Are You Overwhelmed with the Clutter of Life?

Sue Crum Blog Archives

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by. I help busy people who want to be more successful, make better use of time and space and get organized for good! I post articles of inspiration and motivation to help all of us move forward with the life we imagine and deserve!

Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

1. Tip Time: Folks, I took a break from writing the Quick Etips for Energized and Efficient People as I was working on several new projects and working with several new clients. Hoping this quick blog finds you enjoying the summer of 2018, wherever you may live.

If you got away for a vacation or have one coming up, hoping you took or will take several deep breaths and enjoy the experience fully. Years ago many people took two-week (or longer) vacations. Nowadays it seems that shorter has become the standard. However long yours is (or was) relax, replenish and re-energize.

Summer

No summer vacation for you this year? What can you do to put a bit of “vacation” in your daily schedule? Get out in nature and just focus on the animals and how they live in the present moment. Too hot outside for you? What ways can you keep your cool inside and consider time for indoor projects or summer reading?

2. Tip About Exploring the Outdoors: Several studies have pointed out that getting out in nature helps people be more confident and also improves one’s ability to interact with others. The “get out in nature” tip is not just my idea. Too hot? Can you get out early in the a.m. or in the early evening?

3. Tip About Summer Project Lists: At the start of summer I made a list of projects I planned to accomplish for summer, 2018. While some are making great headway and I am excited about finishing them up, I recognized my summer project list was too long, too unrealistic and nowhere was it going to give me the work/life balance I wanted for this particular summer.

So here’s what I’ve done this week as I see August on the horizon - I’ve identified my Top 3 Projects for August and no more than three! The other projects I dreamed of getting underway and completing this summer, I have designated for September and October. Not going to beat myself up that they aren’t all getting done right now. Summer sails by too quickly - and some parts of it are made for sunsets, swimming, and silly stuff!

4. Tip About Compartmentalizing: Did you make a long summer project list, too? Or, instead of writing it down, has all of it been running around in your head, like what I call “clatter chatter” reminding you that you “should do this” or “should do that”? It’s what Dr. Wayne Dyer calls in an earlier book of his (“Your Erroneous Zones”), “shoulding” on yourself!

Time to stop that now and PICK ONE summer project for your focus - schedule time on your calendar when you will focus on it with time-blocking sessions of no more than 50 minutes. Take a 10 minute break and then go for another 50 minute time-block.

Summer Reading

Reward yourself and take time out for some summer reading. A book I’m enjoying this summer is by Dr. Joseph Murphy, “The Power of the Subconscious Mind.”

Drop me a note and let me know what you’re reading this summer and the ONE Project you are tackling for August. I’ll be having a drawing for my new book from those who send me an email. Simply send it to sue@suecrum.com and put in the Subject Line: Below is the book I’m ready and my One Project for August!

GO!

Ready or not - here comes August!


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

1. TIP About MAY: MAY Your Home Be As Beautiful As The Life You Are Living.

Bedroom

Welcome to Spring - put some spring into your step and see what items can you clear up, relocate or release to the universe, making the keepers in your home shine brightly. This one activity has the potential to put a big smile on your face, making you and your home feel more joyful and beautiful at the same time!

2. Tip About Revising Your Work Schedule Month: Want to sit less and get more accomplished? May is Revise Your Work Schedule Month. This spring is the perfect time to revisit how you work - whether inside your home or outside of the home, everyone is working these days in some way. You may be working to get to those projects you’ve dreamed about for years. You may be working to organize papers after tax season. You may be working to clear space for upcoming relatives arriving this summer.

You may be working to get that book written that you started. You may be working to get in better shape before summer.

Some of you may be working to, well, be happier at work. To find a job or career that fills your soul and spirit. Others may be working to find more energy or be more productive (like getting to the meatier projects, not just being busy).

This month is a great time to look at how you plan and execute your days. Ask yourself, “What fuel do you need to get the most out of each day? What can you do the night before to be more ready for the new day? What can you do during the day when you see your energy fading?”

Write out a scene for your Ideal Day. Take a look at it and see how you can tweak your yesterdays into better tomorrows.

3. TIP About Mother’s Day Weekend: Ask yourself, “What would make Mom’s Day?” It’s probably not more stuff, more things, more trinkets. It’s probably more time with loved ones, making more memories and more smiles and laughter. If you’re the mom, let others know what you’d really like - remember, no one is a mind reader.

Not a mom? How can you treat yourself with just a little more compassion and kindness for that weekend? Do something with good friends. Start a new book you’ve been meaning to read. Get out in nature and just observe and breathe. Enjoy!

4. TIP About Boosting Your Energy Level: - For many of us we think we can boost energy with a daily nap. But when that time comes, if at all, we may sleep too long, are groggy afterwards and kind of end up blowing off the rest of the day, a bit mad at ourselves. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted and now may have trouble going to sleep that night.

Do this instead: Drink a large glass of water; go for a mini-walk (around your home, your office, the block); stand up and do some arm circles with arms extended; while standing, take 10 deep breaths where you can actually hear your breathing. Do a couple of jumping jacks, if you can. Then, see how you feel overall and if you feel a great new boost of energy for the rest of the day!


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

1. TIP About the Problems with Sitting: Do you want to be more productive, better focused and get more done? Have you tried working at your desk or table for hours at a time but when the sun sets and the day is done you’re frustrated that you just didn’t get as much done as you wanted?

Sue presenting

Researchers from the UCLA Semel Institute and its Center for Cognitive Neuroscience have found some most interesting findings on this topic. After interviewing and testing cognitively heathy people (ages 45-75), they found that a brain structure that is key to learning and memory is plumpest in those who spend the most time standing up and moving.

People in the study self-reported average sitting times of three to 15 hours a day. The researchers found that after adjusting for their ages, every additional hour of average daily sitting was associated with a 2% decrease in the thickness of the medial temporal lobe. The sample was small - 35 people, so it does need to be done with larger samples. However, the leader of the study, Prabha Siddarth, said, “If you’re sitting for long periods of time, it seems that that factor - not physical activity - becomes the more significant measure of your fitness.” Siddarth recommends getting out for walks, pacing while on the phone, getting up and moving.

2. Tip About Stand-Up Desks: Want to sit less and get more accomplished? Stand up! Stand up to sort papers; stand up for phone calls; stand up to answer emails/pay bills/ do concentrated work. Put a box or stand under your computer. Look around for a higher counter than your desk. Consider investing in a product such as the Vari-desk or Uptrak. My new Uptrak just arrived and I’ll let you know in a future blog how it’s working for me. In the meantime, stand up, take a stretch, get more air in your lungs and then focus again on the tasks at hand.

3. TIP About Backward Mapping: We are heading into the month of May. If you’re the one re-sponsible planning a Mother’s Day outing, make this coming week the time to nail down those specifics. I like to call it “backward mapping”. So just like Stephen Covey used to say, “Begin with the End in Mind,” get a picture in your mind of the ingredients of a perfect day - May 13. If you’re going to be on the receiving end of that day, visualize how you would like it to go and let those planners know. Start this week to put those visions into action and determine your action steps to make that all happen!

4. TIP About National Organize Your File Week: - Well, in case you missed it, National Organize Your File Week was the THIRD week in April! It probably flew by you like it flew by me as we were out celebrating making it past another Tax Season! Not to worry - organizing your files could still happen in the final week of April and even into May! Think broad categories if you don’t have a filing system that’s working for you. For example, what were the categories of papers you needed for filing your taxes - start there. Worried about how to file your other papers? Keep in mind that 80% of what we file away we never look for again, so think through where else could I get this or who else has this info.

If you have zero filing system and you are a Piler, not a Filer, you might want to check out the Freedom Filer, a self-purging filing system. Visit www.freedomfiler.com and watch the video. It’s a system of self-adhesive labels and retails for around $50. Use Coupon Code SC1819 and enjoy my discount as a certified consultant.


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

1. TIP From Monday’s Presentation - Big thanks to those of you who were able to attend my presentation on “De-Clutter Your Life”. Extra chairs had to be added as we had an audience of 40 people. They are now ready for their Spring Fling.

Sue presenting

If you’re finding the Stuff of Life getting in the way of all the dreams, goals and projects you want to accomplish this year, schedule some de-cluttering time on your calendar now and protect that appointment with yourself so you create more breathing space in your life.

Not sure where to start? Begin with your bedroom, if you’re unsure. Make it a sanctuary from the rest of your home. Remove items that are not helping you have a respite and retreat from the outside world. See how many of the following that you can remove from your bedroom: elec-tronics, laundry baskets and items that belong elsewhere.

2. TIP From WGN Radio Interview: Big thanks to Dan Sugrue and Nick Digillio of WGN Radio Chicago for interviewing me this past week. I compared de-cluttering to being like a gardener. Great gardeners know the importance of continual weeding to make their gardens bring peace and beauty to their lives. When we de-clutter we are really weeding the things out of our lives that are clogging our productivity and ability to focus. Can you Spring into Action and do some weeding in your life right now? Drop me a line at Sue@SueCrum.com and let me know what you’re able to de-clutter and weed out of your life and how that made you feel.

Side Note: WGN Radio is currently located in the Chicago Tribune Tower, which is the same building where my father worked for years so it made the interview extra special for me!

