Well, it’s four days into those “New Year’s Resolutions”. Already want to quit? I know I used to.
I say “to hell with resolutions!”
The problem with resolutions isn’t the resolution itself, it’s us. We set our expectations way too high.
I’m like a crazy person, right? Bucking a tradition that’s been going on forever? Not really. I do believe in changing for the better. I know I need to be more organized. I know I need to shed some of this jiggly old Santa belly. So how do I do that when I refuse to commit to a set of big goals that I will never follow anyway?
I read a quote once that said “don’t try to organize your life—try organizing your desk”. I have no idea who wrote it, but it makes a hell of a lot of sense. If you have a New Year’s Resolution of getting and staying organized, start with the space you use most. Clean that area up and get it looking good and being functional. You are bound to have “stuff” that doesn’t belong there. When you put some of that away where it does belong, clean up that spot.
Each small success drives you forward
What you will find is that each small space you clean and organize will build on itself, like a snowball. Eventually you will catch yourself cleaning that coat closet (I did this a day or two ago). Then maybe you hit the junk drawer. Then you might tackle that long-neglected bathroom cabinet. Before it’s all over with, you will have cleaned and organized enough to where you actually want to keep going!
Had you started by saying “I am cleaning this whole house” and keeping it clean, you will have set yourself up for failure and probably given up, simply because it was too overwhelming.
Which sounds better—one goal per month or thirty-five per week?
This is how we are doing some things this year without claiming any bogus New Year’s Resolutions. (We want to get organized, start putting more in savings, cut out unnecessary spending, and get healthier.)
1 – We got planners (the paper kind) for our daily planned out notes and reminders.
2 – We got a bigger desk calendar for writing in bigger projects for our blogs and important life events.
3 – We got (found, actually) several small list/note pads where we keep running to-do lists for various small things we needed to get done. We keep these pads handy and write to-do items as we think of them. Crossing them off as we go as well.
4 – We started in one area (our work/writing desk) and cleaned it all up, throwing our old papers and unopened junk mail, etc…
5 – We started working outward, cleaning and organizing one small space per day (or two), like a closet here, a bathroom there.
6 – We (Brandi, lol) started making menus again and took inventory of our pantry and freezers. This ensures that we aren’t wasting food and money by adding more cans from the grocery to the existing stock and forgetting we had stuff. (See yesterday’s post regarding some canned peaches from 2009!) This gets us healthier and saves us money we can transfer to savings.
7 – We are re-claiming our wasted and weekend times, but unplugging from Twitter and Pinterest, and are taking walks, spending time just “doing” as a family, and keeping a loose daily schedule template.
The lists and suggestions could go on forever, but the bottom line is this: we are not setting ourselves up for failure by making New Year’s Resolutions. We are starting small, staying small, and adding drops to the big bucket.
By the end of this year, we will have accomplished all those bigger things, but we will have done it over the course of the year through the combination of thousands of successes in the form of smaller, bite-sized goals.
What do you think about this—do we put too much pressure on ourselves to meet lofty, nearly impossible goals? Does the concept of 1,000 small wins outweigh the 3 big ones we usually focus on without a real plan? Let’s talk about it!
I say no graphic retrieved from ht tp://tickledbylife.c om/index.php/say-no-and-feel-great/