#239 Clean Out Your Files

We no longer need cases of statements or four drawers of filing cabinet space to keep track of our lives. A well organized filing system needs only to contain…

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#239

Clean out your filing system

Be Proactive

We’re half way through the year at this point and it’s a great time to be proactive about the important papers that you’ve either filed away or piled up. If you’re internet savvy, there’s really no reason to keep statements these days. Just about any financial statement you may need is available online at any given point – at least for the last three years or so. If you are still receiving paper statements, check them for accuracy and promptly file them or shred it.

Why Shred?

Shredding any statement, piece of paper, or bill that has your financial information on it is paramount in our culture today if you aren’t burning it. We all know destroying these sensitive pieces of paper is a key consideration to protect our identity and shredding is the most proficient way of accomplishing this task. It destroys the paper more efficiently than any other disposal method other than burning.

What to Keep

In general, the rule of thumb is to think of how difficult the document would be to replace. If it’s not readily available online or if it can’t be sent via email after a brief phone conversation than a filed copy may be in order. Most other things can be discarded, at least after your accountant has taken a look at it.

A good list of important documents to file versus what to throw away is by the Colorado State University Extension office – HERE (easy to print .pdf format).

We no longer need cases of statements or four drawers of filing cabinet space to keep track of our lives. A well organized filing system needs only to contain hard to duplicate documents, policies, and certificates – in alphabetical order, of course. It’s just a little thing that makes your life overall… easier and more orderly so wait for a rainy day and then get to work…

Cleaning out your filing system.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#240 Sharpen Your Knives

In my (average) experience, it’s not so much the knives but the ability to sharpen them that counts. Thankfully, these days we don’t have to resort to a whetstone or a honing rod.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#240

Sharpen Your Knives

It’s tomato season here in the mid-Atlantic which means that tomatoes are consumed almost daily in some capacity. Trying to cut through the skin of one with a dull knife is frustrating enough to rile any temper. When attempting to cut paper thin uniform slices, it’s imperative that one has a sharp knife. In fact, a sharp knife in the kitchen is perhaps, one of the most essential utensils. It’s one of those things that we don’t even know we need until we experience the frustration of not being able to cut our food.

Average knives are OK for most of us.

There are thousands of knives on the market, many touting their perceptual ability to sustain a sharp edge. Individual knives can go for hundreds of dollars each but I think the average household has pretty basic cutlery. In my (average) experience, it’s not so much the knives but the ability to sharpen them that counts. Thankfully, these days we don’t have to resort to a whetstone or a honing rod.

Sharpen it.

Electric knife sharpeners are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Keeping one in a kitchen cabinet where it is easily accessible means that if you can’t quite get through that tomato, with just another minute or two you can run your knife across a couple of wheels and get back to slicing. There’s something quite satisfying about being able to go from dull to razor sharp with just a few slides across the sharpener and then the simple success of cutting through your food with ease.

Happiness from the simple things is sometimes quite easy and only a reach away. You can start by making the effort to …

Sharpen your knives.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#241 Keep an Open Mind

Well, it appears that open minded people are actually happier. They tend to be more creative, more inventive, and score higher on academic exams.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#241

Keep an open Mind

Defined

What does it really mean to keep an open mind? By definition, one source states it is “a willingness to try new things or to hear and consider new ideas.” A long discussion on Quora concedes that it is mostly about considering possibilities over probabilities for all things because we are constantly discovering that some ‘facts’ were only our available perspective.

Possibilities

Being open minded means that we are amenable to discovering that what we once considered absolute may not actually be so. Remember when someone thought it was proper to bleed people with leeches? (yikes!) Or, when most of the world’s population believed the world was flat? (apparently, some still do!) Indeed, our thoughts and beliefs are always being challenged and without the ability to consider possibilities – no matter how probable – we will forever stay locked in a rigid belief system.

Benefits

Why would you want to be open minded? Well, it appears that open minded people are actually happier. They tend to be more creative, more inventive, and score higher on academic exams. They are overall more vulnerable, admit to mistakes more readily, and learn faster. Open minded people say “I can” and “let’s try” more than someone with fixed beliefs. Open minded people experience more variety in their lives.

Science and humanity are always teaching us that the only constant is change so it would make sense that believing in possibilities would open more mental and emotional doors. Wrapping our heads around the idea that no matter how probable – in this moment – something seems, it may actually, be possible; a concept that me can consider if we…

Keep an open mind.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#242 Begin Weight Training

It helps us to build bone also which staves off osteoporosis. Stronger bones and muscles means more stability and flexibility, reducing potential for injuries.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#242

Begin weight training

Truth is, building muscle is good for you. We know working out and aerobic exercise helps us to burn calories, burning at least as many calories as we consume is the way we keep our weight stabilized. The more muscles we have, the more calories we will burn and consequently, we can either eat a little more or loose a little weight.

Benefits

For women in particular, weight training is beneficial to women. Muscles burn more calories than fat and so our metabolism increases. Strength training helps us gain strength without building large muscles or bulking up. It helps us to build bone also which staves off osteoporosis. Stronger bones and muscles means more stability and flexibility, reducing potential for injuries. Additionally, our posture is better and we significantly reduce our tendency for back pain with a stronger core. All of these result in better mood and quality of life.

Getting Started

Squats, push ups, lunges, and planks are great muscle building exercises. The key is to do sets and build up slowly. Alternating sets and repetitions is one of the primary suggestions of trainers. If you’re unsure where to begin, a trainer is a smart way to get your challenge started. Their expertise is invaluable when it comes to what do do for what kind of result. Once you get established in a routine, there are plenty of apps, videos, and TV channels that will help you stay motivated and progressing.