Click here if you’d like to listen to the complete radio interview.

3. TIP About Perseverance: I’ve written about perseverance lately as I really believe high performing people are really no different than you or I, but they do have established habits of behavior that they do on a consistent basis, not just every once in a while. Persevering is one of those. What have you been persevering this month? Stay the course. Remember, just about no one has been an “overnight success!”

4. TIP About Paper: Hopefully, as you are reading this, your tax report has been sent in and you can put that project behind you, take a deep breath and form a smile across your face. Coaching clients often ask me about which papers to save and for how long. Many have saved everything for fear of discarding the wrong paper. I always suggest checking in with your tax preparer about your special circumstances.

Generally speaking, back-up paper (documentation that was used to arrive at the numbers on your tax form) need to be kept for six years plus one. That’s the normal amount of time the gov-ernment can go back and request an audit of your returns. If you own a business, that time frame is longer, so check with your tax return specialist. Put 2017 Tax Back-up Material in a file drawer or box and be done with it!

Congratulate yourself and Spring into Action on more fun projects now!

Want to schedule a Free Success Strategy Call about your Challenges? Download and complete the questionnaire below for Clear Your Clutter Coaching, save and email to me at Sue@SueCrum.com and I’ll schedule your call asap.


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

1. Get TIPS About CLUTTER CLEARING: In Southern California this next week?

Make time to SPRING into ACTION! Get going on living the life you’ve imagined.

  • WHAT: “De-Clutter Your Life: How & Where to Get Started for Better Productivity”
  • WHEN: Monday, April 16, 2018 1:p.m.-2:p.m.
  • WHERE: Carmel Valley Branch Library - FREE
  • WHO: Presented by Sue Crum, “America’s Leading Authority on Clearing Clutter”
  • WHY: It’s National Tackle Your Clutter Month, that’s why!

Sue Speaking at Canfield TTT

Not in Southern California? Not to worry. Get your own copy of Sue’s #1International Best Seller, “Clear Your Clutter: 50 Ways to Organize Your Life, Home or Business So You Can Become More Calm, Focused & Happy” available here on Amazon

Jack shared the key principles from his book and had the audience members actively engaged in creating their best year yet! I was privileged to be one of the assistants on Jack’s Assisting Team again, a role I truly cherish.

2. TIP About PERSEVERANCE: I firmly believe many of us have not created the habit of perseverance. We hear a good idea or a habit we know we should “try” and then after a couple of days we either grow weary of it, decide it’s too much work or maybe just get bored with the whole thing. And that’s when we quit. We don’t give it a chance to become embedded in our routines or rituals.

For the rest of April, think about something you have been wanting to manifest in your life. Don’t try to change everything. Pick just One Thing. We’re half-way through April. What new habit could you persevere through April?

3. TIP About LUCK: Today is Friday, the 13th! Don’t let the horror of that slow you down from leaning into what you want to accomplish before the week is out. It’s not about being lucky - it’s about consistency and perseverance!

4. TIP About TAXES: Have you got those all done? Time to stop procrastinating and just face the music. I always say, “Deadlines are Delicious” and certainly none of us would be giving the government an update on our finances unless we were required to do so by April 15! This year we get two extra days to file because the 15th falls on a Sunday. Be sure and keep your backup data, just in case there might be an audit. Don’t need to keep it forever. Check with your tax person. Six years plus one year should be plenty, unless you are running a business of some kind. When in doubt, check with your tax professional.

And more… Want to get specific strategies and solutions for dealing with what’s holding you back? Simply fill out the questionnaire (490kb pdf), save it and email it to me at Sue@SueCrum.com. I have room for FOUR FREE Strategy Success Calls this coming week. I’d love to help you get headed in the right direction for Spring for Spring has SPRUNG!


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

TIP About SPRINGING INTO SIMPLIFYING: Spring has Sprung!

Simplify

The end of the First Quarter of 2018 is tomorrow, Saturday, March 31! That means 1/4 of 2018 has just flown by. It also means we still have 3/4 of the year remaining to get on with those dreams, goals and projects.

What can you simplify in your life so that the days and nights are not filled with busy work, but instead with projects that really move the needle for you?

Today’s cartoon from Scott Adams in “Dilbert” is perfect for all of us to take to heart as we strive to SIMPLIFY! In the first frame Dilbert thinks, “I’d better make a list of all the things I need to do today.” The second frame (eight hours later) has him pondering “I have 347 urgent tasks and I add about seven new ones each day.” Last frame he says to himself, “I’ll cross ‘Make a To-Do List’ off My To Do List and call it a day.”

Let’s not be “Dilberts’” this spring!

It’s not he (or she) with the longest To Do List wins!

Before each new day starts pick 3-5 items to accomplish that day - that’s it!

SIMPLIFY!

TIP About WHAT I’M READING: A great book by Brendon Burchard is on my nightstand -

“High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way.” Brendon has written five other books, but this latest one is so applicable to everyone who wants this one life we get to be their Best Life. The book is based on extensive research, yet it has practical, real-world ways to adopt six specific habits for your personal life as well as professional life.

TIP About “De-Clutter Your Life: How and Where to Get Started for Better Productivity” PRESENTATION - For those of you in the San Diego area, I’ll be presenting my signature talk at the Carmel Valley Library on Monday, April 16 from 1-2 p.m. The event is Free. However, I suggest you get there early as the last time I presented this at that location the room was packed! I’ve added some new content so even if you saw this presentation years back it might be the “shot in the arm” you need to SPRING into Action! No reservations needed.

Tip About NATIONAL TACKLE YOUR CLUTTER MONTH - COMING, SUNDAY, APRIL 1: If I haven’t motivated you yet to spring into action, the fact that there is an entire month devoted to tackling clutter on a national basis should move you to release to the universe what you don’t use and don’t need. YOU are not alone! We’ve all got stuff blocking us from what we really want to achieve!

If you have zero idea where to start or what to do, I have FOUR OPENINGS in the coming week for a Free Strategy Call with you. Simply, click here to download and complete the Clear Your Clutter Questionnaire. Save it; email it back to me at sue@suecrum.com and I’ll set up a time that works for both of us so I can share some tips and techniques to get you on the path to recognizing “Less is More.”


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

TIP About SLEEP: March is National Sleep Month.March is National Sleep Month For those of you who have been reading my Quick Etips for some time, you know I’ve written about this before. If you want to be more energized and productive with each day, getting the right amount of sleep each night is paramount to your success. Take a look at your sleep schedule. Seven-nine consecutive hours is the recommended amount for your mind and body to replenish for the new day. Most of us are not getting the recommended amount of sleep and find ourselves on overload and overwhelm - so busy but not as productive as we’d like.

If you are one who is saying there is absolutely no way to get 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis, see if you could add at least 50-60 minutes to your current sleep schedule. Backward map your evenings and start shutting down your screens, put your evening routine in place an hour sooner than before and close the day. If your mind keeps racing, keep a small pad of paper and pen on your nightstand and write those items down quickly and get them out of your brain. Let me know if you are able to add some sleep for better productivity and what results you found. Send me what you found to sue@Suecrum.com.

TIP About CLOSET CLEARING: In case you missed it, last week was National Clean Out Your Closet Week. Not to worry. There’s always time to make more breathing space so more opportunities can flow into our lives. Make a date with yourself to SPRING into Action! I bet you could find items you are no longer wearing for whatever reason and release them to the universe! Think of an agency you support, grab a hefty bag and start clearing! If you haven’t worn the item in the past 12-18 months, that’s a good barometer for releasing! Happy Clearing!

“Never wear anything that frightens the cat!” - P.J. O’Rourke

TIP About HOW TO GET MORE CLARITY, ENERGY, PRODUCTIVITY AND MUCH MORE: Thanks to those of you who emailed me your application for a FREE Success Strategy Call on how to live a life of higher performance. I have room for just 2 more who want to gain more advanced tools that the world’s most accomplished and influential people use.

If you’ve told yourself, THIS is your BREAKTHROUGH YEAR, I’d love to help you get there!

  • Do you have important projects you want to achieve?
  • Are you struggling with focus?
  • Are you lacking in energy and productivity?

After I review your application, I’ll contact you for our free one-on-one phone consultation and share some strategies and tools to help you get going on your Best Year Ever!

TIP About JACK CANFIELD’S SPRING TOUR: Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, author of “The Success Principles” and star of the movie “The Secret” is on his Spring Tour right now. So far Jack has presented his “One Day to Greatness” tour in Dallas and Washington, D.C. Next two stops are San Diego (the Convention Center) Thursday, March 29 and then Boston on Friday, April 6. Tickets are still at 2 for 1 but not for long. Here’s the link: http://jackcanfieldlive.com/

If you can get to the San Diego or Boston event, you will not be disappointed. Instead, you will be inspired and motivated to live your best life! I’ll be one of the assistants on the Assisting Team for San Diego. Please stop by and say “hello” if you are able to attend.

Can’t get there to see Jack live? Check out is audio book, “The Success Principles” or get a copy of this great book!


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

TIP About Luck (March 17 - St. Patrick’s Day): Is there such a thing as luck? Luck of the IrishAccording to Kaplan and Marsh, in their new book, “How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life,” luck happens when talent, hard work and random chance come together.

