THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
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It's been a while now since I started on my own journey towards a better life. It wasn't bad to begin with, either, but I came to a point where I didn't feel good about where I was and what I was doing, and I knew I couldn't go on in the same way any longer. There had to be a change. I felt that I was running around in circles, trying to be the best possible mom, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, employee, friend (the list goes on!) - in short: I felt that I was trying so hard to be the best version of me that I could possibly be, but somehow that was never enough. What I was really doing was that I was trying so hard to meet the expectations I thought everybody else had of me, and I felt like a complete failure in all areas.
So after many years this way, I felt exhausted. I knew I couldn't go on living that way. But what could I do to change it?
I knew I had to get clarity around my situation, so I started doing what had always helped me before: I started writing things down. All the things that I felt wasn't working for me in my life, and also the things that did. I made a list of what I actually wanted, and I started thinking about how I could make them happen. What would I need to do? How could I live the life I truly wanted and be true to who I am? How could I live The Good Life?
I won't bore you with the details, but the result of my writing and the clarity I gained, meant making some tough decisions, which I'm happy to say that I managed to make eventually. And although it's been challenging at times, it's been worth it.
Long story short: I'm now living my life at a slow pace. I'm living what I feel is The Good Life for me. I'm taking time to do the things I love and really savor each moment. Because life is happening here and now and not somewhere in the future.
Happiness isn't something that will suddenly occur once you get that thing that you're hoping for, whether it's a new house, a more fulfilling job, that special someone to share your life with, or a whole lot of money. When you reach one goal, you'll probably set another, and that's how life is. But if you're not happy with where you're at right now, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get clarity around what it is that you really want, and then start doing something about that. Step by step.
I also believe that the key to getting all those things that you want, is to start appreciating what you already have.
Wanting more is natural, and having goals is a good thing. Just don't allow yourself to feel miserable because you don't have everything you want yet. You have so much going for you, and you're totally capable of getting all those things. It just might take some time, and you probably need to start focusing a bit more on what you really want, instead of constantly thinking about what you don't want or don't yet have.
Because that's what we often do, isn't it? We spend a lot of time thinking about the lack of things, and we worry too much about worst case scenarios. What might happen if we can't pay that bill, or what if we try this thing that we want to do, and then we fail... What if other people laugh at us for dreaming too big, or disrespect us for not seeing things through when we said we were going to do something ...?
And just like I did, you might also be running around in circles, trying to meet some expectations that you think other people have from you. And it makes you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and maybe even like a failure.
But you know what? F#"& all that! Because here's what I've experienced:
The more you focus on worrying and thinking about the things you don't want, the more you're actually drawing those things to you.
What you think is what you get.
It's really as simple as that.
And the more you put everyone else first and neglect your own needs, the less you have to give in the end.
Now you may think that this is just bullshit.
You might say: "But Else, you don't understand. I have such a lot of problems in my life, and it's not that easy. I have a lot of obligations. I can't just forget all about it and pretend they're not there."
Well, maybe not. And then again: Why not?
Because it takes the exact same amount of energy to focus on the good things as it does for you to focus on the bad.
Chew on that for a moment.
And those expectations that you think others have, might just be in your own head. In fact, they probably are! Most people have more than enough with keeping their own shit together, and don't think about you or what you should or should not do at all! Not because they don't care about you, but they don't EXPECT anything from you. Just think about it for a moment: Do YOU think a lot about other people and what they should or should not do? Do YOU have expectations from the people close to you? Probably not. You're probably too busy trying to meet the expectations you think THEY have!
So why not decide to focus all your energy on the things that are good in your life and on what you really, really want, instead of losing your happiness over stuff you can't really do anything about and that you're worrying about, and which in most cases (more than 80 %, actually) won't ever happen anyway?
All your worrying does for you, is take away the joy you should have today.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying you should be unrealistic. Some things in your life may need you to step up your game and take responsibility in order to change your situation. This could be a money situation or health issues that you need to address.
But - as Marie Forleo puts it: "Everything is figureoutable."
And when you start looking into things and decide to figure them out,
I'm 100 % certain that you will find a solution.
In fact, I'm going to suggest one thing for you now that can help you start figuring things out sooner than you would imagine possible, actually in as little as 5 days! Step by step, you'll find the clarity you need to start turning your life around for the better, and you'll be able to decide what you need to do next in order to get the life that you truly want. What YOU think is The Good Life.
So do something today that the future you will thank you for. Don't keep it off any longer! Decide that today is the day when you will start prioritizing yourself and your own happiness, and that you will start living NOW, and not in some distant future. Because if you don't take care of yourself first, you will not have anything to give to the people you love, either. But when you make sure you have a good life, your cup will flow over and everyone around you will benefit from it, too. I promise you!
And here's what you can do right now: Sign up for my 5 day-email course "Kick-start your new life in 5 days" and get started today! You won't regret it! And I'll be there to support you, every step of the way, so you're not alone. See you inside the course!
If you found this blog post useful, please feel free to share it with someone you think might like it, too, and also leave a comment below. I'd be really happy if you would follow my blog and maybe sign up for my newsletter to make sure you don't miss any new blog posts or updates.
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I don’t know about you, but I can’t even begin to count all the times I’ve been standing in front of my wardrobe closets in despair, looking at all the clothes in there and not having a clue what to wear. For years I had a tendency to shop on impulse, and – to be honest – this mostly happened when I was feeling low and without any self-esteem because I was so sick and tired of my own image in the mirror and felt that all my clothes looked bad on me, or – and this was the worst feeling: I felt that I looked bad no matter what I put on. And you know what they say: The clothes can really “make” a person. So I was desperate to find something that could make me feel good about myself, and this made me buy clothes that might have looked OK when I tried them on in the shop, but that ended up just hanging in my closet.
This impulse shopping resulted in a wardrobe full of clothes that didn’t really match well, or they were really not the right size, or they were of a quality that just didn’t keep in the long run. I think maybe you can relate to this.
Needless to say, really, but let’s just face it: Impulse shopping is just a complete waste of money and effort, and after having done my part of that and more, I decided I had to stop. There had to be a better way of cracking the code to dressing well and finding my style no matter how I looked. I had seen women of all shapes and sizes look absolutely stunning, so I knew my size and shape didn’t have that much to do with it. But I didn’t feel good about myself, so what could I do?
