My 6 ridiculously easy, free, life changing habits

My 6 ridiculously easy, free, life changing habits. Improve what you do and how you feel INSTANTLY! via Funky Junk Interiors

In December, I started to feel incredibly yukky. Just tired, lazy, desiring to sleep the day away as soon as I got up. Well, I decided that just wouldn’t do. So I established some goals, then got to work.

I quickly realized, it only took 6 ridiculously easy and even FREE habits that dramatically changed my days in a short 2 weeks time.


The day I stuck one foot out the door, I thought I was gonna die. Literally. I was in pain and out of shape from too much blogging sitting indoors.

Every step hurt. Just a walk to the mailbox felt like a row of steep stairs. I detested every second of it, not to mention it was bitterly cold out. But I knew if I overcame the dread and felt the good, I would benefit. I’ve been there before and I wanted it back.

What ultimately got me outside was bringing my camera. But I knew I couldn’t do that forever, otherwise I wouldn’t get into shape. So I bit the bullet and kept at it. And each time I forced myself outside, it got easier.

Today? My son and I are power walking together after school and I even (gasp) started adding a teeny weeny bit of jogging in the mix. Guys, I don’t jog so this is HUGE. I’m happier, have more energy, and just everything in life seems more vibrant! All because of something as simple as walking.


My home always smelled like the luscious brew of coffee. I could drink the stuff all day long, forgetting to drink anything else. But I just started to feel really tired despite the overload in caffeine, and felt it was maybe because I wasn’t active enough. Well, I went to the doctor and she said to up my water. NOW. Yuk. WATER? Boring!

I listened anyway. My method was setting out 8 glasses on the counter and as I drank a glass, I’d put one away. The clutter was a reminder to get it over with so I could have a clean counter again. The first day 3 made me gag. But I kept at it.

Today? I’m easily downing a safe 6 and proceeding towards 8. I have a very no nonsense approach and just DOWN the thing already. Why delay the pain? Honestly, my thirst has actually increased so it’s become much easier and my need for coffee severely diminished. (but will remain… I can’t ditch every vice!)Know what? I actually feel different! Brighter. Or something. Strange stomach aches are gone. Water! Who knew.


Here’s my usual kinda day. I get up, make coffee, and go online. Then I ‘wakeup’ and realize I’m in some lah lah land I built around myself because next up,  I’m late for work, or missing some appointment. When online, I simply fall deeper and deeper into the zone. You know how everything interlinks. Truly, I was needing a better game plan.

Two words: KITCHEN TIMER. That’s it. And it works.

Eat fresh! One of 6 ridiculously easy, free, life changing habits that changed my life instantly - via Funky Junk Interiors


Those cookies and chocolates over Christmas were amazing, were they not? Well, I’m generally a pretty clean eater so once I had my fill of the bad stuff, I was more than ready to resort back to eating fresh again.

But I did change one thing that made it easier. I traded the ice burg lettuce for spring mix instead. Oh my.

My fav salad these days: spring mix prebagged, cucumber, tomato, thickly grated carrot, a few sliced up grapes or strawberries, drizzled with LiteHouse toasted sesame ginger dressing. Oh my gosh. You’ll forget it’s just SALAD. (throw grilled chicken on top if you have it on hand)

And today? It’s hard to put this into words but I just feel… clean. Better. Lighter? No more strange stomach twists and all that. Just good. It feels good to eat good!

Work off a list! One of 6 ridiculously easy, free, life changing habits that changed my life instantly - via Funky Junk Interiors


This blends in with #3. I tend to go online and get caught up in whatever I’m doing. While I may get lots done in one area, I get nothing done in another. I never seemed to have enough family time, never had the right groceries in the house for a nice meal, the place was always a mess, blah blah etc etc.

The fix? A hand written list is ALL it took. Paper and a pen.

You can get a fancy planner if you wish, or even use something online. I attempted both but they didn’t work for me. I just started with some goals and built a list on materials you probably already have sitting around. I’ll show you what worked for me soon!

