“I’m not sure I really have time for this. What if I lose steam part-way through?”
“What if I’m the first person EVER who relapses on this program?”
If you have recently found the Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life Challenge, you may have been plagued with these thoughts. It’s only natural to be a little scared when undertaking something unknown and potentially life-changing. Honestly, I’m a little scared, too. It’s a big responsibility for me to present this program for you, especially after reading some of your heart-felt desires for lasting change. But I have faith in all of us, and I want to share some thoughts of how we can mentally and physically prepare for this challenge!
- If you have ever been to school, you can complete this challenge! I would bet that every person reading this has successfully completed a full year of schooling, at any level. I view this challenge as a two-semester college course. However, there are no grades! I will not see your home or be dropping by unexpectedly to inspect your progress. I highly doubt that the “KonMari” police exist, and if they did, they would be terribly polite Japanese people who would ask, “Excuse me for being so rude, but may I please enter your home?” (I lived in Japan, so I know about this). I have designed the course so that even people with very busy lives and full-time jobs can still complete the weekly assignments. However, you are not required to go at the speed I prescribe! If you have lots of time and energy and want to get started right away and bust your way through quickly, go for it! Don’t let me or anybody else hold you back!
- I understand that this challenge will take a long time. I totally get that it’s hard to sustain energy and motivation for months. If you need to take a one-month break to recharge, go ahead and do that. But schedule on your calendar the day when you will begin again!
- I know that many of us have tried lots of other ways to get our houses in order and that these alternate methods may not have worked. I understand the fear of failure. However, instead of asking, “What if I fail?” try asking, “What if I succeed?” Did you feel the shift in your power just then? Did your heart become lighter? Mine did. Brendon Burchard has said in his book, The Motivation Manifesto, “Let us choose the strenuous life, taking pride and finding honor in our struggles and our contributions. We will not fear the exhaustion and anxieties that magnificent dreams and unceasing hard work can bring.” No matter what, doing even part of this program will bring positive changes into your life. You literally cannot lose with this. There is nothing to fear.
When signing up for this program, some of you may have thought, “Yay! I can finally throw out my husband’s t-shirt collection!” Or, “I can just take boxes of all my stuff to my mom’s house!” No, you cannot. That’s not how this program works. First of all, this program is about deciding what to keep based on what brings YOU joy. You cannot decide what brings joy to another person, and therefore, the t-shirt collection stays.
When doing the challenge, you will only be deciding to keep or get rid of YOUR OWN STUFF. You will not have to make these decisions for your family members! Does that mean that everybody else’s stuff gets to litter your home? Absolutely not! Later on, we will learn how to deal with family members’ items that are out of place. But for now, take comfort in the reduced workload of only dealing with your own possessions.
Some of you may be thinking that you can just give your things to your sister or your friends. This, too, is fraught with peril. Many people will take free stuff because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, or because they have a bad case of “freebie-itis” (the inability to turn down something free, even if it is unneeded or undesirable).
Does this mean that you can’t give your things away to people who might want them? No. But it does mean that while doing this challenge, you cannot stop and think about who might want or need every single item you are getting rid of. This will absolutely paralyze you and you won’t be able to move forward. Instead, Mari Kondo suggests that you ask your friends and family if there is anything they have been wanting that they would pay money for. Then if you find it while you are decluttering, you can save it for them.
Now, here are the assignments for this week:
- Get a copy of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I highly suggest that you buy it rather than try to get it from the library. I have heard that some people have been on the waiting list for this book for over six months. It is only $11.00 (at this writing) and well worth the cost. We will be using it throughout the challenge, so you will really want to have your own copy.
- Let your close friends and family know that you are doing this challenge and will be getting rid of a lot of things. Ask them if there is anything they have been looking to purchase and let them know that you will keep an eye out for it and will save it for them if you find it. And be sure to invite them to do the challenge with you!
- Schedule time for this challenge every week. You absolutely must put this on your calendar and treat it as importantly as you would treat a college course, or a doctor’s appointment, or a meeting with a client. We’re talking about changing your life here. If you simply expect to get this done “when you have time,” it will not get done. I suggest that you block out an hour at the same time every week to complete the weekly task. I also highly suggest you block out another “backup” hour in case your first time gets hijacked by life (such as if your daughter breaks her wrist and you spend the day going back and forth between the pediatrician’s office and the hospital). Don’t worry–every task will not take the full hour. Some tasks may only take ten minutes. But it’s good to have backup, just in case you aren’t able to finish.
Next week’s post: Course Overview and first reading assignment. (Don’t worry! Every post won’t be this long!) Also, if you use gmail, please be sure to move the emails from Ice Cream Inspiration to your “Primary” folder so that you don’t miss out on your freebies! And check your “Promotions” folder right now, because there may be several emails waiting for you there!
Also, I want to give a TON of thanks to the following blogs who helped to promote this challenge. The ladies behind these blogs went out of their way to promote the Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life Challenge on social media, and without them, this would not be successful. Please go check them out and show some blog love!