Organize Mindfully


Organize Mindfully — those are two words that individually resonate with me and together they are definitely intriguing.  I have been feeling somewhat unmotivated and that is not something I am comfortable with.  I like being energized around an idea or concept or project or something that gets me excited and enthusiastic but the last week or so I just have not been feeling that.  I have given it thought and tried to reconcile with the feeling but in truth, I like to feel excited about getting things done.  There are lots of things going on right now and all of those influence the way I feel.  One is the weather and the heat does impact my energy.   We have had several days over 100 degrees and lounging around in a cool house sounds more appealing than running around getting things done!  I’ve also been somewhat slack on using my Motivated Moms app which helps me keep the house clean and organized, and most importantly, my eating and meal planning has gone by the wayside and my digestive track feels it big time.  I think that could have something to do with my energy level too!   It is not busyness I seek but a feeling of creating an environment that is comfortable and allows space for creativity.

So, today, as I was getting ready for my morning walk, I decided to check out some different podcasts and looked at the Top Charts for Podcasts on my phone.  I looked at quite a few but two stood out for me.  The first one was Organize Mindfully (hence today’s title), and the other was Getting Things Done.  I am familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done concepts and have his book.  I tried to use it when I worked but wasn’t able to be consistent with it.  The idea of organizing is something I like and I always feel I am in a perpetual state of organization!  So I decided to listen to an episode from each of these podcasts as I walked.   And as a result,  I found was my project for July — organizing!  And I’m excited… which feels really good.  Following is a recap from the podcasts I listened to this morning.

  • Organize Mindfully – Be Inspired to bring organization into your life.  This is a twice a week podcast hosted by Mark Dillon who interviews organizing experts and designers as well as mindfulness experts like Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg.  I was intrigued by this idea of mindful organization as I am not seeking out organizing in a robotic way or seeking perfection and living life by a checklist.  And mindfulness is something I aspire to and practice meditation pretty consistently to become more mindful.  The first episode I listened to was called 002-Simplify your life and embrace your true self with Jennifer Ford Berry.  It was an interested 32 minute interview and the main concept I came away with was to have a vision of what you want your result to look like.  I equate that to Steven Covey’s “have the end in mind,” which helps provide direction and structure to whatever you are taking on.    I checked out Jennifer’s website and looked at some of her products.  She does have a new book on inner clutter which I think is an important concept and that one needs to work on both inner and outer clutter to really get organized.  She also focuses on the concept that organizing is liberating and ultimately can result in more energy and creativity.
  • Getting Things Done – GTD.  This podcast had a more business focus and is designed to support listeners at every stage of their GTD practice.  The episode I listened to was 05-Daily Habits with Charles Duhigg broadcast on June 17, 2015.  The episode was 25 minutes and the main thing that stuck with me was the idea that little things done consistently, good or bad, will have a huge impact. Charles Duhigg is a reporter for the New York Times and also the author of a book titled “The Power of Habit.”   Charles used the example of deciding between a salad and a hamburger everyday and that if  you consistently choose the hamburger for 365 days, it definitely makes a difference.  I know this concept is true but to hear it discussed, and to give more thought to it, it is something I will use as I make decision and prepare plans.  They used the concept with the idea of money, saving and or spending which is probably easier to grasp.  There was a lot of discussion about habits in general and the idea of routinizing things that you want to do consistently.  This made me think of my Motivated Mom’s App which helps with housework and other household chores.  He identified a trigger, a routine, and a reward as part of habit formation.   I visited his website to get more information and there is a lot of  free resource material he has offered on his site.  I’m definitely going to see if his book is in the library and also review his free materials.

I didn’t start out today thinking I was going to find my project for July, but I am glad I did.  It was just what I needed and now I feel really motivated about the month and I look forward to some of the things I will learn, or relearn this month.  This month my focus will be on learning about the concepts of organizing through listening to podcasts, reading books, and searching for information on the internet.  I would like to incorporate new habits as I go along so that at the end of the month I have a clear vision of how I want my home organized and a plan of action to make it happen!


