The following is a sample of my weekly organizing quick tip. Want to join the list? You can sign up here. Enjoy!

Recently my family and I have decided to start eating more vegetarian meals. Did you notice I didn’t say we decided to become vegetarians? We tried that before—for a week—and it just didn’t work for us. It’s not that we didn’t want to be vegetarians; it’s that making the change overnight, for us, was just too extreme.

We make choices about what to eat at least three times a day. In the course of the past decade alone, my family and I have made 10,950 meal choices—most of which included some form of meat! When you look at it that way, you can see why the cold turkey approach to no turkey was a bit too radical. Quite simply, we were setting ourselves up for failure.

Our new approach is to add one vegetarian meal per week. We started by getting a rough baseline for how many times a week we eat meat-free dinners, which turned out to be approximately two dinners per week. For the next month or so, we will ratchet this number up to three vegetarian dinners a week. Once we get comfortable with the three no-meat meals per week, we’ll add a fourth. We’ll continue this process until we find our meat-free-eating comfort zone, which may turn out to be twenty meals per week. But if it’s less, we’re okay with that, too.

This “start small” approach works for organizing, too. Think of it this way:  How would it feel if you added just one new organized habit to your weekly routine? How much progress could you make if you focused on just one small organizing project until it was finished? By focusing on just one organizing habit or project—or just one vegetarian meal—you set yourself up for success, which makes progress much more possible.

Happy organizing!


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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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