finish_lineNo, I didn't run a marathon...but when you work hard and accomplish your goals, you often feel like you have.  In the January 2011 blog article entitled "No More Excuses! Focus on What's Important in 2011," I shared with you my 3 "no-excuses goals" for the year.  One of these goals was to get in shape, and I am excited to say that this is one goal I accomplished.  I have decided to share the top three reasons for my success, as I feel there are many parallels with getting organized at the home or office.

1.  I hired a personal trainer. While I know how to exercise, in the past I did not feel that I was working out efficiently or effectively.  I also was not up-to-date on the latest tools and techniques related to exercise, and I wasn't comfortable that I knew how to eat healthy or to cook healthy for my family.  My trainer not only helped to teach me all of these things and more, but he created the motivation, accountability, and fun atmosphere that I needed to show up and work hard.  After a few months, I was comfortable taking things on my own, but continue to attend exercise classes and talk with experts in the field.

2.  I started out slow. I knew that my extra time for exercise was limited and I didn't want to "burn out" or decide I just didn't have the time.  Because my trainer was able to teach me how to work out efficiently, I could get to my goal initially with only two 30 minute work-outs per week.  Once I was motivated by the improvement I was seeing, I worked to find time for a third workout and have lengthened the time of my sessions.

3.  I am ok with imperfection. As a perfectionist at heart, this one is always tough for me but I have come to realize that life happens, and I will not always get my workouts in.  Or I may have a "bad" workout at times.  But because I've made it a priority in my life and have created the habit, I know I will get right back into it and quickly get back to where I left off.

These same 3 points can apply to almost any goal that relates to making a change in your life, including a newly organized and productive home or office. While it wasn't always easy, I kept my vision in mind and worked hard to accomplish my goal.  I have now made exercise and healthy eating a part of my life and my family's life.  Maybe someday I'll even run a marathon.

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