Thankful. Grateful.

thankful. grateful

 

This year has been a year of challenges and changes in our country and our community. We have the power to live every day being thankful and grateful. Gratitude is powerful and can make your life better in so many ways. It’s creating new habits that reinforce being positive, gracious, kind, thankful and grateful. Here are many simple, small ways to start or continue showing and sharing these qualities and values.

  • Start your day with a daily mantra or with meditation focusing on gratitude.
  • Notice the small things in your life and comment. You will increase your mindfulness and your gratitude.
  • Capture photos about what you are grateful for on your smart phone. Look back to remind yourself of these moments.
  • Text or email a friend or family member each day to share how much you appreciate them and why they are special to you.
  • Thank people who are serving you or helping you.
  • Sharing a blessing over your food with your family or companions at a meal.
  • Make a note in your daily planner or bullet journal of one moment of gratitude that day.
  • Have a family “huddle” before your kids head out to school and talk about what you are grateful for that day.
  • Write in your gratitude journal each evening as a prelude to bedtime.
  • Review your day before bedtime and acknowledge your gratitude.

I am thankful and grateful for our connection. Our work together, ideas we have shared and moments we have spent are all what makes a difference. I wish you an abundance of blessings this year and the opportunity to share how grateful you are for these blessings.

 

 

Get Organized with Holiday Lists

 

Get organized with holiday lists

 

Lists are useful for making sure you have all the details covered. No need to remember every detail because you have it captured on your list. You can be more productive with a list because it keeps you moving forward with each step.

 

Holiday lists keep you organized during the busy holiday season.  Some are lists you keep all year and some are specific to this time of year. All require updating, some at the beginning of the season and some at the end of the season.

Here is a run down of the list of holiday lists that I keep.

List name

What is this list

and why use it?

How to use this list effectively

Month to use this list

Holiday card list Holiday card list for friends, family and colleagues Add names to this list all year long. Update each January with additions and deletions October
Gift list Gift list for the holiday season, includes those who receive homemade treats Update with items purchased all year and other items in gift closet November
Holiday party and dinner guest lists List of those attending your holiday party, Thanksgiving or your holiday dinner Invite family and friends for holiday dinners. Guests like to know they are included early so as to make other arrangements if necessary. November
Menu List of items you are making for your holiday party and/or your holiday dinner Create menu then create grocery list December
Homemade treat list List of items you are making as holiday treats Review recipes and purchase containers. Make treats one weekend. Delivery treat the next week. December
Travel list List of travel plans by person Review itineraries for travel and purchase travel arrangement. Share with your holiday hosts and other family members. October
Packing list List of what to pack to travel during the holidays List your toiletries, attire, shoes, electronics, and other travel items. Add specific items for winter and holiday travel All year, updated before winter travel
Contact list Names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of family and friends Use for a variety of uses all year long and during holidays All year

 

As you can see I am a list lover! Here are other lists to use too!

 

Hassle free Holidays for Families with ADHD

 

Hassle free holidays for families with adhd

 

Holidays are merry times for families.  For moms, dads, and family members with ADHD, there can be glitches with planning, timing, and finishing up in time for family time together. When it comes to family events, executive function limitations interfere with holidays in the ways we celebrate, the gifts we share and the time we spend with family.  Here are solutions to create hassle free holidays for families with ADHD.

 

Problem: Everything is important during the holidays. What do I do first and when do I do what? It all seems overwhelming.

Holidays can be magical and meaningful with planning. That planning starts with a calendar.  Ask your family about their special family traditions.  It’s tempting to say yes to everything, but the key take away is to limit your plans, decorating and parties. Once your family weights in, be sure all the family has access to the calendar to know the final plans and be a part of the fun.

 

Holiday plans require more time to complete. Start early on all holiday activities. It seems too early to start your holiday planning in October but it is not. For cards, take the photo in October, choose cards and have these printed in early November, and address the cards the week of Thanksgiving.    For gifts, go through your gift closet in October, finalize shopping in November, then mail presents the first week of December.  As you can see, October organizing and planning is key to holiday success. Set a deadlines for each task. A deadline will help you focus your time and energy.

 

Problem: There’s so much to do! How do I do it all?

There is no way to do it all during the holidays.  It’s also not possible to be the only family member decorating, gift giving and baking.  It’s time to look for help. Ask your family to partner with you, working in pairs to accomplish tasks. There’s many ways to get help around you.  There’s on demand delegation. You can find help with online tools to hire extra help at this time of year.  Take the semi-homemade approach and take help where you can get it from pre-cut groceries and delivery services. Ask teens who want to earn money for help with small tasks.  Be open to asking for help and accepting the “not completely perfect” solutions. When you spend extra time on a task, be sure it is valuable enough and worthy of that extra effort.

