don’t let yesterday’s dreams get stuck in your closet

Your Closet BEFORE word cloud

Your closet reflects your thoughts, beliefs, hopes, dreams and opinions of yourself.  Make your closet a reminder of how great you are right now.

Do you have clothes in your closet or stored away that you’ve kept for that someday when you’re back to a size…?  Did you keep some “fat” jeans just in case you gained it back? Get rid of them.  Start living in the present. Face each day with a closet full of clothes that fit and make you feel great about you.  Get out of the past and don’t worry about the future. LIVE TODAY!

Don’t let yesterday’s dreams get stuck in your closet, reminding you of what you thought you were going to do.  Focus on the clothes you enjoy wearing now.  The clothes that feel good on, that fit when you move, that give you a spark of joy & energy when you wear them–those are the clothes you should create the space for today.  LIVE TODAY!

 

Are you willing to create a closet that supports you?

Organizing Ideas for today’s closet

Create a wardrobe capsule – check out:

A great tool to help you choose your wardrobe a step at a time – My Wardrobe Genius: a personal clothing management assistant

 

closet clearing - is this your closet - join my virtual closet clearing - image

 

Schedule a date and time to go through your clothes and unstick those dreams

Join me and others on Saturday August 1, 2015 at 2 pm – 4 pm Eastern (use a time zone converter to find your local time).

I’m hosting a Closet Clearing Party and I’ll be there to offer motivation, encouragement, and answers to your questions.

Commit to living TODAY!  Register and make your closet a priority.

take a break

Take a Break from…

relax on armchair in office - business woman in red dress  exercSo many times we think we can’t take a break because there is too much to do.  Well, there will always seem to be “too much to do”.  Your inbox will not stay empty, your papers will not stay sorted, your closet will not stay organized, and your teeth will not stay brushed (without ongoing effort).  So, Take a Break!

That project that you absolutely need to get done this week, will still be there if you take a ten minute stretch break from your computer.

You are more likely to accomplish all those errands and end the day with a smile if you take a break.  Even a 5 minute breathing meditation break in the car before you pull out of the parking spot on your way to the next errand will help.

Woman sitting on the beach looking away at oceanThink about taking a bigger break – a  vacation, a long weekend, or even just a day trip.  Take an afternoon to play or a day to relax.  Take a Break!

Here’s the bonus to taking a break – you gain insight, clarity and may even have a breakthrough.

 
An organizing client of mine has been working hard on getting her papers sorted and her mail processed.  As part of her organizing homework, she was also assigned to set aside time for a reward; something creative, fun, and indulgent.  Here’s what she shared with me about her “break time” (dancing):

Bonus was that in the middle of the routine, I came up with the solution for something that I wasn’t trying to work on during the dance, but it just popped into my head – I get those kinds of breakthroughs sometimes when doing creative stuff.

Maria J.

When is your next break?

 

Organizing Tip for Weight Loss (and Health)

If you tend to forget to take your breaks, you could:

  • Set your alarm on your phone for a particular time every day
  • Get a kitchen timer and take a short break every 60 minutes
  • Use your computer software to remind you to take a break

Time TimerI use Time Timer on my phone and computer when I want to make time visible.

 

 

If you never seem to find the time to take a vacation or get that massage, take your calendar/planner out now, flip ahead a month or two and set a date.  Then take the next step to call and schedule that self-care or book your hotel.

Don’t wait to find the time, you will never do it — TAKE the time.

Organize your PAPER for weight loss (and health)

Let it go or organize it now – organize your paper for weight loss

If you’ve been collecting exercise ideas and possibilities, now is the perfect time to get them organized.  Now’s the time to create an exercise notebook.

You can either go paper or electronic:

Available at Amazon.com or an office supply store near you

Spiral Bound Index Card Notebook

Pick through the stack of exercises that you’ve been collecting from your favorite magazines or handouts.

