Taking time to ponder

Do you wake up to an alarm? If you do, you may be missing some of your best thinking time. When an alarm goes off, your mind is jarred and any thoughts are generally lost. If you can get to bed early enough to get a solid night’s sleep without waking up to alarm, it’s fun to let your mind wander before you jump out of bed.

“Theta time” is when you’re kind of groggy but awake. If you can push yourself to stay in bed and float for 10, 20, or even 30 minutes, you might be surprised what you come up with. Continue reading

Tiny bites

If you get overwhelmed thinking, “I’ve got to declutter this house.” Or “I need to get my life organized.” Or “I need to change a life-long habit.” It’s not a surprise. Taking giant leaps forward is daring and ambitious, but it can also make a project or change seem daunting. And it makes it hard to get started.

Here are two suggestions to help make change happen at a slower pace.

#1 – Break big projects into smaller parts – even tiny parts
One of my nieces has a son who is a really picky eater. Her son decided last week that he was finally going to try rice for dinner. “Yay!” my niece thought, then agonized as her son ate his rice one piece at a time. But there’s a beauty there that maybe kids know better than adults do. He wanted to try rice but he didn’t attempt to eat a whole bowl. He tried one piece. And then another. And then another. Continue reading

Taming the Clothing Monster

If your closet or drawers are so packed with clothes it’s hard to get anything in or out, the underlying problem could be you don’t want to get rid of anything. Or you love to buy new things. Or both. And it’s possible you don’t have enough space – but you’ll only know that after you pare down some of what you have.

Here’s a cool exercise to help you purge, inspired by the book One Thing at a Time by Cindy Glovinsky.

Set your phone or a timer for 10 minutes and do a deep contemplation about the image you’d like to put forward with how you dress. When the timer goes off, jot down ideas about your ideal:

  • PJs or nightgown
  • Underwear
  • Work clothes
  • Play clothes
  • Formal wear
  • Colors
  • Fabrics
  • Solids or prints
  • Skirt or pant styles and lengths

Continue reading

Getting grounded

Our forefathers and foremothers – even one generation back – didn’t have nearly as much digital ease as we have. But what they had was a simpler life. When I work at one thing around the house – laundry, weeding, painting – I’m reminded that simpler is sometimes what you need to help clear your mind.

If you want to test the power of a “single focus,” try picturing a column of letters A-E. Now picture a column of numbers 1-5. And finally, picture a column of letters, E-A. No problem, right? Continue reading

Ideas for a 30-day challenge

I’m teaching a class this winter and have been toying with the idea of making it a 30-day challenge. When I found this graphic on the web last week, I thought, “This is it! I’ll do a 30-day declutter challenge.”

I gave this a little more thought and decided no one could declutter for 30 days straight without losing their mind. I mean, I like decluttering and this chart looks daunting.

That got me thinking about otherĀ 30-day challenges. Continue reading

The Joy Habit

Do you close each day thinking about things you’re grateful for?

At two different talks this past week, someone asked me about keeping a gratitude journal. I track everything in a planner and hadn’t thought about tracking gratitude. But why not?

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Finding your tribe

Yesterday, I drove 4-1/2 hours to Presque Isle, Maine for a one-hour class. Then I drove home again.

Why? Because John Cariani, a Broadway actor and author of the #1 most rented show in 2016, Almost Maine, was teaching a Master Class in writing. I knew I wouldn’t learn a lot in an hour of teaching, but I wanted to make the connection because John is part of the tribe I like to hang with.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten as an entrepreneur is to find other people who do what you do and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you like someone’s blog, read it, comment on it, and engage with the author at a conversational level. If you want to act, find other actors and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you want to write, join an association of writers or find people in your area who write and ask if they want to get together to talk. Continue reading