30 Day Tags

Yearly Archive: 2015

Moving Out and Up

buddytrukdormMoving is a very daunting, but exciting, proposition. It is a chore to box things up in odd-sized cartons and wield that mighty electric stapler wildly trying to keep everything in its place. But it is a new beginning of sorts that promises opportunities yet untapped.

You sort through your life in bits and pieces, trying to make sense of why you kept all this stuff in the first place and what memories are, or were, attached. Do you still care? You know you have to choose wisely as space is always at a premium. Part of the fun of moving is to buy new things and replace the old–in with the new, out with the old as the old adage says. But it is your life that is going into the trash basket so think long and hard as you cram the boxes full.

You want to organize your items in marked boxes so unpacking is a breeze. You can’t afford expensive prefab ones, so you do it yourself and assemble the cheaper kind. You buy a carton stapler, some heavy duty tape, and some tissue to wrap the bric-a-brac of your environment and keep it safe. It is a major job to be sure.

People say change is good every so often, but not the bad kind like death, divorce, or losing a job. We try to avoid negative change. Getting the chance to live in a new space is the right kind of alteration you need in your life when things get dull, stale, and routine. Moving up is the best revenge (the real George Herbert phrase is “living well is the best revenge” but what’s the difference?). It means a new job, new people, new places, and new scenes. It means expansion and growth, not retraction and defeat. No wonder people love to move. It means the best is yet to come. Aren’t we full of platitudes today!

Packing is time consuming and arduous; unpacking is about the same. No one likes it. You have to make room for your former self in a whole new context. One thing at a time, you place things appropriately with a new twist if you are clever. You never want to copy a former lifestyle. You must think of a new color scheme to apply judiciously to each and every room (hopefully you have many). You now have a chance to recreate yourself, if only for the moment. It is called building a new image and it applies to one’s appearance and personality as much as one’s surroundings. You get to have a lifestyle do over when things go awry.

So consider yourself lucky if you are about to pack up and take leave of your former space. Look at empty cartons as unfulfilled opportunities and the staple gun as a tool of progress. Think big, think better, and think “moving on up” like the Jeffersons of old TV. It can be a wonderful way to take stock of your life and refashion your world in a new image, one borrowed from somewhere else or one created in your mind.

You Are Worth It!

Personal improvement is a wonderful goal for everyone, whether they are happy with themselves or want a better life. It is all a matter of degrees. Transforming one’s being can happen in as short a time as one month if you set your mind to it.

The most obvious areas are in physical fitness and nutrition. In 30 days you can work your muscles into toned ropes and rev up your stamina to operate on high. You can boost memory and recall by eating vitamin-laden foods like fruits and vegetables and you can lower cholesterol and bad fats. You can keep carbs in check and diabetes at bay while you shrink your stomach and tighten your abs.

Yes, self-improvement is possible in a very short period of time. It is often about diet and exercise, changing one’s way of thinking, and embracing positive change. One thing that is sometimes forgotten in all this healthfulness is sleep. Getting too little often denotes depression and negative moods. It starves the body of energy and the ability to function normally, if not at peak strength.

One way to get regular sleep is to go to bed at the same time every night. It is often said that eating too late is a deterrent. Furthermore, you need a quiet ambience away from music and TV which can stimulate you to stay awake. Reading or sending emails, for example, is anathema. There is also something about the light from a cell phone or computer screen that is not conducive to nodding off.

Reading a book is a better bedtime activity. Never do exercise as it has the opposite effect. Light reading in semi-darkness is sure to get you drowsy. If you are fretting about it all, have a glass of milk as it is known to aid sleep better than over the counter supplements. I am a bit leery about them anyway as they are not always FDA tested. Who knows what chemicals or synthetics are involved.