Sort by body part
(arms, legs, shoulders, etc) or build your routine for the week.

Cut and paste them into a index card notebook (spiral or ring bound). This is an easy way for you to flip through the exercises and remember which ones you want to do.  It also travels well.

 

Go paperless with Evernote or OneNote

Evernote logo
Evernote
OneNote

If you collect exercises from the internet and/or want to scan your paper stack, create a notebook in Evernote or OneNote.  Add tags to make it easy to find the exercise you want.  Add a reminder.  Take your exercises  wherever you take your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

 

 

If you’ve been collecting recipe ideas and food possibilities to make your own healthier eating cookbook, now is an excellent time to get it started (or finished).

Again, you can either stick with your paper or go electronic:

Go Paper with a notebook and sheet protectors or an expanding file folder.  Check out Organizing Your Recipes (As-is) for the specific details.

Or go Electronic with Evernote, OneNote, and more.  Evernote created Evernote Food specifically geared for food, recipes, and restaurants.  I haven’t tried the app yet, but over the next week, I’ll check it out.

Lifehacker wrote The Best Apps to Manage Your Recipe Collection.  If you’ve already had experience with a recipe app, I’d suggest you stick to it — if you use it and like it.  The time you spend on learning a new app may be better spent enjoying the meal with friends.

Get support and have a party getting your paperwork done.  If you’ve been meaning to organize the stacks of exercise ideas or tasty recipes for months now, but haven’t made any progress, consider joining the Paper Party on February 28th.  You won’t have to get your paperwork done by yourself.  Join us on-line. I’ll be there to offer suggestions and guidelines to move you forward and we will all be there to keep each other focused and on track.  Click here for details and to register.

You're not alone!
You’re not alone!

 

When will you organize your papers?

Check It Out

Get Your Paperwork DONE! Party February 28.  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to get your paperwork done.

Closet Clearing Party March 21 (early bird pricing ends February 28).  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to create a closet that supports you today.

These are online (virtual) parties so anyone can join from anywhere.

Get Organized:  How to Digitize Your Recipes from PC World (you can also use OneNote.  It’s not mentioned; this post was written before OneNote was available as an app.)

dress for success

You’ve heard about dressing for success in the business world, but how can dressing for success help you take those small steps toward a healthier weight?

If you want to walk but you never seem to get around to it, you could make the commitment this week to put on your walking shoes, regardless of how you feel about going for the walk.

If you want to exercise first thing in the morning, you could set out your clothes the night before and put them on in the morning, regardless of how you feel about exercising.

One friend dressed for the gym to increase the likelihood of her going to work out while running errands around town.  Could you?

Don’t let guilt about not exercising derail you.  Remember the small step this week is dressing for success.

Another way to dress for success is to wear only clothes that fit well, that are comfortable AND that make you feel great about you.  Which means, lose the baggies, let go of those items that just don’t feel quite right, and put on clothes that make you feel energized and confident.

Check out a previous edition of  Small Steps — what’s in your closet? to inspire you to let go or pack away those clothes that are too small.  22312968

What’s hiding in your closet?

If you would like The Great Closet Clean Out Quest (questions to help you create a closet you love), fill out the form below to download your copy
[email-download download_id=”1757″ contact_form_id=”1760″]

 

Since I am once again working from home most days, my commitment is to put my walking shoes on by 7:30 am  (Do you think they’ll go well with my pink, fuzzy bathrobe?)  Actually, I’ve set my alarm to remind me to get out of the pj’s and dress for success (both work and personal).

How will you dress for success this week?