Let me just say this before we dive into how you can declutter and refresh your wardrobe:
When I was younger, say in my twenties, I was always slim and quite chic. I knew what I liked and what looked best on me, and I had my own style and felt confident about it. But somewhere along the way, my life developed in a direction where I got health issues, put on weight and kind of lost myself a little in the process and in things that happened. I started to hate being photographed, and I didn’t really like to get noticed in any way, because I didn’t feel good about myself and the way I looked. This made me shy away from a lot of activities and events that I actually kind of wanted to attend, but I always had some excuse not to go. I was too busy with other things … I didn’t have anything to wear … I wanted to prioritize being with my husband and kids … I couldn’t afford it … You get the picture.
20 years down the line I didn’t really recognize the woman I had become, and I knew I had to find back to who I truly am and start living in accordance with that. And for me, my appearance had a lot to do with it, but most important of all was – of course – how I felt on the inside. So that’s where I started.
If this is something you can relate to, I would like to dive deeper into that part of the process with you, and I suggest you read my article on How to take action and trust your inner GPS or compass - Because a huge part of this process is not just about decluttering your closet and refreshing your wardrobe, but about decluttering your mind and learning to appreciate who you really are and work with what you’ve already got.
But right here, right now, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide to what you can do to declutter & refresh your wardrobe, and let me just give you a tip so you don’t get completely overwhelmed:
Prepare to spend a few hours per day over a period of days to do this. Trying on all the garments will take some time, and you should try different combinations, too, in order to find new ways to wear the clothes that fit and that you like.
I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to find out that you can actually wear a lot more of your clothes than you thought you could!
Excited? I know I am! So let’s dive in!
Step # 1: Take all your clothes out of your closet
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If you have a rack that you can hang all your clothes on, that would of course be the best way to go about it, since it would give you a better overview of what you’ve got. But if you don’t, I suggest you at least try to put them in piles according to category, for instance on your bed: Sweaters, skirts, trousers, dresses, blouses, t-shirts, shirts, jackets, cardigans, tights … you get the picture.
Then, prepare 3 boxes (or at least 3 separate spaces) for garments that you will
Step # 2: Try all the garments on
When you start trying all the garments on, you’ll most likely find that some of them no longer fit. They’re either too big or too small.
Now, if they’re too small: Don’t even think about hanging them back into your closet! I know if you’ve put on some weight and it’s a garment you like very much and have an intention of getting into some day in the (near) future, you don’t want to get rid of it too quickly. I totally understand that, and I can totally relate! But this is how we often think and that makes us stick with clothes for years and years and never really wear them. It’s part of the problem that we’re now trying to address, don’t you agree?
So be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if this is TRULY a garment you see yourself wearing within the next 12 months. If the answer is YES, then I suggest you put it aside for now, like in a box, but NOT in your closet with the clothes you are going to wear on a day-to-day basis.
If the answer is NO: Put it directly in one of the 3 piles or boxes for garments you are no longer going to keep, and move on to the next. Don’t dwell on it! Instead, follow Marie Kwondo’s tip and thank the garment for the service it has done to you, and then put it away. This might make it easier for you to let it go.
Step # 3: Try to establish what kind of body type
If you haven’t already done this, a wise thing to do either before or under your wardrobe decluttering process, is to study some of the many tips that exist online about different body types and find out what kind of body type you might be.
If you really want to dig into what you can do to make the most of what you’ve got, a color analysis would also be very useful. A slight variation in color shades can do a great deal for your appearance. This will help you find out which of your existing garments might be most flattering for your body type and skin tone, and which might not be.
I’m not saying you should spend a lot of money on an expert in this field. Just trying on different colors in front of a mirror, preferably in a room with natural daylight, could give you a very good idea of what colors look good on you and not.
I find that Pinterest is a very good place to look for all kinds of style tips, and to make it easy for you, I suggest you take a look at my board “Fashion Tips” where I have gathered lots of Pins on this topic.
Also this YouTube video might be helpful – but there are tons of other resources on this topic online, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find some that are to your liking.
Step # 3: Try to combine your clothes in different ways
Try to combine one shirt with various jeans, trousers, skirts and jackets, both in similar colors and different colors. See how the colors, the shape of the neckline of a shirt, the length of the skirt, etc. can change how the whole outfit looks on you. They can give an optical illusion of you being bigger, smaller, taller, shorter, depending on how you put them together. And you can dress an outfit up or down with various jackets, like an elegant blazer over a simple black dress for going out in the evening or going to the office, or a denim jacket over the same dress for a more casual look…
The same goes for accessories like bags and necklaces. They can make an outfit look more elegant, more casual, and also give an optical illusion of you being bigger or smaller, depending on their size and shape.
Patterns also play a significant role. Should you wear small prints or big prints, graphical patterns, block colors, polkadots, checked patterns, stripes, or no pattern at all?
Also bear in mind that a garment can look better on you if you for instance put on a belt, tuck a shirt in, wear a different jacket with it, and so on. Even the way you arrange your hair can have an impact! Especially from behind! So play around and have fun, and take lots of pictures!
Step # 4: Take photos!
Nowadays most of us have mobile phones with excellent cameras on them, and I have found this to be a valuable tool when I go through my wardrobe. I put the phone on a table or at least something stable, set the timer to 5 seconds so I get a chance to distance myself a bit from the camera and get a full body picture (you can of course choose to set the timer to whatever time you need), and then I take a photo of every outfit I try on. I also take pictures of my backside to make sure the outfit looks good on me from every angle. This has really helped me avoid a lot of embarrassing situations! It’s often so much easier to get the right impression of how an outfit looks on you, when you can study a picture and have a really good look at the details. Then I suggest you create a file on your computer where you put the photos of all the outfit combinations you end up liking, and then you can categorize them however suits you best for later use.
I also like to create collages of these pictures sometimes, for instance of the same clothes combined in different ways.
Just an example of how I do photo-collages of my own outfits for my own personal file.
