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.

Snow Day

 

Snow Day

On January 15, we were treated to a rare delight in southeast Texas. It was snow!  It was snow that started as the pinging noise of sleet and continued in fluffy white flakes through the afternoon.  The weather gave us a rare snow day in Houston.  Now the decisions of how to spend a day at home.

 

Snow Day as Work Day

In a completely unscientific Facebook poll, most of us opted for getting ahead and getting organized.  Posts ranged from paperwork (so unfun!) to organizing closets.  Most of us took the day to get ahead on projects we had let lag.  That was me as well!  I loved having a productive day.  It seemed far less difficult that other days to be productive since it was “free day.”  For those who chose a work day, I congratulate you on your organizing and productivity!

 

Snow Day as Fun Day

Half way through the “blizzard”, it was time for me to spend time out and about. I could not resist the opportunity.  Having time outside was a great way for me to think about the kids running and dashing, the real reason we identify as a snow day.  I remember just how important an unscheduled day makes me. It builds my energy and engages me in more thinking. For those who chose a fun day, I congratulate you on seizing the moment for fun!

 

Snow Day as Possibility Day

We may not have the specific opportunity for a snow day for a while, however you can think about the possibilities. I love the idea of planning a snow day!  What could your snow day bring to you? Could you invent a snow day for yourself, keeping you and your kiddos thinking?  What would the possibilities be?  I encourage you to set aside an annual snow day to rejuvenate and relax.

 

Learn more about the  possibilities here!

 

Words Matter: My Organizing and Productivity Mantras

organizing and productivity

 

 

For over 15 years, I have been sharing organizing mantras with my clients. These come out when we are working together on organizing and productivity.  These also come together as I create presentations and work with virtual clients.  These come from years of experiences, in a variety of settings, for organizing and productivity.  I am sharing these here to help you on your organizing and productivity journey too.

 

Less Stuff = Less Stress

All your stuff takes a toll on your. You have to take care of it, put it away, make sure you have it, and make sure it works when you need it.  That’s a lot of care for stuff.  The more stuff we have the more stress we have on just how to take care of it.  It’s hard to do, but less stuff means you have less stress.

 

A little structure goes a long way

Structure is the way you set up something. It could be the way you set up a space, like a desk or a kitchen, or a day, like your schedule and calendar.  It’s the way that we establish what’s around us that matters most.  The impact of structure is that you set yourself up for success.  The reason a little structure makes a difference is to keep you nimble.  A little structure keeps you within a good working routine and complete chaos.

 

People matter, stuff doesn’t

Recently at home we had a small accident.  There was sadness and, well, some blame.  As I said to my family, people matter, stuff doesn’t.  It’s a reminder that truly relationships are the most important part of our lives.  The stuff we have either adds or diminishes relationships.  Let’s make people matter the most.  That’s not to say that taking care of your stuff isn’t important, however its important to keep it all in perspective.

 

Plan your work and work your plan

Planning in itself is not enough.  It’s getting started and working your plan that makes the difference.

Keep it simple sweetie

If you tend to over complicate and make work too complicated, this is the mantra for you.  It’s about choosing the most simple process to get the results  you want.

 

Hugs and Happy Organizing

Hugs and happy organizing is how I sign my success notes for my clients.  It’s that happy feeling because you are more organized and productive.  Check out lots of before and after successes with my clients in this Hugs and Happy Organizing category of Ellen’s Blog.

 

I’d love to hear the mantras that inspire you to be more organized and productive.  Add a comment here!

 

 

people matter stuff doesn't

 

 

 

 

Intentional, organized living

intentional living is key to all of us

 

 

“Intentionality is the linchpin to living well.” – St Francis de Sales

 

When I work with clients, it’s their intentions that we set as goals.  We are finding ways to make the future what they intend. The future that my clients hope for is uncluttered, productive and intentional. They want to live the life they imagined, free from clutter and distraction.  How do you turn that intention into your lifestyle?

Compelling reasons to act

There’s lots of good reasons, but do you have a compelling reason?  Intentional living requires the most compelling of reasons. It’s the reason to postpone a reward now, for your future self.  Adults and kids struggle with this.  (Have you heard of the Marshmellow experiment?)  Your personal compelling reason, the reason that stops  you from purchasing more, helps you let go of more and keeps your goal front and center is key.  People who believe their actions affect their destiny have a higher motivation.