Everyone wants gentle, natural sleep without resorting to dire tactics. One of the first things to consider is the state of your mattress. If it isn’t comfortable, you will toss and turn. It has to be the right amount of softness or hardness and there is no rule about that. A top-quality mattress can bring peaceful, restorative sleep. Studies show that sleep patterns are easily disruptive on the wrong type.

When choosing a mattress, you have to lie down on it to be sure it suits your needs, and this takes more than two or three minutes. It pays not to make snap judgments at the mattress store. You will want to try out a mattress designed for back pain if you have never considered it. It can be truly miraculous. The extra money spent will be returned handsomely in repeated sound sleep. You should be able to fall asleep within ten to fifteen minutes as a rule of thumb.

The right mattress is a bit of heaven and we owe it to ourselves given the amount of time we spend in bed. We are infinitely worth it. You don’t want to skimp with such essentials. You want to buy among the best and expect them to last a long time. Replace them as needed before they sag to the floor. You won’t do yourselves any favors by keeping them for eternity.

Clean House, Clean Mind

You can improve anything if you set your mind to it. You can change bad habits into good, wrong thoughts into positive feelings, and idle ways into productivity. And you can do most anything in thirty days like losing ten pounds, learning a new skill, or remodeling your kitchen. You can conquer the odds that are against you at every turn. Life is one big battle for survival so make it worthwhile.

It is all about wanting something, like the old saying denotes “where there is a will, there is a way.” You can tackle the impossible like stopping smoking or take on a challenge like learning a new sport. You can apply yourself in a million new ways. It is an exciting possibility to confront change and self-improvement. Nothing just happens in a beneficial way automatically. You have to control situations and people and get them on your side. You have to learn to turn the tide.

Some habits that are hard to break include sloppiness and disorder. A messy desk may well reflect a messy mind. The same holds true for your home. If you are loathe to wield a vacuum or dust rag, it indicates a certain laissez-faire attitude that is not desirable in any human being. No one wants to hire a slob or derelict. No one trusts a person who lives below his means. You must be true to your nature, of course, but not true to bad habits. You have to show you care.

Clean house, clean mind I always say. Project your mental control by taking care of your home. At the very least, tackle that desk. Get rid of all of those papers that are on it, give the top surface a wipe down and then pull out a good quality handheld vacuum and give the area underneath your desk and around all of your cables a clean. It is a symbol of your waking life. Make it speak volumes about your organizational ability and desire for everything in its place. This is a good rule of thumb as you go through life and any career you embark on. It is your alter ego and as such it must be in complete control, as a mirror of your inner self.

Are you a person that walks blindly through life, stumbling through work, teetering through play? Do you feel out of sorts with those who lead. When you let things slide, like chores, you become a follower, someone average and frail. Living in a dirt-filled environment, laden with clutter and trash, is a sure sign of needing help. You have to be aggressive about tidiness and diligent about waste. Think of discarded items as the refuse of life. Get rid of them so that your world is filled with energy and strength. There is no room for creativity in a messy sty.

Take my words for what they are worth. They are meant to prod you into a new view of your surroundings so you can take charge of things. Clean up after yourself, or hire someone to do it, but get it done on a regular basis. Believe in self-improvement and it, in fact, can be yours.

Thirty Days To Your First 5K

Thirty Days To Your First 5K

Have you been dreaming about getting into the best shape of your life, but aren’t sure where to start? Or perhaps you run on the treadmill at the gym, but your motivation levels are down because it feels like you are always doing the same old dull routine. Whether you are new to the fitness scene, or have been hitting the gym for years, here’s a great way to either kickstart or breathe some new life into your fitness program: set a brand new 30 day goal. Try something new; something you have only dreamed about, but perhaps have never dared to venture into. If you are searching for ideas, here is a great one: Plan to enter a 5K running event thirty days from now. Thirty days? Really? It may sound kind of sudden and perhaps a bit scary at first, but the fact is that it can be accomplished. So if you are ready, here is the thirty day challenge to running your first 5k:

Step 1: Pick an event to enter thirty days from now. Go ahead and do it. It may feel intimidating, but when you register for the event you will have immediately made the commitment to move forward with your dream. What’s so huge about making a commitment? Without it, there seems to be a thousand ways to conveniently get sidetracked, back away, or pursue other priorities. Commitment takes ideas out of the realm of “I’ll get to it someday”, and places them into the realm of a concrete plan. Once you have a plan, the willingness to work hard to obtain the results will follow. By hold yourself accountable to a goal with a fixed end date, it has a way of sparking motivation far beyond what could ever be mustered with a more open-ended approach to training.