Step # 5: Check the quality and state of your clothing
Check every garment to see if it’s damaged, worn out, lacks a button, etc. If it’s fixable and it’s a garment you want to keep, then put it in a special “repair” pile and do the repair before you put the garment back into the closet. No need to put yourself up for embarrassment or stress later by finding out a bit too late that you’ve put on something that should have been fixed! Make a habit of doing repairs as soon as you can after you’ve discovered things like that.
Also, if a fabric has clearly seen better days, I suggest you don’t keep that garment. If you want to recycle it, maybe you can keep some of the fabric and make it into something else? If you’re not the crafty type yourself, maybe you know someone else who would love to give it a go?
Distressed jeans is in a category of its own, so I’m not really talking about that kind of clothes, but – depending on what style you want to be associated with – I suggest you try to focus on clothes from now on that are of good quality only.
Step # 6: Choose clothes that are comfortable to you
Clothes should always feel comfortable, in my opinion, no matter the occasion. Adjusting a garment so it fits you better is one thing. The material it’s made of is another. But the feeling the whole outfit gives you about yourself, is maybe the most important thing. When you feel that you’re looking your best in an outfit, - that it suits your body, your complexion and who you are as a person – wow! That’s powerful! And that’s achievable no matter what shape or size you are! That’s what I think you should go after when you declutter and refresh your wardrobe. Find YOUR style and what makes YOU feel the best!
Step # 7: Keep clothes for different seasons apart
If you have room for it, I suggest that you keep the clothes that are not in season either stored in a different closet or packed away in vacuum bags. There’s no reason why you should buy new clothes every season as long as you like the ones you have and they’re both wearable and in good condition.
Last, but not least:
Step # 7: Consider building a Capsule Wardrobe
I’ve already suggested that you try to combine your existing wardrobe in different ways, but if you want to take this a step further and really declutter, refresh and SIMPLIFY your wardrobe, a so-called Capsule Wardrobe is a very good idea. This kind of wardrobe is built around a limited number of items that can be combined in many ways to create a variety of different looks. These items should be both versatile and basic, but you should always have a few that really show off your personality, too.
Capsule wardrobes are something you can use and reuse again and again. You can create a capsule wardrobe for each season, or mix and match items that can be used all year. It’s a great way to save both space and money, so why not give it a go and see how you like it?
That’s it! I hope you found this article valuable! Please feel free to share it with someone else, and also follow my blog over at www.elsekosberg.com
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See you soon!
There's no easier way to add a dose of nutrition to your day than by crunching on a
tasty apple. Maybe you first experienced its delightful flavor as a baby, when
applesauce introduced you to real food. And now, whether it's a Granny Smith, a McIntosh, or a Red Delicious, apples are as old friends. Grown throughout the world, apples are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're fatfree, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium. In short, eating apples is a smart part of a healthy lifestyle.
So let me tell you about 6 ways apples keep you healthy:
# 1: Regulates your day
You don't have to worry about staying regular anymore if you eat apples. Whether your problem is visiting the bathroom too often or not often enough, apples can help.
A British researcher, Dr. D.P Burkitt, believes one of the easiest ways to prevent all sorts of illnesses, is to avoid constipation. He calls the diseases caused by chronic constipation "pressure diseases." Appendicitis, diverticular diseases, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernias, and even varicose veins can all be caused by straining to pass small, hard stools.
Just one apple with its skin contains 4 to 5 grams of fiber - the most important nutrient in keeping your bowels working like a well-oiled machine. Keeping yourself regular without relying on harmful laxatives could be as easy as replacing that afternoon snack of potato chips or cookies with a crisp, delicious apple. And just think of the calories you'll save. The average apple has about 80 calories while a serving of chips weighs in at 150 calories and you'll get about 200 from just a few cookies.
But that's not all apples can do. They're also good for diarrhea, thanks to aningredient called pectin. This carbohydrate has a congealing effect in your intestines that helps firm things up and return you to normal. Applesauce is actually the best apple product for diarrhea, since it's made without the high-fiber skin. But watch out for extra sugar. Some brands of applesauce dump a lot of sweeteners into an otherwise healthy food, and too much refined sugar could make your diarrhea worse.
# 2: Keep your body young
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By now you probably know that antioxidants can protect you from many of the diseases that
seem to be a part of aging. In fact, so many people are taking supplements for antioxidant protection that it's become a multibillion-dollar industry. But I believe - and in fact the
evidence is mounting to support that - that whole foods can do more for you than pills.
When scientists compared a 1,500-milligram vitamin C supplement to one small apple, the results were astounding - the antioxidant values were equal. That means a fresh apple has more than 15 times the antioxidant power of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. And that's just for starters. The researchers also found that an ordinary apple was able to stop the growth of colon and liver cancer cells in test tubes. Unpeeled apples were especially effective.
The question you need to ask yourself is this: Why waste money on flavorless supplements when you can get better antioxidant firepower from a sweet, crunchy fruit?
Of course, if you have a deficiency of any sort, supplements may be necessary as a temporary solution to the problem, but when the values reach the level where they are back to normal, I believe the best way to keep them that way, is to get the nutrients you need through your food and not through supplements.
But let's move on to the next reason why you should eat apples:
# 3: Cuts your risk of heart disease
Sometimes it's hard to remember which food is good for which part of your body. The next time you pick up an apple, take a good look at it. It's shaped a bit like a heart - and that should help you remember that apples are good for your heart.
It's the magnesium and potassium in apples that help regulate your blood pressure and keep your heart beating steadily, and it's the flavonoid quercetin, a naturally occurring antioxidant, that protects your artery walls from damage and keeps your blood flowing smoothly.
In fact: adding flavonoid-rich foods like apples to your diet has been scientifically confirmed to lower your risk of heart disease. There's proof of this in a study of Japanese women who ate foods high in quercetin. They were less likely to get coronary heart disease than other women and they had lower levels of total and LDL, or bad cholesterol.
# 4: Strikes at the heart of strokes
Apples are even a smart choice for helping avoid strokes. Scientists aren't sure which ingredient in this multi-talented fruit to credit, but the connection is clear: People who regularly eat apples are less likely to have strokes than people who don't.
# 5: Protects your joints
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In areas of the world where fruits and vegetables make up a large part of the diet, very few people get arthritis. Compare this to modernized countries where fruits and vegetables have been replaced with fast, processed food and you'll find up to 70 percent of the population suffers from some form of arthritis. Just a coincidence? Not according to nutrition experts. They link this trend in part to boron, a trace mineral many plants, including apples, absorb from the soil.
