Do you find yourself sitting at home knowing you have a lot to do with no motivation to do it? Of course, you do! Read on for a trick to make it easier to get started!
I know once I get going I’ll find a rhythm and momentum, but it’s as though I just can’t muster the momentum to start. This is where I try to change my space to change my mentality.
Put on an upbeat song- even better if it can be played over speakers
Start the dishwasher
Start the laundry
Open the blinds
Clear a counter
Make your bed
Charge a device
Turn on the lights
Fold blankets and put them away
I’m not saying you start folding the five laundry baskets that have somehow piled up and are staring you in the face. Maybe you fold one? Or you distribute them to the rooms they belong in. Do not let perfection be the opposite of good. Maybe it’s not washing all the dishes, but putting all the dirty dishes together and wiping the counter.
Do something easy that has major visual returns. A clear counter, made bed and light shining through help you get the momentum you want.
What do you do to kickstart your momentum? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
The author described the difference between movement and exercise. We have prerequisites for exercise such as:
It must be 30 minutes
It must take our heart above 100
It must make us sweat
It must require exercise clothing
Because of these requirements we often avoid exercise, thinking if it doesn’t fit into that category it doesn’t count. She argues, everything counts! What if instead of exercise we pursue movement? When you move it can be for five minutes or fifty. It requires no equipment other than your body. It’s about feeling strong, capable and good in your body. It looks different than you might think. It could be:
Parking far away from the store.
Taking two flights of stairs and then taking the elevator up the other two
Walking your groceries home on your back
Going to the washroom on another floor at work
Going to the washroom on another floor at home
Meeting a friend for a walking coffee instead of a sitting coffee
Walking around the dog park as you throw the ball
A five minute dance break (youtube video dance tutorial optional)
As I read this book I was mentally arguing with the author. I kept thinking “if I decrease the requirements for exercise I’ll definitely never do it! I’ll give myself permission to sit on the couch and eat potato chips.”
It gave me permission to walk around my neighborhood and enjoy it as movement
It gave me permission to enjoy walking to the grocery to store to get my groceries
It gave me permission to bike to work even though it’s only a twenty minute bike ride
Movement encourages you in whatever you’re capable of. It doesn’t require anything other than embracing it.
What’s your mindset about exercise versus movement? How do you squeeze in little bits of movement in your day?
The more I focus on the idea of The Beautiful One, the more I see it being applied in my everyday life. The more awareness I have in going through my day, shopping and zeroing in on what brings me joy, the better I am at figuring out what my Beautiful One will be. Signs you have not found it:
If you are still searching
Lets say you need a new rain jacket and you purchase one based on price, practicality, other people’s opinions. Perhaps those are all reasons you choose a rain jacket, however if after the purchase you find yourself making excuses to go to MEC or outdoor stores to try on rain jackets, or you are noticing other people’s jackets when you are out and about, or perhaps you continue to look at online blogs/pinterest for ideas. This is a clue that you have missed something important in your choice. If you are still looking/comparing your new purchase to others, you have not found your Beautiful One
You thought it was the Beautiful One in the store
After six years of having the same bed spread I decided it was time for a change. I went to Ikea, stood in the overwhelming duvet section and let my heart choose. I was so proud of myself, I didn’t look at the price first, I didn’t ask the opinion of my sister, I let my heart choose a yellow and white bedspread. I brought it home, and for the first few weeks really liked it, but I did not feel ready to get rid of my six year old bed spread- a red flag that I had an inkling this new one was not the Beautiful One. After a few weeks I found I was once again looking at bedroom pictures online, and taking note of other people’s bed spread. I fought this for a while, reminding myself how much I loved it in the store.
Then a clue came along, I was in the “as is” section of Ikea and bought a pillow case that was grey on one side and striped on the other. It didn’t match either of my current bed spreads, but I really liked it and took it home. I would hide it under my other pillows during the day and then use it to sleep on- dailly it would bring me joy. After a year of fighting it, and having two bed spreads that neither left me fully satisfied I decided to once again go back to Ikea.
This time I was apprehensive, I had listened to my heart last time, but it had not led me to the Beautiful One. Instead of viewing it as a mistake I viewed it as a lesson. What had I learned? I learned that I don’t like cheerful, or bright bedding. I looked at the aspects of the bedding I had had for six years and realized grey and dull tones were what appealed to me. I also looked at the random pillow I had bought and asked myself what I liked about it. Once again, I stood in the overwhelming duvet section and let my heart choose. It chose the duvet set that matched my random pillow. I knew it was the right decision when I made my bed with my new set and immediately put both old bed sets into my donation bin. The Beautiful One had been found!
