A New Year. A New Start.
Is your goal to be more organized in 2019?
The pillars of organization are decision-making and consistency. Your current state of organization, satisfactory or lacking, is a direct reflection of what you decide to do and how consistently you do it. Period.
Consider your keys. You probably find your keys easily when you need them. Why? Because you recognize that keys are vital. You have a special place for them and you put them there every single time you walk through the door. You probably hardly think about it.
But that good habit didn’t just happen. At some point you moved into a new home. You decided on a new spot for the keys and then acted on it consistently. It takes you less than one second and burns almost no calories. But because of this tiny habit, you save yourself frustration, minutes a day, and hours a year not having to search high and low for the keys.
If you can find your keys right now, then you know you can develop good habits. For a more organized 2019, harness that skill and make a goal to develop one new habit per month. (If you can’t find your keys right now, make the key situation your first new habit of 2019.)
How to get started? Each month, identify one organization goal that is important to you. Next, identify one brief action that will support your goal. Make sure the action will fit into your current daily routine easily and quickly. For example, if your goal is to keep your car clean, you might decide that at the end of every work day, when you pull the car into your parking space, you’ll take a moment to look around the car, collect up all the items and garbage, and bring everything inside to be put away or thrown out.
The key to success, at first, will be to slow down for a few seconds at the designated time, recall your goal, and mindfully perform your action. Stick with it for a solid month. If you miss a day, forget it and start the next day. Just keep going. If you make the decision to do this action consistently, your new routine will eventually become a quick and painless habit, much like putting away your keys.
When you see how dramatically your new habit makes your goal a reality, you’ll be motivated to start developing the next month’s new habit. By next New Year’s Eve, you’ll be celebrating 12 new habits and a much more organized life!
by Amber Kostelny and Katherine Iannitelli