The Rightsizing concept is based on the psychology of motivation using cognitive perspectives. Cognitive theories give us an alternative methodology to motivation through expectancy-value theory, goal-setting theories and self-determination theory. Expectancy value theory reveals that outcomes are determined by how much someone believes they can accomplish something. Following this theory to achieve our goal we must first believe that it is possible. Goal-setting theories offer a cognitive tactic to establish outcomes through social learning, learning through modelling our behaviour patterns from the observation of others. Self-determination theory is a modern suggestion that people have three inherent needs of competence, independence and connection to others. Once these needs are met rather than compromised, one’s intrinsic motivation will be activated. Intrinsic motivation is our natural ability to be driven to undertake something for the satisfaction of the activity.
Peter J. Daniels says in his 1987 book How to be motivated all the time, ‘The best antidote to discouragement is motivation. A person who is both personally and permanently motivated doesn’t give up easily!’ Rightsizing your belongings requires a high level of commitment and ownership of positive outcomes before, during and after your projects. It is a skill that requires you to act upon your own motivational capabilities. Self-determination will allow you to improve your lifestyle by reducing the items you own by creating clearly thought-out goals. That will empower your overall pledge to the Rightsizing process, thus establishing a high level of motivation to your decided-upon goals and projects. Applying a growth mindset will mean you can spend your energies finding ways to solve problems rather than fixating on the difficulties. Looking toward the future with the knowledge of our past motivates us from within when following a well-thought-out action plan. When we physically act motivated our minds and hearts will follow suit.
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A goal is a well-defined vision of what your project is about. Your goal should set a very clear intention about what it is you wish the project to achieve. French aristocrat and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish.’ A wish may well be something you can aspire to but without creating a well-thought-out plan to ‘call it to action’, it may never amount to anything more than just a dreamy, distant wish. In Rightsizing, goal setting is how we identify what it is we want to successfully achieve for the project we have chosen. A goal will motivate you into completion of smaller, broken-down tasks that you will set for yourself.
The psychological cognitive perspective shows that goal setting allows for conscious goals to regulate and enhance our performance on work tasks for increased motivation. New goals will supersede old goals if these have fallen short to past expectations. When planning your goals make sure that they are achievable, measurable and you are committed to reaching them. If you feel that the goal you have set will be attainable, you will be motivated to achieve it. Allow your goal to be easily measured so you can feel the power behind your accomplishments. When you are committed to really achieving your goal the time you invest to reach your outcome will not be demanding. You will find your energy is recharging you to assist you in persevering to the finishing line. Formulating your own statement of ‘why’ you are pursuing this project, you will be able to focus your attention on the ‘how’ you will use this space better. Knowing ‘what’ will be gained from the Rightsize process will further assist with your momentum. My clients Val and Peter had this to say about Rightsize goal setting:
Val: ‘Once we had used the “pausing” tools we knew it was the front lounge room we needed to start with. Peter and I both had very different plans for what the end goal would be for this space.’ Peter: ‘This is an understatement! I wanted somewhere for my fishing rods to be stored and displayed and Val wanted to use it for a “good room” to sit with visitors.’ Val: ‘Working together allowed us to create a shared goal of how and what to use this space for.’
I can confirm that Val and Peter now use this space as ‘their living room’; they spend time in here together in the evenings to watch TV and relax. And … they each got a wall for display: fishing memorabilia on one wall and Val’s artwork on the other!
This is a great example of how collaboration when goal setting can bring people together through a shared vision. This room now adds to the value of their lives as they can showcase their legacy objects and spend time together in a space that they are proud of. Your vision will be how you feel about the space and the benefit it will provide you once your project is complete.
Projects that we embark upon will be even more successful if we prioritise our tasks. A priority is how much time we attribute to each of the components involved in completing a task we are engaged with. Priority-setting is simply the breaking down of your project into sequential and manageable steps. When priorities are clearly mapped they enable our focus and offer achievable outcomes. As your project starts to materialise, setting in place the order of priorities becomes a stepped structure that you can customise your time around. Progressively you will be able to see which steps are to be taken first and what is the natural order to complete them in. This allows you to track the progress of your project as you tick off the assigned tasks. The benefit of applying this type of planning is that you will achieve the management of your time efficiently. Priorities should incorporate some sort of flexibility. Life can get in the way of even the best-laid plans, so look at the opportunities when this happens and stay focused on your overall vision.
The main things to consider when setting priorities are the following points:
- Concentrate on the most important things first—When we are Rightsizing, we look at the items we know we would like to KEEP before addressing the items we would like to discard.
- Know what you do well—Focus on what you do best and ask for a helping hand with those things that may be more challenging. For example, moving heavy items or listing items for sale online.
- Be realistic in your planning process—Your ultimate perfect Rightsize outcome will take time to complete. Set yourself reasonable goals that promote success within you own capabilities.