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New Year's Resolutions: Top 10 Ways to Get Organized in the New Year
Does the countdown for the big ball drop fill you with dread? If that dread has more to do with your New Year’s resolutions than finding a pair of lips to kiss- you are in the right place. Watch this video for some strategies and videos you can use to set and accomplish your resolutions for the New Year.
You Can Do This! 5 Ways to Make Resolutions That Stick
Happy New Year! It's a beautiful time of hope, renewal, and self-reflection. Many people contact us and join our program to get organized during this time. It's a smart and rewarding endeavor! However, many people make the mistake of setting themselves up for disappointment by not being realistic with their resolutions for change.
Here are five guidelines for setting resolutions that stick long term, based on what I have seen about people’s setbacks in the past:
Take on only small amounts of change at one time. I once knew a sedentary meat-eater and smoker who decided to quit smoking, take up an exercise program, and become a vegetarian all at once. I am sure you can guess how that turned out! It was full speed ahead, and then at the first “failure,” the attempts were seen as completely futile and all was lost. We must add new habits and make changes on a slower, more realistic basis. If you are trying to get organized, start with just one project that will give you immediate success and visible results that affect your daily life, like your primary wardrobe closet, and use the momentum from that success to propel you forward into more.
Get support—it’s the missing link and the secret to success! In our Clutter Diet® online program and my book, we talk about three things that are necessary for personal change: Motivation, Education, and Support. Most people get motivated, learn what they need to do and how to do it, and completely forget about or ignore the support factor. Having accountability to someone else is one of the most powerful ways to persevere through the difficulties that come with change. Get a friend to be your “Accountability Partner” or “Motivation Partner,” so that you can support and encourage each other through the tough times. Weight Watchers® has known this for years—that is why they have meetings in person and “weigh-ins” to hold you accountable for your results.
Don’t compare yourself to an unrealistic ideal. What “organized” means for you is going to be different than for your neighbor, for your mother-in-law, and for the experts you see on TV. Please remember that what you typically see on TV and in magazines has been elaborately staged and planned for effect. It is not how real people live and is not realistic.
Watch out for “All or Nothing” thinking. The aspiring non-smoking vegetarian I mentioned above fell prey to this poisonous thinking—that you are either completely on or completely off a program of change. Just because you have a messy laundry room this week that does not mean that you are now completely hopeless and you need to give up on ever being organized! Keep in mind the image of a business graph with a line that zig-zags up and down but always trends upward and to the right. The business is growing steadily and making progress, but each “zag” in the line shows a temporary setback. The important thing to remember is progress over time. Keep going! Do NOT give up.
Have a strong, compelling reason for making change. In the long run, change is only successful if you have a reason for doing it. Your “why” is the wind in your sails that keeps you going when times are tough. You might be determined to not pattern your life after your parents, or you might be determined to show your children a better way of living. You might have health problems that resulted from stress, and getting organized means you can get some relief. Whatever your compelling reasons are, keep them in the front of your mind, especially when you are feeling discouraged.
Sneak Peek of This Week's Plan
Each week our paid Clutter Diet members receive our exclusive, full weekly "menu" plan of organizing projects. (Members click here to log in and get the plan) Here is a sneak peek at what we're working on this week:
One of our Side Dish projects for this week is to Return gifts before it’s too late. Don’t wait too long to return or exchange gifts that didn’t work! Many stores have policies limiting how long you have to return items. Some electronics stores only allow returns within 14 days. Stores usually have extra staff available or special tables set up for handling returns this time of year, so if you go at off-peak times you should be able to get in and out very quickly.
Remember, if you don’t return it in time, it becomes clutter!
Here is another tip: Do you have gift cards from stores you don’t shop in? Or would you like to consolidate various unrelated gift cards to buy one big item? Or would you even like to get cash for them? Here are two websites to help you out: www.cardavenue.com and www.cardcash.com .
Our members are also working on our Main Dish and other projects this week, and they get unlimited advice and support from our team of Certified Professional Organizers® in our member message board area! If you're not a member yet, you can join us to get the full Weekly Plan and check it out with our 7-Day Quickstart program!
Our paid members can get the plan by clicking the link below and "weighing in" with what you got done last week. You may need to log in first with your user name and password.
Get this week's plan. By the way, members do not need to wait for this announcement e-mail to get the new plan– it's automatically in the system every Thursday morning.
Lorie Marrero, CPO®
Creator of the Clutter Diet®
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