Okay well it looks like you will make it into 2017 with or without a "hitch". If you compare life to a pomegranate seed, it can be bitter and sweet at the same time. But if you didn't have the bitter you also wouldn't know the sweet, now would you. You can NEVER get rid of ALL the chaos
in your life, but I will offer some things to make it sweeter for 2017.
Since it is a New Year most of us have a conscious or unconscious desire to improve ourselves. You may have even written a list of resolutions. I love the word resolution. Simply, it means to re-solve areas of our lives that are not working.
One of my favorite sayings as a
past therapist was "so how is
that working for you”? I used that phrase when
people would go over and over the
negative aspects of their
lives, as if talking fervently about their woes would
somehow solve self and life issues. Rarely, does just talking change or
transform something that bothers us. It is the action that
follows the thought that will
change our behavior and our
lives. Even cognitive restructuring, a popular therapy
technique, is just a band aid, if a new behavior doesn't occur. So definitely
write out the list of things you want to accomplish in January 2017, not just things you want to change, but what you truly want to see manifest in your life.
With all the wisdom and ideas I collected throughout the years I will share a list of my favorites with you. I will also talk about ideas for improved health, wealth and
life style in this article.
Ideas and Thoughts for
People change when people want to change or perhaps “see the light”.
You could wait a whole lifetime for a person “to change” but it doesn’t mean they will. You could wait your whole life to change yourself, but you only change when somthing changes.
It takes WILL to change! Most people who are “toxic” are usually in the mindset
that they are entitled and perfect, and therefore they do not believe that
change is necessary. Toxic people may not have the will to “see the light”, since it would be overwhelming when they realize how much time and effort it would take to change their ways. The type of person that thinks of self first, puts self
first is called a frenemy. Often they do not see their own demise. They are always wondering why things do not work out for themselves blaming others for their life blunders.
Take the path of least resistance….it is always easier.
There are rules to relationships, but you and no one else makes them and
follows them except you.
If you are living like a hamster in a wheel going round and round and you are
not going anywhere, get out of your groove and change it
up. Stop the wheel, get off, create goals and work on achieving them.
We only need or have to eat, sleep, drink water, go to the bathroom, have shelter, and in some cases take medication to stay alive (although many choose not to comply with medication). Anything that keeps us alive is a have to or a need. We either want or don't want to do everything else. Watch the difference
between have to, need to and or want or don't want to. We
don't have to go shopping, clean our homes, care for
the people in our lives, or even pay taxes. We either want
to or don't want to. If there is something you don't want to do,
but doing it would keep you out of trouble, than understand why you will
do something that you don't want to do. For instance I
don't want to go to work,
but I will since it will benefit
my lifestyle and my family. If you find
yourself loathing the job, admit that you don't like it, and that will be the
first step to change. Admit the things that are not working for you.
After you admit what doesn't work, use the decision making
chart in my previous blog to identify a new coping strategy
to change what does not work.
Decision Making Chart http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/1/post/2011/10/how-to-make-difficult-decisions-by-marla-stone.html
Shop Green, it IS BETTER FOR THE
PLANET. You can find most of what you want in Thrift Stores.
It is better to give than receive. Don’t forget that!!
Go to Therapy and or Get a Life Coach.
Two heads are better than one.
Stop blaming others or past
situations and stay in the now!
The only person listening to that kind of ranting and raving is you, and it will not solve anything. We cannot change the past. Your present self, health and
your thoughts are the home you live in...it is your consciousness that is your
home. When you are thinking about the past or future you
are not in the now. Grip something tangible, like your wall
or table and get fixed on the now and stay
present. The wall is here now! Don't talk to the wall, just hold on until you can get into the present.
Get organized, it will not only clear your space,
it will clear your mind. Mind Clutter is a vicious cycle. Cluttered mind,
cluttered space, cluttered mind, cluttered
My mom's favorite saying "it takes two to
tango"...don't know who made it up...but
that is the case. If you are
having a disagreement with another person, there is
a way to resolve it without getting steamed up. Sharing your feelings and
validating them can usually settle down a negative situation. If you are
having a difficult situation with yourself, there
usually are two opposing aspects involved creating self fighting.
