fireworks

Today is a great day to clean up some of the past year, so you have more energy for the new year.

This doesn’t mean you get to berate yourself for all you didn’t accomplish, finish, or complete. Have it feel more like an experiment in energy. How do you feel after getting something off your plate?

You don’t have to complete everything to gain this burst of energy. Even cleaning up one thing makes you feel lighter.

Here are some ideas you can choose from:

  • Use up the last of the special lotion, body scrub or nail polish
  • Finish up any actions in your to do paperwork folder
  • Clean out your tickler file
  • Start a new tax folder
  • Clean off your desk, dresser or end table
  • Forgive someone
  • Clean out your email in box
  • File your to file pile
  • Clear off your computer desktop of old items and icons
  • Send out or pay invoices
  • Update your address book
  • Drop or complete a project
  • Mend or fix something

Anyone of these things will give you energy for the New Year. Happy New Year!

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Photo by: Color Line

I have to watch out for the New Year. I always want to make elaborate plans for everything I am going to do on top of my regular life.

But, it seems those New Year’s plans don’t always happen. The funny thing is I look over my goals lists from a few years ago and those goals happened. They just took longer than a year. I think many goals that are important do take more than a year.

If we keep making progress towards our dreams and goals, we will eventually hit them. Just like the little engine that could.

train

A year is not some mystical number that all goals must be reached by. The year mark is just a train stop on your life journey.

We have full lives. Most of us can’t work on our goals 24-7.

So what goals have you made progress on last year? What do you think your life would look like if you continued working on them this year?

Your other choices are beating yourself up about not completing the goal yet, giving up, or making a myriad of excuses why it’s not possible. Yuck!

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Photo by Aussie Gal

If you are looking for a way to break down your goals and plan a simpler year you can check out my Simple Annual Plan

 

 

I had such an enjoyable time connecting with family this Christmas week. We talked, played games, lit the advent candles and read the Christmas stories, ate tons of treats and let go of work concerns.

Now it seems there is tons to do to "finish" the year. But, most of that are self-imposed expectations. I don’t have to make sure everything is finished. I can play with cleaning up lose ends, but not have the expectation that if they don’t get done the New Year is ruined.

 

  1. Put away presents using the one in, one out rule.
  2. Go through your take action folder and finish some paperwork.
  3. Write thank you notes together as a family.
  4. Let go of the past year and it’s difficulties.
  5. Don’t expect perfection today.
  6. Decide your priorities for the next month or two.
  7. Finish your annual planning.

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Is Clutter Overwhelming You?

Declutter Group

Join me a we create a great plan for decluttering your life and enjoy fun support! I have declutter groups twice a year in January and again in the fall. I love hearing about how much people declutter during our 8 weeks together. Wouldn’t it feel great to have your home with a lot less clutter by March?

The next one starts in January:

http://www.encouragingcoach.com/programs-decluttergroup.htm

You can check out all my programs and courses here:

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/the-shop

Self consciousness takes a lot of energy and isn’t very simple. We do our best to try to impress those around us and slink under masks.

Most people want to connect with authentic people. People they can be themselves with. Not people they feel they need to compete with.

We run ourselves down trying to keep up with our image. When the image is just a mirage anyway. And our bodies become weary, our souls dry until there is even less of our real selves.

Soon only the image remains.

I have finished the 2010 Declutter Calendar! I would love if you could send the link below to your friends and relatives that have been wanting to declutter.

This is the year you get your
house under control with My Simpler Life’s
2010 Declutter Calendar. One small area to
declutter each day of the year. Find it here:

Declutter Calendar

http://www.MySimplerLife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

 

 

  1. See the lights, smell the fragrances, and feel the coziness of the season.
  2. Keep breathing.
  3. Try a silent night (or few minutes).
  4. Let go of what didn’t get accomplished.
  5. Enjoy your food mindfully.
  6. Ask questions to find out more about the people around you.
  7. Do some annual planning.

****

Is Clutter Overwhelming You?

Declutter Group

Join me a we create a great plan for decluttering your life and enjoy fun support! I have declutter groups twice a year in January and again in the fall. I love hearing about how much people declutter during our 8 weeks together. Wouldn’t it feel great to have your home with a lot less clutter by March?

The next one starts in January:

http://www.encouragingcoach.com/programs-decluttergroup.htm

You can check out all my programs and courses here:

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/the-shop

candles

Christmas as an adult can be exhausting and overwhelming. Shopping, cooking, writing cards, shopping, baking, entertaining, shopping.