Decent bedtime! One of 6 ridiculously easy, free, life changing habits that changed my life instantly - via Funky Junk Interiors

6. Decent bedtime

I blame being a night owl on my mom. She was one too. You’d hear her tinker around in the kitchen long after we turned out our own bedroom lights. Even in her later years, she’d load the dishwasher or watch TV. She just kinda forgot to go to bed. And I’m exactly the same way.

Well, I started going to work the next day feeling like a zombie. I remember that last day really well. I was so groggy I felt like I had the flu. Good grief. I scolded myself to smarten up! So I did.

I admit I haven’t fully mastered this one yet, but I’m getting better. And it’s indeed making a difference. You may see me a little less online but I’m no good with no sleep, so it is what it is. We all need enough of it.

I’m sure there are many other areas that can help enhance your own life, but by far, these 6 easy fixes were life changing. All it took was realizing that feeling like crap was no way to live, and desiring to doing something about it.

I challenge you… name 6 things that would change things up for you. 

Care to share? Gonna try them?

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90 thoughts on “My 6 ridiculously easy, free, life changing habits

  1. Without sounding condescending (not my intention) I am really really proud of you.

    I need to get off my posterior too, definately.

    All you listed are things I need to be doing.

    I will let you know how it goes….I am definately at the HURTING stage of things.


  2. Donna, ya for you! I am so glad you are feeling better. I have been putting off going to my Y to the pool because I am not wild about everyone seeing me. But I did buy swim clothes that are suppose to be acceptable and hide quite alot. You have given me the motivation to go and try it tomorrow finally! Thank you and I will let you know how it went! Thank you again so much for this story. lin in tennessee

    • Anonymous Lady, no one at the Y cares what you look like in a bathing suit. All the people swimming are just glad that you showed up! Really. Make yourself accountable and go. You will feel SO much better. Believe me. Ann

  3. Way to go Donna! I’ve been thinking a lot about change as well. My six top changes are:
    Write morning pages every morning…no excuses.
    Yoga every morning…again no excuses.
    Submit two queries to magazine each week. Not one and then nothing for two weeks and then panic and kill myself to send seven at once.
    Draw something every day. Pick up the oils, pencils, spend at least 30 minutes in the studio every day. Time in the studio stops my brain from over analysing all the things that are wrong with my life.
    Cut out the sugar…like you said the Christmas cookies were great.
    And…gulp…hit the gym and stop wasting the monthly membership!
    Oh, it feels good to write these things down.

  4. Ppssttt…that’s me sticking my tongue out, wanting you to not post something like this.
    1. My knees are killing me…I don’t wanna walk.
    2. Water? Isn’t there water somewhere in a can of Coke (my beverage of choice?)
    3. I’m right at home in la la land!
    4. GAG…seriously, I hate veggies. I’m a carnivore down to my DNA.
    5. I wouldn’t have a problem working off a list…if I could ever find it under the 5 pounds of scraps of paper already on my desk. If something really needs my attention, I tape it on the wall in front of my desk, so I *might* actually notice and act on it.
    6. Sleep? You mean 4 hours isn’t enough? Actually, I love to sleep, I just have a hard time turning my mind and hands off long enough to do it for a full 7 hours. It’s 12:32 in the morning now, and I’m just starting to hit my creative stride!

    I’ll toast you tonight with a bottle of water though!

    One thing I am trying to be more faithful about is reading God’s word. Too often the day goes by with my nose bent over the computer or working on a project and my Bible is gathering dust. I don’t want to go to my grave, regretting what I “learned” from the internet and what I failed to glean from the true source of wisdom.

    Blessings on your goals, Donna – Good for you!

    • Did U know that it takes 32 glasses of water that has been made alkaline to 9.5 ph to neutralize a glass of pop which is about 2.5 ph. Dr. Warburg won the Noble Prize for medicine in 1931 because he discovered that all cancer patients had a ph that was too acidic. The body wants to be at 7.345 ph. The more acidic the more sluggish U feel

    • “The day I stuck one foot out the door, I thought I was gonna die. Literally. I was in pain and out of shape from too much blogging sitting indoors.

      Every step hurt. Just a walk to the mailbox felt like a row of steep stairs. I detested every second of it, not to mention it was bitterly cold out.”

