Tag Archives: organized

4 Ways to Conquer Fear

Fear can be an amazingly powerful thing! It can be powerful enough to cripple your entire life, and for many, it has. It can bring grown adults to tears – and often does! But how do you stop the fear from getting the best of you? The only way I know is to tackle it HEAD ON. But don’t worry, when you’re on a journey to improve or enhance the beautiful you that you ALREADY are, there are several ways to throw fear right in our face, and then stomp through it like a champ. Why would you want to do that, you ask?

Well… there are several reasons, but the most significant one is that once you successfully pass through the hands of fear and come out on the other side, you feel CONFIDENT and ready to take on ANYTHING (like improving your life, for example – follow me?). Here are four ways you can tackle fear head-on, that seem incredibly silly (that’s the point, after all), but if you do them, you will prove what a rock you are and that NOTHING gets in your way when you have a mindset to be BETTER, to DO better. Period. So, check out each of these four options – you only need to do one, but if you want to put your fear conquering mode on overdrive, do them all!

  1. Take yourself out to eat. Sounds simple enough, but this option comes with rules. Because, on THIS date with yourself, you cannot use ANY “clutch” devices to hide behind – such as your smart phone, a book, or anything else. Just YOU, your wallet, and a restaurant.
  1. Take a backward elevator ride. You know how pretty much anyone who gets on an elevator, first walks in, then stops, and immediately turns around to face the door? Well, YOU are going to STAY facing the back during the ENTIRE elevator ride. The more crowded the elevator, the better, because it means really putting yourself out there! You’ll feel the discomfort not only in yourself, but also from those around you!
  1. Sing a song, WITH Lyrics (we’re not just talking about a quiet, low-key hum, here) in a public area while waiting in line. You don’t have to belt it out, either, but it does have to be loud enough for others to hear you if they are standing nearby. You’ll get funny looks, sure, but don’t stop – conquer your fear and just KEEP GOING.
  1. Take a picture with a complete stranger. AppSumo came up with this one, but I thought it was perfectly clever. You need to print out THIS SIGN, then walk up to a complete stranger and ask them to hold the sign and take a picture with you. You’ll probably be turned down a few times before someone comes around to agreeing to do this, but once they do, you will have proven to YOURSELF that you are a BEAST! The real deal! Don’t let yourself down – these are SUPPOSED to be challenging, otherwise the impact wouldn’t be great enough for you to overcome your fears!

Pick any one of the four things, then comment below which of the four you choose, and a quick summary of how it went!

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How to Lower Your Stress Through A “Brain Dump”

Have you ever felt so completely stressed that you could almost explode? Maybe you felt crazy overwhelmed and didn’t know how in the HECK you would EVER “get it all done”!? We live in some really fast-paced times, I know! Sometimes we just need to take a step back, and think about all that we really feel we “have” to do. The best way I know of to do this is through something I call a “brain dump”. This is where you take that entire “to-do” list that is sitting in your brain, and you literally dump it out onto something else! It has to be written down so that it’s tangible, though. You can use a good, old-fashioned paper and pencil, or you can use your smartphone, PC, iPad, or whatever is easiest and works best for you. For now, what you use doesn’t matter, simply the act of DOING it matters.

Did you know that there is research-based evidence behind the “brain dump” method? Having so much “stuff” in our heads can actually cause stress and anxiety, and just the physical act of writing it down can help take some of the stress away. Who knew, right?

There are a gazillion new apps released every day, but my current favorite is Wunderlist (free!). I love Wunderlist (and I’m not affiliated in any way) because it is easy, and I have it on my iPad, Smartphone and desktop computers (it syncs across all devices, so I have no excuse to not be on top of my “to-do’s”!). Wunderlist = Success Bliss BOMB!

How I do my Brain Dump

We are all individuals, and what works for one person may not work as well for another. I love my system, and it works really well for ME, because it’s simple, and I have easy, quick access to it ALL THE TIME (important!!). Maybe you already have a solid app that you use, and you like. Great, I’m not saying you have to change – do what works best for YOU! If paper and pencil (in a notebook that you can carry around with you!!) work best for you – fantastic! Then that’s what you should use!

