Hi guys! So earlier this week I talked about New Years Resolutions and how I was doing so far this year (you can read about it here). As I mentioned in my post, I think it’s important to hold ourselves accountable for meeting our goals so we can keep growing! One thing that wasn’t necessarily a “resolution” but just a personal goal was reading more. I ended up stumbling on two books that made a huge impact on my day-to-day life, so I wanted to pass them along!
The Artist’s Way
We always resolve to work on our physical health – whether it’s by eating right or working out more or quitting something that’s bad for you. But rarely do we resolve to work on our mental health, which is SO important. A healthy mindset will help you accomplish all goals and keep you focused and disciplined in your life. Even though I didn’t really set out to do this, The Artists Way has helped me accomplish a feeling of better mental health. Remember when I talked about it here? It turns out I didn’t really need to buy the book at all. I just needed about four pages out of it – the ones that talk about morning pages. Honestly, I haven’t really even worked on the workbook itself. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.
Morning pages are three handwritten pages of your thoughts first thing in the morning. Before you have coffee, watch TV, scroll through your Instagram feed – just your bare morning thoughts. It is crazy how much this helps your mindset during the day. I’ve been rolling out of bed, curling up in 800 blankets on the couch, and just writing. It’s kind of amazing. I write about how I feel, I whine about things that bother me, and I get stuff off my chest that I’ve been holding in. I was TERRIBLE at keeping a diary as a kid, and the difference is, this isn’t a diary – it’s three solid pages of just thoughts in your head. I literally look forward to it every morning. And it allows me to focus so much more throughout the day, because instead of this long “to-do list” in my head, I’ve figured everything out already so I just get it done. Some days it’s whining about how I don’t feel like going to work, other days it’s just random thoughts that I’ve been thinking but couldn’t really put into words.
I think the reason I’ve been able to stick with it is because there’s an end in sight. I know I’m just done after three pages. After page 3 I literally cut it off. Sometimes it’s mid-thought. And some mornings it literally takes me 10 minutes because I’m flying and other mornings it’s more of a struggle and takes about 20. But regardless, it just puts me in a better state of mind, and I can honestly say my mental health has improved as a result.
It’s pretty great and I highly recommend that you try it! It’s so easy and the mental health benefits are honestly really noticeable even after the first day, and by getting all of that internal whining out of my head I can really focus on being productive and creative throughout the day. (P.S. If you have a Kindle you can get a copy of the The Miracle of Morning Pages for just $2.99 on Amazon. Here is a link.)
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I bought this book because I’ve seen it everywhere and honestly the synopsis on the back cover totally reeled me in. To give you some background, the author has made a living out of helping people organize and live by a minimalist approach to your “stuff”. Aka she helps guide you in the process of throwing out crap you don’t need, and finally living in a clean and organized home.
I am the queen of having a clean house BUT when you open a closet or drawer, things just come tumbling out. It’s been like that since I was a kid. I would stuff everything in my closet and my room would look clean to the naked eye, but behind closed doors it was a messy disaster. This book actually helped me sort through the crap and put sentimental feelings aside and actually keep only the things that make me happy. That ill-fitting sweater that I have to keep because I just bought it? Donated. That expensive shirt that I have to keep just because it was expensive, even though there’s now an oil stain on it from cheese fries? Donated. It feels so good to get rid of the crap that weighs you down.
By being honest with myself and only surrounding myself with the objects I love, I feel less stress every time I open a drawer and it is just so much easier to keep the house clean. Everything has a place and a purpose and all of the other junk is gone. I feel like I can breathe. Not to mention it takes me about 10 fewer minutes to get dressed in the morning because I open my closet doors and I genuinely like every single top/sweater/shirt option so I just grab one out! Seriously if you don’t believe me look at my closet before:
And my closet after:
There is really no argument here – it really did change my life. Here’s a side-by-side view for full effect:
But I didn’t just stop at my closet. I also cleaned out my fridge, food pantry, bathroom cabinet (which entailed about 2,439 unused hair products), utility closet – everything. It’s pretty great. I would recommend reading the book, though, because she helps guide you by telling you exactly how to go through your things (not room by room, but category by category) to make the most impact. To date, I have already packed my car with 9 full trash bags ready for Goodwill and I still have a couple of categories to go. I think the reason why it has been so easy is because I think about how much these items can impact someone else’s life, instead of just sitting in a closet unused. I always feel so much better after I donate my unused things.
So tell me – do you write down your thoughts anywhere? Do you have a trick to keeping your house tidy without reading a book about it? Or have you already read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Tell me everything!
I’ll be back Saturday with a fun new post so be sure to check back or subscribe to get an e-mail straight to your inbox when I post! Have a great rest of the week!