If you eat like most people, you'll get about 1 to 2 milligrams (mg) of boron a day, mostly from non-citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, and nuts. Experts believe, however, you need anywhere from 3 to 10 mg a day to affect your risk of arthritis. To boost your boron intake to this level, you'd have to eat more than nine apples a day. This is probably an unreasonable amount for most people, but don't despair. Pair an apple with other boron-rich foods like a few tablespoons of peanut butter and a
large handful of raisins, and you'll not only have a delicious afternoon snack, but you'll make your joint-saving quota of boron at the same time.
# 6: Helps you breathe deeply
Picture by Liza Summer from Pexels.
Your lungs are assaulted every day by cigarette smoke, air pollution, pollen, and other air-borne nasties. On top of that perhaps you suffer from asthma, emphysema, or similar lung condition.
If all you want to do is take a deep breath, then grab an apple.
A five-year study of more than 2,500 men from Wales found that those who ate five or
more apples per week were able to fill their lungs with more air than men who didn't eat apples. Experts believe you might be getting some special protection from the antioxidant quercetin. Unfortunately, eating apples can't reverse a lung condition you already have, but you just might add a new line of defense against further damage.
So - to wind this up: How do you make the most out of your apples?
Buy apples that are unbruised, firm, and have good color. Take them out of their plastic bag
and store them in your refrigerator - loose in the produce bin or in a paper bag is best. And since they will absorb odors, keep them away from strongsmelling foods like garlic and onions.
I hope you found this article useful to you. If so, feel free to share it with others who might enjoy it too. And of course: I'd be happy if you would follow my blog for more articles on a healthy lifestyle and (since that's a main focus of mine) French lifestyle in particular.
This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH, AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART THREE.
Picture from Pexels.
LESSON # 3:
HOW TO PUT IT BEHIND YOU AND LET GO
In the first 2 lessons of this Mini-course, you've learned how various changes can affect you, how you can get clarity about them, and how you can handle them. This last lesson will be about how you can put things behind you and let go.
Tip #1: Be flexible.
The tree that is flexible bends in the storm.
The tree that is hard, falls or gets uprooted.
Hypnotherapist Ursula Markham says that first of all, in order to be able to stay positive to changes that occur in your life, it's important that you are as flexible as possible. The more you are able to develop a flexible attitude towards life and all its changes, the more you will not only survive these changes, but see them as another important step in your personal development and growth. And in order to become more flexible, it's important that you develop your ability to put things behind you. Let them go.
I believe this is true. But letting go doesn't just mean that you're able to forget about things that have happened, but that you're also able to ...
Tip # 2: Let go of old beliefs about yourself and other people.
The world is full of people who like to put others into certain categories. Not just because of color, religion or nationality, but also because of how they dress and talk, what part of town they're from - and a lot of other reasons.
The problem is that it's so easy to categorize people, and we get so influenced by others. Media or people with very strong specific views might repeat their opinions so often that we end up believing they are the truth. And here's my point: If we can be influenced by others to believe certain things about other people, it is also very easy to start believing the same things about ourselves.
Whether we like it or not, we are all influenced or "programmed" by other people's beliefs from our early childhood. How we view ourselves and others is often created by other people, circumstances and events in our life. If we want to learn how to put the past behind us, we must also learn to let go of any misunderstandings that may have been created in this way. And I believe that any individual who is old enough to understand how the past has influenced his or her self-image of today, has the ability - and the right - to work on this self-image and change it.
Now, that is a topic that it will take some more time to dig into. In this context I just want you to understand that the way you handle changes can have a lot to do with how you think of yourself. If you believe that you are a person who is not capable of doing this or that, it will affect the way you handle things. Or if you always believe that the occuring changes are bad, or that someone else is to blame for them, - then of course this will also greatly affect how you handle these changes.
So for now - without going any deeper into what specific beliefs about yourself or other people you might need to work on and let go - I just want you to accept that you might not be able to see the full picture of why this change is happening right now. Then just decide that you will A) stop thinking negatively about yourself and other people who are involved in this situation, B) that you will let go of the things you can't do anything about right now, and C) just focus on what you can do.
Use the techniques you learned in Lesson #2 to get clarity about what you can let go of right now and what you should focus on. I mean: Write lists. Get it down on paper. Because like I said in Lesson #2: It's amazing how much clearer things get when you write them down.
Then put away the list of things you can't do anything about. Put it in a drawer, or throw it away - or burn it! Just forget about those things altogether!
Then focus on the second list - the one with the things you can do something about - and make a plan for how and when you will deal with them.
Then take one step at a time.
Rest assured that you will get through this.
Like Marie Forleo says: Anything is figureoutable!
And that's it, really! It's important to break things down and not over-complicate!
Picture from Pexels.
So let's sum up what you've learned in this Mini-course:
- In Lesson #1 you learned about various changes that you might
experience in your life, and how they can affect you.
- In Lesson #2 you learned how you can get more clarity about
the changes you experience and how you can deal with them.
- In this lesson, which is Lesson #3, you've learned how to put
things behind you, let go of the things you can't do anything about
and focus on the things you can do.
Congratulations! You can be proud of yourself! By going through these lessons and doing the things I've told you to do, you have increased your own capability of handling any changes that might occur in your life in a much better way! You now have some useful tools that you can make use of whenever you need them in the future.
I hope you found this mini-course valuable! If so, fell free to share it with someone else, and follow my blog to make sure you don't miss out on any future articles, courses or events! I also recommend that you sign up for my Newsletter!
See you soon!
MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART TWO.
Picture from Pexels.
NOTE: I started this mini-course on my blog yesterday, and this is Lesson # 2. If you haven't read the first one yet, I suggest you do that before you move on to today's lesson. You can find it here.
But now, let's move on to today's lesson:
HOW YOU CAN GET CLARITY ABOUT YOUR SITUATION
Change is part of life. Change can help you grow and express yourself on a practical and spiritual level, whatever your religious or spiritual belief is.