      I love this description! I thought I was the only one that hurt with every step! Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I love this! All wonderful goals and ones I also strive for myself. One thing I do to help with the water is to add lemon. It really does make a difference. Plus Lemon aids in digestion and weight loss. Woo hoo! You can buy a lemon, cut wedges and just squeeze one into each glass. Or you can buy lemon juice a put a few dros into each glass. If you go this route, I only buy the Real Lemon brand lemon juice. When other fruits are fresh, I’ll add those as well. But it really does help. And now that I’ve been doing it for so long, I almost never drink anything else besides my 1 cup of coffee or hot tea in the morning.

    Good luck to you! I know I’m gonna need it too!

  6. Its funny, I just read our HR’s article about ‘fight your fatique’. Here are some of their suggestions:
    – Take a break over lunch time – don’t eat at your desk
    – Reduce environmental pollution like loud noise, stale air, temperature, etc
    – Keep hydrated – drink 1 to 2 litres of water per day
    – Adopt a healthy lifestyle – regular physical activity, 6 to 8 hours of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet

    So your 6 life changing habits are right on the money. Unfortunately I am like Angie, I can’t switch off at night, I wake up several times during the night and I am up at 6 in the morning.

    Good luck with your goals – keep us updated!

  7. Oh my! I love this post! So inspiring! Really, I think you nailed the 6 that would make my life a little more rich and I’ll start with those. Sleep eludes me, but maybe if I work on the other 5 the sleep will come! Thanks for sharing this…I’m inspired!

  8. i thoroughly enjoyed this post Donna, you have inspired many I’m sure. I need to certainly make more lists as my life at the moment is so crazy and i’m feeling simply frazzled. taking time to do a good thought out grocery shop ensures I eat well and yep too much online time can be damaging.
    you have made it all sound so easy because at the end of the day it doesnt have to be hard.
    Bec x

  9. I swear I could have written this myself. I’ve been feeling the exact same way, Donna. I’ve even gotten so thick around my waist the last few months that none of my pants fit and I’ve resorted to wearing yoga pants or drawstring pants! Thing is, I KNOW all of these things are what I should be doing and just haven’t gotten off my lazy arse (and away from this dang computer) to do them!
    Thank you for giving me the wake up call I needed. *slaps you a high five*

    -Jaime from NC

  10. I’m with you on the walking, the water and eating fresh especially! I haven’t walked all winter and I can feel it, it is so good for you and makes you feel happier and healthier. (Not to mention tightening up that 50 year old body!) I have to get back to it, I hate to walk in the cold but I’m feeling the lack of exercise big time. I just lost 22 lbs by eating fresh, it works! Keep track of your calories and it was easy!

  11. Those are all goals I’m well familiar with! I started making kidney stones before I knew that I wasn’t drinking enough water. Rule of thumb on water needed is: Take your weight, divide it in half, call it ounces, and that’s the number of ounces of water you need a day. For me, it’s easiest to fill a 2-qt. pitcher of water, set it on the counter, and make sure I’ve drunk it all before going to bed at night.

    Now I gotta get back to that timer trick. That’s really a helpful one!

  12. Sorry, one more thing: It’s always January when I notice that the scale starts going up. That’s when I drag out a new notebook and start writing down everything I eat. It’s surprising how many little nibbles get eaten without noticing. The notebook makes me notice!

  13. I do walk a lot, but as for the other 5 changes, I pledge guilty. For 2013, I decided to go vegetarian, which will help me eat fresher, and maybe I need some pins on my office chair so I don’t spend so much time on the computer – and TV.

  14. great list,Donna.
    I increased my water right after The Honey retired…as to ph/ alkaline water…I drink a glass of water with ACV(apple cider vinegar) and baking soda in the mornings. It does wonders for my joints, bloating,etc. And it doesn’t coast anything extra, as I have these in my pantry already.
    Now… about the rest of the list. Can’t go wrong with fresh air,sunshine,exercise.
    I’m going back to LIST MAKING; gotten out of that habit since the kids are grown and moved–but seriously need this in my life. A woman my age tends to forget and drift to la la land (what i call ‘wandering aimlessly’ throughout my day)
    Kitchen timer–same thing, used to, and now with your reminder will implement this TOOL again! I like to play BEAT THE CLOCK! Now that the Littles are here everyday– an early bedtime is a must. I rest better and am more refreshed in the morning. It helps me tend to 3 preschoolers for sure.

