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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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Simple Way to Be Daring and Mess With Your Balance

Words like harmony, evenness, stability and symmetry come to mind when I think about balance. Yet to find that right balance, we have to shake things up to enter a more calm and balanced state. I also equate balance with a certain amount of predictability or sameness.

Here’s the thing. What if we purposefully decided to poke at our balanced state in order to change that status quo? What if we made one small change? That might be forming a new habit like waking up or going to bed earlier. It might mean tasting a new food you never thought you’d like. It could mean letting go of something old to replace something new coming in. Changing the balance on purpose might open your perspective to something you hadn’t thought of before. One small change could unleash a host of possibilities.

You might find this odd that I’m suggesting to purposefully mess with the status quo or your balance. This might seem particularly strange coming from a professional organizer who often writes about “finding a balance that’s right for you.” I do see the value of stirring things up every so often.

This inadvertently happened when I was shopping recently for a replacement journal. I’ve kept a journal for over forty years. Every year or so, I buy a new one when the journal is filled. For over ten years, I’ve happily used a black Moleskine® sketchbook journal. I like the thick, smooth paper.

This time the stores didn’t have the exact style that I wanted. The interior paper was either too thin or it had lines, dots or grids. The black-bound, thicker paper, blank Moleskine® journals were not in stock. I did find the right journal with a red (not black) cover. I immediately dismissed the idea of buying the red one. It seemed too radical, too different, and just too scary. All my other journals were black. How could I break from tradition? What would happen if bought a different color? I could feel my heart palpitating at the idea of making an unexpected choice. Was it fear or excitement?

I kept coming back to that question. What would happen if I bought a different color? And then it hit me and I thought,

“Stir things up, Linda! Break with tradition. Try something new.”

As small and insignificant as this may seem, it represented a willingness on my part to be daring. I thought this would be a great way to enter the New Year by messing with (in a good way) or teasing the status quo.

My new, red journal sits on my nightstand ready to be written in. I can’t wait to make my first entry. I know. I know. It’s just a journal…a red one. However, there’s something about the red color, the different color that suggests interesting possibilities, inspired ideas, new experiences, and unexpected surprises. There’s also something quite cheery about the red. It’s bold. It’s bright. It’s hope wrapping the pages of days yet to be.

Have you ever purposefully messed with your balance? Has one tiny change unleashed new possibilities? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation! 





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Reader Comments (10)

I love the idea of doing something that feels daring. If I put boundaries on the risk (e.g. "just this once"), it feels less threatening and sort of exciting. Often I think we try and make too big a change at once, but the idea of just dipping a toe into a new experience is invigorating and tantalizing. I love that red journal - you go, girl.. and may that beautiful color inspire you and bring you joy all year!

December 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- Oh yes! Being daring can be so freeing. What a cool idea you suggested about putting boundaries around risk. Doing a type of risk assessment before jumping in. I suppose that's what I did with the journal purchase. I realized that the "risk" was non-existent. It was only in my mind. And as you described, but saying "yes" to something different it was invigorating. Thank you for your good wishes around the "red" journal. I'm exited to see what happens for me and for others that opt to dare.

December 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

'...And why is this night different?' Or this journal? You've moved from order and introduced the distraction of being different. All of those years of successful consistency represented by the black journals. Now you're shaking up the norm, but still maintaining the purpose. And the significance of red! Red is the color of excitement, but your life has been so incredibly rich, even with the boring black journals. So let the red declare that this coming year will be different, even if it's just moving away from comforting patterns to uncover new dimensions. All of that in a journal cover! Alas, part of me envies your ability to have maintained consistency for so long... LOL!

December 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Lasky

I love that you are embracing change! Over the years I have come to embrace change and shake things up a bit at a time. I changed planners this year too and it was a learning curve. I knew I needed a change and this has prompted me to make stuff happen. Love that we are both on board with sometimes shaking things up makes life richer and more in sync with our needs.

December 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

This post has me excited about ways I may be able to shake things up too!

December 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Susan- You made me smile. Thank you for the wonderful your phrase, "moving away from comforting patterns to uncover new dimensions." YES!!! Consistency is good up to a point, right? I actually am also learning something new too...but I'll wait until mid January to share more about that. So excited!!!

@Ellen- You're a mover and shaker too! What made you decide to change planners this year? And what planner did you choose? Paper? Digital? So curious. Have fun shaking!

@Janet- I can't wait to hear more about your "shaking!" I bet wonderful things will happen for you.

December 21, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I'm a creature of habit (I guess most of us probably are) so I'll probably need to be reminded. I hope you'll cover this topic again in a future post!

Interestingly, I got a reminder already since typing the above. When I clicked on the "Preview Post" button, a new button appeared that said "Make Changes".

December 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- I think some of us are more "creatures of habit" than others. I think about habits often...the pull between having good, consistent, heatlhy ones and stirring things up. From an organizational standpoint, there are helpful habits lead to less stress and calmer living/working environments. But from a brain growth perspective, CHANGING things up is so healthy for our development. Even something as simple as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand can make a different with the development of new neural pathways.

I love what you noticed when posting...a personal call to action: "Make Changes." What a great reminder that opportunities to grow and morph come from the most unlikely places.

December 24, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

One change I made last year was going back to a paper planner for a time. I feel like my old system of electronic calendars had become blase and I just started ignoring the tasks I needed to get done. Switching it up for a time got me refocused and skyrocketed my productivity. I am back to the electronic calendar, but I do my planning in the paper calendar now and transfer tasks and appointments once a day. The paper calendar has become a productivity and notes journal, and I love it. Changing it up helped me to discover new ways to plan and succeed with my goals. Great Post!

January 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Steele

@Jaime- How awesome that you figured out a way to enhance your productivity by switching your routine. On the one hand, routines help us to be consistent with what we want to do. On the other hand, we can become bored or complacent with habits. So the idea of switching things up is great to do when that boredom sets in. Way to go, Jaime for figuring out what it was you needed!

January 4, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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