Life itself is a learning-process, and everything that happens is a part of that process. How much we learn will of course depend on each and every one of us and our own ability and willingness to see the importance or significance of the changes we experience. It will also depend on our own ability and willingness to incorporate the changes into our lives in the best possible way.
ARE YOU FACING A PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW?
If you're facing some challenges in your life right now, a positive attitude to a negative problem can get you a long way. Easier said than done, you say? Well, maybe ... But I believe that you really want to solve the problem or challenge that you're facing, and in order to do that, a positive attitude will be very helpful.
To achieve that, this is what I want you to do:
# 1) Make a list of the challenges you are facing.
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Why? Because it's amazing what writing them down can do for you. Your problems or challenges simply don't seem all that big anymore when you see them in front of you on paper instead of chasing them around in your head. And when you look at each problem separately, one by one, it can bring about great relief when you can later cross them off as solved.
Example: Let's say your partner or spouse of many years has left you.
This is what your list could look like:
Problem /challenge # 1: Money
How will I manage?
Problem / challenge # 2: Practical things around the house
What will I do if something happens with the house, like a burst pipe or something like that?
Problem / challenge # 3: New place to live
Where will I live? Can I afford to move to a new home? Who can help me?
Problem / challenge # 4: Friends & family
How am I going to tell them? How will I relate to them from now on?
Problem / challenge # 5: Loneliness
How will I handle it?
Of course, your list could look very different, depending on what your problems / challenges are, but this is just to give you an idea of what a list of challenges / problems can look like.
An important thing to remember is that you can always add to the list, and that you don't have to handle all the problems on your own. Whether you ask for help from family, friends or professionals, you should never feel completely isolated.
Even though we often feel like we're the only person with our particular problems / challenges, our logic tells us that this isn't true. There is no problem on earth that is not shared by at least one other person.
I'm not saying this to take away the significance of your problem or challenge, but to ensure you that there already exist methods and tools to help you solve them.
And remember: There's no shame in asking for help!
Coaches, counsellors and consultants are there for a reason, and real friends will be only too happy to help you. Would you turn your back on a friend who asked for your help? Probably not! Would you think less of him/her for having that problem? Of course not! You would be glad to offer your help if there was anything at all you could do, - right? So allow your friends to do the same for you!
2) Now take a look at that list you wrote and see if you can think of some solutions to those problems.
I'll use the list I wrote as an example, and give you some ideas of what could be some possible solutions:
Problem / challenge # 1: Money - how will I manage?
If your partner / spouse has left you and you own a house together, you could sell that house and then you'd get half of the money. This would probably also solve Problem # 3, because it will enable you to buy or rent a smaller house or apartment. You may not be rich, but you will most likely manage quite well.
If you haven't been working while you've been with your partner, you may need to start looking for a job or start some kind of business in order to earn money. Depending on where you live, you could register as an unemployed and at least get some financial help while you're searching for a job, or you could try to find out if there is some funding you could apply for if you want to start a business.
Problem / challenge # 2: Tasks around the house - what do I do?
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If this is something you've been used to having your partner / spouse handle and you worry about what you'll do if something should happen, - try to think about what could make you feel more at ease around this problem right now.
Would you feel better if you knew someone you could call? If so, try to put together a list of plummers, electricians, carpenters etc. in your neighbourhood, and put the list in a place where it's easily available. In this way you'll know exactly who to call in an emergency.
For other possible situations, a good tip is - for example - to make sure you also have all the user manuals for your electrical equipment available, like the user manuals for your freezer, your stove, your washing-machine, your TV, etc. And make sure you know where you can turn off the main water- and electricity supply if needed.
Just prepare, and you'll feel so much better already! Problem solved - at least for now!
Problem / challenge # 3: New place to live - will I be able to afford to move? Where should I live?
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Make an estimation of what kind of home you think you'll be able to afford, and whether you should buy or rent one.
Decide where you want to live. Should you stay in the area where you live now, or move somewhere else? This is a decision only you can make. It might depend on a lot of things, like if you have kids and want to stay in the same area because of their school and friends, - or maybe you want to stay in the neighbourhood that you're familiar with and maybe like very much ... Or maybe you will find it refreshing to make a clean break and start a completely new life in a different place.
When it comes to the practical sides of moving to a new home, you have several options: You could contact a realtor, a lawyer, your bank, a moving company ... There are plenty of professional people who would be more than willing to help you.
Problem / challenge # 4: Friends & family - how will I tell them? How will I relate to them from now on?
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You may find it extremely difficult to tell your closest family about a break-up, whether it's your children, your parents and siblings or other relatives, - or people who have been friends of both you and your partner / spouse ... But it's more than likely that they already know of someone who's been through this before, and maybe they've even had the same experience in their own life. So even if it's a challenging situation for everyone involved, it's not exactly uncommon these days and people will probably not be all that shocked by it. And people who really care about you will neither condemn or critisize you.
Anyways: The wise thing to do in this kind of situation would probably be to tell your family and friends as soon as possible. Some people might become "bitter" if they find out from someone else that someone they cared about (you) has been going through personal trauma without telling them about it, because they might feel that you haven't "trusted them" with it and made it possible for them to give you their personal help and support.
You can write down beforehand what you're going to say, and then either email, text them or phone them - or tell them in person - as soon as possible. You probably know what each of them would prefer. But just do it, and then you can cross it off of your list. Problem solved!
Problem / challenge # 5: Loneliness
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It's natural to feel stressed out and afraid of being left alone when a long partnership or marriage ends. Maybe you're afraid that old friends will stop inviting you or that they will no longer stay in touch now that you're on your own ... and that often happens. I know, because I've been there.
So what can you do about that?
If you're a grown-up woman it can of course be difficult to find new friends, so try to keep in touch with the ones you already have and who are more your friends than your spouse's friends. But if this turns out to be a challenge and you get a feeling they don't really want to stay in touch, then try to seek out new people that you can become friends with.
For example, taking a class that you're interested in could turn out to be a place where you'll find like-minded people and new friends. Or start something new and invite people to join you. Or join an organisation of some sort...
I'm sure you can think of more options yourself.
If you like to travel and don't want to do it alone, there are lots of trips for single people and also theme travels that you can sign up for.
Nowadays, meeting people on social media is another good option, like joining groups of people who share your interests - like The Society of Female Life Designers!
