It's What You've Got That Counts
By Kathy Gates, Professional Life Coach
Is it time to do a little re-decorating in your LIFE? We've all heard the expression "out with the old, in with the new". And that works quite well in a lot of instances in life, when we need to de-clutter not only our physical environment, but our mental space as well.
But in order to experience the value of change in your life, you don't have to throw out everything you already have and start all over. That's not only intimidating, it's usually just not possible, much less practical (who are we, Madonna?).
Clever use of your lifestyle ingredients means maximum pleasure. Here are some unique ways to use what you've got to help your life work FOR you instead of against you.
Creating a better life for yourself is not necessarily changing what you do, it's sometimes just changing HOW you do what you do. How is always more important than what. Ask yourself -- is there joy and a sense of ease in what I am doing? If there isn't, then life will be viewed as difficult, a struggle. Remind yourself to be open to trying different ways of doing the same thing, and see what works better for you.
Find an Inspiration Piece:
A room can be very dull without an inspiration piece that ties it all together. So can Life. Most people have 3-4 very "high goals", or goals that are the inspiration and mission of their life. It might be "create a happy healthy home for those I love". Or it might be "maintain financial security". Or "make a contribution to society". Whatever your highest goals, they serve as an inspiration piece, and all other parts of your life either fit, or don't. Be willing to revamp any pieces that have crept in over the years, but don't fit in with your overall scheme.
You may resist this word because it sounds so "Martha Stewart". But it's not about being betty-homemaker. It IS about creating an environment that serves you, supports you, and contributes to the lifestyle that you want. Take it slow, as a goal you work towards, not something you can do in a Saturday morning. Controlling clutter is definitely not a silver bullet, but it is one of the best tools you could ever have for creating a better life for yourself and those you love.
Divide and Conquer:
Also known as 'compartmentalizing', this is a tool that can work wonders in your life. Compartmentalizing works best when you create visual, physical, or even mental boundaries in your life. Don't spend your time at work worrying about what you need to do at home, and your time at home worrying about what you need to do at work. Instead, divide your time and energy into categories, and focus your attention where you want it at that particular time.
Display What You Love:
In home decorating, sometimes the most eclectic displays are the most interesting. It doesn't matter if it's worth a lot to the neighbor down the street or not. If it's important to you, put it front and center in your life. Be willing to display your style for all the world to see. You know what's important to you; be willing to stand up for what's important to you.
Paint It Red:
There's an old saying, "don't try to hide it, paint it red" Instead of trying to hide the things in your life that you have difficulty with, try a little fixing up instead. It doesn't matter what other people think - it only matters what you are. If you try to deny a (perceived) weakness, you'll only end up denying yourself. And that's no way to live. Accept who you are, and work instead on how it affects your life and others in your life.
Kathy Gates, Professional Life Coach, is the author of several E-books and Coaching Programs designed to help people solve Real Life Challenges, and live Happier, Easier, Better Lives. See her books and programs online at
or call to chat with Kathy about how a Life Coach can benefit your life at 480.998.5843