People who are “lucky” pay attention and grab unexpected opportunities. They wrote that one of the best ways to improve your luck is to keep taking chances. Kaplan and Marsh stated that if we want to become lucky, we need to look for the positive side in any situation. By choosing the favorable future we want and then living as if it had occurred, plus being persistent, we will have all the ingredients to make luck occur. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas A. Edison

TIP About Unplugging for a Day: In case you missed it, last weekend was National Day of Unplugging, an event organized by Reboot, a nonprofit that creates new ways for people to observe traditions. We are all so addicted to our screens and tech devices that sometimes we don’t notice what or who is right in front of us. Could you take a break from your phone for a day and just unplug?

If that is too high a bar, could you take a two-hour break from it, at least, and get out in nature? For those high achievers, how about a complete screen-free day? You might have to let family and friends know ahead of time of your “Unplugged Day” so they don’t send out the first responders looking for you, but give this idea some serious thought. If not this weekend, maybe next. I’d love to hear about your efforts in this, so email me after your unplugged experience and tell me how you felt. sue@suecrum.com.

TIP About Taxes: It’s National Get Ready for Tax Time Month. Schedule a couple of time blocks to focus on this task. Coaching clients always are asking me what to keep and what to toss in regards to paperwork for taxes. If you hire a tax preparer to complete and submit your taxes, be sure and get from that person a recommended list of what to keep.

Click here for a Guideline for Record Retention that you might find helpful, going forward. It is merely a guideline, as I am not a licensed accountant. When in doubt, ask a tax professional.

TIP to Learn from the Best - Jack Canfield, Co-creator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Series, author of “The Success Principles”, star of the hit movie, “The Secret”: Jack’s One Day to Greatness Spring Tour - Dallas on March 20, D.C. on March 22, San Diego Convention Center on March 29 and Boston on April 6. Tickets are 2 for 1 for a limited time. Here is the link to get your tickets now! I’ll be serving on his Assisting Team in San Diego - hope to see many of you there! http://jackcanfieldlive.com/


Four Tip Friday: Your Quick ETips Blog

Welcome to Friday!

Tip About FOCUS: Need to get something important done? Turn off ALL your distractions - yes, ALL, and that includes your phone for at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time and see if you can get that ONE THING you’ve been putting off completed or at least underway. We are all living in an Age of Distraction (and addiction to our phones). Get going for 30 focused minutes and if you can do that, go for 20 minutes more of uninterrupted focus time.

Tip About Your Home Office: Next Tuesday, March 13 is National Organize Your Home Office Day. Don’t wait until next Tuesday to March up those Mountains of Paper! What could you purge and release before then so that come next Tuesday you might only have the Important/Action items remaining? Grab a recycling bag. Get a shred pile going and start clearing. Great music helps to get you in the mood. Just set a timer and GO!

Tip About Backward Mapping Your Day: If you were to give your days a letter grade, what would make an “A+” Day for you? Picture how you want to feel at the end of the day and what you want to achieve for that day. Like running a movie backwards, think of the reel running back to the start and all the tasks or people you want to connect with and accomplish. In order to create a day that goes well, plan it out the night before!

AND ONE MORE: Are you struggling to stay focused, to get ahead and on to the important projects, or to better influence your family, your team or perhaps your customers?

Do you need more advanced tools/strategies to be more productive, influential and successful?

I can help.

I’m looking for five (5) new people to guide through my high performance coaching process. This means I’ll work one-on-one with you to break through your barriers and help you reach your highest potential and performance in all you do.

Just follow these steps to see if you qualify:

  • 1. Download the application here
  • 2. Fill out the application for a free strategy session.
  • 3. Send your completed applicatoion to me at sue@suecrum.com

Once I review your application and determine you’re a right fit, I’ll schedule our free one-on-one phone consultation with you. Yes, really - I’ll help you for free on this one.

On our first call, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about the world’s most accomplished and influential people. And I’ll give you five principles you can use to better master your mind, body and ability to be more productive and influential every day of your life.

Just start by filling out the application. Looking forward to working with you to make THIS year your breakthrough year!

…And remember to keep breathing as we MARCH through

MARCH!


Quick Two Tip Tuesday

Welcome to Tuesday!

I’ve heard from quite a few of you that you’d like me to offer inspiration and motivation for you more often than I have in the past.

So here goes…

WHERE I’M SPEAKING THIS THURSDAY: For those of you in San Diego County, I have REVISED my signature presentation, “De-Clutter Your Life: Where and How to Get Started for Better Productivity and Focus.” Love to have you join me so you can get MARCHing toward your dreams!

Thursday, March 1, 2018
1-3 p.m.

OASIS’ New Location: Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa
#325 - Park near the Walmart
619.881.6262

Investment - $15.

Register here - SanDiegoOasis.org
Or at the location

TIP ABOUT TIME: National Time Management Month - wrapping up this Weds (last day of February). If you want to get more done going forward, tighten up your schedule with Blocks of Time to accomplish those all important tasks. If you don’t do that, work tends to expand and fill all time available. By tightening your schedule, more time in a 24 hour day opens up for breathing, more fun and happiness.

AND ONE MORE TIP: Forget creating the world’s longest To Do List. Pick just THREE main things to achieve in a day! That’s it! Think Less is More.

…And remember to keep breathing as we MARCH into MARCH!


FOCUS: The Power of GRIT

It’s still early in 2018.

GRIT

Still time to dream, envision, and hope for a great year ahead.

So what makes the difference between a good year and a great year?

And what steps can we take now to ensure that 2018 becomes that great year?

Do you think that there are some among us who are just smarter and wiser than we are and THAT’S why they accomplish their goals and dreams?

I don’t believe that to be true and the research doesn’t support that theory either.

The ones who get up and seem to win or become great are those with mental toughness or grit. Angela Duckworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied this mental toughness across many disciplines and has presented her research in her book, “Grit”.

GRIT book cover

Here’s what she found out:

  • 1. When studying 2,441 West Point cadets, she discovered it wasn't their smarts or leadership potential or strength that predicted whether or not a cadet would successfully complete “Beast Barracks,” a summer initiation program. What made the difference was their perseverance and their passion to achieve long-term goals, in other words, their grit.
  • 2. In interviews with professionals in a variety of fields (medicine, law, academia, investment banking), Duckworth’s team asked what quality distinguished their star performers. They said it was their grit or a close synonym as often as talent. Often, it was their sustained commitment to their goals.
  • 3. Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.
  • 4. Our grit can grow - from the inside out as well as from the outside in.
  • 5. The grittier a person is the more likely they’ll enjoy a healthy emotional life.

What that means for all of us is being more consistent, being more deliberate in our daily habits, persevering in our day to day routines. We CAN become more gritty, more mentally tough through small, consistent actions.

Put systems in place that get us to focus on the important stuff, the big dreams and goals that we have, and let go of getting sucked into the minutiae of daily living.

It’s National Time Management Month right now.

We need to stop thinking we have all the time in the world to make our dreams come true.

That’s very wishful thinking.

What small behavioral changes can you make right now?

What routines can you set in motion on a consistent basis, whether you feel motivated or not?

How can you get back on track when you start to slip up?

Consistency is key.

FUN, FAMILY & FRIENDS

Here’s a REMINDER to those of you in Southern California:

Last month I mentioned that author, speaker, Daniel Pink would be giving a free lecture on Sunday, February 11 at 2 p.m. at the Carlsbad City Library, 1775 Dove Lane.

Daniel Pink book cover

He has been the author selected by Carlsbad Reads Together.

IF you live in the Southern California area and love authors as much as I do, make plans now to attend. You don’t need to register. However, this will be a packed event and tickets will be handed out TWO HOURS before the event. Limit, two tickets per person.

Last month I talked about Pink’s latest book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” Hopefully, some of you have been reading that. He’s also written “A Whole New Mind,” “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” and “To Sell is Human.”

Pink is highly regarded as a business innovator who was named in 2015 as one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world by London-based Thinkers 50. His TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the most watched TED Talks of all time.

Hope to see you all there!

FAVORITE QUOTES OF THE MONTH

“Grittier students are more likely to earn their diplomas; grittier teachers are more effective in the classroom. Grittier soldiers are more likely to complete their training, and grittier salespeople are more likely to keep their jobs. The more challenging the domain, the more grit seems to matter.”
Angela Duckworth
“Grit is that ‘extra something that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with out dreams until they become a reality.”
Travis Bradberry
“Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.”
John Ortberg
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Drop me an email at sue@suecrum.com and put in the Subject Line - Yes, I’d love to get through my GRIT and we’ll get started toward your success!


FOCUS: The Power of TIMING

We’ve all heard the expression, “Timing is Everything.”

clock

Along comes Daniel Pink’s recently released new book, (Jan 9, 2018), “When - The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” to corroborate that quote.

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, we see before us a brand new year full of possibility. His book gets at the important time of day for us to to do focused work, be more productive and even healthier. So before you think New Year-New You let’s look at Pink’s research.

