daily planner, whatevahhh to keep you organized! It is a combination of some of the best organizing techniques I’ve come across for myself and it is bright and fun to use- it even has a hydration tracker! I added the hydration tracker because your daily water intake is ESSENTIAL to concentration levels and keeping your ishhh together.
You can download it for free OR if you love having a notepad to write on like I do because somehow handwriting things just makes your thoughts come together better, grab the notepad!
If you did plan on buying it, I have a coupon code for ya that is only good for about a week because it’s a new thing and I just want you to have all the snazz immediately!
ust enter your name and email below and I’ll send it to you ASAP.
OH SNAP! We’re about to get ORGANIZED and PUMPED! and HYDRATED!
Also, if you haven’t struggled on over to hang out with me on Facebook yet, GET ON OVER THERE, you silly wombat!
My client *Nina yesterday started pacing back and forth.
“I just feel really anxious right now. I just feel kind of upset!” she said, exasperated, as she wore circles in the floor going from the kitchen, to the office, then back to the kitchen. “I just didn’t realize how much stuff I had or how bad my disorganization and clutter is!”
I said to her calmly, as I sat with a pile of disks fanning away from me like a ballerina tutu made of CDs instead of tulle, “That is normal. We don’t realize the burden we’ve accumulated because we put it in boxes and folders and closets because it looks presentable and manageable, but all we’ve really done is found a way to store and not deal.”
What she was going through is completely normal. She’s not a hoarder- but 20 minutes into our Chaos session, she felt like she was one.
Why? Because I made her face all of her sh*t. I made her take it all out and go through every bit of it. And she had a mini panic attack.
That’s normal. That will happen, should happen, and there’s something amazing that happens after you go through it.
But here’s the truth for anyone who is an actor, singer, song writer, model, entrepreneur, etc in LA:
You are overwhelmed because you have too much shit (even if it is “neat”) and you’ve made it literally impossible for your career to move forward until it is taken care of.
We were in her tiny washroom which had been converted to her office/music studio. It was the size of a small apartment bathroom. She had a closet, a desk, a chair and small table.
Inside the typically deep shelved, non-functional closet that apartment renters in LA know all too well about (seriously, who designed these terrible closets across the entire city???) , Nina had a massive amount of office supplies, 3 ring binders for organizing taxes and business info, bins of wires for her electronics and music devices, keepsakes, hundreds of CDs for her singing demo and other musical influences, a dream board that was curling and faded on the wall, inspirational quotes cut out of a magazine and pinned to the wall, extra pieces of furniture that had been pushed to random corners that took up prime real estate where she should have had open space, pictures, and on top of all that, dust.
This is not the house of a hoarder. This is the room of an artistic, talented, beautiful, intelligent 20-something fantastic woman who, in the heart of LA, is trying to simultaneously grow a business and jumpstart her music career.
Which is pretty effing awesome, if you ask me. Yet, typical.
Very. Very. Typical. For LA, at least.
In LA, a heavy percent of the population is an aspiring something who has another job on the side. For Nina in particular, she was doing ALL THREE! Job, startup AND music. And she was trying her best to live a healthy and organic lifestyle.
Talk about pressure.
Here’s where the breakdown happens. It isn’t because she isn’t talented, isn’t creative enough, doesn’t have a good enough business idea or even because she doesn’t have the proper connections.
The issue is her power and effectiveness over her environment. She doesn’t have it. But she desperately wants it and needs it. To-do lists make you feel like you have it. Binders and plastic bins make you physically feel like you are achieving it. But those are temporary escapes.
Even though things are (somewhat) neatly tucked away, she is literally drowning in the disconnect between clutter, organizing finances, organizing her career, and keeping papers and other items tucked away that are old, unnecessary and yet another thing added to the always amassing, yet vague, “To-Do List” in the back of the brain.
The problem is common and it is debilitating to anyone who is trying to start a business, move a business forward, increase their income, have a thriving artistic career or feeling at peace. There is always a feeling that something isn’t completed, something needs to be done, something has to be taken care of. And this incompleteness lasts for years! YEARS, on very small, seemingly simple tasks. Like installing a new water filter that has already been purchased and is still in the box.
To battle this and try to be successful at what the rest of the population considers “getting a lucky break” would overwhelm even the toughest cookie.
As the session moved forward and Nina and I, together, battled everything in only her studio/office closet, the panic started to subside and I could see her energy level raise.
First, she hesitated to even throw away a broken straw purse that she had intended to fix the strap of for years. She put it to the side.
Then, as we rooted through her demo cds, boxes of antiquated and outdated headshots, notebooks full of old song ideas, taxes, and motivational self-help books, Nina left the room with a stained ottoman to dump in the trash. When she came back, she picked up the purse. “I don’t need it do I? Do you think this is cute?”
“Honestly it looks like the filler from the bottom of an Easter basket.”
She looked at me, slightly offended at my bluntness, then laughed. “You’re right. I’m being ridiculous. I don’t know why I was so hellbent on holding on. It was just going to stay tucked away neatly for another 3 years. I don’t even know where to go to fix it, and I don’t even have the interest in looking up a place on the internet.”
She tossed it.
Then, it was like a weight had been lifted. Nina started tackling the box of headshots, then the cabinet full of boxes for electronics, you know, the ones you keep for years in case they ever break.
She started moving faster and with ease, as if she knew exactly what she was doing, where things should go, what was necessary to let go of.
We haven’t finished yet- but at the end of our Chaos session, Nina and I have a plan in progress.
Each thing her life that she is devoted to, music and her organic greens business, will have a section of flawless detail.
Paperwork, forms, schedules, supplies, marketing material, tracking of income, tracking of advertising, taxes.
All of it, purged, simplified, and each with it’s own neat area and system. After acknowledging everything that has been tucked away, we threw away the unnecessary, put back the essentials, then formed an organizational plan for her sales, her music marketing, her income tracking and her resources.
Because you can’t reach your potential of success when the clutter overwhelms your creative.
How creative could you possibly be on a canvas that has already been painted and trashed, compared to a blank white canvas?
Stay tuned– Next article is the 6 Steps to take to Battle Overwhelm and Get It Done Once and For ALL! and How to Be a Success in LA
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