Archive for February, 2013

Goal Setting

February 27, 2013

Last week I talked about change and how to go about making a change in your habits.  Today I thought I’d continue that theme by talking about goal setting. I am a believer in having lots of goals. Most of my goals are short-term and very achievable. I love that because short-term goals are usually easily achieved. What do I do when I achieve my goal? Reward myself, of course!

When you are thinking about setting goals for yourself work backwards. Start with the end in mind. By what date do you want to have completed this goal. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If the goal is huge and daunting you might never achieve it – that is self-defeating. Instead why not break that goal down into small chunks and set completed by (or achieved by) dates for each chunk. After you have set the completed by date list all the steps you need to take to arrive at your goal – reminder you are still working backwards. Now set a start date. Before you actually start pick a reward. What will you get for achieving this goal? Is it a tangible reward or an intrinsic one? One of my favorite rewards is a movie afternoon or evening. I love going to the movies and I don’t get there often enough so that is a wonderful reward for me.

Now, you’ve picked your goal and made sure that it is realistic. You’ve set a finished by date and a start date. You’ve listed the steps to take to accomplish the goal. You have a reward in mind. Your final step in this process is to get out your calendar and plan when you are going to take all these step toward your stated goal. Once you have the steps scheduled into your calendar you may need to reassess your completed by date. Sometimes we have a tendancy to over-schedule ourselves or think we can actually fit one more thing into our day. Be kind to yourself. If you really want to make this happen, it has to work within the confines of your other responsibiities. Allow a little flex room, sometimes things just crop up.

Take another look at the start date, the scheduled steps, and your end date. Are you being realistic? Do you have a little wiggle room there? If so, pick your reward and then get started.

 

Change?

February 20, 2013

I read an interview this morning on Linda Samuels’s blog The Other Side of Organized with Judith Kolberg.  I’m proud to say that both these wonderful women are colleagues as well as friends of mine! Linda interviewed Judith about change and why some people make the effort to change. It is a wonderful interview and I encourage you to visit Linda’s blog and read it.

I wanted to keep this topic of change going and talk about how to change and what motivates people to change.

First, let me say that change is never easy. It’s much more comforatble to continue doing what you’re doing. Change requires a concerted and obvious effort. To change you need to know exactly what you want to change and then be deliberate about effecting that change in your behavior.

So, if it’s not easy why change? Sometimes we want to change because our behavior is impacting the way we live, our relationships, our health, or our quality of life.

Here are a few steps to take to create change:

1. Identify One and only One behaior you want to change

2. Replace that behavior with a different one

3. Make a few signs (large ones) to remind you of the new behavior

4. Reward yourself when you are succesful

5. Do not punish yourself when you goof – just admit that you’ve goofed and try again!

 

When you have succesfully replaced the behavior you want to change with a new one then go ahead and identify another behavior to change. Remember that change is challenging so trying to change too many things at one time is not a recipe for success. Change one behavior at a time, building on each accomplishment.

Culling Collections

February 13, 2013

Do you have lots of collections of things? Maybe there are lots and lots of clothes, toys, bric-a-brac around your home. Do you have so many of these items that none are really put away? Maybe they are out in view in piles around your home? Is this a collection?

In my mind a collection is something you put on display – in a cabinet, on a shelf or two, hanging on a wall. These are things you have sought out and purchased, or have been given, because you really like looking at them.

An over-abundance of items is not a collection in the true sense of the word. Yes, it is like items that are collected together but the over-abundance is not something you want to display. Generally, people are embarassed when they have such an over-abundance. These piles of collected items are not usually lovely to look at. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell what the collection is because there’s just so much of it! The homeowner generally becomes over-whelmed at the mere thought of reducing the volume because he/she doesn’t know where to begin. Another thing holding some people back is that they think about the amount of money spent on each individual item. Sometimes, they don’t want to reduce the volume of things by donating some out when they know the cost of each item – it’s all good stuff! Planning a garage sale to recoup some of the money takes organization, time and lots of effort and can be another over-whelming task.

My advice is to start with baby steps.

Begin by tackling one small area at a time. Set up 4 boxes or bags. Label the containers as follows: Keep, donate, toss, sell. When you have finished sorting the items in that one small area take the donate bag and make the donation to a church thrift store, Goodwill, or another organization of your choosing. Toss the items in the toss container. Put aside the items in the sell container and put away the items in the keep box or bag. The tackle the next area in your home. Before you know it you will have sorted and organized the piles and culled your collection of things. Then it’s time to give yourself a reward and admire all you have accomplished! Finally, gather up all the items you have set aside to sell. Take a look at your calendar and schedule a tag sale. Maybe you will ask some of your neighbors if they have things to sell also? The group can help each other set up, price items, and support each other’s efforts. A word of caution: remember you are selling things – not buying! The idea is to reduce the amount of things in your home, not to bring more things in!