Here are his conclusions for all of us to get 2018 off to a successful start:

A. To be more successful with our work/mental pursuits

Daniel Pink book cover
  • 1. We need to recognize that during the approximate 16 hours we are awake, our cognitive abilities change, and often in a regular, foreseeable manner.
  • 2. Think of the day in three acts: a peak, a trough and a rebound. Most of us operate that pattern in that particular order, though one in four of us are night owls and experience that in the reverse.
  • 3. During the peak is when we can focus the best. For most of us that’s when we wake up until almost noon. This is when we should do work that requires our full attention and analysis, such as financial statements, important writing, and tasks that need our concentration.
  • 4. The trough occurs after this peak and makes it difficult to stay focused. For most of us that is in the early to mid afternoon. Our good intentions and effectiveness plummet so Pink suggests do mindless tasks, like answering email then or filing papers.
  • 5. The final stage is the rebound. For most of us this happens in the late afternoon and early evening. He suggests this is when we should use this time for creative thought and brainstorming. For night owls their rebound time is the reverse - in the morning.

Bring your time and your tasks into alignment for much greater success in the new year.

B. To be more productive and happier

  • 1. Take more breaks. Not long breaks but short breaks can help us to maintain our focus and reactivate our commitment to a particular goal.
  • 2. Researchers in Pink’s book found “microbursts of activity” much more valuable than a single 30-minute walking break. Short walking breaks increased motivation and concentration and enhanced creativity.
  • 3. Breaks can be more powerful when spent with others versus alone.
  • 4. Getting outdoors for a short walk was the best. People who did that returned feeling happier and more rested than those who walked inside.
  • 5. Stop taking breaks and doing other work, like checking email or discussing work projects. Strive for total detachment on the short breaks. People who do this were found to have less stress and boosted moods.

Now is the time to visit our schedules and see how we can tweak our tasks for more success, more focus and much more happiness in 2018!

FUN, FAMILY & FRIENDS

For those of you in Southern California I wanted you to know that Daniel Pink will be in Carls-bad on Sunday, February 11 at 2 p.m. He will be speaking at the Carlsbad City Library, 1775 Dove Lane, and the best part is admission is free.

Each year the Carlsbad City Library selects an author for their Carlsbad Reads Together, and Mr. Pink’s works have been selected for this year. This will be an outstanding event and I hope that those of you in the area put this on your calendar.

The library suggests that those who want to get the most out of his presentation read anyone of these specific titles, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” “A Whole New Mind,” “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” or “To Sell is Human.”

Pink is highly regarded as a business innovator who was named in 2015 as one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world by London-based Thinkers 50. His TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the most watched TED Talks of all time.

Hope to see you all there!

FAVORITE QUOTES OF THE MONTH

“If you keep waiting for the right time, it may never happen. Sometimes you have to make the most of the time you have.”
Priya Ardis
“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”
Miles Davis
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
Bruce Lee
“Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t appreciate until they have been depleted.”
Denis Waitley

FOCUS: The Power of the HOLIDAYS

Years ago I did a blog post about how the holidays can be very stressful for so many. There are many reasons for this. Some of us get very melancholy about family members and/or friends who are no longer with us or who are no longer close to us.Simplify

Others often get caught up in creating the perfect holiday experience for our family and take on waaaaay more tasks than is humanly possible. Then when the holidays do arrive, we find ourselves barely standing and often too sick to enjoy them.

So here is that blog post reminder to keep all of us sanely successful this month:

TOP TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESS:

1. Let go of perfection and think about letting go and delegating tasks.
2. Ask family members what activities are essential to them; then let go of the rest.
3. Start early. Start early. Start early. There are only so many days available in the calendar at the end of the year. Using a calendar, identify those special events for your family. Then backward-map the tasks at hand, writing everything down.
4. If you haven’t shopped for gifts throughout the year, not to worry. “Gifts of Time” are really the ones that most people remember and cherish: dinner and a play, dinner and a movie, board game get-together, car ride outing, sports activity with others, lunch date, bagel breakfast, etc.
5. Looking ahead to 2018 think what would be a gift of time a family member may enjoy: an afternoon together, meal delivery service, rolls of stamps and notecards, or something homemade that they would enjoy.
6. If you plan to venture out, work to stay out of the malls and away from the crowds by looking at the hours stores are open and going either first thing or right before they close. Shop local when you can and build a relationship with your local businesses.
7. Let your fingers do the walking – order presents online and save gas and aggravation by having the items sent.
8. Keep lists of sizes, colors and interests of people on your gift list.
9. Keep receipts in an envelope as you receive them or have them emailed to you.
10. Relax and enjoy each experience fully so that it will leave an imprint on your memory.

Live the Moment

Family & Friends

Imagine 2018 being your BEST YEAR YET! Picture you taking back control of your LIFE, your HOME, and/or your BUSINESS.

How would that feel?

What would that be worth to you to create an environment of calm, peace and happiness, along with productivity?

How would you like to be fully engaged, more confident and joyful in the NEW YEAR?

You have the potential to live the life you’ve dreamed of having.

Let me help you get started!

REQUEST a FREE Success Strategy Call before the year ends!

Here’s How:

1. Send me an email at sue@suecrum.com and put in the Subject Line: YES, I’d love a Free Success Strategy Call.
2. State your 1st and 2nd choices of times and I’ll get this scheduled for you right away.
3. Our call is about 30-40 minutes and will get you heading in the right direction for 2018 - Guaranteed!
4. I’ll be doing calls P.M. (Pacific Time) on Weds. 12.20 and Fri. 12.22.
5. I’ll also be doing calls A.M. (Pacific Time) on Fri. 12.29, Sat. 12.30 and Sun. 12.31.

FAVORITE QUOTES OF THE MONTH

”Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”
Joshua Becker
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens and response is something we can choose.”
Maureen Killoran
“Embrace the current season of your life.”
Gabrielle Blair
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
Napoleon Hill

FOCUS: The Power of DECIDING

Nothing happens until you decide

I think one of the best skills we can develop as people who want to be high performers and people who achieve their dreams and goals is the ability to make decisions…

and then move on.

Throughout the course of a day all of us are making decisions from the moment we wake up, before even getting out of bed until the very end when the lights go out.

As adults we make about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day, depending on our responsibilities. Children make about 3,000 daily decisions. According to researchers at Cornell University (Wansink and Sobal, 2007), we are making 226.7 decisions each day on just food!

You might be asking why making decisions is such a focus, and why I’m even mentioning it today.

Good question.

It’s really the decisions we make on a daily basis that form our lifetime habits.

Decisions can be big or small. Where to live or what to eat for breakfast. Who to marry or not. What clothes to put on for the day. What career to pursue or whether to check Facebook before getting out of bed.

See - there are all kinds of decisions.

Fork in the roadWhen we arrive at the end of our life and if we’re lucky enough to have time to reflect back, it will be our decisions that made the difference for us. Those forks in the road, when we could go here or there, or become this or that, or live near or far, or travel or not—will be viewed as the turning points in our lives.

So as we start to wrap up 2017 in a bow and put it on a shelf, reflect back over this past year’s decisions. Did you make them with your heart or with your head? Were there promises and commitments you made in January that are still unfulfilled right now? What could you kick-start into gear RIGHT NOW so that when that ball drops you feel not only good, but great about moving forward into 2018!

Decision-making can be easy, like, what’s for dinner tonight.

And the next one right behind it can be hard - to stay or go, to play small or big, to step outside our comfort zone or remain inside what we know so well.

As far as I know, we only get this ONE BIG LIFE. If that’s the case then we really have only one decision to make —to play small or to play big. Once we decide on that everything else starts to fall into place.

John Assaraf, author, star in The Secret, has said it so well when he says, “Are you interested or are you committed? If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient. If you’re committed, you’ll do what it takes.”

When we make those big decisions in life, we have to check in with our heart vs. our head. How does it feel? Will this big decision expand my life or will it contract it?

Often, coaching clients ask me how to decide to get rid of certain things. They want me to decide for them. They say it’s just too difficult to make the decision. My response is always the same. One has to start with the easier decisions: the old catalogs and magazines, the clothes that don’t fit, the people that drain you of all positive energy, and the over-scheduled calendar.

Make decisions there first.

Get in the habit of deciding and see that you are still breathing and alive on the other side of the decision. Never start with the emotional, memory clutter. Start far away from that in the beginning. When you are ready for that, you will have already practiced on the non-essential, the non-important and non-emotional stuff that’s been clogging you.

As many of you know I love and live to snow ski. Dropping-inAs our weather here this week has gone from 104 degrees at the beach (unheard of before) to a rainy, cool Halloween, there’s snow in the mountains with our ski mountain opening in just NINE days for the 2017-18 season. When we skiers and snowboarders are standing at the top of a run, we have to make the decision as to when to “drop in”. Depending on the pitch of the run, the weather and the number of people on the run are all factors that run through one’s mind before deciding.

I have watched many people really struggle with dropping in, and I, too, have stood at the top of some ski runs with great reserve about dropping in at just the right moment.

Here’s the thing: once you let go and "lean in" to it, the decision is made and the next action steps appear. As my dear friend and mentor Jack Canfield says, “You don’t need to see every turn of the highway when you start on a long journey. You just need to know the next part of the road.”

Wishing you a great road ahead as you gear up for 2018!!

