Monday, March 23, 2009

Go on a ‘clutter diet for Lent: New books look at self improvement
The Lenten season is when I look to self-improvement books, and I’ve found a few that offer tips on everything from organization to loving the “porcupines” in your life. Check these out:

Clutter Diet
A moment on the lips, forever on the hips is a warning to dieters and symbolizes how Lorie Marrero looks at clutter. Her book, “The Clutter Diet,” compares getting organized and in control to taking charge of one’s diet and health. Heavy people got that way over time, just as a crazy lifestyle creeps up on you. This diet asks clutters to examine how they got that way, stop procrastinating and get a plan of action in order.
I’ve used the party plan to get my simple housecleaning in gear. Schedule guests to come for dinner and you must have a clean house by that date. Tips abound throughout the book and on Some easy ideas for multi-tasking are:
While you are:
• Pumping gasoline, clean out your car.
• Taking out the trash on trash day, clean out the fridge to prevent smells from spoiled food.
• Paying bills, clean out your purse and find receipts you may need.
• Celebrating your birthday, schedule physical exams.
• Making breakfast, take laundry to its next step (washer to dryer, folding, etc.)

Got porcupines?
We’ve all got porcupines at home, school and the rest of the world. They have quills and they hurt. Debbie Ellis has a quick-read book called “How to Hug a Porcupine” that gives simple advice on learning to be less defensive and letting go of needing to win everything. Let your porcupine rant, listen well and be attentive. If you’re trying to win, you’re sure to lose, the book cautions. We should all be on a winning team and a better understanding is always a victory. In reading this we could discover how we are porcupines ourselves. I love the advice to set a good example for the both of you.

You’re worth it
Find a voice in the world’s conversation, Cheryl Saban urges in “What is Your Self-Worth? A Woman’s Guide to Validation.” Allow yourself to take up space, breathe and know your voice is beautiful, she writes in a book that advises journaling and challenging boundaries. I love this simple affirming statement: “I choose harmony.”

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