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This is How I Stay Motivated to Exercise

By Jill Jacobs

Lately, I’ve been contemplating why certain people can stay motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthily while other people’s motivation wanes easily. They exercise a week or two and just quit. They lack exercise motivation.

I see it in friends, family, and even feel a lack of motivation in myself sometimes.

I think it boils down to a couple of things.

First, if a person has a dieter’s mentality, they will always feel either ON a program or OFF a program. Adopting a LIFESTYLE mentality would make a huge difference in this group. If you know you are committed to something for the long haul, you are not likely to give up when you aren’t performing perfectly. (I mean, perfection is a myth anyway!)

Take parenting for example. What if the first time you make a mistake with your new baby, toddler, or teen, you just threw in the towel and gave up? Never! That’s not how it works when you have a long-term commitment to something. You’d never give up on parenting your child and just hand them over to someone else to raise because of a misstep in your parenting!

The same goes for our health. Taking ownership and having a lifestyle mentality will go a long way towards staying motivated. When you make the switch to the lifestyle mentality, you become committed for the long haul. (If the dieter’s mentality is a struggle for you, having a coach and some type of accountability system in place are 2 ways to overcome this type of thinking.)

The second reason I think people quit is not having a solid purpose for exercising. Purpose allows you to tap into your inner motivation which is the kind of motivation that stands the test of time! Digging deep is how you ultimately find lasting motivation.

I’d like to share a few of my reasons (or my deeper purposes) for exercising, hence how I stay motivated and on track. I share these with the hope that something here will resonate with you. 🙂

5 Reasons I Stay Motivated to Exercise:

1. I’m training for the sport called life. I need to feel good and be strong to be the best mom I can be. Motherhood requires athleticism. Have you ever lugged around a toddler and grocery bags at the same time while having to squat down to get the keys you just dropped on the ground? Have you ever played tag with your kids? Sprinted against your daughter? Played football with your son? Exercise allows me to stay in shape so I can enjoy life to its fullest!

Exercise Motivation

I found this funny mousepad on Amazon!

 

2. I value my health and the health of my family. I want to avoid certain diseases that run in my family. I want to be healthy in my old age. I want to pass a legacy of healthy living to my sons and their future families.

When I value health, my example trickles down to the entire family. My sons make sure to do their pull-ups every day without being prompted. They just want to! (Daily pull-ups was their idea back in the fall of last year. I promise I’m not being a drill sergeant! ha!) My sons ask me questions like, “What’s my protein going to be for dinner?” 🙂 They’ve learned balance around food, and when they make poor choices, they are able to recognize that their bodies feel different (i.e. not good, sluggish, nauseous). I know I didn’t have that type of awareness as a child!

Raising my kids to value health is important to me, and I must lead by example not just words.

3. I value hard work, strength, dedication, and meeting goals. Outer strength begets inner strength. I can tell you this because I’ve witnessed it in myself and so many other women. Putting in the hard work, discipline, and dedication to meet a strength, endurance, non-appearance-based goal will not only make you stronger on the outside; you will be stronger on the inside!

You do not have to be hardcore, “I train, eat, sleep, repeat,” to be consistent and dedicated. Set up some minimum standards for yourself. This could be something like never missing a Monday workout, working out 4 times per week minimum, or making sure to move in some way (even leisure walking) daily. This will build healthy habits and you will start to feel strong and confident! There’s nothing more motivating than getting a few “wins” under your belt.

4. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. What I do with my body, what I put into my body, and how I treat my body MATTERS. I truly believe that God wants both our hearts AND our bodies to be used for His glory. Not one or the other; BOTH. My body is a gift. I need to be a good steward with this gift, treat it well, nourish it, and avoid abusing it.

5. I love endorphins! Heavy strength training is one sure-fire way that I use to feel better and more energized.  This is because of the endorphin production that comes with heavy lifting.  It makes me feel happy and alive. Even when I dread the workout and am completely unmotivated, within a few of minutes of starting my workout, I’m already feeling so much better. And then when I hit a PR, I’m on top of the world, smiling, confident, and feeling accomplished. Plus, when I have those endorphins flowing through my body, my husband is completely safe from harm. 😉

I’ve listed several reasons why I exercise. These reasons keep me motivated to stick with it for the long haul! Before I sign off, though, I’d like to leave you with a list of a few things that are NOT reasons I’m motivated to exercise:

  • I don’t exercise to be skinny.
  • I don’t exercise to achieve a certain number on the scale.
  • I don’t exercise to punish myself for eating “bad.”
  • I don’t exercise in order to earn food.
  • I don’t exercise to wear a certain size of jeans.
  • I don’t exercise to be a hardcore, “no excuses” #fitmom. 
  • And most of all, I don’t exercise because I hate my body. I do it because I love and appreciate my body and all that it does for me!

