We all have a few resolutions that make it to the top of our list every New Year, and there are two reasons they keep showing up there: 1) we believe this resolution will improve our life in some way, and 2) we have never been able to make this resolution stick. If “Get Organized!” is at the top of your resolutions list every year, I want to share some ideas that will help you cross it off once and for all.
While the vast majority of resolutions will not outlast your New Years hangover (a 2007 study at the University of Bristol showed 88% of people who make New Year resolutions fail to follow through), the fact is you still have a much greater chance to make real, positive change in your life if you declare your intention to do so.
Once you’ve resolved to get organized for 2014, enlist some help. Get a friend or two on board and make yourselves accountable to one another. Help each other solidify the practice of organization while tag-teaming each other’s spaces! Schedule a regular weekly date to rotate through each friend’s closet, then master bedroom, then kitchen, and so forth. The key to lasting success when instituting change is to recognize that a resolution is just a launching point. For it to stick, you must make the change a regular part of everyday life. By joining forces with like-minded friends, you’ll maintain the willpower that more often dwindles before your resolution can become habit.
Organizing your desk, your office, your garage or even your entire home is a first step, but it is not something you do once and you’re done forever. Get organized with a method that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle, and you’ll maintain order throughout the year. Support from friends and family is helpful, but they may not have the tools you need to make your changes last. You need to create systems to maintain your organized space. Without a system, it is too easy to fall back into the habits that created the clutter in the first place.
If the idea of a “system” seems intimidating, don’t be afraid to consult a professional. Organizing may not come naturally to you, but a trained pro can show you simple adjustments that, with a little discipline, will become second nature before you know it, and that can deliver big results. And before you agree to work with any professional, ask them these key questions to make sure you find the right fit that will produce the best results.
A huge goal may seem insurmountable, so think of your resolution as an ongoing action plan. If “losing 30 pounds” was an easily approachable resolution, you wouldn’t need to wait to New Years to take it on. But take that goal and break it down into clearly defined monthly, weekly or daily activities, and your unlikely resolution has become and organized approach to changing your lifestyle. And it will continue to bring you measurably closer and being the person you want to be in the New Year.
Which elusive New Years resolution do you want to commit to once and for all? What plan for getting organized is on your list for 2014?