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  • Stick With it! Getting Organized, Article #6

Have you ever done this?

You start something new, all excited, and ready to tackle your BIG THING. Then a week later, you quit.

The quitting part is not unusual, whether you want to stop smoking, lose weight, or clear the clutter out of your basement. It happens because it’s so hard to stay on track if you don’t see an immediate result – and we are primed to love immediate gratification, aren’t we?!

black lab puppy with teddy bear


If your mind is made up that you need to do the BIG THING, then the next thing to do is set up some rewards! Maybe you respond well to a pat on the back, or a nice meal at your favourite local eatery, or you’d just like 20 minutes of peace and quiet. Whatever it is, you can reward yourself to help keep your motivation high.

When you have something to look forward to, you’ll find it easier to stick with the job at hand, like when you open that closet under the stairs. The right reward will keep you going while you sort through those damp old catalogues that are stored in the garage. And, the right reward will have you coming back for more!

Before you think about what reward you want, check out these tips:

  • Avoid food rewards if you tend to overeat. You want a reward you’ll love, and not one that you are going to beat yourself up over later.
  • Choose a reward that has meaning to you.
  • Choose things that are small so that you can give yourself frequent rewards instead of having to finish an entire project. It’ll be really hard to declutter the basement and garage to earn a big vacation, but you’ll stick with it if you reward yourself for smaller tasks (start with that closet under the stairs, for example), and you receive more frequent, smaller, rewards.

We’ve asked around and checked with our team to create this list of our top 25 reasonably priced (and sometimes no cost at all), fun rewards. Leave a comment on our Facebook page if you have a favourite you don’t see here!

  1. Go to a concert at a local venue or club.
  2. Attend a craft or art show.
  3. Go get a good laugh at a comedy club.
  4. Attend a live sporting event, and remember that amateur athletes offer as good a game as lots of professionals do!
  5. Go see a movie in the middle of the day, where lineups are small and the popcorn is plentiful.
  6. Do a crossword puzzle.
  7. Start a new jigsaw puzzle, and for every thirty minutes you declutter, give yourself ten minutes at the puzzle.
  8. Light some scented candles and sit quietly and relax.
  9. Invite a few friends who aren’t easily offended to play Cards Against Humanity. (Bonus points if they help you declutter, too!)
  10. Volunteer with a local shelter or charity and see for yourself how helpful your donations can be.
  11. Go for a pedicure, manicure, or massage.
  12. Wear a step counter to track your physical activity while you are organizing. Post your results on Facebook, and enjoy the positive comments from people.
  13. Put clean sheets on your bed, and enjoy the smell when you lie down.
  14. Take a day off work for no particular reason.
  15. Visit the perfume counter and try out a new scent, just for fun.
  16. Begin a “rainy day jar” and add $5 or $10 each time you meet one of your smaller goals. When you are all done your project, you can use the money for a BIG treat.
  17. Buy a new painting for your bedroom or living room. For more fun, sign up for Paint Nite and create your own painting!
  18. Purchase a new book and sit and read it. You can schedule short reading sessions between longer sessions of decluttering to keep you going!
  19. Buy a small plant or some cut flowers that make you smile.
  20. Buy colourful shoelaces and put them in your runners as soon as you get home.
  21. Go for a walk around a formal garden.
  22. Invite your friends out for bowling.
  23. Grab your binoculars and go for an evening of star gazing.
  24. Make a small picnic and hop in the car for a drive to nowhere in particular.
  25. Visit a local dog kennel or shelter for some pet therapy.

There are plenty of ways to reward yourself, and help you stay committed to your project or to develop a new habit. As always, if you’d like some help getting organized and you’re in the Edmonton area, we’d love to hear from you!


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