Share your feelings with yourself and validate
yourself. EX: I feel misunderstood, bullied, manipulated etc..... but I
am a strong and capable person who will
If you are upset with someone or something
and have negative things to say....take
that finger and
point it towards yourself. Usually if you can see the negative
in someone else it is because that trait is in you.
If you are unusually upset by someone else, unless you are dealing with
someone with a Personality Disorder, it most likely is something you want to
address with yourself. http://www.depression-guide.com/personality-disorders.htm
Eat healthy. Look at all your
products in your pantry and pull and out and trash anything with corn syrup,
chemicals, hydrogenated oils of any kind, ingredients you can't pronounce or
identify, products high in salt and or sugar content, products
with dye. You can’t believe how much dye is in children’s cereals and
cookies. Eat citrus fruit daily, decrease consumption of
flesh, and increase intake of
vegetables. Get a healthy
water system installed in your home and drink healthy
filtered water. Remember skinny does not always mean healthy!
Being overweight though is not healthy.
Exercise, even if it is difficult or inconvenient.
Decrease alcohol intake and smoking or work on eliminating if there are
addiction challenges! Am I starting to get annoying? Oh Well...these are just
If you meet criteria for an addiction
Meet with friends and family as much as
possible, as long as they are supportive. People closest to you, your support
system, usually know you better then you know yourself. If you are
isolating yourself get a mental health checkup.
Identify toxic people who put you down, create chaos and who
have issues with greed, vanity, anger, lust or unhealthy boundaries and
stay away. Look up "Personality disorder" and if you meet criteria go get some help! Personality Disorders can ruin your time on this planet and those close to you. They usually are not diagnosed even if you have been to therapy. Therapists who are good enough to catch the Personality Disorder generally keeps it to themselves and rarely, unfortunately shares that aspect of the diagnosis with the client. Also many people are
diagnosed improperly with Bipolar Disorder that actually may have a Personality
Disorder instead. Check with a Psychatrist and or Mental Health Professional to understand if you meet criteria for a Psychiatric Challenge.
Watch out for people in your family who suffer from mental and or
physical health challenges. The signs and symptoms of suicide are listed below
The signs and symptoms of homicide are discussed in this article http://www.ehow.com/info_8136388_warning-signs-someone-capable-murder.html
Signs of diabetes challenges are here http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-ketoacidosis/DS00674/DSECTION=symptoms
Signs of a stroke are http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=symp
Signs of a heart attack are listed here http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp
Have some kind of spiritual connection, and practice being spiritual regularly in life.
If you are confused about your belief system, talk it out with someone until you
get it straight. Being uncertain about whether there is a God and or a Higher Power
is liking living in limbo. Until you get some clear ideas about why and how we are
here on this planet, living in a body, you will unlikely be clear about anything else.
Have one day per week with only positive thoughts. Every
time you think negatively, on that day, tap yourself on the shoulder and say
“stop”, and resume thinking positively by replacing the negative thought with an
opposite positive thought. So if
you say to yourself “oh I’m so stupid”, replace it with “I’m a super
smart and capable person”. You will be amazed at how
negative self talk can bring down your ego system, causing anxiety and hostility
towards self and others, and how positive self talk will raise your
Have a wonderful 2017!!
Marla Stone, MSW is a Professional Organizer/Lifestyle
Coach, Decor and Feng Shui Specialist.
When talking about shopping on "Black Friday" I assumed it was for people who are in the "black" with their money, yet considering most people are in the "red" with their dollars it may be a foolish jaunt out the front door.
People always want new stuff but then there is always "buyer's remorse" and returning items seems to be as popular as buying them. My suggestion is if you don't have the newest gadget, control the urge and wait until you find it on eBay or craigslist, facebook marketplace, let go, or nextdoor, hardly used or unused. By the way, I always noticed that black Friday is not the cheapest way to go, especially if you travel from California to Arizona to find shorter lines. The best deals on any new products seem to appear in February. The best, best deal is to not walk out the front door, and notice that you own the item you want, somewhere in your garage.
