Hi friends, today’s post is all about the simple truth for how to get organized successfully. It’s not as complicated as you might think. Let me explain.
You know what gets us in trouble? Wishing.
-we could have an organized house.
-I didn’t live with so much clutter.
-it wasn’t so hard to find things.
-my life wasn’t so busy.
-I had some kind of organizing gene.
-I didn’t live with so many paper piles.
-my kids could keep their rooms clean.
-I wasn’t so overwhelmed with getting my house in order.
-I could see my floor or my dining room table.
-my bedroom was a haven.
-I knew how to purge and donate my stuff.
These are things I hear people say ALL THE TIME! The wishing also applies to other areas of our lives as well. I wish I could lose weight or I wish I was out of debt. The only thing I know that works successfully is to replace those really big wishes with some really tiny steps.
They can even be teeny tiny steps. Because you know what a lot of teeny tiny steps leads to? Action. They lead to action. And action is what gets really big wishes done. Small simple steps promote action to accomplish big plans in a less intimidating and less overwhelming way.
- Affiliate links are included in this post. This means I make a small commission should you purchase product using these links. This is at no extra cost to you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this after reading a great post by Courtney Carver of Be More With Less. Check out that link to read her post because she made some MAJOR changes in her life that would have been completely overwhelming if she hadn’t broken them all done into tiny actionable steps. And I love that she recognizes and celebrates those tiny steps with a toast. So smart!
“Let’s toast to the small daily practices and tiny steps we use
to lean into new habits like reading 1 page a day before committing
to the whole book,
walking 1 block before a mile,
going to sleep 10-minutes early,
or writing 1 thank you note a day.
Let’s toast to the tiny steps and
thank them for helping us to
change our lives.”
She inspired me to write my own list. My big change came with exercise. Me saying I wish I was fit and strong solved nothing. I know because I did a lot of wishing for years. Instead, achieving this goal was the result of a lot of tiny steps as follows:
-did my research on different programs out there
-signed up and committed to one of these programs (affiliate link)
-learned to trust the process (one of the hardest steps for me!)
-I became patient and stayed consistent
-30 minutes of strength training every day first thing in the morning (achieved one day at a time)
-staying accountable to my coach everyday
-tracking my macros daily
-concentrating on consuming more daily protein
-started intermittent fasting
I had a plan and it was exactly what I needed. It’s still a work in progress of course but everyday I self high-five those tiny steps because no part of the process is easy and every tiny step counts.
And that’s true even with organizing. EVERY tiny step counts. Even if your plan is only to purge one thing a day, it still counts. Even if you clear off a countertop or organize a drawer once every other week, it still counts. And celebrating those tiny steps leaves very little room to beat yourself up. Because beating yourself up or calling yourself a failure will never get you where you need to go.
Thirteen years ago I wrote a post about not looking up and focusing instead on the step in front of you and I’d like to re-share that here with you because it still very much applies.
I go walking with a girlfriend a few mornings a week. We move at a good pace and about half way through we start our journey up a pretty impressive hill. The sidewalk looms ahead of us and doesn’t appear to end. My heart sinks in despair and I begin to drag my feet. As I look ahead at the distance we still have to go I quickly become discouraged and tired. My girlfriend takes the stroller from me half way up to give me a break and eventually we arrive at the top. It feels like it took forever.
Then last week as we started the trek up the hill I got so engrossed in the conversation we were having that I was completely taken by surprise when I realized we’d already reached the top. My girlfriend said to me “look at that, I didn’t even have to take the stroller for you this time”. She was right and I wasn’t even as tired as I usually am. I thought about it for a few moments and it occurred to me that I had been so focused on our conversation that I didn’t have a chance to dwell on what was still to come. I’d kept my eyes down and stayed focused in the moment and not beyond that. What a difference!
If you think about it organizing is very similar to this. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and discouraged by all we have to do that we simply drag our feet and do nothing. We look around at our spaces and think I’m never going to get to the end. It’s frustrating and draining when the big picture ahead of us seems to be more than we can handle.
However today I want to encourage you to keep your eyes down, focusing only on the step in front of us. Don’t let the “hill” keep you from taking the necessary steps to move forward. If you are looking at a room that you want to organize, start with a drawer, move to the next drawer, work your way around the room one step at a time.
Just don’t look up, keep moving and before you know it you’ll be at the top giving yourself a pat on the back. You’ll look back on the path you traveled and feel mighty proud of yourself.
And so you should. You did it!
If you need help setting up an organizing plan, please check out my organizing PROCESS steps for organizing any space. Break the plan down into tiny steps to match your time and energy. See also these 7 daily habits for an organized home to guide you.
And then once you have your plan in place, please don’t forget to toast your tiny step accomplishments along the way. Remember, they all count! And that my friends is the simple truth for how to get organized successfully. So let’s stop wishing and start planning TODAY!!
I’d love to celebrate with you as well so please comment below your tiny step wins. You got this!
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