10 Things To Do This Summer

Looking for a summer project? How about working on who you are, and what kind of life you really want to live? Here's some ideas.

1. Focus on the "who", not the "what".

If you find that you've been stuck in a goal for a while, try restating it in "who" terms instead of what. For example, instead of saying "I want to lose 10 lbs.", say "I want to be someone who is at a healthier weight for my age." Instead of "I want to spend time with my kids", say "I want to be someone who is a devoted parent." Then ask yourself what actions would be fit with your desire to "be" instead of "get".

2. Control-ability.

Get clear on what you can really control and what is out of your control. You can't control world politics, but you can vote. You can't control terrorism, but you can be prepared in your own home. You can't control the construction crews on the freeway, but you can control how much time you allot for a trip. Knowing what you can control and exercising that, and letting go of what you can't, reduces stress related feelings immensely.

3. Be Generous.

You know you haven't worn that shirt in 2 years. Someone needs that shirt to keep warm on the streets this winter, don't let it just sit idle in your closet. Live from abundance, not lack. You'll have other shirts. Share. Feel good about yourself for helping others less fortunate.

4. Give it a home.

The biggest culprit for chronically lost items in the home or office -- keys, remote, phone, scissors, batteries -- are that they don't have a home. Just like teenagers, if you know where they are going to be, you don't have to waste time looking for them!

5. Establish routines.

While they sound boring and confining, routines are actually freeing. Instead of being worried and anxious on Monday morning wondering if your credit-card bill is late again, you'll feel calm knowing that you always pay bills on Wed. evening, so you have nothing to be concerned about. Routines take the stress out!

6. Analyze it.

Did you know that a full 80% of your problems come from 20% of your life? It's true! Determine what that 20% is that's affecting so much of your life, and start working to make it more efficient and orderly.

7. Consolidate.

Consolidate means to "merge, combine, unite, join". Look for something in your life that is scattered and consolidate -- group of small bills, hand lotions, hobby supplies. I'm using consolidate in this case to mean either to literally combine as all into one container, but also in collecting like items together. Instead of spreading your collectibles all over the house, combine them into one beautiful cabinet for impact. Consolidate toys or reading material/bills/papers by type. You'll be able to see the duplicates easily and free up some time and space.

8. Do the opposite.

If you find that you're constantly having to run to the next room to retrieve a pair of (for example) scissors, that's a clue that you need to *add* a pair where you need them. This is the opposite of consolidate. Just be careful with this one, and make sure that you really use the item enough to make it worthy of taking up the valuable real-estate in your home or office or closet.

9. Predictability

We can't know the future. No one can. But about everyday things, it's usually pretty easy to make a fairly accurate prediction of what consequences of your actions will be. A first 'mistake' is simply a learning experience, finding out information that you didn't have originally. A second 'mistake' is not exercising your skill of predicting. Practice predicting, and make informed choices to go in a direction you want to.

10. Assign Value.

A big mistake I see in my coaching clients is not assigning a true value to your time, to your energy, to your money, and to the "real estate" (space) of your home or office. Realize that for each thing you say Yes to -- from a pair of shoes to watching a movie -- you have said No to something else. Always ask yourself - is this *valuable* enough to me to bump something else from my closet, my schedule, my money?

Make Summer 2005 your best yet!

Professional Life Coach Kathy Gates specializes in helping people who are ready to create a simpler, less stressful, more joyful and meaningful lifestyle. Visit http://www.reallifecoach.com for information, products and services, and sign up for a free newsletter.

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