    Like Angie said: I am adding in more Bible reading. I am also playing word games on my kindle–to challenge my mind! Keeping it sharp.

    have a great week! Pat

    • My first comment had said I found this post through your tractor wheels on Pinterest…then realized they were from Creative Ambitions…very nice by the way…Anyways…just wanted to thank you for your posts, and shared a link to it on my blog…you’re truly an inspiration!

  15. Made that decision yesterday! To get up… move!!!
    So this morning I did. I got up… before I could talk myself out of it, I was dressed and out the door. Half hour of brisk walking in the morning chill. Felt pretty good actually.
    I have to move…. the sitting on my posterior is not a good thing.
    Cheers, Gee

  16. This is wonderful Donna!
    I haven’t been feeling well either. In fact, I actually worried yesterday that if I don’t find more ache free energy, how am I going to be able to garden this spring? Yikes!
    Thank you for the simple, honest inspiration.

    White Spray Paint

  17. Hi, Donna

    Good for you and I am happy to hear you are taking care of yourself. Women in general don’t take good care of themselves and always put family, work and everything ahead before themselves. You need to take care of yourself. I can’t believe you didn’t drink water, crazy. Have a good one.


  18. Love it Donna!! Someone else said this above, but I’m going to echo it… add lemon to that water! It really does make a difference and has some great health benefits to boot! I love that you still use pen and paper… me too! I just love writing things down…. my iPhone calendar is jealous I’m sure! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!! Claire

  19. These six sound alot like what I do as well, with one exception being the timer. I could really benefit from that one! I would also add that on days when I spend time alone with God at the beginning of my day, it really makes a huge difference. Whether I meditate on scripture, pray or just “be”, it sets the tone for the rest of my day! Have a blessed one!


  20. Donna, I’ve been reading your stuff for about a year now and have never commented. I just wish there was a way to communicate privately. Oh well. I’ve been inspired by you, by your story, by your love of the Lord, by your relationship to your Mom (I lost my sweet Mom 4 years ago and I miss her every single day), by your design style. Weird, I feel like I know you. I’m from The West and live in The South and miss the snow and cold.
    I know all the things on your list are wise and good and that they WORK, cause I’ve done them all before and felt so good! (and I agree with Margaret, that quiet time in the Word has to make the top of the list!) I’m gonna take your lead, get off my blessed assurance and get going! God bless you and thank you for spurring me on! -Debbie

    • Debbie – Anonymous Lady #2. At the top of the blog is a star that says HOME. To the Right of that is About and Contact info. Click on Contact info. At the bottom of that page is a little envelope that says Email. Click on that and you and Donna can have a private chat. Remember: God helps those that help themselves. Ann

  21. Hi Donna – all of those things are important – and I really should be doing ALL of them. It’s #6 that is my down fall though. . . Going to bed at a decent time. And now – as of two weeks ago (because my kids switched to a new school) we are up and put the door an HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES EARLIER than we are used to.. . . Woah. I KNOW that zombie feeling. How is it that we can feel like that in the morning and then be ready and raring to GO at midnight (and not want to go to bed??!!) The world does not love a night owl – and i guess i just have to accept that.
    I’m working on it – I really am.
    Glad you are feeling better!

  22. Donna, you hit every single bad habit I allow to surface. I’m working on the same issues. Whenever I slip on these, I feel tired, sickly, and aggravated. Especially the exercise and water. Thanks for the push.

  23. The kitchen timer & the lists are two big things for me. I waste a lot of time online – it really is so addicting! all the things I read are fun & good but they become bad when I neglect everything in MY world. :o)

    My lists are just written in a spiral notepad. I sit down & write what needs to be done & mark them off as I finish. Something about seeing my list written down keeps from spending so much time online.

