You know how you have to clean your house a little bit before the cleaning lady comes?
Tidy up the dirty clothes, put away all the papers, organize the dishes in the sink etc. It’s not because you’re ashamed to show your cleaning lady what a mess you live in. No, that’s not it. It’s because you feel she won’t do as good a job as you would if she were to encounter your usual mess. You tidy up to prep her so that she can get down to the nitty gritty.
The same thing goes when it comes to the New Year. We do a lot of tying up of loose ends before January 1st, but not enough emphasis is put on how crucial a tidying job of our lives is before we make changes or decide to set goals.
I am a pretty organized person but without some maintenance, things can get disorderly pretty quick. Without a daily tidy of my desk, the purging of a few documents in the recycling, a few desktop file deletions, I would feel cluttered. My mind would feel cluttered. And a cluttered mind is no place for goals.
How did a dream like you wind up in a mess like this?
Sure, many a dreamy-mind appeared disheveled to the outside world. Brainiac creatures like inventors, mathematicians, writers – none of them had rooms looking as tidy as a priests’ (read: they also weren’t saints) but that didn’t stop them from achieving greatness in what they loved doing.
This brings up a new point – and a counteracting one, which I don’t want to overlook. Some of the best minds work most fruitfully in disorganization. But to them, life isn’t disorganized, it’s how they needed it to survive.
Set up your life for how you need to – not only just survive – but to thrive and the preparation will go farther than the goal itself.
Let’s say you want to lose weight in the new year? Don’t just set a goal to do something extra like go to the gym 3 times a week (something that, if you haven’t been doing it already, it won’t happen overnight). Set a goal to clean your fridge and shop from a list. Things you’d do already. Straighten things out before you and the path ahead becomes clear.
Or, perhaps you want to write more in the New Year (my goal, and yes, I’m a broken record). I have to start plotting out ideas and drafts when I think of them, and not wait for them to pool and then flush out of my mind because of forgetfulness or laziness.
By preparing for the road ahead, you carve it.
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