Kicking the Clutter: What bad habits are holding you back?

I love this quote.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success if found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell

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Not many people like a tedious routine. Washing dishes might not be your favourite chore, but if you want to eat your breakfast, you will need a clean dish.

There is not a lot any of us can accomplish by doing things on a whim. Stability is the key to success.

We all have good and bad habits. If you feel stuck, overwhelmed and unhappy with your life, start by examining your bad habits. Our bad habits are so deeply-seated in our brain and body that we don’t even notice them anymore. If we become aware of them, we make all kinds of excuses to hang onto them.

You can’t have a reason for being late every day, yet people always manage to do it. Also, taking responsibility for the way your life turned out is a mature way to deal with any life challenges.

If you ever tried to change your habits unsuccessfully, maybe it’s time to try a different approach, one that might work.

These six stages might help you succeed:

1. Acknowledge the need to change your bad habits. Being aware of your behaviour is the first step to change. Also, think about how your bad habits might affect the life of your family. If you have any kind of addiction, seek help from professionals.

2. Declare to yourself and others that you’re ready to change. Make it official. Some people avoid telling anyone they are going to try to break a habit for fear of embarrassment if they don’t succeed. By telling others about your plan, especially people who will support you, they hold you accountable for your behaviour.

3. Mentally prepare yourself to commit to this habit and life change. While you are working on breaking the habit that’s stifling your life, imagine how you will feel when you break away from the constraints of unhealthy habits.

4. Work through the frustration and past obstacles until a new behaviour gradually replaces the old habits. As you keep plugging away through the change process, you will wake up one day and realize your new behaviour has started to feel like a habit. Just remember that it will take some time and commitment to achieve healthy habits.

5. As you diligently change your habits, think about changing your surroundings and the people you associate with. Are they supportive of your change, or they do everything to sabotage your success? There is no doubt that change is hard, so finding a supportive group of people who overcome the challenges you are dealing with could be very helpful.

6. Think of helping others in your community who might have different challenges than you. This will build your strength and confidence needed to succeed in life. Every time we overcome difficult circumstances is a lesson that will stay with us for a lifetime.

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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