We resolve to lose weight, to go to the gym every day, to stop procrastinating and, above all else, to get organized. Just the thought of making these resolutions can be overwhelming; and sometimes the pressure to succeed is enough to make us forget what we resolved to do in the first place.

Instead of making a long list of resolutions, try making just one promise to yourself. I call it the “The 20-minute Solution™,” and trust me, it works!

The 20-minute Solution™  is as easy as it sounds. All you have to do is get up twenty minutes earlier each morning and give yourself one task to perform each day. Daily projects can be as simple as folding the laundry, emptying the dishwasher, writing a thank you note, balancing your checkbook and paying bills or deciding what to cook for dinner and what groceries you’ll need to buy.

The idea behind the 20-minute Solution™ is to do something that will make you feel good about yourself that can be accomplished in a just twenty minutes. You’ll be surprised with how much can be accomplished in such a short amount of time.

The key to making this work is to get up early in the morning, before anyone else awakes and before the events of the day take over. This is not about getting the kids ready for school or sewing a button on your husband’s shirt. This is YOUR time to do the things YOU want to get done that will simplify your life and make you feel more relaxed in your surroundings.

Remember, if Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t sweat it, you don’t have to do everything on your “to do” list in one day.

When hiring a professional organizer, make sure he or she is licensed and insured and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Marla Ottenstein is LICENSED & INSURED and is a member in good standing of the National Association of Professional Organizers.