Fall is an extremely evocative time for me. I always looked forward to my October birthday, and I’d plan my Halloween costumes all year round, but the real thing that drew me to fall as a child is the same thing that draws me to it now: fresh starts.
It’s been years since my life was regulated by an academic calendar. Still, the subtle changes in light, the increasing crispness of the air, the crunchy carpet of leaves, and of course the changing colors all fill me with a sense of excitement. I am filled with memories of pristine new shoes, smart new clothes, clean blank notebooks and unused pens and pencils, and the little girl in me is jumping up and down.
I miss starting school, but it actually doesn’t have anything to do with new shoes, or even with the glory of the season. On the first day of school, with some help from parents, I arrived on time and prepared for the day ahead. My bag was packed with all the necessary supplies, my mind was sharp and open, and everyone was on equal footing. Nobody was behind or discouraged, yet.
Here is my favorite part: on first days of class teachers laid out their expectations. They said: here are the rules you must follow in order to succeed; this is what you will learn; these are the books you will need in order to complete your projects and assignments, here is how your success will be measured. There are very few mysteries in the way it works. If you play by the rules and do what you’re told, you will get good grades and learn something.
Adults rarely ever have success defined for them in such clear terms, and they rarely have the path to success laid out for them in manageable steps. I remember sitting down to my homework assignments some nights with eagerness, knowing that all the information I needed was either already inside of me, or readily available in a book nearby. It was simple, though it never really felt that way at the time.
What if someone with authority and experience were to approach you now and say this: “Here are your goals for the year, here are the steps you will need to take to achieve them, here are the resources you will need in order to take those steps, and if you do all of this in the way I have prescribed you will be prepared to take the next steps in your life at the end of the year.”
I am obviously a person who loved school. Not everyone does, and yet clearly expressed and achievable goals with well thought-out action plans achieved over set periods of time are almost universally supportive of growth and productivity. When I meet with a client for the first time, or re-evaluate after working with them for awhile, I am effectively customizing a curriculum for them based on the goals I hear them expressing.
As the school year progresses, the excitement wears off. The real work begins. Mistakes are made, deadlines are missed and one starts to fall behind. Motivation occasionally falters. Imperfections are rampant. Time is mismanaged and one stays up all night trying to finish a project. The new shoes have scuff marks on them, books are dog-eared, and notebooks are misplaced. It is not the perfect, pristine, productive year it was supposed to be. It’s just like all the other years, but with slightly different content.
The organizing process is also ongoing and it is never quite as pretty as it looks in pictures, but there is the extraordinary benefit of being able to take specific steps toward clear and achievable goals. Organizing is palpable: you can see and feel it happening around you and inside you. When it’s working, you don’t have to wonder if you’re on the right track, focusing on the right things, or making any progress.
If you’re as excited as I am about fall, fresh starts, and the idea of getting assignments designed precisely to get you where you want to go, then now is an excellent time to hire an organizer. Click here, to book an appointment. If not, maybe a new pair of loafers and a fresh notebook will suffice.
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