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Why It’s So Hard to Achieve Personal Success in Isolation

Three members of the award-winning Pilobolus Dance Theater, which began as a group of students 40 years ago at Dartmouth, Jun Kuribyashi, Jordan Kriston and Eriko Jimbo,demonstrated their unique style of physical performance for 100 university dance and movement students, followed by a 90-minute workshop. During the workshop the dancers taught the students new techniques for balancing and using each other’s weight to perform complex moves. The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance students enthusiastically joined in when Pilobolus dancers invited them to try exercises that encourage mutual trust and taught them to become “predictable moving partners.” They also told the students that if the audience doesn’t “either love or hate the performance, then you’re not doing your job.” The Pilobolus dancers’ teaching ability and their personal magnetism ensured that the workshop connected with the students within minutes and kept them rapt until the end of the session. *** Local Caption *** Kuribyashi

Spring is almost ready to launch but are you?  Is your house winter-worn and your body still hiding under a sweater?  Do you and your home need a spring makeover but don’t know where to start? I understand.

In a perfect world, we all want to eat healthy, be fit, and live a balanced and well-organized life.  We certainly don’t opt for overweight bodies or messy and cluttered homes. But when busy meets up with the lack of discipline, it easily impedes on being our best selves.

Here’s the truth.  Not everyone is self-motivated.  In fact, most of us are not. When we get stuck, we beat ourselves up with “why can’t I do it by myself ?” This negative self-chatter simply paralyzes us. As a result, we often do nothing at all but just continue to feel bad about it.

But here’s another truth.  No matter how small the task or goal,  it’s often hard to complete without support, accountability, or praise.

The good news is that help is not a dirty word. Support comes in many forms. Being accountable fosters motivation and drives us to succeed.

  • Individual– Sometimes it’s just one person that’s all you need.  It’s that one person who’s not walking in your shoes or feeling your angst that can bring objectivity.  It could be a friend or a colleague that can provide you with the motivation you are lacking. Consider them your accountability partner.
  • Team- Sometimes it takes a village. Surrounding yourself with a network of support may be a great source of relief and/or just a great source in general. Feeling part of a team can be empowering.  The “better together than apart” motto is validating.  Consider them your accountability partner.
  • Professional Sometimes it’s a professional that has the skillset you may not have to guide you through the process.  Consider them your accountability partner.

Make no mistake about it, there’s a valid reason why people hire personal trainers and nutritionists.  They understand they cannot go it alone. It’s OK to enlist a cheerleader to elevate one’s self-esteem.  Ditto to the client who has tried multiple times to organize their home by themselves.  This is not easy to initiate, albeit schedule routinely. Being consistent and facing the challenges by yourself is the hardest task of all. Isolation is not your friend.

Group fitness classes like Soul Cycle, Spin, Pilates, Yoga, etc. are not merely trendy.  They inspire like-minded individuals to get fit together and feed off each other’s energy to satisfy a common goal.  It’s about being part of something intentional, connecting and committing to a scheduled class. There’s something to be said about the financial commitment as well, which also promotes huge accountability and drives the motivation.

It’s no surprise that annual membership for fitness centers has escalated as health and wellness have become an integral part of our culture, specifically for the millennial demographic. I’ve noticed that it’s commonplace for them to build it into their day- to -day scheduling. It’s more their normal than it is a chore.

The simple truth is that investing in help is investing in yourself.

When you are part of the process, you will be super prideful with the results.  Mutual support, accountability, and praise, will undeniably yield positive rewards.

So embrace the Spring season with a new energy. You can do it. Whether it’s your health or your home, it’s time to get fit and set new goals. Do you need to:

  1. Re-organize your spaces?
  2. Clear the counters and closets?
  3. Make room for your car in the garage?
  4. Eat healthier?
  5. Lose weight?
  6. Get to the gym?

If you’re struggling with how to get started, you are not alone. Wondering where to begin? Just pick up the phone. Start the conversation. Find your person, team, or professional. It can be a game changer.

And everyone could use a good cheerleader 🙂


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The Power of Praise

cheerleaders_opt-1Everyone needs a cheerleader now and then. Who doesn’t love a compliment? We all respond well when we are told we look great, or we’re doing a great job. We feel validated. Make no mistake about it, “flattery gets you everywhere,” because it feeds our productivity and nourishes our success.

In fact, the casual “pat on the back” often provides us with the significant encouragement to fuel us towards reaching our goals sooner, more than later. Even the smallest acknowledgment can make the greatest difference in someone’s self esteem, thereby building self-confidence and impacting personal productivity.  Do not underestimate the power of praise.

As Organizing specialists, we can identify the key obstacles that cause our clients to feel “stuck.” While the analytics may reveal obvious shades of poor time-management, insufficient space, procrastination, fear of failure, etc., they are not the only culprits.

There is one more piece to consider.  The big “S” word, i.e. Support, or lack there of. This is a huge component of motivation and decision-making.  Whether it be a Professional, friend, or family member, sometimes just having someone standing by your side can inspire you to get “unstuck.”   When someone is rooting you on, it not only encourages you to do well, it propels you forward to even greater heights.  Ask any marathon runner who crosses a finish line, or any athlete who relies on their fans to cheer them to victory.  Everyone performs better with an active fan base and supportive audience.

At a recent NAPO Conference this year, Psychologist Dr. Ari Tuckman shared specific strategies to help increase a person’s motivation.  He suggests that if we cheerlead bits of progress, it can have a huge impact on a person’s motivation to succeed. Very powerful thinking.  Good therapy and coaching are super effective for this specific reason. Likewise, my role as a Professional Organizer not only embodies a facilitator of change, it also includes my being 100% cheerleader for my client.  For me, it cannot be separated, it is one in the same.

So ask yourself, do you have a personal cheerleader?  When you’re down, stuck, or overwhelmed, having positive backup could be a game changer. Get the support and help when you need it. Don’t go it alone.  You shouldn’t have to.

Gimmie a Y…

Gimmie a O…

Gimmie a U…


Whatever you’re doing, keep up the good work.  Keep going, you can do it!  The power of praise can be pretty powerful. Do you have a personal cheering squad that has made a difference in your life? Do you think that having someone “champion” your endeavors impacts your motivation?  Even if YOU believe in YOU, it feels good to know others do too.

Perhaps you never thought about it before, but I invite you to now…and continue to motivate some more conversation. I believe you can.

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