While it may be too late to begin a major project since Memorial Day kicks off the summer season of entertaining, it’s not too late to make a plan, and there are still many quick fixes that can inspire you to change your ways. If you do something every day for 30 days, it becomes a habit. Start developing some good habits that reduce the chaos and stress in your life and you will enjoy your summer guilt-free.
Statistics tell us that the two most popular New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and get organized. So it’s no surprise that January is National Clutter Control month. Funny isn’t it? It’s almost as if clutter were an uncontrolled epidemic, one which needs a clean slate and a “new-year” to attempt to contain. But if we do things the same way as last year, we’ll probably get the same results. So how can we change? Most of us need help - and help is all around us if we reach out and are willing to hold ourselves accountable.
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:
By Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID, IDS
Natalie Weinstein Design Associates
No – it’s not a dance or a party. It’s just my way of saying it’s time to take that ball (all your clutter) and head it toward the goal post or basket – a big basket (I fear your wastebasket isn’t big enough). Super Bowl is over and your guests may not be coming back until Easter or Passover, but look at the calendar. How much time do you need to get your house in order?
January has come and gone along with the designated "Clutter Control" month. Don't let yourself get detoured. Here's some food for thought...
Remember Why You Want to De-Clutter!
If the path to your goal is bumpier than you anticipated, it can feel like a sign to stop. If you start feeling defeated, stop and remember why you wanted this goal in the first place. How will your life, relationships or business be better when you've achieved your goal? Create a compelling list of reasons, and then pick yourself up and move forward.
Recognize Your Points of Control.
You've created the perfect plan for your goal. You mapped everything out...but then things didn't go as planned. Recognize that plans are imperfect. There is no possible way to predict every bump and turn along the way to your goal. But, it is highly likely that you will encounter obstacles, speed bumps and detours. When you do, ask yourself this question: Is this in my control or not? Identify your points of control, and then take action on those areas. Don't beat yourself up over things that are outside of your control. Identify what you can control, and then, get busy taking action in those areas.
Let Go of Deadline Pressure.
If you're doing something for the very first time, you can't possibly know how long it is going to take. While common goal-setting suggests you should set a deadline for your goals, there are times when it is better NOT to have one! Sometimes deadlines add to feelings of defeat, instead of fueling your motivation to succeed.
If you're feeling defeated or frustrated because your goal deadline has come and gone without your goal accomplished, let go of that pressure. Instead of focusing on a set date to finish your goal, carve out a set amount of time daily or weekly to make progress on your goal. When you consistently spend time making progress towards your goal, the finishing will fall into place.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People.
Sometimes we really need someone else to pick us up, dust us off and help us get our feet pointed back in the right direction. Seek out people who will support you on your goal journey. Surround yourself with people who will remind you how far you've come...and let you know that you've come too far to quit now. You simply don' t need any doubters in your camp right now.
You may want spring to be just around the corner, but we’re not quite there yet. Where we have been, sometimes more than many of us would like, is in our homes. For some, it is a warm and welcoming place for our family, friends and ourselves.
You can do it!
CREATE A PLAN
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
LETTING GO OF EXCUSES
SORTING THROUGH THE CLUTTER
ONGOING CLUTTER MANAGEMENT
By Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID
This Jewish kid loves Lent! I was chatting with my partner, Jack, at Uniquely Natalie this past Sunday, he mentioned a radio segment he heard about giving up clutter for Lent. My friends that observe Lent have told me it’s a time when they give something up during their time of prayer, sacrifice, and self-denial. Mostly I've heard about giving up favorite foods, like chocolate!
By Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID, IDS