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July 20, 2010

weekly organizing quick tip: start small

The following is a sample of my weekly organizing quick tip. Want to join the list? You can sign up here. Enjoy!


Recently my family and I have decided to start eating more vegetarian meals. Did you notice I didn’t say we decided to become vegetarians? We tried that before—for a week—and it just didn’t work for us. It’s not that we didn’t want to be vegetarians; it’s that making the change overnight, for us, was just too extreme.

We make choices about what to eat at least three times a day. In the course of the past decade alone, my family and I have made 10,950 meal choices—most of which included some form of meat! When you look at it that way, you can see why the cold turkey approach to no turkey was a bit too radical. Quite simply, we were setting ourselves up for failure.

Our new approach is to add one vegetarian meal per week. We started by getting a rough baseline for how many times a week we eat meat-free dinners, which turned out to be approximately two dinners per week. For the next month or so, we will ratchet this number up to three vegetarian dinners a week. Once we get comfortable with the three no-meat meals per week, we’ll add a fourth. We’ll continue this process until we find our meat-free-eating comfort zone, which may turn out to be twenty meals per week. But if it’s less, we’re okay with that, too. 

This “start small” approach works for organizing, too. Think of it this way:  How would it feel if you added just one new organized habit to your weekly routine? How much progress could you make if you focused on just one small organizing project until it was finished? By focusing on just one organizing habit or project—or just one vegetarian meal—you set yourself up for success, which makes progress much more possible.

Happy organizing!


July 19, 2010

summer goal: eat more natural foods

One of my goals this summer is to eat more natural foods, such as fresh foods from the Farmer’s Market and store bought foods made with natural ingredients. Lucky for me, Jay is excited about this goal, too, and the kids are even willingly going along for the ride. This built in support makes it even easier to make progress on my goal.

As a general rule of thumb, I find that the easiest goals to achieve are the ones that have the most compelling benefits. In other words, when your goals touch on more than one thing that is important to you—it gives you added incentive for making the changes necessary to make your goals happen. And that’s one of the things that makes me super excited about the goal to eat more naturally—this one goal supports many things that I believe in.

For example, eating more natural foods means shopping at our local Farmer’s Market. This means we’re eating locally grown food and supporting local farmers—like the super nice people at 2 Acre Farm. This farm (and family) is so inspiring. First, the food grown on this farm is certified naturally grown. Second, they have a great blog. And third, they grow really interesting and yummy foods…like these dragon tongue snap beans.


Have you ever seen a prettier bean? And what’s better—these beans were really delicious, too. We sprinkled some olive oil, kosher salt, and oregano on top of them, and then Jay cooked them on the grill. Yum, yum, yum. Who knew eating naturally would taste (and look) so good?

Another great find at this stand was this jar of zesty sweet relish.


Aside from supporting my goal of eating more naturally, this relish supports my dream of eating homemade pickles. (You may recall that a couple of years ago I attempted to make my own pickles…and, well, that didn’t go so well.) So ever since then I’ve been on the hunt for better pickle recipes and more natural store-bought pickles and relishes. So when I saw this homemade zesty sweet relish, I knew I had to give it a try. And just like the beans, it was yum, yum, yum.

But this has led me to a new healthier eating challenge:  what do you put relish on besides hamburgers and hot dogs? We’re also trying to cut back on meat, so now I just have to figure out what else to use this relish for—any ideas?

Really-small-batch-of-pasta-sauce The summer is an easier time of year to eat more naturally and healthier. But, what will we do when summer ends? First, I’m going to try to preserve some of the farm fresh goodness by attempting to do some canning. Undaunted by the great pickle debacle of 2008, yesterday Jay and I made up a (really (really) small) batch of pasta sauce using some of the herbs and tomatoes from our own garden as well as some tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market. I’d also love to make some salsa and some corn relish. And if I'm feeling super brave, maybe I'll try pickles one more time. (Wish me luck!) And then, we’ll take it from there. Little bits (or in this case, bites) of progress are another great way to make a goal happen.

What goals have you been working on this summer? I’d love to hear about your summer goals. And if you have any canning tips or recipes…well…I’d love those, too! 

July 12, 2010

Winners of Quick + Simple Clutter Control Online Workshop are…

Sue Bone and Erica who said…

I've also posted to my FB status.
Posted by: Sue Bone | July 10, 2010 at 12:06 AM

I have such a hard time with "action papers" things I need to work on... piles & piles.
Posted by: Erica | July 10, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Congratulations to you both! I look forward to spending the next few weeks with you in Quick + Simple Clutter Control. Please email me to claim your spot.


Now…if you weren’t the lucky winner this time around, it’s okay—you can still get in on the decluttering fun. Quick + Simple Clutter Control begins this Thursday, so there’s still plenty of time to take this session of the workshop. Just think—you could start eliminating those annoying clutter hot spots later this week. I hope to see you there.

Thanks for participating in Freebie Friday! You gave me lots of great ideas for future online workshops and newsletter articles!

July 09, 2010

It's Freebie Friday

My, oh my, it’s been a while since we’ve had some Freebie Friday fun. Hasn’t it? Good news—the wait is over. Today, Freebie Friday is back!

What’s up for grabs? Today’s freebie is two spots in my online workshop Quick & Simple Clutter Control which begins next Thursday, July 15th! 


If you’re looking for quick and simple, but effective cures for the surface clutter in your home, Quick & Simple Clutter Control is for you. In this workshop I share my favorite clutter control solutions—the ones I use to keep clutter at bay in my home. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to share your decluttering projects and progress with fellow workshop participants. And if you run into any questions or roadblocks along the way, I’ll be there to give you ideas and suggestions to keep you moving forward. You can view the entire workshop syllabus here. And if you’re new to online workshops you can go here to take a quick tour and see what it’s all about.

To enter for one of two spots in Quick & Simple Clutter Control:

1)  Leave a comment sharing your most challenging clutter hot spot. What kind of clutter drives you nuts or pushes your clutter button?

2) For a second chance to win, either link to this giveaway on Facebook OR tweet this giveaway with a link on Twitter. Then, leave a second comment telling me where you mentioned this giveaway.

Giveaway ends Sunday, July 11th at 8 p.m. Central. Winners will be chosen by and announced on Monday.

Good luck and have a great weekend! 

July 07, 2010

time management workshop: have more fun + get more done

S101WS0017-1Last time I posted, I mentioned a big project deadline. Well, it’s (finally!) time to spill the beans. For the past several months I’ve been working on a new online workshop—which is fun stuff for certain. But even better, this new workshop is on the topic most requested by our online community.

Now, if you’ve taken one of my online workshops recently, then you can probably guess that the topic of this new workshop is time management. (And you’d be right!) And you’d probably then think—it’s about time! And, again you’d be right. “It’s About Time" is the perfect name for an online workshop that’s all about getting things done.

Clock See, at the end of the day, how you choose to spend your time is how you choose to spend your life. Your life, essentially, is made up of series of choices about your time. When you choose to spend your time on activities you enjoy and those that matter to you—your life is filled with purpose, meaning and joy. 

So, if you aren’t getting what you want out of your time—maybe you feel guilty about your downtime, or perhaps you feel like you’re always busy but you just don’t have enough time for the things that really matter to you—then you know where I’m coming from when I say “it’s about time.”

If it’s time for a new approach to managing your to-do list so you can have more fun and get more done—then I invite you to join me in It’s About Time. This new online workshop begins August 10, 2010—so learn more today.  (Sign up by this Sunday, July 11, 2010 to take advantage of early bird pricing.)

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