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How to Accomplish More by Accepting Your Imperfection

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When it comes to getting things done, too often we overthink and obsess about each decision.  We sit idle because we're afraid to choose wrong. Guess what?  You aren't God.  You don't have all knowledge and control.  So accept that. How to decide The way to get better at making decisions is to decide.  Choose, choose, choose, and you'll get better at choosing.  Learn to trust that you'll make the right choice or that you'll be able to deal with a wrong one. Most decisions aren't about life and death, but we act as if they are.  Should I take Clark Avenue or Gray Avenue to get to my appointment on time?  What if I choose Clark Avenue and run into heavy traffic?  I'm such an idiot! Well no, you're not.  You've just proved something you should already be aware of – you're not prescient.  Stop beating yourself up for being human and limited. And stop turning all of your decisions over to technology.  Siri may be able to gather data from sources y

How to Find More Time and Freedom for Your Life

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Do you remember life before social media? Of course you do.  If you're over 30, you remember.  And if you're in your 40s or older, you actually had a social life before social media.  You met friends face to face, called them on the phone, and maybe even sent cards and wrote letters! The good, the bad, and the ugly Yes, social media is a fast, efficient way to touch base with friends and family who live far away (you can also use texts, which is what I do).  I wouldn't say it maintains close connections, since you're usually posting to anyone and everyone who might look at your stuff.  In other words, it's not personal . If you're a content creator, you may keep in touch with readers via social media, and it's one way to grow your following and maybe increase your income.  However, if you want something more than general communication with a group, your readers are going to use a contact form or personal email.  (By the way, if you want to get in touch, mi

Help - My Partner's Clutter is Driving Me Crazy!

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You love your partner.  But you don't love her stuff.  (And she doesn't love your nagging about her stuff.) It's a common issue for couples.  In fact, some surveys have found that nearly half of all couples argue about clutter.  A few even have the argument every day. If you're in this situation, decluttering by itself isn't going to add to your peace.  In fact, it might create more tension in your household.  It's important to find ways to come together in this area. Why clutter is an issue One reason there's so much friction about this topic is that, for many of us, possessions are part of our identity.  Your husband's tee shirt may look to you like it's ready to become a dust rag, but to him it might be a reminder of the time he saw his favorite band perform.  Your attempt to downgrade it might feel like a personal attack.  It's not so much about the physical item as it is about the emotion that's attached to it. How can this be resolved?

Looking for Love and Friendship

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Once upon a time I was looking for love, and I literally bumped into it. Well, actually, first I went to Sunday school.  I had been hired to sing at a large church, having met the pastor several months before at a conference where I provided the music.  Since I had never been to this church, I arrived early on the Sunday morning to work with the sound system and make sure the technician had my accompaniment tapes ready to go. That taken care of, I had about an hour to wait before the main service.  The technician casually mentioned a Sunday school class for college-age people that was meeting just down the hall. Just a way to pass the time To be honest, my first inclination was not to go.  I didn't feel like walking into a room of 30 or so people, none of whom I knew, that I would have to interact with.  (Not at all like walking into a room of several hundred strangers I would sing to.)  But it was February, and raining, and the prospect of waiting in my car was not attractive.  So

14 Strategies of the No-Diet Diet that Might Change Your Life

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After the most recent Season of Excess (Halloween through Christmas and New Year's to Valentine's Day), some of us swear that we will (really, honest) lose weight. But long-term calorie restriction is extremely hard to maintain, and also slows your metabolism because your body finds ways to store energy (read: fat) more efficiently to stave off the famine-like conditions you're simulating.  Likewise, removing whole food groups from your diet, such as with low-carb regimens, can be difficult to stick with long-term. (On a personal note, I have several times succeeded at losing more than 10% of my body weight with low-carb diets, but got very tired of going without fruit, oatmeal, and even beans.) A minimalist option I've been looking into a concept I call a No-Diet diet, which may be the best way to lose weight and keep it off. It's not a typical diet, because you're not counting calories and you're not removing certain food groups from your plate.  It's

11 Revealing Ways to Experiment with a Simpler Life Today

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I've said it before – experiments are fun and can be very enlightening.  Since we live in a consumerist culture, experimenting with minimalism can yield some real surprises. Of course, we're all consumers.  We eat, we need clothing and shelter, we use tools and supplies to accomplish our work.  Life requires consumption.  But consumerism is a social and economic order that "encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts," according to Wikipedia. A questionable goal In our society, we're not supposed to establish a sustainable level of consumption, but are expected to meet increasing desires.  It's considered normal and desirable to consume more and more as time goes by.  That's called "getting ahead." By almost every measure, we consume more per person now than we did 60 years ago .  Yet most of us still have long lists of things we want or believe we need. We never seem to be satisfied – and our society doesn't

3 Questions to Help You Recover Your Minimalist Motivation

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I've been practicing minimalism for nearly 30 years, but sometimes I get off track.  In the busyness of everyday life, in the middle of our consumerist culture, it's possible to get complacent and careless.  So how do we rediscover the conviction and enthusiasm we felt when we first started on the minimalist path? The following questions have helped me stop and take a breath to consider what really matters to me, and remove the things that don't. 3 back-to-basics questions 1.  What would I miss? Blogger and podcaster Emily McDermott calls this question "the disaster exercise." Imagine you're on vacation.  You have your purse, cell phone, wedding ring, medications, a useful capsule wardrobe, and a couple of personal items.  Your phone rings, and it's your neighbor telling you your house has burned down. You have ten seconds to list the three most important things you would miss.  Go . Look at your list.  What matters to you?  Are you surprised by the answer

Why You Should Make "Less is More" Your Mantra for Life

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Maybe you've heard the saying popularized by architect Mies van der Rohe in 1947:  "Less is more." It's an oxymoron – a phrase that seems to contradict itself.  Others include "old news," "open secret," "unbiased opinion," and "awfully good."  Or the lament, "Parting is such sweet sorrow." What does "less is more" mean?  It's wonderfully open-ended.  Answers to that are as varied as the people who reply.  Consider: Less anxiety, more peace. Less debt, more savings. Less busywork, more substance. Less clutter, more space. Less comparison, more contentment. Less sugar, more vegetables. Voluntary simplicity Back in the 1990s, a fair number of Americans realized that the continual quest for more and better was stressing them out and keeping them from creating lives of purpose.  After the consumerist binge of the yuppie-era 80s, some started wondering if the big house, flashy car, exotic vacation, and Rolex we