Exercise Motivation

One thing is certain, maintaining exercise motivation is more difficult when you don’t enjoy the type of exercise that you do. Finding a way to move your body in a way that you LOVE and enjoy is so important! My love is for strength training, preferably with kettlebells I keep my workouts short and intense. This way, they don’t take my day away from me AND they are still effective!

What are some of the reasons YOU exercise? How do you maintain exercise motivation? Or do you? I’d love to know! Comment below and let me know. 🙂

 xo ~Jill

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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5 Ways to Stay on Track During Vacation

Now that it’s summer break in Georgia (and many places), I’m hearing a lot of buzz from friends, email subscribers, and clients about going on vacation. Woot woot! This is such a fun time of year when we can travel more and enjoy God’s beauty.

When traveling, it’s easy to throw out all things healthy and find ourselves indulging on ALL.THE.FOOD in sight. Vacation mode is a common phenomenon.

And I get it. It’s fun to get away, unwind, eat vacation treats, and relax a little. I’m certainly not against relaxing the standard a bit on vacation. I do believe, however, that there is a way to do it in moderation and maintain your physique along the way! Wanna know how to stay on track during vacation?

Here are 5 ways to stay on track during vacation:

  • Fit in exercise. Most hotels and condominiums have gyms. Plan a few workouts in advance (subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of this post or HERE for some free workouts included in my Lean Lifestyle Guide!).  You can use dumbbells or just bodyweight.

If there is no gym, get creative. My husband, David, and I have worked out in our hotel room, at the playground with our kids, and as seen below, on the beach! This quick workout helps us stay on track during vacation by pushing our bodies into fat burning mode!

Beach Sprints!

Beach Sprints!

If your kids are small, ask friends or family to watch them for you while you go workout for 30 minutes or take them along for a playground workout! They are watching and learning. If they see you workout, they will learn to prioritize health and fitness!

Be accountable with your exercise! Find a friend, relative, spouse, or group of like-minded women that you can check in with. This will help you stay committed and accountable to your workouts and healthy lifestyle!

  • Plan a menu. This takes some forethought. Plan for a few meals in your hotel or condo, snacks for on the road and during your trip, and even for eating out. Call ahead and ask for a small refrigerator to be delivered to your room so you can keep cold items.

stay on track during vacation

Chocolate Banana Protein Shake

For the room, I like to bring breakfast foods and snacks. I typically will take the ingredients to make protein shakes, pre-boiled eggs, eggs to cook for breakfast if I have a kitchen, beef jerky, nuts, Greek yogurt, fruit, and cut up veggies. I take lettuce, deli meat, cheese, and avocado to make lettuce wraps for lunch.

 

I’ve written about eating out before here. You can certainly make good choices and only indulge when it’s something you really, really want and it native to where you are vacationing.

This is a sample of how I order food out. This is Panang chicken. Notice I chose a meal that serves the carb (rice) on the side rather than mixed into the dish. That way I can control my intake a little better. This dish has chicken, veggies, coconut milk, and spices. So delish! So healthy!

stay on track during vacation

Panang Curry Chicken… Yum!

  • Practice moderation.  My personal practice is to eat with the same healthy guidelines 365 days/year, indulging only when it’s something I really want. With indulgent foods, I take a few sample bites, enjoy, and move on. 🙂 Nothing is really off limits, but I know how my body feels when I eat tons of high fat, high sugar, and fried foods. It feels terrible. I’d rather not feel terrible any day, much less on vacation when I’m wanting to relax and enjoy! So I stick with my nutritional commitments (protein at every meal and snack, high produce intake, 2-3 servings of healthy fat, carbs based on my workouts/body needs) when I’m at home AND when I’m on vacation.camelbak
  • Drink your water. Often, this habit gets completely ditched on vacation. 🙁 With all the activity and the summer sun, you will need to pay special attention to staying hydrated. It will help your body function optimally. Dehydration can make you feel hungry even when you aren’t. Many times when you think you’re hungry, drinking up will stave off a trip to the snack bag! Carry a water bottle with you everywhere, and sip on it all day.

