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Do you do New Year’s resolutions? Do they work for you?

Personally, I think of Resolutions as Goals, but with morTop 3 Resolutions on a Chalkboarde baggage!

 

In the U.S., we have just gone through a number of holidays, one of which was Thanksgiving.  It is a time for us to think of all the things in life we are grateful for. . .is it the only time we express our thanks? I really hope not! Ideally, we are saying, “thank you” or “I appreciate you” to our friends, family and Higher Power on a much more regular basis. Personally, I’m not all about most holidays. I believe in celebrating, giving, and thanking all year-round!

When it comes to resolutions, it’s the same idea for me. I don’t wait for the new year to start before I write down my resolutions and goals. Actually, I start around my birthday and write down my values for the upcoming year. By values, I mean the most important things for me, without thinking on it for a long period of time, I write down what comes to mind in a few different areas – life, work and relationships. Next, I define my values in a few words or a sentence. This is so that it is clear to me what I really want from that particular area of life.  For example, if I say family is a life value, does that mean I want to spend more time with them or that I want to be able to provide for them financially? Everyone is different and no one can tell us how many values we should have or what they should be.

From there, I come up with some values-based goals for the year. My goals are my resolutions. I try to have at least one goal for each value most of the time, then I check in on my overall progress at least monthly. Every day I can choose to adjust or accomplish my goals. If I say I am going to publish a book in 2018 or I am going to lose 40 pounds in 2018, these are long-term goals. Have I failed in my goals if I don’t write anything for a week or if I totally eat a whole pumpkin pie in a day? No. I have not. What I do need to do, however, is make sure that I can let go of perceived failures and focus on doing better in the days to come. Every day I can resolve to do better. I can resolve to adjust my attitude, actions or goals any hour of any day.

So, I vote DO resolutions! I propose that resolutions are to help you move forward and grow, not to weigh you down and make you feel like a failure. Set yourself up for success! Believe that you can accomplish whatever you set out to do/be. Choose to win. Choose to be kind to you.

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Gift of Giving

Thanksgiving and beyond…

Shopping. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Sales. Crowds. Computers.

If these words make you cringe, even a little bit, you are most likely in the majority!  This season of shopping, gift giving, and gatherings causes most of us some worry and stress. What are we going to buy for everyone? Who am I buying for? Do I have money for this? How much is enough? What if they don’t like what I give them? …and, OMG, what if they buy me something and I don’t get anything for them?

Great. Now that I’ve written all that down, I’m feeling more anxious! LOL

We have become such a materialistic and consumer-driven society, it is super easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of expectations. Everywhere you look, someone wants you to buy something. Madonna had the right idea back in the day with her song, “Material Girl” apparently.  To make life a little less stressful, we really need to start shifting our mindset, and maybe even encourage others to do so as well. If our mindset for giving is that we give from our heart, then whatever we gift will be enough. If our mindset for receiving is to receive from one heart to our heart, any gift is enough. We become grateful for being able to give and grateful for being able to receive. We move our minds from materials to heart.

Giving comes in more forms than I can list here, however, consider some of the following ways you may be able to gift this year:

  • Making food for family and/or friends
  • Opening your home to others
  • Offering emotional support to someone who needs it
  • Having a good sense of humor
  • Giving rides to family, friends, etc.
  • Creating a homemade gift
  • Spending time with those you love or those in your community that may need it
  • Helping folks who are in need

This holiday season, let’s spread the word about this new craze called the mindset of the heart!

Own why you are giving. It may take a little thought – is it because it’s expected or that you feel obligated or is it because you truly want to give? If it’s coming from your heart, then you will know it…and so will those around you.

Give often and give generously…

-Taylor

Cyber Monday

Super excited about the Making Life Simple reboot happening on Cyber Monday! Check out what’s new starting at 9 a.m. EST, Monday, 11/27/17 by visiting http://www.mls2day.com!

keep-calm-reboot

I love to write, but somehow it just doesn’t always get to the top of my daily activities.

