Monday, March 27, 2006

Revolving Clutter

I realize that clutter is a lot like debt, some times it sits around, some times you add to it and almost always it never seems to go away. The best approach is to chip away a little at a time. Taking small steps can be the best way to get to a bigger goal.

Start small with a drawer, a file or a box.
Make an appointment with yourself every week to tackle another part of the project.
Honor that time and show up, in other words, no excuses.
Throw away information that is easily retrievable online or multiple copies of the same item.
Invest in a paper shredder to shred personal information.
Use a bottoms up approach, clearing floor space will raise your energy level immediately.

These simple steps will help to keep clutter to a minimum and put a stop to revolving clutter. After that, you can tackle bigger projects, perhaps even your credit cards!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Project Lent

It is the lent halfway point and I have successfully given up desert, even resisiting chocolate cheesecake at a party the other day. My bonus sacrifice this year was to give up complaining which seemed like even more of a challenge, since no desert would certainly lead to a grumpier disposition.
Each year, I try to increase the degree of difficulty, always trying to be mindful of a new way to test my discipline.
As I pass on the chocolate bars, the lemon drop cookies and the coconut custard pie, I am reminded of my power to say no, to resist. If anything, that is what lent always reminds me of, that the choice to do or not to do is solely mine. A pretty good reminder to take with me all year long.
The church tells us that those who truly understand the meaning of lent emerge as a completely changed person. Nearly midway through this year and having had to say no more often yes, I can see myself willpower increasing, a subtle but notable change-- and that is nothing to complain about.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is Everyone shopping?

At times, having an addiction, albeit a shopping addiction can be a lonely road. Each day, I fight the daily temptations: commercials for Old Navy, emails from DSW and catalogues from Bloomingdales. Each day offers a new opportunity, a new sale or a new shipment.
In an effort to escape it all, I tune into the new season of HBO; perhaps some edgy cable television sans commercials will take me away from the temptation of the shop?
As if fate was toying with me, the Sopranos features Carmela sporting her latest accessory, a sporty little porsche, a big shop indeed! The new series, Big Love, a program about Mormons followed suit by featuring a shopaholic who charges thousands of dollars on her husband's credit card!
Is it just me or is everyone shopping?
And while it is comforting to know that you are not alone, it still boils down to the same thing. Addiction, in any form is an uphill battle fought daily.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lent for one year?

At this time of year, people are talking about giving things up. I know I am. Growing up catholic, I was encouraged to give something up for Lent. Even then, I chose waistline impacters, like chocolate or ice cream, a trend that continues today, I still take Lent seriously. Lent now can be a multitasker, dietary restriction and spirtual sacrifice.

The fact is, whatever your religion, you can take part in the spirit of sacrifice. And while this year, desert is a no no for the next 40 days, I decided to also take on challenge, to be more positive. This year I am relearning another childhood lesson, if you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all.
Perhaps those lessons of childhood are pretty good after all?
For more inspiration, check out my book "Give It Up! My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less!" where I talk about giving something up every month, extending lent for one year.