Organizing can mean many different things to many different people. Most want to get organized so they can live a more streamlined and stress-free life. Others use organization as a means to boost their productivity. No matter your reason for wanting to get organized, the truth is organizing has the power to create major sustainable change. It may not happen right away, but over time it builds and builds. You’ll be amazed by how your life has improved because of it.
Sustainable change has a two-fold definition. First, it shifts your mindset from wanting change to accepting change. In other words, you’re accepting the new “way of doing business.” Second, it creates continuous improvements by constantly reevaluating the way you do things.
It’s important because change is a part of growth. If you want to see significant growth you need to be willing to change a few things. Particularly about yourself, your lifestyle, and your habits.
The first step to creating sustainable change is to get yourself and your home organized. Through this step, you’re setting your environment and mind up for success. You can’t hope to achieve change in a cluttered environment. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how clutter has a horrible effect on the mind.
So it should stand to reason that if you want to create change, you need to start with yourself and your home. An organized environment means an organized mind. You can then apply that to other aspects of your life. It’s important to note that when you maintain an organized space, you’re switching from the old way of doing things to the new.
There are five key things you need to achieve sustainable change. They are mindset, goals, motivation, consistency, and accountability. Let’s break each one of them down.
Anything you want to accomplish in life first requires a mindset shift. If you don’t have the right mindset, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. Why? Because if you don’t believe change is possible, nothing is going to change. It’s as simple as that.
Businesses and companies have taken into account how important mindset work is. There are now team trainings centered just on mindset work alone. A positive mindset not only boosts productivity but also improves morale. What workplace wouldn’t want that?
But mindset isn’t a one-and-done fix. You need to constantly adjust your mindset, especially as you move closer to your goals. This is because you’re going to face setbacks and obstacles you didn’t prepare for. Instead of letting your mind tell you this is all a waste of time, adjust your mindset. Don’t fear the setback. Solve it. Even if it means falling behind on schedule.
Creating goals are vital to achieving sustainable change. You can’t hope to get there if you don’t know where to even begin. Goals give you direction and they give you a purpose. But it’s important to keep goals realistic. For example, saying, “I want to get organized” is a great goal to have, but how are you going to get organized?
Break goals up into sizable chunks. You can break your “get organized” goals into the following manageable tasks:
Small goals are less daunting. And the great thing about small goals? The completion of each one brings you closer to accomplishing that one huge goal you have. So when looking to create sustainable change, figure out the goals you want to accomplish and how you can do them realistically.
Once you have a list of actionable goals, your motivation should be through the roof. If not, you need to reevaluate some things. You can’t hope to move forward in anything if you don’t have motivation. Motivation is the driving force of action. You’re not going to be motivated every single day. Remember, you’re not a robot. But if you work on your goals regardless of motivation, you’re creating change.
Motivation is the thing that keeps you going when you think there’s no point. If you’re adamant about accomplishing your goals then motivation will get you there. But motivation needs a positive mindset to work for you. If you believe you’re going to fail, your motivation will stumble. Don’t let it! That’s why constant mindset work is needed as your work towards change.
Jeff Olson, the author of The Slight Edge, is a big advocate about consistency. In fact, the book is primarily about how consistent positive habits — no matter how small — are the key difference between successful and unsuccessful people. He writes, “Simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time. That, in a nutshell, is the slight edge.”
What he means is that if you want to accomplish a goal of getting organized, you need to break it down into productive habits. For example, you can say, “I’m going to organize for 15 minutes every day.” Or “I’m going to read an organizing blog post three times a week and apply what they teach.” Any small, productive habit that brings you closer to your goal means you will be successful.
Consistency is key to reach sustainable change. Understand that you’re going to have a bad day or two where life gets in the way. But if you pick up where you left off on the next day, you’re being consistent. And that means you’re one step closer to achieving your goals.
If you’re looking to bring about big changes in your life, it’s not enough to do it on your own. You need someone or some way to hold yourself accountable. Accountability is a major part of change. Without it, you won’t move forward. You’ll remain stagnant. That’s not the goal here.
When you decide to embark on achieving goals that will bring forth sustainable change, ask yourself:
One way you can do that is by getting a friend or family member involved. Tell them you’re going to give them a once-a-week report on where you stand in your goals.
If you fall behind or fail to give them an update, have them give you a little scolding. Nothing too crazy. You could even write a little speech yourself about why these goals are important to you and have them read it back. Sometimes our own words repeated back to us are all we need to get back on the motivation train.
Sustainable change is easy to achieve if you put in the work it requires of you. The key elements listed above will lead to huge results and success. But if you’re not willing to put in the work you’re not going to see change. You might see little changes, but if you want sustainable change — essentially big changes that come with long-lasting rewards — you need to do more than the bare minimum.
The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. My greatest goal is to give my clients not just an organized space, but a peaceful space. I educate my clients about the power of organization and the effects of clutter. So if you want to create sustainable change through organization, contact me today and let me be your accountability partner.
October 15, 2021