Every year at this time there is much talk of making New Year’s resolutions. Heck, even my 8-year-old son said he was making a resolution this year. (And, by the way, I would be very happy if he kept his resolution!) But I see a problem with resolution-making.
Let’s use the health club as a perfect example of resolution-ist behavior. Every January, my health club activity level soars on about January 2nd. The parking lot is crammed, all the treadmills are full, you now have to get to spin class 30 minutes early so you can get a bike….Very inconvenient for all of us who are regulars at the gym! But by February 1st, if not sooner, life at the gym is back to normal. All the newbies are gone and we’re back to seeing the familiar faces we always see there.
So why do all the resolution-ists drop out within a month? Because they haven’t made a lifestyle change. They simply got fired up to accomplish their goal of being more healthy but didn’t have a plan. It can be easy in the beginning of a new resolution to be highly motivated but then regular life happens, a cold, a trip, work, kid’s activities, etc. The next thing you know you’ve skipped a week, ate a bag of cookies and you figure you might as well give up! Oh well, we’ll get ’em next year, they say.
In my work as a professional organizer, there are common denominators on why people need my help. Often times, my clients have tried to get organized or may have actually been organized at some point, but then fell off the wagon. Maybe they didn’t have a maintenance plan, a major life event happened or the systems were too complex. Getting organized is the easy part. Losing weight is the easy part. Signing up at the health club is also easy. Making organization or healthy living a way of life is the hardest thing to do. It requires a plan!
Using the healthy living as the goal, how will you make it a lifestyle? Some great ways are to take a look at your calendar and block out the major activityes for a typical week, i.e. work hours, sleep hours, family time, errands. Where in your week will visits to the health club fit best? If you can’t identify a 2-3 times a week where you usually will be able to get there, then you’re going to have to revamp the schedule. What will you move, change or drop in order to make time for this new goal? Always delete before you add!
Another facet of our healthy living example would be eating healthy and eating at home more often. How will you accomplish this? You will need a weekly review of your calendar to see when you will be able to cook meals, a meal plan and a weekly trip to the grocery store to buy all the supplies you will need for the week’s meals. Without the plan and the supplies, you’ll be ordering deep dish pizza in no time!
And this brings me to organization, of course! Having an organized kitchen and meal plan will aid in eating healthy meals at home on a regular basis. One of my favorite books on getting and staying organized is by Peter Walsh. I love the title because it’s catches your attention and it is true. Check out Does This Clutter Make by Butt Look Fat. (Side note: I believe this book has been republished under a new title: Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight. I like the original title much better!) It’s a quick read and I love Peter’s direct and funny style. He tells it like it is and sometimes that’s what we need to hear!
What lifestyle change will you make this year? Say it out loud and make a plan! Please share your thoughts on lifestyle goals here and feel free to ask me questions about organization and meeting your goals.