Category Archives: Simplify

Make it Simple

As we head into a brand new year, it is obvious that the Pandemic Pause has us all living a bit differently. Now, more than ever, it’s important to our health to do good things for ourselves.

How can we make getting fit, eating healthy, meditation or mindfulness less daunting. Commit to it just for today. When you put a big X on the calendar, and do a happy dance, you’re celebrating success! Then, as James Clear says in his best selling book, Atomic Habits, “Don’t break the chain.” When you commit to doing something, just for today, then track it, you’ll build momentum.

Once you’ve got a few days under your belt, missing a day is painful! A couple of years ago I decided to do a stretching workout every morning. I set a minimum for what would count toward success. I have missed, maybe, two days! And, most days I do far more than the minimum I set for it to count … momentum! (There’s nothing like the image of a missing X to get me moving!) I’ve got a few different tracking sheets if you’d like one. Here’s a link to my favorite! (It’s the one above.)

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan share brilliant ways to focus on your One Thing in their book of the same name. Find that One Thing that if you do it regularly, it will make everything else easier or unnecessary. You want to move closer to your goal.

In their book The Consistence Chain, authors George Campbell and Jim Packard recommend having a substitute habit for times when your habit choice isn’t practical. For instance, if your ‘thing’ is to go for a walk every day, it’s not practical for you to head out in bad weather, so line up a selection of workouts to do instead. Practical substitution makes sense!

So, what’s one SIMPLE thing you would like add in, take out, or change daily to improve your wellness? I thought I’d toss out a few ideas:

  • Walk around the block
  • Get up ten minutes earlier than the family and savor the quiet
  • Track expenses
  • Read spiritually centered material
  • Make your bed
  • Reach out to someone
  • Start every day with a JP+ Complete smoothie
  • Try new fitness activities online. Tai chi? Yoga? Low impact aerobics? Strength?
  • Read uplifting books
  • Listen to or read personal development material
  • Read a daily devotion and journal your thoughts
  • Take Juice Plus+
  • Have a side salad at dinner … even if dinner is McDonald’s
  • Figure out a budget and set aside time daily to make sure it’s accurate. (Make it fun!)
  • Learn something new
  • Eat veggies at every meal
  • Check in with friends

Working with a health coach can help you to determine your one thing, and how to implement it. Having that accountability, even when it comes with a dose of kindness, ramps up motivation.

I’d love to support you in your journey to wellness. Feel free to reach out via my website at: http://www.nancyoglesby.com

Goals Planner

Willpower & Discipline … Ugh!

First, let’s talk about change. It’s hard! By the time we’re 50 and older, we’re darned stuck in our ways, right?!

In order to make changes last, we have to learn about how to effectively use discipline and willpower. In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller says what we need is a new habit, not discipline nor willpower. Toss in enough discipline for a short time, while the habit kicks in, and we won’t need to rely on it to continue the behavior. Think about it: You don’t use discipline to brush your teeth, make coffee, get out the door on your way to work, put on your seat belt or start the car and put it in drive. Why? Because they’re all habits!

As he points out in the book, “… who would want to be, ‘disciplined’ anyway? The very thought of having your every behavior molded and maintained by training seems frighteningly impossible on one hand and utterly boring on the other.”

Goals Planner
How many goals have you achieved?

What about willpower? Mr. Keller shares research stating that we have a daily reserve of willpower and over the course of the day, it is depleted every time we use if for something, regardless of how trivial. It’s a powerful thing, until it needs a nap! Kathleen Vohs, in Prevention magazine (2009) used the analogy of it being like gasoline in your car. Every time you start and/or run your car’s engine, you use some of your gas and eventually your tank is empty.

Willpower is the same … resist that donut at 8AM, the French fries at lunch, bite your tongue throughout the day, and when it’s 9PM and you’re relaxing … BAM! the ice cream or potato chips begin their siren call just when your willpower is at its lowest.

In The One Thing, Keller shares research showing that when our willpower runs out, we revert to our default settings. Understanding those settings is a step toward awareness but is not the answer. Managing our ‘tank’ of willpower is the solution. In the book, he points out several things that deplete willpower: Suppressing emotions, or impulses, restraining aggression, resisting temptation, trying to impress or doing something you don’t want to do. Some of those are obvious willpower guzzlers but taking tests and filtering distractions surprised me.