If you’re just not sure what system you want to use, though, copy what I’m doing, and then gradually tweak it to meet your needs! Just remember, perfectionism slows down ACTION. You need to DO. Once you DO, you can upgrade and enhance to make it fit YOU best.

Step 1:

Go to www.Wunderlist.com from your computer, and create an account.

OR

Go to your App Store and search “Wunderlist”. Download the free app once you find it, and create an account.

You can do this from your Smartphone , iPad, and/or desktop computer! Did I already mentioned I have it on ALL of my devices? I have ZERO (zilch, nada, NULL SET, baby!) excuses for not getting my “to-do’s” DONE. And, since the app is based on your login, it is synced up across all of your devices, so it is always current, no matter which device you are using it from. Yesss – big “thank you” to cloud computing!

Step 2:

Once you have your account set up, you’ll see some pre-made folders for you on the left side. I redid them into my own preferences by simply clicking on one, then backspacing the title, and replacing it with my own.

The BIGGEST recommendation I can give you is to set up a “TODAY”, “THIS WEEK” and “SOON” folder system, to start.

Step 3:

For NOW, just do your brain dump in the “soon” folder. Once you have everything captured, you can move it into the appropriate folder (because Wunderlist allows you to move items between folders, too!). Don’t worry too much about that for now, though. Honestly just the act of getting it all down and in-writing will be an amazing start. And you have to capture EVERYTHING. Once you have it all IN WRITING, it allows your brain to “let it go”, resulting in a more calm disposition (less stress).

The key is to NOT stress about this list, we’ll bring order to the chaos later, I promise. All you need to do is dump, dump, dump those “to-do” lists out and save. I’ll provide more information on how we bring that chaos to order in an upcoming post (resulting in even more “calming” of our stress and anxiety levels – yay!).

Get Great Recipes and An Organized Life? Yes, Please!

It starts TOMORROW! Are you ready? I’m so excited to start getting the step-by-step plan to an organized life! This is much more than a “clean out your closets” kind of organized, folks! This is the BIG GUNS kind of organized. Organizing your priorities to make decision-making easier, knowing what to spend you time on, and what to STOP spending your time on. This system changed my life – literally. Why would I share it? Why NOT share it? If it helps even one person like it helped me, then that would be amazing. If it helps even more than one person – even better! Either way, the challenge is totally free, can be found on Pinterest (so it will be living there to do as many times as you’d like). Give it a try! You can find it by clicking HERE.

See you there, bring a friend or two to do it with you – caring is sharing, and having a friend or spouse to do the challenge with just makes it more fun!  XOXO

Organizing Your Life: It Means More Than Cleaning Out a Closet or Two

Do you ever feel like you should be doing better? Doing more? Or maybe you feel like you’re living life just going through the motions, in a job you don’t even like but “hey, it’s an income”? Maybe you are carrying around more excess body weight than you’d care to be? Maybe you feel tired and wish you had more energy? So many of us are living the rat race, and we KNOW we are, but we just don’t know how the heck to get OUT of it. How to be happier, healthier, and actually LIVE life, not just go through it dreaming about retirement, when you can FINALLY start to “live”! Retirement living isn’t a promise – so why wait? So many people have the “retirement syndrome” – where they push, and push, and push, and some don’t even realize that their entire life is passing them by, and they aren’t even really ENJOYING it. It’s pretty sad, really. Especially when you realize that it doesn’t actually HAVE to be that way! I used to be one of them, I “get it”! Change isn’t easy, especially if it means taking risks. BIG ones are the ones that change your LIFE. Trust me on this – I’m speaking from experience.