Have you bought something you thought was The Beautiful One only to discover it wasn’t? What did you do to correct this situation?
Some people when hearing about the Beautiful One feel overwhelmed. Imagining only having one perfect item for every category in your house does sound exhausting! I’m here to tell you not every category needs a Beautiful One, but you need to figure out what those categories are!
In some areas I like to have variety, options and change. For instance, sunglasses are something I will never invest in. I find I lose them, break them or the styles change too often for me to invest in one specific pair. I find that after one to two summers I’m itching to play around with the styles available and want something new. Since I buy cheap sunglasses I’m ok with letting them go and buying a new pair.
For me, I wear a watch everyday and I like the consistency of having just one to choose from. I could see this being an area people prefer having a variety. I only ever wear two rings, they are both high quality and both have a story to them. However, I know lots of people who buy cheap rings, wear them for a season and then find new ones.
What is a category you enjoy having a variety of? What is one category you enjoy having a Beautiful One?
I find that even though I believe in the Beautiful One I still fight myself on investing in one, because it often means a financial investment. These are some of the filters I have to put my decision through before I commit to an item:
How often do I use this item- if this is going to be a specialty item I do not feel the need to have A beautiful One. For example- a pair of high heels I wear three times a year for special occasions, versus a high quality pair of boots I will wear daily to keep out the rain.
What will I be using this for? If you’re deciding to buy a rain jacket there is a difference if you will be wearing it to dash in between shops or back and forth to your car on rainy days, versus, if you do a large amount of hiking or own a dog and are required to be out in the pouring rain with a chuck it most days. Does investing in high quality make a difference in outcome? When it comes to a rain jacket sorta dry and dry are two very different things!
When it comes to this item do I value how I/it look(s)? Using the rain jacket example some people do not care if they look like a giant green blob as long as they’re dry. Others care that a rain jacket is slimming and fitting, others care that there are air vents. You need to know what your values are when it comes to appearance and buying this item. Often cheaper versions do not have as nice an aesthetic.
What do I notice about other people? Do you find you pay attention to people’s shoes? Their bags? Their cars? This is a tip about what you appreciate. I find that often the areas we notice in others is where we should invest our money and attention.
An example of choosing a Beautiful One revealed itself when I noticed a friend’s new kettle. It’s a gorgeous, red, well known, expensive brand and really made a statement on the counter. When I asked her about it, she said she had consciously made the decision to invest in a more expensive kettle for three reasons:
1. Tea is a high value to her and she drinks multiple cups a day.
2. She, her mom and her sister all have the same kettle and it symbolizes that they are all connected even though they are miles apart.
3. It matches her aesthetic and how she wants her kitchen to appear.
Though a kettle’s only job is to boil water my friend had decided to invest in a Beautiful One for more money. I already knew the filter she had put this decision through. Though I don’t need my kettle to be a Beautiful One, I know she daily makes tea, feels connected to her family and loves the aesthetic- that is worth the investment!
Where you choose to invest in a Beautiful One totally depends on your values and your filter system. Ask yourself these questions the next time you’re thinking of investing. In what areas have you invested in a Beautiful One?
Have you ever found a single item that meets all your needs for that category? I call this the Beautiful One.
Let me explain. The beautiful one is when you buy an item whether it’s a watch, a journal, sunglasses, or a winter coat and it meets all your needs, all your requirements, it is beautiful, useful and above all, you. You purchase it and you call off the search. No longer do you look at window displays for that item, because when you pass displays instead of coveting what’s in the window these displays only serve to make you think fondly of your Beautiful One at home.
Unfortunately, most people experience the opposite of the beautiful one. You are out shopping and you find something that meets your need and it’s 90% great and 10% not right, and you buy it anyway. This item meets the unmet need you were previously experiencing, but you still find yourself constantly on the lookout, unknowingly looking for the Beautiful One.
My first Beautiful One was my car. When I was 22 years old I bought my first car, a 2008 Honda Fit. I grew to adore this car, it was fast, it was standard and it was mine. I lovingly named it “Gus Gus” after the mouse in Cinderella. Most of my friends took it as fact that Gill loved her car. One rainy, dark and poor visibility night Gus Gus and I got into an accident, sadly I walked away, he got written off and our love story came to an end. So what did I do? I bought a 2007 Honda Fit. When you find the beautiful one, and you know in your heart it’s the Beautiful One, you don’t try to remake it, you replace it.
My most recent Beautiful One is a Daniel Wellington, rose gold watch. I have adored Daniel Wellington watches ever since I bought a knock off version in SouthEast Asia. I would notice other people wear it, see it in online ads and always enjoyed the simplicity. When my knock off version bit the dust I took it as a sign I was to be satisfied with the watches I already had. Somehow I had come to own three watches, yet, none of them made me as happy as a Daniel Wellington. This is when you know you haven’t found the Beautiful One- when the search continues even though your need should technically be met.