    I cannot function without a running shopping list on my fridge. I keep a tear off pad with a pen on the fridge & have trained my family to write on the list when they need something from the store. If they try to tell me what they need I say ‘If you really want it write it on the list!’. I never shop without a list.

  24. Okay.. I’ve known exactly what I needed to do just needed a good push..thank you! How quickly we can fall out of a good healthy routine!! Your blog is the first one I go to and glad I did this morning. As for the lemon in your water..ream the lemon completely, pulp and all, drink it in as many glasses of water as it makes to your taste. I don’t care for artificial sweetners but add them if you like. An apple a day is really good advise too! I’m going to get the dog and head out for my walk now!

    June 🙂

  25. well isn’t this the time of year for this ;). I had some really terrible leg cramps last yr and my daughter suggested I drink more h2o. Well it took about 1 1/2 weeks and things got sooooo much better. I now drink at least 48 oz every day . Who would have thought such a small thing would make such a difference!Also I have capped my coffee to 2 mugs daily so I still get my fix but no bad repercussions, also coffee is to help with Alzhiemers. So I will not be giving it up anytime soon.

  26. I think I may need to adopt all 6 of yours. The kitchen timer idea is brilliant! All I need now is a list to go with that timer and maybe I can start checking some things off that list …

    Good for you! And thanks for the motivation and inspiration …

    🙂 Linda

  27. I am good at doing all the six of what you wrote about. Need to work a bit on playing, I am really bad about taking time just for me to do what I want. Before Christmas I sat down and made three Christmas trees out of old spools and sheet music. I had a blast. I need to do that more often.

  28. Donna- Everything you wrote here is so true. The changes all at once can seem overwhelming but if a person just does one or two of them they will notice such a change. I have cut way back on my coffee and I can’t do the walking right now because I have an ankle issue but eating fresh and cleaner feels good. I even started eating GRAPES as a snack. I keep them washed and chilled and ready to go…who knew they would taste so good. And, lastly, I am cutting way back on my computer time too because I was getting nothing done…well, visiting and dreaming but not a whole lot else.

    Thank you for the wonderful post today, Donna. You really confirmed a lot of my thoughts- xo Diana

  29. 1. Run!! I already walk, but need to run. It’s the only way I can manage the waistline properly!
    2. Timer GREAT IDEA!!…to stay off of Pinterest. Omg…1 minute of Pinterest time=20 minutes real time.
    3. Blog more often. I have 2 followers (thanks mom and dad!), but maybe I’ll get more some day.
    4. Cook!!!! My husband is a great cook, but I let him cook too much.
    5. Stop hitting the snooze button.
    6. Get outside!! For any reason!

  30. Excellent advise Donna and not so hard to achieve once you set your mind to it. I need a little more work on steps 1 and 4, but I’m much better than I was this time last year. Here’s to a healthier lifestyle in 2013!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  31. Ridiculous is misspelled on your picture. I’m sure it is going to be pinned all over. The water will get easier. I always have a bottle with me when I leave the house. It is easy to drink in the car. I also have part of a case in the car, so I won’t have to pay $1.60 for one when I get thirsty outside the house. When I drink something else during the day like iced tea and not water, I start to feel like I might get a headache. If you are worried (really?) about alkalinity, some people drink distilled water with an added pinch of salt. Why do we start this all over again every year or two? Will we Never take care of ourselves. I’ll email you when I go to bed because I’m an hour earlier than you are.

  32. Interesting list. I actually do all of these things, but there are others I need to work on (BTW: 8 glasses of water a day is a myth, but you will probably want to drink more after a walk anyway.) I guess my things to work on are:
    1. work out with weights (not big ones, but dumbbells) more than once a week.
    2. connect with good friends and keep the connection going (I’m going to email my friend right now…hold on…
    3. I’m back. Get rid of clutter – once a week, at least. I think a cluttered room really stresses me out and my house is way too cluttered!
    4. Take vitamin supplements. I eat healthy, but I do need some supplements.
    Okay! Thanks for the inspiration…

  33. Thanks Donna for listing your list and posting.. How inspiring to give the gift of health to yourself and maybe others. I too have made some changes in my life.. I do not like water but add a slice of lemon squeezed into it and I love it. My down fall is at night eating snacks… So now putting an end to those bummer.. Good luck to you to keep up the good work… Congrats… Cindy