So, when something isn’t working right (e.g. computer, tablet, phone…) one of the first things that we try is a system reboot.  Soooooo, welcome to the FOR REAL Making Life Simple Reboot.

A few years back I did the Simplicity Tip series and offered one tip a day to make life a little easier and happier.  This year, starting this week, I will be posting about a variety of topics to get us all thinking and motivated to action in our lives.  To make sure I’m practicing what I preach, so to speak, I have honed in a couple of services for Making Life Simple instead of trying to do 20 things for businesses and individuals, my focus will be in two (2) areas –

 

 

  • Happiness Coaching  – helping others figure out what’s most important to them in life and how to live their lives according to their values resulting in more happiness and more fun for everyone
  • Simply Personalized – decals, tee shirts and a number of other items

Yay!!

I can’t wait to hear more of your stories and to embark on a new year of adventures with you all!

I’m really excited to announce my first ever book being published on Amazon.com!  It’s called, “Just a Little Cancer…” and it chronicles my journey over the past year after having been diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer.  Topics include breast cancer, hospital anxiety, having a solid support system, morphea, and depression.  It offers a realistic account of what happened with a dash of humor.  The hope is to to encourage other who have been affected by breast cancer and offer some helpful tips along the way.

Here is the link if you would like to take a look at it…or share it with your friends and family!

It has been more than a year since I last did any posting on this blog.  😦   While I have had a side business for quite some time now called Making Life Simple (MLS), over the past few years, it has become more and more evident that life really isn’t simple sometimes.  Actually, I have thought this for a long time, but in an effort to make my life and the lives of others more simple and more happy, I started MLS.  In fact, a few years ago I even blogged a Simplicity Tip every day!

Whether it is our work, our finances, our relationships, our health or any other aspect of our lives that make it more difficult for us to see enjoyment in life, if we are able to have hope and surround ourselves with supportive and loving people, it will make all the difference.  We all know that simplicity does not come easy at times, and we may have to work at being able to appreciate simplicity where we can find it.

I think the last time I was blogging, I set out to write a post every week.  I thought it would be easy since I had been posting every day.  Wrong.  Life gets busy and things change quickly.  This year, I’m going to set a more realistic goal of posting at least once a month.  I will try to avoid posting a lot of political frustrations; instead, I will get back to my basics – writing what I know (see the list of categories for some starters)!

At the end of 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Over the course of the past year, I have learned a lot about my support circle, surgeries, morphea, appreciating people and pets, and overcoming not just cancer, but hospital anxiety, and depression.  These will be a few topics coming up for 2016!  I look forward to this year’s new journey – hearing your experiences and sharing a few of mine.

Depending on which sources you look at, there are between 17-21 million adults diagnosed with depression each year in the United States.  What a staggering number!  Plus, this number doesn’t even include the youth/adolescents or the individuals who choose not to get treatment for the symptoms of depression that they may be experiencing.  No wonder we are all so personally affected by depression!

Some of the signs of depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

Why would someone not get treatment for depression?  Hmmmm…  It may be due to insurance or money issues, lack of transportation, denial, self-medicating, learning other coping methods or perhaps even the stigma that still is associated with even the thought of having a mental illness. Even as I write “mental illness”,  I do so hesitantly as I realize that I have not escaped, but rather internalized much of the shame that is often associated with these words.  wth  This is not what I want for me or the rest of the world for that matter.  The more we stigmatize things, the more we allow space for shame to simmer inside of us.

In any of the writings here, I do not claim to speak for anyone but me.  I speak from what I have learned and about my own experiences.  My hope is that by giving voice to these that someone somewhere will be encouraged and/or be inspired to get help or become an advocate.

That said, some things that have helped me get through…

1) Trying to accept however it is I’m feeling daily without judgment;

2) Having hope and purpose (may be friends, family, pets, work, spirituality or

whatever else it takes to help get through the moments of hopelessness);

3) Asking for help from friends, family or medical professionals as needed; and

4) Getting out of bed and out of the house (“Just keep swimming” – thank you Dory).

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, talk to someone, preferably a medical professional (doctor or therapist) to help get started on next steps for healing and thriving.

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