THE VIEW FROM HERE

By Jim Hardin



So, you made one or several New Year’s resolutions and you’ve broken all of them already.

Does that sound like you?

Of course it does. We’ve all been there and done that — or not done that, depending on what we resolved to do or not to do.

Well, there’s always next year.

Wait a minute. Who said we have to wait until next year to lose weight, start exercising or quit smoking? I mentioned these three because they’re probably the top three resolutions.

Just because we broke our latest New Year’s resolutions on Jan. 2, 2010, doesn’t mean that we have to wait until Jan. 1, 2011, to try again.

Why not try again tomorrow?

Over the years, I have lost weight, started exercising and stopped smoking. And you know what? I don’t think any of those life-changing events occurred because of a New Year’s resolution.

I lost weight because I was a little pudgy and needed to drop a few pounds. I realized that and then took the necessary steps to drop from 213 to 164 pounds.

That’s also how I kicked the cigarette habit and later started exercising. I saw a need and decided to do something about it.

Oh me! Thanks to this column, I’ve realized that I’m back up to about 185 pounds. I really would like to shed a few pounds, maybe about 10.

I’ll start working on that — tomorrow.

Be careful about those tomorrow promises. Waiting until tomorrow is a convenient and most-of-the time innocent delaying tactic. After making a few of those tomorrow promises, you forget about what you needed to do. Then, you aren’t reminded until Jan. 1.

I speak with expertise here. I feel I am qualified to give you expert advice because I am an accomplished procrastinator.

There’s nothing magical about Jan. 1. I view it as just another day and, really, I hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

But I believe some businesses view Jan. 1 as a magical date because their income increases dramatically. I believe membership explodes the first part of the year in gyms and weight-loss programs.

Other businesses prosper as well at the beginning of each new year. Business people know exactly what they’re doing when they place stacks of those plastic storage boxes in prominent locations in their stores at the beginning of the year. Sure, some of those containers are for Christmas decorations, but a lot of us see those boxes and realize that now is the best time to finally pack away some of that stuff so we can get our car in the garage.

I had a goal last year to clear enough stuff out of the garage so I could get both vehicles in the garage — at the same time. I could get both vehicles in the garage, but only one at a time. Understand? I fixed the problem. I took the easy way out. I didn’t increase the car space in my garage, I just sold one of the vehicles. Problem solved — most of the time.

Office Depot people are pretty smart, too. They know to stack boxes of file folders and hanging files at the front of the store. I don’t know if they do that throughout the year, but the display caught my attention a few days ago.

Even though there’s nothing magical about Jan. 1, I become focused on organization the beginning of every year.

Throughout the year, I develop a little clutter in my home office. And I have a very simple solution when my little clutter grows to the big-clutter point. That’s when the clutter goes into a box for future consideration.

I’ll deal with that stuff — tomorrow.

And that’s where I am today, Jan. 4. I’m in the process of dealing with the clutter that I boxed away all year long. I bought those file folders and even hanging files at Office Depot. I have a system and it’s working. I’m filing some stuff in my new folders, but believe it or not, most of it is going in the round file — the trash can.

I’m halfway through my filing process and now I need to stop. My holiday is over and now I have to go back to work.

I’ll finish this project — tomorrow.

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