Optimizing Yourself – Week 17 – Setting Constraints as Big as Dr. Seuss

working with constraints

Working With Constraints

Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) was the master of setting constraints. He once made a bet with a publisher at Random House that he could write a book using 50 words or less.

His power to set limits paid off when Green Eggs and Ham sold more than 200 million copies and was Seuss’s best- selling book

Cat in The Hat was written using only a first grade vocabulary

Limitations inspire creativity by making you find a way to make it work, and setting a schedule helps you get things done whether you feel like it or not, and adds to your productivity.

Everybody has a limited set of tools to work with, but you can work with your tools to maximize what you have.

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to challenge myself to set constraints and make myself work within limits, and find a creative way to make it work. I will let you know how it goes next week.

http://thewritelife.com/dr-seuss/?utm_source=The+Write+Life&utm_campaign=ce906f0bdd-main_list_11_6_13_11_5_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ae07a22b59-ce906f0bdd-106421045&mc_cid=ce906f0bdd&mc_eid=5299b6b24f

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Review of Week 16 – Open Space In My Heart For Blessings

Blessings Cupboard

Making Space in My Blessings Cupboard

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I cleaned out the cupboard in the laundry room where I put everything that I don’t know what to do with. I call it my procrastination cupboard, full of stuff I haven’t decided to throw out yet. It is where I look, if someone asks me where that thing-a-ma-gig is. As the old saying goes “if Mom can’t find it no-one can”.

It is one of the last vestiges of disorder in my house, and clinging to the stuff, feels like I am holding on to the past.

So when Pablo Coelho said that by purging what isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful, we will open space in our hearts for blessings, this was the perfect place for me to start.

I found a marionette puppet of Woody from Toy Story, which would be joyful to a small child, but not my adult children. I found a black plastic holder for je ne sais quoi, that is also getting the deep six. That blue plastic basket that was never beautiful, useful, or joyful, has also gotta go. There were two empty boxes, and a box of pencil crayons, and as soon as I throw them out, someone will ask me for them, but even if I have to buy new pencil crayons, I can’t hang on to stuff in case someone someday might need it.

I felt so good cleaning out the cupboard that I am going to rename it a more positive name – the blessings cupboard, as Pablo said blessings will come if I make space for them. <3 photo credit: -PinkFarasha.* via photopin cc

Week 16 – Optimizing Yourself – Discard An Item A Day To Create BIG Space

open space in your heart

Open Space In Your heart for Blessings

This week, I am going to get rid of at least one item a day that is not useful, beautiful, or joyful, as Paulo Coelho says, in order to “open space in my heart for all the blessings” that this week will bring.

What a positive feeling to open space in my heart for blessings by freeing up my environment of what doesn’t serve me. This fills me with joyful energy, as I am creating usefulness, beauty and joy in my environment and my life.

I will let you know how discarding an item a day to create BIG space in my heart for blessings, goes next week

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Review of Week 15 – Spring Yard Cleanup

Appreciating Garden Beauty

Appreciating The Beauty of The Garden

spring yard clean-up

Spring Yard Clean-up

I cleaned up the rubbish in the yard for this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, and took a load to the landfill, packed away the snow shovel, and set up the tables and chairs and patio lights.

When it rained for three days, it did thwart my planting and power washing plans.

But I managed to overseed the lawn with two bags of grass seed while it was sunny and warm, and pulled weeds and mowed, so the wet weather created the perfect conditions for the grass seed to germinate.

Sitting in the garden, and taking a rest in the spring and summer makes my problems go away, and makes me grateful for the flowers, birds, trees and sunshine.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveparker/3417047456/”>daveparker</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

Optimizing Yourself – Week 15 – Spring Yard Cleanup in a BIG Way

going to the landfill

Going to the landfill

I am going to pack away the snow shovels and ladders and bring out the weed eater and garden lights. I am going to clean up the grass and weeds that are growing again, and mulch up any lingering leaves.

I will make a trip to the landfill with any rubble that has gathered in the yard over the winter, and set up the outdoor chairs and tables and get the yard ready for barbecue season.

I am going to power-wash the outdoor patio stones and clean the windows I can reach.

As I replant flowers in the planters to create a colorful summer garden, I will also sprinkle grass seed on the sparse areas of the grass, so new grass will fill in the holes. I am also going to buy some topsoil for the garden beds and plant some flowers like bacopa to attract butterflies to the garden.

I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/2847738957/”>Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

Review of Week 14 – Optimizing Yourself – Get More Sleep BIG time

Sleep is Good For you

Sleep is Good For You –

‘Photo by Michael Phillips https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeyphillips.
This week I learned that I have made not getting enough sleep a habit, and habits take some time to break. I did manage to get about an hour extra of sleep each night, but I still did not get as much sleep as I need.

