The message is ringing loud and clear for my New Year… “Erin, stick with your resolution!”. In the singular, I might add. The average American makes and breaks an average of 2 resolutions each year. The popular sentiment is the “non-resolution” like that succinctly shared in the eloquent “100 Days of No Goals” on Zen Habits. Alternate ideas for the non-resolution include choosing a ”theme” or “word” for your year. I made a resolution. Just one. It also works quite nicely as a theme. And a word. Or a phrase.
A girl (or guy) has to have a strategy to make the resolution happen. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last decade.5 of my life (ahem, that’s 15 years if you’re translating) is that behavior change requires a strategy. A plan. A roadmap. Mark out baby steps along the way. You must own up to the fact you don’t control 50% or more of what happens in life and be okay with giving up control as needed. It’s for your own health.
So… back to my resolution/theme/word/goal (call it what you like). It’s my blog and I get to be a little selfish from time-to-time and share how I plan to tackle personal life events. If this helps you in the teeny-tiniest way, I’m will be thrilled. Simplifying life = more time to get things accomplished = more time for life, love and happiness.
I had the pleasure of attending Entrepreneur Magazine’s Growth Conference this week with the lovely Nailah of Polka Dot Coaching. One of the brilliant tips we learned at the conference was to begin meetings 15 minutes after the hour starts – wrap meetings up in 45 minutes and gain back 15 minutes – which adds up over time. His other big tip was to break your day up into 15 minute chunks and analyze where the time was going in your day. If it sounds like a good strategy to you, give it a whirl.
Ughh… one of the big things I’ve had to unlearn moving from multi-tasking to mono-tasking. Really, really concentrating on a project means ignoring the social media distractions, emails and phone calls. Give yourself an hour or two a day to think, absorb or create. You can “Information Diet” with a few of the tools found on this list.
If you don’t have time SAY NO! Do not feel guilty for owing your time, your brain, your knowledge. It is perfectly fine to say no if you don’t have the time. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Even if you do the first few times, it will subside when you learn to own saying “no”.
I love food that’s easy during the busy weeks, like pizza, tacos and spaghetti. Not the healthiest sounding fare. But I make these foods healthy and filled with veggies. Gluten-free pizza crusts with goat cheese and roasted veggies. Marinara sauce with peppers, onions, carrots and mushrooms on soba or quinoa noodles. Healthy fish tacos. Sit down, give these three meals – or your own less-than-healthy favorites – a makeover. Get a new fun kitchen toy for Christmas, like a crockpot? Put it to use & learn how to make healthy meals more easy. You have the resources, carve out a little time
Buy chopped veggies. Buy pre-made components. Buy bite-size and pre-washed. Take the shortcuts. But stay away from the processed foods. Whole, simple, healthy foods = a happy you.
Why are you waiting to use your fine china? Bust out the fancy plates, use napkins and put out a few candles. Why not make dinner a festive flair on an ordinary weeknight. At the very least I ask of you to sit at a table, put the phones down and turn off the television. A little light music is cool. Maybe you’ll feel inclined to dance during or after dinner :).
Over the past year I kept adding and adding to my reader. To the point that I was scared to open it. On New Year’s Day I assessed what I really wanted to read and what was more for fun or casual. Pare down your news sources, pare down the obligations to be online and take advantage of cultivating the real and meaningful relationships in your life. Take a minute to re-read the tips from Donna of Marketing Optimist about simplifying your online life.
At least once or twice a year go through your clothes, your closets and kitchen… maybe even tackle the garage, basement or attic if you’re brave … and clear out the clutter. Not only will you find more space, you’ll find more peace of mind knowing things have been appropriately recycled, disposed or donated.
Back to the original intent – keeping the resolution to live life simple. I implement a few of these strategies and will be putting the remainder in to practice. I’d love to hear from you on what your resolutions are. If you need a little help getting organized or finding more time for your health, I’m here to help!
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