This week marks a milestone.
It’s the first time, since we moved over 2 years ago, that I parked my car in the garage.
I (finally) spent the long weekend opening, moving, tossing, recycling, donating, organizing and placing all the things that have been living in the boxes in the garage.
And there were a lot. (Enough that a car now fits in the place boxes used to be!)
Monday night, I would open the garage door just to see the difference. It felt great!
I can move around easier. I’m happier with the way things look. I feel pride in a job well done.
Losing weight feels like this, too.
Clearing clutter and losing weight both make you feel lighter. You get rid of stuff you don’t need and are no longer willing to carry around.
And the basic process is the same. There are five steps:
1. Awareness: Noticing there’s an uncomfortable feeling. Before we are aware, we are blind to the build up—too much is going on and its easier (or necessary) to ignore the consequences then to stop eating the treat or throwing the mail in the drawer.
2. Acceptance: Seeing the problem for what it is—a problem, a way we don’t want to be any longer. We accept that we created it and that it’s here. Acceptance is a necessary stopping point on the way to resolution. Skipping this step leads to half-hearted attempts or “quick fixes” (read: the grapefruit diet or a run to the container store for large bins).
3. Decision: Decide it’s time to do something about it. This can happen instantaneously with Acceptance, or take a long, long time. But nothing can happen without choosing to change.
4. Action: Straightforward. The work has to be done. This is another place people can get stuck. Taking action changes the situation, but not knowing what to do can hinder progress. Where there’s a will there’s a way—which is why Awareness, Acceptance and Decision are so important—they create/support your “will”. Who can help you? Where can you find the information you need? Start somewhere. Then keep going.
5. Results: Enjoy the fruits of your labor. With clutter clearing, it happens relatively quickly. Weight loss, not so much. Small wins and micro goals can keep you motivated to lose the weight. Celebrate it all (with something other than food :).
Because the process and feelings produced are so similar, decluttering can lead to weight loss and vice versa—sometimes when we start to lose weight we can no longer stand the clutter.
Feeling lighter feels so good we want more.
So if you’re stuck in one of these areas, try working with the other first.
You might just find yourself wearing your skinny jeans while parking in a clean garage.