Crowdsourced: 30 tips for sticking to hard-to-reach goals

Do you often set big, hard-to-reach goals and then find yourself fizzling out a few days or weeks in?

You’re not alone! If not set properly, big goals can leave us feeling lost and overwhelmed.

We recently asked our community for the tips they use for setting and reaching big audacious goals – especially when decluttering and organizing their homes. Here’s what they said!

how to reach hard goals

30 Tips for Achieving Hard-to-Reach Goals

1. I remind myself how great it will feel when I accomplish it.

-Sharon Charnell Gherman

2. My goal is baby steps.

A bag gone every day or so is progress. Currently, I am gifting things using the Buy Nothing group in my community.

-Lorrie Hamilton Mercer

3. I know what needs to be done and just do it.

I hold myself accountable.

-Peggy King

4. I let people close to me know it’s a goal for accountability, and they check in with me on how I’m doing with it.

I’m not as successful if I keep the goal to myself.

-Will Saunders

5. Smaller is better.

Don’t make a gigantic goal, make smaller attainable ones. Better to have consistent smaller victories than struggle trying to win the big war on clutter.

-Denise Abdale

6. The tighter the deadline, the better my performance.

I wish I could live my life without crisis management, but fear it’s who I am, after being this way for my entire life.

-Jan Hobbs

7. Little by little every day and some days more.

I can honestly say this since I’ve become a member of OMH. With Sarah’s Expertise and her True Heart for her members to succeed, I’m changing by employing Sarah’s Decluttering Principles ❤️

-Jean Gillam

8. You just do it.

Break it down into small segments if you have to. That sometimes helps.

-Ima Frigabear

9. Write it down and work on it daily.

-Audrey Tree

10. Get an accountability coach 😅

-Eda Marisol Santiago

>>Consider hiring a decluttering coach for this purpose!

11. You start small then as you gain momentum you gradually build.

-Dawn Flowers

12. Determination.

-Linda Boydell

13. Spend at least 30 min. daily to work towards achieving goal.

Treat the time like an appointment so you prioritize the 30 min. as important.

-Barbara Copeland

14. Goals need to be reasonable, attainable, and have a deadline.

That’s what I used to teach my college students. It applies to any goals.

-Shari Reeves Whalen Muench

15. Don’t make too many and nothing too drastic.

Do something that’s fairly easy to obtain- ex: if trying to give up soda, start by giving up soda at home or out.

-Laura Toledo

16. Ignore everyone around me & stay tuned in to my chore.

-Juanita Culbert Mckinney

17. I use a calendar.

I color it to help me with goals. It motivates me and allows me to see my progress ☺️

-Heidi Grenier

18. Hold yourself accountable.

-Lupe Guerrero

19. For me, the big goal is the room, dresser, shelves.

Then I break the big goal into steps of 15-20 minutes. Trying for 2 steps a day.

-Leslie Mason

20. One step at a time.

I choose a small room or area and plan out what I want it to look like and dive in. My insomnia normally plays a role in larger areas.

-Melinda Dattilo Walton

21. I journal every night.

What progress I made, what went wrong, steps towards the goal for the next day.

-Nancy Tripp Carroll

22. I try to figure out what the most important 3 things need to be done every day.

-Dorothy Jones Meurs

23. Write them down.

Keep a list and check them off once they are accomplished.

-Wanda Carver Day

24. Reward yourself.

-Heather Anderson

25. Set a goal- write it down AND talk to someone about it!

The more you talk about it the more accountability you create so friends, your spouse, or family members know your goal, and will support you, ask you about it, and cheer you on! One of my goals last year was to walk 2,021 miles- I talked to family, friends and my husband about it- they, in turn, asked how it was going, cheered me on along the way and celebrated with me when I hit my goal the first week of December! I couldn’t have done it without my support team pushing me along the way!

-Andrea Ljungquist

26. Set small goals.

If you want to read more, set your goal to be 5 higher than you did last year (if you didn’t read at all, set a goal of 5 books). When you reach that goal, set a new goal. Don’t set a goal that is too large/unreasonable because it’ll be harder to stick to.

-Tara Heshka

27. Focus on that one goal every chance you get.

-Lory Wheeler

28. Don’t tell anyone.

Act on it quietly. Work on things half a day at a time.

-Alice Patricia Baggarley

29. Short-term goals – I write them down and cross them off as they are accomplished.

As the list decreases I add new goals. Gives me incentive and a feeling of productivity seeing them written & crossed off.

-Patti Werner

30. Make three: immediate, middle, and long term.

Clean out old clothing, research and build the ultimate closet storage for your needs, build a capsule wardrobe. The long term is a whole year.

-Dev Vallencourt

Tips for reaching big, hard goals when decluttering and organizing your home!
Taking action is super important in reaching hard goals, but setting the goals correctly can make all the difference.

A Common Theme

You’ll probably notice there are a couple of common threads to many of these comments about achieving difficult goals.

Create accountability.

This is big for maintaining the motivation to continue on for long periods of time towards a goal.

You can get accountability from friends and family, or you can join communities and memberships of like-minded people.

Try following the Decluttering Club Facebook page, or sign up for the Organize My Home Membership!

Take small steps.

Trying to bite off more than you can chew is a recipe for burnout. We don’t want that for you!

Consider getting hold of our print book, Step-by-Step Decluttering, for help with taking it bit by bit for achieving your hardest decluttering goals.

step-by-step decluttering print book

It’s FREE! Just pay shipping.


How do you set and reach big goals? Let us know in the comments!


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4 thoughts on “Crowdsourced: 30 tips for sticking to hard-to-reach goals”

  1. To get my admittedly borderline chaotic condo ready for Christmas I created what my mom & sister named “the Post-It board”. It had magnets on the back & was stuck to my fridge. Each small Post-it had a 15 min. – 1/2 hour project: clear coffee table, organize office (desk & TV tray in dining area), dust, cobwebs, vacuum, Christmas tree, etc. It was very satisfying to take the finished ones off the board & put them in a little basket. It worked! In a little more than 2 weeks I hosted Christmas. Next up is a Post-it board to clean & organize a 170 sq. ft. stained glass studio.

    • I love this idea!!! I’ve done something similar (=writing small 15 minute tasks on bits of paper, putting them in a jar and drawing one at random when I have a small chunk of time that I don’t want to waste), but putting up sticky notes in one visible place so it’s in my face–and the satisfaction of removing completed tasks–bumps the idea to the next level. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂 <

  2. I find that tasks that I “dread” can seem overwhelming and can hold me back from doing anything. So, I identify the “dreads”, pick one and tell myself “Do the dread” until the dread is done. Once the dreads are done a weight is lifted and I can then fly through the rest of the tasks.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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