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May 30, 2006

challenge: create real change in 12 weeks

This week’s challenge isn’t a creative one per se, although it could be. This week, I’d like you to “go-public” with a goal. You could post a goal on your blog. Post it as a comment on mine. Or tell a really supportive friend about your plans – a friend that will hold your feet to the fire and keep you motivated in the 11th hour IF you feel like caving.


Your goal can be an organizing goal. For example, your goal could be to organize your garage and basement by August 22nd (or earlier if you’d like.) Or you could organize “the room” — that place where things pile up until “later” only later still hasn’t reared its pretty little head. Or your goal could be a creative one … to complete a scrapbook that you’re oh-so close to completing but just haven’t quite finished. Or to scrapbook for 6 hours a week. Your goal could be to complete one of the prior “weekly challenges” from this blog by August 22nd (or earlier.) Your goal could be to cook healthy, home-cooked meals five times a week, or to exercise three times a week. It’s up to you. All you have to do is decide on a goal, make sure it’s measurable (three times a week, four hours a day, eight pages a month, etc.) and dated (by August 22nd, every week now until August 22nd, etc.)


I hope you’ll take this challenge because, you see, this really works. And I’ll tell you how I know.


In January I read this on Stacy Julian's blog.


So I decided to take Stacy’s challenge since I’ve always wanted to run a race. But wanting something and committing to do it in front of others (many others in this case) are two different things. After posting on Stacy's blog, I then told my husband, my kids, my sister, and my friends about my plans. The more people I told, the more committed I became. When I didn’t feel like running to train … I did ... because I had gone public. When I didn’t feel like finding a race to run … I did ... because I had gone public. And when I got tired midstream in the race, I didn’t stop, because I had gone public that I would run in a 5K race. To me that meant running it start to finish without stopping.


And so I did it. Last Saturday morning I ran in my first ever 5K race. It is possibly one of two times I’ve run that distance without stopping … which is all too exciting. And I have to tell you, accomplishing a goal that is hard for you is a truly rewarding thing to do. As I was doing it I thought “wow, I’m achieving a goal at this very minute. How cool is this?” As I started to get tired, I just kept running … knowing I was so close I couldn’t stop now and knowing that at the end, my kids were there cheering me on, my hubby was there cheering me on, my friend Laura was there cheering me on, and Stacy, in spirit, was there cheering me on.


So now I’d love to be your cheerleader. I want to see you accomplish your big goal. Start by going public with your goal. Go public in whatever way you’re comfortable. If you’d like to post here … that’d be great. I’m here to help and cheer you on at the finish line. If you’re more comfortable telling a close friend, tell your close friend. Just pick a way that feels right to you and know this: if I can run a 5K race, you can accomplish your big goal, too. Good luck!!


One more thing … I turned the track-back feature on. Let’s see if we can figure this out together, OK? See comments in the post below for a link to a great explanation on track-backs.


Two more things … I’ll be posting one of my goals in the comments section soon. So check back if you’re curious about what I’ll be up to next.


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Jessica Hood

Trackbacks sound WAY too complicated!? Or am I just a moron? LOL Six weeks ago I made a commitment to get into better shape. I have come to love working out. So much so that I hit the gym nearly every day. I went public w/my goal & now everyone is so supportive of my eating healthy, etc. I feel that I have made some very positive, PERMENANT lifestlye changes. Hopefully I will maintain those for the rest of my life. I know I sure feel better!


Congratulations on your 5K! I joined Stacy's challenge too and completed my own 5k on Memorial Day!!! I was giddy with excitement at finishing! (I've NEVER run that far before - never been a runner!) It felt great & you're right about making it public - EVERYONE I know knew I was running in that race & my kids were there to see me finish so there was NO WAY I was stopping (or walking!)

My new goal - A Completely Organized Scraproom by August 21st! There, I've said it - hold me to it!

Lisa M

Ok, my new goal is to get the remaining rooms in my house organized by August office (a complete and total disaster), laundry room (ick...makes me feel bad everytime I walk in the's the first room I see), baby's room (never got decorated, and now all the hand-me-downs are all over the place) and bedroom in the basement(just another of my catch-all's). And I'm going to get organized by Aby Garvey standards...not just hiding things in the cabinets.

