Ok, it’s 11:30am, and I’ll admit I haven’t started the Fly Lady challenge. Don’t count me out though! All I’m supposed to do on Day One is shine my sink. I did get dressed to the shoes and planned my dinner menu for the week. We didn’t get in until about 10pm last night from a short weekend trip, and I’m tired. I know, cry me a river.
I started thinking this morning about what it takes to simplify your life, and I think it was a wake-up call to why I always feel like I am running around putting out fires. Here are some things I think would help me out or are things I’ve already done.
- Stop the advertising. I received a coupon for 20% to my favorite jewelry company about a week ago, and I just put it in the trash this morning. I think I was secretly hoping my husband would see it and get me something for my birthday. The truth is that I don’t need any more jewelry, and I know that my husband would never do that. He’s more of a “go ahead and order it for yourself kind of guy.” So, into the trash it went. Coupons go in the trash from now on.
- No, really stop it. I figure it’s about time that I renew any telephone and mail opt out programs. In the U.S., here is a link and another link on how to do that. Make sure you complete the requests for all adults in your household.
- Don’t forget email, too. Recently, I decided that I was spending more time deleting unwanted emails than reading email I wanted. Take the time to unsubscribe right away, and think of all the extra time in the day you will have that you used to spend deleting emails.
- Use laundry baskets strategically. I have an embarrassing amount of laundry baskets: soft sided, hard sided, rolling baskets, and laundry sorters. Laundry still piles on the floor. Do yourself a favor and put a laundry basket where those piles end up. You will thank me later.
- Make your bed every day. I don’t always make my bed, but I should. There is something relaxing about walking into a bedroom that is clean and put together. If you don’t like making your bed because you have a thousand fancy pillows to arrange, it’s time to get rid of the pillows. I’ve read stories about spiders and snakes ending up in unmade beds. Consider this a public health announcement to make your bed every day.Ah, a freshly made bed. It took about two minutes.
- Get some exercise. Last year I hired a personal trainer and joined a gym. I really liked my trainer, but the gym was kind of dirty and gross. I didn’t enjoy going, and I wasted a lot of money…not going (except during my training appointments). In November, I joined a local gym in my home town. It’s cleaner and brighter, and I actually enjoy going now. I stopped telling myself that I had to spend an hour in the gym to make it worthwhile. Here’s a secret: any time exercising is worthwhile. I make it a habit to go every day after I drop my daughter off at school. I do 15-20 minutes of cardio and 15-20 minutes of weights. I don’t look at the clock. I just work out and leave. The key is to carve out time in your day, and GO DO IT. You may even crave it when you aren’t able to go, but you didn’t hear that from me.
- Put good food in your body. Spend the time to make a home cooked meal. Your body will thank you. Your family may even thank you. Your wallet will certainly thank you.
- Just say No…a lot. I think women have an especially hard time saying “No.” Maybe it’s because we tend to be people pleasers. There are only so many hours in the day, and I only want to do things I enjoy doing. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to join the PTA at your child’s school. Your kids don’t have to join every club, sport, or tournament team that comes your way. You don’t have to host that *insert direct marketing company* parties or even go to one. You don’t have to attend every birthday party, but you do have to send your regrets. It’s the courteous thing to do. We have relatively very little time on this Earth, and I doubt many people say that they wished they had spent more time at PTA meetings on their death beds. If you enjoy these type of things, then please, by all mean, do these things. However, STOP doing things out of obligation or to please people. This complicates things versus simplifies things.
- Make a list of things you want to do. Maybe you feel like you spend most days running around like I do and not accomplishing much. What would you do if you had more time? Personally, I would take more short weekend trips with my family going hiking and exploring. I tend to be frugal, but there are plenty of free things to do wherever you live for the cost of a tankful of gas. Your list may involve home renovation projects, art lessons, or going to the movies. It doesn’t matter what is on the list. Just find a way to do what matters to you. Eventually one day, there won’t be any more time for you to do it.
So, with all that said, I think it’s time to go shine my sink!