1. Get a drink (non-alcoholic preferrably)
  2. Pull out the paper that you bought yesterday
  3. Make three columns with ten blank spaces each
  4. Write down ten people that you are angry with, that you parted on bad terms with or you were offended by
  5. Write down ten people that you fell out of contact with
  6. Make a list of ten things that you regret
  1. Shower
  2. Breakfast
  3. Make the bed
  4. Buy Envelopes, Paper and a nice Pen (keep it under $10.00)
  5. Pick up a book of 20 stamps

picture-4Source

  1. Acquire a cardboard box/Rubbermaid box
  2. Put all ill fitting clothes into the box
  3. Put all “distressed” and worn out clothes into the box
  4. Put all non-seasonal clothes that you have not worn in 2 months in this box
  5. Put the box in the basement/attic/storage closet

Pointless clutter fills our lives. Sometimes it is in the form of material possessions and sometimes relationships. My metaphor for this is tee-shirts. I have far too many tee-shirts. Some were free shirts that I was given when I was a bartender. Others were free shirts from different retreats and events that I had been on. There were concert tee-shirts, tourist trap tee-shirts and I even had a couple of white tee-shirts to wear under my suit.

The truth is that I can get by with six tee-shirts. That is what my personal style/wardrobe dictates. I have expanded that to eight for variety. I have three polo-shirts (one long sleeved) A couple of white button downs and three long sleeved “pull over” shirts. That is 16 shirts. Add to that 3 soccer jerseys and a hockey jersey and the total is up to 20. Even though it isn’t out of control, I’m living in a surplus. Those are my active “in the closet” shirts The rest of my shirts are like ghosts of tee-shirts past. They hang at the periphery and upset my balance. They are like ex-girlfriends that still tempt even though you are in a new relationship. They are like the old job that you keep comparing to the new one. Sometimes you just have to pack up all the clutter and live life as it is. Play the hand that you are dealt, and make certain that the playing field is as uncluttered as possible so that you can play more effectively. Keep your chips straight.

What in life goes in the closet and what goes into the attic?

Things that would be good to get:

  • A notebook if you don’t have one.
  • An alarm clock
  • A fern

What is cluttering up your life? What do you have too much of? What can you live without? I keep old papers. Tons of them. Old mail, old news paper and pretty much anything that gets handed to me by crazy political activists while I’m walking to work. What is the solution? For me, a workable solution is a shredder and a trash can. Chances are that if I am holding something that isn’t a vital doccument-like a birth certificate, a professional license or my social security card-and I haven’t used it in 6 months, I probably don’t need it. I do make exception for hand written letters and cards.

Today’s Instructions:

  1. Make your bed.
  2. Take inventory of your clothes. How many days worth of each Item do you have? Do you have enough? Do you have too much? What can you get rid of? What can go to Good Will?
  3. Go to Recipes.com and find something that you have never made before.
  4. Go to the store and get the ingredients.
  5. Cook it. Tonight. Seriously.

The concept is simple; take life one day at a time. No one can function effectively for very long living three days into the past and three days into the future. You spread yourself far too thin and if you haven’t noticed, you are out-numbered 7-1. You can’t beat those odds consistently. You may put one in the W column on occasion, and I may win that giant teddy bear for my wife at the carnival. Let’s be realistic here.

Divide and conquer.

Pare down the advantage.

Go on the offensive.

Reaction is a losing proposition.

First things first. Get a pen and paper. If you have a blank notebook, pull it out. Fresh page – fresh start. Now, number 1-5.

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

This blog doesn’t begin on the first day of the year, New Years resolutions are almost sure bets for failure. It doesn’t begin on the first day of the month. You may be 15 days away from one and I don’t want you to wait two weeks to start taking some good orderly direction, or worse yet; procrastinate forever. Inaction leads to inaction and vice-versa. It doesn’t even start on a Monday. There is no reference or respect to day, month or year. We begin with day 1. On the way, we will pass day 30, 60, 90, 180 and even 365 with only a brief moment of self congratulations. It’s time to get our lives together, and today is Day 1.

At the begining the tasks will be simple. By day 180 they will still be simple. Our problem is that life is already far too complicated. We are going to impose simplicity and we are going to keep it simple.

Now, lets go back to the paper and pen. We have five empty spaces and no instructions. Lets change that.

  1. Make your bed.
  2. Gather up your laundry (every bit of it).
  3. Wash it.
  4. Dry it.
  5. Put it away neatly.

What? That’s it? What kind of crack-pot idea is this? Is this guy an idiot? Possibly. Today is a day of preparation. Our goal is to get ready for tomorrow. We are preparing for a task that is larger than one day’s instructions can complete. Sound complicated? It is if you try and do it all at once, but taking it one day at a time simplifies things. Today we have five things to do. No more.

What do we do when we finish these five things? Well, you have two choices. 1) you can relax and let tomorrow’s tasks be tomorrow’s tasks. Or 2) You can move on and begin to complete tomorrow’s tasks. There is no rule against it. In fact there are no rules, just a series of suggestions. If you do decide to move on to tomorrow’s tasks, I do suggest that you complete each task in order before moving on to the next.

And one more thing, be sure to enjoy your made bed when you go to sleep tonight. You worked hard and you deserve it.