Want Change? Take a Different Route!

If you want to keep getting what you’re getting, keep doing what you’re doing.
If you want something different, you have to DO something different.

The desire for change in our lives can be a powerful, motivating force. But breaking old habits and instilling new ones takes time and consistency. Whether it’s getting in better physical shape, losing weight, getting your spaces organized, or managing your time differently to accomplish more, it all requires changing the way you do things. It’s something I emphasize to my clients on a regular basis. We can spend a great deal of time, money, and energy clearing out paper piles, deleting emails, setting up filing systems, and establishing priorities and systems for how to better manage your time, but the really hard work comes afterwards. If you don’t make the decision to actually change the habits that got you where you were to begin with, you’ll end up in the same hole you started in. I would LOVE to be able to wave my magic wand and say, “Abracadabra! It’s all fixed. Forever!” (How great would that be? The first person I’d use it on would be…myself!) But keeping your stuff, space, and time under control is an ongoing process. It requires making consistent, small decisions on a regular basis until old habits are eliminated and new ones are established.

Every day, multiple times a day, you may need to:

  • DECIDE to sort and deal with incoming mail every day instead of tossing it on the desk and letting it pile up.
  • DECIDE to get items back into their assigned home at the end of the day instead of leaving them scattered around your office.
  • DECIDE to process and take action on your email during specific periods of the day, instead of just skimming and poking at it every 10 minutes.
  • DECIDE to stick to the priorities you’ve decided are important and say no to anything that doesn’t apply.

I love this poem by Portia Nelson. It expresses how hard it can be to DO something different so that you GET something different.

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

(Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk – The Romance of Self-Discovery)


Eventually, with enough accumulated, regular, small decisions, we can BE different. This year, you can dig yourself out for good and find a new way home!

About Lisa Griffith - Professional business organizer and speaker - Griffith Productivity Solutions

About The Author

Lisa Griffith is a speaker and consultant who provides services, both on-site and virtually, to help busy professionals organize their offices, systems and calendars. In addition to business and home office organizing, productivity and time management coaching, she provides workshops & seminars for business and community groups.