July 2015


This is a good quote for where I am right now - July 2015

This is a good quote for where I am right now – July 2015

July 2015 – I know it is July and I feel a little regret that I didn’t record any of my  May or June activities for 27 Things.  I don’t feel big regret, just a little twinge of the r word in hindsight. However,  I am keeping a journal, a daily journal, that I have been pretty committed to and find that I like doing that.   But this blog was designed to help me do bigger things, track my progress, and help me feel somewhat accomplished.  Maybe 27 things is too many things to try and cram into a month.  I don’t know but I would like to continue to identify things I want to do and record my progress.  At this point, the beginning of July, I don’t know what I really want to do for the month.  Retirement has done funny things to my sense of getting things done and it is a more relaxed way of approaching life and actually, I think that is a very good thing.  Maybe I don’t need to feel accomplished!  Maybe I feel okay just the way I am living my life today.  I could toast to that!  Cheers.

April 2015

new beginnings

It is April 2015 and I consider the new month an opportunity to practice new beginnings. I’m big on new beginnings or any opportunity to start anew. Each day is a chance to get it right. Each hour, each minute, each breath in fact is a chance to start anew. New beginnings are always filled with hope, positive good feelings, and the opportunity to get it right. I love that.

It is April 4th (just turned April 4th since it is 1:21 a.m. and I cannot sleep).  I have not developed my 27Things list for April yet.  I’m not sure exactly what I want to accomplish this month.  There are things I would like to get started and things I would like to get started and finish too.   I also have some carryover items from my March list.  Hmmm…those are easy ones really.  I do want to install Rosetta Stone on my computer and begin learning and practicing French.  I think I have hesitated installing the software because then I will have to actually do the lessons.  Ha!  I want to learn French but it is hard work.  However since I will be in Paris later this year, it is something I want to do.  Perhaps I could commit to 3 hours of French language work each week and then I can decide how to spread that out … 1/2 hour 6 days a week, or 1 hour 3 days a week or whatever combination works.  I do best with some level of committment with some flexibility built-in so it does not become a chore.

I also want to get my master closet organized.  I did start the process in March but it was a very small start and for some reason it seems to be overwhelming me.  I have a lovely large closet with good shelving and plenty of room.  I know I would feel such satisfaction in completing that project.  Perhaps I can break down the tasks into 3 or 4 chunks that will be more easily accomplished for this project to be completed.

My genealogy work is all over the place with no real organization on how I am doing my research.  I’d like to focus on a specific family line and develop that for a specific period and then move to another line and rotate over the months so I don’t get stale on the research but there is some level of focus and a sense of completion to what I am working on.  I also need to get deeper into some of the data bases and if I commit to 30 days on one line I am much more apt to do that.

I would like to complete a couple of gardening projects as it is spring and this is the perfect time to do some creative work in garden.

I would also like to develop a comprehensive listing of my dad’s revenues and expenses so that at a glance I can see where I am with his bill paying, etc.  It would be nice to have a sense that I have that under control on his behalf.

There are a number of excursions I am interested in researching so that I can make an educated guess and or decision on what excursions would be good for the Mediterranean cruise.  I don’t want the dollars to be the only factor in considering what I see at port!

I did say in my last post that I am rethinking how I develop my 27Things list.  Perhaps I can identify things I definitely want to do even if it doesn’t total 27 items and I can add to that as the month goes by.  I will think about that.


It is finished …

IMG_4725As March closed I realized that I am a sprinter…at least that is how I would describe myself this month.    I found myself very focused and motivated the end of the month trying to get my March list completed before the month came to an end.     And in a way I found myself energized by the focus of the last week and I felt the rush of trying to get to that finish line.   The sprint paved the way for an increased energy level  as well as high level of  focus and creativity.  In other words, for me the sprint got the juices flowing and gave me an energy rush as the deadline loomed.  I would really rather be a marathoner and do things incrementally and feel more in control.   But at least this month, the sprinter definition is the perfect description.

In review, I did get 20 items on the list started and many completed.  There were so many things accomplished this past month that were not on the list so overall I feel like I got a lot done.  Several of the things I did finish gave me such a positive feeling of satisfaction that I will probably include them in my April list.  One of those is writing letters.  I wrote three snail mail letters to various people and  sent one email letter to Cait.  The snail mail letters are really special in this day and age and I hope those recipients got as much pleasure out of receiving the letters as I did in writing the letters.

This past month I did challenge myself physically with walking and yoga and in retrospect those two things were very time-consuming.   I think the physical activity was and is  a worthwhile way to spend time but it does impact other things and I found I did less gardening and cooking than in the past.  My yoga practice has improved and I feel stronger and it will continue to be a priority.   A consistent practice is well worth it and I see and feel the benefits.    I’ve now complemented yoga with a walking program which is an everyday thing and because I really enjoy PodCasts I can listen to those as I walk.  I also incorporated a weight lifting program for my arms and plan to continue that three days a week.

