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Category Archives: doing what you love

7 Tips For Making Your Practice Successful, Not Stressful

In the last 3 years, I have made some remarkable changes in my life. I’ve added something I really love which is painting, and I’ve let go of more than 700 items in my home.  There is more to do in both of these areas but I have no doubt that I will continue to grow both with my painting and simplifying because they have become a practice to me.

It’s important to start doing

Reading, wishing, talking, and learning aren’t enough to make change happen. You have to do it and that means starting. Yes, you have to start to make change but it isn’t in the starting that the change really happens.

It’s important to build a practice

If you want real and lasting change to occur you need to make it a practice. Daily is best but it’s important to make it work for you. Most things take quite some time before developing a noticable result. Trying something once or twice isn’t enough. When building a practice it takes lots of trial and error, adjusting, and discipline.

Tips for making your practice successful NOT stressful

  • Give yourself enough time to see a result.  They say it take 2-30 days to build a new habit. I disagree. If you do something for 20, 30, even 40 days it’s a good start but I don’t think that is enough to make it a practice.   Even simplifying my home took almost a year to accomplish. Let go of the desire for instant results, which can only lead to disappointment.
  • Be patient with those you live with, as they have to change too. I didn’t just have to fit painting into my life, I had to fit it into my husband’s and children’s lives as well. They weren’t used to me taking that time, didn’t know if it was ok to interrupt, or that I would paint instead of watching a movie some nights. It is a learning curve for everyone.
  • Choose to change only ONE thing at a time.  I added painting. I didn’t add painting, and declutter my house, and start an exercise routine…I painted for one hour a day, that was it. Later, I did declutter 700 things. I didn’t declutter, and paint all the rooms in my house, and declutter my computer, and my declutter my paperwork. I took one aspect of simplifying and tackled each of them one at a time.
  • Be willing to adjust.  Most likely when you begin your practice it isn’t going to work out the first few times flawlessly. There may be things you didn’t account for that make the time of day or space not work well.  When I added painting I didn’t have a place for me to paint. You may have to adjust the time and place several times before you discover the best one for you. I also developed a back-up time to do my painting.  If you’re a mom there are always unexpected things that crop up.  By having two different times to paint I could usually make one of them work.
  • Let the outcome be open-ended. While I did create time goals for my practices, the outcomes were left wide open.  My goals were not that I would sell paintings at a show by the end of the year, or that my house would be simplified by the end of the year. Trying to predetermine the end result just limits what can happen. Be specific with what you are going to do and how long you are going to do it, but don’t predetermine what you think will happen. There are so many wonderful possibilities!  I decluttered 500 things but the end result was that I didn’t see the difference I was hoping for. I had to go back to the drawing board and look at what else I might need to do. I didn’t feel like a failure, or that what I had done was a waste, it just wasn’t enough.

Start where you are Shiva Rea

  • Every once in a while isn’t enough.  For me, I really need to do something every single day for it to be a practice.  Much less than that and I fall off the wagon. Sure, 6 out of 7 days works fine, but if I miss more than one day a week I lose my practice.  Everyone is different but if you’ve had difficulty in the past with creating a practice, commit to doing it daily. Not to mention you will see results quicker that way!
  • Don’t deprive yourself.  Do you really want to change it up?  Then try making a change that doesn’t take anything away from you!  Seriously, we all suffer from feeling a little deprived, especially if we haven’t been taking care of ourselves.  Instead of telling yourself “no,” try adding something you really want or wish you could do! It is a blast! Try it, I think you’ll like it.




One Response to 7 Tips For Making Your Practice Successful, Not Stressful

  1. Karen says:

    It takes me forever to make anything become a “practice” – thirty days is a crock! LOL

    I was determined in April to make taking my morning vitamins a practice (there were certain supplements I really, really needed for my low seratonin levels). My husband has done so for years, decades, really. I dole them out every morning and he takes them. I rarely took mine, though. I have learned that I have to take them with food and if I don’t take them at breakfast, I won’t take them at all that day. So far, so good. I would say that, since April, I have probably missed ten days of taking them, Like you, Kel, if I skip a day, suddenly I will have skipped a week and never thought a thing about it.

    I’ve a long way to go, though, before it is a practice. It’s been over five months and still, most days I have to resist the urge to skip them. I have to give myself a pep talk as I walk past the container that yes, I really do need them. Maybe by this time next year ….

