A few days after Christmas I was super motivated to start a gi-normus organizing project-and here I am today, wondering where all that motivation went!! I am not a New Year's Resolution kind of person, my thought being that if I resolve that I’m not gonna eat fries in 2013 and then on Jan 5th I eat fries, does that mean I have 360 days of chowing down on fries before I can get back on the wagon? (Actually I would be healthier if I walked next to wagon instead of getting on it, but I digress...)
Over the last few weeks I have thought about the parallel between my unfinished project and the struggle to lose weight. I’d like to share my “epiphany”, if you will, and how this pattern of behavior can be applied to a variety of situations. Since my job is to help others overcome weight loss obstacles, I started thinking about how these same principles might apply to overcome the obstacle of my messy office!
My home office is my "dumping" place-it's where everything goes so that the rest of my house can appear clean and organized :) What happens periodically is that the office becomes so cluttered with my "to do" piles or my "to be filed" piles, that I find I’m working less and less in there, and more and more at my dining room table-well…it's clean :)
We all have great excuses for why we quit-I have some excellent excuses as to why I’ve stopped mid-project...but as more time goes by I keep adding to the clutter. So much so that it has become an huge overwhelming, insurmountable task. It’s a lot like trying to lose weight; if I have 20lbs to lose, but I put on 5 more during the holidays, and then another 5 post-holiday because I am so frustrated that I put on the holiday pounds-pretty soon it’s just all too much! In the case of the cleaning project, I just close the office door :) Or figure out how to camouflage it, similar to what I do with those extra pounds.
When I decided to start my project, I ran out and bought all kinds of organizing containers. I got a bright colored rolling cart to organize my 10,000+ clippings of fitness ideas. I got some new shelving, too :) And…of course, to make room for these new things… I had to mess up my office even more-I’ll be organizing it later, right?! Isn’t that often what happens with our new fitness plan, too? We go out and buy new shoes, clothes, equipment…maybe sign up for a weight loss program or join a gym… and then lose our motivation! Arghh!
To add to my frustration, every time I look at all that untouched new stuff that I purchased to make this happen, it’s a reminder that once again I’ve wasted money and haven’t done what I intended to do. It’s enough to make me want to quit-oh, I did!
Another issue going against me and my office project is that I have no accountability! No one is asking me how it’s going? No one is encouraging me to keep going! When it’s all said done, I am all alone in my organized office mission. In my 29 years of fitness one of the most successful keys to weight loss has been using the “Buddy System”. Someone to help you get motivated on those bad days…someone to do it with you so it’s much more fun…someone to say “way to go! You can do this!” just when you need it most! There ain’t nobody in that messy office cheering me on! I know I have friends who would happily help me, though! (Wish they could just do it for me!!)
Right up there with no accountability, is that I haven't set a time frame, no “end date”. It is always helpful to decide on a reasonable amount of time to complete your task-whether it’s an organized office in a weekend or 6 weeks to lose 10 pounds.
Assuming that I will follow my own advice-haha-here are the action steps I need to take if I’m ever going to meet this goal, or any other goal, for that matter:
1) Approach the project in small do-able chunks
2) Stay on top of those small steps so they don’t become BIG steps that might overwhelm me.
3) Ask a friend to do it with me or at least find someone who will ask me about it
4) Set a realistic time frame and a date that I will have completed my project
These are just simple steps to use when you set a goal. As I sit at my dining room table (I know!) and create this new blog post, I realize that I'm pretty lame if I can't follow my own suggestions! Next post I will write from my office desk...I know it's in there somewhere!!!!!