A Good System Shortens the Road to the Goal

It’s a common opinion that beginning a New Year’s resolution is easy, and that it’s keeping up with a resolution that’s problematic.  Here in mid-March that may feel pretty accurate, but we’d like to offer an alternative view: beginning a new habit is difficult, which actually becomes easier to maintain once the habit is routine.  The roadblock many people encounter is how to form the habit in the first place.

Setting up for success requires two components: the commitment to change, and setting up a system that gives you the ability to change.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “a good system shortens the road to the goal,” and that happens to be one of the staple principles we organize by on a daily basis.  Organizing someone’s kitchen or closet or bathroom can bring immediate gratification, but if it’s not set up with a good system, then the space will never be maintained.

We like to organize with the mentality that to get to any item, it requires the least number of steps possible.  It’s easiest to put something back in its correct home when you know exactly where it goes, and doing so doesn’t requires unnecessary effort.  Simplicity should be prioritized above all else.

For example, store your charging cords closest to where you often charge your devices, and give them a designated home.  Keep your most frequently used bathroom products in the most accessible spaces.  If you never take the time to take the mail to the home office and it instead piles on the kitchen counter, then don’t set up a drop zone in the office, set it up in the kitchen.  Be realistic, but prioritize with a good system, and it will be easier for the maintaining habits to fall into place.