Organizing brings consistency... consistency brings success. By Matt Fizell
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up”. –A.A. Milne
With the month of January quickly coming to a close and a few really awesome blog posts focusing on organization being released over the course of the month, I wanted to take this opportunity to tie it all together with “why” we should be organized.
If you the reader are similar to most Americans, 75% of you who created a “New Years Resolution” have likely already thrown it to the curb, and are not on track to reach the big, sweeping declaration which would make 2019 “The year I finally do …..” and hit that goal you wanted to achieve as 2018 came to an end. According to a Forbes article, only 8% of Americans who set a resolution will actually hit their goal. Like most Americans, I too am guilty of failing a previous resolution, and last year I realized for me… organization was the issue.
The main reason why MOST have already failed is a combination of vague goals, which do not have a clear measurement of success for the goal setter, and simple lack of organization. “I want to lose weight”, “I want to make more money”, “I want to save more” are all really great examples of the common goals we see and hear about in the news at the end of the year. Statements are not goals, and if we do not have clear goals… they will be nearly impossible to complete due to the simple fact we do not know how to prepare for the journey ahead.
So as I usually do in my blog posts... IT’S STORY TIME! For my “resolution” last year, I had the goal of getting back down to my original college weight, a goal that I had continually put off year after year. My first job out of college had a breakroom constantly stocked with sugary snacks from co-workers who liked to bake, client lunch meetings were paid for, and corporate trainings usually entailed catered lunch/dinner, which led to me putting on nearly 15 pounds of extra weight in two years. I was serious about losing the weight this time around, and understood if I wanted to lose 5 pounds a month, I could only eat 1850 calories per day. If you have a similar goal in weight loss, I highly recommend the “MyPlate” app available on all smartphones, it is free to use!
After finding “my number” based on when I wanted to lose the weight by, I then had to organize my pantry and fridge, which meant getting rid of a lot of unhealthy snacks... this is no different than ridding your budget of unnecessary spending with your discretionary income, overspending on the things that WON’T help you hit your goals. From there, I went to Amazon, bought Tupperware and a food scale so I could organize my meals for the week, and pre-entered each custom meal into my calorie tracking app. These were the steps I needed to have prepared so my plan for weight loss wouldn’t go off track, and while I have had a couple “cheat” days and bad weeks of being organized in my diet, I have lost nearly 20 pounds since I began my journey 13 months ago.
There isn’t a doubt in my mind if I wouldn’t have taken the steps to actually understand and interpret what I needed to do to hit my goals that I would have failed miserably... again. If you truly want to change your habits in your everyday life, you need to have a solid target to shoot for, and organize your life in the proper manner to make sure no matter what happens that you are in a position for success. This may mean spending a little extra time and effort up front, but it will result in a higher probability of hitting your goals and avoiding wasted time going around in a circle.
Whether it is your weight, your finances, or something new you want to accomplish, understanding why it is important to you and what organizational approach you need to take along the way that will set you up for a higher chance of success. If retiring earlier is on your mind or perhaps you aren’t enjoying your current line of work, know what you need to accomplish in order to make that happen and use organizational tools such as budget to understand where your money is going, how much is going to each area, and how much needs to be put towards your goal instead. This will help you understand the timeline of your journey, and from there you can begin to develop checkpoints along the way so you don’t feel the “are we there yet?” syndrome kicking in.
If we set ourselves up for success, we can focus on taking our time and enjoying our lives in the process of reaching our goals. When we don’t feel constantly stressed out about “how far behind I am”, we can take pressure off of ourselves and give the best version of ourselves possible to the things and people we love in our lives.
We hope you enjoyed our January series on getting organized! Since February is the month of love, stay tuned for our series around love and finances!