There is a wonderful power in celebrating milestones.
Milestones are markers along the path to success and have 3 main components.
- The journey to the milestone
- Arriving at the milestone
- The journey beyond
Think of it like a hike in the woods. Before you start the hike, you have a plan for the day, a map, a timeframe, and some supplies – boots, rain jacket, water, snacks, your camera. You are ready for the journey to the first milestone.
As you start on the hike, you take a look at the map and notice a scenic lookout at the end of a steep climb. You decide that’s your first milestone, the place where you plan to stop and rest, take out your camera and enjoy a healthy snack. On this hike, there may be several milestones, places to rest and reward yourself, or just take a breath before moving on to the next milestone, and ultimately, take you to the end of the hike. Milestones are not the end goal. They represent small wins and certainly help you on the journey to the end goal.
Can you see how those milestones are important to plan for, to acknowledge along the way, and to celebrate? They are reminders of how far you’ve come, of how you achieved a goal, of the hard work you did that paid off, and of future potential.
Now let’s look at how to celebrate milestones as a professional organiser…
As you know, it’s an important part of our work as professional organisers to start with a plan. That plan should include milestones. The small wins along the way that tell you and your client you are on the right track.
A typical milestone might be:
- A clear dining table
- Being able to park the car in the garage
- Having space for all the clothes in the wardrobe
- Making room for all the makeup and hair accessories in the bathroom cabinet
I had a client once who was sick of paying big bucks for a storage unit. Each month she paid over $100 to rent the storage space. She was also paying extra for insurance on the contents of that storage unit. She asked for my help to clear it out so she could save money. It took several sessions to go through the contents of that cage. We sorted through boxes, emptied boxes, deconstructed boxes. She selected treasures to go home with her, cried over missed opportunities and wasted time and money. Then we came to the first milestone – the moment when she was comfortable to stop paying to insure the contents. High fives all round! What a happy day it was for both her and her bank balance. That small win spurred her on to finish the job and we achieved the end goal to clear out the storage unit completely.
It’s important to find ways to celebrate. Typically, my clients are not good at patting themselves on the back. Peter Walsh often talks about how when children find a newly cleared space they automatically start to dance in that space. As an organiser, it’s my job to celebrate the milestone moment with my client.
When a dining table is cleared off, we can celebrate by putting a beautiful vase in the centre. Any clear flat surface is a magnet for piles, so reclaiming that flat surface for beauty is both a celebration and a preventative measure.
When a junk room is converted into a craft room, we can celebrate with some framed craft to hang on the wall, or a new chair to work at the craft table, or simply uninterrupted crafting time.
Some simple ways to celebrate organising milestones are:
- Take a photo to share it with friends (the clients not yours)
- Guilt free time out with a good book
- Book a massage to ease aching muscles
- Hosting friends for afternoon tea
- High fives
I’d love to hear from you. Celebrating milestones with clients is an important part of a professional organiser’s role. How have you celebrated with a client?