Regardless of your age, there is a workout designed to keep your muscles strong and healthy. All you  have to do is …

Start weight training.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#243 Start Your Day with Motivation

Grab your tablet, your smartphone, or tune your smart TV to a speech geared to energize your mental energy and listen to something inspiring instead of the morning news while you eat breakfast or prepare for the day.

#243

Start your day with motivation

Your Daily Start

How do you start your day? Do you grab a cup of coffee and turn on the news? Pick up a newspaper? While it’s helpful to check traffic and weather to get your commute organized, it can be a real bummer reading or listening to the day’s headlines. When you get ready for your day do you pick through your closet and reject most of the pieces you grab? Are you frequently complaining about a bad hair day? Are you reeling with negative self talk about your weight, your wrinkles, or your schedule?

Make a Shift

If any of the above is true, is it any wonder that your day starts on a low note? Shifting that routine just a little my in fact completely turn around a dull perspective and give you a much more positive beginning each day.

Instead of listening to the news and all of its negativity, begin your day with something uplifting. Once again, we are living in a time when any information we want is at our fingertips via the internet making motivational messages only a few keystrokes away.

Watch & Listen

This is not a new concept… YouTube channels such as BeInspired and TED Talks are libraries for morning motivation. Searching motivational speakers will return inspiring lectures from Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Brene Brown, Brian Tracy, Marianne Williamson, and hundreds more. Almost any topic you find interesting is covered from finance and professional development to spirituality and personal growth. What area of your life do you want to grow? Grab your tablet, your smartphone, or tune your smart TV to a speech geared to energize your mental energy and listen to something inspiring instead of the morning news while you eat breakfast or prepare for the day.

The way we view life is greatly determined by the lens we begin our day with. Technology makes it easier than ever to make that choice for ourselves. Make your day better by making the decision to…

Start your day with motivation.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#244 Rearrange Your Furniture

It takes imagination to consider how things may appear in another configuration. It employs our capacity to think in spacial terms; recognizing angles, depth, and size.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#244

Rearrange your furniture

As strange as it sounds, one of my fondest memories as a child was coming home from school to find that my mother had rearranged the furniture yet again. It was a habit of hers and I’m convinced that she had a personal goal of discovering an unlimited number of placement combinations.

Control

Perhaps it was something unexpected that brought delight and pleasure to my young and spontaneous mind. Maybe it was the anticipation of change, something new and novel.  Maybe it’s just as simple as giving an ‘old’ thing new energy. Sometimes, if the only thing we can find to have control of is moving furniture, then it creates an opportunity to empower.

Creative Energy

Rearranging your furniture also allows you to engage your inner creative. It takes imagination to consider how things may appear in another configuration. It employs our capacity to think in spacial terms; recognizing angles, depth, and size.

Feng Shui

When we move into a space we are sometimes in a hurry, not thinking about the best layout and furniture ends up staying in its original location. Other times we replace furniture that may not fit as precisely as its predecessor. And of course there is the consideration of Feng Shui, the Chinese practice of organizing items in our home in such a way as to create good ‘qi’ – meaning good ‘energy’.  Depending on what elements (wealth, health, love) you want to attract or support in you life, you’ll want to place certain pieces of furniture in specific areas of your room. Additionally, getting rid of everything that you don’t love is imperative – even if Great Aunt Ellen gave it to you.

Take a look at the area you are sitting in now… allow yourself to imagine the space a little differently and then…

Rearrange your furniture.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#245 Go to a Fair

This is where you’ll find the Grand Champion Bull and the best tasting jar of bread and butter pickles. These local fairs are a breeding ground for the future …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#245

Go to a Fair

All American

Is there anything more American than a County or State Fair? Similar to a festival in that it brings communities and/or groups together, a county or state fair is designed for the exhibition of animals and events associated with agriculture. This is where you’ll find the Grand Champion Bull and the best tasting jar of bread and butter pickles. These local fairs are a breeding ground for the future of at least one part of our food supply chain. In addition, they are platforms for students and adults across the nation to show off their hard work in textiles, with animals, food, and plants, as well as heritage and crafting projects.

New Stuff

If you are looking for a new hybrid Azalea, chances are you’ll find one at a State Fair. Would you like to motivate your children to take up sewing? A stroll through the textile area will offer a glimpse into the creations of other children in her age group. Do you want to know how to get the best egg production from your Long Island Red rooster? Talk with people who won ribbons in that category. If you’re interested, even the vendors are touting their newest and shinest machinery, gadgets, and electronics to make your endeavors higher producing, more efficient, and/or less costly.

Food

As if all that isn’t enough to entice you, some of the best local food can be found at County Fairs. There is typically a ‘food barn’ where local women have set up a pop up restaurant of sorts – home cooking at it’s finest (at least in some locals), usually to support the community 4-H programs that are represented there. Comfort food like Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings or Uncle Pete’s Fire Chili (perhaps a Blue Ribbon Winner) are most likely on the menu.

Entertainment

Of course there are rides and games to make the environment charged with excitement and anticipation but maybe the icing on the cake is evening entertainment which, varies of course by location and Fair size. There will likely be tractor pull competitions, demolition derbies, or big ticket concerts most evenings of the fair. Additionally, it’s a common platform for Country music artists early in their career, giving us an early introduction to some great musicians. Typically a fair runs a week, give or take a couple of days.

A simple Google search for county or state fair with the addition of your state identity (i.e., New York county fair schedule) should give you all details so that you can grab the fam and …

Go to a Fair

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Matthew Miner on Unsplash