Regular readers know I am not a fan of resolutions, at least not those that are inexplicably tied to January 1. Someone please tell me what's magic about that date. Think about it...it is THE worst time to head to a gym, the weather is (usually) crummy for clearing out excess junk, and lots of folks are still paying for the holidays. Who has the mental capacity to start a new, lofty goal like saving more money or losing 15 pounds? Or even the amorphous, "get more organized" (where? in what way? for what purpose?)? Statistics show that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually keep them.*
Still, I have to confess it's a good time to tease out what has been working throughout the year - and what has not. Whether it's the way your kids handle a bedtime routine, or how your team at work is communicating, reflection is a great thing in late December. And reflecting generally leads to, well, setting or adjusting goals. I have been looking over the 2015 calendar and noting the highs and lows. I'm looking into some new endeavors (lots of speaking, creating some "tips and tricks" videos, and...gulp...starting that book?), refining some old ones, and discarding what isn't serving me or my clients. You might even say I've been "de-cluttering" and reorganizing my plans. Is that the same thing as making resolutions?
I've also discovered that with a little planned downtime, I've been drawn to my own physical organizing projects around the house. So far I've cleared out 1/2 of the garage (made possible by the weirdly warm weather), two drawers, and the gift wrapping supplies. Next on my list is the laundry room storage area. It's productive and makes me feel better, but I also like to think it could happen in April, or September, or whenever I make some space in the schedule to putter around with my label maker and bins. It's planned, but not forced. I never call the process a resolution, because to me that makes it seem like a one-time task. It's making changes in, or adding to, existing habits (which are ongoing).
If you ARE compelled to make some New Year's resolutions, that's all good too. But I might make the suggestion that you calendar a day or two 2 months from now, and again 2 months after that (and so on), to check in on yourself. Write everything down (or make notes in your phone), and also note what you need - mentally, physically, or spiritually - to make those resolutions reality. Is the timing right? Does the resolution require support from other people? Have you been specific enough (see "get more organized" above)?
Often, the most disheartening thing for my clients is coming to terms with big plans not carried out. I encourage them to think of organizing not as a resolution, but rather the underpinning for all other goals. Improve your organization, and arrive on time more consistently. Improve your organization, and spend less money on things you don't need. Improve your organization, and enjoy inviting more friends and family over. It all goes hand in hand.
Those kinds of resolutions can be made (and kept) throughout 2016, and beyond.
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, and serial list-maker. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?