What face do you make when organizing your home, or even when thinking about it? Is it a scowl, a confused stare, or a smile?
Part of the subtitle of my latest book is, “...an Office that Makes You Smile.” This isn’t just a marketing tagline; it’s something that I truly want for you. To be honest, my resting face isn’t a smile. I’m a very serious person, and I tend to wear a look of concentration that sometimes gets mistaken for a scowl.
At the gym, when I really should be scowling, when I’m in the middle of a demanding workout or dance routine (I am soooo not a dancer!), or even when I am awkwardly falling out of a torturous hot yoga pose, there’s usually a big smile on my face.
Why? Because the gym isn’t something I have to do. Nope, it’s something I get to do. I’m not bragging, just simply stating a fact. Going to a nice gym with enjoyable classes is a privilege, even when it feels like torture. This gym has great childcare. My foot feels amazing after major surgery three years ago, facilitated by the work at the gym these last three years.
Also, I like to mess with the class instructors. In a room of between thirty and eighty people (Some of the classes at my gym require reservations!), everyone is usually scowling at them. Not another set of squats! Oh, God, more ab work?? Are we done yet?? I’m not just grinning a little, but I’m sporting a toothy, head-up, all-in smile! The instructor is often drawn to my smiling. He will say things like, “I see one person smiling!” Or she’ll keep offering additional encouragement to my corner of the room, where there’s a certain kind of energy. They can’t help but respond! It doesn’t make the weight any lighter or the crunches faster, but it does make it a little more fun for both of us.
Probably like you, I usually do not want to be at the gym or take the class, but I love the way I feel AFTER the class. And isn’t it the same with organizing? You may not love spending fifteen minutes or an hour getting organized, but isn’t it more fun to cook in an organized kitchen? Isn’t it easier to get back to work when you don’t have to shuffle papers around on your home office desk?
At the gym, I can do anything for 15 seconds or a count of twelve. Except push-ups. I can’t do proper push-ups, but I can bend my elbows a smidgeon farther than I could three years ago. Sometimes I just hold a plank while everyone else is bobbing up and down, but at least I’m there, suspending my own body weight, and that’s not nothing. Even though my little toothpick arms are screaming, I still have a BIG SMILE on my face because I know three things:
I GET TO be there.
My energy affects the instructor, and they then affect everyone else in the room.
I can do anything for 15 seconds, even pretend push-ups.
In Organizing Your Home with SORT and Succeed, I offered you this reminder: you can do anything for fifteen minutes…even opening neglected mail, clearing off the kitchen counter, or sorting socks. You may not love it, but you can do it, and you always feel better for it.
There are plenty of things that I don’t HAVE TO to, like grocery shopping (I get to go grocery shopping and buy anything I want from fully stocked shelves!), cleaning the bathroom (I get to keep my family healthy with clean, running water!), and even filing taxes (I get to do work I love and get help from my wonderful accountant!).
The next time you hear yourself say, “I have to…,” can you turn it into a “get to” moment?
Are you smiling while you are organizing?
Can you just get started with fifteen minutes on your next organizing project?