Do you have a to-do list that's a mile long? If you do you know how overwhelming this can be. Have you allowed enough time to accomplish all the goals on your list? Some things on your list might not need to be done for months. If that's the case they do not belong on your daily to do list. Steps towards achieving the larger goal maybe.
Don't set yourself up for failure by making your to-do list too long. Pick 3 goals a day that have to be accomplished and if you have the time and energy hit 4 and 5 too. Otherwise, pat yourself on the back for knocking out the top 3. Set small, achievable goals.
For example, if your goal is to organize your entire home how would you break that down into bite-size pieces?
These goals can be accomplished in a day and many within a week.
Your next step to breaking down a large goal is to give yourself an achievable time frame. If you've lived in your home for twenty years and have slowly been bringing in clutter and you want to organize it in a day, how do you think you'll feel when you can't make that happen? Part of creating goals is also creating a timeline to achieve those goals.
Be reasonable with your expectations and timeframes. Things usually take more time than we initially think they will. I think I can lose 10lbs in a month, but being realistic I give myself a year. Allow yourself a reasonable timeline to accomplish tasks. And don't forget to applaud yourself along the way. Allow yourself joy and take time to enjoy little things. Moving one step forward is better than none.
If organizing your entire home is your goal, give yourself time for that. Don’t add way more pressure than needed. Saying I'd like to organize this junk drawer today is manageable. Saying I want to organize this garage today might be a little trickier. Maybe your organize a shelf or a section instead.
Remember it may take weeks, months, or even years for today's efforts to pay off. That's why it's important to have small consistent goals that you are working on all the time. When one seed is planted another can be sprouting.
You’ll walk away feeling discouraged if you don't organize your entire garage because you probably didn't give yourself enough time to achieve that. Again this is if you are putting this large goal on your daily to do list. You're putting these massive things on your list that really should be the smaller steps that would lead you to accomplishing the goal. Organizing a whole home should be on your yearly list not your monthly, weekly or daily. Those lists should include the examples I suggested earlier.
If your daily or weekly goal was easy, clean out and organize the junk drawer, you would be much more relaxed, thus attracting what you seek. Maybe you look back a year later and your home is organized but it was all of the smaller steps that lead you there.
Break down larger goals and allow a reasonable time frame to accomplish them. This will help with your productivity levels in the future. Setting goals and achieving them has much more impact than not setting goals.
Once you set a small goal and you reach it you're able to celebrate a little. Small celebrations will energize you to keep going forward. Now that one goal is under wraps it's time to make another small goal. This is the trick to how you build upon your goals and truly become productive and successful.
Focusing on one goal at a time allows you to digest and build upon that goal. You will feel more accomplished by setting small goals then you will by setting gigantic ones. That's not to say you can't have a large overall goal just remember to allow yourself the time to achieve them. Keeping your to do list small and streamlined and learning to set realistic expectations and timelines will make you feel more productive.
I know this will sound cliche, but writing down your goals does work! I suggest doing it at least once a year. Write down your big, huge goals. Don't censor them. Don't stop yourself from writing them down because you think they may never happen. This is not the point of this exercise. The point is to embrace what the path you want, looks like.
If there are things on your list you never achieve don’t worry, it's okay. Who knows, maybe 10 years from now you'll be able to check that goal off your list! How long a goal takes to achieve is not the focus, only the goal itself.
When I look back on older lists that I've created, I am able to check off even more goals. It feels good to recognize these accomplishments. We all forget how far we've come, to get to today. Goal lists show how much you've accomplished and what else you want to achieve.
Putting pen to paper will map out a concrete plan of action. This is an extremely valuable first step. Miss this step, you end up chasing your tail, never feeling the satisfaction of getting results.
Goals are nothing more than finely tuned plans. By creating measurable goals you’ll see how the small steps produce bigger results. Laying it out brick by brick will keep you on a solid foundation. Skip a few brinks and everything tumbles.
Get a clearer picture of what you want your life (and home) to look like. This is specific to you, not what your friends and family or society think it should be. Keep focusing on your picture of success and one day you'll be surprised when it becomes a reality.
Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Only time will tell. Start today because tomorrow you'll be glad you did!
Why Do We Procrastinate?
When an undesirable task is on the horizon the worst thing we can do is ignore it. The more you put it off the bigger and more monumental this task will become.
Have you ever procrastinated long enough that once you started the task it took less time than you feared and was way easier than you thought? This happens a lot because the more you put something off, the more you tend to think about it. Which in turn, makes it feel more stressful and less desirable.
If you get in the habit of doing things as they come in, you will find you are less stressed and less overwhelmed. If something takes less than a few minutes to do now, like going through the mail or putting something back where it belongs, you're future self will thank you.
That way you will not have a mountain of mail to tackle, or waste a ton of time searching for things that are now lost because it didn't get put it back where it belonged.
Hard tasks are become easier and less overwhelming by breaking them down into smaller, more bite sizes pieces. Try taking 15 minutes a day to tackle some of the harder things on your to-do list. You don't have to move mountains If you can learn how to break down a task into smaller, more manageable pieces. Keeping things streamlined and efficient is the key to success. Big Goals, small steps.
“Out with the old, in with the new”, remember that old saying? I think a lot of us have the in with the new part down, but have forgotten the out with the old part. Everyone enjoys new things, but remember the importance of releasing old, non useful items, before bringing in new functional pieces.
Items that are not used throughout your home become stagnant, causing you and your family to feel stagnant. If an item(s) are no longer functional or useful in your life, that is clutter.
Find a New Hobby Besides Shopping
This step of decision making will prevent you from filling your home with chaos and clutter. An addiction to impulse buying is a real thing. The items are not as important as the experience of shopping.
Shopping is an activity that gets you out of the house (or out of your head). Maybe instead of shopping, go to a local park, craft group, coffee shop, or movie theater.
Change your Routine
Giving your situation a little forethought allows you to take the right steps when the time comes to make a decision. It's hard to know where you're headed if you don't stop and think about it every now and again.
The best thing you can do is map out your game plan before you start the game. If you know you will pick things up without a second thought at the neighborhood yard sale, but really don't need a thing, go for a walk, watch a movie, call a friend.
Or, challenge yourself to not purchase a thing. Over acquiring is equivalent to overeating. It's done without thought but causes stomach aches later.
If we can prevent the actions that cause us to have overwhelming clutter, we have, in fact, eliminated chaos. I challenge you next time you're not feeling well and you want some "retail therapy" to be mindful in changing your routine. If your goal is to eliminate clutter in your life, then embrace it.
Transformation, according to my favorite trainer Jillian Michaels, is not a future event, it is a present activity. So what does that mean? It means the next time you're feeling sad, lonely, happy, anxious, joyful, or any of the other emotions that cause you to make impulse decisions, make a conscious effort to not allow those impulses to take over.
Know that Anything is Possible
If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right! A belief and a decision is all it takes to change your life. First believe it's possible (decluttering, losing weight, becoming financially free) and make the decision to change and the universe does the rest. Just keep the belief alive on bad days. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Plus, don't forget to congratulate yourself when you do a good job.
Remember in with the new, positive habits, out with the old, clutter creating ones.
Picking up items on a whim and/or holding onto items we don't want or use, leads to inconvenient clutter in our homes. Instead of making rash decisions on what should stay in your home, try making thoughtful decisions on what should go.
When trying to decide if something should stay in your home ask yourself
Holding onto things because someone gave it to you or because you spent a lot of money on it, or simply because you think you might use it someday, may seem like the best decision. But, if it doesn't serve your life, what does it ending up costing you?
Releasing items that are useful, but not useful to you, is a blessing to both you and your belongings. Allowing things to go to new homes will give them new function and purpose, plus, it releases you as well. You are no longer bound to an item because it no longer lives in your home.
Allow yourself a little bit of time to really seek out what you need and why. This will ensure you purchase (and bring in) more targeted items. Do not satisfy the whims of your inner shopper, instead focus on the desires and needs of your true self.
Next time you start to purchase (or accept) something on a whim ask yourself the following:
Asking the tough questions now will save bigger heartaches down the road. Allow yourself a little discomfort and see how comfortable your world becomes.