5 Lessons from Olympians to Help You Get Organized

By Liana George from By George Organizing

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been glued to your TV this past week watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Despite the negativity surrounding these particular Olympics, the level of athleticism displayed has been nothing short of inspiring! I’m always amazed at how much these athletes give to their sport and what they are able to do with the whole world watching.

As I’ve followed the swimming, tennis, gymnastics and beach volleyball games and listened to the stories of how these athletes made it to Rio, I thought about all the training and discipline that they had to put forth to make it to this world stage. No doubt there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved! But if you asked any of them, whether they won a medal or not, they would undoubtedly tell you that it was worth every minute of the time they put in.

While we may never train as intensely as an Olympian, their preparation can teach us a few things that can help us on our own

1.  They wrote down their goals.  One U.S. swimmer, Ryan Murphy, wrote a book for his mom when he was 8 years old. In it he stated that he loved the sport of swimming and that one day he would be an Olympic swimmer. Many years later, in his first Olympics, he would earn a gold medal and bring that dream to pass.

They say people who write down their goals are more likely to reach them. Have you taken the time to write down your organizing goals? When you put your dreams of an organized life to paper, you are actualizing your words and thoughts and making the likelihood of them coming to pass a greater reality.

2.  They sacrificed. Simone Biles, dubbed the world’s greatest gymnast at these Rio games, was homeschooled so she could devote more time to her training. One of the announcers mentioned by choosing to study at home Biles never participated in all the “normal” school fun. No doubt Biles would have enjoyed those “normal” childhood activities, but she was willing to make the sacrifice for a larger purpose.

What sacrifices do you need to make to bring order to your home and life? Maybe it’s sacrificing time in front of the TV (after the Olympics are over, of course!) to devote to decluttering a space. Perhaps it’s foregoing a particular coffee drink each week to hire a professional organizer to help you organize your space. Sacrifices are not always easy or fun to make, but if you have a larger purpose you’ll find it’s definitely worth it in the end.

3. They didn’t do it alone. Ask any of the athletes and they would tell you they didn’t get there on their own. Whether they’re part of a team or competing in an individual sport, every one of the athletes had the support of a coach, family and home country fans behind them. At these Olympics I’ve enjoyed watching gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents in the stands and Hungarian swimmer Karinka Hosszu’s husband cheer ecstatically after her races. It is that support that spurs these athletes on to greatness.

In your quest to get organized, what support system do you have helping you? A spouse, a friend? Maybe it’s time you take the plunge and hire a professional to help you. No matter who you choose to walk beside you on this organizing journey, two together is always better than one!

4.  They knew it was never too late. By now you’ve probably heard of 41 year old Oksana Chusovitina, the gymnast from Uzbekistan, who will compete against kids younger than her own son in the individual vault finals. Or maybe you saw the American swimmer who is competing for the first time at age 30, or the equestrian from Australia who is 61. Their fighting, never-give-up spirit reminds us all that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Ever.

Sadly, many people feel that their clutter is too far gone for them to try and get organized. Or they falsely believe that they will never be able to be organized so they don’t even try. But that’s just not true! As these athletes show us, it’s never too late to work towards your goals and dreams!

5.  They believed they could. Talent and skill will get you far, but when you have that and belief,it will take you even farther. Every Olympian believes they have a chance to win, and the opportunity to stand on that podium and have a medal draped around their neck. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be there competing. It’s that belief that keeps them going day in and day out.

Do you believe you can be organized? Contrary to what most people think, getting organized doesn’t start with a container and a label, and it isn’t assigned to a particular personality type. It starts with the belief that you can be organized. Once the belief is there then the actions you need to take to get organized will follow suit.

Every four years we get to watch the best athletes in the world compete for glory and gold. What we don’t see is the work they put in to get them to this stage. Thankfully, though, for 2 weeks their sportsmanship shows us what it takes to follow a dream and teaches us lessons that can help us attain organizing success.