Planning for change

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A few days ago, Rhonna Farrer blogged about "change." Specifically, changing bad habits. This is an excellent article about this topic. Do I have bad habits I want to change? Yes...I suppose so. For one...having clutter. Clutter is one reason we are putting an addition on our house. Clutter is the reason I need to have a garage sale.

According to the above article, there are several stages to changing a bad habit. They are not so dissimiliar to the first steps in any 12-step program...although this is not one of those programs. The first step is admitting there is a problem. Ok...clutter is a problem!!!

I'm in the "preparation" I've committed myself to a garage sale at my local scrapbook store on Sunday, May 22. 6 days from now. Here's a quote from the article on what to do when you get to the preparation stage:

Planning for Change
Once you’ve reached the Preparation Stage, you can
plan to change in the following way:
1. Make a list of what you’ll gain or how you’ll benefit from accomplishing your goal.
2. Break it into small doable steps and brainstorm multiple ways to achieve those
3. Choose 3-4 action steps that are objective and measurable.
4. Set a timeline with a set date to re-evaluate your progress.
5. Decide on some immediate rewards you’ll use for positive steps you accomplish.
6. And finally, don’t forget to enlist the support and encouragement of others and
remember to remind yourself of previous successes.

Questions to ask:
What pleasure or release of tension does the habit produce?

If I get pleasure from clutter it would be that it is more pleasurable to do things that are pleasant to do: such as surfing the internet, scrapbooking, watching TV, etc. In other words, shirking responsibility.

What harm is the habit causing?

Clutter is harmful to sanity. Plain and simple.

What will improve by breaking the habit?

I will gain self-respect. My DH will be grateful. People can stop over anytime and we will not be embarrassed at the condition of our surroundings.

Rhonna talked in her blog about using a 21-day method for changing a bad habit. Practice changing the habit every day for 21 days in order to get it to "stick." So will today be the first day? Or am I just in the contemplation stage?

What are my obstacles? I think often of something in Ali Edward's book: everything in it's place. That's the obstacle: things do not have "a place" in our house. There is no method to the madness. I would love to go to a store that specializes in organization yet am I willing to spend cold-hard cash on such products? that is my obstacle right now. That is my excuse to not be organized.

If I get organized, will we need to go ahead with the addition to our home? I just feel so unsure right now. I just feel like I can't trust my own judgement when it comes to spending money and investing. Where is the manual to life?

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