Two years later, I was scrolling Craigslist and found someone was selling the Daniel Wellington, rose gold watch I had always wanted. They were asking a price I originally thought was preposterous for a watch, but then I realized it would be my Beautiful One. I had had three cheap watches, they were meeting my need, but not my desire. I had wanted this watch for two years so it wasn’t an impulse purchase, and I wear a watch everyday. Before I could overthink it, I contacted the person and purchased the watch. I could not believe how much joy it brought me, sure the first night I had doubts after spending the most money I had ever spent on a watch, but that day I bought more than a watch.
I bought less decisions – before I had to choose between 3 watches to wear, I donated those three watches after purchasing my DW watch.
I bought simplicity- I had a watch that I knew went with everything, was the style I wanted, and required no decision
I bought joy- everytime I look down at my wrist it affirms my good decision and gives me a thrill that I have the wrist I have been pinning on pinterest for all this time
I bought The Beautiful One.
Do you have a beautiful one that you have purchased?
Did you know when you were purchasing it that it was a beautiful one or did it become one over time?
Do you have in mind a beautiful one you have yet to purchase? What’s holding you back?
Do you ever put off making a decision because you’re holding out for the perfect option?
I was headed to Ikea with my friend and her boyfriend when we all went around saying what we were hoping to buy that day. I lamented that I was once again searching for the perfect throw pillows. My friend, who had been aware of this saga in my life explained to her boyfriend that I had been searching for throw pillows for two years.
His response: “That is quite the quest, two years?”
It struck me: two years of checking stores, looking on pinterest, coveting my friend’s throw pillows. This may seem dramatic so let me explain.
My friend had beautiful throw pillows that I had always complimented and enjoyed and wanted a pair exactly like them- so much so that I would often joke about stealing them right off her couch. I held out hope that one day I would wander into a store and there they would be. Each time I went to a store I fought against the options, the price, the ridiculousness of never finding what I wanted. That all came into clarity when I realized it had been going on for two years. That day I decided enough was enough. I bought throw pillows, and covers and brought them home. Do you know what a difference they make for a living room? Do you know how much more I enjoyed being in my space? Simply making a decision to buy the best option available to me allowed me to entertain the idea of going home with throw pillows that day.
Two years I had held back from good enough for perfect. Two years I had searched and lamented and been frustrated instead of just accepting what was available and making the best decision.
This is another version of analysis paralysis- holding out for the best. Sometimes you just have to pick the best option that is available. That’s the crux, it has to be available. Yes, my friend’s throw pillows were beautiful, but they weren’t available no matter how much I wanted them to be.
What are areas in your life you are holding out for best when simply making a decision would alleviate so much?
The perfect graduate program?
The perfect savings plan?
The perfect workout/gym routine?
The perfect man?
The perfect neighborhood?
The perfect apartment?
Perhaps, instead, you should look around, take stock of your options and choose. I find that often a decision comes dressed as a final destination, when really it’s merely a stepping stone. If you’re thinking “this sounds a lot like settling” I would say “In your waiting, are you settling for less than if you made a decision?” Perhaps while you’re waiting for your perfect apartment with gorgeous natural light, you’re missing out on the glow of twinkle lights. Perhaps while you’re yearning for Mr. Right you are missing out on fun dates with Mr Right now.
I now see this pattern in my everyday life and I’m getting faster at recognizing it before it becomes a two year quest. I simply say to myself “buy the pillows.” It serves as a reminder to not miss out on what’s available now for what could be available later.
What have you put on hold that you can make a decision on today? What has become a quest that could really just be a decision? Buy the pillows!
Do you ever have something come along in life that makes you pause and reflect? This time it was my kitchen strainer…
Recently I bought a kitchen drain strainer and I suddenly realized how much junk used to go down my sink. Everyday I am emptying this strainer of food, garbage and stuff that used to mindlessly wash it’s way down the sink. This got me thinking- what are other filters I can put in my life to simply make me aware?
Recently I deleted a large number of apps off my phone- snap chat, Reddit, pinterest, my step counter, TED, FB messenger (before I realized you can’t check fb messages without the app, I was on a roll, OK)! Suddenly, those apps no longer weigh on me. If you are shuddering at the idea of deleting these apps, that’s fair, it took a lot of thought, motivation and honestly a virus to get rid of these apps. However, it made me realize how easy it is to open an app just because.
What are some other “strainers” we can put in our life?
