Do Your Best, Be Your Best

Do Your Best, Be Your Best

Doing you best is a value. For me, it sort of goes along with having integrity. If I am applying myself to a task and giving my time and attention to it, then I feel it is worth my best effort. And knowing I gave my best, gives me an inner satisfaction with or without any external reward.

It might be easier to understand the concept by thinking about what is not “doing our best.” We immediately know what this means . . . a half-hearted attempt, a non-thorough job, or not using our full potential. There are some tasks that don’t require our sweat and tears, but they still deserve to be done well.

Make a commitment to yourself to live life, giving your best whenever possible. It will cause you to dig deep and put forth more effort. You will have the satisfaction of knowing, “you did your best.” The result of your effort will be what it will be. You have no control over that. But the result in you will be a stronger character of you becoming your best self.

Featured photo by Levi Guzman on Unsplash.

Organizing Tip #14: Kitchen Basics

Organizing Tip #14: Kitchen Basics

I have moved so many times in my life, more than I would have liked. But those experiences taught me how to pack, unpack, and organize my house within days of a move. I soon came to realize that once my stuff was organized and sorted, setting up a new house became sort of automatic.

Let’s look specifically at the kitchen. Think about your utensil drawer. Most of us have the divider that separates the forks (large and small), spoons (large and small), and the knives. It is automatic and easy to figure out where each item goes.

The rest of the kitchen is a little more challenging but can be simplified like a utensil drawer if you separate items into categories. Here are some examples: Cookware includes pots and pans, grill pans, and skillets. Bakeware includes baking trays, cooling racks, pie pans, cake pans, and casserole type dishes. Food storage includes plastic or glass containers with lids, aluminum foil, ziploc bags, etc.

Once I unpack and sort into these categories, I look for the best place, easy-to-reach location. I like to use the cabinet to the left of my stove for spices, oils, and vinegars. A lower cabinet near the stove has my pots and pans. My dishes are in a cabinet close to the dishwasher with the utensil drawer right below it. The utensils I use for cooking are in a drawer above the pots and pans.

By keeping “like things together” and storing items in a sensible location, your kitchen will be organized in a few hours with great functionality!

Featured photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash.

Past, Present, Future

Past, Present, Future

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present. 

Lao Tzu

The idea of living in the present was a new concept for me when I was first introduced to mindfulness. It is something that I continue to work on. I try to stay focused on what is happening to me each moment because just like the quote states, this brings an inner sense of peace and calmness.

A person living in the past means that one’s thoughts and words are constantly referencing events that happened long ago. There are probably feelings of regret, resentment, guilt, sadness or bitterness. These are all feelings associated with the past and can lead to depression. Some people stay mentally in their past because their present life isn’t what they hoped for or wanted.

A person living in the future means that he or she may have feelings of worry, anxiety, stress, and fear. There is an element of the unknown that could be distressing for a person with their mind in the future.

Since we cannot change the past and have no control of the future, the idea of keeping our thoughts there are futile. For me it just became a bad habit. I started to change my thinking by noticing when my mind was in the past or future. Then, I would (and still do) catch myself and immediately acknowledge what was happening right now. If I was washing dishes, I thought of the warm water or the food I ate. If I was out walking, I thought of the environment or the weather. I paid attention to my current surroundings and tried to be mentally present in the present.

This all may sound silly, but it works. After a little while, I experienced the inner peace and calm promised by mindfulness resources. Living in the present has given me a new appreciation for the small things in life, as well as the big things. Every moment is precious and something good can be found in anything that is happening around us in the present.

 

Featured photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash.

Night Time Routine

Night Time Routine

While having a morning routine is intended to get your day off to a great start, the night time routine is intended to quiet your day and lead you to a comfortable night’s sleep.

The process for creating a night time routine is the same as you did for the morning routine. Reread last week’s blog post to see the steps. You may want to make some adjustments to your morning routine as you decide what you prefer to do in the morning versus the evening. For example, if you originally had journaling in the morning, you may decide that you prefer to journal at night instead.

Other tasks for the evening might include doing yoga, stretching, push-ups, reading, pick up the house, drinking tea, or taking a walk or bath. You may also want to make your to-do list for the next day, pick out your outfit for work, or pack your lunch.

Take the time to wind down your day and enjoy some quiet time each night. Your night time routine will help you achieve this. You will sleep better and feel better. Tomorrow you will wake up to begin another wonderful day!

Featured photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash.