Getting motivated and staying motivated can be difficult.
Do you ever find yourself inspired to finally clean out the bedroom closet after listening to a home organizing podcast?
Many of us have great intentions when starting a project, but think twice about it when the work involved seems too overwhelming.
So how do we find motivation when our brain seems to be working against us?
Start By Knowing Your Why?
Ask yourself why you want to clean out your closet.
Your why must be powerful enough to move you to take action. Try to tie your why to an emotion.
Emotions trigger your limbic brain, which reinforces your behaviour. If you have a strong emotional response to why you need to reach these goals, you’ll have a better chance of taking action. Tip: Make sure you write down, in detail, why you want to accomplish your goal and why it’s important to you. Keep it handy and review it when you’re feeling unmotivated.
Keep a Vision Board
Pinterest is excellent for this- find images of closets that inspire you and look at them as often as possible. Remember to add pictures of the process, like pretty storage containers or a kitchen or laundry room that’s full of ideas!
Small Achievable Goals or Actions
Motivation is fickle; you want to make sure you give it the best chance.
Breaking down bigger goals, like cleaning out the closet into smaller, more manageable tasks, makes the process less daunting and the goal more achievable.
For example, tell yourself you’re only going to focus on decluttering the items on your closet floor first; next, you’ll tackle the clothing hanging and lastly, the items on the shelves. Remember, you don’t have to do it all in one day.
Plan & Set Yourself Up For Success
Trick your brain into action by taking steps that aren’t so painful such as laying your clothes out the night before or writing down three tasks you would like to complete the following day.
Planning and prepping can minimize excuses that can pop up in the early stages of taking action.
Find The Energy
If you’re thinking about organizing your closet or kitchen while slumped over watching t.v. you’re likely not going to feel inspired.
Get up and move around to get the blood pumping and pick a day when you have time in your schedule, and you’re not feeling too tired. Organizing is time-consuming, so make sure you have enough time to tackle your to-do’s and enough energy to make it happen.
Great! You’ve tackled your closet, organized it and let go of what you no longer need.
So, how do you stay motivated to keep it organized?
Keep A Journal
Document your journey.
Write down how great you feel after organizing an area of your home. Be specific about how it no longer stresses you because it looks organized and you know where your items are.
If you start to feel unmotivated, come back to your journal as a reminder of how far you’ve come.
Schedule Your Routine
Schedule the tasks of organizing your home in your planner or calendar. You want to ensure that nothing else is happening simultaneously and that you’ve put aside enough time to complete the task. Scheduling is vital to stop excuses like “I don’t have time.”
Revisit Your Why And Your Vision Board
If you start to waiver from your routine or your goals, revisit why you wanted to do this in the first place. Look at your vision board and get re-inspired.
Celebrate Your Small Wins
Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
For example, when you organize two areas of your home, treat yourself to a nice dinner, or if you’ve finally let go of those old jeans from 20 years ago, treat yourself to a new pair.
Tip: always remove an item from your closet when you add an item, so you aren’t back in the same situation (cluttered closet) in a few months.
Click here for more tips on getting organized.
Find your support system like an organizing buddy, friend or partner. Tell them your goal and share your wins and your losses throughout the process.
Tip: Find someone who may want to accomplish the same goals as you.
Continue to Take Action
Action has momentum.
Consistent action leads to habits that support the goal you’re trying to reach, and habits lead to routine.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, calls this habit stacking. Your brain starts to build a network of neurons to support your behaviour. This network of neurons makes organizing your home less painful and requires less motivation to achieve the goal.