I’ve been speaking more and more and am consistently amazed that the VAST majority of looks on the faces out in the audience are ones of understanding.
Not you-poor-thing understanding.
Being limited to a single hour of verbal blabbing instead of the endless opportunity to self-analyze here on the blog has helped me to really focus. It has caused me to zero in on what has made this deslobification process successful.
Y’know, as opposed to the thousand-ba-jillion failed attempts to change my slobbish ways pre-blog.
Here’s the one difference. The only difference.
I didn’t quit.
About a year ago, I saw a woman I hadn’t seen in a while. I didn’t recognize her at first. She had lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight. A shocking amount.
As I raved about her success and asked what she had done, she said . . . “I just didn’t quit this time.”
How simple. How profound.
This statement has been re-playing in my head lately as I’ve been working to make exercise a non-negotiable part of my life again.
I realized that it’s also true for me and my deslobification process. Yes, I’ve come up with daily habits that make sense to my Slob Brain. I’ve learned how to declutter and have purged this house like a maniac for the past three years.
But ultimately, the only difference has been that I didn’t quit.
Not when my master bedroom fell back into disarray for the 67th time. Not when I get consumed with a project and wake up to a house that hasn’t seen a daily habit or weekly cleaning task in a month.
Not when I fail. Again and again.
So the best advice I can give anyone at any point in their own deslobification journey?
Kelley G. says
Amen Sister, so simple yet so profound…….
That is the best advise I’ve heard since… well… ever!
Thank you! I felt like giving up 10 minutes ago as I walked through my master bedroom which is needing a cleanup and the hallway that has become a catchall.
This statement is SO simple, and I just need to remember to keep on and get back on “the bicycle.”
Elaine in Ark says
I have to admit – when the going gets tough, I tend to quit. I need reminders like this now and then.
My kitchen walls are freshly painted 2/3 of the way. I don’t want to move the fridge, so I haven’t forced myself to continue. Plus, I’m going to run out of paint.
In my head, I’m now hearing:
“Hey, Elaine in Ark, those are just excuses to quit! Get with the program, stop and Home Depot and get a quart of paint, and paint over that ugly beige with that beautiful light aqua, and decorate the kitchen. Just get it done!”
Really, moving the fridge can’t be that bad.
Thanks for this post.
I’m from Arkansas too (central) and I’m a hopeless quitter. I can start and start but I never finish or maintain.
Evelyn in Arkansas, I’m writing this because I need to say it to myself – you and I share a habit – negative self talk. We need to somehow find the strength to stop thinking of ourselves as “hopeless quitters” and stop saying things like “I never finish or maintain.” I have said the same things but we need to break that bad habit, as it wastes a lot of energy and doesn’t motivate us to do better. We need to STOP beating ourselves up and then NOT STOP when we set a goal in the house (or ANY goal!) If we slip (NO ONE IS PERFECT!) we have to pick ourselves up and begin again. Like an alcoholic trying to stop drinking, we have to do this one day at a time, or sometimes one hour at a time, or 15 minutes at a time. We don’t decide to keep house once and then easily change our ways. In fact, we may have to re-make that decision every day, or even several times in a day. I don’t remember where I read it, but it speaks to me, so I try to remember the mantra that “Keeping house is an act of self-love.”
Gale, thank you for your comment. I grew up around a lot of negative self talk & learned to become a pro at it. I’m only recently learning how keeping a clean house is really caring for myself, as well as making healthy meals, exercise, & a spiritual routine. Thank you!
I am happy to report that deslobbing was my New Year’s Reslolution and I am still plugging away!! Is my house clean right now? No. Is it bothering me? No, cuz I have plans and I know how simple it is to just pick it up in a little bit. For now, I’m drinking my coffee. 🙁
Most times, the simplest things are biggest truths.
Kathy B says
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope I remember this when I am tempted to quit. I think it was Winston Churchill who said, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”
Thank you!!! I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am to you for sharing your story. I struggle so much to keep a clean house. I feel completely overwhelmed just going a day or two without doing the dishes. My stepdaughter had a friend coming over this weekend so I cleaned like crazy this morning and after work. In two and a half hours, our clean looks like someone else’s messy but its a place to start. There are flat surfaces and I don’t have to step around bags and boxes of things I need to put away. I can’t wait to wake up to my vacuumed living room tomorrow and drink my coffee on the couch without moving laundry first. I hope I can keep it up, 15 minutes a day would save so much heartache.
[email protected] says
Nothing like the d words to “diligence, devotion, dedication, discipline” those are the words that make a “difference”!
Nony, I love you – it is sooooo good to hear from a slob in transformation! I am almost ready to take the plunge myself and de-slob my house; it’s been 10 years of kids’ toys overtaking the whole and I’m ready to start paring down. Of course, our room is the worst (as many master bedrooms are, with the shoving of things that simply don’t fit anywhere else) and I am trying to get up the motivation to just begin. Thank you for your words of encouragement, and your daily posts to get us all going! 🙂
Susan McVicker says
Emily, I had nine kids and the toys that came with them. Some of these toys are so classic-y that I don’t wish to get rid of them. Especially open-end toys like legos or Lincoln logs etc. I have an extra room at the back of my house that the ‘general public’ doesn’t go into. There is a nice sized closet in there, and I had my teen sons place some shelving in there. Now I have a place for everything I feel I’d like to keep for small visitors (kids I babysit or future grandbabies). There is a sign on the door that I hung with humor that says, : Authorized Personnel Only.