Fun, Family & Friends

Land of the Free, because of the Brave

11.11 is just a week or so away. It’s time for us to remember those who have given so much for our freedom. As we go about our November, it’s a perfect time to appreciate the giving of so many others. Those who have served in the military and those who still serve today have devoted years of preparation and performance for us. They “leaned in” to their many responsibilities and risks with some who ended up paying the ultimate price.

As you travel near and far during the next two months or just go about your daily routine, keep an eye out for those in military uniform or in retired military caps. Lean in and let them know how grateful you are for their contribution to our safety.

Thanking them for their service could put a smile on their face and at the same time make your day. You may think this suggestion is bold of me to say, but it will mean so much to them and fill your heart with joy at the same time.

You decide.

FAVORITE QUOTES OF THE MONTH

“If you wake up deciding what you want to give versus what you’re going to get, you become a more successful person.”
Russell Simmons
“Most of my failures can be ascribed to the fact that I chose that which was ‘easy’ over that which was ‘right. And while it’s right to admit this to myself, it isn’t easy. So which choice am I going to make this time?”
Craig D. Lounsbrough
“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.”
John Carmack
“The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.”
Stephen Covey
All you even have to decide

FOCUS: The Power of COMMITMENT

YIKES!

2017 Almost Gone

We are heading into the home stretch of 2017 and we have about 100 days left in the year.

That’s it!

Summer has faded and now it’s time to face the music and be honest with ourselves.

Have we completed and achieved all that we had talked to ourselves (or others) about doing this year?

Have we started projects or plans and then lost our steam?

Have we just told ourselves we don’t know how to do the follow-through and viewed ourselves as quitters?

Don’t stop now!

2018 is comingWe’ve got about 100 days left to finish strong!!

Dust off those dreams of 2017 and let’s get going!

Did you already achieve all your dreams and desires for 2017?

2018 is coming

Hats off to you!! Perhaps you set real low expectations for yourself. What could you commit today and amaze yourself accomplishing between now and New Year’s Eve?

Think BIG!

Think BOLD!

Think NOW!

Fun, Family & Friends

Believe it or not, my FUN is my Morning Ritual!

The Magic of Morning

I can’t wait to jump out of bed in the morning and start the new day! To me each day is like a box of new crayons or a big, blank white board of possibility. Over the years I have revised and improved my Morning Ritual and now it’s just plain fun!

Is it perfect every morning? No.

Are there some mornings where I skip/miss one of these? Yes.

Does it center me for the start of a fabulous day? Absolutely!

Here are My TOP FIVE ROUTINES:

Get on your knees

#1 Roll over off the bed and onto my knees (2-3 minutes)

and thank God for another day to get it “right”. I didn’t always have this in a morning routine but since putting it there, first thing, I have the opportunity to focus on gratitude and appreciation for my many blessings.

#2 Make the bed (3-4 minutes)

Even if the day falls apart later, I feel a great sense of accomplishment with this simple act. I’ve been sharing this step with many coaching clients over the years. From a de-cluttering/organizing perspective, the bed takes up 80% of the bedroom, so this one act can bring calm, peace and tranquility to your bedroom sanctuary.

Make Your Bed

In May 2014 retired Adm. William H. McRaven gave a commencement address at his alma mater, University of Texas. That speech can be viewed online at this link >>Adm McRaven University of Texas Commencement Address. The graduating seniors so loved his talk that it has now been viewed more than 10 million times. In essence he told them “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed." Mr. McRaven has expanded that talk into a little book, “Make Your Bed - Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World.”

#3 Hydrate (1-2 minutes)

I drink 10 ounces of water right away after waking.

"Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day," says Joan Koelemay, RD, dietitian for the Beverage Institute, an industry group.

#4 Slap on My Fitbit as I read an inspirational quote for the day. (-1 minute)

This year I’ve been reading the Louise Hay quote on her daily tear-off lifestyles calendar. Louise just passed away at the age of 90 on August 30. She is the founder of Hay House, a publishing company with many inspirational books.

#5 Stretching, arm circles, and wall push-ups (10 minutes)

I love this step! This wakes me up for the day. I bend and stretch and reach and stretch; I spin my arms every direction with arms extended. Then I lean against a wall and do several push-ups.

I encourage each of you to revisit your morning routine and evaluate how it’s working (or not) for you. No one needs to follow my Morning Ritual. I just wanted to share how it frames the first part of my day for better productivity, calm and focus!

And isn’t that what most of us are craving?

Here’s to Magical Mornings for you!!

Feel free to email me the Morning Ritual that really works for you and you might find it mentioned in a future Quick Productivity ETips Blog! Send it to sue@suecrum.com.

Don’t have a Morning Ritual that’s working for you?

What can you COMMIT to putting in place starting tomorrow morning?

I look forward to hearing from you!

FAVORITE QUOTES OF THE MONTH

“Up until now.”
Lila Larson
“Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one is to blame. ”
Erica Jong
“Think more of yourself, and demand that your actions be congruent with the best of who you are and who you can be.”
Brendon Buchard

FOCUS: The Power of COMPETENCE

Feeling alive

Do you want to feel more alive? more accomplished?

If you answered yes, then it’s time to challenge yourself with some mini-wins.

Sometimes we can get ourselves into ruts. Our routines and daily habits are so ingrained we just feel like we’re going through the motions of each day and not stretching out to learn new skills.

Walkup like zombies

If that sounds like you, think about something you’ve been putting off doing or even trying for fear of failure, and then one month turns into the next and the next, and there it is - another year and you never ventured forward to learn that new skill, tried that new organization, stepped into that new adventure.

When that happens, we lose our sense of self-confidence and we tend to hold back. So how can we change that? What can we do?

Let’s think in terms of brief wins. In other words if you want to gain more self-confidence and competence in something, set up a 30 Day or 60 Day specific goal of what it could be.

With your calendar/planner in hand go to the middle of September or the middle of October, and put a stake in the ground - what would you like to be proud of accomplishing? achieving?

Write that down.

Now ask yourself what are the things you need to do between now and then to achieve that? Make it a stretch goal so you are learning something new and Stretch Yourself strengthening your neural path-ways in the brain.

Ask yourself the important Why question. Why is this goal important to me? What is preventing me from not doing this? What resources or help do I need to make this goal completed in 30-60 days?

Those who are high achievers in the world gain self-confidence and stretch even more by feeling competent and consistently learning new things, thus gaining even more competence and confidence.

Look how far you’ve come in life so far. That didn’t just happen. You made that happen. Be proud and pleased at your achievements and accomplishments. But don’t decide you are all done for life, like a baked pie coming out of the oven.

What else do you imagine and dream of?

It’s only too late if you never get started!

Year of Yes

For inspiration on gaining competence, read Shonda Rimes’ book, “Year of Yes” this month.

Ms. Rimes is the prolific writer whose career on ABC brought “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Private Practice”, “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” and others to tv screens everywhere. Shonda also graduated from the same high school as I!! Marian High School, Chicago Heights, IL! I think she really paid attention in English!!

Drop me a note at sue@suecrum.com and write My 30 Day Challenge or My 60 Day Challenge in the Subject Line. Tell me what you are striving and stretching into as our summer falls into …fall.

Fun, Family & Friends

Summer hasn’t ended yet. I hope you’ve been enjoying it and getting out in nature. This has been one of my most favorite summers that I can recall. We kicked it off with the 18th Annual Crummy Reunion, with 19 crummy relatives here in our town for a week.

Paddle boarding

Since then we’ve made time for sunning, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding. I even got a very dear friend of mine from LA to spend two nights with us so we could teach her how to paddle board…and she was successful!!

Also, this has been the summer to teach The Gracious Granddaughter some rudimentary aspects of beginning swimming. Kicking in the poolShe absolutely loves the water and seems to respond to the command, “Kick”. We haven’t moved on to the breast stroke, back stroke or American crawl yet. Keep in mind she just turned 10 months old this week.

But just wait until next summer!!

The days are still long. The sunsets are gorgeous and the outdoor air is calling.

Aug - Sept Calendar

What fun things can you get on the calendar before Labor Day appears?

It’s not too late…unless you don’t get started!


FOCUS: The Power of CONTROL

With Independence Day a mere memory of last week, I wanted to talk about taking back control or becoming more independent in this one life we lead.

Life Change Ahead

Stuff happens.
Things change.
People leave or come into our lives.

As the expression goes, “The only thing we can count on is change.”

So how can we feel more in charge of our lives - more independent from all the outside clatter chatter - and take back control?

First, we need to analyze if there are areas of our life where we feel out of control. This could be our finances, our health, our environments, the people we associate with, the dreams we have, and so on.

As Jack Canfield, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, says, “E + R = O”. What that means is an Event happens; then comes our Response to that event and that equals the Outcome that occurs. Our response to the stuff that happens becomes the key to us leading more successful, productive and happy lives.

So we do need a sense of some control - but not so controlling that we are rigid and inflexible. It really has to become a bit of a balancing act; we need control but not so much that our creativity and fun get stifled.

Can you control your day?

Dr Seucss

How about part of your day?

Are there dreams and projects you’ve been meaning to do but somehow one day turns into an-other and then another, and those dreams and projects lie dormant in the corners of your mind?

