Time to Revisit Those New Year’s Resolutions

By this time of year many of those New Year’s Resolutions have gone by the wayside.  It’s time to review them again and decide which ones really matter to you.

It could be you had great expectations of what you would be able to change and accomplish this year.  After almost two months not much progress has been made so now you’re beating yourself up.  STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!

You do not deserve a beating.  What you do deserve is some self-compassion.

It’s hard to change some habits.  It’s hard to stay disciplined and motivated especially if our resolutions are very general and vague.  It could be you need to change the way you think about your resolutions and the actions you want to take to accomplish your goals.

Have you ever found yourself being so motivated to do something that you didn’t even think about what you had to do, you just did it? What was it that made you so motivated to begin with?

A few weeks ago I found myself motivated enough to clean up an area of my finished basement without all the stress and procrastination I had been using to avoid it. I had invited some friends over for Super bowl weekend.  Our finished basement has a big screen TV on one side of the steps and on the other side is a table and old kitchen cabinets lining the walls.  This is my sewing and craft area.  It also had become a dumping place for many things that I didn’t know where to put them or I was too lazy to put them away in their proper place.

Anyway, I knew I would be highly embarrassed to have my friends see this mess.  After all, I write about decluttering/organization and here was this disastrous mess!

Hey, I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect but this mess was just plain out of control. So to avoid any embarrassment I was highly motivated to clean up the mess before they came over.  The storage room has a door I can close so a lot of the stuff went in there. Now I’ll need to tackle that area but at least my friends didn’t see it! An added benefit is now I can actually use the sewing area to sew things.

I was talking to a friend recently and she too found motivation to clean up her finished basement. Her husband was babysitting their young grandson one day.  He later told my friend that he would love to play with the grandson in the basement area but it was too messy and not safe for him. That motivated her to finally take the action to clean up the area.

We both found a motivating factor that made it easier to take the actions needed.  Mine was having company over and not wanting to be embarrassed by the mess.  Hers was having a safe and better place for her grandson to play.

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a strong motivating factor.  Just wanting to have a decluttered house probably isn’t going to motivate you to take action.  Having company over for a holiday dinner might be.

So instead of beating yourself up for not taking actions on your New Year’s resolutions try to find a motivating factor that will make you take the actions needed. Start small with something like cleaning off the dinner table so the whole family can sit down together.  Getting your kitchen cabinets organized could eliminate frustration when asking your family to help prepare the meals. It will be easier and more fun for them if they can find the right bowl or pan without having to dig through a messing cabinet.

As much as we should be motivated to do things for our own pleasure or safety I find it usually is easier to take action if the motivating factor involves the pleasure or safety of someone else, not just myself. I’m not sure if this is human nature, cultural, or family upbringing.  It really doesn’t matter.  The more you take action to declutter and organize your home not only will your family benefit, you will also reap the benefits.

It’s a building process. The more actions you take the more you will want to continue to take actions. Discipline by its self is the hard way. Find a good reason to motivate yourself to take one particular action. When that is done find another good reason or motivating factor to take another action.

To a lighter load along the way.