Less Is More When It Comes To Your Health…

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Less is More,” but how many of you really believe in this concept or practice it?

Less Is More!
Less Is More!

Sadly, many people don’t and may not understand the benefits. It is easy to see why. We live in a fast-paced society that promotes working hard, gaining wealth and buying, buying, buying. While there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things and working hard for them, over time all of these things tend to accumulate and can actually block your energy. As a matter of fact, having too many things can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information, as it competes for your attention. It can also promote stress and cause anxiety. That is why it is important to practice the concept of less is more from time to time.

One way to practice a little of the less is more concept is to declutter your work space and home periodically. Some people do this now and again, but others tend to let stuff build up. I have always been more of a neat freak then a person who collects or hoards things, but over the years, we’ve definitely collected way more than we need. Last week, however, it was time to get a little decluttering on and open my mind to some new possibilities.

Open your mind
Open your mind

We are in the process of down-sizing and will be moving sometime this fall and this was the week to list our house.  I knew I would have to get rid of some things for the move, but after meeting with the staging person our realtor sent over, it was time to get to work. I started boxing up pictures, personal items and lots of books to make the house look less personal. By the end of the week, I made at least 5 trips to the Goodwill and I have to admit, it felt good. Who knew letting go of some stuff could produce such good feelings?

packing
packing

In reality, practicing the less is more concept can be freeing and can help contribute to living a healthy life-style. What’s more, the less is more concept can be applied in other areas of your life besides decluttering. You can also apply it towards making conscious choices in your diet.

Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables

In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how less is more in regards to eating. These days, sugar is included in almost everything processed. We all could stand to eat less foods filled with sugar, eat less processed foods and sip less sugar-filled drinks to stay healthy. Instead of choosing that sugary donut for breakfast, why not choose something a little more wholesome, like an omelette with fresh vegetables? Instead of choosing a sugar-filled coffee drink from your local coffee shop, why not opt for a black coffee with a little cream and then add your own sweetener? You can make healthy choices with your snacks too. Why not grab a handful of nuts for an afternoon snack versus a bag of Doritos? Nuts contain protein, fiber and good fats your body needs and are way better for you than a bag of chips, which typically contains a lot of ingredients, that aren’t good for you. The bottom line is we can all make better choices in our daily living to create a healthier life-style.

Following are a few ways you can practice the less is more concept in your life.

  1. Downsize your wardrobe:
    Take an inventory of your closet. How many of your clothes have you actually worn over the last year. Get rid of any items you haven’t worn in that time-frame.
  2. Get rid of some shoes:
    Many people have way more shoes than they really need. Again—get rid of any shoes you haven’t worn in the last year, just like your clothes.
  3. Clean up the garage:
    The garage is another place that quickly accumulates stuff. Organize the stuff you use on a regular basis and get rid of the stuff that is sitting in the corner, or on that bench that you haven’t used in years, such as an old tent, or camping gear.
  4. Get rid of old paint:
    Many people save paint cans thinking they may need that left-over paint again. Old paint is great for touching up nail holes, or knicks in a wall, but if you’re never going to use it again, get rid of it!
  5. Down-grade your kitchen items:
    It is funny how kitchen items, such as lids for containers can accumulate. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to end up with extra lids that don’t match up to any bowl. Go through your lid drawer or cupboard from time to time and get rid of any unmatched lids. The same holds true to other kitchen items. If you have something that doesn’t match, or you haven’t used the item in forever, get rid of it.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Why Put Off Tomorrow What You Can Do Today?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” but how many of you really live by it? My guess is that while we all may have good intentions, we are all prone to procrastination at times— some more than others. Why, you may ask, is that? We are all complex human beings. Often times, our daily activities can seem overwhelming and get in the way of what we truly would like to accomplish. When this happens, our feelings often take over and can stop us from doing what we truly desire. So how can get around this? The answer is actually pretty simple…take one step at a time.

walking-with-one-foot-in-front-of-another

In fact, Brian Tracy, Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author, & Entrepreneur explains the concept with a metaphor. He asks, “‘How do you eat an elelphant?’ The answer is, ‘one bite at a time.’ This can be applied to any goal. You accomplish it one step, one task, one measure at a time. He also talks about eating your frog, which is about tackling your most important, daunting tasks, and getting them done. Brian’s main point is that you eat your most ugliest frog first, the next ugliest, and so on, until all your frogs are done. When you ‘eat your frog,’ you feel empowered, happier, energized and are more productive.”¹

frog

Robert Emmons, in his book, Thanks, tells us “to go through the motions and do it now, and the feeling will come.” ² Have you ever felt overwhelmed by doing a task, but went ahead with it anyway and then felt a sense of relief after, even if you didn’t complete it? Brian Tracy explains this as “‘Slice and Dice.’ You can cut a big task down to size with the ‘Salami slice’ method. Basically you lay out the task in detail and resolve to just one slice of the job for the time being.”³

slicing-pepper

What have you been putting off that you want to do?  Perhaps you want to clean up your garage, so you can park your car inside during the winter months? So take that first step. Fold up that ladder. Get some boxes to organize your garden tools or other stuff. Hang up your bike and keep going until your space is uncluttered.