Nobody is telling you to quit a job you don’t particularly care for right NOW. Maybe you even like the job itself, but that job happens to be within a toxic work environment – the kind that can kill morale and really bring a person down? Or maybe your job and career are everything you hoped for (and if they are, good for you!!), but your home life could be better? Maybe you want to be closer with your kids, spouse, God? Life gets busy and it is so easy to lose track of what is really, truly important to us. Don’t wait a day longer, your life is still moving – why aren’t you LIVING it before the “life clock” runs out and it is too late?!?

If you are thinking about improving your life in some way, but aren’t really sure where to even start, my advice is to start with what you know – the “now”. Use the image above to explore various areas of your life, and literally rate them. On a scale of 1 (bad) to 10 (good), put a number by how you currently feel in that area of your life. I highly recommend doing this in a very quiet place where you can focus, really think about the ratings you’d give, and jot a note down next to each rating about WHY you gave it the number you did. Specifically, what within that area of your life made you rate it the number you did? This will help you understand where your focus should be on your self-improvement journey. Keep this list when you are completed, and really think about the numbers that are especially LOW. Are they low because they aren’t an area of your life you deem important? Or are they low because they ARE an area in your life you deem important, but don’t feel they are in a place they should be (you want them to improve). Those lower numbers of the categories you genuinely CARE about are where you need to start! And be sure to include all areas that have meaning to YOU – this was just a list of some of the most common life categories, but if you have areas not listed, add them to your assessment!

You can’t get to where you want to go, if you don’t even know where your starting point is. This is that starting point that helps bring you clarity. If you want help walking through this, I have a 10 Days to Better Ways Challenge (free, of course) on Pinterest that will guide your improvement journey over a 10 day period. The beautiful thing about it, is that on Pinterest, it lives forever, so you can come back to it as many times as you desire. What are you waiting for? If you are unhappy in ANY area of your life, you need this. You owe it to yourself to be HAPPY. You ARE worth happiness, all you have to do is put yourself in a position to go GET it. It isn’t going to magically come to you – it never does. Happy people CREATE their happiness, it doesn’t just fall in their lap. Try it, and the results will point you in the direction you need to go!  Find the 10 Day Challenge by clicking HERE.

6 Ways to Grow a Gratitude Attitude

Did you know that having a negative attitude is bad for you? Having a gratitude kind of attitude not only makes you a happier person, but also a healthier one! Yep, as it turns out, clinical studies actually show this to be true! And, when I say happier and healthier, I don’t just mean the “feel good, having a great day” kind of happier and healthier – but actually, physically, being healthier! According to HealthLeader, showing appreciation results in positive emotions that alter the heart rate variability, which was shown to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and relieve hypertension. How cool is that?!!

Let’s face it, when things feel like they are going great in life, we tend to FEEL great, don’t we? Well, now science has actually linked happiness to our health, which I think it pretty dang cool! So, who wouldn’t want to feel better, and be happier – can I see a show of hands? Anyone? Buelller? Anyone?

Knowing that having a gratitude attitude can literally change our lives (happier = healthier), here are six ways that you can start to implement the gratitude attitude. Make these permanent staples in your daily routines, and you’ll start to see some positive habits form!

