#221 Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Allow the anticipation to build as you imagine yourself in a new vacation spot. It will be new and exciting…

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.

#221

Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Are you someone who goes to the same beach town each year? Do you have a timeshare that you visit every vacation? Do you have a mountain cabin, lake house, or beach bungalow that is your home away from home? Does that mean that you rarely see other parts of the country or of the world?? Perhaps it’s time for you to explore a little and schedule a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Ready for change

What type of landscape attracts you? What city have you always dreamed of visiting? Is there a place of solitude that has been tugging at your interest? If you weren’t tied to your family’s choice, where would you go? Are you bored to tears at the lake, looking for more nightlife than the crickets and fireflies offer or are you fed up with the traffic and city lights?

Where to go

Take a look at your calendar and a good hard look at a map… what part of the world is calling you? Maybe it’s just around the corner and is easily attainable. For destinations halfway around the world, it may take a bit more planning and saving but with dedication to the goal – still attainable. If you can’t decide then write down the top five and draw from a jar or close your eyes and point. If all else fails, try the old fashioned dart throw. After a destination is decided upon, investigate and plan. Take a look at all your options and put together a budget.

Pleasurable anticipation

Allow the anticipation to build as you imagine yourself in a new vacation spot. It will be new and exciting… perhaps a bit strange if you’ve been used to a particular location but discovering new things is responsible for pleasure more often than  not. A fresh location to experience rest and relaxation may be just the thing you need this year so go ahead and…

Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

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.

#255 Try a New Food

New foods shake up our taste buds and make meals more interesting. Trying something out of the ordinary addresses our sense of adventure and may meet part of our need for variety.

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.

#255

Try a new food

Is there a type of food that you’ve never tried? Have you had Thai food? Vietnamese? Lebanese? Sushi? Beef Tongue? Tripe? Escargot? Liver? Eggplant?

There’s a good chance that a few of you already incorporate one, two, or more of these into your regular diet and there’s a better chance that most of you have yet to try at least one or two of these edibles. As a child, I never developed a taste for Eggplant no matter how much tomato sauce smothered it and yet as an adult I was blown away by a Ratatouille recipe I found last summer and thoroughly enjoyed some fried eggplant my daughter made after we brought home a box full from our farm share.

My grandfather raised Black Angus cattle and tried to entice us with beef tongue a time or two… honestly – as children we were completely disgusted with the concept but one of my favorite Mexican restaurants serves tongue tacos and they are amazing!

I’ve ventured into Sushi in recent years and can’t quite get to the Shishimi level but most other parts of the menu – the cooked items – are new favorites and really – anything with Wasabi… Yum. (Try mixing a little into ranch dressing for a new kick).

Lots of foods that we turned our noses up to in our younger years may have a new lease in your diet but you have to give them another chance. I flat out refused to eat Asparagus as a teenager but it is a staple on my grocery list these days.

New foods shake up our taste buds and make meals more interesting. Trying something out of the ordinary addresses our sense of adventure and may meet part of our need for variety. If you’re going to go out to dinner – go someplace new. If nothing else, go someplace that is offering something you won’t eat at home (making Escargot may be more involved than a typical weeknight allows for).

Even if you can’t get motivated to change this dramatically and find yourself at your neighborhood Applebee’s for the second time this week… at least order something different from the menu!! The point is to shake it up a bit and …

Try a new food.

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

Photo by Jesse Hanley on Unsplash

#260 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

The only problem with this concept is that style and interest changes as time goes by. After a few years, that significant investment represents a dated design.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#260

Change your curtains

I’ve talked a lot about little things around the house that create a big impact on our mental health and sense of well-being. When our daily environment is in order, we feel more in control. When our personal space is tidy and tailored to our taste, we experience a deeper sense of comfort and belonging – both important elements of true happiness.

One of the little things that can change the entire feel of a room is to change the curtains. Window dressings can be art, contributing to the overall decor in a majestic way.

They can be simple and elegant.

jcpenney-drapes-curtains-grommet-unique-unique-window-curtains-at-jcpenney-curtains-for-patio-doors

They can be creative and a deeply personal expression of you.

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They can be eclectic and colorful.

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Some people invest a lot of money in window treatments and feel compelled to keep them for a long time. The only problem with this concept is that style and interest changes as time goes by. After a few years, that significant investment represents a dated design.

If you’re not feeling particularly creative, use Pinterest to collect images of things you might like, things you may want to consider as you contemplate a change. As you consider modifications, remember to step out of your comfort zone and take a bit of a risk. Without that, nothing can be different. What would your choice be if you were to …

Change your curtains.

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

 

#271 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

So, getting up and watching the sun rise may impact your thoughts; reinforcing that there are constants in the world. Standing with your face against the Eastern breeze as the sky turns orange …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#271

Get up for the sunrise

Some of you may do this daily as you prepare to begin your work day and yet there are millions of you who don’t frequently make time to experience this daily wonder, but do you really ‘see’ it??  Depending on the day of course, the sunrise is either visible, or not. It is either majestic, or not. But, it is always dependable and THAT is part of it’s wonder.