Check It Out

A client shared this 10-minute video that she tried and liked

I just downloaded Rochelle Rice’s Empowering Women Through Movement for $1.99 (Quicktime file – so it’s available on my iPhone when I’m traveling).  I like Rochelle Rice because her message is about being “Healthy not Skinny.”  Here’s a link to a YouTube sample from her video.

~~~~~
If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

stocking the veggies

Last week you cleared out the condiments in your refrigerator and checked to see what you’re pouring, scooping or drizzling. If you missed it, check it out here.

green and red healthy foodI’m still focusing on the refrigerator (and freezer and pantry), but this week it’s all about the veggies. I’m making sure that my kitchen is stocked with options to add and healthier choices to make.

First, I’ll put a couple of bags of frozen vegetables on the grocery list. They’re a great option for adding a serving of veggies at short notice. I usually go for a bag of broccoli, a bag of mixed vegetables, and either peas or green beans. I also like having a bag of chopped spinach ready for my favorite breakfast option – frittata.

Second, I’ll check to make sure that my pantry is stocked with my go-to canned vegetables – green beans, corn, diced or stewed tomatoes (keeping the salt to a minimum, of course). I’m also going to add some beets (not pickled as those have added sugar) because I like them as a snack. I’m also going to look to see what else I can stock my shelves with. So “canned ???” goes on the list too.

Finally, I’ll see what’s freshest and local grown and add those veggies to my meal plan this week. I don’t know what I’ll find but I’m up for the adventure this week.

And yes, my goal is to get my 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in but I’m also planning on ensuring that I have some easy options available to add just one more serving this week. A serving is usually 1/2 cup, but I’ve made a list of some veggies that aren’t easily measured that way. Check them out here.

 What veggies will you stock this week?

Check It Out

Organize for Weight Loss – 3 areas you can organize to support your weight loss goal.

 

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard, oh my

Four small steps this week:

#1 – spend 15 minutes and clean out the condiments in your refrigerator

  • toss anything that is expired
  • toss anything that is not on-plan
  • toss anything that you don’t like or haven’t used in awhile

#2 – read the label on your condiments and verify the PPV* or the calories (however you track) for every condiment left in your refrigerator. Check out the added salt or sugar if those are ingredients you’re watching out for.  Here are two links that point out what to look for on the nutrition facts label:

#3 – add your own label to give you a quick visual for which condiments you can use liberally and which you want to measure carefully.  Here’s one idea – put a gold star on the cap for the ones you can use with no measuring.  Or write the PPV and/or serving size on the container in big letters so that you can easily see it.

Check out my list of condiments and their PPV

#4 – try something new.  Hungry Girl’s Best Low-Calorie Condiments

*PPV – PointsPlus Values® from Weight Watchers®
How will you liven up your meals this week without going off-plan?

Check It Out

Organize for Weight Loss – 3 areas you can organize to support your weight loss goal.

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.  

organize for weight loss

This week I’m sharing the recording and handout from the Organize for Weight Loss teleclass I gave on Thursday.  Some of the strategies may be familiar to you as I’ve written about them here in Small Steps.  Other ideas may be good reminders and still others may suggest whole new options for you.  Enjoy the teleclass, it’s about 50 minutes.  The handout has even more ideas and strategies, so make sure to download it.

Listen to ORGANIZE FOR WEIGHT LOSS 2014

Download the Organize for Weight Loss HANDOUTS  – please provide your name and email below to get the link. [email-download download_id=”1506″ contact_form_id=”1766″]

Additional resources and program offers:

My Kindle books are only $0.99 to download from Amazon:

 31 Small Steps to Organize for Weight Loss

31 Small Steps to Organize Your Life

Also available in paperback for $4.99 from Amazon:

31 Small Steps to Organize for Weight Loss

31 Small Steps to Organize Your Life

Interested in support and focus?  Try my Stop Dieting and Start Organizing: 6 Weeks to Organize for Weight Loss (and Health).  Click Here for more details.

What organizing idea will you use to help your weight loss this week?

Check It Out

My partner on the calls this month was Amy Tokos of Freshly Organized.  She presented organizing strategies for the family.  If you would like to listen to her teleclass or take a look at her handouts, go to freshlyorganized.com.

 

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

gain, maintain, or lose? what’s your plan?

My NEW book to help you take small steps to support your weight loss.  Also available in Kindle version and if you buy the paperback you can download the Kindle version for free with the Amazon kindle matchbook program.

Gain?  Maintain?  Or Lose?

WHAT’S YOUR PLAN?  The holiday season is beginning.  It’s potentially a time of too much food, too much spending, too little time for self care, and too many things to do.  What’s your plan for enjoying the season?

Do you want to gain weight, maintain your weight, or lose weight? What do you want to see on the scale on January 2?

Whether you said you wanted to lose, gain or maintain, do you have a plan?  Do you know what steps you need to take to achieve it?  Do you know what your challenges might be?

By the way, I do see gaining as a win sometimes.  If you decide that, this year, instead of throwing up your hands and giving up all together, you will indulge in some of your favorite holiday goodies in moderation; or you’ll make time for parties and events by cutting back on your exercise time but still get some activity, then yes, gaining is winning.  Instead of 8 pounds gained you decide you’ll only gain 3 and you put your plan into action to achieve it — that is success!

If your plan is to lose, will you add some special treats in so that you don’t feel deprived?  What’s your holiday weight loss plan?  Or if your plan is to maintain, what activities and choices will that require?  Whether you plan to gain, maintain, or lose, look ahead and begin to identify some detours, road blocks and cliffs you may encounter in the next 6 weeks.  Put them on your schedule, build them into your plan and enjoy the day after as well as the day before.

My wish is to lose, but with family, work and the changes that are going on, maintain is more realistic for me.  So, what does that mean for me?

  • Continue to make my walks a priority.
  • Saying “no” to additional opportunities (aka added responsibilities) until after February.
  • Buying fruits that I can throw in my lunch for snack times.
  • Finishing up this article, putting the computer down and taking the dogs out.
Will you plan to gain, maintain or lose this week?

Check It Out 

My blog on dry beans was re-posted on Being808.com as Looking for a delicious, fast dinner? Consider the humble bean!! Check it out and take a look around Being808.

Healthy Morning Snacks from Oprah.com The 6 Right Snacks to Eat at 11 a.m. — Almonds  (Thanks Jeanne for sending this)

happiness or misery_attitude not circumstance_martha washington

