1. The Sorting Hat Challenge. 2. The Put Up or Shut Up Jar. 3. 19 for 2019.
As an editor, I have worked on my share of New Year’s resolutions articles. I can tell you how to set yourself up for success.
Be specific. Be realistic. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
That’s all good. But for most of us, resolutions have a pretty crappy track record. I say that not to doubt your personal resolve, but the research bears this out.
Resolutions are not a great solution. We go in with hopes on fire and in a matter of days or weeks we’re burned and disappointed in ourselves.
That’s the worst part—how resolutions make you feel in the end.
Today, I am proposing three different ways to move forward in the New Year. These challenges are about progress not perfection, which gives them lasting power.
I am planning to kick off all three in the weeks ahead. See, even the start date isn’t rigid. You’re calling the shots here.
1. The Sorting Hat Challenge
This one is for my Harry Potterheads and it will make you a wizard at busting clutter, whether you’ve read the books or not. If you have, you know how an enchanted hat sorts the students at Hogwarts. It puts them in their proper place—one of four houses based on their individual qualities.
How the challenge works:
Step 1: List areas of your home that you’d like sorted out.
You can go with actual physical areas (the junk drawer, under the kitchen sink, pantry, etc.) or by types of objects (socks, t-shirts, tax papers, spices, etc.). I am planning to do a mix of specific locations and objects.
RYC tip: Aim small and doable. Don’t list something that might take days like “The garage,” unless you really are a wizard. Instead, break it into smaller challenges, such as “gardening tools” or “work bench top.”
Step 2: Throw your clutter-busting quests into the hat.
Do you have problem areas that you want to tackle first? Limit your quests to your top three. You can always add more later.
I am tempted to get an actual sorting hat. But I really don’t need it to make this challenge work. I can use a hat, bowl or jar I already have. The ultimate goal is to simplify my spaces—not to add more clutter. But I am not discouraging you from getting one if you think it would up the fun factor. That's what we're all about: Making chores more fun.
Step 3: Each week draw one quest for your more orderly world. Then make the magic happen.
Do you tend to hold on to stuff you don’t need? You can’t see me but I am raising my hand and typing at the same time. Me. That’s me. So me.
I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to clutter. So besides a magical hat, maybe I need Harry’s Disarming Spell. I can shout “Expelliarmus.” It forces the enemy to release whatever they’re holding on to at the time.
LET. IT. GO.
I joke about Harry and wizardry, but there’s magic in this challenge. You tackle clutter in a systematic way. You get small but gratifying wins. If you miss a week because life happens, you still have plenty more ahead.
May your 2019 be a sorting success and may all your mischief be managed!
2. The Put Up or Shut Up Jar
I just have to break this life hack back out in 2019. I wrote about “The Put Up or Shut Up Jar” last year, and I used it to move forward on a number of things that I’d been seriously putting off. See how it works.
The cool thing about this weekly challenge: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I promise.
I am thinking I’ll alternate weekly between it and The Sorting Hat. If you don’t like that idea, you could add clutter-busting tasks to your PUSU jar and go all in here.
3. Make it Happen: 19 for 2019
I can’t take credit for this idea, but I am sharing it because it’s such a good one. Happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin introduced me to this strategy in 2018 on Happier, the podcast she co-hosts with her sister, Liz Craft.
It’s a way to think about what you want the entire year to bring you. It’s the long game. Choose 19 goals big or small—things you want to do, see, read, cook, pursue … whatever.
I just reviewed my 18 for 2018 list. I went 12 for 18. Not perfect, but not bad. I am pretty happy with the dozen I marked off the list, including starting this blog. And now I have six leftover opportunities I can consider for my 2019 list or PUSU jar. How's that for a positive spin?!
So this happened: The Merry Mosey
One of my 18 for 2018 goals was to do a 5K. Not to run one—just to get a participation trophy.
I put it off all year thinking I could get in on Walla Walla’s annual Jingle Bell Run. But over Thanksgiving, my sister and I discovered there was no such event this year. Right after it was too late to do the local Turkey Trot. Drats!
My sister was determined that I would complete my goal, so she proposed we host our own family 5K. Brewsister's First Annual Merry Mosey was born. A few days before Christmas, on a cold and blustery morning, we took to the sidewalks (this was an unsanctioned event, so we politely stayed out of the streets).
My family made this happen for me: 11 adults, 7 kids and 7 dogs, most with funny hats and jingle bells. (Thanks, guys!)
It was officially a mosey. How so? Well, for one thing, it involved a leisurely stop at Starbucks for warm beverages. Perhaps next year, it will be an official sponsor.
I am Margie Reece. I am here to help you rock your chores and have some fun doing it.