I fall into the camp of people who set one resolution a year. My idea is that if I only have one resolution it is a lot more likely to be achieved. I have other goals and projects in my life, a continuous stream of things to do, but really only one major change I want to make about myself.
When selecting a resolution, I start by identifying the things in my life that cause me the greatest amount of stress. Work is always on my stress list, but I enjoy (in a loose sense) the stress my work creates. I love my job — running Unclutterer.com is very rewarding — so the stress associated with it isn’t something I want to change. A few items also creep onto my stress list that I can’t control, which means I can’t make resolutions about them. These uncontrollable stresses include things like my 99-year-old grandmother’s ailing health.
At the top of my list of stressors that I can change is e-mail. No matter which system I implement to handle e-mail, it fails within two months of use. I’ve tried every system you’ve ever heard of to manage e-mail, and it doesn’t work for me over the long term. I’ll go on vacation or have to be away from my computer for a conference and that is always the point where the system starts to lose its edge. From that disturbance, the whole method breaks down and collapses.
This year, I resolve to get e-mail under control.
Now that I’ve decided on the resolution, I’ll review the post Making your resolutions a reality. These tips helped me achieve my 2008 Resolution: Laundry, and I know they’ll get me on track with e-mail this year.
What area of your life is the most cluttered or in need of organizing? Have you made a resolution to get it under control in 2009? Let us know about your plans in the comments section.