#50 Window Shop

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.

#50

Window Shop

This term is probably on the brink of being obsolete as very few of us can identify at all with the notion of walking down a street lined with shops that promote their wares in the big front window. It was that stroll that identified the substance of Christmas lists of yesterday. Today, we ‘window shop’ by browsing through the ads injected throughout our social media accounts.

Inspiration

Window shopping can offer inspiration for a number of different areas of your life. It can inspire design when you see complementary colors positioned together. It can inspire a haircut you saw on a mannequin or it can prompt you to go home and recreate the skirt it was wearing. Window shopping can inspire you to cook more, read more, or exercise more just by glancing at the ‘message’ conveyed via the storefront display.

Motivation

Likewise, it can move beyond inspiration and sincerely motivate action to do any of the above. It can motivate you to clean house, organize, and redecorate. It can motivate you toward a goal after seeing something you would really like to have.

Patience

Window shopping can encourage and teach patience. When we only buy something once we have discerned it is the right time and the right price – we are acting in our best interest. Walking past a display two, three, or four times across a few days, weeks, or months may be just the amount of time we needed to make sure that our purchase wasn’t impulsive. A decision made after waiting and thinking is typically a better decision.

Staying Current

Window shopping is one of the ways that we can stay abreast of current trends and styles. Merchandise design is a specialty in and of itself and consequently, we are often exposed to the newest thing when we walk past a storefront – a cleverly designed space to lure you into the shop where you are welcomed to spend your money.

Reinvent

Since many of us don’t have a ‘main street’ to stroll down, window shopping can take on a whole new meaning. Certainly, we browse through the mall from time to time – that counts. We can also internet browse by scrolling through Pinterest and the sites of our favorite stores. I will sometimes open those ad emails that get stuffed in my inbox and peruse the sale items… just looking to see if there is something that commands my attention.

Yes, there can be a downside to window shopping… if you have no impulse control – don’t do it. If you lean into greediness or jealousy – don’t do it. If you are resentful or bitter about your financial situation – don’t do it. Generally speaking, it’s a pleasant way to spend a little time now and then. If you’re in the market for something, need some inspiration or motivation, or just need to connect with the times, all you have to do is…

Window shop.

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

#80 Take the Long Road

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.

#80

Take the Long Road

While this advice may not always be in your best interest, sometimes taking the long road offers a range of opportunities.

Taking the long road home allows you to gather your thoughts and partition work related stressors away from the energy you want to greet your family with.

Taking the long road on vacation allows you to experience the culture and ambiance of the location you are visiting in a vastly different way than a freeway or interstate does.

Taking the [figurative] long road in responding to a hurtful remark will allow you to make sure that your return comments aren’t ugly and spiteful.

Taking the [figurative] long road to consider ethical challenges will most often allow you to feel confident that your considerations were well thought out.

Taking the long road may help you bypass the frustration of traffic congestion.

Taking the long road may allow you to explore a conversation that may otherwise get interrupted. Some of the best conversations happen in a car when parties are somewhat captive.

Taking the long road may allow you to contemplate a problem or run through solutions because driving and heading home are such rote activities

Of course, taking the long road may also use more gas, put more miles on your automobile (except when using the figurative sense) and ultimately cost more money. Yet, there are times when it’s a clear advantage to…

Take the long road.

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

 

#124 Realign Your Priorities

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.

#124

Realign Your Priorities

Why do you do what you do? What are your priorities? Do your actions – your behaviors – demonstrate your priorities? Are you engaged in the activity that you say is the most important thing?

Define Your Priorities

When asked this question, people often respond family, friends, home, work, etc… and often in that order. (Many people put God ahead of them all). Yet, as I ask a client to describe their day to day lifestyle, there is often a discrepancy between what I heard described and the values they shared to begin with. If someone tells me that their family is the most important thing on Earth but then works sixty hours a week, they are demonstrating that it’s not ‘time’ with family but ‘providing for’ family is the priority. This is a great example of what one person says and what the other ‘hears’. Jack and Jill both ‘say’ that family is their number one priority but their actions/behaviors delineated that further by drilling down to ‘time with family’ and ‘providing for family’. Often – those specific values work in contradiction to one another.

We could drill down even further to examine the nuances of each by describing ‘time’ more specifically… is that weekends and soccer games? Or is it story time and date nights too? Does ‘providing for’ mean any old roof over our heads or does it mean 3000 square feet and quartz counter tops? Does it mean private school and full college tuition or public schools and grant money?

Work in Progress

The fact is, our priorities develop and morph over time. If we are good communicators who are present and who spend time ‘going deep’ with our partners, they stay in alignment both with our actions/behaviors, and in tandem with our partner. I find that this is rarely the case – at least with couples who seek therapy.

Lose Sight

I think many of us fail to remember to check in with ourselves from time to time – let alone with sour partners. In our crazy busy world where we are constantly seeking more, we get stuck on auto-pilot – somehow thinking that because we got on ‘this’ road, it will take us where we want to go without more direction checking on our part. We set course based on the information we have garnered – at – that – time. Along the way, there are distractions, chaos, change, temptations, etc…. And we often lose sight of their original objective or we adjust course and forget to share that information.

