Minimalism Challenge Day 6:
Follow a morning ritual

minimalism-challenge6

Every morning I follow the same routine. Do the exercises for my back, eat the same breakfast, make the bed, put on make up and clothes and I’m on my way. That day I decided to spice it up a bit and I made myself pancakes. I followed the recipe from Jamie’s Everyday Superfood and they were the most delicious and very healthy pancakes. It was a nice Monday morning and I had an unexplained positive feeling all day.

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Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

Minimalism Challenge Day 5:
Identify your main priorities

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Sometimes it is easy to feel lost in a huge to-do list and miss the focus on your main priorities. Redefining them, or even remember what these are, can help feeling motivated and putting life into perspective. Here are my top priorities at this point of my life.

Finish my PhD

This is a top priority at this point of my life. It’s my top goal and I have a good amount of work still to do. Focus, focus, focus.

Quality time with my family and friends

Sometimes I feel every meter of the distance between Norway and Greece. It is so difficult to be close to my family and friends, when I am so far away, but it’s a priority for me so I make the extra effort when we finally meet and spend some quality time with them.

Find my balance

I feel that my life is way more balanced when I wake up earlier and go to bed earlier. That way I am way more productive and I can spend the first hour of the day focusing on myself. However, when I skip this morning routine, I find myself more stressed and less focused. Balance is now a priority for me. There is no other way I can make it work.

What are your top priorities right now?

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

Minimalism Challenge Day 4:
No-complaint day

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The rational part of my mind tells me that there is no point in complaining. If you don’t like something, change it. Complaining on its own doesn’t change a thing. Be polite, make your point come across, act wisely and don’t complain. The no-complaint attitude goes hand in hand with a more positive life attitude. Some people argue that looking at the negative aspects of a situation or a person is call being more realist and that’s the only way to change them and evolve through them. I have nothing against that, but keep in mind that you have to see the positive aspects as well, and celebrate them. No-complaints and positive life attitude will make your happier everyday.

This has been my attitude for, more or less, the past two years and it was working fine, until some new people in my life challenged it. They were big fans of complaining. They said that I was avoiding the truth, because I only let the good things in*. Some days they were negative about themselves (ex. “I’m fat!”), some days they were negative towards me (ex. “You’re not pretty enough!”), some days they were just negative about everything (ex. “My life is so difficult!”**). After a while, taking to them made me feel bad and I realized I had started complaining again. It was actually at the same time as I was trying to take the no-complaint challenge that I noticed it. I even failed my first two attempts! I didn’t need this, I didn’t need them. So I stopped talking. Holy crap! Negative people can drag you down and trust me, you don’t need them. I was back to my happy self the next day. No-complaint challenge? Done!

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

* I am actually working on the bad things I can change, but I don’t let them get me down, because, what’s the point?
** Unless you’re a special snowflake, you’re not having it more difficult than the rest of us. Get a grip! Wait! Was that a complaint?

Minimalism Challenge Day 3:
Declutter your digital life

minimalism-challenge3

Day 3 is the day that I:

Clean up my email accounts

I am the person who tackles emails when they arrive. If I have to reply to an email, I’ll either do it right away, or probably many weeks later, so I try to do it right away. All emails I don’t need go to the trash folder or get archived. Maintaining this takes minimal time, but I tidy my archives up from time to time. This was the time to do that.

Delete old messages

I tend to delete old messages on Facebook and delete old Skype conversations. I actually only keep them if I have to do something for someone, or if I need to use them at some point. I think this is an indication of OCPD. Weird? Totally!

Organise computer files and empty my desktop

I have a very functional organisation system in my computer. I have work, blog and personal folders. However, I also have a folder that I keep everything current. Usually, this is the only folder on my desktop. From time to time, I go through that folder and move the files around, archive what I don’t need on a day-to-day basis. I did this on day 3. An empty desktop can make me very happy.

Back up my computer

This was my favourite purchase in 2015, a 2TB external hard drive. This thing is fast, can keep an automatic back up of my computer (even though I don’t use that option anymore) and I love it. I just have to remember to back up my data every once in a while.

So much lighter and so much more productive!

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

Minimalism Challenge Day 2:
Meditate for 15 minutes

minimalism-challenge2

I underestimated the power of meditation for many years of my life. It wasn’t after I started practising Yoga that I found out about the benefits of meditating. I still don’t do it on the regular, but the past few months have been nothing but stressful in so many ways.

The night I decided to take that challenge, I was almost having a panic attack. I had a huge to-do list for work and many personal matters and I wanted to talk to someone, but I didn’t feel that anyone would understand. Also, I felt it was important to figure out a way to relax, as I can’t always rely on others to calm me down. I knew what I had to do. I didn’t set a timer, I just lay down on my bed, breathing deeply and trying to be in the moment, not thinking about the past or the future, emptying my mind. And it worked. What’s even better is that the next day was the most productive day I had in months! Ha!

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

Minimalism Challenge Day 1:
Stay offline for one day

minimalism-challenge1

I’m an Internet addict and Day 1 was HARD for me. I need Internet to survive my everyday, or at least I think I need. Google know the answers to all my questions. Facebook is how I keep in touch. YouTube is entertainment. But all of it can be overwhelming. After the initial shock, being offline felt quite refreshing. A ton of work got done and my to-do list became shorter. I wouldn’t want to do this every day, but once in a while, when my to-do list gets out of hand, this is an effective way to tackle it. Day 1 felt productive. Let’s keep it up.

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

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