Here is my favorite CamelBak water bottle. It doesn’t spill because of the jet valve and it locks!

  • Take advantage of leisure walking. Some of the best, most beautiful, and most memorable leisure walks I’ve been on have been on vacation! I mean, can you beat watching the sunrise on the east coast?!?!
stay on track during vacation

Can’t beat this view!

There are so many benefits to leisure walking (you can read more here). The major benefit to your health is that it lowers cortisol which can equal fat loss and fewer cravings. There is no downside to leisure walking! It’s fun AND beneficial. 🙂

I hope you have a fabulous summer! I’d love for you to share with me some ways YOU stay on track during vacation. Come on over to my facebook page and let me know!

Love,

Jill <3


Affiliate Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy through the link, the price is still the exact same for you, but I make a small percentage for recommending the product. The opinions expressed in the post are my own and all products shown are those I have used and truly believe in. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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5 Lessons Learned After My Birthday Crisis

By Jill Jacobs

As I get older, my birthday becomes more of a time of reflection than celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be pampered a little, but I find I reflect more on my birthday than when a new year rolls around.

Today on my 42nd birthday, I think about where I’m at in my life as a wife, a mom, a friend, a relative, a business owner and coach, and most importantly as a follower of Christ. I think about past goals, where I’m at with those, and where I want to go in the future.

I also reflect on lessons learned in the last year and how I can use them to grow and learn. This is what I want to share with you in this post because I learned so much in the last year!

Last year, literally ON my birthday, I was faced with a crisis. I was at the beach to enjoy a wedding and time with friends, but I found myself on the phone discussing my “situation” with an attorney. Not how I wanted to start our summer break.

What happened was this: I was basically forced to re-brand due to a trademark issue with the name I was using on my old website and on social media. Basically, I had to start over from scratch to rebuild my website, membership site, facebook page, Instagram account, and youtube channel.

My social media accounts, particularly facebook and Instagram, had thousands of followers that were completely lost when this company accused me of trademark infringement. My accounts were shut down without warning, and I wasn’t allowed to defend myself to them or simply change my name. I had to start completely over. It was a nightmare in progress. It took many, many woman hours, a few tears of frustration, but most of all, it took me sucking it up, putting my big girl panties on, and going deep inside myself to find determination and tenacity. I learned quite a bit going through this crisis and want to share my insights with you with hopes you’ll find them helpful. 🙂

birthday.blog

Here are 5 lessons I learned from this tough time:

  • Be tenacious, determined, and persistent. It’s tempting when life throws punches to just give up. In order to succeed, however, we have to be diligent, keep our goals in front of us, and resolve to move forward. It will actually make us stronger than before!
  • Choose to lean into the struggle rather than wallow in victimhood or self-pity. Another temptation when times are difficult is to play the role of the victim. For whatever reason, we humans tend to love this role. We get sympathy from others who shout with us, “I can’t believe you were treated so poorly!” Some people thrive on that sympathy and being the victim, but may I suggest an alternative. It feels so good to just lean into the struggle and take action! Action takers are people who prefer to move forward instead of dwell in the past.
  • Be willing to change and roll with the punches. The FEAR of change is much, much worse than the change itself! Plunge in, move with it, and join the dance. Change can be very hard and push our emotional limits, but the growth that occurs with change can be a positive and empowering! I’m choosing to be positive and empowered by this crisis. 🙂
  • Look for the silver lining. To be honest, this time last year I wasn’t feeling my brand anymore and had strongly considered re-branding. I looked at how much work it would take and resisted. My silver lining in this situation was that I was forced to do what I *really* wanted to do in the first place! Funny how that worked out. 😉
  • Practice gratitude. This tool has been a game-changer in my life. As humans, we all know how easy it is to get caught up in negativity, blaming, and other unflattering behaviors. That’s why I like having a few tools in my back pocket when these negative things come my way! Gratitude is a tool that has helped me when things don’t go “my way” or when negative things happen. Gratitude gives us all the ability to find the good in any situation and see the positive aspects in other people even when they mistreat us.
My 42nd Birthday :)

