girl runningThis morning I was thinking about my upcoming half marathon. I was feeling pretty excited that I’m on the final leg of the training plan. The finish line is in sight!

My mind drifted to all the times I got up before the crack of dawn to go running, and the countless occasions when I chose to run even though I didn’t really feel like running at all. For a split second I thought…Ahhh…soon I can go back to sleeping in and not running when I don’t feel like it.

Luckily, there’s another Aby inside my head who stopped this crazy thought with a simple question:

This running thing—is it an event or a lifestyle?

Right! Before I interrupted myself, I was getting caught up in the event—the half marathon and the specific training plan I was following. I was thinking that once the event was over…well, it was over and my life could go back to the way it was before. But the truth is that running is now a part of me. It’s a part of my life, and I don’t want that to change when the half marathon is over. I am living the “running lifestyle” and that involves running when you don’t feel like it and getting up at the crack of dawn when you’d rather hit the snooze button, or better yet, throw the alarm clock across the room and drift back to sleep! It’s a life filled with blisters, sore muscles, and chaffing, but it’s also a life filled with feeling good, energetic and strong, and it’s a life filled with new friends. Running is a lifestyle…it isn’t an event, and organizing is exactly the same way.

When you realize that the benefits of being organized outweigh the effort of staying there, that’s when you know organizing is part of your life.

Even though getting organized can feel like training for a marathon, the truth is, the minute you cross the finish line you have a choice: Was this just an event or is organizing now part of my lifestyle?

If you choose the latter it means you decide to continue to make harder-in-the-moment choices like doing the dishes instead of checking Facebook, handling the mail now instead of saving it for later, and remaining intentional about what you bring into your home and take out of it. When you’ve worked hard to get organized and realize that the benefits of being organized outweigh the effort of staying there, that’s when you know organizing is part of your life.

Do you think of organizing as lifestyle or an event? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for joining the conversation.




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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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