The start of the New Year is well known for making resolutions, and generally ranking right at the top are losing weight and getting organized.
Advertisers are well aware and flood our inboxes with enticing offers, ranging from gym memberships, diet programs, workout equipment, as well as a slew of organizing products. Filled with a renewed enthusiasm to conquer the weight and the clutter once and for all, we tend to jump in with both feet. Unfortunately, the euphoria and energy tends to wane over time, as most of us have experienced at one point or another.
Trying to rid ourselves of clutter is much like trying to lose weight. We are unhappy with the shape of our bodies, or our homes, and yearn to lose the excess as quickly as possible. Diets and "declutter-thons" are a great way to jump start the process. Realistically though, the all in, radical approach usually does not work long term. We follow rigid rules for a certain amount of time, but once we've achieved the desired result, we stop, only to fall back into our old habits, which will over time get us right back to where we started.
So what is the solution?
Stop the yo-yo approach! Decide to make permanent changes to your lifestyle by adding new habits into your daily routine, while aiming to let go of some of your bad habits. For a healthier way of living that could include incorporating at least 15 -30 minutes of exercise into your day, learning about better nutrition, and preparing healthier meals.
For a more organized, and in my opinion most beneficial way of living, try establishing new routines as well. These new habits will benefit the entire family, especially your children, who will carry these skills into their adult lives. Power purging is great, but only effective if you learn to maintain the newly organized spaces. We also need to be aware of behaviors that led us to accumulate the clutter in the first place. Impulse buying is often a big culprit.
Some routines to add to your day:
- Get into the habit of weekly and daily planning. Look over your upcoming schedule, from which you can create your lists of things to do and purchase.
- Start preparing for the upcoming day. Pack work and school bags, prep lunches, coffee, etc.
- Return items to their homes once you are done using them. The old adage of "A place for everything and everything in its place" is definitely a rule to live by.
- Meal planning is also an great tool to incorporate into your weekly routine, which coincidentally will help with weight loss as well by avoiding last minute take out for dinner.
Learning new habits takes time. Small steps will help you reach your desired goal, so don't give up.