But, one night in December is different from the whirl of the other nights for my family. We hold our “silent night”. Early in the season we mark the date and make sure everyone is home that evening.

Silent Night begins after dinner. We turn on the tree lights and we light candles around our living room. All the rest of the lights in the house are turned off. No music, TV, and other noise is allowed. No one talks. We cuddle on the couch together under a blanket and watch the lights dance. Our minds settle. We become relaxed and peaceful. The children’s eyes glitter from the candlelight. Contented smiles warm their faces. They remind me of adoring angels.

When we are ready, we each sit in the living room reading an inspirational book. We read by the glow of the candles as in times past. I always read the Christmas story in Luke. Something new is revealed each time. The kids enjoy Christmas stories like a “Little House Christmas” or “Angels and Donkeys”. Afterwards we pray silently thanking God for this season.

Softly someone starts singing, “Silent Night.” Others join in singing barely above a whisper. Our music fades away at the end of the chorus and we are quiet again. We listen to the silence for a few more moments.

Without a word, we blow out the candles, until no light remains but our tree lights. I can hear our breathing. The darkness seems to bring with it even more silence.

Then the silent night is over. We give each other hugs and turn on the lights. We continue our night- doing homework, chores and Christmas planning. But, we are all a little more quiet, a lot more peaceful and still glow from the light of the candles.

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Photo by Student of Rhythm

Guess what – there is no Christmas police.

You can decide not to…

  • Bake cookies
  • Put up a tree
  • Decorate
  • Spend more than you have on gifts
  • Make your own stockings
  • Stay up to midnight finishing homemade gifts
  • Cook twice as much as you need
  • Go to the party

If it doesn’t matter to you or your family you can say no. And if your family says it all matters, ask them what matters most. (If it truly, truly matters to them they can always do it themselves.)

You can decide to…

  • Celebrate with just your immediate family
  • Make one kind of cookie
  • Ask for help with the holiday dinner
  • Spend the night in
  • Finish up things after Christmas
  • Enjoy
  • Laugh
  • Connect

Breathe and let go.

I read an article in Guideposts the other day of TV’s Katie Brown’s first Thanksgiving in her new home with her family and new mother-in-law. It was going to be perfect and organized.

Then she gets the turkey out of the oven for dinner and finds it still raw inside. The new oven’s settings were off.

She told her husband to come into the kitchen saying, “I can’t believe this. Everything’s ruined.”

She writes, "William took my hand and said, “Sweetheart…” I looked into his eyes. It hit me. Thanksgiving wasn’t ruined. It wasn’t about the turkey or the sides or singing “Over the river…” in a sleigh.

It was about the feeling I’d had all day. Nothing could take away that sense of being extraordinarily blessed and extraordinarily grateful."

treefalling

Fallen Tree by Joe Shlabotnik

The Christmas disasters you fear about something going wrong or not being finished are just minor blips or maybe humorous stories for future telling.

Around this time of year I see people’s anxieties rise as the self-imposed pressure of the holidays makes them more frantic than what is warranted. The world will not fall apart if a present is late, Christmas cards turn into New Year’s cards, or the whole meal is burned and you are stuck eating the hors d’oeuvres.

After an anxiety filled year, it seems even worse than usual.

What if from now until Christmas or whatever holiday you are celebrating, we kept our eyes open for precious moments. And things going right. And all of the blessings we have. 

Truly have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Bright Winter Solstice and/or Blessed Kwanzaa.

Along with much of the US it seems, we had snow days this past week. Enjoyed connecting with the family. I also remembered again that recalling the good moments leaves you buoyant for going over the not so good moments.

 

  1. Go on a news fast – no news from TV, radio, internet or newspapers for at least a day.
  2. Serve your food at your party in courses.
  3. Get in a 15 minute workout if you don’t have time for a full session.
  4. Take a bath after a long day of shopping (and eat pizza for dinner.)
  5. Journal your holiday memories.
  6. Limit your TV watching to no more than 2 hours a day.
  7. Spend 5 minutes sitting and breathing.

 

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Have you made past resolutions only to have the same ones this year?

Do you find all those goal setting guides complicated and not realistic for your full life?

Do you want to find a practical way to achieve a year you love?

Simple Annual Planning Program

Simple Annual Planning

You can check out all my programs and courses here:

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/the-shop

I read in the reader’s comments in Body and Soul Magazine that the best gift this mom could give to her family and friends is a patient, loving person.

I think our family and friends would rather have us be happy and relaxed, than frantic, abrupt and impatient in the quest for a perfect Christmas. Don’t you?

relaxed

Photo by MaryLynn Johnson