Recently I’ve been hooked by Marie Kondo and the decluttering system she shares in her new Netflix series and her book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up.
After watching a few episodes, I was charmed to find my husband folding his T-shirts “the Marie way” and here’s a picture of some of the progress we made last weekend. We tackled books.
I was amazed at how many books we said goodbye to – while keeping many bookshelves full. We are book lovers, after all.
Here’s the thing though. We are book lovers, and our bookshelves will become overfull again. I have no doubt. What I’m taking from Marie Kondo ISN’T a promise that I’ll tidy up and then stay tidy forevermore. It won’t happen, and that’s okay. Because Marie teaches a system. She approaches clutter, not with a giant dumpster that will free you forever, but with a process, anyone can learn that allows you to sort through your belongings, and refine and let go as you need to.
She also believes each decides what is “clutter” and what is something we hold on to, because it brings us joy, or it will contribute to the future we want to build.
Having a system that fits you and that helps you be the person you want to be is a part of succeeding that doesn’t get enough airtime. It’s not very sexy I suppose. But it’s critical.
I’ll keep collecting books, and I will need to refine my collection many times over in the decades to come. I’ll use aspects of the tidying up system to do this. I’ll also use parts of the system to decide what new books I bring into my house, and what books I’m happy to borrow from the library.
If you want to change your approach and your relationship with food, you need a system too – a lifetime system. Because you’re going to be intimately relating to food for the rest of your life.
This time of year, too many people make food, weight, and wellness their project. They decide on the this that they are going to do, to create that result.
Some succeed, many don’t, but that’s not my point here.
Outlining a path to your finish line isn’t the same as creating a system that helps you do what you want to do.
When it comes to eating and weight, the project doesn’t end when you reach your goal. You need systems and habits to maintain these results and your new relationship with food.
This is a great time of year to consider what systems you could use that would help you be the person you want to be with food and overeating.
Today my client realized she needs a system for getting back on track when stress derails some of her best intentions.
Another client is upgrading her system for making sure she has the healthy food on hand that’s a part of her plan. This week, she’s experimenting with ordering her groceries online.
A participant in my emotional eating program is setting up systems to help her remember the new habits she’s developing. She’s decided to try adding alerts to her phone. Another member is working on a system for staying in touch with how hungry she is instead of mindlessly eating.
Someone I spoke to today is building systems with her siblings to enlist their help in caring for aging parents.
Systems sustain us. Systems are the vehicles that actually move us toward our goals.
Systems give us the structure to keep going when we don’t get things perfect, when we get overwhelmed, or when life throws us a curveball and we end up off track.
Side note: one of the best systems you can develop is a simple plan (system) for getting back on track with your habits and routines – three things you can do to get you moving in the right direction again.
This is a great time of year to take a look at your life, the habits you are growing, and the goals that you have. What system could you start using or developing that would help you create success more easily?