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To allow for optimal success, plan ahead for distractions that you know will occur. For example, if your battling a case of strep, don’t try to sort through all the children’s summer clothes or if I see a friend that is always up to date on the latest doings of everyone I know, I’ll give her a heads up that I’m trying to work on my shmiras halashon.

Akst also talks about priming, which is basically faking it till you make it. This is the same idea as dressing professionally one level higher then your pay grade. In the realm of household organizing, read books about de-cluttering, and ask organized people for advice. Eventually, the ideas will sink in and take effect!

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When you are meeting your goals, isolate and focus on the pleasure of achievement, of the quiet calm that organization brings. Articulate that pleasure out loud to yourself and to others. Success breeds success, like mitzvah goreres mitzvah. This will encourage future behaviors, which leads to force of habit. Hopefully, before long, the positive behaviors I yearn for will become second nature.

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Pnina Baim is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at pninabaim@gmail.com.