Celebrating the Small Things – July 12

Early pink dogwood flower heads


   Courtesy of Martin LaBar

I recently found VikLit’s blog which hosts the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop on Fridays. I love the concept of celebrating even the smallest of accomplishments because it keeps me motivated to do more.

What I’m celebrating this week:

1. Finding the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop! (Thanks, Heather!)

2. Keeping a few hot spots clear in my kitchen.

3. Filling one bag with clothes to donate.

What are you celebrating this week? 

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A to Z Challenge – L for Letting Go

From the other end of the room

This year I’ve been working on simplicity. One thing I’ve been working on is letting go of things. I have been able to purge things on a regular basis. Some items have sentimental value, but I’m learning that I don’t need to hang on to them. I’ve accepted that this will be an ongoing process, and I just have to keep at it. I still have a long way to go, but I feel good about the way I’m changing my outlook.

Are you decluttering? Do you find it hard to let go of things? 

Updates and Upcoming Projects

Flower sparkle

March will be all about preparation. Here are some updates:

My decluttering progress has been slow and steady. It felt good to donate a few bags of clothes and other items.  I’m getting my kids into the habit of going through their things to find what they’ve outgrown. I sometimes have to quietly dispose of items they don’t need, but they are getting used to finding things to donate. Now we have a tad bit more room, and someone else could actually use those things that were collecting dust in my home.

I’ve brainstormed for the A to Z Challenge. I’m still working on my list of post ideas, and it’s been fun narrowing down what I will write about. My goal is to write the first week’s worth of posts before April 1st. Having some posts done early will give me more time to read blogs.

I’ve revisited the short stories I wrote in October, and I’ve selected one to work on first. I have a few new ideas to make the story stronger. Oh the thrill of editing!

I’ve kept up with my reading and have finished 5 books already this year! Having audiobooks as an option is really good for me although some books are better read than listened to.

What are you up to these days? Any accomplishments you want to share?

Simplicity in 2013

Brooklyn Home Office, Minimized, At Night

       Photo courtesy of mkosut

The beginning of the year feels so fresh and inspiring. I want to make significant changes this year by working slowly and deliberately to create better habits.

I want to focus on Simplicity in 2013. It will take some time to work on this, but I know this will help me become more productive. This month I’ve been decluttering areas in my home. I work sporadically and the changes are small, but I know it will make a difference in the long run.

I haven’t been writing as much as usual. I’ve been in a reflective mood and taking things in. I have been reading more and plan on keeping better notes about the books I finish.

I hope you are also enjoying the new year and getting productive. Please share your successes, struggles, and/or ideas!

 How are you doing with your resolutions? 

Did you make any or are you just winging it this year? 

In a State of Transformation

Cocoon

Photo courtesy of pgrad1974

During the fall, I like to revisit my routines and goals. I want to streamline things and have routines I can stick to. Sometimes I do too much too soon and then I’m back at square one. I tend to think big, but I feel I can still carry out a grand plan by taking it slower and developing a good foundation from the start.

I’m like a caterpillar in a chrysalis, getting ready for the metamorphosis. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I do want significant changes. With a little change in attitude and perspective, things can be better. Small steps will get me where I want to go.

Although trite, making New Year’s Resolutions gives me that extra boost when I feel defeated in any way. My plans are in the works now. I don’t want to wait until January 1st to begin. This is going to take some time. And if I work little by little, I better get started.

Are you making any changes? Will you make resolutions for the new year?

Are you in a state of transformation as well?

Why Fifteen Minutes Matters

The Passage of TimePhoto Credit: ToniVC

I’m finding it hard to keep up with all I need and want to do each day. Even by limiting my distractions, making time always seems to be a challenge.

I’ve been working on how to be more productive. I don’t have long chunks of time where I can dive into projects. So my new, simple mantra is: Start Small. 

I wrote those words on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket one day this week. I went about my day, but later started stressing about things. When I worry I want to solve everything right away, but I end up doing little to make progress.

I emptied out my pockets and found that piece of paper with Start Small written on it. I felt a bit calmer because I knew there were solutions. I could reach my goals if I just relaxed, believed in myself, and took it slow.

One idea I’d like to make a habit is breaking up projects into 15-minute tasks. Instead of  doing nothing because I don’t have a few hours, I can work on a small part of the project. All those tasks will add up to completed projects if I keep it up. (Flylady talks about this all the time.)

It’s not always about being productive. Sometimes I just need to give myself permission to enjoy some me-time without feeling guilty. A fifteen minute break can boost my energy and help me keep going throughout the day.

I also like the idea of consistently recording daily events with photos, videos and writing down funny anecdotes featuring my family.  In fifteen minute increments, I can capture these fleeting moments so they can be treasured for years to come.

How do you complete your projects and enjoy life, even with a busy schedule?

Do you use the fifteen-minute method to get things done? 

Using Time Effectively

When I was working full-time, I had to have routines. Had to. If not, my household would fall apart. I planned and anticipated so I was hardly ever in a rush. Lunches were ready the night before, laundry was done and put away at a steady rate, and I arrived to work early every morning. Now that I don’t work outside the home, well, let’s just say my home could use some organization. I won’t make excuses. I have the tools to get this place in shape. For some reason I put things off until they need to be done immediately.

So this week I will work on establishing my routines again. If you’ve heard about Flylady, you know that the before bed routine is essential. I need to plan ahead so I can start the next day in a relaxed manner. And when the kids are busy, I can use those minutes to do something. A minute here, five minutes there. This is the way I need to work. Having some order will give me time and a peaceful feeling to create more!

What are your organizing methods? How do you keep your household in order?