  1. Keep a gratitude journal: This is where you capture things you are thankful for on a weekly basis, and reflect on it often. It serves two purposes, really – it reminds us of how lucky we are, and ensures we live more purposefully in the “now”, opening s us up to actually seeing more and more positives in what might otherwise be a seemingly negative situation or circumstance.
  1. Implement the “Even if” approach: While there were many days I found myself stuck in traffic during my already-long commute to and from the office, I learned (with patience and time) to stop allowing my traffic frustrations to get to me, and instead, enjoy the moment as much as I could. Sure, I needed to get my kids from the sitter on time, and needed to cook dinner and feed the family before (insert each child’s activity here) practice, but it was all out of my control. So instead, I learned to say “Even if I’m 5 minutes late, nobody is going to die as a result of this, so it’s okay”; “Even if we have veggies and dip for dinner, it is still healthy, quick, and I can always feed the kids more when they get home from their practice”; “Even if we are 10 minutes late to practice, it’s better than not going to practice at all, and it isn’t a big deal”. You get the picture. This approach has helped me alleviate some of the stress and turn negative feelings into more calming, positive ones. Give it a try!
  1. Take a “Happy Snap” from the past: Bring back a moment in your life that made you happy, and picture it in your mind. For me, I decided to put a picture of my kids in my car, so that when I was stuck at a stop light or at a stand -still in traffic, I could look at them and it would always bring a smile to my face. Always. You could use a great photo from vacation, or anything else that symbolized something happy in your life – a great time, event, thing from the past.
  1. Make a “feel-good” book: This may take a little time, initially, but it will be so well worth it after you get hours and hours of awesome use from it! Some people already have these, and don’t realize it! Do you scrapbook? My sister, who is an avid and amazing scrap booker, made me one of the best presents I have ever received in my life – ever. She made a scrapbook for me that was of my oldest child’s first year of life. It even included sonogram pictures! It isn’t a large book, it’s a smaller one, with 24 pages of pictures (counting both sides) of one of my greatest joys in life. I look at this book, instantly smile, and am grateful for my amazing child, and thoughtful sister who put the whole thing together for me! And, that’s only ONE of my kids! You can make a book like this of things in YOUR life that make YOU happy! Do you have a dog, a cat, a favorite bike, a best friend, your piano, or maybe a golf club that reminds you of your hole-in-one? Anything that makes you smile, thankful, and leaves you feeling GOOD. Put pictures in that book, make it as small or large as you want, and review it often! Make more than one and you can rotate them! They don’t have to be fancy, and you could simply grab a printer, your iPhone and some glue sticks if that’s what works for you. It doesn’t matter how fancy it is, the trick is to just DO IT.
  1. Start each day with an open mind: Open your mind to the littlest things, like maybe seeing a beautiful butterfly, or curious squirrel, while at the stop light on your way to work. Open your mind to simply NOTICE what’s going on around you. The other day, while rushing to pick up a few staple items from the local grocer, I was taken aback by this cute elderly couple who, after purchasing their few grocery items, grabbed hands and the gentleman gave his wife a small little kiss on the cheek, before they proceeded out the store with their goods. Most people were so busy on their smart phones they didn’t even notice such a beautiful moment. If you aren’t careful and openly watching for them, you could be missing moments of beauty happening all around you – what a shame that would be!
  1. Grow a garden: Bear with me on this one, especially as the colder months draw near. If you have ever grown an edible plant, there is nothing quite like the excitement of getting that first vegetable (or fruit) and eating it. If you don’t have space for a garden, just grow a single plant, even if it’s in a pot. No patio, balcony or deck with direct sunlight? That’s ok – grab a container and some lettuce or spinach seeds and grow those – they require very little sunlight and taste amazing freshly picked! More importantly, they force you to have patience and slowly grow gratitude for the fruits of your labor. Once you eat the freshly picked item, whatever it is, you will find your gratitude in nature’s beauty and bounty! The trick is to grow something you enjoy eating, though! And really, considering the alternative, having garden-fresh food is amazing, just be sure to buy a healthy seedling (nothing genetically-modified)

These six steps, when put together and practiced over time, will make a complete difference in your level of happiness, and quite possibly your level of health! It is said that new habits take around 21 days before they stick. My challenge to you is to try this for one month, and tweak it to best fit your needs, but stick to it and document how you feel before, during, and after doing these 6 things! I’d love to hear how you did, or what you might do differently? Capture your comments and let me know, below!

Move It. Yep, I Just Said That!