Step 2: Get a calendar, and, block out a 28 day plan. Keep the calendar where you can see it, and mark off each day that goes by. You will be engaging in cardiovascular activity for 6 out of 7 days for the next four weeks. Day 29 will be an off day to rest up, and day thirty will be the big event. Also, have a notebook on hand to use as a training journal, so that you can document the work you have done. Finally, make sure you have a good stopwatch on hand, because you will be using it extensively over the next month.

Step 3: Now, for the details. This is a simple, straightforward routine, but it gets results. Start on day one by alternating between jogging and walking, using a basic strategy. Jog for 1 minute, and walk for 4 minutes. Alternate like this for 40 minutes, which will equal eight 5-minute blocks of time. At the end of your first workout, you will have run for 8 minutes, and walked for 32 minutes. Each day thereafter, you will gradually increase your amount of running time, and decrease your amount of walking time. Each workout, during the first week increase your running time during each 5 minute block by up to 15 seconds, while reducing your walking time by the same amount. By the end of week one, you should be running for 2 minutes out of every 5 minute time interval. Rest on the seventh day, and then begin week two. By continuing to increase your running time and decrease your walking time by up to 15 seconds during each 5 minute interval of each workout, you will be running for 3 minutes out of every 5 minute interval by the end of week two. Follow the same pattern to be running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute out of every 5 minutes by the end of week three, at which time you will be running for a total of 32 minutes and walking for 8 minutes. This means that you will have completely flipped your run to walk ratio in only three weeks! Week four is for you to gradually increase you consecutive minutes of running time. On day one of week four, you will run for 5 consecutive minutes, and then continue with alternating 4 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking for the rest of your workout. On day two of week four, you will run for 10 consecutive minutes, and so on, until you can run for 30 consecutive minutes by day six of week four. You will have one day to rest, and then on day thirty, you will run your first 5k event, and you will be well-prepared to not simply survive the run, but to enjoy it.

So there is a simple, common sense approach to improving you level of fitness in just a few short weeks. Good luck with your training, and remember; far more can be accomplished in thirty days than you ever thought possible!

My 30 Day Project to Organize my Life and be More Efficient

30 day project to get organized. What steps will I take to get there?

I’m going to attempt to Declutter and organize my house and life. I will begin by taking the first day to schedule my project into my daily routine. Then I will list what I intend to do and when I get done each day, I can check it off.

Day 1. I feel inspired and a little nervous, but I have my schedule done.

Day 2. I will clean out and organize my car day.

  1. I will declutter my purse.
  2. I will declutter, clean, and organize my entryway.
  3. I will clean, declutter, and organize my garage.
  4. I tackle the laundry room the same way I did the garage.
  5. I pare down the contents of the coat closet. The first week has been completed or is complete and I feel accomplished. The perimeter of my life is finished.

Day 8. I will remove books from some bookshelves dust and rearrange some better.

Day 9. I’m gonna do the photos. I’ll make sure they are protected and organized.

  1. I will dive into my desk and file, organize, and declutter.
  2. I will sort and organize any paperwork not on my desk.
  3. Clean, reorganize, and take inventory of my craft room.
  4. Christmas supplies get inspected and organized.
  5. clean, sort, and organize my jewelry, loose and boxed. Feeling worn out but I’m proud of myself. My office and business life is organized and running much smoother.