If you want to start eating better, again take that first step. Go to the grocery store and try shopping the perimeter of the store only. There you will find most things that you need to incorporate a healthier diet including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Shopping this way will help you avoid processed foods, which are often loaded with artificial ingredients, additives and sugar. When you get home, go to your pantry and get rid of any processed foods that you know are unhealthy and want to avoid.

produce

If you want to add more exercise to  your day, vow to take a walk after work. Change into those sweats and tennis shows and get yourself out the door. If you like going to a gym, pack your gym bag ahead and take it with you to work. That way you will be prepared and less likely to make an excuse for not going.

healthy-light-woman-legs

So what are you waiting for? Make sure you take that first action step and keep going.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Tracy, Brian. Eat That Frog. A book Summary. http://www.super-super.com/hpe152/page11/page16/page17/files/frog2P.pdf

Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—Thanks. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/Thanks, pg. 5

²Tracy, Brian. Slice and Dice The Task. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/leadership-success/slice-and-dice-the-task/

Open Your Mind To New Possibilities With A Little Decluttering…

With fall just around the corner, it is hard not to think about the beautiful fall colors, apple orchards, pumpkins and of course…raking.  I know it is hard to believe, but those leaves will be falling before we know it. While I never look forward to winter, there is something to be said for cleaning up the yard and preparing for the upcoming winter months. Cleaning just seems to help reassure us that we will be ready when that first snow flies.

Fall is also a good time to get the inside of our homes in order too, and some people are more than ready to do a little more house work, whether it is doing some extra dusting, putting those summer items and clothes away, or just cleaning up some clutter around the house.

Speaking of clutter…

Did you know that excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information? In fact, according to the article, How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It,” Neuroscientists at Princeton University found just that, when they looked at people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment. The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”¹ Dorothy “The Organizer” Breininger, seen on A&E’s Hoarders show, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, etc., in an interview with Reid Tracy of Hayhouse Publishing, said that “If you’ve got pockets of physical clutter in your space and you have been ignoring it for a while—clutter is keeping you on the ‘other’ side of the line of success. Clutter acts as a ‘fence’ and the clutter literally keeps you corralled and can immobilize you permanently.”²

I don’t know about you, but I have always been more of neat freak than a messy person, or hoarder, but I have to admit that over the last couple years, I have accumulated a little more clutter. Last week, however, I decided it was time to do a little fall cleaning and started boxing up some books in my office that I know I will never read, or look at again.

books-colorful-harry-potter-medium

I was surprised how “freeing” it felt to box up those books and drop them off at the Goodwill and am looking forward to more of those good vibes. My husband has been working on remodeling a home, which we will be moving into either later this year, or next spring, so I have quite a bit more decluttering to do in our current home and boxes to fill.

desk_organized

How about you? There are many ways to declutter your life, but it is best to start to small. Maybe work on one room at a time, or start by cleaning up your computer desktop or e-mail.

Following are a few tips from “How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It” you might find useful:

4 Ways To Master Clutter

  1. Apply Constraints: Limit how may people you follow on Twitter, etc., how many books you buy, etc.
  2. Use Small Storage Spaces: Try cutting your closet down by only a certain number of hangers for clothes you wear. Use a smaller bag when you travel, etc.
  3. Conduct a Monthly Review of Your Closet: Review your closet monthly for items you haven’t wore. Make a pact to rid your closet of those never or rarely used.
  4. Remove All Files From Your Desktop Daily: At the end of each day, remove every file from your desktop. Do the same for e-mails, creating a folder for the ones you actually need to keep.

You will be amazed how much better you feel when get organized, so why not free yourself? Maybe you will be ready to move on to bigger and better things—like a project you’ve been putting off, writing that book, etc.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Cho, Michael. How Clutter Affects Your Brain  and What You Can Do About It. Hacker website. http://lifehacker.com/how-clutter-affects-your-brain-and-what-you-can-do-abo-662647035/all
²Tracy, Reid. Empowering Your Life—One Moment At A Time. Hay House April 2, 2014 eNews article.