Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Major 2008 Goal

I'm not usually a big New Year's goal kind of person. I guess I figure that when I see a need to change, why wait, just do it. But pre-end-of-the-year this year I set a couple goals for myself, one of which I feel like discussing for a moment.

This is the year to GET RID and organize. The get rid is the main part. The organize should be a lovely by-product.

I've of course known about goals for years, but it wasn't until I went to Wood Badge (scout leadership training) that I really learned how to set goals by making sure they are SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, time), and by setting a plan of the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

This goal is a necessary one and thus very relevant, but it's still very scary for me. I start knotting up when I start thinking about getting rid of some things. I know, dumb. Usually if I get away from them for a while and talk myself into realizing I don't need them then I'm okay, but spur of the moment is much harder. My method takes more time. I started cataloging my boxes of books for just that purpose, so I couldn't lovingly hold them in my hand while deciding whether they should stay or go. I swear all this stuff can talk.

I've got a great new-found friend that is totally the opposite of saving everything, entirely unsentimental. After she told me that one day on the phone, I was looking through boxes downstairs for my copy of the book our book club is reading this month and suddenly there was her voice in my head. "Why do you still have that? You haven't used it yet, when are you planning to?" The next day when I e-mailed her that I couldn't find the book but I was sure I could find the paper I wrote in high school on it, she wrote back and told me to bring it to book group and she would throw it away for me. I don't know about that, but everyone needs a friend like that to help them deal with their personal issues, whatever they may be.

Just a bit earlier I had a burst of inspiration to help me with the "When" on this goal. Thursday is our garbage day and Thursday is also our library day. If I could promise myself a trip to the basement every Wednesday at some point, the trash could go out the next day and the DI's could go out the door with us. Brilliant!

I've been thinking about posting some pictures so all ya'll could help me make it measureable and verify that I was doing a good job, but so far I haven't talked myself into it. Sorry.

On a final note, here's a gem from Thomas Edison's wife Mina I read while we were learning about him.

"We have tried to organize our home and our home life to give results just as much as the laboratory."

A great goal to work towards.


  1. I need to organize more too. The getting rid of things part is sometimes a problem and sometimes it's totally EASY for me. It depends on what it is. You saw my junk drawer. I'm totally going to have a junk drawer contest on my blog. But I'm sure you could come to my house and get rid of my crap and I could come to yours and get rid of your crap. It's easy when it's not YOUR stuff.

  2. Your stuff talks to you?! And you want me to visit huh?

  3. I want to hear more about this! This is a goal for me too. I noticed you are reading the book "Simplify." Is this your inspiration? I'm about to dig in, in the next few days, but I'm scared. I'm afraid I'll get rid of too much or not enough. I'm doing debates in my head about it as I look around my kids' rooms etc. Help!

    If you don't mind sharing ideas, my e-mail is cindimartineau@gmail.com :)

  4. Simplify is a good book that has take me months to read even though it's really not very big. :) I guess in a way it's been an inspiration. The way the book goes, each letter in Simplify stands for something, so "Let Go" (I think that's the one on getting rid) is only one of them. I'm definitely one to cram as much of everything I can into my life, and I'm realizing that maybe that isn't the best way in everything. But really the inspiration at least for my goal is feeling like I'm cleaning the same things constantly, and that the house is too FULL. I cleaned the kitchen counter off yesterday, but does it look like it today? No. So I started thinking that if we didn't have all the stuff to cram in everywhere then maybe things would start to find their home instead of just the floor.