So: If you ever face a challenge or problem that fills you with fear or worry, grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing a list. Seeing your problems written down in front of you gives you something concrete to work on. And to do something - however small it might seem - will give you a feeling of accomplishment and reduce your worries, because you realize that you do have control over your own life.
3) If you find it hard to pin-point your exact challenges, use the following questions as a starting-point to get clarity:
# 1) What do I worry about?
# 2) What sides of the matter can I do something about?
# 3) What are the advantages - however small - in this situation?
# 4) What do I fear the most?
# 5) What can I do about each of these things?
4) When you've dealt with some of the most immediate challenges / problems, it might be useful to think a little bit further ahead.
Think of positive future aspects about your situation. What can you look forward to?
If you notice that negative thoughts occur, don't try to force them away. Just ask yourself what you can do about those things if they should happen. You'll probably never have to use those plans, but it might make you feel better to know that you're prepared.
5) Try to look at change in a positive way.
Whatever it is that has brought the change about, try to see it as a new and exciting challenge. Life would be boring if nothing ever changed, wouldn't it? If we didn't have snow in the winter, would we appreciate the flowers in spring in the same way? And isn't it wonderful to watch all the beautiful colors in the autumn, even if the falling leaves tell us that a colder period is on its way?
Every change has a positive side to it, and you have the ability and the right to choose which side you will focus on.
If you're facing an inevitable change in your life, there's no point in raging about it. That will only increase your own stress and feeling of misery. You need to accept it, so that you can move forward and control your own future as much as possible.
This was the end of Lesson # 2.
In the last lesson, Lesson # 3, you'll learn how you can develop the ability to put things behind you and let go.
See you tomorrow!
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MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART ONE
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There is one thing in life that is absolutely certain: Everything is uncertain. Practically all things keep changing all the time. Throughout your whole life you must live through changes, and the way you handle them is vital to your health and wellbeing.
Change happens in a lot of different ways. Some happen by your own choice, like if you decide to get married, move to a new place or change your job. Others are more or less forced upon you, like losing your job, having a car accident or experiencing a partner breakup or sudden death in your family.
Some changes in life happen suddenly and you can't really prepare for them. Others happen slowly, over time, like the fact that you're getting older. Whatever the case is, it's importat that you handle change in a good way so you can benefit from it instead of getting hurt by it.
Some changes can be very positive, but - as you know - they often feel negative. However, even negative changes can have positive aspects in them and turn into something good, because they force you to start thinking in a new way and maybe take some positive action in a new direction.
To make this content digestible for you, I've created it as a Mini course over several days.
Today, let's take a closer look at various types of change that you might experience in your life, and how they may affect your health and wellbeing.
1) Conscious / chosen change
This could be anything from the most insignificant thing, like a new haircut or choosing to take a different way to work, to the more significant things like moving to a new home, starting a new relationship or quitting your job. The consequences and the impact these changes will have on you will of course vary from person to person. But at least those are changes that you've had some time to prepare for, because they are all changes that you have chosen, and you've been planning them for a longer og shorter period of time according to what you've considered necessary. Even if the result doesn't always turn out quite the way you had pictured it, a thorough estimation of various options will help you avoid a lot of stress and trauma that are normally connected to change.
2) Unwanted / forced change
If you have (for example) been in an accident, have suddenly lost your job or have been left by someone you love (like a partner or spouse), you've experienced negative, unwanted change in your life. Or - like we have all experienced recently: A global pandemic occurs.
Positive unplanned change could for example be winning the lottery or meeting the man of your dreams. Both of these changes seem wonderful, don't they? But the impact this kind of change has on you could sometimes feel just as traumatic as the impact or consequence of negative change, because you haven't been able to prepare for it.
3) Progressive change
Some changes are inevitable. We all get older. We all have to deal with the loss of a loved one at some point in our life, and we are all going to die eventually. We realize all this quite early in life.
But none of these changes necessarily have to be considered negative. They could all be seen as just parts of a larger pattern that we gradually become more aware of as time goes by.
4) Short-term / temporary change
Of course there are some changes that are only temporary, and then things will go back to normal. But not always.
Maybe you've had a short stay in a hospital, a quarrel with your partner, or a conversation with a relative. You wouldn't think that these things could dramatically change the status quo, would you?
But no change in life is completely without consequences for the people involved.
Maybe your stay in the hospital created an anxiety in you regarding your health, - an anxiety you didn't feel before...
Maybe the quarrel you had with your partner made you look at him in a completely different way ... and not in a positive way.
Maybe your relative told you something about a family member that totally changed the way you think or feel about that person from now on...
Each in their own way, short-term changes can have an equally dramatic impact on you as those changes that are meant to be permanent.
5) Permanent change
Wether the permanent change in your life is chosen, forced upon you or progressive, you'll probably still feel that either you or your lifestyle has been turned completely upside-down by it.
However: The fact that the change is inevitable, seems to somehow make it easier to handle it. Once the change has happened, it's amazing how quickly most people adapt to their new situation.
This doesn't necessarily mean that they blindly or passively accept it. It's more a matter of facing the situation with a positive mind and treating it like a challenge that has its own, special reward.
How change can affect your health
Change - whether positive or negative - stir up a lot of different emotions, like excitement, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief, happiness or joy. In order for those emotions not to put too much pressure on you, it's of vital importance that you learn to acknowledge and liberate them. Don't try to oppress or hide them, because this can 1) lead to physical and mental problems in the future, and 2) send the wrong message to the people around you so they don't know what you expect from them and therefor they are not able to help and support you.
All change can be stressful. Even when it's related to the happiest event of your life, like getting married. Wedding preparations can put a lot of pressure on those who are most involved, as we can all imagine.
You'll learn more about how you can handle change as we move on through this Mini-course. Lesson # 2 will be available tomorrow, so make sure you don't miss that.
See you then!
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Makeup is meant to enhance features, not hide them. Wearing too much makeup will make you look cakey and completely different. Unless that’s your goal, here are some things to keep in mind when applying makeup.
This is also how most French women do it, so if you want to look chic like a French woman, these tips will definitly be valuable to you.
