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Change doesn't take as long as you think...

...when you've found the right Reorganizer.

Conveniently located in Manhattan, NYC. 646.430.9150

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Beware of them! In the same way that we may be tempted to finish the food on our plates, or to stay somewhere until an "even" hour, (3pm, 4.30pm), it is tempting to say, "This year will be totally different." January 2008 is a mere minute away from December 2007 (or a second, really). We are indeed free at any moment to make different choices and the act differently. But please, let's not be guided by the misconception that newness alone will give us the strength to maintain our new selves. In the same way that we must eat every day (and that is a struggle to do so well, for many of us), we must struggle daily to achieve our small and our large goals.

A large and sudden goal sets up the new year with great likelihood that we will fail ourselves. Let's set smaller and achievable goals.

This year, I resolve to continue, in small portions, the work I began last year.

Good luck!


How Our Limits Set Us Free

Nietzsche remarked in Beyond Good and Evil that "man is free only when he is able to realize and accept his limitations."

We can do and do, but only so much. Sometimes we reach the limit of effecting change, and we must accept that a new situation or environment is necessary to achieve our wants. Accepting that we are not in control is one of the most difficult things to do. But then, that is how we become free...and it is through freedom that we may achieve.

Let's push the boundaries of our limitations, but recognize and respect those that stand firm. They will teach us many things.


The Point

My friend saddened me with the information that he is, on a scale of 1-10 of where he would like his life to be, hovering near 0.

The secret to change is in the details.

If we get the details out of our heads, e.g. written down, we can peruse those, think, articulate more details, and begin to act.

Life can end at any moment. Let's at least know we did all we could to make the most of it.



Existentialist philosophy deals with the notion that we are not fixed creatures, in fact, we are mere actors- e.g., we are not cowards, we have made cowardly decisions. However, at any moment, we are free to act in a way which is not cowardly.

People have a great time on vacation because they are free from the dredges of daily life in which one often finds oneself embroiled, and they are open to experiencing new and relaxing things. How can we incorporate this vacation-ness into our daily lives?

By remembering that we are ultimately free. Today is the day I am no longer bothered by X, because I have dealt with X. Tomorrow I will speak of being ruled by X in the past tense.

You can.



Do we spend our time doing what we wish? Do we accomplish all that we feel we could?

There are innumerable things that can get us down in a day. Let's fight back by devoting fifteen minutes to address one of these things that weighs on us today.

Let me know how it goes. More tomorrow!


One Thing at a Time, Please!

As I sat in on a class at Harvard today, I was absolutely amazed at the sea of laptops before me. Chatty emails and updating friend websites were the least of what people spent their time in class doing. Fascinated by the lecture, I was continually distracted by students pointing out the goings-ons of other laptops across the room, some of which were truly amazing, but not appropriate to mention here...

Maybe they are all really good at multi-tasking. I'm not, and as my client last week said, "Nobody is." But this is the way of nowadays. Harvard probably wouldn't be competitive if they didn't have internet access in the lecture halls. And frankly, if I were a student there, I'd probably end up doing the same thing, just because it's there.

If we allow distractions in our paths, they will distract us. The effort to avoid them will allow us enjoyment of our present and subsequent activities, at least two-fold. But! Effort is difficult and underrated. One more thing. This constant multi-tasking is infused in our culture of "never enough." Friends, text messages, activities, belongings, appointments...never enough, everything becomes replaceable and disposable, and things as simple as reading a book or sitting in a chair with no electronic equipment nearby are shown pictured with subtitles like "Serenity," or, "Come to Waikiki..."

Let's try to do one (small) thing until it's done and see how it goes. (And if we forget and get distracted, we can always try again).


Health for Fun, or, The Point

Many of us are so consumed by what we'd like to accomplish for ourselves that we lose sight of the goal once (or while) we do that. Health and freedom from our hindrances are essential, we know that. But then what? We want to finish our work so we can enjoy the rest of the things in our lives- friends, family, hobbies, life goals.

Amidst the incessant hard work, let's take a taste of the point of it all. Take a break and call a friend whom you've been meaning to contact, spend ten minutes reading a book you keep meaning to get to, or make (or order, if you're like many of us New Yorkers) the meal you've been craving for months.

Euclid defines a straight line as the "shortest path between two points." However, what may seem like a turn off of the path is often only a necessary curve in the road, and gives us the needed momentum to reach our destinations.


The Struggle of Organizing

The other day at lunch, my friends were discussing the Biblical story of Jacob. The Hebrew meaning of the name Jacob refers to the ankle of his twin that he clutched when he was born. After wrestling with an angel, (although it is sometimes looked at metaphorically as part of Jacob himself), his name was changed to Yisroel, or Israel. This name refers directly to wrestling with G-d. He was given the name because he "prevailed."