My 42nd birthday – headed to a family reunion 🙂

There you have it…. my top lessons learned from this past year! Having a proper perspective, I was able to change a major crisis for me personally and my business into something positive. I look forward to this coming year and what it has in store. 🙂

Feel free to share with me some of your top lessons you’ve learned recently over on my facebook page! Be sure to sign up for email updates below to receive some really great freebies and regular emails from me with tips on living a healthy lifestyle! I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

xo -Jill

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5 Surprising Strategies for Successful Fat Loss

I’ve got good news! Successful fat loss CAN be attained. And not only can it be attained, but it is also an enjoyable lifestyle. 🙂

successful fat loss

Lazare / Pixabay

In the past, I’ve eaten many different ways. I’ve certainly discovered that there are foods that work for fat loss and foods that don’t, but most importantly, I’ve discovered that it’s about WAY MORE than just the food.

Here are 5 key strategies that lead to successful fat loss:

  • Whatever nutrition plan and fitness routine you choose, it must be SUSTAINABLE for the long haul. If your fat-loss plan is SO HARD that you can barely make it through a couple of weeks, how on earth can you sustain that as a lifestyle? Sure there may be times you want to tighten up your nutrition a bit for a summer vacation, a class reunion, or some other special event, but for this to be a lifestyle, your eating style MUST be something you enjoy and can do long-term AND produces RESULTS, successful fat loss. Similarly, if your workouts take hours a day, is that really something you or your body can maintain forever? I think not! There’s no such thing as a quick fix.
  • Keeping a positive attitude is KEY. If you play the victim card and wallow in self-pity about your plan, you will certainly be miserable and ultimately unsuccessful. Focus on how great you feel when you eat healthy food, how much energy you have when you feed your body real food, and how GREAT your jeans feel when you zip them up and don’t feel stuffed into them! 😀 Your attitude is ALWAYS controlled by YOU even when outcomes are not.

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way” ~ Henry Ford

  • Realize that it’s not just about the food. Fat loss not only happens in the kitchen, but there are many lifestyle factors that play a role. Getting proper sleep, keeping stress to a minimum, and working the WEIGHTS all play a HUGE role in metabolism, hormones, hunger, energy, cravings, and becoming leaner over time.
  • Be kind to yourself. How easy is it to beat ourselves up when we fall off the dieting wagon? We feel shame as we climb our way back up onto the wagon thinking that guilt will give us the most motivation. I’ve found that the opposite is true. When I “mess up” on my nutrition plan, I first evaluate WHY I was hungry or having a craving. I then move forward with new knowledge of how to avoid that situation next time. Looking for a lesson learned, being kind and gentle with myself, and moving on gives me the positive energy to carry on with my goals.
  • Put on your detective hat. When some aspect of your nutrition plan isn’t working, you have to be willing to put in a little detective work. This is a fat-loss lifestyle skill that will serve you well. Any time that you have cravings, excessive hunger, low energy, or lack of results, you should investigate to find the aspect of what you’re doing (or not doing) that’s NOT working for you.

Having basic knowledge of what you should eat doesn’t always translate to the results you desire. When my results stall, it’s time to examine some issues outside of food choices to find the answers. I know that when my attitude is positive and my lifestyle choices are in line with fat-loss success, the food part is effortless!

Successful fat loss is a journey and doesn’t come from a “quick fix” plan. It takes time, practice, and patience to master the mindset piece, to make necessary changes in your lifestyle, and do the detective work it takes to be successful. Want the GOOD news? It DEFINITELY CAN be done!

A solid coaching program will work with ladies day-in and day-out on these strategies. It’s imperative to make important mindset shifts, find sustainable strategies that work in your everyday life, and become a detective of your own body. It CAN be done!

If you’re wanting information about a top-level coaching service that I recommend, here is my top suggestion to help you reach your goals!

FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


For regular tips and encouragement, be sure to sign up for my email list right below the post. You’ll get some awesome freebies as soon as you confirm your subscription! ❤️

Best of luck on your journey to a healthier, happier, leaner YOU! Here’s to successful fat loss!

xo -Jill

successful fat loss

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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{Guest Post} Got the nighttime or weekend binges? Here are 3 binge solutions to use TODAY.