  34. Thanks Donna for listing your list and posting.. How inspiring to give the gift of health to yourself and maybe others. I too have made some changes in my life.. I do not like water but add a slice of lemon squeezed into it and I love it. My down fall is at night eating snacks… So now putting an end to those bummer.. Good luck to you to keep up the good work… Congrats… Cindy

  35. Oh my goodness. We could be twins in this respect. I am working on every one of these and in fact am working on a post about changes I’m making. Thanks for sharing. I often sit too long on my computer and then regret all the time I wasted. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  36. one more tip….zumba….crazy fun way to break a sweat….join a class…seriously…it’s a blast !
    (oh and i’m a lister on paper too…just cant do it on the computer…were i swear i do Everything Else !)

  37. I so needed a reminder. Kitchen timer for being online, not only do I go to la la land when I am online in the morning, I skip the gym sometimes, because I have permanently moved to la la land for the whole morning! Oh yes, and I need to work off a list. No. 1, set timer for going online. No. 2. Get to gym when timer goes off!

  38. Wonderful Donna! It’s all so common sense, yet we forget and ignore so much of it too often. This is a great reminder to take care of ourselves. I know I can always use one!!
    Glad to hear you are feeling so good now 🙂 Yay!

  39. wow – i feel like we’re kindred spirits. i needed to read this. i needed to see someone else was feeling what i amfeeling. all of the sudden at the end of december, i was feeling awful. i went tot he doctors. she said i needed to lose weight. well duh. but i hadnt. i need to get walking, eat fresh and drinkmore water. all of these are common sense but until wefeel the positive effects from them,we dont think to do them. i will bookmark this post and hopefully call upon it to draw inspiration.

  40. Brilliant post, Donna! I agree with you 100%!!! Living each day is easier, healthier, and happier if we do drink more water, move more, sleep more, and lighten our mental load. I have actually discovered that the more I see other bloggers sharing their organized homes, newly decorated rooms, and a brand new craft they’re trying….that it really motivates me to do the same. I spent all day today working on my tangled prairie hearts and creating my inspiration board in my studioffice. Such a nice day!!! Oh, and I’m so glad that you’re feeling better! Keep up the great work, girlie!!!

    xoxo laurie

  41. I love your list! I’ll just add a couple of things that work for me. I use an electronic timer (in another room) that will keep on beeping until I get up to turn it off. I use that for computer, reading and craft time! (otherwise, I will sit there all day). No alarm clock with snooze. Every night, I write a list of everything that I need to accomplish the next day and POST it on the fridge to keep me accountable. Now I have to get busy on the rest of it! Thanks for inspiring me!

  42. Great post. I’ve been doing this for the last year & a half and it has helped. I could have wrote this post. It works people. It helps with a lot of issues even if you don’t take weight off right away, your blood work #s & such improve, your sleep pattern improves & helps with daily functioning. and your overall well-being is way better. 🙂 thanks again

  43. Easy? Simple, yes, but I don’t see this being easy. However, I do identify with every single one so I’m gonna give it my full attention and effort. I just gotta get out of this funk!

  44. Oh My GOODNESS!! That’s my cat!!!!
    Anyway I couldn’t agree more!! I started walking 2 years ago, regularly,I had gastric bypass 13 years ago, to this date I’m half the person I used to be. I’ve lost , and the MOST important part, kept off 165 pounds. Last summer I just decided to start running also, sounds better to me to call it running! And wouldn’t you know I ran a couple 5-k races last fall! AND I didn’t even finish last! I finished in the middle of the pack, if feels sooooo good to feeeeel good!!!! So I now run at least 3.10 to 3.5 miles/5 a week .
    I’ll be 47 this summer and let me tell you I feel better then I did at 20 and wow, my husband likes it that I feel good, let me tell ya!! 😉

  45. Wow. The timing of your article is perfect! I have felt sore and flu like symptoms for two weeks now. It is well below. freezing here in Michigan so not exactly motivating to walk. I can’t wait to see if these tips work, and the best part is they are all free!! No excuses.

