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Organizer Julie Morganstern had a sobering tweet recently: “Organize your morning around the truth – including how long it really takes you to get ready and out the door.” Am I the only person feeling a twinge on the “how long it really takes you” part? Busted!

Morganstern’s tweet reveals an important idea: it’s the awareness of how you spend your time that matters more than a list of lofty goals. Like our January series, Deft, shifting your orientation, even slightly, can make all the difference.

Every big box store has plastic bins on sale in January. However, organizers will tell you that successful projects are the result of changing habits, not filling a garage full of bins. “Getting organized” can be a temporary state, as the people who updated their house One Drawer At a Time learned.

For the next 30 days, keep a light journal about your day. Important themes will emerge as you record a sentence or two. What makes you feel rushed? What helps you feel calm?

Developer Alex Kipman has discovered some diverse elements for what makes him run: blocking out several hours a day for “creating” as well as attending Burning Man every year. Somehow Kipman seamlessly makes this unusual combination work. In fact, acknowledging these truths are an essential part of ordering his priorities. “Few things in life give you an opportunity to leave everything behind and go back to a primitive, analog and non-technologic state. This [Burning Man] is a source of creativity like no other.”

Too pressed for time to keep a journal? Just ask your friends and family. Within minutes, they’ll tell you what you’re excited about. They can also give you a good-natured snapshot of common complaints. Release that new class or hobby you thought you’d love and don’t look back. This is what happened for Yvette.

Yvette set a high bar this year for health and fitness. She spent the first few weeks of January shuttling to circuit training classes after picking up her kindergartener. It looked doable on paper…until rush hour traffic in dark and rainy Seattle stepped in. You can imagine how getting home after 7:00 was working for both of them.

In a flash of inspiration, she abruptly decided to lighten her load. Now she works out several nights a week at home and only hits class on Saturdays. She said confidently, “By the time I got my daughter, she was tired and ready for dinner. For heaven’s sake, I was tired. We were both ready to end the day. Pushing through was a mess – she was cranky, I was short tempered. Things will change at some point, but in the meantime, this schedule is better for both of us.”

Checking off every task and goal on your To Do list isn’t a success if you’re miserable along the way. Use this week to build a powerful 2015 foundation on activities that bring more peace, more joy, and more fun every day. Follow Ernest Hemingway’s advice: “It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”