I have done quite a bit to improve my life; really picked myself up by the boot straps and climbed to new heights after hitting my personal rock bottom. Still, that does not change the fact that I’m a damn slob. Basically.
Thus, my place is kind of a mess, much to the dismay of my roommate. It’s not like we’re fighting about it but still, he used to clean on the regular and now he’s more on my level. I think I broke his spirit. Why should he bother when I don’t? The whole situation makes me sad, because I’d like to have a nice place.
So this is where the guilt comes in. I mean, here I am, preaching like some asshole about positive change when in fact I’m static in many areas of my life. It’s time to follow my own message, start over again, and try new things to get myself on the proper path that I see myself on, rather than one covered in crap. I’m tired of living in my own filth. This is my secret shame!
The junk drawers are but one example (my closet and bathroom being others). Every single time I open one of those drawers, it occurs to me that everything is a mess and I spiral into a series of self-defeating thoughts about my inability to keep a clean house.
Except, no doy, it doesn’t have to be that way. In the same manner than I got myself off the party train, in the same way that I slowly cut out fast food, and using the same techniques to get my body in shape, so too can I develop a routine to replace my messy habits with neater ones.
I do not expect to be perfect, to enjoy cleaning, or turn into a neat freak. This is going to take work, effort and annoying stuff like that. It won’t be easy! Or, wait, will it?
One of the things that I think stops people from attaining their goals is effort shock. Like sticker shock, in which the buyer bulks at the price of an item, effort shock is the horrible realization of how much work it will really take to meet one’s goals. In the same way we’re all like, holy shit it takes 30 minutes on the treadmill to work off a damn cookie?!?, people can’t handle all the effort it takes to effect change in other areas. I am that people. I am also good writer and knows gramatics.
Effort shock is the very reason I believe in baby steps. Take one small thing, using the least amount of energy, and just fucking do it already.
So I cleaned one of my junk drawers. While getting ready to head out with my roommie (thankfully we’re like brothers or he would have killed me in my own mess by now) it occurred to me that I know his shower time. That is to say, I was already ready, with time to kill.
In the time it took him to get ready, I managed to clean out one entire drawer. It took about 20 minutes. It turns out that cleaning up my act doesn’t have to be that difficult, but it will probably be a long drawn-out process. Making small improvements over time versus no change ever is always BETTER (than nothing).