Thursday, February 10, 2011

Giving is a drug

There's a good post on The Simple Dollar discussing the difference between feeling there's an abundance in life versus a world lacking all we need. What's interesting is it seems the more people see the world as lacking the more they hoard—not share. I guess it's part of nature to ensure survival, but when people hoard, it actually causes a lack in the world. If everyone shared, we'd have plenty for everyone! What a crazy world we live in.
I bring this up not because I'm so giving, but for the opposite reason. I gave to someone homeless for the first time in a long time today and have started trying to give people small gifts on their birthdays once again (not just family) and I like the feeling. I know some people say being nice is selfish if you get something out of it, but if that's the case I want to be more selfish! It's a win-win situation if someone gets something they need and I feel better! Who needs prescriptive drugs (or any other kind, for that matter?). Not givers!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One for one

The Every Day Minimalist is giving away one copy of The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay. While I may not need yet another book, I think one may be OK if I vow now to give another away if I win it, so that's what I'm going to do. If I win, I will get rid of a book. I've been doing much better with my personal library for the past, say six months anyway by using the public library—That glorious place with free books, CDs and videos.

Bucket List

WiseBread has posed the question, "What's on Your Bucket List?" to its readers.
While I've already done quite a few; visited Italy, went scuba diving in Cozumel, went parasailing at Catalina Island and visited NYC, there are still quite a few things I'd like to do in this lifetime.

Here are a few I still want to fit in:

Visit Australia

Go paintballing—scheduled for this weekend

Teach English in another country

Live in Cali

Live on the East Coast

Visit Boston

Go skydiving?

Cruise in Alaska

Fly in a helicopter

Visit Asia

Sew an entire outfit

Write a book

Visit London and Paris

There's a lot more for sure, but I'd like to keep it manageable for now and add on when I can. I also have a list of smaller things that I can do in a weekend or a day in my notebook, so I can do them and scratch them off as the opportunity arises. I've found that writing things down does make it more likely that you'll do them. Before when someone would mention a trip I'd think I will never have the money to do that, but now when they mention it I ask when are you leaving, so I can calculate whether or not I have the time to save up. Usually I do.

Make your own bucket list and share it. I'd love to hear some of your ideas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yearly review

By Tiffany Young

The Art of Non-conformity has a great post on how to do a yearly review, which looks back at the past year to see what you've accomplished, as well as look forward to what you'd like to do in the new year. If you are a GTDer, this follows David Allen's Getting Things Done system. There is even an Excel spreadsheet for you to fill out your personal goals for 2011, with flexibility to add your own categories.

I'm filling it out myself and one of the things I'd like to develop in the New Year is to be more grateful. I see this happening by keeping an ongoing list of things I'm grateful for. Part of the reason I began this blog was to get rid of the things that don't add anything to my life, hoping hat the things I decided to keep would be things that I truly loved and enjoyed—things to be grateful for.

Here are a few things I'm grateful for from 2010:
  1. I'm relatively healthy.
  2. I have a decent paying job where I can use my creativity and many people in Central Texas read my work each month.
  3. I have a nice camera, which I bought this year.
  4. My family has always been there for me when I needed them and I'm thankful for the time I spent with them in Italy.
  5. I'm thankful for having the needed resources to take a trip abroad for the first time in my life.
  6. I'm thankful for my friends, who put up with me, even though I can be grouchy at times.
  7. I'm thankful for the small space I've been renting from a friend for the past year, which is very inexpensive for Austin.
  8. I'm thankful for extended family.
  9. I'm thankful for having clothes to keep me warm and food to sustain me.
  10. I'm thankful for my parent's dog, Coco, who shows us how to love people unconditionally.
  11. I'm thankful for the library, which allows me to read good books and watch good movies endlessly.
There are plenty of other things to be grateful and I hope I'm able to remember that in the new year. I'm looking forward to 2011 and hope that I can make all of my goals. I want my list this year to be more than New Year's resolutions. I want them to be blueprints for my life.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011

December 11 – 11 Things http://www.reverb10.com/december-11-11-things/

Today's prompt at Reverb 10 was a good one that I'd like to share. Here it is and my response is below. How about writing your own?

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

By Tiffany Young

Only 11? I guess that's enough for now.

My No. 1 thing to gt rid of is people who put me in a box. Do you have any of these people in your life that always thinks they know who you are and what you're thinking but they are way off? You think you're close with them, but then the negative comments come through and ruins your day? Those are the people I'm getting rid of in 2011.

No. 2 is all the extra clothes I've been meaning to get rid of, but never do. I have too many clothes for my closet and bedroom and car all put together, but I let them sit around doing no good for me or anyone else. Those days are gone!

No. 3 will be working many, many hours without getting any closer to my goals. In the new year my current job will have to give me more than it has been or I'll have to figure something else out. I love parts of my job, but the parts I don't are going to have to disappear!

No. 4 is the papers I have around my room. Things need to either be in a filing cabinet or put away somewhere or dealt with. No more keeping paper out until I figure out what to do with it. When in doubt, throw it out!

No. 5 (this is fun, btw) is my dirty car. I'm not getting rid of the car, but cleaning it up and giving it the attention it deserves!

No. 6 is worrying what others think of me. It's none of their business! I'm never going to be what they want me to be, so why try?

No. 7 will be spending money so easily. This past month I've been spending money every time I turn around and I need to take back control of my finances.

No. 8 is timidity. Gone are the days of feeling incompetent. I've proven myself otherwise and need to believe that's true!

No. 9 is my storage space. I originally only got storage because I was going to buy a house soon, but since that hasn't happened and isn't on the horizon, I need to clean out that space and save the money I'm putting into the wasted space.

No. 10 is trying to read every blog I'm subscribed to. It's just never going to happen. If I want to read it I will, but I shouldn't feel I need to.

No. 11 is I'm letting go of things I once wanted to accomplish, but now no longer care about. This is hard for me! I want to accomplish anything and everything I ever wrote down as a good idea to do someday, but I've changed a lot over the years and need to deal with that.

DIY Christmas bows

By Tiffany Young
I was excited to learn how to make recycled bows from How About Orange via Chelle's Zone. It was very simple and just took a few minutes to complete one. I'm planning on making several to use when needed throughout the holidays. It looks especially good if you find an ad page that has mostly one color, such as this Cheez-it advertisement. Advertising has to go to good use, too!
I especially love this, because I have a large collection of magazines that I just can't part with, but this gives me a good way to recycle them besides passing them on to a friend. Not to mention, bows can get expensive. Let me know if you have any other secrets for recycled gift wrapping. I most likely will be using reusable bags or wrapping gifts in magazine paper as well. I have to buy gifts first, though!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are goals needed?

By Tiffany Young
Leo Babauta recently wrote a post on not needing goals, and, while I understand what he's saying, I'm not sure I completely agree. Basically he says you can accomplish things without setting goals.

I'm sure that most people accomplish things every day without working toward them. If you live long enough you'll probably do something you could be recognized for or end up doing something you're proud of. But I find if I don't set some goals and decide on one or two at a time, some of the bigger things I want to do fall through the cracks.

If I hadn't decided to pay off my credit cards, I couldn't have done it. If I hadn't decided to finally buckle down and save for a trip to Italy, it may not have ever happened. Sure, I would still be an editor at a newspaper—that was never on my goal list—I would have went to college—all my friends were doing it, but the bigger stuff? Probably not.

So, while I understand what he means, for now, I'm going to keep adding goals to my moleskin, because there's a lot more I'd like to make sure I do.

Next up: Vegas on New Year's Eve.