Like 99% of the American population, I’m sure you’ve got a long mental “to do” list when it comes to improving your life.
“I need to get more organized.”
“I need to start exercising.”
“I need to start eating healthier.”
“I need to start spending more time with my family.”
And the list goes on…..
The problem is that we TALK about these things ALL THE TIME. We always have that mental list of things we “need to do”- and yet, we’re not getting it done.
For most, it’s because it seems like SO MUCH that even just the THOUGHT of doing makes us tired. You ever watch “Hoarders” and think “How in the world did these people get to this point?” The truth is, it wasn’t what they DID, it’s what they DIDN’T do. If you are a regular watcher, like I am, you know that most of these people had some life situation that was sort of the pivotal point – and things went downhill from there. A loved one died, the person lost his/her job, a divorce occurred – SOMETHING happened that caused that person to shut down, and he/she just stopped doing. The “stuff” he/she has accumulated – as crazy as it sounds – was a comfort. When something very dear to you is ripped away, you try to hold onto anything – and everything – you can, because that’s the only thing you CAN control.
Fortunately, most of us are not in the “hoarders” category, but we still feel like we live in a world of chaos. We feel overwhelmed by trying to balance work and home, and somehow we’ve let things get away from us – little by little – until the “to do” list has become a mile long. But the mere thought of even attempting to tackle that list seems too much to wrap our minds around, and so we just DON’T DO.
You know that old phrase “one step at a time”? As crazy as it sounds, that is honestly all it takes – ONE STEP. Pick a place – any place – and just START. I know you’re probably sitting there saying “that’s easier said than done”. But honestly, it’s not as hard as you think it is. Maybe today you choose that pile of mail that’s been piling up on the table. Chances are half of it need to be thrown out, but you just haven’t taken the time to do so. Maybe tomorrow you choose the coffee table. I know you think that one thing can’t make that much of a difference, but amazingly, it does. It adds up over time, and after a couple of weeks, maybe that entire living room is done…and you can move on to the next room.
I didn’t say it would be easy. You will have to muster up courage, patience, and a little focus and determination. But just like starting a new exercise routine, it will become easier as time goes on – and you will be amazed at the results you are starting to see. I think of clutter like the “fat” of your house – you got a little lazy and complacent and your house put on a few pounds! But ignoring those pounds won’t make them go away; they will only continue to accrue if you don’t take action.
So as you try to decide where to start on your list of things to improve in your life, don’t get overwhelmed with how many things you need to work on. Just pick ONE. My suggestion is pick the ONE thing that has the greatest effect on your life right now, and start making daily time for that one thing everyday. Maybe you choose to start exercising – so make 20 minutes everyday to start walking. Maybe you choose to start eating healthy, but before you overhaul your entire kitchen, just choose one area to focus on – such as taking a multivitamin, cutting down on your potato chip habit, or eating one fruit a day more than what you currently eat (which, sadly, might mean eating ONE fruit a day for many people – but again, it’s a start). The bottom line is: JUST START. And take it one step at a time.