I’ve had a home office for many years. It’s a nice little space with room for everything I should ever need. But when the paper piles and files stack up it’s not so nice. Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing. It was on a day I couldn’t find something that I made a decision to get organized.
Cleaning my small office is turning out to be a much bigger project than I anticipated. Read on to see how my experience provides useful strategies to also manage your weight in this theoretically unrelated project.
Here are the parallels I’m noticing.
1. Starting is the hardest part. When I started this cleanup a few weeks ago, I had difficulty letting go, pouring over everything. It was taking forever. But as time passes I’m finding my groove and releasing much more, more easily. I’m getting better at this as I go along.
The decision to start, or making the commitment to do something is the hard part. When you have a vision of the result you’re shooting for it helps you to get closer to it. Just start. Success begets more success. In other words, it gets easier.
2. I can’t do it all at once. It just feels too big. There are certain things I have to think about. In order to create a functional system I have to see all the parts. This project demands new systems. So I’ve given myself permission to do it in smaller chunks vs. all at once.
Small steps matter. In fact all accomplishments are a series of small steps. If you can’t see yourself losing 50 pounds you certainly won’t. So, . . . just goal set as far as you can see yourself. Does losing four or five pounds feel do-able? Focus on that. What will be the first small step? What system do you need in place to succeed?
3. Once I master one area, another mess shows up. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, or what I was storing. Some of this stuff has been around a long time. Sadly, my office is even messier while I’m in this process. Ackk! But that’s the whole point. This is a process. When you focus on the process you get results. Putting your whole focus on results/weight loss creates unnecessary pressure.
Weight loss can be messy too. You don’t know where or when the hiccups will occur. It’s important to dust yourself off and keep going after setbacks and learn what you need to learn. Remember – it’s a process, not an event.
4. And on that note, it’s never over. Once I have everything organized I will need to maintain the system or I’ll end up with more piles and lost files.
The same is true with weight management. I think we like to believe in diets because we want to believe we just need to drop the weight and then everything will be rosy and we can go back to eating the way we did. In truth, once you have obesity and you’ve lost the weight you will have to always work to keep it off. (Read that sentence again.) You can’t be complacent. Maintain the system. That’s why it’s important to make changes that you can maintain forever, not changes just for the sake of a quick weight loss.
Sustainable weight loss usually requires lifestyle change that also encompasses mind and spirit – not just physical, bodily changes.
Notice that you can leverage the learning and the wins in one area of your life to other challenges or projects. Where might that be true for you?
What does your workspace look like? Hopefully you haven’t had to set up a makeshift home office on the ironing board. If so I wish I could help you with that. Frankly I’m better with coaching than filing, or ironing.