The Blog

Conquering Clutter – Part 1

Good order is the foundation of all things.

~ Edmund Burke

You always know it’s the end of January when tax documents from banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions begin to fill your electronic and/or physical mailbox. For me it’s a not-so-gentle reminder that my unorganized box of last year’s receipts and bills (admit it - you probably have one too, even a little one….) needs to be sorted sooner rather than later.  Needless to say, it’s one of my least favorite tasks, and always gets me thinking about the importance of regular “spring cleaning” in all areas of life.  

You know how stressed you feel when you’ve left a few jobs undone for longer than you really would like, and how good it feels to get them done and out of the way!  Here are four tips I’ve found very helpful for tackling money clutter. If you follow through on one each week, your financial life will quickly be back on track and you’ll have a nice system for keeping it there.

1.    Have all your important documents safely stored and conveniently filed.  You might want to invest in one of those systems with colored binders, folders and labels, so that it’s easy to put everything in the proper place on a regular basis.

2.    Get your regular payments scheduled into your calendar and where possible, direct debited.  Electronic banking makes it simple to keep track of due dates, and pay your bills on time all in one place.

3.    Periodically clean out and organize the contents of your wallets and bags. It’s amazing what “treasures” you might find, and how long can lie hidden there!

4.   Go through every piece of paper on your desk and deal with it.  Do one of four things – take care of what’s written there immediately, put it in an “outbox” for short-term attention, file in the proper place for later or permanent reference, or toss it in the shredder or the “circular file”.

Of course, no list is of any use unless it sees some action. So get to it right away – just one task a week, and let me know how you do!

Replaceable Royalty

For so work the honeybees, creatures that by a rule in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom.

~ William Shakespeare

If you believe the entertainment value of inside the Beltway politics too often outweighs substance, the latest news from Capitol Hill certainly seems to back you up. Competition for the limelight among legislators and bureaucrats alike has been especially keen in the past week.  Face time in front of a camera seems to be everyone’s most coveted goal. 

I recently came across an interesting article on leadership, and what the author learned about it from keeping bees. Hope you enjoy this excerpt as much as I did.

Bees, we've found, can teach us all a thing or two about life, business and even politics.  

In the bee world, it's the queen that gets all the attention.  But like most things that get too much of the spotlight, she's not all she's cracked up to be. 

Oh sure, the hive can't live without her. If we crush her while we're checking our honey stores, we've got big trouble on our hands. 

And there's no doubt the queen controls the mood of the bees around her. The hive will be angry and nearly unworkable if she's not laying eggs like she used to. 

But the queen is far from an authoritarian. She knows she's at the mercy of the masses. The workers could replace her at any time.  She knows she works for them and if she doesn't get the job done... she's gone. 

The queen, we reckon, could teach all leaders - especially our elected leaders - a thing or two. She may be essential... but the health of the hive is far more important than the regality of the queen. 

It's an idea that we should all study. 

I couldn’t agree more.  How about you?

Visualizing Your Dream Life In 5 Steps

We act, or fail to act, not because of ‘will,’ as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.

~ Maxwell Maltz, The New Psycho-Cybernetics    

Law of Attraction experts will tell you how important it is to visualize exactly what you want to achieve in your life – that you need to picture yourself possessing all the things you desire in the current moment.  But it’s not always easy to do, especially if you’re new to the practice of visualization.

If you have a strong desire to live a happy and abundant life but you’re not sure how to visualize it, here are a 5 tips that will help you get started.

Step #1: Find A Comfortable Place to Visualize

You can visualize while lying on your bed, seated on a favorite chair or sofa, or even in a meditative position on the floor.  Just make sure the place you choose allows you to relax, free your mind, and be comfortable.  Be consistent about returning there often for visualization sessions.

Step #2: Eliminate Outside Distractions

To visualize successfully, you need to focus on the moment.  Clear away any distractions, like your cell phone, your computer, or the television. You can listen to soothing music if it helps you, but don’t engage with anything that might draw your attention away from the exercise.

