Re-assessing Goals

mmmm well I think I will have to extend my January room into February…. and put my month down as a mostly fail….
I did take down my Christmas tree – not quite on the twelfth day of Christmas but pretty close – so I guess that was a win. Especially since this year was the first time I had put UP a Christmas tree in eight years… And I DID put it away properly and I DID spend time wrapping decorations around rolled newspaper so they didn’t tangle up again.
But I havent really done much in my January room…. I have thought about it and planned it but not actually done anything!!
And my lists aren’t working really either… I have slipped back into old habits – and I am not sure how I can fix it.
I tend to get very fixated when I start something. No matter what it is I tend to start it and not be able to do much else until I have finished it. So I might put down on my list to do 5 hours of paperwork for various Clubs I am in, but once I start on that I find it very hard not to do it until it is all done – and of course it is never all done!! And so I end up spending 25 hours doing that and not doing my Family History – which is ME time…. so I can see the old bad cycle beginning again… never putting aside the Me time!
So stop after the alloted time I hear you say? Be firm with your list. Always give yourself me time. If it was that easy I would have done that years ago!
So how do I get back on track?
I guess I do have to go back to square one. Remind myself of why I started this journey. Remind myself why I wanted to get more order into my life. Remind myself of my goals. My goal of having a less cluttered house so that I didn’t have that huge mess staring at me every day. My goal of spending more time doing Family History and completing my Family story. My goal of getting fitter so I can enjoy my European holiday this year. My goal of making sure that I put aside time for me.
So are these goals still important to me? They certainly are!! So my motivation is the achievement of my goals. And all these goals can only be achieved if I do better at sticking to my plan.
And sticking to my weekly plans is where I fall down.
So I guess I go back to my basic starting point – take one bite at a time! (and I need to stop starting sentences with So!!) I am becoming overwhelmed with the bigger picture and not tackling it in smaller pieces.
I will write my list again this week. I will allocate myself time to do Family History and my walking. And I will do the ME things before I do the other things I have on my list.Maybe that will work. It is worth a try.
I have learnt several things writing this particular Blog. That sometimes we set goals and fail. But failing one goal should not make us stop the whole journey. That writing things down  makes you think about what you are writing and things may become clearer. And that when we are feeling discouraged we just need to go back to our motivations. Maybe your motivations have changed? Maybe you need a different approach? So change your goals, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and get back in the game…
And stop starting sentences with ‘so’….

January Success Stories

What started out as a personal decision to try and sort out my junk has grown into something much bigger than I could imagine. A couple of ‘before and after’ photos placed on my personal Facebook page resulted in lots of positive comments and a small Facebook group for fellow hoarders trying to sort out their lives…

Then my daughter suggested I do a blog to write about my journey. Knowing nothing about how to do a Blog I did some research and set out on this exciting adventure. Since then so many people have contacted me privately and told me of their own journeys, their successes and failures. I am quite humbled by how my very simple story has inspired others….

So today I thought I would honour and applaud some great achievements.

My Gold Star of the month has to go to Pam. In about a month she has transformed her entire home!!! It makes me feel exhausted just looking at her progress! While I wouldn’t  usually recommend such a full-on attack on a whole house it clearly worked for Pam. I know I would go mad for a couple of days, get tired, and the rest of the house would be left untouched. Here are some of her photos…

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laundry after

 

 

 

 

Laundry Before and after

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Living after

Living area before and after

bedroom before

bedroom after

Bedroom before and after…

I asked Pam what she felt was her biggest achievements and if she had any hints or dos and don’ts..

Pam said – I would say my bedroom was my biggest achievement. The biggest don’t is don’t do this for someone else, it has to be done for you. This I found saved me resenting people as I cleaned up. Don’t put too much pressure.on yourself. Set small goals. Pick a corner of a room and start there. When deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is ask yourself can you 1. Use it 2. Find a home for it without it being shoved somewhere and 3. Can you be bothered dusting it.
Paperwork only needs to be kept for 2 years unless it is legal documents or initial contracts such as insurance.
These days everything is stored electronically.
Make use of hard rubbish collections.
Also take photos of everything that way if you do get rid of stuff you will always have a picture of it.
Take lots of photos as you clean up from start during and to finish. Sometimes you get overwhelmed and it feels like you are getting no where. These photos help you to see you are making.progress.

