Kicking the Clutter: What bad habits are you transferring to a new year?

If we are not aware of our unhealthy habits, we will unconsciously transfer them to the next day, month or year.

While reading an article on procrastination, I came upon this quote: “Our habits decide our future.” This scared me, so I quickly started to analyze my bad habits.

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Here are the three major bad habits many of us struggle with:

Giving up too soon
Learning new things, going to unfamiliar places and meeting new people is still a struggle for me, so I tend to give up after a couple of tries. What helped is asking for help with things I don’t have a skill for. Meeting people in a small, intimate group is much easier than being in a group of hundreds of strangers.

Not planning properly
Many people write a to-do list on a loose piece of paper that goes missing in a few hours. The solution to this problem is a spiral book where you write a date and things you need to do. It also helps to build confidence when going back and seeing your accomplishments. Try different methods until you find one that works for you.

Forever postponing
There are many chores we avoid doing. The ones many of us tend to postpone or ignore are household chores, exercise and paperwork. If you constantly tend to postpone everything until the next day, you will more likely qualify as a chronic procrastinator. This habit of postponing can be related to several issues: inexperienced at time management, concentration difficulty, lack of interest and clarity in the task. The more we avoid the job, the more we feel guilty and stuck in this negative pattern. In some cases, procrastination can also be related to perfectionism, a lack of confidence, or even a fear of failure. Make the first step as simple as possible. After assessing your task, it’s time to take action. Any chore, big or small, can start with 10 minutes. Seeing quick results can inspire you to do more.

Good habits are easily formed if we have a routine. Washing your dishes every night after supper and seeing your kitchen clean can inspire you to continue. 

Analyze these tasks you always reject. Are they that difficult or are you exaggerating their difficulty? Ask yourself the following question: What exactly do I not like about this task? Maybe, you don’t mind washing the clothes, but folding and putting them away is a challenge.

Also, pay attention to how you feel when the job you resisted is done. Many people feel relaxed, proud and eager to do more of the chores they dislike.

Let’s face it, not very many of us like household chores, but they have to be done. It’s a part of being here and taking care of yourself and your family.

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to

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