August 2015 edition
WHEW! What a Summer!
I bet you’ve been wondering where I’ve been these last few weeks. I know I’ve been quiet and I’m hoping that you’ve missed me. If I asked you to guess the reason for this, I bet you would say that I’ve been at the lake. That’s always my first choice of a summer activity! I have found a little bit of lake time but mostly my nose has been to the grindstone. It has been a busy summer beyond belief! Here it is in a nutshell:
SUMMER 2015: My daughter Allie got married in May. And for this happy occasion, we hosted 42 family members from across the country for a beautiful wedding on a hilltop in Arkansas. In June, with only one child left at home, we migrated from a 5000 sq foot home at the top of the hill to a lovely and peaceful 1600 sq foot home nestled at the bottom of the hill. (I could go on and on about the perils of renovation and moving but I think you know!) End of June we trekked to Chicago for a Hodous clan get together. July was our annual family trip to Maine. Return from Maine and BOOM! School starts three days later – SUMMER over! In addition to all this, I’m a speaker and that means travel. Doing what I love, I’ve traveled to Wisconsin, Colorado and all over the state of Arkansas.
And then there’s the details of everyday summer life, kids out of school needing to be driven, bags to pack and unpack, flight delays, grass to mow and on and on… does any of this sound familiar? I bet you’ve been there. Some days I wondered how I would get it all done. But here’s the good news – through this busy and hectic summer full of change and let’s face it some chaos, I’ve learned some big lessons. My mantra – SIMPLICITY! It’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s clearing the chaos and clutter from our everyday lives so that we can get to the things that really matter and bring us joy.
So all through the month of August I’ll be sharing the lessons I’ve learned and showing you ways to SIMPLIFY so life can be filled with all the things you love and so that you can finally find the time to have some FUN! I’m a bit late getting started this month but I’ve got lots to share so let’s get started!
Three Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Life and Make Room for FUN!
For most of us, days of the week pass by in a blur. We’ve got errands to run, appointments to schedule, dinner to make, kids to tend to and homes to keep. We can get so busy that it becomes easy for CLUTTER to take over our lives. It creeps into our minds and our homes. And before long that clutter is keeping us from doing the things we really and truly love and preventing our weekends from being peaceful and relaxing. When that happens, then it’s time to SIMPLIFY!
Life is too short for us to not enjoy each and everyday. Here are three easy ways you can SIMPLIFY your life right now and start focusing on the things that really matter:
AT HOME – Your home is your nest, your safe haven to relax and shut out the demands of the busy world. It should provide you a sense of peace and make you walk in the door and exhale. But sometimes the material things or ‘stuff’ that we fill our homes with start to keep us from that feeling of serenity. Material possessions can overwhelm us and complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever realize. With stores and shops and malls on every corner and the internet at our fingertips, it’s all too easy to spend money on things we really don’t need and then they drain our energy and attention tending and maintaining them. Let’s face it – do you really need three different vacuum cleaners?
Take a look around your house. Think about each item one at a time, Pick it up and hold it – is it really important to you? Is it necessary? Does it bring you joy? If you can’t say yes to these questions then it can probably be labeled CLUTTER and that means it is time for it to go! It’s just that simple! SIMPLIFYING doesn’t need to be complicated: Identify what’s most important to you and eliminate everything else. Edit your possessions down to the bare essentials. SIMPLIFY and get rid of everything that’s merely taking up space. Your home will look and feel amazing and you will find yourself surrounded with all the lovely things you love so much!
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” ~Albert Einstein
CHECK YOUR SCHEDULE – Time is a funny thing. It can consume us in the blink of an eye! I’m old school and use the Daytimer method for my personal schedule. I’m not always near a computer but rest assured my Daytimer is always close by. But some months or weeks I look at my little three ringed bible and exhale a great big sigh…. It’s jam packed with so many appointments and commitments that if I wanted to take a walk I would have to schedule it two weeks from next Thursday! That means it’s time to edit the schedule.