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I think these are all great tips – especially about having to do it yourself!! I would hate someone going thru my stuff and telling me what to get rid of…I think you need the control of what stays and what goes…. even if you only throw a few things out it is still a great step forward…

A couple of other special mentions are Mich with a couple of completed rooms..no before photos I’m afraid…

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Mich tells me that hidden in this room are two overlockers, 3 sewing machines and a cover stitch hidden on that table area. And that in the kitchen is another sewing machine plus there is the new industrial, currently parked in the middle of the family area. And a new one in the laundry…so perhaps I have an addiction!!

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Mich’s laundry with the aforementioned sewing machine…

And the last special mention is another friend of mine who has started to sort out their wardrobe….

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So I hope these people’s success stories inspire you! They have certainly inspired me!

And always remember that it doesn’t matter how small or large your goal is, or even whether you reach your goal or not – it is all about doing the best you can and achieving what you can – and then start again and not giving up…

Well done to all the achievers….

January Room

I have been resting on my laurels a bit this month… I am still basking in the glory of finishing my September room (in time for Christmas) that I havent really started thinking about my January room – and we are already a third of the way thru the month.

So I have decided to pick a fairly easy room for January. It is my lounge room. It basically needs a real spring clean and some maintenance and it will be done. Not much clutter in there at the moment.
Part of the work I will need to do is buy a new light for the room. It hasnt had a light for at least 3 years so we use a lamp in there at the moment. Before the light gave up completely it used to fire the globes out across the room – clearly not a well light!! So shopping for a new light will need to be done. When we get the electrician in we will get him to fit hard wired smoke alarms in the house….so that will be another job crossed off the maintenance list.
The curtains will need to be washed (and just quietly I didnt do the curtains in my September room so they will need to be done as well) and I want to get the carpet shampood. And that will be another room done.
My February room is going to be a real doozy so will give myself a quiet month this month.
What room, or cupboard or area are you going to do in January?
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Lists

So I did my list at the start of the week…

I had already decided that I might work better with lists than allocating specific times to do different chores. I made up three different lists – what I hope to do that month, what I hope to do this week, and what I hope to achieve each day. The daily list is fairly informal. I try and write the night before and really just include the specific things that need to be done being mindful of what I want to achieve for that week…
So I have established that I am pretty good at writing lists. I downloaded this natty little program called Evernote ( you may remember I love all these little organising and filing programs – always more fun to organise than to actually “do”!!) I have it on my Laptop, iPad and phone…. and it immediately syncs everything which is great for lists. It has a reminder section but not a calendar which is disappointing. and it also has a great note section and a Webclipper and a searchable tag thingy – I can see it is actually pretty useful program. But back to my lists…
As I say I am pretty good at writing lists. I can do lovely lists that I can tick things off as I do them and I can have these lists in my phone to remind me what I should be doing.. But I am not so great at crossing off things on my lists…. I would say I have been 50% successful on both my daily lists and my weekly list. But I can see where I am going wrong…
I allocated a certain amount of time to do certain things. I wanted to do 5 hours  week of family history and 5 hours of other Club related paperwork. I started on the Club paperwork promising myself that when completed I would reward myself by doing the Family History…but of course I did as I always do and spent many hours doing Club paperwork (it is never ever up to date)  and didn’t do any family history. So altho I achieved a lot in one area I neglected others that I enjoy – and that is not the object of the exercise. I need to learn to do the allocated time and then do some family history… all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – and wont get my Family History book written.
I also failed dismally with my walking. I planned to walk at least twice this week and didnt do it once. I have plenty of excuses – doing four nights night duty, extremely hot temperatures, other things to do – but I need to be more disciplined about it. My hubby tells me my walking poles are going to get rusty!!lol And I wont be fit for my holiday.
So thats my first week of list writing…Varying degrees of success. I will write another list for next week understanding where I went wrong this week….lets see how I go…..

