Get More Done with Less Effort

Posted on: April 20th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Productive...

It’s the beginning of a new quarter. Have you accomplished what you set out to do in 2017?

Don’t give up!

McVal Osborne reminds us of the basics in 5 Tips to Get More Meaningful Work Done With Less Effort.

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”

A Quote from Edith Head

Posted on: April 18th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

Edith Head Quote

 

 

Have you heard of a “Capsule Wardrobe”?

Posted on: April 13th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerSpring has sprung! Easter weekend will be here in a couple of days. It’s nice to see sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Last month I talked about Minimalism. This month I’ll introduce the idea of a Capsule Wardrobe. Have you heard about this concept?

Wikipedia tells us “[t]he term ‘capsule wardrobe’ was coined by Susie Faux … in the 1970s to refer to … essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons. The aim was to update this [wardrobe] with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing. … [It’s] an especially important tool in a recession as it allows people to look good on a small budget. This is perhaps part of the reason that the idea has endured.”

Creating a capsule wardrobe is not complicated. Wikipedia provides some General rules for creating one.

Courtney Carver’s “Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months.”

Here’s more food for thought. Joshua Becker of becomingminimalist tells us:

  • The average American woman owns 30 outfits—one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine (Forbes).
  • Americans spend more on shoes, jewel[le]ry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education (Psychology Today).

In “Get the Associate Scoop” below, Linda Samuels (an organizing colleague) shares her Learn One Amazing Secret That Helps You Let Go.” Thanks Linda!

As you declutter your closet this spring, keep these statistics in mind. Is the capsule wardrobe something you would consider?

Contemplate the benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle.

Get started and turn over another leaf!

Until next month,

a new leaf-cathy.png

Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken

Posted on: April 7th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

I can’t wait to try this recipe from Cafe Delites.

Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, halved horizontally to make 4 fillets
  • 3 teaspoons Italian spices*
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (for cooking)

*If you don’t have Italian spices, use Italian dried herbs. Or combine 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1 teaspoon dried parsley together.

Topping:

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ of a red onion, finely chopped (or 3 cloves finely chopped garlic)
  • 4 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

½ cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Balsamic Glaze: (you can use store bought, or this recipe)

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Coat chicken with Italian spices, garlic and salt. Heat oil in a grill pan or skillet, and sear chicken breasts over medium-high heat until browned on both sides and cooked through (about 6 minutes each side). Remove from pan; set aside and allow to rest.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, red onion, basil, olive oil in a bowl. Add salt. Top each chicken breast with the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Serve immediately with balsamic glaze (optional).

Balsamic Glaze:

If making your own, prepare while chicken is cooking.

Combine sugar (if using) and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze. (If not using sugar, allow to reduce for 12-15 minutes on low heat).

It’s never too late to make healthier choices!

 

 

Be Clear About YOUR Purpose

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Linda Ockwell Jenner

 

BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE

If you sometimes have a hard time speaking up because you are not sure how to phrase your message, here are some ideas that may help you.

  • Make your position known and ask for what you want.
  • Present a logical and compelling case for your position.
  • Get your ideas heard in a group.
  • Hold firm to your position when necessary.

Be Proactive and Establish Support

  • Build a strong foundation of trust so that you are an influencer.
  • Encourage others to feel good about your ideas.
  • Build alliances that allow you to work together and offer support to each other.

State Your Observation First

Observations can be seen as facts. Things that can be seen, heard, or taken through your senses. Facts are objective, cannot be argued, and help the other person understand what you are saying.

State Your Thoughts and Feelings

Begin each of your statements with ‘I’ to indicate that they are your own thoughts and your feelings.

State What You Want The Other Person To Do

Make statements about your needs, rather than solutions. Stating needs opens the door to generating alternative solutions. Stating solutions can close that door. For example: “I would like you to be on time for meetings” is a statement of needs. Whereas, “I will call you five minutes before meetings start to make sure you will be on time” states a solution. The first statement naturally leads to a discussion of options on how to meet the need. The second statement closes off discussion of other options and places the responsibility for the problem on you.

When sharing your ideas maintain eye contact, a serious expression, firm voice and moderate rate of speech. Avoid aggressive gestures, or non-verbal gestures that may be interpreted as anger or impatience.

Practice your clear, concise messages before delivering them to others.

Always think clearly, and quietly when you have some alone time, before you decide to deliver your message to others.