~~~~~

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

 

dhucking your weight loss responsibilities

Are you thinkingnext week I’ll have more time to…” oronce this project ends I’ll focus on…?  Not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but that free time never comes.  Just when you start to find the time, something else comes along and you’re off the path again and talking about someday when you have more time.

In March, I asked you to create a list of things you want to do, what’s in your day, part 1, and a very short list of time-wasters, what’s in your day, part 2.

Keeping in mind those lists, along with your schedule and your to-do list, let’s dhuck your responsibilities for weight-loss.

DUMP the things in your schedule or on your to-do list that you don’t love to do and don’t absolutely, positively have to do for your health, your family, your work or, more importantly, for yourself.  Also DUMP those things that actually set you up for failure.  Possible things to dump:

  • Working through lunch or having lunch at your desk.  Take the time to renew and refuel.  Take your lunch outside or go for a walk. You will actually accomplish more if you take your breaks.
  • Meeting friends in restaurants or coffee houses.  Instead meet your friend at your local park for a walk and talk.
  • 5 minutes of driving around the parking lot, searching for the spot closest to the store entrance.  Park and walk to get more steps in.
  • 15 minutes of screen time.  Whether it’s TV, email, social media or your favorite game, start 15 minutes later or end 15 minutes earlier.  Instead, go for a walk, do some bicep curls or just sit and watch the sunset.
  • Your habit of checking what’s in the refrigerator when you’re bored, stressed or simply can’t remember what was there from the last time you checked.
  • The all-or-nothing attitude.  Making small changes adds up, so keep going.

Next week, I’ll suggest you DELEGATE some responsibilities.

What will you dump this week? 