Step #3: Immerse Yourself in the Visualization

Once you’re comfortable and have eliminated all distractions, it’s time to completely immerse yourself in the visualization experience. Form a clear mental picture of your ideal life and the things you want in it. If it helps, describe the picture out loud. Think about why you want to have all this and see yourself succeeding.

Step #4: Get in Touch With Your Senses

Thinking about what you want isn’t enough — you have to feel it emotionally and physically. Try to embody the experience. If your goal is to enjoy a long tropical vacation, feel the cool ocean breeze and the sand beneath your toes, smell the fragrant flowers, taste the salt air, hear the birds singing at dawn.  If you consistently connect your senses to your dreams and desires, you will eventually feel like you have these things in your life right now. This sets the stage for manifesting what you want.

#5: Repeat This Exercise Every Day

To reap the benefits of positive visualization, make it a habit. Do a visualization exercise at least once a day (or more if you’re up for it), for a minimum of 20 minutes. Continue this routine for at least 21 days in a row. You’ll soon feel more energized and confident, which will begin to attract greater abundance into your life.


 

 

    

See It, Believe It, Achieve It

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

~ Jonathan Swift

Visualization is a tool that allows us to see what we want to become and guides us to make it a reality. Athletes use it before a big game, businessmen use it before a presentation, and actors use it before a big show to improve their chances of success. The most famous high achievers are some of the biggest fans of visualization – because it works.

But trying to see your success before you achieve it can sometimes be hard.  Happily, there are techniques that can make the process easier and produce more consistent results.

One very effective creative visualization practice is the Theatre of the Mind.  Developed by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psychocybernetics, the Theatre of the Mind uses imagination to simulate a possible future.  Dr. Maltz found that imagined experiences were often far more powerful and real than anything in the outside world.  A person selects a particular “mental movie” to play, replacing old negative images running on the mind’s screen with new, positive ones. This mental exercise brings the self-image into alignment with the desired goal, and stimulates the same neural pathways used when performing the actual task or event. In effect, it “wires in” the behaviors needed to achieve success in the chosen endeavor.

Vision boards are another popular aid for creating a desired new reality. A vision board (sometimes called a creativity collage) is a poster board on which you paste images and/or words torn out from magazines. The images can be very specific, for example your new dream house, or they can evoke a feeling, such as deep peace. Vision boards add clarity and feeling to your visions. As with the Theatre of the Mind, selecting and focusing on pictures of who you want to become, what you want to have or what you want to do eventually changes your outer life to match your inner one.

It has been famously (and often) said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Give one of these visualization techniques a try the next time you’re making a success plan for your business or personal life.  At the very least you’ll save a lot of trees…..

Happy New Year!

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,

Whispering 'it will be happier'...

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

January 2018 finds many of us full of hope for a happy future, and armed with resolutions to make it happen. The concept of New Year's resolutions began with the ancient Babylonians, who began each year with oaths to their kings and gods. The tradition continued with the Romans swearing to the two-faced god Janus, who looked both back into the old year and forward into the new.

When you stick to them, resolutions can change the trajectory of your life forever. But hope and good intentions alone are no guarantee of success. If statistics are to be believed, nine out of 10 people have failed to keep their New Year’s resolutions by the time the next year rolls around. Perhaps this explains why some people consider “resolutions” a dirty word, and only 40% of Americans will even make one.

The problem is often not in the size of the goals themselves, but in setting too many of them.  Author and success guru Mark Ford has a solution. He suggests focusing on just one goal for each of the four big areas of life — health, wealth, relationships, and personal enrichment. 

Another, even simpler approach is to break your one-year resolution into manageable shorter-term pieces.  Select one personal and one professional goal to focus on for each quarter of the year.  Keep it simple, and reward yourself for following through on your action steps as well as for meeting your target outcome.

Like Gandhi and so many others, I believe everything begins with a thought.  Thinking positive thoughts about your resolutions can only increase your chances of success.  Here’s my choice for 2018 - I think this is going to be a good year.  What do you think?

© Clear Simple SOULutions LLC 2017