The Reward Is In The Goal: How Making Things Happen Makes You Happy


Post-it To-Do 2.0

Image by rintakumpu via Flickr

For expats like me moving to a new place this summer, they might think that it is already Christmas when they get  their stuff delivered in boxes of all shapes in their new home. Well, for me that feeling did not last long.  From 8:30am until 5pm from Monday to Friday I managed to unpack 659 boxes with 7 movers and two professional organizers specialized in helping people de-cluttering, downsizing while giving a brand new look to your home.

Some boxes were 20 year old, never opened, that went straight to the storage room with guilt in the back of my mind. Then like for New Year I made a new resolution for that move that I will take time to sort the good things from the sentimental crap such as old business cards, some books totally wrong like those predicting the supremacy of Japan over the U.S., old theater tickets or sets of unmatched  silverware.

I am a big fan of Steven Covey and I rely very much on his methods he described in his books: “First Thing First” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. However, like most people,

I can be lost in procrastination!

So the problem is not that we don’t know how to manage our time or what we need to do to become more efficient in our life and our work, the issue here is how to stay motivated on the long run, dealing with multitasking or time-consuming activities and losing momentum not focusing on the most important things.

The idea is to start first to identify one goal that you can achieve in one week that is not a “should” or a “have to”. Then  list the benefits for YOU, tangible or intangible but  it is very important that you do something that you have 100 % control (means: don’t try to change others) and you know that you can do it and will improve your life significantly. Then cut this goal into small steps you can achieve in one day and make a realistic “to do” list. It is also important that you identify resources that will help you stay committed like the organizers for me this week. For your daily action plan, better under-promise  and over-achieve than the opposite. So here is my philosophy about getting things done:

The reward is in the goal itself, you don’t need external motivators, carrots or sticks, to make you feel happy and proud of yourself when you overcome challenges and make things happen

My goal this week was to get rid of all the empty cartons. I succeeded and get a space I can already enjoy everyday with no more clutters and junk stuff. I have now the main level looking just perfect, making me really happy: the kitchen, the living room, the family room and the dinning room are all with decorative items artistically positioned, frames and pictures. This result cheers me up when I see other parts of my house such as the basement which is still a mess but actually less challenging than dealing with my extra kitchenware.

My goal for next week is to sort many unfitted clothes and organize my mew closets with some empty spaces, a real challenge for me but I know I will feel really good. The first step is getting rid of clothes that are too big now that I lost weight or simply too old like T-shirts I kept for sentimental reasons with name of places I went 20 or 15 years ago . I think it is very manageable for one week.

I am also thinking to hire an image consultant since my mother lives in France and I cannot get her opinion, for a total relooking.  I will probably need one day  to learn wich colors , shapes and fabrics are suitable for my lifestyle and body shape and eliminate more clothes. I will then go get a new hair cut and color to fit  the “new me”. Again the reward is in the goal, taking care of me to feel great about myself sounds much better than “getting my closet organized” .

What do you think ?

Can you switch your perception to see good outcome from the most daunting task?

Looking forward to get your comments here.

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One thought on “The Reward Is In The Goal: How Making Things Happen Makes You Happy

  1. Knikkolette Church (@knikkolette) September 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm Reply

    Personally I would get much more gratification if I could talk someone else into doing all of the organizing for me while I do something nice for them… I’m a bit of a clutterbug – nothing drastic – just enough to get under my husband’s skin. Not enough to make him pick up after me though! LOL🙂

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