I was struck by this story because of its daily and life implications. We are so often clutching at something other than ourselves, something often relatively meaningless to others, and yet it is there that we base our lives (or our names). Only through struggling may we prevail and free ourselves from the clutches of our conscious or inadvertent surroundings.

My client is going on a trip she's been excitedly anticipating for over a year. In our phone consultation today we reviewed the pending file. She unearthed a threatening Verizon bill that she had already dealt with once, but their administration seemed to have no recollection of this.

"Oh, noooo!" she moaned, "I don't want to deal with this again!"

However, she does want to have a wonderful vacation with her husband now that she's dug herself out from the piles of paperwork she once had. We spent an hour clearing her desk, prioritizing, making a to-do list, a file pile, opening and separating the mail, recycling, shredding, and reviewing what needed to be done for her to stroll calmly onto the plane on this end and into a bathing suit on the other side. When we got ready to end our appointment, she took some deep breaths and prepared to call Verizon straightaway.

Sometimes the struggle is an annoying administrative blunder that really has nothing to do with you that you might have already dealt with repeatedly. Sometimes it's that your friends are suffering, sometimes it's a struggle even to determine just why you're struggling so.

These things don't go away, and they follow us onto planes to faraway places and ruin our vacations and our health.

Let's wrestle with them. We can prevail.


When in doubt, work hard

A commonly expressed sentiment among my clients is self-doubt, which leads to stagnation, indecision, depression...clutter.

A man once told me of a Greek expression: Luck comes to he who works hard. He wisely paraphrased it to me, saying, "when in doubt, work hard."

Rather than analysing ourselves through our stuff, let's take care of it and see how we feel when we're done. There are few things more satisfying than follow-through!


Ending November

How delightful! I am amazed how many of you wrote to say that you "knew exactly what needed to be accomplished by the 20th of November." And that you were taking matters into your own hands (with a list)...marvelous!

The idea of all this "reorganizing for health" is health, of course. Really health. There is so much surrounding us which we cannot control, usually mixed in with things we can control. The reorganizing is about separating those things, and addressing those we can control so we can view the rest for what they are, but not for what they are not.

I mean, one of your best friends might be dying of terminal cancer, and you are devastated because there is nothing you can do. However, lying down and not paying your bills or cleaning your room or forgetting to eat does not help you or your friend. It will make everything worse, and help nothing.

Ending November versus the end of November is about addressing what you can control to be able to manage what you cannot. Pay your bills, clean your room, and eat well so that whatever happens with your friend, you will be able to deal with it honestly, not overwhelmed by your own muddle.

To health!


The End of November

One of the marketing people who crossed my path told me I should write monthly tips for my website about reorganizing. In an attempt to provide him with publishable fodder, I looked at the months of the year in terms of what was particularly relevant in terms of reorganizing.

There are two friends whom I speak to very frequently. We have all found that this November has been a time of administration, like it or not. The dramatic change in earlier sunset times leads us to need to finish things that require daylight by 4.15pm. Aside from accomplishments, it is colder and darker, which can certainly affect our moods. People and appointments twenty or thirty minutes away which seemed easily accessible in September or even in this pretty warm October may now seem chore-ish in this chilly and dark-early November. And that won't change for awhile.

The holidays in this country hang over us, even those who do not celebrate them. Thanksgiving dinners with families are one delight, (we hope), within a litany that includes holiday traffic, overspending, and overeating. Whether or not we participate in this ourselves, we are surrounded by plenty of heaviness. Christmas (and Chanukah) just a short month, and New Year's a week later away offers little reprieve.

So, what can we do about this? We cannot change the sunset time (although Congress can and did), nor the weather (though arguably we are doing so with our emissions, but that is for another blog), so we must make do. How?

Reorganizing, that's how.

You're all probably very "busy" now, a phrase I seem to hear more and more these days. Okay, here is your chance to feel less busy, and to lift the weight you are contributing to those around you.

Imagine December 20th, twenty five days from now. Take a deep breath for the count of four, hold it for four, and blow it out slowly for four. Now think. What is the one thing you would like to accomplish by then? We'll call it X. I'm sure there are many, but let's narrow it down to one....no, just one! Got it? Okay.

Go get a writing utensil and a biggish piece of paper. (Oh, how I sound like my mother!)

1. Write X at the bottom of the paper.

2. Write all the things that need to get done in order to accomplish X, even if they seem tiny.

3. Review list and cross out anything that does not pertain directly to X.

4. Add anything you may have thought of, however small.

5. Circle what you can do today, if anything, preferably something small.

6. Go do it!

Good luck, we'll talk tomorrow.

Off to follow my own advice!

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