Alles Gute zum First Day of Spring

Happy official  first day of spring!

I am writing today to inspire you to awaken from your winter slumber and get off the couch!! I recently finished Bodyrock.tv’s January 30 Day Challenge. Yes, I know it is the middle of MARCH, but I didn’t want to start in the middle of the game. I knew that in the long run, my body and mind would appreciate it so much more if I just started from the beginning. Well, I am pleased with the results and have convinced my husband to do the next challenge, the February Challenge with me. After the new year, I was tired of being tired and overly comfortable sitting on the couch, reading, eating, drinking, grading papers, planning lessons, etc, so I stumbled onto the Bodyrock website and was really amazed and inspired. I find spring more inspiring than New Years actually, because there is much more opportunity to be outside amongst the trees and fresh air (hello Oregon), not to mention the food that is available. Oh fruit and colorful vegetables, how I have missed you through winter!! I often feel in summer like a rabbit or some other type of animal eating so many raw fruits and vegetables because they are just so darn good! So I began…

I have also been looking for ways to improve my spirit and surroundings and I found a few tips that I would like to share with you today, thanks to the wonderful bloggersphere, from established professionals:

First, a top ten list from blogger Zack on easily improving your life followed by my own two cents:

Get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the past 2 months.

I know, I know, It was just winter and now it is spring which means that you are likely either just buying new clothes or pulling your spring and summer clothes out of the back of the closet. I read something similar to this a while ago, but this other article said the limit was 6 months. This is hard for me, because while I like new clothes, we already have so many here and so many more even at home-home (Portland). Plus, I have made a deal with my husband which is that I will not buy any new clothes until I lose the weight I would like to. My goal is once I tone up, I will go through my closet and recycle the clothes that no longer fit or are just tattered. When I was first living on my own, I would go through all of my things every two to three months and either sell or recycle the things I really didn’t need. I didn’t want to collect too much crap, which seems to be a part of adulthood (at times for good reason). This could end up costing you a lot of money though, so clear out wisely. The bloggers point is only hold onto the things you really love.

If something takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it immediately.

Do I really need to add anything to this? I am really good at procrastinating too, but this is good advice to help save you some time!

Schedule a dinner with a group of 5 or more friends.

Since many of you have seen my post on ten things you could do to save money, this suggestion might seem a little strange, but look at it this way – dinner party potluck? I used to have a weekly date with a best friend (brother really) in Portland before my husband and I started dating where we would meet at each others homes and take turns cooking or bringing the wine. It was so much fun and so very simple!! If everyone brings something to share and nothing is too extravagant or expensive no money should be lost and everyone involved will be happier for it!

Make a donation.

We listen to NPR every day and also frequently think about the nonprofits in the US that have helped us all the time, especially when we find them being attacked in the media. We value these resources even more now knowing how valuable they were (since we no longer have the same access to them that we used to). What would happen if your favorite service was suddenly no more? Perhaps you should make a donation to make sure they will be around another year and you will likely get a tax deduction too!

Practice saying “no.”

This is one that I have grown to love. I am so very good at overextending myself that saying no, even if it stressed me out and help me to create less than stellar products (papers, services, anything), I would feel bad if I said no. I am getting over that. I like my me time and no one should take it personally. You should try it too.

Stop sending open ended emails.

Be more precise and to the point. The Germans are notorious for being good at this, take a note! It is even possible to be precise and direct while still being friendly, professional and polite! You will save time, oh so much time. If the person you are writing to, they should seek to clarify, but it will likely save everyone more time in the end.

Use self-scheduling software.

Whatever works for you! Now you know the technology will talk to you which, for some should be easier than keeping a day planner! The author suggests using a service/software that allows you to schedule your time and make it available to others to make it easier to make plans with other people.

Start one day per week off right.

Go to bed early, eat right, relax, exercise and take time for yourself!

Know your instrument.

This means know your self and your own limits. If you don’t see the last suggestion and get on getting to know yourself and your limits!

Do your work in order of descending difficulty.

If you do the hardest  or most difficult thing on your to do list first, you will feel that much better and more accomplished when it is finished!!!

Now since the sun is shining and will be shining even more, here is an amended list of things you can do in your 168 hour week to make you feel better and enjoy the days more, thanks to bloggers ShiningSoulYoga:

  • Get up from your desk at least once every hour and walk around.
  • On your lunch break, go for a walk (or a run).
  • If you can, walk or bike to work/the store/your friend’s house instead of driving.
  • Make a date to walk or bike with friends, instead of going for coffee or drinks. You can still do all the talking you want, but you’ll be burning calories and getting fitter by moving around. If you don’t want to give up your coffee or drinks, meet up on the other side of town and walk to your destination.
  • If you live in a house, walk your dog instead of letting him out into the yard. Dog’s appreciate exploring new places, and you will appreciate the extra calories burned.
  • Instead of ordering in – cook…Extra points if you go out to the garden to get some fresh herbs. Not to mention, you can cook a much healthier meal.

Finally, the last few tips are from WhenIHaveTime, blogger Sara Rosso offers some advice on how to “Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success“, because I don’t think I could have said it better myself but I believe this wholeheartedly:

  • Stop being your own worst enemy.
  • Stop being the force that keeps you immobile.
  • Stop being the cause of failure before you start trying.

So, on this spring rebirth – think about waking up your body, mind and soul. Clean out the cobwebs and go get it!!! It is easier than you might realize to fall into your own trap of fear and laziness,I am all too guilty of that myself, but with spring comes a new opportunity for catharsis and cleansing.

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