Nony would call that my ‘container’. And I will practice ‘one in/one out’ from here on.
I have some random toys on my enclosed front porch that are pretty easy to clean up and as they wear out, I will toss.
I keep a beautiful wooden dollhouse with two baskets to keep the dollhouse items in. It’s nice and classic-y and brings an old-fashioned feel to my house. I love it. So I keep it.
I’m in a different stage, AND in a larger home than when my children were small; my former home had no closets! It would have been sooo much easier if I had been able to do it this way.
[email protected] says
I’ve heard it said: “The only time you truly fail is when you quit.” Thanks for the reminder.
As always – reading your blog gives me hope! But today it also gave me a motivating reminder that I can use when I want to do nothing! Thanks!!!
Thank you. This post means so much to me. You are one amazing lady!
Love it! Can’t wait to see you again. Do you ever post your speaking schedule?
Beautifully stated and TRUE! Yur the BEST!!
Carolyn k says
I won’t quit! Thank you!
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…
As I learn more and more from you (and I’ve learned LOTS! not that I’ve commented much…), you’ve given me so much hope! Thank you for not quitting! Thank you for showing me that I can do it too! Thank you for modeling consistency and diligence!
I say that to myself all the time “Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming…”
Yes! Same here. I found flylady and I just kept doing it. Restarting over and over. And, once my house got better, I was able to tackle my weight! Just don’t quit.
I read your stuff daily and voraciously and quote you at my family frequently… but this is the first time I’ve felt the need to leave a comment.
I have read this post before. I remember it. It sticks around in my head and reannounces itself at intervals when I need to hear it. I think that may be the actual definition of ‘inspiring’.
I’m so glad you haven’t quit. And thankyou for being prepared to be inspiring on an ongoing basis even when you don’t feel like it, because being a public model not of gained perfection but of ongoing non-quittal is a unique and precious and, yeah, truly inspirational thing.
Dana White says
Thank you so much for this, JL. And I hope your family doesn’t hate me!!
Jolene Collins says
I love “nonquittal.”
If her family hates her for quoting you, I’ll bet a lot of people are frustrated with me because I reference you everywhere I go.
[email protected] says
I love this! Thank you so much. You are always an inspiration to me. I too have a “slob brain” and it is so easy to just throw up my hands and go find my book that I’d rather be reading……
Susan McVicker says
Okay, so I am a member of the free fitness site sparkpeople.com.
One of the things they suggest is to MERELY COMMIT to just TEN minutes of exercise per day. I could do this. And I DID do this. And what it gave me was pride that I kept my commitment, because I rarely saw anything through without outside pressure.
But I could DO was TEN MINUTES. And if I wanted to quit after just ten minutes, I could do so, GUILTFREE, because I achieved my goal.
BECAUSE I committed, I noticed my energy level had increased within 2 -3 weeks, and I rarely stopped at ‘just’ ten. (but again, I could stop ANYTIME after 10.) Because my energy picked up, I became more interested in OTHER movement. I gained strength and muscles, etc… So for beginners- just commitment to something SMALL, that you KNOW you will STICK TO.
Another challenge sparkpeople gave me was to choose an activity I love and start incorporating it. I chose swimming, joined a challenge at the local Y, and have now achieved 91 miles of swimming. One lap at a time, until I reached HALF a mile at a time….until I reached ONE mile at a time.
Starting small brings HUGE results.
I believe we can apply this to our home-making. Pick up good, but perhaps minor habits (like those daily dishes!) and then find joy in your home that you’d like to have plenty of space for (frequent company?) scrapbooking? crafting? Days off?
Pamper yourself by using these ideas. You won’t regret it.
Laurie Philemonoff says
“The only way to fail is to quit.”
Sally Edge says
Thank you, Dana White! You are one of my heroes!
Thank you for this post, Dana. It was like the supportive hug and gentle reminder I needed today. You and your podcast keep me company while I commute, and I am eternally grateful for what you have taught me. “Dishes math” and “Better done than perfect” are phrases I appreciate and have taken to heart.
I think I was your twin, “in another life” except that this twin “reads more how to” than “doing”
I try but never finish, get motivated just to make another mess, shake my head & feel like its a
a mountain I’ll never climb (per Elvis) @ 74 yrs, no family to take care of – kids grown – only three
adopted cats – that MAKE me get up in the morning. I keep “reading” You give so much hope in
your blogs & I keep trying when the energy spurts. Bless you !
Stephanie Chatterjee says
This is what I say when people ask what is the secret to staying married for so many years (30 years in August)…you just don’t quit.
Thanks for the pep talk!
Karen Wear says
I regularly come back to this post. The advice might seem simple and obvious to some, but it’s life-changing and profound to others. I think it’s something we all know at our core, but need reminding of. It’s so easy to be sidetracked from what we want most by what we want right now. This concept really helps me to squash perfectionism, too. Goofed up this last day or week? Not a problem, just get right back to it today. Quitting is not an option.