What if you decided to take back control of this one life and put into action some behaviors to move those dreams and projects into fruition?

How would that feel for you?

What would that look like?

Where could you begin?

With many of my clients we begin with their calendars/planners to see where has their 168 hours in previous weeks gone. Time is the one equalizer. We all get the same amount. It’s what we do with it that separates high performers in the world from people who are just living each day like the previous one - sort of their own version of the movie “Groundhog Day”.

In this 21st century many of us seem to be living in the Age of Distraction. We let others’ agen-das dictate our days (and thus our lives) and rarely move into who we want to become.

I am not what happen to me

Isn’t it time to take back control and be an independent thinker and doer of your own life?

What ways could you take back control, starting today?

I’d love to hear from you!

Maybe one of your responses could be featured in a future Quick Productivity eTips News. Email me at sue@suecrum.com and tell me how you are taking back control!!

Fun, Family & Friends

Crummy Reunion-18

Summer is in full swing!

All the Crummy Relatives have left our small beach town after descending here for 8 DAYS for the 18th Annual Crummy Reunion. This year we had 19 folks join us, hailing from Boston, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Chula Vista.

It was a fun-filled week. I’m smiling about it as I type, just thinking of the beach outings, the barbecues, the boarding (paddleboarding and surfing), the bantering back and forth and the babies.

We are already talking about dates for next year.

This event all started on a whim 18 years ago, when I suggested we invite my husband’s crummy sister from Colorado, his crummy brother from Arizona and their spouses. It just took off from there!

Summer is the time for sunning, swimming, sailing, or just smiling.

Whatever you do this summer enjoy every second of it because it can go by in a flash!!


FOCUS: The Power of EDITING

I’m not an editor - never have been.

And yet, I find myself wearing an editor’s hat quite frequently.

Hello Summer

Recently, I started writing another book and as much as I am working to not edit my writing as I do my first draft, I catch myself ignoring my advice, and editing a word or a sentence along the way.

That got me thinking about editing on a wider scale.

When working with clients, virtually or in person, I’m really getting them to focus on developing their editing skills, though I haven’t called it that up until today.

Gardeners are so very good at that - weeding out what’s not working, what’s crowding out the crown jewels of the gardens, so they can see the spectacular. Our lives, offices and homes should be treated like gardens.

Summer lies right before us, like a newly mowed grand lawn of possibilities. In the past many of us have made mental lists (or written ones) of all sorts of summer projects for the 90 plus days ahead. Some of us have gotten into boasting contests with friends and family as to who has the longest To Do List.

But…the longer list thing rarely works.

Green Grass

May I suggest let’s make THIS summer different?

Go ahead - make your Summer Projects List or Places to Visit List or Parties to Have or People to Meet. But then, step back, pause, and get out the big pen, the delete button, or the white-out.

And evaluate and

Edit.

What’s reasonable to actually accomplish this summer?

With calendar at the ready, with stillness and time to think through all your priorities and possibilities, what would be BIG WINS for you this summer?

Think 2-3 items, not 20-30. We need to stop setting ourselves up for failure with the longest TO DO Lists. It’s not “He or she with the longest list wins.”

To Do Lists

It’s really quite the opposite.

So, what could your EDITED Summer List look like?

Drop me a note at sue@suecrum.com and let me know the 2-3 items you will achieve this summer. Feel free to tell me the 50 other things on your list if you like, but let’s focus on the First Place Edited Winners!

I’ll go first.

SUE’S SUMMER LIST

Crummy Reunion
  • 1. Host the 18th Annual Crummy Reunion (for all my husband’s Crummy relatives) and make this year our best Crummy Reunion yet! Gotta do something with such a Crummy last name!
  • 2. Finish the book I’ve been writing and get it published.
  • 3. De-clutter and organize all printed photos in my home. (Yes, even organizers end up with clutter!)

That’s it!

Those are my Top Three for this summer, edited from a longer list!

What are yours?
Tell me - sue@SueCrum.com

Fun, Family & Friends

Life can’t be all drudgery and work. What’s that expression?

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

We have to find balance in our days and weeks. Sometimes we have to look for the fun and sometimes it just appears, unexpected. It really is like a juggling act, isn't it?

Juggling our responsibilities and daily duties with some moments of merriment.

No one should stay indoors all summer and say, “Well, I’m working on my To Do List. I guess I can’t leave and do something fun.” But just as all work and no play made Jack a dull boy, all play and no work often doesn't move our life forward in the direction of our dreams, whatever those may be.

With my husband’s crummy name of Crum, 18 years ago I decided to host a Crummy Reunion for his brother’s family and his sister’s family. I figured they might like to come to San Diego for a week in the summer - who wouldn’t?

At the time I never dreamed this tradition would take hold with his relatives coming from as far away as Boston and Brooklyn and as close as two blocks from us, where The Darling Daughter, The Super Son-in-law and The (new) Gracious Granddaughter now live.

I send out flyers (this year about 12 different ones) to all of the Crummy relatives starting about March or April so no one can say they didn’t know the dates of the reunion.

Here’s a pic of the first flyer I sent this spring:

Haven's First Reunion

Ready or not - Here Comes Summer! ENJOY!


FOCUS: The Power of MORE SPRING FLING (Part 2)

I know what you’re saying…

Gee whiz, she wrote about the Spring Fling in April.

Here’s the thing -

Even professional organizers have stuff, and yes - do I dare say it…

CLUTTER!

For those of you who have heard me speak and have a Quote Card of mine, you know that one of my favorite quotes is

trashman
“The Best Date Night of the Week is the Night Before the Trash Man Cometh!”

When is your Best Date Night? (Fill in the blank)___________________

Mine is Sunday.

So last Sunday was my day to see how many “gifts” I could get for my Marvelous Monday Man of Trash! (And recycling)

I knew exactly where I wanted to focus my energies - the garage!

Normally, my car fits nicely in the garage but ever since The Darling Daughter and The Super Son-in-law moved back to town from the city there has been a “clutter creep” going on in there.

It started innocently enough with their move last October, but it quickly moved out of control.

Can anyone relate here?

Their remodel wasn’t finished in time for their October move-in date, so our garage was one of the stopping points for the movers. Then The Gracious Granddaughter made her appearance into the world early October instead of end of October!

Between baby gifts being sent here to garage sale items from their downtown abode to an ever-present addition and subtraction of various and sundry items they “weren’t quite sure about” I had to relinquish all control of the space.

Now - since Spring has Sprung their year-long remodel project is, dare I say it, almost finished!! This past weekend the hard-working, Super Son-in-law removed the last of the items that came out of their garage and got added to our garage while their built-in shelving was being installed.

And that was my opening!

I worked all afternoon and…

I loved it!!

Clearing space.

Creating breathing room.

Garage After

Finding things I had not seen in awhile.

And getting gifts for the Terrific Trash Man!

My large recycling bin for Monday pickup got filled in short order.

My car got filled with items to donate for Goodwill drop-off.

My heart got filled with happiness!!

I’m almost there - I can actually visualize my car in the garage well before Mother’s Day!!

There’s just three small boxes/bins left for them to remove.

That will be the best Mother’s Day gift I can give myself!

Sometimes we have to plan on our OWN gifts to keep joy and happiness streaming into our lives!!

Fun, Family & Friends

I hope you are having a Spring Fling! It doesn’t have to be a garage - it can be any kind of clearing that makes your heart sing!

  • more white space in your calendar
  • less commitments of groups or organizations that no longer serve you
  • more spending time doing what you love
  • less time looking for things you know you have but can’t find!

Put some FUN on the calendar this May and look for the Joy in the everyday!

This Friday, May 5, The Darling Daughter will be receiving her master’s degree from Point Loma University. She has worked really hard for this achievement and debated about whether or not to walk in the ceremony Friday.

We talked about rites of passage and accomplishments and standing in her own power. After she contemplated all of that she decided that yes, she wanted to participate.

Graduation Gift

It will be a great day!

We are all proud of her perseverance and tenacity to see this big project through to its completion. All of us in the family have learned so much from her these past five years.

It’s so important to CELEBRATE our wins, whether they be big ones or small. When we keep filling our tanks with positivity, we are making room for more positivity to get in.

Below is a picture from long ago with another graduate getting her master’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles.

The youngest one in this photo is the one graduating on May 5!

How Time Flies By!

Graduation Day

EVENTS

A BIG Shout-out to those of you who attended my Standing-room only Author Night at the Del Mar Library on the night of 4.26!! Thank you so much for the efforts you made to be there. Every seat was taken, even the window seats around the room! And that library doesn’t even have a parking lot, so I know you had to put forth effort about where to stuff the car!

Such a fun night!

Much appreciated!


tulipsSPECIAL MAY OFFER
11%* DISCOUNT

11% discount off of my 20 Hour or 32 Hour Virtual or Hands-on Organizing Package. Invest with a deposit by 5.31.17 and begin using when you are ready!

Simply drop me an email at Sue@SueCrum.com and put in the subject line: "Yes, I want the 11% Discount".

* Why 11%? Many years ago I became a mother on the 11th of the month. Several months ago The Darling Daughter became a mother on the 11th of a different month.


FOCUS: The Power of the SPRING FLING!