  46. Thank you for the reminder, Donna! I’m the worst about bedtime, this week alone…I saw 6…and then 5:30am. Oops. The local grocery store in my tiny mountain town doesn’t have the happiest produce…so I need to work on that too. I’m looking forward to trying the egg and banana combo. I’ve been enjoying quinoa and organic green beans a lot. Yum!!!

    : )

    Julie M.

  47. As my daughter would say, “OMG!” Did you read my mind? Remember the song by Roberta Flack, Killing me Softly? You described me to a T. Sluggish, aches and pains, knowing what I should be doing, but not doing it. Hey, I’m an intelligent woman. Why is this so hard?
    Well Donna, you’ve kicked me in the butt. And I needed it. Thanks!

  48. My six things:
    Schedule EVERYTHING! – Housecleaning, walking, reading for work, me time… it all has to be scheduled or I’ll go from one thing to another all day and not get anything done.

    More reading for work – I am not as up-to-date on my career of choice (writing and social media for clients). I print out articles, stick stuff in Evernote, save slides from webinars, but I don’t take the time to go back and READ them. On the schedule.

    Get up earlier – (which also includes go to bed earlier) Spend an extra 20 minutes out of bed in the morning to prepare for the day. Pack the boy’s lunch, get into my walking clothes, or just put in some laundry. It will be worth it.

    Lunch with friends – I’m where I am today because of networking and friends who believe in me and refer me, so it would be stupid to stop hanging out with these people! Make time for lunch with one friend every week.

    Take care of me – Once a month… it can be a pedicure, a new pair of shoes, a movie all by myself, a “day off” to hang out in a bookstore and go thrifting… just something that’s for me.

    Make something – I write for a living, but I am inspired and fed by making things with my hands. I have re-discovered by forgotten artist since I started my freelance business, and I want to keep feeding those fires. Keeping my craft/sewing room accessible and (sort of) organized will help. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration to make a list, Donna! I think I’ll have to steal this idea and go blog about it. 🙂

  49. Thanks for the pep talk! Good Advice to follow for sure. I find myself in the same funk. It’s time to get off my rear and start taking care of me!

    Take care,


  50. I need everyone of those, and so simple. What a great way to start off the new year. Here I come 2014! Thank you!

  51. Haha, I think you wrote this list for me! Except for the sleep thing. I learned a long time ago that I can’t function if I don’t sleep, so I go to bed by 10, usually up by 6.

    I just started working of a calendar that I’m using as my “to do” list keeper. Hoping it works, I never seem to get everything I need to do done! Would love to know how the list worked for you throughout the year!

  52. Wow! While I was reading this I felt like I was reading about my own thoughts! I think so much like you. The internet is my addiction! I love! love! love coffee and I usually get my coffee in the morning and go sit at my computer to “check my email”. But before I know what hits me, it’s 3:00 and I haven’t even gotten dressed yet! I love your ideas and I’m going to purpose to do them, especially the walking. Besides, my dogs need the exercise too! Thank you for the help!

  53. Great, simple list! Water is the best detoxer… I learned this from working at a massage therapy center. Always we’d tell our clients to drink a lot of water after their massages, as toxins get released into the body from the muscles when they’re worked over (like when you work out at the gym) and the water flushes those toxins away. Without water, you’d feel sore because the toxins wouldn’t have anywhere to go, but back into your body.

    The walking connects us to nature, which I think is essential for humans and animals. We are of this earth, and being stuck inside isn’t really good for us on many different levels. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, the connection to nature makes us feel better because it’s part of us. I am SO GLAD winter is nearly over on the east coast because I’ve been desperate for some outdoor time with my little one. Yay!!

    Thanks for this list… I will have to add a couple of yours to mine!

  54. I am glad to hear you say your body hurt when you started walking. I’ve been walking a couple of weeks, on the farm pastures which are huge hills, and my legs ache like a toothache at night. The shins hurt from walking up and down the hills but I’m still doing it. Drinking water, doing more of it and I almost always am in bed by 9 because I wake up early; I get more work done when I can actually SEE. I eat a lot of salads with grilled chicken, lots of Greek yogurt because it taste good, and I do use the FranklinCovey system. It’s really helped me prioritize and I’m working towards my goals instead of hit and miss.
    Great list and best of success to you!