Day 15. It’s time to go through and sort my coupons, trashing the expired because I will need them soon. Day 16. I clean, organize and inventory the pantry making makes mealtimes easier.

Day 17 go thru all the take-out menus and make one for our next grocery shopping trip.

Day 18. Clean out the fridge, wipe it down, and rearrange items to find easier.

  1. Sort and file my recipes.
  2. Meal times, put systems to work to eliminate all the last minute shopping trips.
  3. 21 My last day of the food week. I devised a system to get the dishwasher running more efficient loads. I believe all I have done this week is going to save me money and time.

Day 22. This last week is the rest of everything else. First the kitchen cabinets cleaned and organized.

Day 23. Entertainment area decluttered, dusted, and organized.

  1. Linen closet pare down and organize.
  2. Clothes closets cleaned out, give away, and organize what’s left.
  3. Coat closet from top to bottom clean and organize.
  4. Drawers, all of them, clean and organize.
  5. Bathroom declutter, clean, and organize.
  6. The hallways get decluttering and cleaned.
  7. 30. Finally, I declutter, clean, and organize the bedrooms. And on day 30 I feel confident and efficient like a well oiled organizing machine. I can now find the things I usually waste time hunting down. I feel less stressed and my surroundings are comfortable and welcoming.

How to Save Money in 30 Days

Saving money can be really hard if you don’t have the right information to get you started. You can easily start saving a lot of money in 30 days. That’s right you can have a decent amount of money saved in your bank account in just one month. Here are some step by step instructions on how to save money.

On the first day of the month you need to sit down with all your bills and expenses. Figure out how much you are spending in each type of category (food, clothing, gas, bills etc.). The best way to figure this out is to print out your bank statement. Then add everything up in each group. Add up the last two months to get an average of what you are spending.

Next you need to figure out where you can make cuts. Perhaps you realized when you went over your bank statement that your cup of coffee in the morning at your favorite coffee shop is costing you about twenty five dollars a week. By making your coffee at home you can take that money and place it into you savings account.

By day three you will want to set up with your bank automatic transfer from your checking to your savings. Every time you get paid deposit a certain amount of money into your savings. You will have enough to do this since you already figure out what things you can cut from your weekly spending.

In the next few weeks (weeks 1-2) you will want to look at all your bills and see if you can get lower rates. For example you may want to go online and get quotes for auto insurance to make sure you are paying the lowest amount possible. Then deposit the money that you saved by switching into your savings account.

By week two you should have all your bills lowered and your extra spending cut. However, in week three you can still trim the fat off your weekly expenses by learning how to coupon. Each week go online and check the coupon sites. These sites are free to use and only require you to have paper and a printer. This makes them much cheaper than just buying a paper every Sunday for the coupons. Figure out what items you already buy then look for any coupons that are available.

After you have figured out how to cut down on your grocery expenses you can also figure out how to cut down on other expenses such as gas. One way to do this is to shop at grocery stores that give you a discount on gas for spending money on groceries at their store. One of these grocery stores is Schnucks and it can really help get you inexpensive gas.

In the last and final week look again at your bank statement. Add up how much you have spent in each category. It should be significantly less than it was for the couple months before you started this process. You will be amazed at how much you have saved by just making simple changes in 30 days. Keep applying these tips to your everyday life and your savings account will continue to increase every single day.

30 Days to Get A New Outlook On Life

Get A New Outlook On Life

So it’s that time of the year again? ‘What time’ you may ask. Well, it’s the time of the year where you decide that it’s time to embark on a new journey, turn over a new leaf or just become a better you. Now the real battle begins: voices that say you failed the last time you tried this or that, your mind says yes but your body says no or the infamous little red devil on your left shoulder telling you to go ahead and eat that piece of cake and the angel on the your right saying otherwise. All of these things can work to try to defeat you before you ever begin but this time will be different. In the next 30 days, you can work to significantly navigate your ship in the right direction.