Take a good look and make sure that along with all the things you ‘have to do’ everyday there are some things that you ‘get to do’! Find and eliminate the CLUTTER in your schedule. I’m sure you are thinking but there is just too much and that you can’t fit it all in. But you can! Instead of picking up the cleaning on Monday, taking the dog to the vet on Tuesday, and then getting the oil changed on Wednesday – schedule all of your errands on one afternoon. Also be sure to leave a bit of room between appointments – you don’t want to have meetings back to back and not leave room for a healthy lunch or quick walk. Make your schedule work for you. SIMPLIFY it so that you can stay busy, get it all done and still have the time to relax and enjoy!
“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius
CLEAR YOUR MIND – Our brains can be busy places! They are filled with immeasurable amounts of knowledge and information. And on top of that we’ve all got voices in our heads reminding us to pay the electric bill, pick up dinner and don’t forget the cleaning. It can be overwhelming and before you know it our minds can be noisy and full of CLUTTER. Just like clearing our physical spaces, we can SIMPLIFY our minds too! Here are my two favorite tricks to a clearer mind:
Everybody knows that our minds and our bodies are NOT two separate things. If you’re not eating right and skipping the gym then you are much more likely to experience a poor mental state. Clearing your mind does not have to include a vigorous CrossFit workout and a gourmet meal. A simple brisk walk and a healthy salad can do wonders for your thought patterns and outlook on the world. So grab a carrot and get moving and watch the brain fog and clutter begin to lift.
The other trick is quiet. I’m always amazed when I come into my house and my kids have the TV on but they are on the phone or worse yet out of the room. So there blares the TV into an empty room. It seems that so many times we need to have sound for the sake of sound. What is wrong with silence? It’s the first step in clearing your mind and starting to fill it with the happy and the good stuff! So turn off the TV, the radio, the noisy dishwasher, the mobile alerts and sit in the quiet. Let your mind release the negative thoughts and emotions and start to fill it and focus on the positive.
“We should start choosing our thoughts like we choose our clothes for the day.” ~Farnoosh Brock
Life can be wonderful! So take control and spend the time to examine your physical surroundings, your time commitments and your mindset so that you are getting to focus on the things that really matter to you. Make the effort to clear the CLUTTER and SIMPLIFY so that each and every day can be filled with joy, success and lots of fun!
SIMPLIFYING TIP: What’s on your dining room table right now? Is it filled with this week’s mail to go through? Car keys? Folded laundry? An unfinished craft project?
Clutter attracts clutter, so a dining table scattered with random stuff is far more likely to end up a catch-all for more clutter. Keep your dining table clear. It only takes a couple of minutes to clear it and you’ll be amazed at the difference both visually and mentally!
If you desperately need something to decorate the space try one (and only one!) of the following:
- a simple bowl of fruit
- a vase with or without flowers
- a simple candle
- a table runner
- a colorful bowl
I’m thrilled to recommend Clutter Busting for Busy Women, How to Create a C.A.L.M Life to Have More Time & Energy by Virginia Barkley. Virginia is a strategist, organizer and coach and also a dear friend of mine! In this transformational book, she shares her strategies to eliminating the clutter in your life.
“Both the activities and belongings we choose to surround ourselves with are supposed to support and complement our lives. Yet, when we have so many unread magazines, unopened mail, and well-intended projects piling up that are causing us fatigue before we do anything, how can that be beneficial to our health, well-being and peace of mind?
Clutter creates an illusion of ‘busyness’, but it represents the opposite: stagnation. In this transformational book, ClutterBusting for Busy Women, Virginia shares her four-fold C.A.L.M. strategy with readers, empowering them to break free from their clutter and harness the energy of life — not stuff — to find personal fulfillment.”
CLICK HERE to order your copy now!
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Mindset Expert and Motivational Speaker, Kim Hodous is an award winning entrepreneur, author, speaker, a fun-loving mom and all-around lover of life. For more than 15 years, Kim has shared her laugh out loud funny but powerful message with thousands of entrepreneurs, executives and women across the country. Armed with the experience of taking her kitchen table hobby to a seven figure business, she combines the lessons she learned along the way with a fresh perspective on work and life. Kim shares the REAL DEAL on success, happiness, and health so you can live an extraordinary life!
To learn more about Kim, visit her website at www.kimhodous.com .