As a former Army Master Fitness Trainer, and certified Fitness Instructor, I can say with some level of authority that movement matters. While I may be credentialed in the fitness world, I am also a busy mom, who gained a solid 40 pounds of excess weight while letting my day job and associated commute (and all associated stressors) get to me. I can say, with certainty, that having a high income is crap. Yep, I just said that, too. It’s crap, because it doesn’t define happiness. Sure, nobody wants to be broke – that is a whole different kind of stress. I’ve been there, too. I grew up with excitement for shopping – and by “shopping”, I mean yard sale hopping for my wardrobe, because we couldn’t afford “brand new” shopping. Being raised without any money instilled my work ethic and passion for learning, I’m pretty sure. And because we also rarely had solid meals, it instilled a love of EATING, which is why I also enjoyed fitness so much (I could eat bad, and then just work out and it wouldn’t even be noticeable!). That lasted well into my 20’s, right up until I started having kids. Working out for hours at a time was no longer an option, and as I climbed the infamous corporate ladder, my “freedom” of time decreased more and more. I juggled between my family member’s schedules and my employer’s needs, leaving my own needs to fall flat on the floor (thus the era of “HELLO extra 40 pounds”!?!!). This isn’t uncommon – you KNOW what I’m talking about, don’t you? If you honestly DO NOT know what I’m talking about – that makes me happy for you! But if you do, then please virtually keep listening (well, ok, reading… then)…

YOU NEED TO MOVE IT.

Stress is in all of us – some more than others, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-home mom or a corporate executive. One of the healthiest ways to reduce it is through movement. And while nobody knows more than me how time gets away from us, and “there never seems to be enough hours in the day” to get it all done in ADDITION to a workout – it IS possible. And, nobody is saying to start big, but if you have excess weight to lose, and/or a whole lot of stress in your life (or both, like I did!), instead of eating that comfort bowl of ice cream or chips – spend 10 minutes (yes, JUST 10 minutes!!) moving. It can be a simple walk around the block, or on your treadmill, or just going up and down the stairs in your home. It can be ANYTHING that raises your heart rate a bit. Maybe you want to watch TV a little? Great, if you’re going to do that anyway why not watch it for just 10 minutes while standing up? Stand up and do some squats, or wall push-ups (where you literally lean into a wall, or the couch or something, and do push-ups). Or seriously, stand up and alternate kicking your legs. Anything works fine – just be sure to MOVE.

Moving is such a healthy thing – not just for your body (that’s too obvious), but it’s also HUGE for your emotional state. HUGE. Let me say that again. H-U-G-E. For me, “gifting” myself with those 10 minutes each and every day allowed me to think better, feel better (physically and emotionally) and made me overall happier. 10 minutes a day!!! Do you want to be happier? No more excuses, then – only 10 minutes a day to a better life, better way!

Now, I’m far from perfect (yay me – I’d be SO BORING if I was, don’t you agree?!), but gifting myself with this ONE little thing (10 minutes of movement a day), I have lost one clothing size (so far), and 12 pounds. No, I didn’t move any mountains or shake the earth, but just that little bit has me feeling SO much better. I sometimes gift myself with these 10 minutes while doing dishes or laundry (and yes, I look absolutely ridiculous, but I don’t care, because it’s my gift to myself). Other times I get the ENTIRE 10 minutes to myself – which is pretty darn amazing (busy moms, you know exactly what I’m talking about!!).

Did this article resonate with you? If it did, please comment below! I’d love to hear about your struggles and your victories toward your journey of enhanced happiness! It’s a choice, and if you aren’t sure how to choose, read THIS blog post that can help you get started!

If you like these posts, and would like to read more about being healthy, happy and organized, join us for our free 10-day challenge! It will include healthy recipes, happiness tips, and walk you through steps to better organize your life, day-by-day! The 10-day challenge begins October 1st and can be found by clicking and following the board HERE.

You can also find us on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Healthy, Happy, Organized. Are YOU?

If you think you could improve, then try out this free challenge that starts October 1st! You have nothing to lose (well, maybe a few pounds), and everything to gain (who wouldn’t want to feel better?)! As a Pinterest challenge, you can find the Pinterest board HERE. If you prefer FaceBook, you can follow the challenge by liking the FaceBook page, which you can find HERE. Share with a friend and do the challenge together to help keep each other accountable!