Tuesday, September 23, 2008

setting goals

(It's a slow news day here, so welcome to the minutae of my mind)
So often I think of goals as long term desires, things that require stepping up to the plate and exercising a discipline that doesn't usually manifest itself in an ordinary day, or for a collection of days. By virtue of Sunday's crossword puzzle, for instance, I've added a new travel destination to my list of places to visit (see picture: Cantabria, Spain.) Think $$$. Or, hitting closer to home on a daily basis, shedding the 40 pounds that have attached themselves to my person without permission in these last two years requires more than one day of careful meal planning and getting out for a walk. I do know that the best way to achieve a goal is to break the objective down into manageable (and measurable) steps, but I have found that those somehow get obscured in the daily grind, or lost from view when my eyes are set on that long-term accomplishment.

To get into the habit of taking smaller steps, I have decided that I want to practice the discipline of achieving short-term goals. My friend Clare got me thinking about this with a simple question/request--when I figure out how to keep the dining table clear of clutter, let her know! (Thanks, Clare, little did you know you were providing inspiriation for this!)

The dining table is now clear, thanks to our entertaining the other night, so I have been mindful of the habits that cause me to clutter it, and am redirecting my action: when I start to place something on the table I tell myself to put the item where it belongs. In a way I am channeling my friend Kathy, whose father-instilled mantra "complete the transaction" echoes in my head.

My first short-term goal is to get my office in order. This is a perpetual task because I lack sufficient storage for the things that accumulate here, and piles begin to collect on the floor or any other available surface area until the usual path to my paper storage, closet, or bookshelves has become obscured or, at worst, dangerous to traverse. I am also inspired by an HGTV show called Mission: Organization, which employs the useful and time-honored technique of "sort, stack and store."

I take this on because 1) this old dog needs to learn this not-so-new trick; 2) it's part of my recovery from depression; and 3) Ken is really tired of my clutter and he is well deserving of the reward of not having to put up with it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some decluttering to do!


Janet M said...

It sounds good, I need to get my office in shape all the time. The one advantage of the dining room here it's it's not on my path but the counter in the kitchen is.
Hugs to you and a get together this winter sounds perfect to me.

Jayne said...

It's such a hard habit to break. My "pile" is in the kitchen on the cabinet by the phone, and once it gets to the about-to-tip-over point, I usually go through it. I am always amazed by what I held on to for weeks, for no really good reason. Usually, half the stack gets tossed out. :c) Thankfully, that's the only place I allow my clutter stack.

Wishing you the rewards of decluttering, and sending warm hugs to support you along the way.

Kip said...

very good advice dear Anne.


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