Lewis Maclean MARCH 2018

March is the month of springtime and rejuvenation. It’s also the time when most people have forgotten about the resolutions and goals they set earlier in the year. Have you neglected or given up your goals? If you have, you are far from alone. Most people let their goals fall to the wayside at least by March, if not long before. It comes down to four simple reasons: New Year’s Resolutions KEEPING UP WITH YOUR

Homes trap unpleasant smells. It can be an odour from the garbage disposal, the garbage bin, the litter box, or the spoiled pasta you forgot about weeks ago — don’t open that Tupperware! For the most part, these smells are easy to get rid of, but what about the odours that are harder to find? One of the most common sources of odd odours is mold. It’s not food gone bad, but it’s mold in the bathroom, around your home’s windows and doors, and in crawl spaces. It can hide virtually anywhere with a hint of moisture or with inadequate ventilation, including around leaky pipes or roof leaks, and in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. You can identify the smell of common nontoxic mold by its musty or wet-cardboard odour. When you find it, you can easily clean it with a mixture of soap and water or vinegar and water. The real key to getting rid of mold and eliminating odour is to ensure the space can adequately dry. If you can’t get to the mold, or if there is a lot of it, you may need to call in the professionals. Odours can also come from your dishwasher. It often gets skipped over during regular kitchen cleaning because we assume it cleans itself as it cleans our dishes. While that’s partly true, food particles and moisture can come together to stick around and make some pesky odours. The easiest way to get rid of dishwasher odour is to use vinegar. Instead of detergent, add a cup of vinegar to your empty dishwasher and cycle it. And when you clean your dishwasher, don’t forget to clean the filter! It’s generally found under the sprayer and is a great place for food particles to accumulate. Carpets represent another source of unpleasant and hard-to-find odours. Carpet odours can be more subtle and spread over a larger area. Think about everything that has been tracked into your home over the years. Even with regular vacuuming and quick cleaning of spills, your carpet serves as your home’s historical record. If your carpet smells, you don’t need to replace it unless it’s been about 15 years. All you need is baking soda. Scatter baking soda over the affected area and wait a few hours, then vacuum. If the odour lingers, re- apply the baking soda and try again. If that still doesn’t work, your carpet may need a deep steam clean. Sources of Hidden Household Odours and What You Can Do About Them

They set goals that were out of reach or unrealistic.

They had zero

accountability.

They set abstract goals.

They didn’t track progress.

Setting goals is the easy part. A lot of people say they want to lose weight, eat better, learn a new skill, or try a new hobby, but they don’t define their goals any

further. Vague goals aren’t really

goals at all.

The best way to stay on track is to be as specific as possible. Understand what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Make sure you have access to the appropriate resources that will help you make progress. Resources come in all forms. Look to the people around you for accountability — your family, friends, neighbours, or colleagues. If you don’t want to involve anyone else, keep a notebook or diary to track progress. Or if you are learning a new skill, such as a foreign language for a trip next year, the resource you need may be an app on your phone. When you bring specific goals together with the necessary resources, achieving your dreams becomes more possible than ever before. You just have to take steps to avoid falling into the mistakes listed above. Set attainable concrete goals, track your progress, and check in with someone to keep you accountable. Since it’s been a few months, take a moment to review how far you’ve come since January. What do you need to do to make 2018 your best year yet?

2 • www.lewismaclean.com

www.lewismaclean.com

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