 

Moving into action

To create the life they imagined, it’s moving from intention into action.  The decisions and choices my clients face are what we all often struggle with. Its different questions.  What do I do now to have the greatest impact on the future?  As you step back and take in the big picture of your intention to live well, what do you see and what would you like that to look like? What is a baby step you can take to move in the direction of your intention?  Choose one of these, or your own question, to help you get started.

 

When intentional living gets the most difficult

True integrity is doing the things that are harder in the moment. How do you stay on track?  Prevention with self care is the first step.  Self care includes eating healthy, getting good rest and exercising.  These self care steps build us up.   It’s easier to stay on target when you have gotten a good night’s rest.

 

Keep your intentional living upper most with small reminders each day.  To keep mindful, a mantra or saying, a medallion or disk you can hold, or a post it note can keep you on track with your intentions.

#Grateful

In a word filled with fear, where do we start with gratitude?  There’s stress about relationships, health, work and family.  It’s well documented the relationship between happiness and gratitude.  Gratitude is the key to happiness, productivity and organization. How do we practice gratitude?

Starting your day with gratitude

A grateful start to your day shapes your day.  Spend a few minutes each morning either writing in your paper or digital journal.  Dig deep and find meaning in what you are recording.  Think of one idea that will shape your day as you go forward.   Throughout the day you will make lemonaid from the lemons.

 

Random Acts of Kindness

Lots of random acts of kindness are recorded daily. Find a way to share your gratitude and kindness.  From paying for the person behind you in line to stopping to help someone take their recycling from their car to the bins, there are little ways each day to practice being grateful by helping someone else.

 

Gratitude jar

Take a moment each day and place a small slip of paper in a jar.  At the end of the month or year, read back and reflect on your moments of gratitude.

 

Hand written notes

When was the last time you snail mailed a letter of thanks?  If it’s been too long, start this week.  Use your lovely stationary and write a note to thank a special someone, a teacher, a spiritual leader, or a family member.

Volunteering

 Twenty five percent of us volunteered for one organization last year. What way can you add meaning to your life and share a skill, take on a project or make a difference?  Serving and giving to others adds joy .

Adding gratitude to your day

In the spirit of love, pick one way you can add gratitude to your day. Gratitude need only take a minute. Check off a way to make gratitude happen today.

 

More on organization and productivity here!

 

More sites for Happiness

Happify

Values in Action (VIA)

Authentic happiness

 

 

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Organizing and Productivity Books

organizing and productivity books

 

 

There are lots of books on organizing and productivity. My favorite organizing and productivity books focus on topics that are more than just “how to books.”   The topics include content that provide insights into the big picture of organizing and productivity.   Some of these focus on what holds you back.  These books promote creating new perspectives and new awareness.  Here’s a list of my favorite organizing and productivity books.

The Power of Habit

A New York Times best seller, The Power of Habit shares how habits work.   The book shares the science of habits.  Develop powerful positive routines with this book.

 

Essentialism

Greg McKeown shares the value of paring down to what is essential to you.  In order to say yes to what’s most important,  you have to know what to say no to.  This book shares a new perspective on how to prioritize.

Organizing from the Inside Out

Julie Morgenstern wrote this book in the early 2000s, at the dawn of organizing. It’s a must read for all who are interested in changing their space.  This book outlines simple ways to organize.

 

ADD Friendly Ways to Organize

Written to address the needs of those who have ADHD, this book shares practical strategies for organizing. Written in collaboration by an organizer and a therapist, ADD friendly strategies start with self – help and move to working with professionals.

 

More Attention, Less Deficit

Beginning with a review of ADHD symptoms, this book provides extensive suggestions for overcoming every day challenges face by those with ADHD.

 

Organizing Plain and Simple

This book is a simple reference for all sorts of organizing challenges and practical ways to make a difference in your home or office.

 

 

Maybe you are not a reader.  Many of these books are offered as audio books.  Maybe you like to read several books at a time.  Choose a book that sounds interesting and share what resounded with you here.

 

If you love books as much as I do, you want to organize them too!