Tip # 1: Eyeliner
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Dark, thick eyeliner will make you look overdone. Though it may be perfect for Saturday night, it definitely doesn’t look natural. Instead, make sure you sharpen your eyeliner pencil so it makes a thin line. Also, avoid using a dark eyeliner on your waterline, especially if you're a woman in your 50+ years, because this might make you look dragged.
Tip # 2: Mascara
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Most mascaras have a tendency to clump, which forces your lashes to come together and leave large gaps. Applying mascara lightly will avoid this issue and enhance your lashes in the most natural way.
If you're not so young anymore, I suggest you only put mascara on your upper eyelashes. Again, putting mascara underneath your eye might make you look dragged, so keep in mind that you should try to lift your look instead of drawing the attention downward.
Tip # 3: Foundation
First, choose a foundation that matches your skin tone. A little goes a long way, so start applying lightly and add more as desired.
The goal of foundation is to create a smooth, even tone. Also, select a brush that is appropriate for your foundation; some brushes work best with a liquid foundation, as opposed to pressed powder.
Tip # 4: Powder
The same holds true for powder - not too much. Powder has a tendency to sit on top rather than blend into your face, so be sure to blend your makeup to avoid obvious lines.
Tip # 5: Lips
For a natural look, it is best to stick with neutral colors. Sometimes a clear gloss is perfect to keep it natural but add that little bit of spunk. You can even just throw on some tinted chapstick!
Tip # 6: Appropriate makeup
This last tip is perhaps the most important one:
Wear makeup that is appropriate for the occasion!
If you are going to the beach, you shouldn't wear the same or as much makeup as you would if you were going dancing. Same thing applies if you're going to a job interview or some other formal setting: You shouldn't wear the same makeup as you would going to a party.
Also, when you are in daylight, your makeup should be lighter than when you are out for the evening.
I hope you found this article useful to you. If so, feel free to share it with someone else, and I would love it if you would follow my blog!
I've loved music all my life.
It was a vital part of my childhood.
Classical music in particular.
Both my parents loved it, but especially my Mom. She grew up with a lot of violin music around her, since her eldest brother had a large collection of records and she listened to them a lot in. Especially in a period of illness when she had to stay home from school. She told me that listening to all that wonderful music gave her great comfort and joy.
And when I was a little girl, she was always accompagnied by recordings of classical music while she was doing her household chores. Especially violin music. And she sang along, too, - or rather hummed the melodies, since they were mostly without lyrics: Johannes Brahms' Hungarian dances ... Claude Debussy's "Clair de lune"... Dmitri Shostakovich's romance "The Gadfly"... Gabriel Fauré's "Après un rêve".... Antonin Dvorak's "Songs my mother taught me"... Pjotr Tchaikovsky's "Sérenade mélancholique" .... Ole Bull's "Sæterjentens søndag" .... Fritz Kreisler's "La Gitana" ... and so many, many more.
I learned to love them all, just like she did.
And then there was Grieg ... Beethoven ... Mozart ... Haydn .... Chopin .... Schumann ... I can't even begin to describe the joy that filled me when I listened to all that wonderful music! And that's exactly what's so beautiful about it: You don't have to describe it. You don't have to describe anything at all. The music speaks for itself. It can express all feelings in a way that words never can.
My mother's love for classical music opened up the whole world of music to me. In my early childhood it was available to me through my parents' tape recorder and through the radio. Not only classical music, but also other genres, like pop, jazz and rock music.
Then, a few years into the 1960s, we got a television set in our home, and a new era began. It was all in black-and-white back then, but that didn't matter. It all came very much alive to me. I watched operettas, ballets and classical concerts, but also quite a few American TV-shows and musicals, which of course had a lot of both singing and dancing in them. Danny Kaye was one of my favorites back then. And films with Shirley Temple ... Jeanette McDonald and Eddie Nelson .... Julie Andrews ... Frank Sinatra ... Fred Astaire ... I could go on and on...!
I was hooked.
I day-dreamed about becoming a singer and dancer and actor myself. It was my life! And I had no barriers back then. I sang with confidence. My Dad used to sit himself down by the piano in the evenings, playing a variety of songs, especially Christian traditional songs and hymns, but also songs like "Home on the Range", "My grandfather's clock.." and that kind of stuff.
And I sang. Sometimes alone, sometimes together with my sister. We could go on for hours, and my Mom listened to us from the kitchen and often joined in, too.
Those were happy times, for sure!
And as I grew older and became a teenager, I listened a lot to "Radio Luxembourg" in my room at night, when I was supposed to be asleeep. I turned the volume of the old Radionette way down low so I didn't wake anyone up, and listened with my ear close to the radio. That's where I heard "Bridge over troubled water" with Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel for the very first time, and it was the most beautiful song I'd ever heard. And the world of pop music opened up to me. The Carpenters, Neil Sedaka, The Beatles ... I felt like I was floating away on a white cloud in the sky. The music got under my skin. Tickled my ears. Filled me with joy.
And then there was Donny Osmond ... "Puppy Love" ... I had a crush on him for quite a few years, and the walls in my teenage room was covered with pictures of him (and of course a big poster of Liverpool FC and my favorite player at that time, Kevin Keegan), - until ABBA, Queen, Paul McCartney / Wings (among others) caught my interest more.
I got my first record player when I was 14 or 15, and my LP record collection grew slowly in the beginning, since I didn't earn much money of my own back then (the paper round I did 3 times a week didn't pay much), - but it grew more rapidly over the years, since music was a huge passion of mine and I discovered more and more artists from very different genres. In the late 1970s I also started to buy a lot of Christian music, and Larry Norman, Amy Grant, Paul Field, and Adrian Snell were among my favorites, as well as a few local Norwegian bands, like PeOBand and Kainos (from my home area). Whenever there was a Christian concert or festival in my area, I went there together with my friends, and it's a period of my life that I remember with great joy. A few of the friends from that period are people I still have contact with.
My music library in the 1980s naturally included Randy Crawford, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Kate Bush, Belinda Carlisle, Tanita Tikaram, T'Pau, and many, many more. As the years passed by, my list of favorites just kept on growing, and they represented very different genres. This is not covered in one day, for sure!
I'll definitely be sharing more about music later. Hope you've enjoyed it so far, and that you'll share this article with someone who might enjoy it too.
