Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Less is more: dump those vampire relationships!

Yes, we know Twilight is hot, but vampire friends are not. So what exactly is a vampire friend and how the heck does it have anything to do with simplifying your life?

Vampire friends are those that are a time and energy drain. You know, the friends who constantly stir up trouble and DA-RA-MAAA! Friends should be people we feel comfortable with and enjoy passing time. Friendships should make us feel happy, secure, and should allow you to give and receive. Ideally, being a good friend should allow you to develop yourself and give you a feeling of belonging.

The company of good friends is a beautiful thing.

But sometimes those friendships go sour, and it's important to know when to break it off!

Answer these questions:
1. Do you feel like you and your friend listen to and assist one another with respective concerns?
2. Do you feel a mutual respect for one anothers' accomplishments?
3. Are you able to carry on a conversation on a regular basis that does not end in debate or argument?
4. Do you feel as those both parties avoid dominating the relationship in any way?
5. Do you have trust for one another?
6. Are you and the other person able to find common interests besides thejuiciest gossip about others?
7. Do you both allow one another to be himself/herself without judgment?
8. Do you feel that you are reaching your potential (professionally, spiritually, physically, etc.) with the current base of friends you have?

Hopefully your answers were "yes," to the majority of these questions. If not, consider making new friends through volunteering, work, or community organizations like churches.

If you find yourself in a toxic friendship, try just letting the relationship slip away rather than confront the person about the relationship. Sometimes it's just better to let things go and move on. Simple as that.

And speaking of vampires, I'll leave you with this picture:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Less is more: Evaluate your goals

In my previous post, I wrote about the desire to simplify my lifestyle. While that statement is vague, here is one example of how I plan to go about simplification.

Example 1: Evaluate true goals in life

This example has everything to do with finding out what is most important in my fulfillment. Are you guilty of "trying to do it all?" If an activity is not consistent with your core values, start saying no to make room in your life to do more of these things.

My short list of values:
1. Spending quality time with family and Aaron
2. Making a difference in the lives of animals
3. Travel and adventure
4. Professional and educational fulfillment
5. Spirituality

The next step in trying to evaluate your goals in life would be to evaluate your current commitments. Take inventory of everything going on in your life. This would include activities at home, your work, hobbies, volunteering, side businesses, etc. Question if each of these activities truly helps you move towards your core values. If they don't, start working on paring down those activities. This step may radically change the landscape of your day.

One activity that Aaron and I have decided to cut out is our business. Yep-we're shutting down the company after almost 4 years of operation December 31st. We worked 40+ hours a week in the office and then worked quite a few more stressful hours on the weekends with little down time. We received phone calls at all hours of the day from employees, and we often worked events ourselves because our staff would fail to show up for their assignments. We could have events that ranged in time from 6am until 2am the next day--and we had to be prepared at all times to diffuse a bad situation or fill in when needed. It became clear that our business was not fulfilling our goal of spending time with family and feeling professionally fulfilled. Over the last year, we've developed a new company-Prodigy Uniform Company, and we are just about ready to launch! Here's the website: This company will sell food service and formal attire

We hope that this new company will allow us to reclaim our weekends and spend more time doing what we love. Of course, I will maintain my current job as an underwriter at One America, but I will not have to work weekends for the staffing company, and Aaron and I will get more time to volunteer with animals and spend time together. We were so scared to leave the staffing company behind after putting so much of our time and effort into it, but we are ready to make the leap of faith and choose an entrepreneurial venture that is more suiting to us.

It is daunting to feel like we're starting over, but we really are not. My guess is that we have learned so much from owning our staffing company that it would be impossible to start this uniform company without our experiences in staffing and starting a business from ground zero. We also already sell uniforms to some clients that hired us to do their staffing, so we've got a head start!

I hope this inspires you to evaluate your goals and commitments and eliminate those that don't fulfill those needs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Less is more

I've been reading a lot about simple living lately. Articles about decluttering your stuff, living with less, making life less complicated, and just reclaiming your life from worry and complexity. And I like it!

In order to stay consistent with the topic, I'll try to keep this blog post concise.

Upon taking a closer look at my life, I've decided to pare down, consume less, simplify, and just worry about what makes me happy.

The next few posts will provide some examples-and feel free to steal them : )

I want the simple life