Resolutions Off Track? Here’s What To Do! (Jan. 23, 2015)

2015According to the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com, Jan. 19, 2015), data show that the resolve to exercise starts to waver the third week of January. That’s probably true for any resolution.

So how do you keep resolutions on track? In my January 1st post, I stressed that motivation is the most critical part of goal achievement. You can read it here.

Here is Part 2.

If it felt too daunting to start on January 1st or you didn’t stick with it, just start fresh. Use the rest of this month to get mentally and physically prepared for the change you want to make. If your goal involves losing weight, visualize a healthier you and get all junk food out of the house. Maybe February 1, a Sunday, would be a good time to start.  Perhaps sometime in March may be better. It’s not about when. It’s about creating lasting habits.

You also must know what works for you.

Say you can’t find clothes to wear because everything is jumbled in your closet. You’re often late for work. You know that could cost you your job. That’s a big motivator to change!

For a clothes closet organization project, here are 10 things to consider. (Adapt as necessary for other types of projects.)

What are your preferences?

  1. Do in small bits or large chunks of time
  2. Now or later
  3. Alone or with help
  4. Weekday or weekend
  5. Morning, afternoon or evening
  6. Have silence or music playing

What are your triggers?

  1. Keeping items that no longer fit
  2. Keeping things you don’t want because you paid good money for them
  3. Afraid to toss things because you may need them someday
  4. Can’t part with sentimental things

Another key component is to schedule blocks of time in your calendar and do not cancel them except for a true emergency. Do not wait until you have “spare time” – that doesn’t work.

Two examples:

Overwhelmed Olivia prefers working in one-hour blocks of time on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 10:00. A friend will help her decide what to keep or not. In their calendars they scheduled four Saturdays in February.

Go-Getter Gail wants it done all at once. She cleared her schedule on Sunday starting at 8:00. Gail makes quick decisions and doesn’t have trouble letting things go. She selected lively music to play and looks forward to having an organized closet that afternoon.

A couple of years ago my doctor said I needed to exercise (don’t we all?). I hate exercising. But I knew he was right. I’d played sports for years but never had an exercise routine. I considered my preferences – what wouldn’t work and what should work. My motivation was strong. Starting was not tied to a specific date. I bought a treadmill and a TV and put both in the basement. Watching TV takes my mind off how much I hate exercising. I start each day walking two miles in 30 minutes. I’m pretty proud of that!

Lastly, keep it up! Whether you start on a specific date or an arbitrary one, remember it’s about developing and sticking with a new habit to improve your life!

If you need some help to get organized at home or work, let’s have a discovery call (215.540.9401).