Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and beautiful in the end–Robin Sharma
Do you want to make the change, pare down your possessions and reclaim your time. Ive listened to people talk about their possessions with a dark cloud of discontent and burden. Some have even said (jokingly) they hope their household possessions burn down while they are out.
When starting to de-own a huge portion of your possesions, the question of where to start can be crippling? The obvious answer is to start anywhere, yet somehow, the anywhere can paralyze us, and at times, myself included.
I think a productive place to start is always with yourself.
I know it’s tempting and even easier to start donating someone else’s things first, your husband’s movies, your kid’s toys that lay strung across the house floor as they tell you they’re bored. But more than likely, you will feel more accomplished and motivated after minimizing your own things first. Starting with your things can also be the best way to keep the peace if your family members aren’t on board yet with your dreams of paring down your possesions.
Choose the easiest place in your home for you. This may be your sock drawer, your linen closet, a bathroom cupboard or even your car. If you feel overwhelmed from reducing your clutter, resist starting in the areas of your life that would be the hardest and take the most time. Completing small areas will bring feelings of accomplishment, motivating you to tackle the next task.
So start easy, start small and start with your things. One of the first steps to decluttering your possessions can be started with a pen and paper. Come up with a detailed written plan.
A research study conducted by Psychology professor Dr. Gail Mathews from the Dominican University of California shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated them.
3 research proven tips to set yourself up for success:
Write down your goals. Writing down your goals with specificity will lead to more successful goal achievement than a vague plan. Writing my goals down the night before works well for me. Being a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers, I’m easily distracted with the most mundane tasks that I need to complete for the day. When I write them down I stay on track, accomplishing much more of my goals.
Share your goals with a friend. Verbalizing your goals to a friend helps commit the action to your mind. If your friend has the same goal as you, little friendly competition can be motivating. You may also find that your friend provides encouragement, ideas and inspiration to your goal.
This past January a group of girlfriends and I set a goal for the month. We wrote our goal down on a piece of paper, shared it with each other and sent weekly updates. Although I did not complete my over ambitious goal that month, I did find encouragement in sharing my goal with my friends. The weekly updates were encouraging and motivating–They were waiting to see my end goal reached.
Send regular updates for accountability. The positive affect of accountability is established when sharing our goals with a friend. In this study of 149 participants, those who communicated weekly progress reports with their friend accomplished significantly more than those who had only written their goals down. We all do best with accountability. We are more likely to complete tasks when we have the motivation of checking in with a friend.
At the end of the week, just knowing that your friend will ask you about your progress is motivation enough to keep on going.