 

Problem: I can’t find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.

Find creative solutions to gift giving. Rather than many homemade gifts, choose one gift that includes an experience. Keep your gift giving for those who are especially close. Choose a small gift card for those who are service providers. Choose an organizing gift that can help you stay organized all year long. Order online in order to save time and money.  There are many ways to share the joy of gift giving.

 

Problem:  I am worn out before the fun begins.  I want to enjoy the holidays too.

Holidaze sets in early with too much to eat and too little sleep. Holiday fun is diminished with too little self care.  Be sure to keep true to your routines during this busy time of year. It’s easy to pass on the routines when you might miss out on fun.  Routines and self care make sure that you truly enjoy your holidays.

Give yourself the gift of extra self care. Extra self care looks like an afternoon to read your favorite magazine, a soak in the tub with lavender, or an early bed time.  Extra self care pays off in being ready to have fun.

 

Hassle free holidays start with knowing where the hassles begin and how to address these ahead of time.  Knowing your options and resources make a difference for holiday times.

 

Holiday Organizing Gifts

Holiday organizing gifts

 

If you are the practical, functional kind of gift giver, this post is for you!  Organizing gifts are the most cherished! These gifts give back to your recipient in so many ways.  Your gift gives a feeling of order, clarity in life, and an organized space.  Here’s five of my favorite holiday organizing gifts!

 

Chalkboard menu

Chalkboard menu

Every family loves to eat! Plan your weekly menu and share it with your family with a chalkboard menu in your kitchen.

Corkboard Cork board

Families have lots of reminders and invitations.  A family corkboard keeps everyone on track.

 

Hooks

Decorative hooks

Hooks help everywhere! Decorative hooks can be used in a hall for a landing strip, bathroom for towels, bedroom for bags and more! Amazon dot

Amazon Dot

Amazon Alexa helps you make lists, order groceries and much more!

 

Tile  Tile

Tile’s remote system helps you track the stuff you lose.

 

And that’s a wrap for the stuff!  I always encourage holiday gifts that are experiences instead off stuff. If you decide you must give stuff,  make it practical and functional this year!

Inside Secrets and Holiday Tips Used by this Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant

holiday tips

Holidays come around each year and each year we are looking forward to the real joy of the holiday. How do we professional organizers and productivity consultants make the holiday merry and bright? Here’s tried and true tips we use!

  • Organize as you decorate and undecorate.  Donate unused decorations right after the holiday. This way you are not storing decorations another year and you are keeping only what is most important and treasured.  Use an ornament organizer and mark your bins with specific contents to make decorating easier and more fun next year.
  • Start early if you decide to send holiday cards. Have your family photo ready by October.  As you receive cards, update your holiday card list.  If you decide to keep your cards for the next year, here’s a way to keep them year after year.
  • As you are going through the holiday season, make a note in your smart phone about what worked best in terms of holiday hacks. These are inside secrets you learned as the season progressed.  Here’s an example. Our Houston Zoo Lights are fabulous and you need to purchase tickets that morning in case of weather glitches and to be sure tickets are available that day.
  • With new and traditional recipes, make a note on the recipe what small changes you made.  Each year I make cream puffs and I have notes on what worked best with oven temperature and ingredients.
  • Keep your Christmas receipts together in a ziplock and ask for extra receipts for returns. You will eliminate hassle with returns.
  • Check in with your family on what family traditions to keep and what has gone by the wayside. Spending an evening relaxing at home and getting in bed early helps everyone enjoy the season.

Wishing you a very merry holiday season!

 

Keeping Extra Organized and Productive throughout the Holiday Season

 


 

Holidays add extra to our lives.  Whether it’s extra fun, extra work, or extra time,  there’s much more to think about and do.  When you are running on extra everything, keeping extra organized and productive this holiday season are critical.

 

Extra rest

We don’t think of extra rest at this time of year.  How can you add extra rest with an earlier bedtime?  Perhaps it’s an extra nap that is needed?  Think first of how to add extra rejuvenation to your week.

 

Extra help

It’s as simple as buying the cookie tray rather than making a dozen cookies.  Get extra help this season in any way you can, from food prep, home cleaning and extra hugs.   You will appreciate having this bonus.

