You're about to move. You may not have realized this, but it's true.
This time next year you'll be a different you, maybe majorly different or maybe only slightly. And that different you will live —or should—in a home better suited to that new self.
Conveniently, it's quite likely that this move will be into a home that is precisely the same size and layout as your current home.
So, what doesn't make the move? What isn't worth carrying on that journey and taking up space in your new home? What's part of an old you that you don't need or want or like anymore?
Keep looking around for the things you don't need to carry with you on this move into the future and get them out of your way now.
Posted on December 20, 2015 | Permalink
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September's Discardian season focuses on the power of quality over quantity. On that theme, here's a post from a couple years ago which is just as true today:
You have permission not to do everything.
“I know I’ve got more on my list than I could ever do, but I just can’t seem to keep up with it.”
Think about that sentence. Most of us say something like that to ourselves or a friend at some point—and most of the time when we do, we don’t notice the inconsistency at all. However, if we fully accept the truth that our to-do lists are bigger than our availability, we must stop beating ourselves up for failing to achieve the impossible.
September’s Discardia holiday is a reminder to practice Quality over Quantity and is a good time to revisit the expectations you’ve been setting. One of the best ways to manage stress is to manage your agreements with others and, especially, with yourself, so take a little time to think about those agreements.
That’s what your ‘to-do list’—whether you keep the things on it in your head or written down—really is: a list of everything you’d need to do if you wanted to fulfill all the things you’ve said 'yes' to. It represents agreement in its broadest sense, whether a commitment to another person or an internal affirmation of something you desire.
Being excited about things, working on them with others, doing the hard work to achieve progress, these are all valuable and can be highly motivating. But try to do too many at the same time and the effect will be negative. Fewer will be completed, with your work and the satisfaction you derive from it being less than it would be when you’re not overstretched.
I’m not necessarily recommending saying 'yes' less often. You can have as big a list of things you’d like to do as your heart and head can dream up, but the only way for that not to be a burden is to let go of the expectation that everything on the list is active right now. Become comfortable with the idea of inactive projects. They aren’t failures; they’re just not in play at the moment.
This isn’t as hard as it might seem. You have lots of practice with doing this in other areas of your life. Think about the music you like; you don’t listen to it all at the same time. You may not even listen to all the genres you enjoy every single week, yet that doesn’t create stress.
Start approaching your list of projects a little more like a D.J. What’s the right mix for here and now? Is there anything my audience will miss if I don’t get it out there? What will keep my energy up?
Posted on September 30, 2015 | Permalink
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It's been a lovely long Discardian season, but life happens and I'm betting more than a few folks haven't been able to fit in as much life improvement over the past month as they'd ideally like.
Don't worry and certainly don't beat yourself up over it. Now's when you need both a little extra slack and the lift from having accomplished something. So go for the low-hanging fruit. Set your game difficulty on a friendlier setting. Lighten your expectations and give yourself credit for what you achieve.
That's not saying 'give up on the bigger goals', but let yourself take a win that's sized for your ability today. Start from basics and work up.
Here's a post from a few years ago which will help you find those easy wins. I hope you'll let me know in the comments about the wins you've found this week!
Recovering from chaos
It's all very well to want to look at the big picture of goals and projects, but what do you do when you're down in the trenches and the trenches are full of junk that's piled up while you were too busy?
First, don't beat yourself up. Everyone has things spin out of control sometimes. Major life changes, happy and sad, can pull you out of your routines of maintenance despite your best intentions. Other changes can come along which necessitate a new baseline of how much organization your home and life need for you to feel calm and on top of it all.
So, where do you start when you realize that you've got to turn this mess around and transform it into something that doesn't make you wince?
Looking at a room full of things which are out of place can be overwhelming. Don't try to tackle it all at once.
Decisions are tiring, so the trick is to make the most of every one you make. Look for the easiest possible decision and start there.
For example, that cough drop wrapper on the floor there by the sofa. That can go in the trash. There is no acceptable second use for cough drop wrappers. Mmmm, away into a trash bag with it.
But don't stop there: You've got a useful decision you can leverage, painlessly. ALL cough drop wrappers can go. In fact, since they're pretty much the same thing, all candy and food wrappers can go. Walk around for a couple minutes with that trash bag ignoring everything but dead wrappers of edible things.
Nothing else in the pile matters right now except those things that match the current game of Concentration you're playing. You don't have to play long, just start playing more often.
Decide one kind of thing on which you can take the same action and then see how many matches you can get in a few minutes strolling through the house. Here are some example rounds of the game:
- full trash and recycling containers get dumped in the big bins;
- used dishes not in the kitchen move to the kitchen;
- catalogs move to recycling;
- mail to be processed goes all together in one stack in your inbox;
- clothes that need dry cleaning or repairs go into a basket by the door;
- bills in your inbox go in one stack with your checkbook on your desk (everything that's not a bill can stay in the inbox).
Don't worry about the next round; just play this one, briefly, right now. And give yourself credit for moving your world toward the life you want to be living!
Posted on April 14, 2015 | Permalink
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