We’re almost halfway through the year and odds are your New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory – or maybe you’ve forgotten them completely! Getting organized is one of the most common resolutions, so if you’re one of the many who have abandoned your “get organized” resolve, it may time to stop trying harder and start trying differently. I recently finished reading the book Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success which presents some thought-provoking strategies to help you change persistent habits and get unstuck. Here are my top 5 findings from the book.
- Identify crucial moments. We’ve all had days when our best intentions aren’t enough to keep us on track with maintaining our organizing systems. Maybe you were too tired to put your dirty clothes in the hamper, or you needed to hurry home from work and didn’t get the paperwork filed. The authors suggest that you identify specific “crucial moments” where you may have gotten derailed, and write them down. By writing them down, you’ll be more aware of your behavior and can look for patterns. Being aware of these moments will enable you to control them better in the future.
- Create your vital behaviors. Once you’ve identified your crucial moments, you can create rules of behavior to follow when faced with a crucial moment. As the authors point out, “often, a vital behavior is the reverse of what failure looks like in the crucial moment.” If you’re not getting your dirty clothes in the hamper, put them there; if you’re not getting papers filed, file them. Easier said than done, right? On to item 3.
- Love what you hate. The idea here is that you adjust your world so that it supports and motivates you in following your vital behaviors. You may need to find a way to make putting the clothes in the hamper fun; for example, put a basketball hoop over the hamper and make baskets with your dirty clothes. Make filing more enjoyable by playing music while you file. Find a way to get beyond the aspects of the task that you don’t enjoy.
Here’s a link to my newsletter where you can read more about how to stay organized.
Good luck as you change your default future into one of simplicity, harmony and freedom,