Your ideas have really helped me, and I want to say thank you. I never knew how I could get all my papers off my desk because they were my trigger to remember what I needed to do for work. It wasn't until I read your email that said just to write everything down that I realized, I didn't have to keep all my papers on my desk to remember to do things. I could just look at a daily calendar. Seems so simple, but I needed you to tell me to do it.

So, now I've said it, I'm going to organize the rest of my house. I realized today that not being organized is keeping me from having time to do things with my kids, not to mention scrapbooking and the other things in life I enjoy. I'm always cleaning up and trying to find a home for all the junk. I'm getting rid of the junk (took a load to the consignment store already this afternoon), and I'm getting organized, and I'm doing it by August 21st. Thanks for the challenge! I know it's going to make my life better and happier!!!!!

Rebecca F

I'll take the challenge. I'll get rid of everything that should have been donated or trashed when we downsized our house after deciding that no other babies were coming along to join our family (after which I promptly got pregnant and was put on bedrest, and so watched my husband shove stuff wherever it fit at the time...the baby is now 17 months old and I've gotta downsize!). This week it's the 5 year old's room. Question: have you used THESE: ? They seem like a good idea for uniformity and stackability, but I'm not so sure all the odd shaped things would fit. I do love the idea, however, of them all stacked and labeled neatly in the closet! (BTW, I'm scrapbooking more since purchasing The Happy Scrapper. Thanks!)

Jennifer Pebbles

I found your blog and organizing business on RP's have both motivated me to take the new chapter in my life to a more serious level, so I would like to join in your 12 week challenge. I am actually right in the middle of my first goal, which is to swap rooms for the office and master bedroom, to give my work/creative studio more space and more energy (with a patio door ready to be open all day in the summer time). I have posts on my blog with the massive mess which is currently taking over my small home as we make this move. I hope to have 99% of the move completed by Saturday, June 10th.

Then, once that part is done, the next goal will be to start establishing a schedule, so that every day when I wake up, I know exactly what to do with the hours in front of me. Now that I have a new laptop, I would like to be able to wake up, work through the daily chores, and then leave for the gym...and instead of heading back to the house (where my schedule has fallen apart in the past) I would like to head over to Starbucks or some other local place to work on my laptop. I like that I now have a choice, and am not a prisoner of my home and desktop computer.

And, once I have my daily routine into place, I would like to continue with purging the house. I would like to rearrange the living/dining room areas, store some of the dishes we received for the wedding that we can't use right now (house is toooooo small, no room for it all), and get rid of all the crap we have collected over the years.

There are a few other goals intertwined up the backyard and making a patio space for friends and family to enjoy, Cleaning out the garage, which is a huge mess due to a collection of items from my husbands painting business, and being very regular about going to the gym at least 4 days a week to start, ending around at least 6 days by August, and paying more attention to keeping up my appearance (like haircolor, cut, etc).

Of course, since our life is a little messy right now, there are a lot of other things that need to be cleaned up, but I will keep those other things private for now...hoping to make all the changes I can in the next 12 weeks.

I am excited for this challenge. I finally feel a forward movement in my life, and am ready to make the changes that I have been putting off for such a long time. I am happy to have a "team" of supporters to cheer me on and keep me accountable.

June is a little later than January, but better late than never! Thanks for this chance to play along!!


Mary E.

I work best when I have a deadline and/or someone else depending on my completing my task on time. I am starting out a couple of weeks late, but that's OK, I will make it. My husband and I live in a small home and we have had several hobbies over the 35, soon to be 36, year of our marriage. In other words we are pack rates. I have re-done our bedroom and have made a major dent in the den/scrapbook room. The closet in the den still needs to be cleaned out and organized. The kitchen also needs to be de-cluttered. There are to many boxes and containers of stuff sitting around that need to be cleaned out and acted upon (put away where it belongs; make a home for it; donate it to Goodwill; or out with the trash. My goals: 1. Finish the den. and 2. De-clutter the kitchen. All to be done by August 22. The celebration to follow will be two-fold. Completion of my goals and my husband's birthday on the 27th. I just found your blog today and have made 2 postings. I will be here daily. Thanks for the inspiration.

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