 

Extra planning time

Schedules get criss-crossed this time of year.  There are multiple simultaneous events.  Be sure you double and triple check your plans and planner.  You will be happy to know what is planned by capturing it on your device or on paper.

 

Extra spiritual time

Holidays are about a greater meaning.  Keep the joy of the season in more than sprit by devoting time to devotion.   That can be reading, prayer, or meditation time for you as you seek the meaning of this time of year.

 

Extra work scheduling

The end of the year may be a big wrap up time for projects.  Schedule extra time to do a solid wrap up of what you have worked on this year.  Take extra time to let go of extra drafts and extra paper.

 

Wishing you EXTRA joy this holiday season!

Counting your blessings. Thankful. Grateful.

thankful. grateful

 

Each morning as I take my walk, it’s my time to be thankful and grateful. Time in nature gives me time to think about the blessings in my life, including the beauty of what’s around me, how my business and life have come together, and the blessings for those around me.  As I return home, I feel positive. I am ready to start my day with purpose and focus.

 

Why keep your Thankful.Grateful. list organized

Those of us who are thankful enjoy a more positive, vital and optimistic life.  We have lower levels of depression and stress.  We support others with our kindness, compassion and feel good about helping others.  Our focus is on people and relationships rather than stuff.  We feel we are tracking and progressing towards our personal and professional goals.

 

How to create your Thankful.Grateful. list

There are many ways to count your blessings.

  • A journal is a capture tool that keeps your thoughts in one place. A nightly writing time gives you a wrap up to your day and a great night’s rest.
  • A blessings jar, placing slips of paper with a note, in a jar all year, keeps your blessings together to share on a holiday.
  • Share with another who you are thankful.grateful for her/his part in your life.  Openly write a thank you note, send a text, or ask to meet to share your thankfulness.
  •  Express gratitude for those who serve and help you. Go to the manager of your local shop and share how an employee has gone the extra mile for you.  Complete a survey online and mention the employee by name.
  • Kick off your meeting with a thank you to one of your employees or members.
  • Thank volunteers in your association or group with a small gift card and note expressing for what you are grateful.
  • Keep a list of  your top 25 items in an app in your phone.  All year long populate this list to reflect on what you are grateful for all year.
  • More than any way to make this list, it’s most important to start your list.

My Thankful.Grateful list

It’s just a start for me. These are my overall items on my list, empcompassing how I live my life. I keep this in my Notes app on my phone.  I love referring to it when I want to remember why I do what I do.

  1. Family near and far
  2. Meaningful work with purpose
  3. My clients. Brilliant, creative, resourceful, trusting
  4. Kingwood (my city)
  5. Education
  6. Opportunities to be lead an amazing association
  7. Opportunities to be a contributor in my community
  8. Life experiences with concerts and travel

I hope you will share your list with me. I love knowing what we are all thankful. grateful.

Week Before Thanksgiving To Do Lists

thanksgiving organizing

 

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and there’s much to do!  Pies to bake, turkey to baste and a table to set are just a few of your responsibilities this week. Setting up a list of lists will make your next week run smoothly. That’s what lists do: get ideas out of your head, get stuff done, help you have more fun and help you stay in the moment with your guest that day. Here are the lists that you need the week before Thanksgiving. These To Do lists will not only help you stay on track, these will also help you have your most organized Thanksgiving!

 

 

Finalize your guest list

Who will you be sitting with during your holiday feast?  It’s time to finalize your guest list and connect with all your guests.  Your guests may request to bring items for your meal so have a list prepared just in case they would like to bring a dish.

 

Gather your gear

Do you need extra linens or will you be eating on eco-friendly plates? Is this the year you will cook your turkey on the grill? Now is the time to purchase what’s needed for your feast. Set out your plates, silverware and other table scape items to be sure you are ready to set the table.

 

Create your shopping list

What’s needed for your feast and the week ahead? What breakfast, lunch and leftovers do you have planned for feeding your guests? Are your guests vegan, gluten free or vegetarian? Nows the time to check special dietary requests.  Checking your list early means you can check on sales at various shops and save money.

 

Beverages and bar options

Even before your big meal, will you be serving special beverages? Research festive holiday drinks and kiddo drinks for your meal.  Be ready with a family friendly punch or adult cocktail station set up before the meal begins.

 

Create a cooking plan

In order to have all your dishes ready at the same time, write a list of when you will prepare, cook and bake your holiday dishes.  Review your recipes to be organized about when to start cooking. Assign cooking responsibilities to friends and family who arrive early that day.

