Learning Jack Canfield's Secrets

I'm just getting back from a week in Minneapolis where I attended the annual conference for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). What a blast!! It was so inspiring to hear lessons from some of the best experts in the organizing field including Judith Kolberg, Debbie Stanley, Dorothy Breininger, Barbara Hemphill, and Monica Ricci, just to name a few. Believe me when I tell you that these folks have done innovative and amazing things to move professional organizing forward, and they were so giving of their expertise.

But perhaps my favorite speaker of the week was Jack Canfield, motivational speaker, co-creator of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series, and author of one of my favorite books "The Success Principles". Additionally, he recently contributed his words of wisdom on the DVD for "The Secret. " I arrived early to the meeting hall so that I could get a good seat and ended up sitting fifth row center. Jack Canfield was amazing!! In his inspirational presentation, he focused on the importance of positive thinking, the incredible power of intention, and the necessity to commit your goals to writing.

Let me throw out the same challenge to you that he gave our audience of 900 Professional Organizers. In the next 24 hours, write down one goal in each of these three categories:

* Financial
* Business/Career
* Fun/Recreation

With each goal, write down how much and by when. For example, one of your goals could be that you'll make $100,000 per year by December 2009. If you really want to see results, you could also create a Vision Board that includes images representing your goals. Keep these written goals with you all the time and review them at least once per day. Visualize how great your life will be once you achieve your goals. See yourself having already achieved what you're wishing for...the new car, a better relationship with your teenager, a job promotion, or an organized office.

Then release the goal for the universe, the infinite force, God, or your own imagination to accomplish. Don't focus on the HOW. Focus on HOW MUCH and BY WHEN.

Finally, create one BIGGER goal. Canfield calls this your "Breakthrough Goal." Examples might be to write a book, be featured on a major talk show, get a big new corporate client, or find the man of your dreams. Stretch a little because if you believe you can do it, you can!

Please come back and leave us a comment as your dreams start coming true!

Organizing Dawgs

If you are in the Atlanta area on May 9th from 6-8 p.m., come see me and two other Atlanta-based Professional Organizers, Emily Lyles and Kelly Waldron, speak at the UGA Alumni Association's Explore meeting. We'll be discussing Personal Organizing and showing you our favorite organizing products for your closet, home office, kid's toys, and automobile.

The program will be held at the UGA Atlanta Alumni Center at 3333 Peachtree Road. NE, South Tower, Suite 210, Atlanta GA 30326. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Plus, it's just a stone's throw from the Buckhead Container Store, so you could swing by there before or just after the meeting to pick up the latest and greatest in home and office organizing solutions.

Explore is a woman's enrichment program, but men are invited too. You also don't have to be a UGA graduate to attend. The cost for the event is $15 for UGA Alumni Association members and $20 for non-members. Click here to RSVP. I hope to see you there!

Cool Product: Turn-About from Pampered Chef

I just got an email from Karen who recently attended my "Managing Paper Chaos At Home" seminar. She wanted to tell me about this cool organizing product she just bought. The Tool Turn-About, made by Pampered Chef, spins freely and will hold 10 lbs. worth of tools. If you've ever been to a Pampered Chef home party, you know they make quality products.

I can see this spinner being used for easy access to kitchen utensils, office supplies, craft and sewing supplies, or even household tools. It costs $17 plus shipping/handling and tax. To order one, please contact Pampered Chef Consultant Karen Carter at kkcarter10@yahoo.com.

If you have any other cool organizing products you use and love (or have just seen and covet), email me at suellen@creativeorder.com or comment to this blog at www.betterorganized.blogspot.com.

Getting Unstuck

Do you ever get stuck when trying to reach a goal?

You've probably been there before. I know I have. You may be crystal clear on what you want your final outcome to look like. It weighs heavily on your mind, and you may even think about it daily. Yet, like a car stuck in the mud, you just can't seem to propel yourself forward.

I was talking to one of my organizing clients recently and she commented that she's been thinking about redoing her home office "forever." She said that she's spent months thinking about the changes she wants to make and the ways the office could serve her better. Yet, day after day, she comes into that same old office and changes nothing. Here are some ideas that I gave her to pull her out of the mud and into action.

* Get a clear idea of what you want the final outcome to look like. Literally, write down a detailed description of your goal. I'd also suggest creating a Vision Board where you take a piece of paper or poster board and paste on it pictures depicting your final outcome. In this client's case, she could cut out pictures of office furniture she likes, draw a diagram laying out a more efficient space, and attach up some paint swatches with new colors. This fun step may be just what you need to jump start your project.

* Break up big, overwhelming goals into a series of smaller projects. I define a project as any task requiring more than one action. My next suggestion, therefore, is to make a list of all of the projects that need to be completed in order to get to your final outcome. In the home office example, the list may include such tasks as (1) Move out, donate, or sell old office furniture, (2) repaint room, (3) buy new furniture.

* Make a list of the NEXT ACTIONS you will take to tackle those smaller projects. Those of you who have read David Allen's "Getting Things Done" will recognize this key step. Consider keeping a NEXT ACTIONS folder or list that you refer to daily (or in my case, several times per day). This list will keep you focused and help you figure out the best way to use your time and energy. For example "Repaint Room" can't happen until you a) pick out a paint color, b) buy the paint and brushes, c) clear out the furniture, d) clean the walls. Items a-d are examples of NEXT ACTIONS.

* Complete one of your NEXT ACTION items. Once you've completed one item, complete another, then another. Suddenly, you'll realize that you're not stuck anymore and inertia will be replaced with momentum.

Now I'm going to take some of my own advice and complete some of the NEXT ACTION items for my Creative Order web site.