As most people know, the mind is a powerful entity that can be used to bring death or life to whatever it is that we may seek in life. So if it’s that important, why is it that we don’t work to produce thoughts that are congruent with whatever it is that we desire? The answer is that we don’t understand the way it all works. We quickly try to change our actions before we change our philosophy. It’s been said that our philosophy (what we think) affects our attitude (how we feel) which affects our actions (what we do) which affects our results (what we get) which has a direct impact on our lifestyle (how we live). Notice that actions were third in line when it comes to how things work?

In order to accomplish any task you must change the way you think about that task. If you view something as overwhelming, grueling or unfulfilling, chances are you’ll never take the steps to go for that goal. The way to change how you think is by changing who and what you’re listening to, what you’re reading and who you’re around. There are plenty of audios and books teaching you how to do whatever it is you may desire-whether that’s learning a new language, changing your diet or your body or increasing your financial IQ but having the right mindset while listening or reading is the key. Everything else flows from there. Just start off reading 10 pages a day and listening to thirty minutes of an audio that is congruent with your goals and watch and see where you’ll be after 30 days. You may not even recognize yourself.

After you’ve began the work that it takes to improve your philosophy, you can confidently move forward with change in the other four areas on the lifestyle chain. Your attitude will have surely changed in 30 days which will affect your actions positively and help you get to where it is that you envision yourself being. The only person that can hold you back from any goal that you set for yourself is you so go to work on your mind and watch the rest of your life be the best of your life!

30 Days to Better Nutrition

Better Nutrition

Most of us want to eat healthier either to lose weight, gain energy, reverse illness or just improve our food choices and incorporate better nutrition into our daily lives. When we decide to change old habits and start a new routine we often sabotage ourselves by not being realistic about the time and effort needed to create a new habit. When we make too many changes at one time it can be overwhelming and discouraging. The first thing you need to change is your mind, your goal should not be perfection only daily progress. The second thing you need to do is give yourself 30 days to improve your food choices and eat healthier.

Day 1

When you are trying to eat healthier the first day will be a challenge, most of have a routine set in place that gets us to work, school or the kids where they need to be on time. Take some time the night before and plan your meals for the next day or for the entire week. Don’t make any extreme changes on the first day or during your first week such as eliminating all sugar or cutting portions sizes in half. The most important step you can take on the first day is planning a healthy breakfast with enough calories recommended for height and current weight. Most times if our goal isn’t met early in the day we give up and decide to start the next day, if this goes on for several days then its next week which then turns into next month and so on.

Day 7

Start keeping a food journal, this will help you track your progress and plan your meals. Most people are not aware of how much they are actually eating throughout the day. Set clear meal times: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. During your second week set a goal to eat healthy for six days and include one cheat day. Schedule your cheat day around regular events with family and friends such pizza night, Sunday dinner or drinks with friends.

Day 14

Don’t give up, your half way to the finish line. Take some time to review your progress and pat yourself on the back, even if you swayed a bit from the goal. During week three eliminate fast food or processed food from your daily meals or both. If processed food shows up more than fast food in your food journal that should be your focus, be honest with yourself and don’t use convenience as an excuse to eat poorly. If your food is in a can, box or bag from the drive through, reduce these foods to at least three times this week. These are foods you should eventually eliminate from your daily meals or indulge in on cheat day.

Day 21

The one habit most people struggle with is too much sugar, usually from drinking too much soda. If you are trying to eat healthier, lose weight or anything connected to good health, soda is not your friend. A 12oz can of soda has 39 grams of sugar that is almost 8 teaspoons of sugar. Most people drink 16-20oz at a time. On day 21, challenge yourself to go 100% sugar free. Try again on day 23 and day 25. Don’t give up.

Day 30

Share your progress with family and friends, this will validate your success and inspire others to make changes in their lives. If you feel as if your goal wasn’t reached, start again, remember your goal is progress not perfection.