Do you have any personal favorites? Stay tuned, and who knows: Maybe you'll find a piece about them here later.
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Imagine browsing through skincare aisles and finding that one, perfect product that boasts of all-natural ingredients. Then you read the label, expecting to find a virtual salad, but instead you find yourself reading benzoic acid, butyl stearate, and some totally unpronounceable names. You're no botanist, but you're quite sure that all that stuff doesn’t grow on trees. This is because most commercial items meant for skin care nowadays contain preservatives and other chemicals to maintain their consistency and shelf life. Problem is, most of these chemicals can actually irritate more sensitive skin.
So what solution is there for this kind of crisis?
Simple. Mix your own, homemade skincare line.
There's really nothing to it, as most ingredients are found in your fridge or fruit basket.
All-natural skin recipes are easily found on the Internet or even in magazines.
Usually, these skincare mixes are composed of a combination of one or two fruits. Combinations like these can include either the fruit pulp, fruit juice, or both. Milk, water, or honey are usually added to smoothen the mixture. Add-ons such as oatmeal, wheat germ, brown sugar, and dried herbs are also included for more specialized effects such as a pimple treatment, flaking, and oily skin.
Skincare using natural ingredients offers great variety. There are facial cleansers, scrubs, moisturizing creams, and face masks. Don't worry, because indications for use are usually found with the recipes. The recipes indicate whether the mixture is for normal, dry, oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. Some are even more specialized as blackhead removers or whitening solutions.
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Natural skincare routines have many advantages.
# 1)The ingredients are easily available and the choices are great.
They are also natural, thus, greatly reducing risks of allergies or skin irritations.
# 2) The ingredients are cheap, which translates into more savings for you.
# 3) You can modify the recipes to suit your needs.
Since the risks for irritations are minimal, experimentations are relatively safe.
# 4) Vitamins and antioxidants are naturally found in fruits, while milk and honey have restorative
properties. Therefore, you get the same vitamins found in commercial products while
limiting or eradicating chemicals.
As these skincare recipes use natural ingredients, they require refrigeration and can only keep for a week. However, it is better to make these in small quantities or batches for immediate use. In addition, these recipes contain natural hydroxy acids and vitamins for direct and instant skin rejuvenation.
Last, but not least: Don't forget to keep fit by exercising, having a balanced, healthy diet, and regular sleep. With these prerequisites and your new skincare solutions, you're on your way to having healthy skin that can top what science can offer. Now, that's what you call natural.
I hope you found this article useful to you! If so, I hope you'll follow my blog and also share this article with someone else who might be interested in it.
If you want to read more articles on skin-care, and if you're interested in how French women do it, check out my article on How to do skin-care like French women.
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Have you tried over and over again to create a morning routine, but you just can’t stick with it? Me too! But I’ve figured out how to do it. And so can you!
The key is to make it flexible.
Now, you may think that sounds strange – it’s a routine, shouldn’t it be … not flexible?
Well, the answer to that is yes and no.
It’s also important to make the routine manageable. There’s no point trying to make working out in the morning a routine if you don’t have time for it.
Why flexibility is important
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You may think the point of a routine is to make different actions into habits. And that’s one way to look at it.
Another way to look at it is that a routine helps you have time for the things you want to do more of. It’s also self care in the sense that you take time out of your day to do something for yourself.
That may be reading, it may be to cook a healthy lunch, or working out. It all depends on what YOU want.
But a strict routine doesn’t take into account that not every day is the same. You may oversleep, or you may have slept bad and you don’t have the energy to go through a whole routine.
That’s why having a flexible routine is important.
Create your perfect morning routine
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So, imagine your perfect morning routine. You feel rested and energized and you have enough time.
It’s a good idea to write this down. Because now, we’re going to start messing with it.
The idea of a perfect morning routine is great, but, as I touched upon, not all mornings are perfect. That’s where having a flexible routine is useful – and when I figured this out, it was a revelation.
Some people talk about having a “habit menu”, and there is also a book by Stephen Guise called Elastic Habits.
So how do we take the perfect morning routine and make it flexible?
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The key to making a flexible routine is to make alternatives. I think it’s important that all alternatives involve some of the same elements, because it’s not really a routine if not, is it?
If you just do different things every morning, it’s not a routine. And instead of maybe give you a nice start to the day or help you reach your goals, you’re just doing random stuff.
Lateral and vertical flexibility
The variations of your morning routine should involve some of the same elements, but there needs to be both lateral and vertical flexibility.
What I mean by that, is that you need variations on how much you do, and how intense it is.
An example: If you want to work out in the morning, you can have a small, medium or large goal. But you can also vary the intensity.
So, say you’re pressed for time, but are really energetic, you can work out for 15 minutes with high intensity. If you have more time, but less energy, you may want to do a 30 minute yoga session.
Both of those activities belong in the category of “working out” as part of your routine (if that is something you’ve included).
Examples and inspiration to make your own perfect, but flexible, morning routine
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Earlier, I asked you to imagine your perfect morning routine. But maybe nothing came to mind, you just know that you want to make a routine to get a better start to your day. So, I would suggest taking a few minutes to think of what you want to achieve with your morning routine. Do you want to have a calm, relaxing start to the day, or do you want to feel like you’ve achieved something first thing in the morning, or maybe you just want to make your mornings run more smoothly?
Examples of some alternatives
There are a few things I want to incorporate more of in my life. Working out, reading and learning a new language are some of those goals.
But I also want to be kind to myself. Therefore, my routine(s) have elements of both working on my goals, and having a relaxed morning.
So a low energy morning routine may look like this:
A high energy morning routine may look like this:
And a low on time morning routine may look like this:
As you can see, you can vary the amount of time or energy you spend on an activity, depending on how you feel and what you have time for.
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Right now I don’t have that many items in my morning routine, but If I’m really short of time or am really low on energy, I may completely omit a habit that day.
That’s the great thing about a flexible routine – it allows for you to stick to the same elements, but vary them depending on time and energy.
And that’s how you stick to a morning routine, you have to make the routine work for you.
I hope you found this article valuable! If so, feel free to share it with someone else who might like it, too. And of course I would be very happy if you would follow my blog and subscribe to my newsletter!
See you soon!