Today, March 30, is National I Am In Control Day. I did a little research on this day and how it came about, and interestingly enough the day began when past Secretary of State Alexander Haig said, “As of now, I am in control here in the White House” after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Since then, I Am In Control Day has been a day where people are encouraged to take control of their life and find the leader within themselves. But how do you avoid daily chaos and get things in your life under control? Here are 11 ways to do this:
1) Use a planner and make lists
Organization is key to leading a chaos-free life. I LIVE by the daily post-it notes of to-dos on my computer and my monthly planner of upcoming events. Knowing where you need to be, when you need to be there and what you should prepare for will make you feel in control of your life on a day-to-day basis.
2) Tackle one thing at a time
If your to-do list seems never ending, just remember to do one thing at a time. Do not get overwhelmed with all of your daily tasks – budgeting your time and chipping away at your list is the way to go. Prioritizing is also huge – make sure you get the most important/timely things done on your list first!
3) Ask for help if you need it
Sometimes you can’t do EVERYTHING on your own. If you need help completing a task, don’t be afraid to ask! Make sure you know which friends of yours you can go to in great need and/or who will be there to help you achieve your goals. If you are looking to take control over a serious situation in your life and need professional help, Counseling & Wellness Services on campus is a great resource. Also, if you feel like you need help with classes, Tutoring Services is always available to help you and there are also other great online resources such as LyndaCampus to assist you.
4) Always strut your stuff
Confidence is very important if you want to feel in control. Be confident in everything you do and in every decision you make. If you are hesitant or unsure of what you are doing, you will not feel like you are in control of your own actions and you will feel vulnerable. To be honest, even just putting on a pair of heels or wedges or wearing a suit and tie will make you feel like you’re conquering the day. It’s the little things sometimes!
5) Be the leader people want to see
Setting a strong example for people and taking control in group settings will empower you. It will build your own confidence and allow you to take control over situations, all while being a role model for others who are trying to do the same. Say yes to new opportunities and be a leader for others, and for yourself.
6) Take some alone time
Overstimulation can definitely lead to stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need to disconnect from the world and take some time for yourself when you feel out of control. This might be leaving social media for a while, giving up an addiction or guilty pleasure, or even meditating. Whatever works for you, do it!
7) Listen to something inspiring or motivational
There are tons of podcasts, TED Talks and self-help tapes that can guide or inspire you to take control of things in your life. Look for that one thing to pump you up and motivate you on a daily basis and make it a routine to listen to it.
8) De-clutter your life
Whether it’s cleaning out your messy desk at home, re-organizing files on your computer, or cleaning out your closet – decluttering feels SO GOOD. Last week I went through my entire closet (which was quite the task) and got rid of eight bags of clothes. Getting rid of things you don’t need and re-organizing your personal space will definitely help you feel in control.
9) Budget your money
A lot of times people feel out of control of their finances. For college students, this can be especially true when you know you have debt looming over you while you’re trying to buy groceries and pay rent. If you map out and budget your money on a week-to-week basis, you will start to feel in control of your life on a whole new level. Money management is something WSU can help you with. CashCourse is offered online for students and alumni to learn about financial aid and strategies to budget and get out of debt. Check it out!
10) Mend broken relationships
Take control of your social life and make amends with people in your life you may have had disagreements with. Whenever I get in a small argument with a family member or a friend, I feel so thrown off. I hate that unsettling feeling of being upset with someone or someone being upset with me, and it throws me off and I feel out of control of my day until I talk with that person. Bottom line is that life is short, so take control of disagreements and work to resolve them.
11) Eat a balanced diet
Re-evaluating your eating habits and making changes will allow you to take control of your health. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and snacking throughout the day to fuel your body. I’ve recently made an eating log with my roommates that is hanging on our fridge. We set individual goals for ourselves and on our calendar at the end of the day we mark a smiley face if we feel we ate healthy. If you take control of your eating habits you will see an increase in your energy levels and overall mood – I know I have!
Recognize #NationalIAmInControlDay by carrying out at least one of these tips today. Also, work on implementing these ideas beyond today and into your everyday life. You will definitely see positive changes!