Starting is Easy. It’s the Finishing Part That’s a Constant Challenge
Do you have projects you start over and over, yet never seem to reach the end? You pick them up with energy high, getting past milestone after milestone, until you run out of steam, far from the finish line.
Cleaning is my albatross, or one of them. I typically start by taking out the sandboxes one by one to clean and refill, vacuuming and mopping floors as I go. I’ll usually get at least the bathrooms and one of the bedrooms done before my energy or attention wanes before I stop short of what I’d intended to do. Sometimes, I even get the living room and kitchen done if I have a particularly good burst of energy, or am into the music playing in my ears while I work.
The one room which, aside from vacuuming and maybe some mopping, gets little of my attention is my bedroom. I’ll de-fur all the furniture in the living room several times before thinking about indulging in some deep cleaning or de-cluttering in that very personal space.
Switching it Up
I realized I leave it for last because it’s a room people don’t typically see. My bedroom and office are at the back of the house and are mostly places where I spend my alone time, so they need only be clear enough for me to do what I need to, right?
This week, I decided to switch things up and am rather pleased with the results. I’ve been wanting to pull up the rest of the carpet in my room for quite some time, but the limited space in my barrels and the amount of energy required to not only pull up the carpet and padding, but detach the tack strips from the floor were often more than I wanted to expend.
Inspiration Trumps Procrastination
But with Thanksgiving looming and a house full of people on the near horizon, I decided it was time to kill the procrastination bug and, as Nike says, just do it. But I didn’t stop there. Once the pieces of carpet sufficient to fill the trash can were removed and the tack strips safely out of reach of the cats, I took a look at the nightstand I’d moved in order to remove the carpet it sat on.
I’d had a bunch of crap on top of it serving no real purpose so I put it all away. I pulled out the wood cleaner and a rag and gave the top, front and sides a good polishing before putting only what was necessary back on top. But now the dresser and the other nightstand looked messy and unkempt beside my newly cleaned nightstand.
The dresser was a special challenge because the dust bunnies behind the mirrors had given birth to several litters since I last saw fit to move everything and clean. Out came the rag and wood cleaner, and I set to organizing and de-cluttering the rest of the wood surfaces in my room as well.
Inspired by the End Result
Every time I walk into my room, I feel not only a sense of accomplishment, but a sense of openness and freedom I hadn’t realized was missing in my life. It started with clearing the accumulation of clothes and junk on my director’s chair a few months ago, but with each newly cleared surface, the momentum and the desire to continue increases.
Sure, I have a lot more to do to get the house ready for visitors, but I feel like starting at the end has been more motivating than anything I’ve done or any plans I’ve made up to this point. It’s as if I’ve proven something to myself, and in the process, shut down a few of those voices which were giving me excuses to leave things as they were.
Battling Our Innate Resistance to Change
Change is a good thing, and it comes in many forms. Whether it’s switching up the order of your cleaning ritual or getting work out of the way so you have space for more. It might be writing a month’s worth or blog posts or three, scheduling social media posts, creating a price list, or working through lessons you’d put on hold.
Whatever is holding you up, sometimes starting from the part you least want to do is the way to clear the blocks. The thing you’re putting off is standing in the way of accomplishing many other things. It’s an excuse. A safety net. How many times have you told yourself I can’t do this until I do that. But “that” never gets done. Great, now you don’t have to do anything else.
It’s taking procrastination to a new level because you’re creating an excuse for not doing all you can to move towards your dreams. You’re putting the brakes on before you ever get started.
Starting with the Least Appealing
So for once, start at the end—with the pesky, unpleasant thing you’re using as an excuse to keep you from shining like the star you are. Get it out of the way for once and for all. Leave room for the things you get done without a second thought, and the end will become, not that onerous task you’ll do anything to avoid, but a beautiful, clear space you can fill with anything you want.
More and more, I hear about how de-cluttering your space de-clutters your mind. I stand before you as living proof it’s true. The more spaces I’ve cleared in my office, my bedroom, my garage—all over this place I call my home, the more clear I become on things which are important to my future.
The Proof is in the Pudding…er, Unblocking
I’ve written more in the last couple of months than I have in the last 6. I’ve set a schedule to finish the re-write of my memoir. I’ve pulled up carpet I’ve been looking at for at least a couple of years. I’ve removed the dust of ages.
But most of all, I’ve become clearer about who I want and need to serve, and how I’m going to go about doing that. I had to clear a lot of crap to get here, and the clearing is far from over. Some of the roadblocks are finally gone, though. There will certainly be more, but I’ve proven to myself that if all else fails, I can start at the end and clear the block first. After that, moving forward is a great deal easier to accomplish.
Check out my Facebook Live where I talked about turning things Inside Out and Backwards.
Growing the List of Gratitudes
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for more cleared spaces in my home.
- I am grateful for a plethora of tasks still to be accomplished.
- I am grateful for a new perspective I found by starting at the end.
- I am grateful for deadlines and schedules which I can and will honor.
- I am grateful for abundance; ideas, insights, support, friendship, joy, love, extraordinary life, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.;