  55. Well, sleep is one I have a problem with; I’m tired, I go to bed, and then my mind starts being active. I think of everything I need to do (most of which I forget in the morning) and I toss & turn. As a result, I put off going to bed. I already drink lots of water, I love salads but don’t eat them enough because my husband doesn’t like them (fine, let him cook his steaks and I’ll eat my salads…good point), I don’t spend enough time online (hence I’m so behind with emails), I make lists but forget to look at them (I’m easily distracted, usually have 5 or 6 projects going at once), and I have to get my butt out of the studio and go walking more! Ok, I’ve said it all…now, make that list, put it where it glares at me and walk every morning after my tea!
    I’m proud of you, Donna, for sticking to it. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit (and you did it in less time!), I WILL start new habits tomorrow. I should write about it so I’m accountable and it’s out there to see (if I remember to put ‘writing in the blog’ on my list).
    Debbie 🙂

  56. My husband’s employer has a company gym the I love! It’s very family oriented & though it’s pretty busy sometimes we don’t feel crowded. We’ve had a family membership since our son was around 12 – he would play basketball with whoever was there while I did weights & walked/ran. Now, my son is married & works there. He has a family membership for his family so I go in early in the morning to see him & my daughter-in-law when they get off work (they work nights) & do my work outs. Sometimes he’s lifting weights with friends while he waits for his wife to get off work.

    I’m glad I made the effort when he was at a restless age. Taking him to the gym, even if I wasn’t totally faithful in it, has stuck with him. I am so glad. And we have some great memories of playing together there – you will too with your son I’m sure.

    It’s hard to keep faithful – I haven’t taken advantage of the gym faithfully over the years. I joke that I exercise enough to stay in pain – never really working through it! Actually I exercise to prevent pain. It’s made a huge difference with my arthritis pain, energy level & strength so that’s what keeps me going. I have to start over often like most people but that’s just how life is sometimes.

    Love your blog!

  57. Hi Donna! I love the artwork on this comment page, btw. So cute!

    Your rules are 100% reliable. I know because when I do them, I feel great. The constant fight is to keep going… I have never used a kitchen timer, but I should use it. I totally related to your ‘waking up’ feeling and the time has blown by.

    Great post! I am coming over from Linda’s blog, she mentioned this was a good post and she was right.


  58. What a super post! I really get this, and it’s just how I was feeling too. Sometimes I didn’t even get a chance to have a shower (as my step kids monopolise the bathroom on the days they’re here). My 6 are:-

    1. Do the housework before work (just half an hour of important stuff like putting on the laundry, putting the last load away, doing the dishes, wiping the surfaces etc). Keeping up with this every day makes a big difference and avoids nasty piles of washing that take all day to sort out or running out of crockery!

    2. Check email inbox before breakfast,delete junk, reply to urgent messages and prioritise work for the day. Breakfast is a nice reward after this is done.

    3. Make a list of all the house and garden maintenance jobs that need doing this year (quite daunting), and aim to complete at least one of them every weekend. With there being both indoor and outdoor tasks and large and small ones, I can keep up with this whatever the weather or mood. I did this last year, and although I never got it all done, it was pretty cool to see just how much I did tick off in the end.

    4. Try and do at least one nice thing for myself everyday such as painting my toe nails (pointless doing finger nails as every junker knows!), having a facial, trying a new hair-style… Even if I can’t get in the shower at least I can feel looked after and loved.

    5. Treat projects as a reward rather than a pile of stuff that MUST be finished. I’ve made a list of small, medium and large projects so I don’t forget what I still have in hand to do when I tempted to buy more stuff to revamp.

    6. When my storage space is too full, some stuff now has to go. I hate getting rid of junk and I’ll always find room for that, but as the kids outgrow clothes and toys it’s tempting just to ram them under the bed or in cupboards, when it is far better to donate to charity or sell for a few extra bucks to buy them something new that they will use or that actually fits!

    Happy junkin everyone, x Nessie x

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