The end of the year is here!!  I hope you’ve had the opportunity to slow down and enjoy your holiday with friends and family.  We’ve gotten through most of the holiday hoopla and craziness–don’t get me wrong, it’s all fun…but…Chris and I are moving in January.  It’s crazy around this house as we pack up, downsize some more and decorate and then undecorate and pack some more!  This high level of craziness makes it obvious to me that I need to concentrate on self-care and simplify.  In fact, my word for 2019 is Simple, as in learning how to keep it simple.

Last year my word was abundance, with a focus less on money and more on the quality time that I bring into my life through friends and family, the things that I do, etc. And I became overwhelmed with that “abundance” such as too much family time (go ahead, ask me what it’s like living in a house with 7 adults and 1 bathroom,) too many projects, too much moving (twice in one year!) too much stress! I’m on overload with all of this abundance.

Time to slow down, stay out of my head, and time to stop running scenarios in my head that over-complicate everything.  It’s time to take fewer actions.  Less talking and more time just being.  Being in the moment (good or bad) being in nature, being able to appreciate what we have right now without complicating it with more all over again.

Last year’s focus on abundance also made me aware of how “abundant” we are in material possessions, things we don’t use, and my desire to put everyone else’s needs ahead of my own.  In the past three months I’ve been writing a book (you’ll learn more about that in the new year,) moved once and I’m currently repacking for a bigger move, and been by my mother’s side from hospital to rehab and now to hospice care. Is it any wonder that I desire simple?

And during all of this craziness, I came across a book that I bought years ago.  The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson. Seeing it made me realize that this was exactly what I needed.  It’s a 12-month program with each month focusing on a specific area of life.  The first month starts with End the Legacy of Deprivation.  What is making you feel empty and resentful, what do you feel deprived of because you are running on empty and still putting others’ needs ahead of your own?

I realized that this book would help me in my quest for simple while it helps me to release the things that no longer support me and teaches me how to bring into my life those things that will.  I hope you join me on this journey.  Each month, I’ll be posting a calendar to support the lesson for this month (January’s calendar is posted below.)  I’ll also send out an email each month with the link to the new post and calendar.  If you want to make sure that you don’t miss out, sign up below.

I hope you buy the book to follow along, as there is more information in each chapter that Cheryl Richardson writes.  But I will also highlight some of the important thoughts here.

End the Legacy of Deprivation is a great place for me to start.  With all the things that piled up on her plate, Cheryl decided to write out what she felt deprived of.  Things like sleep and time for herself and energy were on her list, which included other things as well.

It made me start to think about what’s going on in my life right now.  Each day is filled with errands and packing and visiting and stress.  My deprivation list includes many of the same things like rest, time for myself, support (as a Chef, my husband is working 12-15 hours per day in December,) energy, and sometimes even the desire to do all of the things I need to do. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I even feel deprived of a 2nd weekly blog post because I’ve been prioritizing other things over writing one.

The challenge is to figure out what I need more of, what I want to do or yearn for.  And then, figure out how to let go of things that aren’t serving me in order to focus on those things that do.  This includes making a list of everything that needs to be done and then looking at the list to determine what I can stop, what I can delegate, what I can postpone and what needs to be done.  Then figure out how to add in those self-care moments such as taking a walk, getting a massage and just taking the time to breathe.

Below is the calendar I created so that I can eliminate deprivation in my life.  I hope that it helps you as well.  Below the calendar will be further explanation of a couple of the items on the list.  The best way to use the calendar is to read it all first.  Find out where you might need to make plans in advance like scheduling an appointment or carving out time.  Below is the calendar and here is a link to the January Keep It Simple Calendar (1) so you can print it out as a PDF.

Extreme Self-Care in January on UnfoldAndBegin.com

The Ivy Lee method of creating a To-Do list is simple.  Each evening you’ll create your To-Do list for the following day.  The list can only have 6 items on it.  Put your To-Do’s on the list in order of importance.  The next day you start with item 1 on your list and work it until it’s completed before moving on to item 2.

Vision Board Day is one of my favorite days.  You must know by now that I love Vision Boards. Your Vision Board can be for any length of time or even for a specific area of life.  You can do one that’s focused on the goals that you want to achieve for the year or even one that fits our subject of extreme self-care.  Once you know your goal for the Vision Board go through magazines to find the words and pictures that support these goals.  You can also view the posts that I have under Vision Boards / Goal Planning for more specific ideas on what to include on your Vision Board.