Planning my life

So I have now got all these resolutions how on earth am I going to achieve them? It’s all very well to say take one bite at a time but now I have to organise myself so I can do all the bites I have undertaken to do!! And it’s a scary thought…

It’s very easy to say I am going to do this and this. But if I am going to be more successful this year with my resolutions I need to have a plan and I need to stick to it. So the plan has to be practical and it needs to not be overwhelming. Because I know the way that I am, and if it is too easy for me to make excuses I will.

So how do I make a plan that I will stick to? I clearly need to try and allocate some time each week or day to do different tasks. Even the thought of doing that scares me. I’m not sure why.. perhaps because if I make a plan I need to stick to it. And I am not good at sticking to plans.

I notice one of the reasons they say people procrastinate is the fear of failure. When I read that I thought that was an odd reason to procrastinate – surely achieving a goal would give you a sense of achievement? But just now when I am trying to create a plan to do all the things I want to do I understand that fear of failure.

If I make a plan or a list then to succeed I need to follow the plan or cross things off the list. I know the overwhelming feeling I get when I make a list and it weighs heavily on me all the time because I am not making the list any shorter. It is the same with my cluttered house. Just looking at the mess makes me feel a failure. And yet I procrastinate about doing something about it. Why is that? Perhaps it is easier to want to do it and plan to do it than it is to start something and fail, or plan to do something and not do it.

So instead I procrastinate about making a plan. I have spent the day researching personal organisers and online organisers. Should I just buy a paper diary or use my phone calendar? Should I create a spreadsheet and allocate time to certain tasks? Or download a digital organiser and see if that works? It is easier for me to think about how I will make a plan than it is to do the actual planning. Thinking about how I am going to plan my schedule isn’t a stressful thing and so I am happy to spend hours doing it. And when I do decide on what method I am going to use I will spend a lot of time setting it all up. But I will still eventually have to do a plan!

So I have actually learnt a lot about myself today – and even writing this article – has helped me see things that I hadn’t seen before. I see now how the fear of failure can stop you doing things, that it is so easy to set yourself up for failure (I will make a list but I know I’m not going to do it) and that for a procrastinator planning is a very scary thought!!

But it has achieved something practical as well. I can see that actually allocating times to do things for me would be fatal. So much better for me to make a list for each day, week and month. That gives me the flexibility to still achieve my goals over a period of time but not have the 2 hours on a Tuesday afternoon set down for cleaning, not achieve that, and then instantly abandon all other plans because I have failed to achieve one. A bit like someone trying to lose weight abandoning their diet entirely due to weakening and having a donut!

So this article has changed from what I originally planned it to be. I was going to write about my research for finding the best organisers…but I think I have learnt a much more valuable lesson about myself instead….. We have to try and understand why we procrastinate, what motivates us and what works best for us to help us become more organised. I think I will work better on lists that need to be completed than set time slots for activities…what do you think works best for you?

Decluttering Tips

My daughter sent me a website address she thought might help with my Blog….. it has lots of ideas about storage and decluttering but there were a few I thought I would find useful

Enlist the Rule of Five every time you clean!

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Whenever you’re cleaning a room, get rid of at least five items, whether it’s a piece of trash, an old magazine, or just something you haven’t used in ages. You could also change this rule slightly and try to tidy up just five minutes every say in your allocated room.

Simplify your clothes shopping to this simple question.

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I have so many clothes that look lovely in the shop but when I get home they dont look as nice, or I dont have anything to wear with it or just arent comfortable to wear…so they hang in the wardrobe and are never worn…

When you buy a new shirt get rid of one.

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This would actually work for everything you buy – one in, one out! Go thru your wardrobe at the end of each season and throw out all the clothes you didnt wear for no good reason – and all those skinny clothes that you know realistically you are not going to ever fit into again.

Use compartmentalised boxes for those little things that you need to keep organsised.

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This is a great idea but you also need to have an organised place to keep the boxes where you can quickly find what you are looking for!!! I would have a wonderful time putting stuff in boxes – and labelling them (love labelling things!) – and then never remember where I put the box or forget to restock it….