I’m super excited to have a special guest poster today- Julie Stubblefield, founder of the Break The Binge program. Julie agreed to address a common issue among women, binge eating with her top 3 binge solutions. I get emails often from subscribers who state that *this* is their #1 struggle. I’m thankful to have Julie here to speak to this topic that she’s personally struggled with before losing and keeping off 70 pounds. (Woohoo!) She has been able to help hundreds of women change their bodies, relieve their minds, and heal their souls. Take it away, Julie……

Assorted Homemade Gourmet Glazed Donuts on a Background

Does this sound familiar at all? You follow a diet perfectly for a few days and just can’t hold out any longer; the chips or cookies are just too tempting. Or maybe you do really well with food choices until dinner and then you can’t stay out of the pantry for the rest of the night. Stress, extra work, and a busy schedule are often to blame, but there’s more to it than that!

Here are 3 ways to avoid the nighttime binge. (This applies to the weekends, too!)

Are you eating enough? – If you are looking to lose some pounds, then you have probably changed up what you are eating. Most people follow a calorie model, and it really bankrupts your ability to fight cravings that lead to binges. Why? Because the calorie model forces you to look at your allotment for the day and fit alllllll your foods into that number. So instead of focusing on the quality of our foods, we start looking simply at the numerical value they have in terms of calories. From 100-calorie packs to low-cal yogurt, we spend our day counting numbers instead of really seeing what’s going in our bodies. Which do you think would hold you over for longer? A 100-calorie pack of cookies or a small apple? Yep. The apple.

What to do – Dare to step away from counting every morsel. Focus, instead, on getting in protein and veggies first. They are dense in nutrients but light on calories naturally. When you work on getting those in first, by nature, you have less room in the belly for fats and carbs. Those aren’t ‘bad’ but should fall lower in the hierarchy of food importance if you are seeking fat loss.

Are you sleeping well? – One night of poor sleep can mess with your ability to make clear decisions about simple tasks (ever leave the milk out on the counter?). Several nights in a row or poor sleep inconsistently can really do a number on your urge to binge. Why is this? Well, your brain is mustering all it’s focus to do things like drive, work, multitask. These are important daily functions. When it comes time to make a decision about food, there is simply less resources to draw upon.

What to do – If sleep is a consistent problem, you will want to address it with your physician or nutrition coach. If it seems to be a sporadic issue, then there are a few things to help you make better food choices. Don’t rely on caffeine to get through the day (increases cravings like nothing else). Keep snacks on hand that support your goals so no thinking is involved. Know where you will eat out on days when you are simply too tired to think. Put it on autopilot and go where you know you will choose the best you can. If you have the munchies at night, simply go to bed. It helps you catch up on sleep and keeps you out of the pantry!

How do you mentally interact with food? – Is food a reward after surviving a stressful day? Is food what comforts you when you feel alone? Is food your ally when you feel like you are at war with the world? If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you are most likely relying on food as an emotional crutch. You’ve may have even convinced yourself that there is no way you could handle x, y, or z without a dessert, a glass or three of wine, or a bag of chips. This can be tough because your natural, go-to response in these and similar scenarios is to grab foods that don’t suit your goals, and they don’t solve the issue at hand, either.

What to do – While it may seem automatic to grab your binge buddy, there is a small delay in your brain between being presented with a situation and making a decision. Capture that small delay and take a pause. It can be 30 seconds or a full minute. Think about what you are doing. What is the purpose of the food you are eating? Will it nourish? Or will it make your body feel poorly? Does that food choice actually solve or resolve any issue you are struggling with? Many times that simple pause is enough to make a different choice. If you still decide to eat foods that don’t serve your goals, then perhaps you can notice a trend over time. This isn’t a quick fix; it takes some time and patience, and often support to help you navigate these food relationships. You are worth it; don’t give up!

In summary, dealing with the nighttime or weekend binge comes from internal and external feedback. You may identify with one or all of the situations above. Or you may be able to slightly relate but know it’s still an issue. Just like we have our own genetic makeup, we have our own unique dance with food. The goal is to figure out your personal rhythm and then take the lead.

Who the heck is Julie Stubblefield?

biopic

After spending 15 years in the diet-cheat-diet cycle, Julie Stubblefield was finally able to shed and keep off her extra 70 pounds. She is on a mission to help other women understand that changing your body doesn’t have to be a hate- journey, while giving them a community of support and comfort.


