My On-Again, Off-Again Relationship with Decluttering and Tidying Up

A black metal filing cabinet with papers on top and folders learning against each side
My filing cabinet, surrounded by papers that have yet to be filed.

Yesterday, I spent some time tidying up my living room.  I hadn’t planned to spend my morning that way, but I came downstairs and saw the ever-growing pile of papers on the table that serves as a catch-all, and I just couldn’t bear to look at it anymore.  This is usually how cleaning goes for me.  I have no set schedule for it, no weekly cleaning routine; it happens in bursts when I feel the urge.

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The Power of “Can I Just…?”: Building New Habits, Motivating Ourselves, and Progressing Toward Our Goals

Close-up of a pair on sneakers on a trail through the woods
Photo by Will Shell

We all have things about ourselves and our lives that we’d like to change or improve.  A study published last year showed that less than three percent of Americans meet all four markers of a healthy lifestyle (regular exercise, healthy diet, low body fat percentage, and not smoking).  I would guess that most of us know we need to eat better, exercise more, and quit smoking, but change is hard.  Though setting ambitious goals might cause us feel energized at first, lofty goals can make change even harder.  We have an idea of where we want to end up, but we don’t know how to get there, or we get overwhelmed along the way and give up. Read more