Melissa Schmalenberger, Published December 29 2013
Ms. Simplicity: Tips to make sure your resolutions stick this year
The top three resolutions continue to be to lose weight, be financially smart and get more organized.
My husband and I are religious gym-goers, but we dislike going to the gym two times a year: January and the month before the Fargo Marathon if the outside weather is frightful. We joke that it would be nice if people came to the gym in December and got it out of their system come January. The majority of these new-wave gym-goers will go for a bit and then quit.
What could they do to make it more than a flash-in-the-pan and become gym rats?
The same is true for organizing. My schedule is nearly at capacity for January. It seems everyone wants to get organized in January. No surprise. But what can I do to get people to organize past the month of January?
And then there is the money goal. We all want to have money in the bank and to not have bills, but something happens after a few weeks of trying and we go back to old habits of daily fancy coffees and lunches out versus packing our lunch and making our coffee at home.
Australian organizer Peter Walsh has written a book called “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” Can organizing really help you lose weight? Well, yes, it can, and it can also help you save money.
When I arrive at my clients’ homes, they are visibly stressed out. Usually asking for help is hard for them. They are at a point in their life where they know they need an expert to come in. My services don’t come cheap, and they know that they need to work and focus during our time together. I usually find ways to save them money and lower their stress levels.
I have found a few tricks to get you off on the right foot and make it past January and into the rest of the year.
Knowing what food you have in your pantry to avoid overbuying at the grocery store saves you money. And the value of having your kids doing homework with you standing nearby is darn near priceless.
When I have a big goal, I announce it on Facebook. Knowing that so many of my “closest” friends know what I am working on really helps. One friend that I meet with for coffee once a week said we should meet at the gym and walk and talk instead. Great idea!
My husband and I sat down and worked through our goals together. Hearing what is important to him is important for me to hear and help him work on. We have home-improvement and travel goals on our list, and we needed to figure out where the money will be coming from. Discussing our goals together makes for a stronger marriage and makes them seem more attainable.
Writing your goals allows you to break it down even further. What steps do you need to do in order to make your goals happen? Yes, we all want to be healthy, but what steps can we do to make ourselves healthy? Make these steps realistic and attainable. One year I taped them to my mirror in my bathroom as my daily reminder.
Looking for a bonus step, set a daily reminder on your phone with a mantra, prayer or words of encouragement. Take a few minutes in the morning to focus your day on your goals. The reminder on your phone will be the little nudge to get you going.
When setting goals, remember that the hardest part is the first step. One friend I was having coffee with said to me that she is too fat to go to the gym. I challenged her and reminded her that when we go to the gym we are only worried about what we look like and aren’t focusing on what anyone else looks like.
So realize that nobody cares that you are “too fat,” just start and put one foot in front of the other. You don’t need the perfect outfit. You don’t need the perfect body. Take that hard first step and keep going.
Ms. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger, operates her business as I Did It With Ms. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo. Email her at email@example.com.