Find a Way Where Both Parties, or Groups Achieve a Win/Win Outcome

  • Ensure that your own position does address other peoples’ needs and priorities.
  • Negotiate persuasively.

Listen clearly to the other person’s response to your message. It is important to hear them out. Do not be impatient to offer your point of view, so hear, listen and digest what is being said.

If something upsets you it may be a good idea to ask for a few minutes to take in what has been said, because your emotions may take away from your thought process.

Always ask for feedback. This is a positive request and offers the other person a chance to be completely honest.

Whether you work with a large team or alone, being able to communicate your message is very important. We can become stressed and feel like an outsider if we can’t understand why others do not appear to listen or care about our purpose.

People who speak up may be seen as a trouble maker, or someone who wants to get to the top faster than others. Once again this is an observation, and may not be the true facts of the matter.

Believe in yourself. Stay true to who you are, knowing you work with others and you are thinking about their needs and priorities, as well as your own.

Linda Ockwell-Jenner is truly one of a kind! As a survivor of cancer not just once, but three times, her determination to overcome all kinds of challenges defines her. Linda has put this energy to launching and managing two highly successful businesses. Learn more about Motivational Steps and The Small Business Community Network.

Do YOU experience FOMO?

Posted on: March 27th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

Get Productive...

Why do we often feel that we are missing out in today’s fast-paced world? That fear costs us more than we realize.

Michael Hyatt’s “Why FOMO Keeps Us From Being Productive: 5 Steps for Choosing the Right Opportunities” hits the nail on the head. I think everyone can relate to this article. Improve your productivity by implementing one (or more) of his five steps. I need to work on #4!

Have the dull gray skies of winter sapped your energy and left you feeling less productive than you’d like? Check out Heidi Grant’s “How to make yourself work when you just don’t want to.”

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”

A Quote from General George Patton

Posted on: March 21st, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Minimalism

Posted on: March 17th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerIt’s March!

I know most of you have been thinking that spring is just around the corner. The snow and strong wind outside today are telling me the opposite! Remember, “Good things come to those who wait.”

On the weekend I purchased a new computer. It was time. The faster speed is wonderful! The learning curve figuring out how to do things differently and things not working as expected is not so much fun. I’ll figure it out one way or the other. In a few months, I know it won’t seem so difficult.

This week started off on a sad note when I learned of the unexpected death of a client. She wanted to make sure she had things in good shape. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to make that happen. I will remember her great smile and congenial personality.

As you age, most people come to the realization that material possessions don’t make you happy. Often they start sorting through their belongings, so their chidren won’t have that onerous task in the future.

MINIMALISM

Minimalism is one of the latest buzz words. What or how much do you know about minimalism?

Dictionary.com defines minimalism as “design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.”

I saw the Minimalist documentary twice last fall. Each time I watched it, I learned more. The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, help people live meaningful lives with less. “Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom.” Your ideas about material possessions will be challenged in ways you can’t imagine.

While the minimalist lifestyle may seem extreme, there are steps everyone can take. People are starting to embrace the concept of minimalism in ways that make them comfortable.

Joshua Becker of becomingminimalist tells us:

  • There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).
  • $1.2 trillion is spent annually on nonessential goods—in other words, items they do not need (The Wall Street Journal).
  • Some reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago (The Story of Stuff).

After reading these statistics, all I can say is “WOW!” In some ways, it’s hard to believe. In other ways, it’s not. Do you think that more is better?

We’ll discuss Minimalism more in a future issue. If you have young children, check out SimpleFamilies.com’s Getting Started with Toy Minimalism. After all, children receive toys all year–not just during the holidays.

Think about the enormity of these statistics:

  • British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).
  • 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally (UCLA).

Consider the benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle.

Get started and turn over another leaf!

Until next month,

a new leaf-cathy.png

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

Posted on: March 8th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


This recipe may not be super healthy, but I couldn’t resist
sharing Cooking Classy’s Lemon Cheesecake Mousse. It’s so nice to see bright spring colours!

It’s never too late to make healthier choices!

Wise words…

Posted on: March 2nd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

 

 

Get Productive...

He had a lot of talent, but didn’t have much dedication, wasn’t organized, didn’t know how to learn, didn’t know how to comprehend what he was doing, didn’t try to learn how to get better.”

Jack Nicklaus – Professional Golfer

Ask yourself, “What can I do to learn more?”