Below is a top-level coaching service that I recommend. Coach Amanda will help you gain control over food to help you reach your goals!


FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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Getting CLEAR About Clutter {+ Giveaway}

By Jill Jacobs

“Your environment is a reflection of your life.” -Annick Magac

Maybe you find it a little curious or strange that I would blog about clutter on a site that is primarily focused on health, nutrition, and fitness topics. Well, surprisingly, clutter impacts your health and success WAY more than you may realize.

Author, health coach, and design expert, Annick Magac, explains in her book Clear: How to Simplify Your Life & Live More Fearlessly how your habitats (home, office, car, etc.) may help or hinder your personal or professional successes and even your success at body change. She further teaches you *how* to transform your habitat to make living a life of freedom and success possible!

“Like life, just because you find yourself in a particular situation, thought pattern, job, health, fitness, or relationship that isn’t serving you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change it at any point. The first thing is to recognize that there can be something to change. The second part is to know you have the strength and power to make the changes necessary to create the life you want and envision. The third part is to take the steps to make those changes. Like anything new, the hardest part is getting started, but once you’re on a roll it gets easier and easier. Clear will help you with all these steps.” – Chapter 1 p.24

When your physical environment is cluttered, often your mind will be as well. This makes it difficult to wind down, de-stress, and sleep well which are all so important for optimal health. When we develop healthy surroundings, full of beauty and peace, living the life we desire becomes more natural and effortless.

My Story

No change is an island. In other words, multiple things tend to influence a lasting change in our lives.  So let’s go back in time before I read Clear: How to Simplify Your Life & Live More Fearlessly.

I’ve always kept a tidy home. However, I am known to have many “Jill-piles” as my husband lovingly (ha!) calls them. I also let things like filing papers and new recipe finds accumulate to the point that I’m too overwhelmed to deal with them. This got a bit worse a couple of years back….

After not working (besides at home of course!) since 2002, I decided that I wanted to work as an online coach on top of homeschooling my boys. This was an added commitment on my plate but one I felt passionate about pursuing. At first glance, running an online business may seem easy, but I can tell ya, it’s way more time consuming than most people would believe- especially in the beginning.

I had a friend once tell me how nice it must be that my job is to simply hop on the computer for a while each day and check in with clients (as if that’s the only thing I do in her mind). What my friend didn’t realize is that in order to have any clients at all, there are some minimums when it comes to running an online business. These include having a website for clients to find me, having a social media presence, creating my one on one client programs, creating my group programs, having a streamlined way for clients to check in regularly, creating documents that my one on one clients complete, creating coaching emails, blogging, marketing, relationship building, trying out new fat-loss friendly recipes, and much, much more! She didn’t know what she didn’t know, and that’s cool! It certainly didn’t offend me, rather it made me chuckle!

With all this added responsibility, some things around the house began to be left undone. Oops! Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who picked up some of the home responsibilities like laundry (yes, he’s a keeper!!), but we still decided that we need to revamp some things so that we could have the life we desire.

The first thing we did was to hire a house cleaner. Personally, I hate cleaning! Setting aside hours each weekend to clean became less of a priority for me. Not because I didn’t want a clean, sparkling house but because I had so many other things I was spending my time doing. This decision has been the best gift to myself!

Secondly, during 2014 I wanted to change up our main living space. I hired an interior designer, Kristen Haynes of Reimagine at Home, to help me make my living room and kitchen bright and enjoyable to live in. We switched from earth tones (my default that I totally have to fight against – lol!) to lighter colors, less drab, and lot of brightness. You can see some of the color choices we used in the image below. We went with orange, several shades of blue, a lot of white, super fun fabrics, and lightened up the furniture. My husband created us a sweet piece for over our sofa as well (see image below)! We are really loving the space so much more than before. 😀

getting clear about clutter

After Christmas, while packing up all the decor and putting my home back in order, I was inspired to clean up a couple of areas that have been bugging me. About the same time, I began reading Clear.

I don’t think that those two things coinciding was an accident at all! Although my process of de-cluttering and beautifying my home had already begun, following the exercises in the book supercharged my motivation and efforts. Since reading the book and I’ve been on a MISSION!

Annick makes it clear (pun intended 😉 ) in her book that your physical environment affects your health and well being. You know the terrible feeling when you’re house has piles of clutter and needs a good cleaning, right? When my house is like that I feel down, depressed, and frozen. I don’t even know where to start. The solution is to just start with one spot! Just do something! Action will beget action!

