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Thought Leader Megan Kristel is one of the most brilliant (and productive women I know) here is her blog from today – I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you:

In our hustle and bustle world it’s hard to fully unplug.  I know I have a hard time stepping away from, what seems to be, an insurmountable to do list.  I find myself in, what I call, the planning phase of life.  I’m in my 30′s, married, with a young family, an active extended family, two busy, growing careers and a list of things we need to do to prepare for and take care of so everyone, including ourselves, has a secure and happy future.

But what about right now?

This year, my husband and I, unintentionally, gave each other a resolution.  I told him he needed to do a better job paying attention to details, he told me I needed to “take it easy.”  A little glimpse into our relationship, folks.  

Of course, he’s right.  There has to be a balance.  You can’t always be thinking of the future or you will miss the present.  As I thought about it, there are things I do that bring me back to the now.  Some are simple, others are silly, all of them work for me and make me happy.  My intention is to do these more often, or every day in some cases, this year.

1.  Make the bed.  Something about seeing a bed made calms the mind.  Before you leave your bedroom in the morning.  Quickly make your bed, fluff your pillows, and put away the clutter.  You’ll be especially happy you did this at the end of your long day, when you can retreat to a relaxed and peaceful space.

2.  Get up early.  Just 15 minutes before the rest of your house.  I know when I hit the snooze one too many times and am balancing getting the kids out the door and getting myself presentable, the day never really falls into place.  Plus, the few moments of quiet will help you get your head around your day.

3.  Prep your breakfast.  Having had the habit of running on fumes until lunch, I can tell you, for sure, skipping breakfast is the worst.  It’s not good for your mood, day, or health.  Now I prep our breakfast once a week.  While we are eating dinner on Sundays, this baked oatmeal is in the oven.  It makes the morning easier.

4.  Work out.  All you need is 15 minutes.  While I work out with a trainer several days a week, I supplement my days off with Personal Training with Jackie:  Power Circuit Training.  The DVD gives you the option of one 40 minute workout or a few 15 minute workouts.  Yesterday was crazy busy for me and all I had was 15 minutes until the kids came home from school.  I popped in the DVD, did her 15 minute total body workout, got my heart rate up and had a good sweat.  It was all I needed to make it through the second part of my day.

5.  Read something.  Anything.  I give myself 15 minutes each morning in the office to sip my coffee and read some blogs and the news.  Makes me feel like a person.

6.  Send someone you love a text, for no reason.  My girlfriends are really great at this.  We’re all so busy we often schedule calls with each other when we know we are going to be in an airport or have long drives.  In between calls, every day or so, one of us will send a text, just to say hi, to say something funny or to say we are fabulous.  It makes me feel like they are with me all day, even when we are on different sides of the country.

7.  Buy fresh flowers.  Keep them where you can see them, like on your desk or beside your bed.  It adds an elegance to your day and brings a positive energy into the room.

8.  Do something indulgent.  You could do so many things in 15 minutes.  Consider a quick face mask before your shower or use a fancy body scrub in the shower.  Little things make a big difference in how you feel, especially when you are so busy you don’t take the proper amount of time you need to recharge.

9.  Share a glass of wine.  I love wine, especially the ritual around it.  I love curling up at the end of the day and chatting with my husband before we go to bed.  Find someone to have a moment with, even if you’re both sipping wine on the phone with each other.

10.  Get organized.  Oftentimes, the idea of getting organized feels daunting.  I have found, with the exception of a few larger projects, I was able to get organized in 15 minutes.  Do you have junk drawer that is a little too junky?  A play room that is messy?  A dresser that is stuffed with clothes?  I bet if you tackled just one little project, you would be done in 15 minutes.  The sense of accomplishment will make you happy instantly and likely motivate you to keep going.

11.  Go outside.  If you work from home, or spend your days in a dark office, go outside for 15 minutes.  When I worked at QVC, you could literally spend days in the office without ever seeing the sun.  That, and the florescent lighting made me crazy.  The only way to get a break was to walk down to the frozen yogurt machine.  No wonder I started to gained weight.  Then I started to take a 15 minute break in the afternoon, outside.  My boss, at the time, was insane so I had to sneak out, but I’d grab my coffee and sit on a bench to cry collect my thoughts.

12.  Watch your children sleep.  This is my favorite part of my day.  Before I go to bed every night I spend a few minutes watching my girls sleep.  Something about how peaceful they are, how innocent they are, puts me at ease.  Even though my kids are little, I would imagine as long as they are sleeping in my house, regardless of their age, I’ll always marvel at them at night.

13.  Ready yourself.  Give yourself a few moments at the end of the day to prepare for the next.  Clean up your desk, pack up your back, put what you need in your car and pick out your outfit so you start the morning off with as little stress as possible.

14.  Nighttime routine.  Figure out what you need to do to transition from your busy day to a peaceful sleep.  It might be a beauty regimen or a series of stretches to help you sleep better.  Do something to shake off the day and get you in a peaceful state of mind.

15.  Be grateful.  I have long kept a gratitude journal.  It’s a quick and easy way to recognize all that you have, even on the most stressful of days.  I write everything from the biggest work accomplishment to mundane things like, making it to the post office before closing.  It will give you back perspective and but you in a present state of mind.

What could you do to me a little happier every day?

Megan Kristel, President of Kristel Closets, Inc., has spent years helping clients just like you look and feel their best. With a focus on your needs, Megan helps you discover your own unique style. As matter of fact, Megan’s motto is simple: ‘Look your best to be your best’.

Her trademark philosophy is: Whether returning to the workforce, working toward a promotion, or improving your personal life, how you present yourself is how you will be defined. Your personal and corporate “brand” or “image” is your most effective tool whether your goal is to sell yourself, express yourself or  to feel better about yourself…it’s the one tool that you completely control. Find out more at Kristel Closets

About Neen James

Neen James, MBA CSP, is the President/CEO of Neen James Communications, LLC. An international productivity expert and native born Aussie, Neen delivers engaging keynotes that have educated, and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. To find out more about Neen, visit her at http://www.neenjames.com/.

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