 

Purchase your turkey

Turkeys come in fresh and frozen, big and little. Be ready for your feast by purchasing your turkey ahead of time and holding it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.  Turkey tips are available to be sure your bird is delicious.

 

Thanksgiving Day List

You got this! Stick to your list of lists and you will enjoy your day.  It’s time to put your friends and family in the mix to share the fun in cooking and preparing.

 

More Thanksgiving ideas here!

 

ADHD Guide to Happier Holidays

adhdholidayguide adhd

 

Time is not your friend during the holidays. There’s so much more to do. If you have ADHD, time challenges are part of what you face during the year.  Here’s a simple guide to a happier holiday for you and your family.

 

Keep self care at the top of your list

Holidays are the season of lists, with lists having lists.  Top off your list with holiday self care. This is the time to keep your exercise, medication, meditation and sleep schedules without disruption.  Keeping these routines on track will help you stay energized and positive.

 

Set your budget early and keep on track

Finances are a major part of all holidays. There’s gifts to buy, food to purchase and always last minute unplanned expenses.  Set up your budget early, with specific names and dollar amounts. Leave a little wiggle room for last minute purchases.  There’s apps for that too! Spendee, Mint and EveryDollar help you track your funds. Even before you set out to shop, open up all the Amazon boxes and make a list of all the gifts you purchased throughout the year. The power of a small, thoughtful, handmade gift can make a big impact if your funds are small. A donation to a meaningful charity in the family’s name shows thoughtfulness.  Simple gifts are profound and from the heart.

 

Meet to know what’s most meaningful

By far the most important and valued time of the holiday season is time spent together.  Get your family calendar together in early November.  Invitations, school plays, church gatherings and other celebrations will start soon! With your family, decide what’s most important and meaningful to each family member. Be ready to prioritize and then capture on your calendar these dates early.  When double bookings arise, take a few minutes to send a gracious thank you and proceed as planned.

 

Team work makes holidays easier

Make a list of what you have to do this holiday season. Now write a name next to the responsibilities where another person, team or tech can do this work.  Delegating is the way to have extra time to get the most complete. Create partnerships for work that can be done by more than one person. A partnership means that there will be laughing and fun, not just work to get done.  Look for community members to be a part of your team too, like teens who babysit, wrap or add extra hands when needed.  There’s lots of ways to add help in the holiday season.

 

Holiday are not all perfection all the time.  Take time this holiday season to find ways to make your holiday happier, and not perfect. The most imperfect holiday is often the most memorable.

 

How to Fix Holiday Glitches

how to fix holiday glitches

 

As holidays approach, we’re thinking of twinkling lights and not last year’s dry stuffing.  Even worse, last year we may have spent much time preparing, yet not feeling that holiday joy. Heading into the holidays is the best time to think about the big picture of the holiday season.  It’s time to assess what worked and what did not.

 

Here’s some oops moments that may have happened to you last year.  There’s solutions for you to fix these holiday glitches.

 

Oops! Holiday cure!
There’s so much to do for each holiday. Set aside a planning time in early October.  It’s a meeting for you, your list and your planner.
There’s so many activities and events every night during the holidays. You booked 2 events on the same evening. Start early with your holiday planner and calendar.  Enter every date as you receive each invitation.
You wanted to send holiday cards and you need a family photo and your address list updated. Use a family photo taken during the year. Use multiple photos of faces only.  Update your address list as new holiday cards arrive.
You need to decorate the house and your family is busy with school, sports and choir. Downsize your decorating. Decide if your decorating should be a single tree, indoor decorations only, or another smaller effort this year.
You purchased too many items on Amazon and don’t know what your purchased are or for whom you purchased. Open all the boxes and create an inventory of your purchases. Assign names with post it notes on each item. Assess if you have enough by setting a budget or a number of gifts.
There’s so much to wrap and you must bake, go to church and other things to do. Pay a neighborhood teen or grandkid to be your holiday wrapper.
You want to go to the cookie swap and you need to bake 12 dozen cookies. When do you have the time for that? Through social media, ask for referrals of local bakers, crafters or other small businesses to help you.
The holidays fly by and you feel you have not enjoyed the time together as a family. Host a family meeting with everyone sharing what’s most important to them to celebrate the season. Share what’s most important to you and set aside time for this.

 

As you prepare for this year’s holiday season, keep in mind your level of planning and organization.  Balance your investment in time with your joy for the outcome of that investment. It will lead you to a happier holiday season.