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Starting Something Vs. Building a Practice

I recently talked with a friend about a change she was trying to make in her life. I asked her how it was going, and if the change was helping her. The answer was, “No, I tried it a couple of times and it didn’t work so I stopped doing it. There is a big differenceContinue Reading

3 Responses to Starting Something Vs. Building a Practice

  1. I began building a practice about a month ago.
    I painted the door to my laundry room with black chalkboard paint just for fun. Then one morning instead of laying in bed and worrying, fretting and generally building monsters in my head, I got up and made a lovely pot of coffee and drew on my chalkboard. I’ve done this every morning since. It brings a beautiful peaceful start to my day and totally feeds my soul. It’s so freeing to draw and create for no special purpose other than I want to.
    Of course, being an attention craving artist, I take a photo of my masterpieces and post them on my Instagram. It’s amazing how doing just a quick 15 minute design loosens up your brain for other creativity to flow through.

    • Karen says:

      What a wonderful idea, Rebecka!

      I have been crocheting for the first hour or so after the hubby goes off to work. He has been getting up earlier the last couple of months, leaving a full hour earlier than normal. At first I’d go back to sleep, but the last few weeks I’ve been staying up and crocheting. I am getting a lot more crocheting done, and also more productive throughout the day, even though I am very tired by the end of the week. Bedtime around here comes really early these days!

  2. Carol says:

    Really good and inspiring ideas, ladies. I do something similar when I am home, making sure I do some knitting or quilting first thing in the morning. I like Rebecka’s idea of doing something purely spontaneous and temporary. I need to give that some thought.

    Since I’m currently a month into at least a three month visit with my daughter and family awaiting our fourth grandchild, I am finding it a challenge to continue with my usual practices – stretching, meditating and writing. The stretching is working itself off as my body is being quite vocal if I skip that, but the other two are very hit or miss. I’m not sure how to change that right now. And maybe it isn’t necessary, as having this intense time with the girls feeds my soul in a different and very good way.

    I can absolutely vouch for the advantage to having a buddy on my journey. A friend and I have been sharing our gratitude lists nearly daily for several months now. More days than I care to admit having that bit of accountability has helped center me and reminded me to continue my gratitude practice.

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Why New Year’s Resolutions fail…and a better way to make a change.

Note: This is a guest post that Kel wrote for Nancy Sathre-Vogel’s blog, Family on Bikes. We wanted to make sure our WMC family saw it too.  How’s your life been working for you this past year? Did you achieve what you promised yourself at the beginning of the year? If you’re like me andContinue Reading

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’tis the season

This time of year, it’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness, to keep rushing, to think that hectic and frantic are the signs of the season. Maybe it’s no surprise that colds and flus seem to be a part of the mix–it’s one way to “force” yourself to slow down a littleContinue Reading

One Response to ’tis the season

  1. Looking forward to joining you on your getting started series!

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…so what are YOU waiting for?

Life is full to the brim of waiting.  We all have to wait for things, usually on a daily basis. We wait: when calling a business to get to the point in the queue to be able to speak to a “real” person at the grocery check-out in heavy traffic in security check points atContinue Reading

One Response to …so what are YOU waiting for?

  1. carolburris says:

    Having portable craft projects in small, easy to grab and go bags, and keeping some e-books on my PDA are two ways that I deal with waiting. Also wearing headphones for those long phone calls gives me free hands to do things, like organizing and decluttering.

    I’m doing the same thing about deciding now what items are worth moving when DH retires, sometime in the next 2-4 years, so that when the time comes I’m ready to pack and go. Makes not living in a part of the country where I wish to be easier.

    And each little step feels good and makes the next one easier to take.

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Creating Abundance in a World of Deprivation

  a·bun·dance/əˈbəndəns/ Noun: A very large quantity of something. The quantity or amount of something, e.g., a chemical element or an animal or plant species, present in a particular area, volume,… Abundance is a huge buzz-word in the self-help world. I don’t know how many times I’ve read that we should “create abundance” and “live abundantly,”Continue Reading

One Response to Creating Abundance in a World of Deprivation

  1. I haven’t felt the cloud of scarcity for MONTHS but I remember that feeling all too well. I keep it away with chocolate every day. LOLZ… just kidding (kind of. not really.)! I read & write & make lists and then shred the lists. These are the things I love best, on a daily basis, besides spending time with my hubz & kids. Also? Doctor Who. (someone had to say it!)

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