#56 RePot Your Plants

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.

#56

RePot Your Plants

This is often a spring activity but for houseplants, why wait? Especially if they are dropping leaves, not flowering, or quickly drying out – potential signs of a root bound plant. Some people think that as long as plants get enough water and a little sun – that’s all there is to it. Not so!

Over time, that sun and water allow the plant to grow, developing a nice root system as it does so. Those roots can take over the entire pot as it absorbs nutrients from the soil. You may notice roots poking through the bottom of the pot or starting to lift at be base of the plant. Both are clear indications that the plant is desperate for a bigger home.

There is a right and wrong way to repot a plant and the internet is full of videos and articles that explain the best method for the type of plant that you are working with. In some cases, you can literally saw the root ball in half and make two out of one.

For others, transitioning the plant into more comfortable digs means that you need to loosen the soil around the roots as it often gets compacted. Think about how good it would feel to stretch out in your bed after being cramped on a long economy flight and you’ll be able to empathize. Fresh soil is to a plant what nice clean sheets are to a tired traveller. Once your plants have taken up residence in their new home, they’ll need a little extra tender loving care until the root system takes hold in its new environment.

Bound roots aren’t the only reason you may need to repot your plants. The leaves tell a story too, about the soil conditions and potential problems that may require a fresh mix. The Sill is a great resource for plant lovers and problem solving. It’s really a one-stop resource for house plant care.

Live plants add good energy to your living environment and help to keep the air fresh. A little love goes a long way so take care to show them some and …

Repot your plants.

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

#71 Do It Again (Don’t Give Up)

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

#71

Do It Again ~ Don’t Give Up

Remember the proverb “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again”?  [attributed to William Hickson but thought to originate from Thomas Palmer]

And what about “There is no failure except in no longer trying” – Elbert Hubbard

Or “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished  by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all” – Dale Carnegie

Perseverance

Many of the most successful people in the world attribute their success to perseverance and indeed, it is simply required to succeed on most levels. We hear time and time again, stories of people who applied numerous times, who auditioned over and over, or who replicated experiments nonstop until success was achieved. While we certainly must have limits and set boundaries for our emotional and physical health, as long as there is something to gain – having the grit to continue is typically a good idea.

Tipping Point

Is there a time to give up? Most experts agree that it is a healthy decision to redirect when we no longer have advantage in the endeavor. Obviously, if continuing would generate harm from either a physical or an emotional perspective – it’s O.K. to refocus in a different direction. The secondary question is about priorities.

Priorities

How important is this thing that you are trying to accomplish? Are you working to discover the next cancer treatment? Are you attempting to learn a new language? Getting into physical shape? Or learn a new crochet stitch? These are examples of things that may certainly be within your reach if you keep trying. Spend your perseverance energy on those things that serve your interests. Sometimes, the cost of continuing far exceeds the potential benefit. Focus on the things that you value and let go of those that you do not.

Extra Push

When you get frustrated or tired in your pursuit of a goal it’s great to have a motivation kit. It’s not as neat and tidy as it sounds because we often need different motivations for different tasks. When you’re going to the gym and want to give up – that’s when you hire a trainer or get a gym buddy. Create a support system that is also invested in your success – mom, dad, your best friend or your boss.  They are the people who often will encourage you – often blindly – in the direction of your dreams. Create a vision board to help keep you steered in the direction you want to go. Define your priorities and make a list – keep it in front of you at all times.

Whatever it is – go for it and find the strength to …

Do it again ~ don’t give up.

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

 

#73 Hire a Physical Trainer

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.

#73

Hire a Physical Trainer

Are you a faithful gym goer? Are you completely sure your workout is the one that best fits your body and goals? For a trainer to work with you and establish a set of exercises that will help you reach your goals and efficiently develop your muscles, you will spend anywhere between $40 and $90 an hour. Considering that a trip to the emergency room can run in the thousands, a trainer makes more sense.

Accountability

Perhaps one of the most beneficial elements of paying for a personal trainer is that he or she hold us accountable for reaching the goals we establish. On those sets where we can’t seem to bring ourselves to finish – the trainer is there to encourage us and help see us to the finish line.

Variety

When we get used to a routine, it’s good for awhile but then it can become boring and when something is boring – we’re less likely to pursue it over time. Additionally, a trainer is versed in a number of different workouts that work the same goal and can help us change thing sup so that our goals are achieved without the workout becoming mundane.

Stubborn Fat

Trainers are experts in knowing how to get those spots on our body that remain resistant to self motivated reduction. Whether it’s belly fat, arms, or the small back rolls that pop up with a few extra pounds – a trainer may have a trick or two that can address those problem areas.

Self Care

Hiring a trainer is an ultimate form of self care. Its demonstrating that you are important enough to invest in yourself. It’s not only the professional advice, but the dedication to pursue a workout that helps you to reach your physical health goals.

No matter your age, indeed – at every age – an expert directing your workout can provide benefit beyond what has been mentioned. Give yourself a boost to any New Year’s resolutions you may make about getting to the gym and commit to …

Hiring a personal trainer.

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

 

#163 Clean Your Lampshades

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.

#163

Clean your lampshades

While this may seem like an odd suggestion in terms of creating a ‘happier, healthier, and more productive life”… it does fit into the ‘healthier’ category. Lampshades are a significant culprit for holding dust. Have you looked at yours lately?

And the problem is…

Accumulated dust can be problematic for a lot of us, in particular, those who suffer from asthma. Think of how much dust is wiped away with a weekly furniture dusting. If you don’t dust your lampshades equally, the layers build and contribute to pollutants in the air of your home. For the purpose of this article, a lampshade can reference any light cover so it includes the ‘globes’ that adorn many hanging light fixtures. They are all rather invisible as we routinely move a dust rag through the house.

The Tools

I prefer to vacuum mine… when I get the gadgets out to do baseboards, I’m usually in the frame of mind to get the dust creatures lurking in random spaces so the lampshades (who are major culprits of hiding those buggers) – get a good vacuuming with the brush gadget. A microfiber towel lightly sprayed with dust spray or slightly damp will also work as does a good, old-fashioned sticky lint roller. Organization and cleaning experts suggest filling the tub and washing anything that can tolerate water. (A tub is large and can easily accommodate larger shades.)

Dust particles exist everywhere in our environment and while there are some ways that we can reduce their presence, they’ll never completely disappear simply because living things release their dead cells constantly. Clean air filters on your HVAC system will help, air purifiers trap more, and frequent vacuuming and dusting support the efforts.

Little Buggers

Allowing too much dust to accumulate invites the critter ‘dust mite’ into your life. Many people are very allergic to mites and experience consistent sinus and respiratory issues. Reducing dust in often ‘invisible’ areas – such as lampshades – reduces the potential nesting areas for mites; creating a better breathing environment all around.

Would your shades pass the white glove test? You may want to grab the gadget of your choice and do your lungs the favor of …

Cleaning your lampshades.

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

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

My goal, for those of you who are curious, 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.

#356

Keep a running list of to-do items

For years now, I’ve kept a running list of to-do items on my computer desktop. I keep it open so that it is easily accessible when I think of something to add. I add everything… even those things that are more wish list than to-do matters. When items are completed, they get deleted.

I acknowledge that this technique isn’t necessarily advantageous to everyone. I often suggest it to clients as a method to be more organized and I see varying reactions. Perfectionists sometimes feel too anxious to leave something open and undone at the end of a day. People who think more concretely may react to the inclusion of ‘wish list’ items as too indefinite.

The benefits out weigh the objections in my opinion. I think we all have had moments when we can’t remember what we wanted to do in reference to a particular project, or we’ve had the experience of doing one thing and then thinking we should have included another but forgot it had been a consideration.

I glance at my list when I head to Home Depot, the mall, or my local craft store… how many times have I returned from the home improvement store only to remember that I wanted to get spray paint for another project, a decorative knob, or a specialty lightbulb? On a rainy Saturday afternoon, the list reminds me to look for a misplaced necklace, clean out the junk drawer, or fix the torn seam on my coat.

While I do sometimes use it for my day-to-day tasks, this running list is more about those obscure details that sit under our obvious awareness and, because they are not common in our thoughts, are easily forgotten.

Truth be told… some of the items on my list sit there so long they become obsolete. I had the intention of making a window seat cushion for years in my old house… it never got done. I have items like that on my list now. They are wish list pieces that keep me motivated and focused. They may or may not come to fruition, but the ideas sit there and I don’t stress about them. In fact – I appreciate that I have a forum to keep them in my consciousness. Try it!

