The start of the New Year feels like turning a new blank page on your life story. This new beginning tricks us into thinking that we will finally get motivated to do all the things that we have been meaning to. It is supposed to inspire us to do better and achieve our dreams. So that’s what most people set out to do without a clear game plan and how to stick to it.
Do you remember last year when you said, “this year I will get it together”? You were probably one of thousands of people who vowed they would finally get organized.
It is too hard. There is too much stuff, not enough time. Don’t know where to start. This will never end. I would rather be doing something else. I can’t do this.
January came and went. Some quit within the first few weeks. Then you gave up too. Perhaps you lasted more than others and got a few things done but it did not get anywhere close to making your New Year resolution a reality.
According to statistics, about 80% of people will give up on their New Year resolutions by the second week of February.
Personally, I don’t like resolutions. I do not see the point in deciding to do something in a grandiose fashion at the beginning of each year then running out of steam or energy just a few weeks later. What is always left is feeling like a fraud and a failure.
Most resolutions do not work due to a number of reasons. They often are too generic, too broad. No specific steps or timeline is planned to help achieve it. And sometimes they are plain unreasonable ( Me? Workout every day? Maybe in 2019. I am too busy this year).
So instead of feeling discouraged that the resolutions are once more failing you, follow another approach that is much more likely to produce results.
Here are 8 steps to finally get organized in 2018:
The very first thing to do is visualize what you want. Create a vision board if you like or refresh your Pinterest boards, start new ones with a clear purpose. Get together pictures, quotes and anything that motivates you to get organized. Read up on blogs or get a new favorite book about organizing.
Write it down
Do a complete brain dump and write down every organizing project that you would like done in your house. Be as detailed as you possibly can. Take a notepad and pen and go from room to room. Jot down anything that needs organizing, from drawers to closets, pantries etc. Keep this list handy so you can refer to it often and check items off when completed.
Yes, seriously. Share your goals with a friend or a loved one. Vocalizing it will make it so much more real and perhaps they can even hold you accountable somehow (or even better join in with their OWN organizing quest).
Pick your battles
Prioritize and plan. Choose to invest your time first in the most used areas of the house. Do not go digging into attics and basements just yet. Start with your kitchens or closets. You have most likely suffered a setback because of this in the past. So unless you are obsessed with organizing like I am, and your idea of fun is rearranging your pantry for the millionth time, please be smart about how much time and energy you can realistically devote to organizing projects.
With yourself that is. Make an actual appointment and try your best to treat it like an important deadline versus a chore that can be put off. You would be serious about it if you called me to come over right? Make it a priority but also be realistic about how often you can carve out a slice of time to dedicate to this. For some once a week on a Saturday morning works. Others can only handle every other week. Pick something that works for you and your family.
One bite at a time
Break down larger projects into more manageable portions. That is how us Professional organizers make it happen. Most likely you cannot tackle the whole kitchen in one afternoon. Plan to work on those three upper cabinets the first time and do the lower cabinets the next session, then the spice cabinet, the pantry etc. Check things off your initial list as you go along.
Stick with it
Keep your “appointments” and continue chipping away at the clutter. If a 30-minute session at a time is all you can do then keep using it in the same room and finish one area before moving on to the next. It will only confuse and overwhelm you and make it more likely for you to quit if you keep jumping from space to space. I promise it does get better and dealing with it does become easier as you have less and less.
As humans, we are wired to pursue pleasure. It truly is quite effective to tie some personal goals to a fun reward for yourself. Perhaps a dinner date, a new outfit, movie or girls night out? Anything that motivates you and reinforces that “feel good” reward at the end. Maybe every time you check off to do or a space from your organizing list you can “pay” yourself something. At the end you can buy that fancy purse you had been eyeing for quite some time. Or donate the money to a favorite charity and help the world be a better place. Win-win
Tell me? How do you feel about New Year Resolutions? Do they work for you? I would love to know.