Fold your bedsheets up and put them in matching pillowcase

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I thought this sounded good but I can also see disaster here…for starters my fitted sheets never fold up that neatly! But it would be good not to have to hunt thru the entire linen cupboard to find matching pillowcases!

Keep your discount cards virtually on your phone.clutter6

And if you don’t have a smartphone, hole-punching your discount and gift cards and adding them to a single key ring can keep your purse organized.

I actually did this over Christmas – I have an App on my phone (I am trying Stocard at the moment) and put all my Loyalty cards on the phone. It was simple and easy to set up and now instead of looking thru my purse for my card I have them all in my phone.

There are lots of other suggestions on this website but some of them I couldnt see myself doing and some I thought were a bit silly…but if you want to see them all go to

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/how-to-de-clutter-your-entire-life#.ahmoGQgP1

Exercise Blues

I realise that I have forgotten to mention one of my New Year Resolutions! Not sure how I forgot it…perhaps it could be that I have been procrastinating about it for so long that my mind has shut it out of my consciousness!!

The problem is that this particular resolution needs to be commenced soon or it can’t be completed in time – and it probably isn’t something that you can take short cuts with…

In July this year I am going on a holiday to Europe. I have never been to Europe – but my friends that have, tell me it could involve a lot of walking…now that’s the problem…

I have never understood people that love exercising… I am just one of those really unco people that are hopeless at any form of sport… so I learnt at a very early age that any form of sport was a bad (read humiliating) thing to do… … I have often sort of envied those motivated souls that regularly go to the gym or get up for brisk morning walks in the morning… I am not one of them! I have wondered why some of us are less motivated.. I guess not being good at it is a disincentive, also I tend to be a bit of a stumblebum… I have been to classes where the teacher and all the other folk follow the steps and do the moves so easily. I just work out where to put my arms and legs and they are already onto the next movement. Embarrassing. On New Year’s eve a couple of days ago, as I was sitting by the river having tea with friends I saw so many people run past with intent in their eyes, ear plugs in the ears and sweat pouring off them….I pondered their insanity while I sipped my wine….

My idea of sport is watching it on TV – or maybe something like 10 pin bowling. I do a reasonable amount of exercise in my job and I am not a complete sloth -just an unfit one. And anything that requires getting up early in the morning is doomed from the start (I am a night person and work at night).

So back to my New Year resolution… When we booked our holiday it was more than a year from when we were leaving. So I resolved that I would get fitter so that I could walk all day and see all the sights to be seen… I had a whole year to gradually get fit…and I figured that getting fit was a good thing to do even if I wasn’t going on holidays… One of my friends that does a lot of walking (serious Bibbulmun Track walking) was very keen. You need walking poles he said – they help your balance and save your knees and back. So I did some research and found that Dr Google agreed….walking poles were the thing to have…. My hubby said he didn’t think poles were very cool!!

So of course you can’t start exercising until you have walking poles can you? I didn’t feel guilty at all about not starting my exercise regime as I needed to get walking poles first – and some good sensible walking shoes. My serious walking friend kept asking me if I had started walking yet and I kept telling him I needed to get the poles first….

So finally in November I bought the walking poles. Cute purple ones that telescope down so they can fit in our case. And some good walking shoes.

Just after I bought the poles I went away with my girlfriends. I made the mistake of saying I had bought some walking poles. They had a lot of fun at my expense! They know I am a procrastinator and so they also gave me a hard time about the time I had taken to start my exercising..

So it’s about 6weeks since I have bought the poles. I have practiced opening them out and worked out how long they need to be to suit my height. I also got the shoes out of their box the other day. But no walking yet.

So that’s my other resolution. I must start walking at least 2 times a week. Otherwise I will get to Europe and be restricted by my own lack of fitness. That thought should provide plenty of motivation but I know I will have to be really firm with myself and get fit. It’s just too easy to put it off until tomorrow – when it is less hot, when I have more time, when I am less tired, when the cricket isn’t on the TV….