Exactly what does accountability mean – in business and in life? This past year, I renewed a friendship with a young man, Hal, who was dead on arrival at the hospital after a horrific car crash. By a miracle, he was revived and after 2 years of excruciating surgeries and rehabilitation, he defied the odds and returned to a normal life. As I was enjoying his company at a business summit, I asked him how he did it. He wrote a book about his experiences, started a successful life coaching business, appeared on national T.V., all while in his 20’s.
Hal smiled and said it wasn’t easy – but it was simple. “I simply held myself accountable for the things I could control,” he said. “Each action that takes me toward a goal, even the smallest step, is an accomplishment and I never let myself off the hook. I set my sites on the next step, determine a deadline, and hold myself accountable.” What a powerful concept and what an inspiring young man. As a life coach, I could see why he is successful and how his basic tenet could be applied to everyone and almost everything.
So let’s apply Hal’s rule. What if we could find ways to assure our accountability? We could establish a nucleus of people who could show us how to work towards our decluttering and organizing goals – coaches to help us get to the finish line, people like personal professional organizers, feng shui experts, garage and storage fabricators- or people like me, helping people like you. So let’s begin with some basics:
- Start with a plan.
- Leave time to execute your goal.
- Set small goals- i.e. one drawer, one shelf in your pantry, a pile of clothing, etc. Add a new accomplishment every day and reward yourself when you do (but not with fattening food or you’ll have broken your other New Year’s resolution!)..
- Establish a system: keep, throw away, give away, can’t decide (Don’t make the last one your biggest pile).
- Accomplish one space (i.e. bedroom, kitchen, bathroom) and it will spur you to go on to other areas in the house.
- Create a new organization habit, i.e. set out clothes the night before, designate a place for keys, glasses, etc. and only put them there. (You’d be surprised how much time you’ll save).