The personal trainer/professional organizer comparison

16 November 2012

As I’ve documented ad nauseum here, I’m not a natural exerciser. For the first few decades of my life, I didn’t exercise much at all. My metabolism helped me remain slender without it, and I’m pretty lazy to the core.

Then, when I hit my 40s, I knew that I needed to get off my butt. I was still slender, but I had wised up to the health benefits of exercise for healthy aging and to stave off osteoporosis (something both my mother and grandmother have suffered from). So I bought a Wii Fit and endeavored to exercise at home. I liked it—I had no interest in going to a gym and having to interact with others. But I sometimes had trouble motivating myself to exercise.

In September, I turned 50. And, for the first time, my stomach has become a little less than perfectly flat. I realized that the workout I was managing to do might not be enough.

So I asked my husband, as a 50th birthday present, to give me a gift certificate to Take Action, the small fitness studio just two blocks from my home. It felt like a splurge, because I could piggyback onto my husband’s YMCA membership for less money. But I knew that the convenience of this studio’s location would make a big difference. And I loved that it’s small and not crowded.

Well, that turned out to be a great decision. The membership initiation fee included three sessions with a personal trainer to establish a workout routine that suits me and fits in with my goals.

That got me thinking about the similarities between personal trainers and professional organizers. I’d often thought about that the fact that both trainers and organizers provide guidance and help in areas that many clients feel they should be able to do themselves. But when I sat in the client’s chair with personal trainer Jeanna Jackson, I realized that she was helping me in many ways I help my clients:

  • She helped me clarify my goals.
  • She taught me what exercises to do that would benefit me and how to do them properly. (It made me realize that I had a bit of fear about doing things wrong and messing myself up.)
  • She selected a course of action for me—based on our discussions—thus cutting through the immense number of choices when it comes to exercise that had overwhelmed me.
  • She listened to what I had to say about what works for me and designed a program around that, rather than giving me a cookie cutter routine.
  • She strengthened my resolve: The fact that I’d made a financial commitment has deepened my commitment to regular exercise.
  • She’s there for me when I have questions.

After our three appointments, I’m working out on my own at the studio. Jeanna’s there with a smile and encouragement, but my workout is on my own schedule. Since I have a plan that we worked out together and she trained me to do, I have the confidence to keep working, little by little, to achieve my fitness goals.

Working with Jeanna gave me an extra appreciation of how professional organizers help their clients. I’ll keep you posted as I meet my fitness goals!

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Janine, I totally agree and I too use the personal trainer/professional organizer comparison when working with clients who feel guilty paying for organizing help.

I occasionally need that, “shot” of motivation that a good personal trainer provides. I mean, after all, I know how to do crunches and how to jump rope but every once in a while, I need to have someone to join me; to challenge me. Or keep me focused. Or nudge me along.

This, as you know, is exactly what some of our clients need or want too. They know how to file or how to categorize their stuff. They occasionally need to be challenged, or motivated or focused – so they call us back for a ‘shot’ of organizing.

Geralin Thomas 12/18/2012 04:50 AM

It was nice reading this blog. Most people don’t spend the time on organizing.

Organizer nyc 12/27/2012 05:48 AM

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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