Once the house is cleaned, smelling great, and full of sparkle, isn’t that the BEST feeling in the world!? For me it is, and it motivates me to do more for my home and myself. When my home to-do list is short and manageable, I’m able to tackle other things that often are put on the back burner like self-care.

I still have areas in my home to work on like my going through my clothes, shoes, and recipes, but I’m feeling really great about my progress since starting this process on January 1st. 🙂

“We only accept our circumstances when we believe there is no other way.” -Chapter 2 p.26

But there IS another way! Below are some way you can take action today to clear your clutter!

Your Action Steps to Clear Your Clutter:

1. Start small. It’s easy to allow clutter to overwhelm you and cause you to freeze and take no action at all. I suggest setting a timer for 15 minutes and tackle one pile of clutter. That’s it! Anyone can set aside 15 minutes and get a small job done. You can start with a drawer, the top of your desk, your shoes, your make up, or a cabinet space that’s messy.

2. Donate items on the regular. Have a system in place (a box in the garage will do!) to place unwanted items or clothes that are too small for a monthly trip to a donation center.

3. Sell valuable items that you no longer need. If you have valuable items that need a new home, have a yard sale, post them on Craig’s List, or list them on eBay. I’ve personally found that this isn’t worth my time unless it’s something is worth over $75. We typically donate, but if you’re just beginning this process, it may be worth selling some of the more valuable items. Use the money to reinvest in your home environment!

4. Be willing to throw away things you don’t need that you can’t give away or sell. This is tough for so many. It’s hard to let go of that item we *might* use some day or *might* wear again. If you haven’t used it in the last year, it’s likely you won’t use it ever again.

5. Refurbish items and make them delightful again so they serve to beautify your home rather than clutter it.

Consider this piece by Kristen from Reimagine At Home. She took this old dresser and repurposed it into a television stand. It is fresh, light, and fun not to mention the drawer space that will help with the clutter in the room. These drawers can hold remote controls, dvd cases, books, games, and other items you use in the living space.

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6. Establish systems for items that typically clutter the home. This includes clothing, shoes, mail, bills, book bags, and school work.

My husband is a pro at this when it comes to mail! He has a rule to only touch a piece of mail once. It gets trashed or put in its’ home (bills go to the bill basket, invites are written on the calendar and placed on the refrigerator *if* we need to keep them, and junk mail goes to recycling).

When you have systems in place, you’ll never have to worry about your house looking like “what my mom sees” below!

The Challenge and Signed Book Giveaway!

(This giveaway is CLOSED. Thanks to all who participated! xo)

Follow these steps to participate in the #ClearBookGiveaway and enter the drawing for a FREE, SIGNED copy of Annick’s book:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post or on this facebook post telling me why you would want to win this book.

2. For a bonus entry, post a before picture of the space that you desire to de-clutter (it can be your car, a drawer, your bathroom cabinet, a desk, anything as small or large you would like to tackle with Annick’s guidance). Post the photo on facebook and/or Instagram. It needs to be a public post so that I can see it. Use the hashtag #ClearBookGiveaway. Each post I can see will give you an entry. 🙂 Tag me if you post on Instagram!

3. For a second bonus entry, publicly share this blog post with your friends and family using the hashtag #ClearBookGiveaway. If it’s not public, I will not be able to see the post or give you credit for the entry.

I will draw a name from the entries on Tuesday night, 1/27/2015 at 9 p.m. EST to announce the winner of the book!

clutter.before.after

What do you feel when you look at the before picture? What about the after picture? To me, it’s stress vs. peace.

 

Annick Magac is an author, entrepreneur, health coach and design expert. She knows first-hand that an often overlooked aspect of our lives may contribute to our inability to succeed. In Clear, Magac explains how the physical environment is a reflection of your inner self. This environment can cause you to become stagnant or propel you toward living a fearless life surrounded by beauty. Using Magac’s tried and true techniques, you will also learn how to rehab your environment so it reflects and releases your true inner self. And when your true inner self is free you will find that anything is possible.

Are you ready to get Clear?

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Follow along as many are starting to get their hands on this book and clear their clutter! The hashtag for this book is #ClearBook, so check that out on Instagram and facebook.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!