Wendy got BraveHow did your 2019 resolutions work out for you? If you’re like most people, they went by the wayside before January was over and you spent the rest of the year beating yourself up about the things you “should” be doing. My wise and talented colleague Imogen Lamport from Bespoke Image has done away with resolutions and chooses one word that will focus her year instead. For Imogen, her chosen word gives her guidance and influences her decisions so that she can stay on her intended path.

For 2019 I chose one word – BRAVE. At the start of the year even saying it out loud made me feel a little nervous! I think I made Angela nervous as well when I said we should speak at the National Association of Organizing and Productivity Professionals (NAPO) conference in Texas. But we decided to be brave. We pitched our idea, got accepted, spoke and then got invited to sit on an International Hoarding Panel in Florida! After that we bravely put ourselves forward to speak at the Remote and Rural Mental Health conference in Adelaide and an industry conference in the UK and were accepted for both.

In October we stepped outside of our comfort zone again and tendered to design and deliver a Hoarding and Squalor in Housing learning program for the Department of Health and Human Services. A massive undertaking! We knew we would be competing with respected professionals in the field of hoarding including a university with a well-established hoarding program. We also knew from our experience with clients, collaborations with related professionals and feedback from our graduates, that we had something very valuable to offer. Our brave initiative paid off and we have commenced work with DHHS to share our practical solutions for working with people who hoard with over 400 staff across Victoria.

What do you want to achieve in 2020? What word would move you closer to your goals? Maybe you want to support a loved one or client to deal with their hoarding. Your word might need to be Patient. If you are working through your own challenges, you might choose a word like Consistent. For example, instead of saying, my resolution is to get organised, set an intention to work consistently at building habits and routines that make you more organised.

I can assure you I didn’t feel particularly brave at the start of 2019. Setting an intention to be brave and letting the word guide and influence my decisions certainly had a significant impact on my work. For 2020, I’m toying with the word STRATEGIC. Being brave has opened the door to many opportunities that we hadn’t previously imagined but we need to ensure that we don’t get distracted. Being strategic ensures we spend our time and energy on activities that support our mission to empower people to work effectively and with confidence and compassion to resolve a hoarding situation.

Instead of setting resolutions this year, why not choose a word that will focus your efforts instead? Have a wonderful 2020.


Written by Wendy Hanes, Hoarding Home Solutions & Skeletons in the Closet

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