I am going to rethink how I develop my 27Things list for future months.  I want to be sure I’m not biting off more than I can chew.  For example I could have broken down the letter writing into four tasks instead of one given that I wanted to write a letter each week.   I know I can develop the list anyway that I want to and I want it to be meaningful and represent the things I really want to do.   I do feel satisfied with all I got done in March.  I am definitely not going to let the list stress me out or feel discouraged if I do not complete every single item.  Those things that did not get done will most probably get done in April.  Oh yeah…it is finished.

Sprinting through to the end of March!

Today is Sunday, March 23rd and I have had a busy month so far.  However, in reviewing my 27Things list I am falling short of completion as I enter this 4th week in March.  Some things are completed and that definitely feels satisfying, but I see so many other things I intended to work on that have yet to be started!  I realize that a lot of what I am accomplishing is not on my 27Things list so that means I either have to be more careful as I compile my list or I need to stay more in tune to my list as the month goes on.  At this point in the month it reminds me of Gretchen Rubin’s theory of sprinter vs. marathoner in accomplishing projects and tasks.  I like to think I’m a marathoner and the list could help me with that as I break things up in doable chunks but right now I feel like I’m a sprinter and I am definitely motivated to get the list completed by the end of March.  I have nine (9) days remaining!!  At this point I have 7 tasks completed and several in process that won’t be completed until the end of the month.  I’m walking every day and have been faithful to getting my extra steps in.  I also have been maintaining the Motivated Mom’s approach to maintaining the household chores.  I’m 70% through Edge of Eternity which should get me to the end by March 31st!!  I’ve been listening to podcasts like crazy when I walk but I haven’t listened to Tara Brach’s like I planned to (except the first week).   Okay, I think I can do this and I know if I do I will feel a great deal of satisfaction.  Let’s keep this party going!!

March 2nd … let’s get this party started!

I feel very energized as a result of my March 27 Thing list which I prepared and posted yesterday.   I am always amazed at how a list of things I want to accomplish galvanizes my energy toward getting things done.  Many of the items on my March list have been hanging out in my brain for close to two months, since the beginning of 2015.  I am a believer that writing things down and committing to getting them done is a motivator.   This morning I did update the software on my Iphone 6 – the update was version 8.1.3.   It was a fast one and when I went to update my iPad the update was already completed.  The only thing I can think of is that it happened at the same time I updated my iPhone as a part of the iCloud setup.  Interesting and a little scary too!  I worked on my MoMo app for keeping the house clean and completed some of the major Monday tasks.  I really like the software as it breaks up some of the tasks and you don’t really feel like you are slaving away at house chores but things do stay clean which I like.   I took a brisk walk around the circle about 10:40 a.m. and then got ready for my noon yoga class.  I would like to attend at least 4 classes this week.  Yoga was good today and I should be able to get in 4 sessions this week.  I’ve started reading Finding the Buddha Within (on my list) and also finished a Tara Brach podcast (one each week is on my list).  All in all I feel very energized and happy … that’s a good thing.

March 2015 – Spring is in the Air!

life perfect

It is March 2015.  What happened to October, November, December, January and February?  Well they are long gone.  I did accomplish quite a bit during those months but did not record or list the activities on this blog.  It is a shame really because I like the feeling of accomplishment that the 27 Things listing gives me as I am able to plan activities and tasks and achieve them.  I don’t know about you but I have terrible recall about some of the things I’ve done.  This blog helps me recall both big and little accomplishments and it feels terrific.  So, we are now in March.  Spring will be here this month so I look to this as a new beginning.   I love new beginnings and truly believe that each moment offers that to us if we’ll take it.  There are quite a number of things I want to accomplish in March … things I’ve put off or haven’t had time for and I know that including them in my list will ensure they get done.  That is why they are there!  The list is just that and doesn’t include lots of other things I want to do including having fun.  I realized when I reviewed it that it does look like a to-do task list but that is okay because I’ve included the things that I have either put off or would have a hard time completing without making my 27 Things committment to getting it done.  So without further ado … let this month begin and I look forward to posting positive updates throughout the month.  Laissez le mois déplier!