How To Fine-Tune Your Game Plan In The Middle Of The Year

How To Fine-Tune Your Game Plan In The Middle Of The Year

My planner just told me we’re starting the 24th week of 2016.

Think about that: we’re almost 50% through this 52-week year now. Weren’t we just writing down New Year’s resolutions yesterday?

Time runs by like an overspeeding car chased by a patrol officer whether we like it or not. We’ve gone halfway through the year without blinking, it feels like.

And speaking of resolutions, how are yours?

If that question made your stomach sink to the floor, I feel you.

I’d planned to learn to scuba dive this year. It’s now mid-June and I haven’t even joined a diving class.

So what do we do about these failing resolutions?

Yep, I said failing, not failed.

Because if your year hasn’t been a win so far, we still have six months — ok, technically six and a half — to turn this ship around.

As I’ve been telling my email friends, the year’s not over yet.

We just need to whip out our list of New Year’s Resolutions and have a powwow session together. So have a seat with that list, a pen, and extra paper, and let’s dive in!

Why Clutter Stops You From Focusing On Life

Why Clutter Stops You From Focusing On Life

Someone stuffed my head with straw this week.

Like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, I've spaced out at the wrong times and seem to be looking at the world through a fog.

It's No Mess Monday next week, I thought to myself. How can I write an update when my focus is shot?

I'd made progress with my hoarding habit (*hint hint* my closet) but hadn't done any decluttering in the last few weeks.

I felt stuck. I needed my head unstuffed so I could clean house and write about it.

So I Googled ways to get my act together and guess what I found?

Find Your Real Dream Job With This Simple Mindset

Find Your Real Dream Job With This Simple Mindset

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

My hand shot up but the boy two rows down shouted first.

“A robber! I’ll be RICH!”

My seatmate and I snorted as my pretty teacher blanched.

“You can’t be a robber, Mark!” she exclaimed. “Robbers are bad! And they go to jail.”

“Oh.” Mark shrugged his shoulders. “So I’ll be a policeman.”

I abruptly stopped giggling as Teacher turned to me.

“How about you, Daisy?” I scrunched my face in thought.

“I want to be a secretary, Teacher,” I lisped. “Like my mom.”

To my five-year-old mind, my Mom’s desk buried in papers looked like a secretary’s job anyway.

Why do I remember this random episode?

Aside from the discovery of that lisp sending me to remedial speech classes, it stuck in my mind as the first time I wondered about my dream job.

(Keep reading for the free worksheet I made you, by the way!)

Overwhelmed With Clutter? Get Unstuck With These 8 Hacks

Overwhelmed With Clutter? Get Unstuck With These 8 Hacks

I stood in front of piles of stuff last week and sighed.

It was almost two months after revealing my hoarding habit but there was still a lot to get done. I'd tackled the closet last month but I hadn't done very much since then.

Why did I buy this?

Where will I put that?

Where do I start?

I'd frozen up, overwhelmed by all the things.

Have you ever felt that way?

Somehow you know you have to tidy everything but after a full day, you just want to curl up in bed.

You want a space that feels right but you dread going through it all.

You're getting too tired to keep at it. Stuff will just pile up again anyway.

So you try the same old advice.

You know what I mean...

  • separate stuff in keep, toss, and maybe piles
  • get rid of stuff you haven't used in a year
  • install shelves, hooks, or storage containers for extra space

We all know them because they're proven to work.

But sometimes, these tricks don't seem to solve the overwhelm. You need some new strategies to pull you out of the limbo you're in.

This No Mess Monday, I share the hacks I used to get rid of that nervous feeling and fight back.

You've probably never heard of these tips before. (And if you have, give a shout out in the comments!)

Let's get started...

5 Travel Essentials For Every Trip (That You Can't Buy)

5 Travel Essentials For Every Trip (That You Can't Buy)

Google travel essentials and you'll get snowed in by stuff endlessly parading down your screen. A durable bag. Travel insurance. A sewing kit. A vest packed with pockets. A hammock.

Wait a minute, a hammock? I click over.

Oh, for camping trips. Huh.

But then, the hammock got me thinking:

The stuff I put in my bag aren't always the stuff you want in your bag.

