A good life, a productive life, all starts with I - or "Y" - because it's all about each of us taking care of ourselves. You taking care of you, that is!
Consider these key points, the ingredients, in my opinion, to productive and happy days, weeks and life. We all go through periods where we forget them or we see-saw back and forth with uneven balance on some and not others.
It can be tough to keep life balanced, but if you can keep all of these things in check, mostly everything seems to stay in check and you may discover yourself moving through to-do list after to-do list with amazing clarity, feeling content and having the brain power to plan with amazing efficiency!
If you aren't keeping these things in check, what is stopping you? It may be your home... that's right, you just knew I would bring this back to the function and aesthetics of your home, right?
It's true though. You hate your bedroom, the mattress is uncomfortable..... this is not something you should continue to put off. SLEEP is a priority, probably the number one priority; so if you do nothing else, please, please, please do what you can to turn that bedroom into as much of a sanctuary as you can.
Do you exercise? Oh, you can't because you don't have the floor space? There is just no where with any room or the kids toys are all over the place? EXCUSES. Move that coffee table out from the center of the room or take those leafs out of the dining room table to MAKE ROOM TO MOVE! I can't think of one home I've ever been in where there is not a piece of furniture that is rarely used, taking up valuable floor space that would be just enough for a quick daily workout.
Pamper your elf! That's right... your elf? You've got one, right? I can't believe I just noticed that typo but it cracks me up so I just decided to go with it because.. well, why not, it made me laugh. And we all know LAUGHING is important!! Can you imagine how awesome life would be if we all had a little elf to do all our grunt work for us! Suppose I should add DREAM here!
Of course, that really should say, PAMPER YOURSELF!! Get the rubber duckies out of the tub and splurge a little on some nice bath salts, candles and a bottle of wine and have yourself a soak. Or maybe pampering yourself means something else.. turning a table into a pretty little vanity; buying new, thick, fluffy towels; even setting aside $15 per week for a quick mani or pedi, or getting a new cushion for that chair or window seat so you can sit comfortably. Everyone should have that super-comfortable spot they love to retire to at the end of a long day. Do it!
VACATION! You have to get away. We all have to stop and refuel our minds for the everyday stuff that inevitably becomes so routine. Go. Book it now. If you book it, you will make it happen. As I head out for two weeks of ocean-front vacationing tomorrow, I urge you. Do it! So excited!!
I covered that already, well, sort of. I plan to, on vacation and everyday. Don't take yourself so seriously and learn to laugh at the stresses. It's the only way to make them tolerable in a way that they don't derail your productivity. My parents weren't quite ready to budget in the new wallpaper in our bedroom when I was a kid. So what did they do?.... They took the wallpaper down, gave us carte blanche with our crayons and we illustrated the walls ourselves. They didn't take themselves too serious. We giggled and laughed the whole time doing it and they laughed every time they looked at it.
Be contemplative. Don't always rush to act. MEDITATE! So much of life these days is geared toward capitalizing on people's impulse. I don't work with my clients that way. Trust me, just because everyone and their neighbor, sister, mother and brother has a chevron rug doesn't mean you need one too. Really think about the things you want and plan for them. That will ensure you make decisions to invest in things you love now and will love for years to come.
EAT WELL to LIVE WELL! I can't stress enough the effects that you will discover when you eat as clean and natural a diet as possible. There is a direct correlate to what you consume and take in to your body and how you relate to the world around you. You will be more calm, clear-headed and energized. If you are transforming your diet and paying closer attention to what you eat and it hasn't changed the way you respond to the physical world around you, well, I won't believe you. It's just not possible. Food fog - the brain we get when we eat crap - is sure-fire fuel for failure and bad decisions. Fact.
WATER is the most essential nutrient our body needs. Just as we are over-stimulated by technology, so too are we over-stimulated by sugary drinks, snacks and fast-food these days that our minds are tricked [aka brainwashed] to crave these things in preference of water. Do I really even need to talk about this? We all know it, but yet we don't do it. I'm guilty. I have to remind myself and I fall off the wagon too. Our human failing is that we so often have a hard time remembering to do the things that are so easy and good for us. So here is a reminder of all the reasons why we need to do better!
Oh and no worries, you can drink your wine too! 4 oz. seems to be the prescribed amount, according to researchers and our medical professionals. Let's just all be happy I won't be there measuring out your wine as long as you promise not to measure mine either!
And finally, TAKE BREAKS! This is different than sleep and meditating. This is about knowing when enough is enough and recognizing when you are trying to do too much too quickly. Learn to know when it's more productive to take a 10-minute walking-off-the-job to step outdoors and breathe in some fresh air timeout. Recognize when it's time to let go of the I-need-to-get-this-done-now frenzy because you just came home with a trunk full of imported "pretties" [for now, anyway] made of MDF and particle board because you have a party in a week and the stuff you really wanted wouldn't be ready in time. Yikes. Don't.Do.This! Be patient. Chill and breathe so you make the decisions that make the most sense long term, rather than instant gratification for the moment.
Would taking care of ourselves and getting things done be easier if we had an Elf?
I'll ponder this while I'm on vacation. WATER, WINE and SLEEP. Oh yeah, that's where I'm headed.
See you in September!!