Back on Track

Getting realigned takes little more than some self-assessment, a discussion, and honesty. It means revisiting your values and priorities to be sure they are still valid and then assess our actions/behaviors to evaluate their efficiency toward manifesting the priority. If ‘(quantity) time’ with family is above all else, working 60 hour weeks isn’t the route to that goal and it will require an honest conversation to realign the priority or to realign the action/behavior so that they work in tandem with one another.

Good Habits

We see our doctor for an annual physical. WE get systematic reviews of our professional performance. Our corporations are assessed for proficiency and profitability on a regular basis. As an individual who is ultimately responsible for backing up our words with action – it’s imperative that we do the same. Make it at least an annual habit to take a step back and …

Realign your priorities.

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

#132 Make Something For Someone

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.

#132

Make something for someone

There are few things better than being the recipient of a gift made with you in mind. The holiday’s are fast approaching and this suggestion is designed to encourage you to consider one or a few homemade gifts this year.

Personally inspired, homemade gifts have always been big in one arm of my family. The time, consideration, and attention to a gift that was created from a loving perspective has always been highly appreciated.

Of course, many of these items are derived from crafty hands but they don’t have to be. A homemade gift can be cookies, or a soup mix. It can be bath salts, vinegar, or infused oils – none of which take much talent outside of a Google search and assembling a few ingredients. Indeed – those particular suggestions are quite simple.

Make Your Own Vinegar

Infused Oils

Dry Soup Mixes

It can be more involved though, depending on your talents. Do you draw? Paint? Crochet? Sew? Build? Of course, artwork is always nice for young people just setting up house. A commissioned drawing or painting is great if there is a beloved pet, home, or photo that is meaningful to someone. Everyone needs an afghan for the couch or a cuddle blanket. It only takes a bit of time and talent to build a blanket ladder, a gift that most of us would love.

If your talent is more service oriented, then make an I.O.U.  Create a card, a certificate, or a coupon that offers your time to someone. The gift of babysitting, cleaning, yard work, cooking, home decorating, etc… the list is endless. Anywhere that an extra pair of hands is needed would be a welcome ‘gift’ to most all of us.

The holiday’s doesn’t have to be stressful on the budget – not to mention, birthday’s, thank you’s, or other special occasions when we have the ability to…

Make something for someone.

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

#154 Follow the 5 Minute Rule

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.

#154

Follow the 5 Minute Rule

About a year ago I ran across Mel Robbins and her explanation of the 5 second rule…. A commitment to start those things you’ve been putting off by counting down 5-4-3-2-1 – and GO. She does a much better job of discussing this and extolling its benefits – it’s worthy of attention if you procrastinate. Interestingly enough, as I was explaining it months later – I confused the concept by describing that we can do anything for 5 minutes so go ahead and … just do it. It’s different than Mel’s strategy but helpful nonetheless.

There are tons of things in our life – on our to-do lists – that we simply don’t want to do… we may dread it or be annoyed by our need to accomplish it. Perhaps it just feels overwhelming. The idea behind the ‘5 minute rule’ is that if spend just five minutes on that item  you are avoiding and still don’t find the wherewithal to keep going – then, stop; redirect and know that you made an effort.

Reality

What tends to happen here is that once we begin to attack something – the enormity of it goes away. We often finish before the five minutes is up, having manifested the ‘thing’ to be much bigger – more challenging – than it actually was. Additionally, after giving something five minutes of our time and attention, we frequently discover that we can keep going; that it isn’t that bad after all or that we’re halfway there.

Try It

As you go throughout your day and face something that feels overwhelming or too cumbersome to attack – consider using this 5 minute rule and step into it with a timer set. Let me know what the result is! I love to hear the successes or challenges when people make an attempt to …

Follow the five minute rule.

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

#216 Clean your Sock Drawer

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.

#216

Clean your sock drawer

You may wonder how this particular tip helps you lead an easier, happier, or more productive life and yet I know a ton of people who have a sock pile… a stack of single socks that lie in waiting for the match. Some lay so long that the elasticity of them degrades and any attempt at stretching results in that unwanted crinkle sound depicting sock death.

Marry those babies

Cleaning your sock drawer reunites all those singles; re-pairing them and increasing the ever-eroding options you have each morning as you dress your feet. How many of us wait until the drawer is empty of pairs before we take some time to organize? I’m convinced that the fad popular with kids these days of wearing non-matching socks is because it is easier than finding matches and/or cleaning out the sock drawer. For those of you not wanting to adopt the fad… maybe it’s time.

Repurpose singles

If your house is like mine, there will be socks that don’t match. I used to keep them for a year or so and then at the end of a year I assumed they were buried inside my washing machine or tucked in a sheet I never use so I threw them out or found a way to repurpose them (very interesting link here).

Minutes to spare

It really takes just takes a few minutes to lay them all out and make matches of the ones that have been separated from their mate. Matching the few pair that exist there will allow you to feel more organized, a little accomplished, and aware of what’s really there. Consider taking a couple of minutes as you dress tomorrow to …

Clean your sock drawer.

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