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Readers have noted my previous admissions that being organized is not something which comes naturally or easily to me. 

This is why I enjoy writing about it.  I’m interested in the reasons I struggle with it, and how to be organized anyway.  Despite my lack of natural ability, my desire to be organized has always been strong and I have generally been reasonably successful in my efforts.

The fact that I have to work at it and struggle with it just makes it easier for me to write about it.  As several readers have observed in emails, who wants to hear advice from someone who finds everything easy and doesn’t share the same struggles as the rest of us.

There are things in our lives that we’re not naturally talented at, and we have absolutely no need to do anything about it. 

Personally I can’t stand sport and couldn’t hit a barn with a basketball, and I have absolutely no intention of taking up tennis or golf lessons any time soon.  I’ve met people who feel the same way about music, and couldn’t care less if they never learned to play the piano, strange as that seems to me.

But with other things, we may decide that even though it’s not going to be something that is easy for us to learn, we know it will be good for us and make our lives better, that it’s necessary, or that we’ll feel better when we work on that area and improve our skills.

Being organized is something I think falls into that category for those of us not naturally talented at it.  It may not be easy or come naturally, but we know it will do us good.  So, when being organized is not something we just naturally and automatically are, we can teach ourselves.

Firstly we need to learn the little techniques and systems and ideas for being organized that will work best for us.  Some of these are in the daily tips emails you received when you first subscribed, things like using a calendar, preparing the night before for the next day and so on.  All the rest of my best advice on the topic is in my e-book, and of course there are now 46 of these newsletters you can browse through for free on the website.

The tricky part though, is making these new behaviours habitual.  When we make something a habit, it becomes easy.  We can arrive at a point where that particular issue, whether it’s how we deal with out clothes or keeping up with our bills, just automatically and effortlessly gets done in the most efficient and organized way, making our lives easier, and not requiring any thought, effort or decision making from us as we do it that way consistently, day in, day out.

The decision making process for creating a new habit should happen once.  Make decisions quickly and change them slowly is a good piece of advice I heard years ago on a motivational tape.  It means you identify that you need to make a decision about something, for example how you are going to run your calendar/diary/planner.  You gather the information you need, identify your options, do some brainstorming, gather the equipment you need, and come up with your decision, eg “I am going to check my diary each morning and evening, I will keep it in my bag so that it is always with me, I will write down appointments in the diary immediately rather than on a piece of paper or card which may be lost or forgotten….”

(Incidentally, I strongly advise avoiding making any important decisions, like whether to leave your job, end your relationship, send that letter/email/text, throw out that stuff, promise to do that big thing, get a puppy etc, while you are feeling angry, depressed, stressed, intoxicated etc.  Put that one off for now, but you can decide you want to do your dishes every day – something you are quite sure will do no harm).

The part about changing decisions slowly, means you stick to that decision, not re-thinking it every day, doubting your decision, but abiding by it, changing it only when and if it becomes clear that there is a better way.  If we keep changing the system too frequently, the habit is lost and must be re-formed.

Having made the decision, we then stick it out until it becomes automatic, which takes about a month of consistency.  Yes, there have been studies done, that’s how long it takes. 

Perfectionism can deter us if we forget, miss or slip up one day, then decide that because we have not been perfect we’ll just give up.  If we fall off the horse, the wagon or whatever, we need to just get back on again – just get back to it, not worrying about what’s been missed, just going on as originally intended.  The goal is to form the habit, not to be perfect!

All the helpful little things we learn to do for ourselves reinforce positive thinking habits.  Yes, there are extra side benefits from learning to be organized as well as less stress, more calmness.  Our self esteem says “thanks very much” for each little positive organizing habit.  It says “hey, you do care about me, you do think I’m worthy of an easier life”.

Of course there’s that inner rebellion thing to deal with.  The one that wants to take the easy way out, get away with something, not conform, argue, disagree….  Hmmm, kind of silly isn’t it?  Who and what are we rebelling against?  Ourselves, our own good decisions which we’ve made for the purpose of making our own lives easier, happier, less stressful.  Why would we want to do that?

If I ever find out, I’ll write a book about it.  It’s totally on my list of books to write.  The “let’s shoot myself in the foot” factor.  The inexplicable self sabotage thing that causes me to pull into McDonalds at the mere thought of wanting to lose weight. 

Until the vaccine is developed, we can just learn to recognize and dismiss it.  I hear that’s how you get rid of intrusive thoughts when you’re trying to meditate too – you just acknowledge the thought and let it go – still working on that one, and again, when I figure it out I’ll try to explain how I did it. 

So, when we have a vague awareness cross our minds that we decided we were going to load the washing machine in the morning before leaving the house, and we consider pretending to forget, or making an excuse or whatever, we can just recognize that this is that silly thing we haven’t cured yet, acknowledge it, say goodbye to it, and get on and load the washing machine.

We have to do this over and over and over again of course.  It’s just another little habit we can learn.  We can teach ourselves this habit of dismissing negative thoughts.  Just like we can teach ourselves to be organized. 

It’s one of those things which may not come naturally to us, may not be easy to learn and establish as a habit, but is well worth the effort.

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"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."


Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia