Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Willpower Update

Remember that series on willpower that I did early this year? I've continued to see the ways that my life has been changed by the principles in the book The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, PhD.

When I decided to take on the willpower challenge of decluttering my house, I had no idea what a big challenge it would be. Because I'm doing just a little bit a day (usually four days a week), it's taking a long time. I've been working consistently on it since January, and I still have a lot of areas to tackle!

But I like the slow, steady pace. It means I'm changing my way of life instead of just doing a one-time project and then going back to my old ways. Some days, I tackle areas I'd already decluttered, to once again get them looking nice. (Some spots attract clutter like magnets attract paperclips!) But most days I work on areas that have become disorganized through the six years we've lived here, like this closet that I finished today:

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Isn't it pretty?

I love that my house is a more pleasant place to live! And that's my motivation. I can't stress enough what a huge deal positive motivation has become in my life. I'm doing things I thought I didn't want to do, and it's not because I have to. It's because I have realized I do indeed want to do these things (like getting & staying more organized) because I like the results so much. Moving from have to towards want to has been so freeing (and effective) for me!

Now I'm trying to find a balance. Clutter bothers me more than it used to. And when I take into account my temperament and my season of life (homeschooling mom of young children), I realize I need to have some tolerance for some clutter and mess. Things will not stay looking perfect all the time. What I want is to learn to tolerate temporary messes better, so that when it's time to relax, I can really do that. I guess I need to figure out a positive motivation for those relaxation times, just as I've found positive motivation for cleanup times!

I don't read a lot of self help books. But The Willpower Instinct has made a long-term difference in how I live my life, and I continue to place it on my list of very highly recommended books!

I was originally provided with a free copy of this book for review; however, this post is uncompensated.


Call Me Cate said...

What I love is when a space STAYS decluttered. That's when I feel like I've really made a difference. I had to go back to my blog and search but it's been since April 2009 that I decluttered our hall linen closet and it's stayed about 95% decluttered. It's SUCH an amazing feeling.

I wish you'd do more of these posts, really. Every time you do one, it makes me feel so happy for you. And it makes me want to tackle another area in our house. I feel much the same way about the clutter - so much better when it's gone!

Yay Beth!

enthusiastically, dawn said...

This is awesome...I wish I would have done the de cluttering along with you! We need it...keep plugging. Maybe I will catch up- keep us posted on your progress. Great job!