Keep a running list of to-do items

TTAH

 

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

Photo by Stacy Spensley on Foter.com / CC BY

TEN TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY

People go to therapy for various reasons certainly. Some are coping with stress or anxiety; others with depression or grief. Couples may seek counseling for infidelity, communication, or intimacy deficiencies. Perhaps others may go to bolster self-esteem and/or confidence.

No matter the reason, there is a distinct difference between those who get the most out of the experience and those who decide that ‘therapy didn’t work’.

Here are my tips for getting the most bang for your buck.

Find a therapist you like.

Obviously, you won’t ‘know’ the therapist but it is imperative that you feel as though you connect to that person. You will be sharing your deepest self with them and a certain level of trust and comfort is needed for you to experience the kind of vulnerability that will ultimately help you. It may take a couple of tries with a few therapists to find one. Be patient and persevere through the process. Most therapists will refer you to someone ‘different’ than them if you let them know it’s not a good fit.

Be honest.

A therapist can only work with the information they receive. If you don’t lay all the puzzle pieces on the table, you are wasting your money and their time. If it is too difficult to throw it all out there in the beginning – say that. Let the counselor know that the story is hard for you to open up about but you hope to tell the whole of it as time goes by. We are trained to be patient and guide you gently to the truth.

Keep a Therapy Notebook.

And take it to your appointments. You only have an hour and in that hour your therapist may share some important information with you. It’s difficult to remember everything when you get home especially if the session was emotional. In addition, there may be ‘homework’ and you’ll have more success if you know exactly what is recommended. If you can’t write in the session for some reason – when you get to your car – write down your thoughts; as many as you can while it is fresh in your mind. In addition, keep the notebook near you in between sessions so that you can write down thoughts and/or questions you want to discuss at your next meeting.

Do the Work.

Not only is it important for you to do the ‘homework’ but you only spend an hour (on average) a week with your counselor. What are you doing the other roughly 150 – 180 hours in between therapy appointments? It’s vital for you to *think* about your situation, your growing opportunities, and the ideas / suggestions that your therapist makes after you leave the office.

Read.

There are thousands of books about various mental health topics and a few of them are excellent in each subject matter. Your therapist has one perspective that is beneficial and either supporting it or gaining another by reading is often valuable. Many counselors recommend supportive reading, so ask. Read, underline, earmark, highlight the parts of the book that resonate with you – ignore the parts that don’t. Not every paragraph or chapter applies to your particular scenario so don’t let the parts that you don’t connect to rob you, deter you from the parts that speak to your heart. Furthermore, if you find you are stuck on something, make a note and bring it up in therapy; perhaps it is a point that you can pull apart and digest in session.

Keep Going.

One of the biggest mistakes people make regarding therapy is that they stop going when they begin to feel a little better. However, lasting change needs reinforced and cemented into place. Clearly, the frequency of sessions can decrease as you improve but maintaining change is a supportive process and your therapist is the key support person.

Be Patient.

Change takes time! Sure, you want to feel better now; we understand. Realize though that true change, the kind that lasts longer than a few weeks – happens slowly. In many ways, you are learning a new language; a new way of being. Chances are your situation didn’t evolve over a short time span and so it’s irrational to think that it can change right away.

Be Kind.

Going to therapy is one of the best ways to practice self-care. You are making time to look at yourself and make a change. That’s great! It’s incredibly important for you to express internal kindness – be a friend to yourself – throughout the process. Many, many people struggle from time to time because no one is perfect and no one can go it alone ALL the time and stay healthy. Make learning to love yourself part of your growth.

Get Support.

Let your peeps – those who know and love you – know about this important step you’ve taken to feel better about yourself and your life. Again – no one is without some element of hardship or challenge from time to time. Working to make positive change in one’s life is an extremely respectable step.

Offer feedback.

Therapists don’t know everything. Sometimes, we hypothesis as we collect information from you and our suggestions don’t work or need to be reworked. Let us know what is helping you and what isn’t. If we make a recommendation and it feels really ‘off’ to you – say something. Our job and our passion is to help you feel better.

There are dozens of different therapeutic ideologies that counselors practice from. Some are solidly positioned inside one frame (i.e., Psychodynamic Theory) and others are eclectic – pulling strategies from a variety of platforms. There are as many different types, styles, and personalities of mental health professionals as there are people. For the best result – first and foremost – find someone you like!

Feel free to share and distribute as long as this source is credited.  www.ThisIsLeslyn.com – author Leslyn Kantner

 

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