By setting the goal to get more sleep, it made me aware that I need to go to bed earlier, so I can form a habit of getting adequate sleep each night, until I am feeling rested.

I am going to continue to work on getting more sleep, as feeling rested improves your mood, your memory, your energy and your overall health.

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Review of Week 13 – Nurturing Your Body in a BIG Way

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, instead of giving into the demands of daily life and feeling disconnected to my body, I took time to connect with my body.

I awakened my olfactory sense with scented creams, soaps, perfume, and bubble bath.

I wore soft, fleecy clothing against my skin.

I connected to my life force by breathing, exercising and sweating – pumping blood and oxygen through the cells of my body.

I drank a large, nutritious fruit and spinach smoothie each day – a healthy drink, and a handy small meal substitute.

I listened to calming music which soothed my ears.

Nurturing my body removed tension and stress, had positive benefits on my mind and health as well, and by the end of the week, I felt like I was in paradise 🙂

Optimizing Yourself – Week 13 – Nurturing Your Body Each Day in a BIG Way

Nurturing the body

Nurturing the body keeps it healthy

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to nurture my body each day.

Feeling your breath going in and out is the easiest way to connect with your body. Focusing on breath makes you present, and rids your mind of obsessive thinking, as your thoughts transfer into your body. This creates peace and relaxation, and helps you to fall asleep at night.

Getting your body moving more, even if it is walking or gardening, pumps blood and oxygen through your body, and the sweat cleans the impurities and toxins out of your skin. You sleep better when your body is tired, and eight hours of sleep at night restores your energy.

Eating nutritious food and taking vitamins energizes your body, and taking a bubble bath re-juvenates you, and putting lotion on your skin afterward makes your skin soft.

Drinking warm herbal tea also calms the body.

I will let you know how it goes next week.

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Review of Week 12 – Going BIG with Creating Positive Self-Talk

Changing to positive self-talk

Do is better than try

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I changed to using positive self-talk words like: do, choose, proud, make, and when, on my to-do list, to motivate me to get tasks accomplished.

Using decisive words left no doubt in my mind that I was going to accomplish tasks, helped me tackle little tasks easily, and the big ones didn’t seem as intimidating.

Do – ask for help to lift up a king size wooden futon frame and clean under it.

Choose – to eat meals at regular intervals and not skip meals

Proud – feeling proud and reflecting on the things I have worked hard to achieve instead of downplaying them.

Making time instead of not having time – By leaving no doubt that I was going to get a lot done, I completed a big sewing project this week, mailed items at the post office, ordered flowers for someone, bought computer software that I needed, wrapped items, had a celebration, printed off applications and helped fill them out, provided transportation to outings, and sorted through cupboards, drawers and closets.

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Week 12 – Optimizing Yourself – Go BIG With Creating Positive Self-Talk

creating positive self-talk

Reprogramming the brain for positive self-talk


Behavioral researchers describe the human brain as the most powerful computer there is. We think up to 50,000 thoughts a day, but many of them are negative, and those thoughts are the basis of our self-talk dialogue that we all have throughout the day.

Old programming from our past gets stored in our subconscious mind, and needs to be re-programmed, or updated to support our current reality, or our goals.

The exciting news is that we can re-program our minds to think positive thoughts and create a new self-dialogue.

This week I am going to create positive self-talk to motivate myself to achieve my current goals.

Brain researchers tell us that our brain pays attention to what we tell it to do, so we need to use supportive words.

I am going to swap the following words in my self-vocabulary this week, to add more awareness, certainty and resolve to what I am telling myself: I am going to use decisive words like “do” instead of “try”, and “choose” instead of “should”, and I’m “proud”, instead of I’m “only”, and I’ll “make” time instead of saying I “don’t have” time, and not “if” this happens, but “when” it happens.

These words give positive direction to my brain and remove doubt, and help re-program the old thoughts that are no longer useful. I will let you know how it goes next week.

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Review of Week 11 – Go BIG with Eating 6 Small Meals a Day

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I ate six small regularly scheduled meals a day instead of three big meals. For the first four days, it felt like an inconvenience to stop and prepare so many small meals when I didn’t feel hungry, but as I continued to follow the schedule, by the fifth day, I felt the difference.

I started to feel more energy, and was able to take my dog on longer walks, and I didn’t feel dizzy once, yet I didn’t need to snack because I never got hungry. I also ate healthier food, like eggs and vegetables and fruit, instead of getting hungry and eating heavy food.

After only one week of establishing this routine, I was feeling better and more balanced, and I am going to continue on with this new routine and make it a habit.