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Easy Peasy

Can “Good-for-You” Be Easy Too?

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: libertygrace0
Sometimes “good for you” turns out to be more work than it’s worth!

Set some clear limits for yourself and honor them.

— Marthe
TheFreedomExperiment.com

“Sounds great,” I think.  “I’m going to do it,” I decide.

Onto the to-do list it goes: Set limits/honor them…

And down the slippery slope of good intentions it slides into my “that’s-never-going-to-happen” abyss…

But I’m learning.  And I guess I’m “setting limits.” Except my version starts with challenging each piece of “good for you” advice with questions such as these:

  • How difficult will this be to implement?
  • Do I have time and/or bandwidth for this?
  • Does this move me toward my prime objectives?

Truth be told, after such scrutiny, most of that “good for you” advice doesn’t make it to my to-do list.

A New Category of Good for You

When sitting for long periods of time, every 30 minutes, get up.  There’s no need to walk around. Just stand up and stretch. Your body needs to know you are changing posture. Standing is good. Is standing and walking even better? No – and that surprised me. My research found just standing and changing posture is important.

— Joan Vernikos
author of [amazon-product text=”Sitting Kills, Moving Heals” type=”text”]1610350189[/amazon-product]

as quoted by Jane Haas Glenn

Imagine my elation when I came upon that piece of “good for you” advice – I knew immediately: Easy peasy, I can do that!

  • Not difficult
  • Time and bandwidth
  • Moves me toward prime objective

And that left me wanting to find more good advice that would fit into this new category: Easy Peasy and Good for You Too!

But Marthe, once again hauled me back with this remark:

We all have times in our lives when we just have too much stuff going on. There are always deadlines, exams, due dates and just too many priorities to juggle. And when everything is going wrong, the world is screaming for your attention and you just don’t have time – the last thing you need to hear is to “just take a day off”.

Well she’s right about that – often what seems like good advice misses the mark by ignoring reality. However, she follows her admonition with a list of “Gentle Ways to Take Care of Yourself” – and at least two of her 55 (yes, you read that right, 55!) Gentle Ways fit nicely into the Easy Peasy category:

Write a worry-list

Stress makes us more vulnerable, and worry can be a nasty side-effect of a busy period. If you find yourself worrying a lot, it’s a good idea to write a daily worry-list. Whenever you catch a worrying thought, write it down and save it for later. Spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5-minutes in the evening worrying about whatever you put on your list. It may sound simple, but postponing your worry will actually make it less worrying whenever you sit down and actually think about it in peace and quiet.

Bounding your worries into two 5 minute worry sessions a day seems like a stretch. But if you could make it so, what a boon that could be!  Worth a try.  And even if worrying still sneaks in, now you have a plan: jot it down on the worry-list for later…

Craft an emotional emergency plan

Ideally, you should have this written down before you enter a really busy period. If everything goes wrong, and you’re maxed out, panicky or just plain exhausted – who do you call? what do you do? where do you go? Planning this in advance is self-care on a high level.

That one could take hours if you let it.  Don’t let it.  Answer the three questions as quickly as you can – whip them out in 15 minutes of “free writing” – don’t worry about grammar, form or reality-based reasoning – just write it and let it be. And if your brain offers you resistance – write it down on your worry-list for later!

After that, if you still have the time, feel free to dive in and swim amongst the rest of Marthe’s gentle 55!

Easy Peasy and Good for You Too!

Then I discovered MacMillanDictionary.com’s list of synonyms for “easy peasy” and played on through from there. Here are several synonym-generated “easy peasy good for you” ideas for your consideration:

Low-hanging fruit – easy picking, no ladder needed…

Ok, here’s a great low hanging fruit, courtesy of my Sister: Plan to have “CORN” for dinner every so often.

CORN = Clean Out the Refrigerator Night

Simply clean out all the leftovers from the refrigerator. Let each person take what they want – gives new meaning to the term “potluck” – and zap it in the microwave!  Ta-da, dinner is served and you’ve cleaned out the refrigerator too.

Trying to avoid carbs? Try a Meatza instead of pizza!

Plain sailing – sailing in unobstructed water – clear sailing…

If you find that emails, phone calls, texts and social media messages have become major obstacles to your daily productivity then you may be tempted to take New Zealander/New Yorker, Gala Darling’s “good for you” advice. She suggests implementing a “media black-out day” – something that Gala herself admits “terrifies” her… BUT the problem with a black-out day is that our prosperity often depends upon the relationships that those media sustain.

Try this instead: commit to doing two solid hours of concentrated effort before you check email, voicemail, FaceBook or Linkedin.com – those two hours might be just the push you need to move forward on your most precious goals.

Pushover – somebody who’s easy to please…

When you’re in need of encouragement it makes sense: find the person who’s most likely to support you! Now that should be really easy to do!  And, no, it’s probably not you – seems as though we each find it easier to be our own worst enemy!  Who’s your cheerleader?  Go there now.

Child’s play – Treat yourself to one Artist’s Date ala Julia Cameron:

Artist Dates: The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly artistic– think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration…

Cakewalk – now this one has an interesting backstory that I’ll leave for you to explore – read through to the bottom of Piece of Cake.  Then go have some fun. Maybe buy a lottery ticket – that’s easy enough, eh? Or, Marc of MarcAndAngel.com offers 60 Ways to Make Life Simple Again.  Not enough time for 60? Give #36 or #49 a try:

#36. If you hate doing it, stop it.

#49. Let go of things you can’t change. Concentrate on things you can.

OK, admittedly, those could be easy or they could be difficult – pick one thing that would be easy to stop or give up and let it go!

Here’s one, last, easy peasy, good for you possibility:

Dig deep into a blog. Got a blog you enjoy reading (like, say, this one)? Go way back into the site’s archives and read some of the older stuff. You’ll often find that the writing has changed drastically since the early days and that you’ve missed out on a ton of interesting and compelling ideas. Look for an “archives” page – for The Simple Dollar, you can start with the chronology.

TheSimpleDollar.com

Truth be told, after some scrutiny, most of these “good for you” ideas won’t make it to your to-do list. Find the easy peasy ones that work for you.

Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

Find the easy peasy crack in good-for-you-advice – find it and let the light in!

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