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The 2009 Get Rid of 50 Things Challenge

Drumroll, please: It's that time again--time for this year's Get Rid of 50 Things Challenge!

This annual event was inspired by an article coach Gail Blanke wrote in Real Simple a few years back (now a full-length book; see the link below) in which she encouraged readers to let go of 50 things that were holding them back in life, whether physical objects, limiting thoughts and beliefs, or activities and events that no longer had purpose and meaning.

The 50 Things Challenge is a structured, time-limited way of reconsidering the stuff you're keeping in your life and making some significant strides toward clearing out what no longer serves you. Here's how it'll work.

How It Works
For the next five weeks--from now through June 14--your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to go through your home and/or office carefully to find at least 50 things to which you can bid adieu. As with Gail Blanke's original challenge, these can be actual objects, negative or limiting thoughts (such as, "I've always been disorganized and always will be" or "I'd be a bad daughter to get rid of this bowl my mother gave me, even though I don't really like it"), or activities that are cluttering up your life, including commitments you've said "Yes" to when you really wanted to say "No."

Every item, thought, or event counts as one thing. In order for anything to truly count, though, it must actually leave your life: the physical objects need to be donated, given away, recycled, or trashed (simply gathering them together in a bag and stashing them in the hall closet doesn't make them go away). The thoughts and beliefs need to be those you're truly willing to make the effort to get beyond, whether on your own or with help. And the extraneous activities and events should disappear from your calendar by the end of the Challenge.

Keeping Track
As you work on letting go of things, keep a list on the computer or on paper of what's going. Remember to list each item separately so you can track them accurately. I'm willing to bet that you'll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to reach 50--and that you'll be willing to keep going once you hit that mark.

Getting Support
Throughout the 50 Things Challenge, my BellaOnline Organization articles will focus on supporting you through the process, with pointers on making tough decisions, finding new homes for the things you're parting with, and making sure less unwanted stuff creeps into your life in the future. If you find yourself facing a particularly sticky or difficult situation in the course of the Challenge, visit the Organization Forum for ideas and encouraging words from me and your fellow Challenge-takers.

In addition, I'll be taking part in the Challenge myself, so I'll be sharing my own experiences over the next several weeks.

Get your own Challenge underway today. You have through Sunday, June 14 to clear your life and your space of whatever is holding you back. Good luck!

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Content copyright © 2013 by Emily Wilska. All rights reserved.
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