Tips and musings on organizing your way from chaos to calm

Posts Tagged ‘disaster preparedness’

The Think Big and Do Bigger Challenge – Big Thing #1

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Last month I launched the Think Big and Do Bigger Challenge.  I committed  to setting a goal each month and sharing the outcome with you.  As my clients often tell me, getting started is the hardest part.  That certainly was true for me.

I spent the first week of the month trying to decide what “Big Thing” I would even do.  My husband suggested I write the Table of Contents for an organizing book I’ve been talking about writing.  “Too big right now,” I told him.  “This has to be both big AND attainable within a busy one month period.  Being realistic about my time and mental energy feels increasingly important, especially if I want to set myself up for success.  “Big” is not necessarily time-consuming or complex.

Finally, a light bulb went off as I thought about what would give me more peace of mind AND has been on my To Do list far too long: completing Emergency Preparedness Kits for my family.  Not having done this by now has been a source of shame, guilt, and embarrassment for me.  I’m a professional organizer after all.  I’ve published articles on emergency preparedness and given talks on it.  I’ve helped my clients make their own kits.  Well, you know what they say about the shoemakers kids.  And so it goes.

Now that I’m a mom, I knew it was time to get serious about being prepared for anything.  It took me about another 2 weeks to write my list and go shopping.  I bought a bright purple 60 gallon bin for our house, and 2 smaller ones for the cars, and all the supplies I didn’t already have at home.  I pulled into my driveway feeling lighter, brighter, and more in control.  All good things.

Initially, I was frustrated with my pace.  Wasn’t I procrastinating by waiting til the end of the month to get this done?  Somehow taking too long felt like a kind of failure, too.  Second light bulb moment:  I wouldn’t have gotten this done at all without the Think Big and Do Bigger Challenge. You know why?  By publicizing my intention I created accountability. The perfectionist in me cringes at over-promising and under-delivering, so by publicizing my goal I knew I would be more likely to do it.  Now my mind feels more at ease and  my family is safer.  Big sigh of relief.

I’m half way into my next big thing, and I’m overjoyed at what I’ve accomplished so far, but you’ll have to check in again next month to to make sure I finish.  I need you to keep me on my toes!   Try doing the same in your own life with a friend or organizing buddy.  Two can be a powerful number.

What Big Thing will YOU do this month?