Check It Out  

Last week I tried the lasagna from Healthy Choice® and Stouffer’s®.  They were good.  I would buy both again for convenient meals and add vegetables for an easy and filling meal at work.  Check out my comments on my lasagna blog for the next lasagna I taste test.

No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet from the New York Times is an interesting story on a new report that came out about salt.  This is not to say that if your doctor recommended a low salt diet you should start piling the salt on.  Instead read this article, get a better understanding of where the limits came from and discuss it with your doctor.

Keep in mind that the packaged foods I talked about last week are high in salt so you will probably want to continue to limit those.

2013.20

what’s in your day, part 3

Where are your tools?

By now you have a short list of things youThere are no short cuts to any place worth going.  Unknown want to bring into your day and activities you feel are taking up too much of your time. So what tools will help you make the transition from doing what you’re doing now to accomplishing what you want?

Activity Specific Tools:  In part 1, you chose one or two activities you want to add into your life.  What do you need to do it and where will you put these items?  If you want to go to your Zumba class after work then can you get your jazzy outfit and sneakers together in a bag by the front door the night before, ready to grab on the way out no matter how rushed you are in the morning?  If you want to journal every morning, do you have your journal,  pens, and a comfy spot to go to?  What do you need and where will you put it so that it’s ready when you are?

Alarm:  Use the alarms on your cell phone to remind you to start your chosen activity. If you want to go walking in the morning, set your alarm.  If you want to do your meal planning on Tuesday nights, set your alarm.  If you want to leave the office on time so you can make your yoga class, set your alarm.  I often set two alarms to help me transition from one activity to the next. The first is a reminder to wrap up and the second is to get going.  Will you use an alarm to remind you to start?

Timer:  Timers can keep you focused and get you started.  Use a timer to help get you started by giving yourself permission to ‘just do 15 minutes’.  Use a timer to limit the time you spend on the activities you identified in part 2 (activities in your day that shouldn’t be).  I also use a timer to make progress on a project I’ve put off doing. I give myself 23 minutes of work and 23 minutes of play and repeat until the project is done.  Will a timer help you?

Planner / Calendar / Schedule:  You most likely will never find the time to do what you want, so you need to set the time, make it a priority and schedule it first. You want to meditate or exercise, when will you do it? Put it on your schedule. If you want to do meal planning each week, when will you do it? Block out that time in your planner. I have to admit all the books tell you if you want to exercise, schedule it and treat it like any other appointment you’ve made, but I still find myself slipping the activity to “later” or to “tomorrow”.  So, though the advice is sound, I can’t tell you how to keep the appointment with yourself; it’s an area I’m still working on myself.  However, by putting it on my calendar I am more likely to plan my day and have a better chance of doing it.  Of course, if I’ve scheduled that activity with a buddy, I rarely cancel.  Will you put yourself on your own priority list?  Can you schedule an appointment with you?

Tracking Tools:  Tracking can be as simple as a piece of paper and pen by the TV remote control marking hours of screen time. Tracking can be colorful stickers on a calendar showing the days you got your walk in.  In can also be a computer/smartphone app that sends you reminders and kudos as you track your progress. What you focus on expands, continues and supports your desired change.  That’s all that tracking is – a tool to help you focus. By the way, tracking should be a tool not an activity in itself, so keep it as simple as you can to keep you coming back.

Acceptance:  Acceptance is a tool, a skill, and an invaluable asset to your health and happiness.  Acceptance that change takes time, that new behaviors and activities take effort, and that less-than-perfect adherence to your plan is still progress towards where you want to go.  Keep going!

Where are your tools this week?

Last week’s what’s in your day, part 2 — what’s there that shouldn’t be?

Previous week’s what’s in your day, part 1 — what’s not there that should be?

What’s in your Easter Basket?
Check out the PointsPlus® Values for a few common Easter candies on my blog, www.smallsteps.us/2013/03/30/weight-watchers-pointsplus-values-for-easter-candy

(2013.13)