The sun comes up regardless of politics, pains, joys, seasons, etc. and while it may seem like a rather primitive or conspicuous concept, it has value because of its constancy. Like ‘Annie’ always sings… “the sun will come up tomorrow”. It’s good to know that no matter how much change happens in our lives, the sun will still come up like it did yesterday and will again tomorrow; whether you actually ‘see’ it or not.

So, getting up and watching the sun rise may impact your thoughts; reinforcing that there are constants in the world. Standing with your face against the Eastern breeze as the sky turns orange and/or pink offers a perfect opportunity to experience a very specific type of mindfulness. Depending on where you live, it takes somewhere between 2 minutes (at the equator) and 5-6 minutes in northern latitudes for the sun’s disk to rise above the horizon. That offers a short – but impactful – opportunity to practice mindful gratitude with a very specific visual.

Yes, gratitude because the sunrise represents yet another opportunity for you to begin anew. It acts as a reminder that some things just are – no matter what – a reminder that is beneficial to us periodically. It represents a certain amount of energy available from the Universe and if you are there – watching it… go ahead and grab it.

It’s just a few minutes of your time and although it’s early in the morning, I can’t think of any other way to jump start each morning. Grab your coffee or tea, step outside, and embrace the magic of the moment since you made the decision to…

Get up with the sunrise.

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

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

#337 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Either rearrange your perfunctory behaviors or add something significant. Beginning something new is especially effective when it is constructive to personal growth. Begin a gratitude journal or take a class; learn a new language or how to play an instrument.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#337

Change your routine

How often do you feel you’re in a rut? Do you ever get the sense that life is just full of habits, routine, and rituals? Perhaps mostly unconscious?  Has your daily routine become mundane?

You see, moving along in the rut of routine can impact our ability to be notice life. It becomes so rote that we enter autopilot mode and tend to fall asleep at the wheel, so to speak. Remember that time when you arrived at your destination but noticed that you had no recollection of actually driving there? That’s how easy it is for our brains to check out… to shift into unawareness.

What doesn’t grow, will eventually die and so when you notice monotony settling into your day to day life it’s important to be aware. It’s a loud and clear signal that some element of your routine needs to be rearranged. Perhaps you go for a walk after breakfast instead of before. Maybe you eat your largest meal around noon and lighten it up in the evening.

Deleting habits that aren’t productive can also be beneficial. If you habitually wake up, pour coffee, and light a smoke… try waking up – meditating (or praying) for 5 minutes – and shower before grabbing your coffee. Set the alarm 30 min earlier and take a walk, go to the gym after work, or make dinner from scratch. Making these small changes to your daily activities can produce enough variety to kick you out of the doldrums. Getting out of that rut may be a simple tweek, as you just…

Change your routine.

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

#351 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

I would pick up the book and without reading the cover, I would open it haphazardly and read what was there. IF it resonated, even slightly, I considered it.

My goal is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#351

Self-help books on the nightstand

Heraclitis, a Greek philosopher stated “Change is the only constant in life” – a quote you’ve probably seen a hundred times as you moved into adulthood. We know it to be true and some of us experience an unequal amount of change through the course of our lives. Typically, I find that we attribute this quote to external things; our jobs, our environment, our friends, perhaps spouses… Rarely do I find that people are introspecting about personal change.

Unless of course, they are of the ‘self-help’ mindset and/or focused on their mental health as a habit. I’d love to encourage everyone to adopt a ‘self-help’ mentality – in part so that we each take personal responsibility for our actions, reactions, relationships, and lives. The broader part though is that we too, are always changing and if we are not doing so in awareness, we get caught off guard.

Keeping a ‘self-help’ book on your nightstand or in your kindle/e-reader will help you stay present with where you are and what you are thinking. If doesn’t have to be heavy duty stuff all the time. It can be a book of inspiring quotes that reminds you of the progress you’ve already made. It can be a bible that reinforces your faith (yes, I put the bible in a ‘self-help’ category).

I’ve been known to have a stack; a variety of books on a variety of topics – all designed to make me ‘think’ about myself and my life below the surface of where I am living it. Some books are the kind that I am reading from beginning to end – perhaps slowly so that I can absorb new ideas as I go along. A few are the kind that I can just open randomly and benefit from the words on that arbitrary page. Others are ones that I began but didn’t connect with right away and they’ve gone to the bottom of the pile for future contemplation.

I don’t pick self-help books – I let them pick me. In the days that I began my collection, I would peruse the personal development and/or the spirituality section of the bookstore; allowing my eyes to roam across the titles like a gentle wave until something specific caught my attention. Once it did, I would pick up the book and without reading the cover, I would open it haphazardly and read what was there. IF it resonated, even slightly, I considered it. I still use that method, but I buy half as many bound books these days as I’ve fallen in love with Audible and the ability to listen no matter what I am doing. I often listen to books over music and find that I’m ‘reading’ more than ever with this option available to me.

I will caveat this idea with the warning that one can ‘overload’ on information and it’s equally important to allow yourself to step back from ‘self-improvement’ from time to time so that the things you’ve learned can take root. Personal growth is best accomplished the way we physically grow – in spurts with solidifying periods in between. I found the best way to keep myself motivated along the way is to have…

Self-help books on the nightstand.

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