I understand that taking tests can be stressful, and as such, made sense once I thought about it, but filtering distractions was an AHA! moment for me. As someone with ADHD, I never realized how filtering distractions was one of my major guzzlers, leaving me exhausted! A couple of other things on the list rang true for ADHD as well: suppressing impulses and doing things one doesn’t enjoy are big challenges. Knowing that they guzzle willpower means scheduling them when the tank is full!

Other important factors in filling your tank include staying rested and healthy eating. Eating properly, and at the right time sets you up for success.

My willpower plan is to do important things first and try to set up meetings for later in the day. However, it rarely works that my mid mornings aren’t planned out, so when I get home in the afternoon, I take a 20-30-minute nap. (Alexa, set an alarm for 3:30!) That mental break, and energy charge, tops off my tank so that I can finish up the important stuff while still taking advantage of a reasonable bedtime.

There are so many planning tools available that finding one that works for you, studying your willpower’s timing and your focused needs, will probably require designing and redesigning your daily plan several times. Also, we change, and our priorities change, often leading to a new plan.

I highly recommend Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing. Read it, listen to it, work with it and see where it leads. There’s also a podcast and planning sheets. Check it all out here!

As always, I love giving presentations on wellness. Check out my offerings here, and check the calendar for what’s coming up. You can learn more about Juice Plus+ here for the simplest change!

Let’s Simplify! The 50+ Downsizing Plan … Book of Memories

You’re over 50 so I know you’ve collected a few things in your life. You might be like my friend who has saved ticket stubs and playbills from every concert and performance she’s attended, you might have saved every dog collar or your children’s toys, or you might be like me and have some of your children’s artwork, a few of your parent’s items, jewelry or even furniture. There are also the things you’ve collected as well. For example, I have a peace dove necklace that was purchased in 1970 at the San Jose flea market.

The necklace has a story attached to it … everything we collect has a story attached to it, every ticket and playbill of my friends and every dog collar or child’s toy. You see, the things we collect mark our memories. But, and this is the important part, they aren’t our memories. With or without the item, we have our memories.

As you think about simplifying, consider leaving a book of memories. Your family might not be interested now but they, or the next generation, will be curious one day. I have a ceramic bull that was in my home growing up. It’s anatomically correct. (yeah, weird) I would love to know the story behind it, and the conversations it provoked, but I never will.

Our stories die with us. We can change that and simplify at the same time. A book of memories is a way to hold onto the memories, not the items. Not just holding onto them but sharing them. Imagine how free your space will feel when you give some of your things to your kids or grandkids. Don’t be surprised by what they don’t want. When that’s the case, donate!

If you are supporting aging parents, this is a great way for you to honor them and build their legacy. Ask them about the things they’ve surrounded themselves with, and if they’re having to consolidate, offer to create a book of memories for them.

Here is how I am creating mine. It is both on the computer and printed (put together in a binder with sheet protectors). If I get super motivated, I might send it out to be bound into a book, but for now, the important thing is to start recording. An excerpt:

This peace dove necklace was purchased at the San Jose Flea Market in 1970 when I visited with my friend, Gary.

I thought I was the coolest, hippy chick! The reality? I was a 21-year-old mom of a 3-year-old, living a very un-hippy life back in Mundelein, Illinois. (That miniature golf outfit … 100% polyester worn with dark suede Minnetonka moccasins!

But, my heart? Totally hippy chick!

You probably remember some of my favorite music:  Woodstock, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Jethro Tull’s Songs from the Wood, Revolution by the Beatles, and artists galore including, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Baez, John Lennon and George Harrison. That list is endless! And of course, you couldn’t play with toy guns or soldiers and we had tie-dyed tees, black light love posters and India print bedspreads!

(When I put it all together, I’ll add more about Gary, but not for y’all.) 😉

When I no longer wear the necklace, I’ll be able to give it to one of my kids without regret, because the memory will live on in my book. I imagine myself, when I am less able to get out and about, and my space is much smaller, being able to bring out my book of memories. It will make me smile to know that my grandkids won’t wonder where the anatomically correct bull came from because that will be in there too.

What will your book look like? I’d love for you to share a story or two in the comments!