Thursday, November 10, 2011

52 Bites

Not long ago, I was reading a post by Jules about her life list. I love the idea of a life list, and I've started composing my own as I think of things, but as I was reading her list, I noticed a link beside a couple of the items that said 'inspired by 52 Bites'. Since those items were organizational in nature, I followed the rabbit trail, as I often do, and found something great.

What I found was a source of inspiration and motivation to my somewhat lazy soul. Tsh Oxenreider is the creator of and over the years, she has written lots of posts about simplifying life. She took her most favorite ideas and rewrote and compiled them into an e-book called One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler.

When I saw the list of projects and read the sample chapter, Project 5: Start Menu Planning, I was hooked. Not to mention that it was only $5. I promptly downloaded it, printed it double-sided and inserted it in a binder. Then I sat down and started to read. Here's the list of projects:

1. Eat your frog
2. Make a debt-free plan
3. Establish a morning routine
4. Establish an evening routine
5. Start menu planning
7. Downsize your book and magazine collection
8. Streamline your mail
9. Streamline your receipt system
10. Take an annual vacation (or staycation)
11. Clean as you go
12. Clean your kitchen as you cook
13. Plan weekly meetings with your spouse
14. Eat whole foods (on a budget)
15. Make your kitchen paperless
16. Schedule regular date nights
17. Create an essential papers file
18. Get more sleep
19. Dump your brain
20. Plan in advance for holidays
21. Organize your files
22. Declutter (and rotate) your children's toys
23. Regularly turn off your TV
24. Switch to non-toxic cleaners
25. Organize your photo collection
26. Cook staples from scratch
27. Streamline your email
28. Create a regular monthly budget
30. Switch to gentle, eco-friendly skin care
31. Give
32. Go on dates with your kids
33. Streamline your kids' art collection
34. Drink more water
35. Declutter your wardrobe
36. Start a garden
37. Streamline your entertainment sources
38. Carve out intentional down time
39. Create a daily to-do list
40. Set up sinking funds
41. Create a chore system that works for the whole family
42. Make a compost bin
43. Eat locally
44. Find a hobby (and become a lifelong learner)
45. Make annual goals
46. Create a family tradition
47. Wake up earlier (and use kaizen)
48. Use the envelope system
49. Switch to gentle, eco-friendly beauty products
50. Evaluate your home
51. Get help
52. Say no

Am I the only one guilty of putting Make a list as the first item on all my lists so I'll be sure to have one thing crossed off at the end of the day? That was kind of my thinking when I wrote out this list and found that some of these items I had already done. Crossing them off was motivating and made me feel like I already had a little bit of a head start on such a daunting project. 

I also found that some of the items I can't wait to focus on (16,18,32,44) and some I'm dreading (21,22,25,41).

So for a while, I'll be posting about my progress along with the other randomness you'll find here. I've been feeling the need to simplify my life for as long as I can remember, so I feel like, for me, it's kind of a precursor to the life list. Maybe it's just the most important item on that list. 

Wish me luck and if you want to get the book, you can click the link above and I'll get a little portion for being an affiliate.

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