I decided a long time ago to stop buying newly made products, and concentrated on finding items that were slightly used or even new that someone didn't want. I have been a thrift, consignment, garage sale and swap meet shopper for years. I also like discount stores where the items that were ordered new from places like Wal-Mart, Target and Nordstrom end up at the end of their cycle, as a still new item, i.e. Ross, TJ MAX, Big Lots, Marshalls, The Rack etc... I will ONLY buy something new if there are no other options. I will shop the discount stores a few times a year, to buy things I want that will ultimately end up in our dumps. I find a lot of new and great stuff shopping green. The other idea I like is to find a local clothing designer who makes and sells their own one of a kind designs.
I have been buying brand new shoes, clothing, designer purses, art, fixtures, vintage dish towels, furniture, household goods and anything you can think of, primarily from thrift stores for over 30+ years. I started in Old Town Pasadena, before it was commercialized, when there were old Vintage Thrift stores on every street. I bought dresses and shoes from the 30's and 40's before it was even cool.
I have bought numerous paintings by established artists that have appraised for over $30,000.00. I paid close to $150.00 for the lot. The shoes I find, you will never find in regular department stores, or even your favorite boutique, since often times they are unused vintage and or extreme designer shoes (often one of a kind). I have bought Gucci, Ralph, Coach, Louis, Dior, etc... in purses, wallets and date books for pennies on the dollar. Hats, scarves, socks, skirts, pants, suits, and gloves vintage or designer, collectible and gorgeous, Chanel and St John. I have never felt deprived, and have refused to pay the big bucks to have luxury and love for beautiful keepsakes.
When you buy animal, leather or fur goods please find vintage or used products. Do not buy new leather and or fur products. Get leather, fur or items made from living things from your relatives and or thrift stores. I do not believe in killing animals for pleasure or to look good. Purchasing new leather or fur goods only perpetuates an already horrific practice of killing animals for vanity. There are plenty of leather goods and furs already on the planet to be enjoyed without contributing to more death of animals.
I have lovely Kreiss furniture and a handmade Italian Iron bed that is a one of a kind with two antique marble nightstands. I saw the nightstands on-line for $300.00 a piece (I paid $120.00 for both). I sit on designer chairs, and eat at a high end dining table that is worth $10,000 new (I paid $700.00 + $25.00 for delivery). All my furniture, except some family pieces are from consignment and thrift shops.
I have always supported local "starving" and non "starving" artists. If I meet an artist that I like, I always commission a painting. I have some of the most delightful art in my home, and knowing the artist that created it is even more precious. I would rather pay someone locally that I know has to feed themselves, and their family, then to buy some mass produced modern scenery art, from an "art fair." Many people started turning towards "junk" art, that looks nice, but those "paintings" are copies, upon copies, upon copies produced by large foreign entities that pay their local artists hardly a cent to paint them.
I buy fruits and vegetables, not at Vons Pavilions or Trader Joes, but at local markets and farms that only buy from local farms. It just makes sense, and I can even ask the store owner where it comes from and they can say....."Jones Farm down the way grew those peaches." I grow vegetables and herbs anywhere I can find dirt.
One of the most recent ideas I've had to shop more green and cut down on pollution would be for neighborhoods to choose only one or two gardeners, instead of having ten or twenty gardeners driving in and out of your neighborhood weekly. Finding two of the best gardeners to serve each neighborhood would save money, and your lungs from all the extra pollution. Gardeners would love the idea, since they would save tons of money on gas, and be able to work one neighborhood per day. I would also make sure the gardeners use electric instead of gas run blowers. Even better, get rid of your grass and plant a native garden.
I think buying green, shopping locally and supporting our local artisans, who paint, sew, create pottery, and can make just about any item you dream of, is the way to go if you want more stuff! Be creative and see how you can shop or think green!!
Marla Stone is a Lifestyle Consultant and Professional Organizer
Serving Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties!!!
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of