Get fit by getting organized

Some of my most effective training techniques have been "creatively acquired" from a personal trainer - who is one of the most innovative personal trainers I know! One of the exercises she taught me is called the "Stoplight Exercise." The purpose is to illustrate that all of us have habits we need to stop, want to continue or should start in order to get the results we want. When she retired, one of her students gave her a glass jar on which was painted a traffic light, and the words, "Stop," "Start" "Continue."

I gave a presentation at a local NAPW chapter in which I handed out an index card at the beginning of the presentation, and asked participants to provide their email address and one habit that they wanted to stop, and put it in the jar. The results were fascinating, and included everything from " get more sleep" "spend time more with the family" " lose weight" "stop smoking" to "stop doubting myself so I can do what I need to do."

Overall, 49% of the participants responded that they needed to stop doing something that related to time management or organizing their home or office and 34% responded that they needed to stop doing something related to food and drink choice or their health in general. One of the purposes of the exercise was to build in accountability by my making a commitment to them that in 30 days I would email them to check on their progress.

I have observed that many of the clients who come to improve their fitness also need to improve their organization. Similarly, I have observed that many of my clients who seek to improve their organization and productivity also need to improve their fitness.

Based on our observations after working for 19 years in the professional organizing business it doesn’t matter whether you start with "fitness" or " organizing leading to more productivity" -- an improvement in one will lead to a desire to improve the other!

So if you're trying to "get your life in order so you can exercise more" or you're trying to "exercise more so you can get your life in order"….it doesn’t really matter! The bottom line is get started with one and the other will follow!

Cynthia Braun is a certified professional organizer for Suffolk County, New York