When you buy a bike and realize how much you used to spend on gas
When you keep track of your spending and how much you used to spend on muffins (personal story there)
When you buy a smaller dresser and realize how many extra clothes you have
When you move to a smaller place and realize two couches aren’t actually a requirement
When you don’t buy Christmas presents and realize how much shopping weighs on you in the Christmas season
When you use an app to record how much time you spend on social media, ouch!
When you use a step counter and realize how much you sit.
My most recent “strainer” was revealed by social distancing. It has shown me how valuable it is to slow down, to listen to my body, to not run on adrenaline and see how much I can squeeze into a 24 hour period. I am hoping I remember this experience when life returns to normal.
This strainer brought a lot into focus and made me think about other areas of my life. What are areas of your life that are suddenly revealed to you?
Do you find yourself constantly deciding where to put away belongings? Do things get left out because they have no permanent “home?”
In 2017 I underwent a large decluttering process. The greatest reward of my decluttering experience was finding a permanent “home” for all of my belongings. This was a game changer. Period. Full stop.
I realized that things were left out, and encouraged clutter because of the constant decision making about where to return items. When I pulled something out that had a rotating home, when I went to put it back I had another decision to make. Do I put it on the shelf? In the cupboard? Should I shove it back in with the others? Should I get rid of it?
After decluttering my home, came the process of giving everything a home. This seems easy, but actually is quite deceiving. For instance I would often have one or two pens in my night table, then a couple in a drawer, a bag, a purse. All of a sudden there were pens everywhere, because it was custom for me to have them “at the ready.” I then made a rule: all pens stay in the pen jar. When they are done being used they return there. No longer do I have a build up of pens in one area and none to be found in another. It also meant when I came across a pen it didn’t have multiple options of where I could put it, all my pens had one home.
This has made the biggest difference in keeping my space tidy. I come home and always empty my purse; wallet and keys have a place in my drawer. Pens return to the pen jar. Receipts go in my receipt pouch. Electronics go in the electronic drawer. Nothing has a “home” in my purse, not even my wallet and keys which I always take with me. This is so important, and I didn’t realize how important it was for not losing things. If you have the right number of hangers for your clothes, when you wear something you will know exactly what item goes on that hanger. No longer are you moving things around and trying to change things.
I challenge you to give one of your items a home this week. Stop, think, even ask the item where it wants to belong (sounds silly, but it works) and then whenever you are finished with the item, put it there. Do not change where you put it for one whole week. Ready? Happy home hunting!
Have you ever made a to do list with plans to get it all done, but at the end of the day only the little items are checked off?
I had begun to see a pattern where I would get “nice to have done” tasks completed in my day, but the “need to be done” items would remain on my list, being put off until the absolute latest moment. Why was this? I wasn’t prioritizing my to do list.
Let’s pause. I thought prioritizing your tasks was for big wig business people who have a ton of important stuff to get done. Turns out, no, it’s simply for people who want to get stuff done on a regular basis. It is super helpful and it works!
How does this work? I make my to do list as normal- with any and every task I can think of. Nothing is too big or small, such as doing the dishes, returning library books, or income taxes.
Next I take this big list and really ask myself what has to get done today?
For instance if I’m starting my work week tomorrow do I have to meal prep?
Do I have to do laundry or risk going commando?
Are the dishes starting to grow mold?
Will you not be able to ride your bike if you don’t pump your tires?
These items get placed at the top of the list and only to a maximum of three. I’m serious. Look at that list of four, you either starve, go commando, eat off paper plates or take the bus. Which is your poison?
Then, when you are thinking of doing something productive, you can’t do anything else until those are done. Get a coffee out? Nope. Text a friend? Nope. You have a priority list and it needs to get done. Honestly once the option of skipping it was gone I plowed through my list.
So many times the act of deciding to do the thing is the hardest part. Yes, sometimes you come up against roadblocks, such as when you can’t find the form you need to fill out for work. However, you need to take a step in the right direction before you can move on. Email someone, ask someone, reach out and schedule when you will tackle this again. Only then can you do the fun, busy work activities such as cleaning your retainer and finally clearing out the spice drawer; things I would normally do to make myself feel more productive. It wasn’t until I realized it didn’t matter how spiffy my spice drawer is when you are a commando, bus riding, pizza eater.
Now a Priority List doesn’t sound fun, festive or sexy, so why not give this power list a power name. I call mine “Get ‘er Done” or “Ta Da” instead of the boring To Do.
What have you been putting off that you need to finally prioritize? What got placed on the to do list in September and still isn’t finished? Taking things to the dump? Clearing out your shoe rack? Calling your aunt?
What will be your top 3 priorities tomorrow, and more importantly, what will you call your list?