I love spring…and then I don’t. Spring Fling

I love it because it always creates an opportunity for the new, the shedding of the old, and the imagining the impossible!

I don’t love it because it signals it’s a long way until next winter! For those of you who have been following me for awhile you know I left the blizzards of Chicago many years ago, only to become a black diamond downhill skier with a season pass, here out west!

Go figure!

But back to spring. It IS a time of rebirth, redo, and reinvent. Whether it’s our home envirornment, our work place, our calendar or our mind, spring connotes a fresh start - a new beginning. It gives us a sign of hope and new possibility.

So what could you Spring Fling for the next four weeks?

Is it time to throw open the curtains, pull back the heavy bed coverings, and take off your rose-colored glasses and really, really look at your environments?

Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, your 2016 tax returns have all been filed and you can put aside that paper project and begin to look forward to the spectacular summer, just months ahead.

When I work with clients, I help them to see their spaces through the eyes of a stranger.

William Morris quote

Ask yourself, how long has it been since you:

  • put fresh new towels in your bathroom?
  • evaluated the number of products inside your shower?
  • cleared your kitchen countertops and only put back the items you use on a regular basis?
  • seriously viewed your calendar obligations and created some open, breathing space?
  • decided to let IT go, whatever the IT is for you, and let someone else use items you are not using and/or don’t absolutely LOVE by donating them to your favorite charity?

Let springtime be the time you reflect on these questions.

If you do your SPRING FLING now, you will be ready for summer in no time, enjoying the simpler speed of summer with carefreeness, calm, and contentment!

Deepak Chopra quote

Fun, Family & Friends

Sunglasses

A BIG Thank You to those of you who took advantage of my BIG March discount in Organizing Packages and those of you who participated in the Virtual Vision Board Event! A BIG Hats Off to both groups for taking action!

So what actions do you want for yourself this spring and summer?

Taking a trip?

Having company at your home?

Getting more organized?

Clearing clutter from those hot spots?

Creating an oasis at your home?

Getting a more functional, work space?

Having more time to get out and enjoy the sunshine of spring and summer?

Get started NOW on those dreams, schemes and plans because the days are getting longer and the sunshine is beckoning you to get out and enjoy it!

Haven

UPCOMING PUBLIC EVENTS

Upcoming Event at Del Mar Library

Need a Shot in the Arm to move into your Spring Fling????

Come to AUTHOR NIGHT where I am the featured speaker

De-Clutter Your Life: How and Where to Get Started*

Wednesday, April 26
6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Del Mar Library - 1309 Camino Del Mar (Coast Highway)
Del Mar 92014
Investment: FREE

*Pass this along to a friend if you’ve already heard this presentation, or bring your friend along and together get inspired for your SPRING FLING!


De-Clutter Your Time: Efficient Time Management

Tuesday, May 16
10:30-12:30 p.m.
Poway Adult School
Room 213
Class ID: 5290
INVESTMENT: $29
Registration: Poway Registration >> Search for Class No. 5290

WANT A SUCCESS STRATEGY SESSION WITH SUE TO GET YOUR SPRING FLING UNDERWAY?

I have only 8 openings available for upcoming phone Success Strategy Ses-sions. If you would like specific direction on your greatest challenges for un-dertaking your Spring Fling, simply send me an email at sue@SueCrum.com and put in the Subject Line: Help! I’d love to schedule a Success Strategy Session and I’ll get you into one of the 8 openings available.


FOCUS: The Power of MARCHing Toward Your Dreams

Marching band

Last month I wrote about having conviction, commitment and continuous effort as the New Year was upon us. Many of you wrote to share your actions that you plan to take in 2017 to make it your best year yet! A BIG thank you to those who stepped forward!

Hats off to those of you who participated in our Vision Board Workshop on February 25. What fun we had - planning, prioritizing and putting together vision boards for 2017!

Helen Keller said it best, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Here is a pic from that fun experience!

Showing off Results of Vision Board Workshop

For those of you who missed the Vision Board Workshop on 2.25 or live outside of San Diego, I am doing a Virtual Vision Board Workshop on Sunday, April 2 that you can attend from the comfort of your home!

Here’s the info:

  • WHAT: Create Your Own Vision Board 2017
  • WHERE: In the comfort of your home!
  • WHEN: Sunday, April 2
  • TIME: 3-5 p.m. Pacific Time (adjust for your time zone)
  • HOW: From your computer/phone (better from computer as you can see me giving easy instructions on how to do this and the psychology behind it.
  • REGISTER: Click Here to Register
  • INVESTMENT:
    • $17 by March 27 Early Bird*Extended
    • $27 after March 27
    • *Early Bird Registrants receive free video “I Have a Vision Board, Now What?”

Dreams are wonderful things. They give us a release, an escape from our current situations or environments. Sometimes they happen while we sleep, but often those are the ones we forget within the first few minutes of a new day.

Other dreams that rummage around in our heads are the “maybes”, the “possibilities”, and the “promises” of something different for us. They sit up there in our heads chatting away from time to time, but unless we take action on them, that’s as far as they get.

We are still (barely) in the first quarter of 2017. It’s not too late to take those dreams and do something more with them this year. Sometimes I hear folks say, “Well, I forgot to make New Year’s Resolutions and now it’s almost___________(fill in any month here). I guess it’s too late to start since now it’s almost April.”

That’s hogwash.

It’s only too late if we never get started!

So come join me at your computer or phone on April 2 as I show you how to move your dreams from your head to your heart and MARCH them forward this year!

What Are You Waiting For?

Fun, Family & Friends

It’s been a very busy fall and winter around our house. The Darling Daughter and the Super Son-in-law brought into the world the most beautiful, Gracious Granddaughter this past October. We are over the moon with this little gift from Heaven. Our hearts are bursting with each new skill she has acquired.

Counting toes

She really teaches me the gift of persistence. This little one never gives up when she is working on a new skill or talent. Recently, she has found her feet, especially her toes. Of course, early on she couldn’t reach them at all, but without giving up, she has persisted and pushed herself to learn new habits and skills…

without ever quitting!

This got me thinking we can all learn so much by watching babies working at acquiring new skills. Usually, they are not successful the first time they attempt something new but they don’t give up. They don’t say “Well, I guess this crawling thing or walking thing is not for me - it’s just way too hard.” They continue to MARCH forward, stumbling as they go, but not giving up.

As adults we can learn so much watching babies and toddlers work at mastering new skills. They are persistent and consistent in their efforts, always moving toward mastery. Often, we on the other hand, let our limiting beliefs prevent us from stepping forward and stepping into a bit of the unknown.

They say that babies are only born with two fears: the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. I have witnessed this first hand with my Gracious Granddaughter. All other fears are ones we have acquired along life’s path.

So as March marches on into April, something to ponder is are you living the life you imagined and deserve or do you dream of something different, something better, something more you?

So I say…MARCH toward your dreams!

If not NOW, When?


YOUR LUCKY DAY!!

MY MARCH MADNESS SPECIAL

17% OFF - Any one of my Organizing Packages!!!!

from now until March 31!

Simply Email me - sue@SueCrum.com and put in the Subject Line: Yes, I want to get One of your Organizing Packages for 17% off this month!

I’ll get in touch with you and we’ll get you out of March Madness and on to MARCHING toward Your Dreams!!

Luck of the rainbow

FOCUS: The Power of ACTION

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
-Mark Twain

Big congratulations to those of you who participated in the ONE WORD Challenge last month!!

action gear

I am so proud of you for many reasons:

  • for stepping forward
  • for taking the time to read my January blog post
  • for thinking through what could be your best One Word for 2017,

but most importantly . . .

for taking action!!

Rather than New Year’s Resolutions which become buried under the guacamole and chips by Super Bowl Sunday, the One Word Challenge has the potential to have a lot more meat on its bones.

New Year’s Resolutions tend to be so general and made “off the cuff” that they rarely have a chance to survive, let alone get “resolved”.

Each New Year always offers us an opportunity for new growth, new change and new begin-nings. For many of us one year rolls into the next and with a blink of an eye it seems that years have just disappeared like rolling waves.

You may be skeptical about how One Word can change or improve your year. You may have chosen not to even enter the contest in January. That’s fine and certainly your prerogative. What the One Word does is give you a focus, a direction for 2017.

So let’s build on that. Many people begin the New Year doing either New Year’s Resolutions or Vision Boards or both. I’m here to tell you none of that, including having a One Word, will work to bring about improvement or change.!

What WILL make a difference is Taking ACTION!

What holds us back sometimes is Fear…fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of not knowing all the right steps, and even fear of success. What fear really stands for is:

  • False
  • Expectations
  • Appearing
  • Real

Our mind plays tricks on us and freezes our ability to move forward.

So…what ACTIONS will you take this year? Start a business? Write a book? Clear your clutter? Meet your soulmate? Move to a home just the right-size for you? Become a parent? a grandparent? Make amends with a loved one? Pay back taxes? Or ______________?

We don’t have to have the whole roadmap in front of us. When we start on any journey, we don’t have to know every turn on the highway. As we progress, we get feedback telling us whether or not we are on the right road.

Action steps are just like that. In order to get feedback we have to step forward.

So step into 2017 with conviction, commitment and continuous effort!

