I believe that the reason most New Year’s resolutions have failed for me have been because my goals have been unrealistic. I too have been caught up in the fast and furious New Year’s endeavors of joining the health club with lofty goals of weight management along with the overachievers club regarding the overwhelming all day projects that surround many of us.
I’ve also been an active member of the avoidance and procrastination clubs. They just don’t work. But I have found something that does!
Today is January 2nd. (Coincidentally another 2 ☺) As I write this I’d like to share with you my latest experiment. Several months ago I started grabbing things in “twos” whenever I had an extra two minutes. By following this program, and by staying slow and steady, most of my all-day projects have become so winnowed down that I have less clutter and better mental health.
I am reminded of the classic children’s story of the hare and the tortoise. For those of you who know the story, in the end the tortoise wins the race due to being slow and steady in his pursuit!
I started my experiment back last September and plan to continue this program into 2015. This program includes ways in which I plan to incorporate my new “Power of Two” into all aspects of my healthy living – mentally, physically and spiritually!
Start with Two:
Place Trash and Recycle boxes on every floor of your home. Anytime I’m anywhere in our home and have two minutes, I’m grabbing two items and tossing them into the appropriate boxes, especially duplicates! Trust me, if you just do a little everyday, or every other day, piles will gradually diminish! All-day projects simply don’t exist in our house anymore. (Except for my husband’s, but that is for another post ☺)
Grab Two from the:
- Kitchen — any old appliance and utensils in drawers I use infrequently; two items from the refrigerator that are gross and need tossing, then a quick shelf wipe down. Choose two items from the freezer to toss or move to the refrigerator.
- Dining Room — extra tablecloths, place mats, napkins, candles, and servers.
- Bathroom — Toss expired, out-of-date cosmetics, toothbrushes and medications . Click here for more information.
- Bedrooms — Shoes, clothing, jewelry, and dresser top items.
- Playrooms — Toys and books (make it easier for kids to part with 2 at a time).
- Closets — Scarves, hats, umbrellas, coats, gloves, dog leashes that are duplicated, or not being worn.
- Family Room — Magazines, books, games, DVDs and CDs.
- Pantry/Cupboards — Expired food items as well as unhealthy items.
- Linens — Old sheets and towels.
- Office — Two items on desk to file, shred, recycle.
- Garage — Garden, picnic, camping and athletic gear you aren’t using anymore.
This is one of my favorite websites- Officiency.com provides a nationwide list to give companies and families the appropriate resources to recycle and donate unwanted goods. Click here to find the resources in your area!
By the way, my new “Maintenance” program involves tossing or recycling one item for every new item brought into the house, too.
Here are some of my other easy, everyday healthy choices I plan to make this year using my “Power of Two!”
- Think about losing two pounds at a time in a healthy, steady way
- Add two pieces of fruit to my diet everyday
- Drink two additional glasses of water everyday
- Stop and meditate for two minutes once per day (just stop and listen to my breathing in a quiet place)
- Continue to replace any non toxic products in my home two at a time (saves money and being overwhelmed)
- Replace two unhealthy habits with two new ones
- Help someone twice a day (i.e. open a door or give someone your parking space)
- Make two new friends this year
- Replace two hours of TV/technology time with time outside each week
- Sleep an extra two minutes or hours when I need it
- Take two new risks this year
- Find two new FUN ways to move your body this year
I can tell you that after many years of setting big goals and seeing no real results, my “Power of Two” approach continues to work for me. We are all busy, with limited time. We all have good intentions to make better quality lives for ourselves but sometimes the goals are simply too lofty given the constraints of our time, jobs and family responsibilities.
From experience I share that making the small changes results in establishing easier, healthier, do-able lifestyle habits. The simple rewards of feeling better with two minutes of meditation makes it easier to move to five minutes, and so on. Let this be a year of realistic, healthy accomplishments instead of more guilt and disappointment.
I invite you, my readers, to stay on the steady path of small steps with me in 2015 and to reap the multiple health benefits of “The Power of Two”! And let me know your progress! We are all in this together.