Reasons Why I Throw Little Away

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Alright, I must admit. I have a problem throwing things away. However, I am far from being a hoarder. I don’t keep plastic forks or candy wrappers, but I do keep a lot of items in storage. Although there is a giant trend to be simplistic and become a minimalist, I have not been able to join the craze. Below are my personal reasons why (and you may agree):

1. What if I need it later?…

Often, when I come across a random charger without a home or an adorable little bag with no contents, I wonder when I am going to truly need it. Will there be a time when I am frantically searching my house for this random charger? Probably not. However, what if I DO? Won’t I be glad that I took up a little space in my drawer to keep it for a few extra months?

2. I plan to have kids (and grandkids)

As a child, I always wanted to know what my mom and dad’s lives were like when they were young. What did they play with and what did they cherish? My parents did not keep very many belongings from when they were children, so I never got to see their fourth grade report card or hold their favorite stuffed animal. Maybe someday my favorite belongings will be important to my children or grandchildren.

3. I want to remember those I love

I keep a giant drawer of cards written by my loved ones (from birthdays, Christmas, etc) that I started when I was very young (a few from my 5th birthday). I am aware that my grandparents will not be with me forever and neither will my parents. Although this is a somber thought and not one I enjoy pondering over, it is honestly why I keep their cards and items that remind me of them. Someday I will thank myself for keeping these things.

4. Material items can bring back memories

I have many items that are a reminder of a certain time in my life. Whether it was a happy time or a sad time, there are memories that I never want to forget. I have lots of belongings from my childhood that I hope to keep forever. Notes from classmates or little souvenirs from family vacations always make me smile if I am having a bad day. It is best to not live in the past or hold onto it too closely, but when the present is crummy, I always have good memories to make me smile.

Next time you decide to go through your house “spring cleaning” or angrily throwing things away because you can’t handle a messy room any longer (we all do it), remember these reasons not to throw everything away. Life is precious and so are memories. As time passes, it can be harder for these memories to come back with clarity. Sometimes we need a little reminder of all those who love us and how blessed we are by God.

How To Keep This Year’s Resolutions

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Now that the New Year is here, it’s time for a New You! Many people have goals and dreams for this year, myself included. However, everyone remembers that one goal last year that they never quite completed….but this year is going to be different! According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people actually complete their New Year’s resolutions. How can you beat those statistics? Here are 5 tips to get you started:

1. Have someone to hold you accountable

Often people are too nervous to share their New Year’s resolutions because they fear judgement or their own failure. One sure way to succeed is to tell close friends and family your new goals so they can check your progress each month and keep you on track. Try to find someone that also has a New Year’s resolution so you can keep each other motivated!

2. Be specific

If your goal this year is to “Be healthy” or “Be more productive”, what does that look like? Are you wanting to eat 3 servings of vegetables each day or drop 5 pounds by March? Would you like to limit your social media and TV time to one hour per day? Make sure your goals are measurable so that your goal isn’t infinite.

3. Make it attainable

Making realistic goals can save you from heartache and frustration. It is easy to come out with a huge goal because in the moment you feel fired up about the New Year. However, if your goals are too big, others will assume you won’t reach them and they will probably be right. If you are known as “that person who always makes New Year’s resolutions they don’t keep”, that is a reputation crusher! You can always expand on your goals once you achieve them.

4. Break up your big resolution into mini ones

Deciding in January that you want to have a side business running by December or found a new organization can be very daunting. Try to break it up into tiny goals each month or even each week. Sometimes looking at the finish line from the beginning can be too overwhelming and cause you to become discouraged. I prefer to handle my New Year’s resolutions just like a huge chocolate cake…just break it up in tiny bites!

5. Don’t make a change unless you are ready

Don’t ever try to change for anyone but yourself. I’ve heard so many people that are chasing a goal for their husband, their kids, or their community. Those are great motivators, but your ultimate motivator must be for yourself. At the end of the day, you must be proud of your choices and how you’ve spent your time when you lay your head down on a pillow at night. Don’t let others tell you what to change about yourself. Be confident in your strengths and don’t let others tear you down!

Now that you are equipped with all of the tricks you need to know to make the right New Year’s resolutions and how to keep them, get out there and complete them. Dream big and believe in your capabilities! And just remember the sweet prize at the end of the year…proving all of your doubters wrong.

6 Tips on Being More Thankful

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As the holidays come around, it can be easy to be thankful for everything we have in our lives. However, when the holiday spirit is long gone, how do we maintain thankful hearts? Below are 6 tips to remind yourself how amazing your life truly is! Remember, a thankful heart is a happy heart

1. Share what you’re thankful for with others

It isn’t difficult to rant about the bad days and situations that got your blood boiling, but how often do you hear someone rant about their good day? Being positive leads others to want to be around you more. In turn, having a more positive outlook on life makes you a happier person. Sounds like a win-win! Try making a “thank-dislike-thank sandwich”. Start out with something that brightened your day or made you smile that you are thankful for, followed by something that you didn’t care for (try not be too negative), and end the conversation with another positive uplift. You can even tell this person how thankful you are for them (brownie points)!

2. Keep a journal or a simple list

Of course it is ideal to keep a journal with all of your happiest moments, but sometimes with the busyness of life, it is better to just keep a list. Whichever works for you, try something you can commit to. Try to think of at least 5 things you are thankful for everyday, but be specific. Your kids, your parents, and your dogs can not be recurring on your list everyday!

3. Take pictures

Right now, make an album titled “Thankfulness”. Try to take at least one picture everyday of something you are thankful for. It could be the sunshine, your home, or a slice of pumpkin pie, but be creative! Try to make your album vary and be unique to you and your experiences. When you are feeling down or having a “Negative Nancy” moment, scroll through the pictures to remind yourself of all of the blessings in your life.

4. Pray

Prayer can be a very positive, uplifting experience. It can elevate your mood and increase your hope for the future. Knowing that you have a relationship with the God that provided you with everything you have gives you a sense of security that your life is in His hands. Don’t take for granted his undeserved blessings. Setting aside a time in your day to pray not only allows you to thank God for His gifts, but also gives you time to reflect on all that you are thankful for.

5. Do the little things…

Being thankful doesn’t have to simply be a feeling, but it should also direct your actions. For those you are thankful to, do a little something. If you husband is your concrete support system, make him his favorite treat or leave him a note to express your gratitude. People in your life don’t know you are thankful for them until you express it in some way. This may seem obvious, but I always tell myself “they know I love them”. Which isn’t necessarily true! It can be very uplifting for this person to hear you tell them or let your actions speak for you and do something kind for them.

6. Give Back

In order to not take for granted all of the people and things in your life, spend time with others who are lacking the blessings you have been given. If you are thankful for your parents, mentor an orphan who needs someone to look up to. If you adore your pets, spend time at an animal shelter with animals that don’t have a home. When you find yourself grumbling about your life, it can be very humbling to donate your time to someone who would give anything to have what you have right now. If you are blessed, go be a blessing!