I have no reason to bring a hammock anywhere. I don't camp much and when I go to the beach, I prefer a linen towel myself.

In the same way, I could tell you to bring an eye mask until I'm blue in the face. But if you can't fall asleep wearing one, why would you bring it?

We like what we like, and we use what we use. Everyone has an opinion.

So, which things could I suggest instead that everyone needs?

I thought back to the more than 20 years I've traveled and realized they weren't exactly things. You can find them for yourself but you can't buy any of them.

They're simple and minimal --- definitely what this website is all about.

How To Conquer Your Closet In 7 Proven Steps

How To Conquer Your Closet In 7 Proven Steps

Picture your closet and what's in it.

Is it packed with clothes that you don't wear? Is it so full you have to remove a pile of them to get to the stuff at the bottom? Is it hard to pick what to wear in the morning?

I was right where you are, my friend.

Yep, I said was.

I cleaned it up just in time for No Mess Monday, the series I'm posting every last Monday of the month on killing my hoarding habit.

I'll walk you through what worked for me step by step so you can cut the fluff from your closet too.

What Happens When You Conquer Your Fears: My Saudi Arabian Adventures

What Happens When You Conquer Your Fears: My Saudi Arabian Adventures

“Are you sure you’re going to Saudi Arabia alone?”

“Yes, I am,” I said with a confidence I didn’t feel every time someone asked.

Because if I was honest, Saudi Arabia was never on my radar when I dreamed of traveling the world when I was a kid. I wanted to visit Japan, the Caribbean, Australia… But with how different their culture seemed to be, Saudi Arabia was way out of my safe zone. At one point, I even joked that was one place I had no plans of visiting at all.

Until I was assigned to go on a work trip there alone last February, & I was faced with a decision.

Do I take this chance to try something completely new?

Even though some people around me thought I shouldn’t? Even though it scared me?

An Honest Look At My Hoarding Habit

An Honest Look At My Hoarding Habit

I was looking for my weird earring the other day.

It was a souvenir from my trip to Seoul earlier this month; a 4-inch-long beaded wire with clay figures of random animals and a big royal blue tassel. Or as my friends described it: weird.

Here I am wearing it weeks ago with joy.

I wanted to wear it with joy again last weekend but I couldn't find it.

I haven't been able to find lots of things lately, which shouldn't be surprising as I live in a never-ending episode of Hoarders.

It's pretty ugly.


One Simple Thing Will Remake Your Relationships

One Simple Thing Will Remake Your Relationships

Saturday night found me on the way to see a school play a friend was co-directing. I was unfamiliar with this part of town and I had spent the past half hour showing the residents how unfamiliar I was.

I rolled down the window of my car one more time, and waved at another man on the street.

“Excuse me, how close am I to this school?” We both squinted at my directions. The sun was setting fast and it was getting hard to read clearly.

“You just missed it,” he answered. “It’s about 100 meters back.”

“Thanks,” I said, and slowly made a U turn in the two-lane road. I gingerly drove back, attempting to avoid people, stray dogs, and the occasional parked car. How cars can park in a two-lane road with no sidewalks is a rant for another day.

Eventually, I figured I must have passed a hundred meters –- how can anyone tell, anyway? –- and still hadn’t arrived at my destination. My friend had mentioned there was a sign in front of it as clear as day, and I hadn’t seen anything like that.

“Excuse me, Sir, I’m looking for this school.”

“Oh, you just missed it!”

I heard this answer and backtracked twice more before I ended up at the gate. The sign with the school’s name on it was clear as day, all right. Or rather, clear enough to read when it was daytime.

I drove in.

“I’m sorry, Miss,” the guard said. “You’re at the exit gate; the entrance is just a short distance away.”

“Ah,” I answered helpfully. “Is that the only way in?”

“Yes, Miss.”

Of course it was.

2015 In Review: The Year I Learned To Make Time For Life

2015 In Review: The Year I Learned To Make Time For Life

This time last year, I found myself in a helicopter overlooking the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The skies were clear, the water and the sunlight met in sparkling ripples, and the view… Well, the photos speak for themselves.

This year is going to be awesome, I thought to myself as the pilot skillfully led us around the island.

And last year was packed with a lot of living: highs, lows, and ultimately, a lot of change.