Get Off The Hamster Wheel – 365 New Beginnings

It’s hard to believe this is the last week of January. Just a few short weeks ago was New Year’s Day.  We  were feeling excited about a new beginning.  Even if we screwed up and got nowhere last year, when the calendar year changes we feel like we get another chance to start over and do it right.

But here we are, into the fourth week of the new year, where many of us have already given up on those new year’s resolutions. We’re back into the same old (bad?) routines that didn’t move us forward towards our goals.

Albert Einstein said:

  “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


hamster wheelThe sun rises each morning giving us another chance to work on reaching our goals and dreams.  But it seems like one day drags into another. We feel like we’re on a hamster wheel going nowhere.

Many of us don’t know how to get off that hamster wheel and it’s causing a lot of insanity!


Maybe it’s time to change our thinking about “beginnings”.

There are 12 months in the year.  Why don’t we look at the beginning of each month as a fresh start to get it right this time?

What about the 52 weeks of the year?  Each week we get a chance to begin again.  It doesn’t matter if the new week starts on Sunday or Monday or any other day.  Each week is only 7 days and you get a chance to start the next week every 8 days.

The same is true for each day.  That’s 365 chances for new beginnings!

Maybe it’s time to make changes not only at the beginning of this year but at the beginning of each month, week, and day.

Take a few minutes to write down what you did yesterday, last week, last month, and even last year with the following questions in mind.

  1. What successes did you have and what did you do that brought the results you were looking for?
  2. Where did you not accomplish your goals? What did you do or not do that didn’t bring the results you desired?

When you figure out what worked then repeat that action as often as possible.

When you figure out what didn’t work then stop doing it. It didn’t get you the results you were looking for so why continue doing it?  I know that’s easy to say but remember the quote above.  If you keep doing the things that aren’t working what makes you think all the sudden they will work?

Of course we always hear of stories where someone appears to be doing the same thing over and over again until it eventually it works.  What these stories don’t tell you is that the person kept tweaking what they did until eventually they hit on the right formula to make it work.  In other words, they didn’t continue to do exactly the same thing and expect different results. What they did was evaluate their actions and the results they got then slowly changed their actions so they could change their results.

Good habits can help us reach our goals. Bad habits can keep us on the Hamster wheel. One good habit to create this year is taking a few minutes each day, either at the end or first thing in the morning and review what you did that day or day before.  Keep a notebook and write it down. Take a picture and document the progress if you want.

Whatever way you choose to keep track it will help you see what you are doing to get the results you want.  It’s a habit that will help you have a new beginning each day, week, and month, not just at the beginning of a new year.

To a lighter load along the way.


P.S.  Getting Organized magazine is still running their 20% off regular price until the end of January 2015.  Just click on the link in the sidebar to go to their website. I love going through my paper copy but if you prefer they also offer an e-copy at a discount if you subscribe before January 31.

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Fun Decluttering Projects for Bad Weather Days!

It’s that time of year when many people have unexpected days at home due to bad weather.  If you have school age children you know it can be a trying time when everyone is cooped up in the house.



Here are a few projects that can be fun to do with your children or even by yourself on a cold snowy day.  The best thing about these projects is that you will be clearing out some clutter at the same time.



1.  Go through your boxes of photos and throw away any bad shots.  Take a photo safe pen to write the date, names of people, and location on the back of the good photos.  Make this a fun time to reminisce with your children or educate them on the family history.

2.  Pull out the boxes of your children’s saved papers from past school years. Go down memory lane with them. Then get rid of as many papers as possible. You don’t have to wait until the end of the school year to do this for previous years.

3.  Snowy days are a good time to go through the overstuffed shelves filled with books and DVD’s.  Pull out the ones you know you and/or your children will never read or watch again.  You just might find a book or two to sit down and enjoy with your children along with a cup of hot chocolate.

4.  Do you have a lot of craft supplies stashed away?  Why not pull those out and get creative with your children. When supplies sit there unused for long periods of time they can become clutter.  So get those creative juices going to have fun and use up some of those extra supplies.

It doesn’t have to be snowy weather that keeps you indoors.  Rainy days come along all year round.  So can sick days.  Plan ahead for that day so you’re ready to jump in and have fun.  Buy a photo safe pen if you need it.  Purchase the proper storage boxes if you don’t have them.  Don’t go overboard with buying more supplies, just make sure you have the basics to work on your chosen project.

If you have any indoor projects you do on those unplanned days at home I would love to hear about them. Thanks.

To a lighter load along the way.




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Think Small for Big Results

New Year’s Day has come and gone.

Did you make resolutions for the new year?  If so are they the same ones you made last year? Continue reading

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A Quick Way To Clear Your Head and Relax

The holidays are here!

It’s the third night of Hanukkah and Christmas is only seven days away.  Are you feeling overwhelmed right now?

If so it’s time to take a break for a few minutes to clear your head.

A quick way to catch your breath, put  a smile on your face, and relax is to write out a Gratitude List. Continue reading

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Is Holiday Stress Getting To You?

Is the stress of the holidays starting to get to you?

Do you feel like you won’t get it all done perfectly or on time?

If your expectations on what the holidays should look like have been influenced by other’s, especially the media, then it may be time to re-evaluate those expectations. Continue reading

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Clutter Free and Almost Clutter Free Gift Ideas

Part of celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah is giving gifts to family and friends. Sometimes we feel obligated to give but hopefully most of the time we give a gift to show how much we care about that person.

Christmas presentsAlthough we want to find the “prefect” gift for everyone on our list it’s not always easy.  We don’t want to give them something that will end up in a closet or drawer taking up space.  In other words, becoming clutter!


Below are some ideas of clutter free or almost clutter free gifts.   Continue reading

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Say “No” to Emotional Dependency Cords

After a baby is born she will depend on her mother to meet her physical and emotional needs.  As she reaches toddler-hood it is natural for her to start cutting the emotional dependency cords. This is to show her independence as an individual. We’ve all seen a toddler stamp her foot and say “no”.

All forms of animal life from baby birds to humans find a way for offspring to cut the cords of dependency.

Bird in flight-2


Can you image how restrictive and tangled up everyone would be if none of the emotional dependency cords were ever cut?  It would be a cluttered mess!  Continue reading

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Prevent Holiday Clutter Build-up

It’s that time of year where we start shopping for holiday gifts for family and friends.  But will adding more things to our homes (and other’s homes) make them more cluttered? Donald-Duck-Gifts



It doesn’t have to be that way!

Continue reading

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Are You Ready for Halloween?

Sometimes life throws roadblocks in front of you.  The detour to get around them may be short or long.  When the detour is long certain things get pushed towards the bottom of the priority list.  Unfortunately this blog was one of those things.  But now I feel life is a little more under control so I’m back.

I’ll be sharing many of the lessons I’ve learned about clutter (my own and inherited clutter) in future blog posts.  But for now I want to help you with planning for Halloween.  Continue reading

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Take Time For Gratitude

If the craziness of the season is starting to get to you then it’s time to take a a few minutes to relax.  Think about what you are grateful for in your life.  It can make a world of difference in how you feel.

Below is a prior post from my other blog, Organize By The Month.  Listed at the end are other posts I wrote on gratitude.  I hope they inspire you to be grateful for all that this holiday season offers.

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.                        ~Johannes A. Gaertner

Continue reading

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