What ACTIONS will you take this year to create your best life yet?
Drop me a line at sue@SueCrum.com and put in the Subject Line: My ACTIONS for 2017.
Then tell me what actions you are taking this year.

Make THIS year the year you turn intention. into ACTION!

Speaking of ACTION, here are the Two WINNERS of my ONE WORD Challenge from last month. All the words entered into the contest were put in a hat and these two were the Lucky Winners!

Andrea and Christie

HOW did they win? They took Action and entered the One Word Challenge Contest by submitting their One Word for 2017 after going through the three easy steps in the January blog!

WHAT did they win? Each of them has won a complimentary ticket to my NEW Clear Your Clutter Now Home Study Course!!

Starting in March they will:

  • begin taking back control of the one life they have,
  • start feeling empowered to accomplish all that they are dreaming about for 2017,
  • develop a sense of calm, purpose and productivity for each day,
  • anticipate ahead of time and avoid that “rush, rush, panic” state you often get into, and
  • clear not only physical clutter but the mental clutter of your mind.

VALUE OF THE PROGRAM: $1,997.

THEIR COST: NOTHING! They are the winners!

What were their words for 2017, you ask?

After going through the steps I outlined in the January Blog Post, Andrea’s Word that bubbled to the top for her is CHANGE. Christie did the same exercise and her word is FOCUS.

BIG thanks to all of you who submitted your words for 2017! Here are just some of the words you picked:

  • TRANSFORM
  • COMMITMENT
  • WELL-BEING
  • RESIST
  • POSSIBILITY
  • TRIUMPH
  • EXPANSION
  • DEEPER
  • BALANCE

There were many other words submitted as well. A big thanks to those who entered. It’s not too late for you to pick your ONE WORD for 2017! Go for it and let me know what bubbled up for you by dropping me an email at sue@SueCrum.com


Don’t Wait Another Year
Dreaming About Being More Successful and Clutter-Free!

FIND OUT WHAT TOP SUCCESSFUL BUSY PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY TO CLEAR UP ALL KINDS OF CLUTTER IN THEIR LIVES.

Visualize yourself in less than a year.

It’s September, 2017. Six months from now.

You are onto a completely new chapter in your life.

The passions you’ve put to the side for way too long are now completely aligned with your personal and professional life. Everything you’re doing, down to the last detail, is bringing you closer to the life you dreamed of having.

How does this vision sound for you?

Don’t wait for one year to roll into the next.

My NEW Clear Your Clutter Now Home Study Program may be just the answer for you to create the life you’ve imagined and deserve!

Look for my email later this month explaining how YOU can be a part of this BRAND NEW PROGRAM.

Sue Crum

UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS

De-Clutter Your Life

Monday, 2.13.17
1-3 p.m.
OASIS - San Diego
Macy’s 3rd Floor
Investment: $15.
Registration: OASIS San Diego Search for Class No. 302


De-Clutter Your Mind

Wednesday, 2.15.17
12:30-2 p.m.
Poway Adult School
Room 502
Investment: $29.
Registration: Poway Registration Search for Class No. 4987


De-Clutter Your Life

Thursday, 2.23.17
Evening
Private Organization
Pasadena Area


FREE - Create Your Vision for 2017: Design Your Own Vision Board

Saturday, 2.25.17
10:00 a.m.-1 p.m.
SDPL Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library
Community Room
9005 Aero Drive, San Diego 92123
Investment: FREE
Back by Popular Demand!
First Come, First Served.
No reservations necessary.
Bring a stack of your favorite magazines, glue stick or paste, a pair of scissors
Always a Fun Presentation to Get Your Year Headed in the Right Direction!

LIVE OUT OF THE AREA OR THE DATE DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU?
Don’t worry. I will be offering this same presentation online in a few weeks and you can participate then.


I LOVE speaking to groups!
If you or your organization, association or business would like a motivational speaker, please contact me at sue@SueCrum.com and let me know how I might help.



FOCUS: The Power of CONSISTENCY

Did you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you thinking of writing some this week?

My advice to you is “Don’t”.

Click here to read my reasons why.

“Don’t?” you ask.

Yes, don’t.

According to Gordon, Britton & Page, as well as many other researchers, each time a New Year rolls around 87 percent of adults, (that’s 206 million people!) make new goals and resolutions, only to become frustrated with failure and false starts.

Of those who make the resolutions, 50 percent of them will fail before Super Bowl Sunday! A month into the New Year and those resolutions are long gone.

This year, forget resolutions and “to-do” goals.

Strive instead for “to-be” goals!

We don’t need more self-discipline or more self-control.

We don’t need more willpower or more purpose.

What Gordon, Britton & Page suggest is that the most important part of life change is a change of the heart, not a change in your head.

For 2017, I encourage each of you to pick a word (a one-word theme for the year). At our Christmas dinner for the past three years, those around our table have selected a word for the New Year, using the framework from Gordon, Britton & Page’s book, One Word.

One Word Book

Here are some of the examples selected by my family in recent years, plus their words for 2017: strength, giving, balance, mindfulness, relax, strive, time, present, enjoy and experience.

According to the authors here are the steps to selecting your Word of the New Year:

  • 1. Get away from all the noise around you and unplug.
  • 2. Ask yourself: What do I need? (wait for a response or write it down); What’s in my way? (wait) and What needs to go? (wait for a response).
  • 3. Once your word becomes present, learn to live with that word for 2017, by telling others, by writing it on a rock or making it your screen saver; think how you can live your word on a consistent, daily basis.

My 2017 Word is PRESENT.

Live for the present

Not the gift definition, but rather the verb - being in the present. The years seem to run right by us these days, so I want to slow down my own sense of time, relishing in the moment, the minu-tiae and even sometimes the mayhem.

The word that had first bubbled up for me was BALANCE. Keeping life and daily challenges and accomplishments in balance seemed like a perfect word for me. However, at our holiday table another family member said that was going to be her word for 2017. While the world would not have ended if we had the same word, I decided to sit quietly and wait awhile and later that evening Present presented itself!

CONTEST FOR YOU:

Are you ready for a CHALLENGE?

For those of you who like a contest, here’s how it works:

  • 1. Do the above THREE STEPS.
  • 2. When you have found your word for 2017, send me an email and put in the Subject Line:
    Here is my Word for 2017
  • 3. In the email tell me your word and why you think this word bubbled up for you.
  • 4. Send me your WORD on or before Midnight of Super Bowl Sunday - 2.5.17.
  • 5. Anyone who submits their Word by the deadline above will have their name entered into a drawing for a FREE TICKET to my Group Clutter Clearing and Productivity Coaching Program, that starts in February. You never need to leave your house; calls and coaching will be recorded for you.
  • drawing for a FREE TICKET to my Group Clutter Clearing and Productivity Coaching Program, that starts in February. You never need to leave your house; calls and coaching will be recorded for you.
  • 6. There will be TWO Lucky Winners chosen!! This coaching program will get your year off to the right start and YOU heading in the direction of your dreams! Consistency is the Key and I will give you the KEY to greater success and more happiness!
  • 7. NOTE: If you don’t enter the contest, I can guarantee that you will not win!!
  • 8. Send your WORD and why that word is important for you to sue@SueCrum.com on or before Midnight - Super Bowl Sunday, February 5, 2017.

“Success is neither magical or mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” - Jim Rohn

Sue Crum

UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS

De-Clutter Your Life

Monday, 2.13.17
1-3 p.m.
OASIS - San Diego
Macy’s 3rd Floor
Investment: $15.
Registration: OASIS San Diego Search for Class No. 302

De-Clutter Your Mind

Wednesday, 2.15.17
12:30-2 p.m.
Poway Adult School
Room 502
Investment: $29.
Registration: Poway Registration Search for Class No. 4987

De-Clutter Your Life

Thursday, 2.23.17
Evening
Private Organization
Pasadena Area

If you or your organization, association or business would like a motivational speaker, please contact me at sue@SueCrum.com and let me know how I might help.


FOCUS: The Power of PLANNING

Wow-zee!

It’s December already!

Time to Plan

Where did 2016 go?

It sure flew by for me - maybe for you as well.

It’s early December - time to remember to plan.

Quiet moments of planning can reduce stress, keep you calm, and help you stay in the moment.

I like to look at planning as Backward Mapping. Whether you want to plan holiday gift giving or entertaining, or a Plan for successful living in 2017 (Yikes, almost 2017!), or maybe you want to develop a 3 year Vision 2020 Plan, now is the perfect time to put those dreams and ideas down in front of you.

Rather than having those thoughts rummage around in your head, turn to a blank sheet of paper in a notebook (no loose sheets of paper) or get a blank page on your computer and do a bit of dreaming.

Planning is the perfect antidote to stress. Without it we get into impulse buying, panic spending, or total inertia (I can’t do _______because I don’t have enough time.)

This week make a date with yourself for at least 60 minutes. With 168 hours in a week, surely you are worth giving yourself ONE of those hours. Get somewhere quiet - depending on your weather this time of year, outside in nature is always a great place for forward thinking.

Picture the end in mind, as Stephen Covey always used to talk about. If your business or personal life is going well, what does that look like to you? That’s your end point.

Backward map from there.

For the really big planners out there, get a view from 30,000 feet - say Three Years out - and ask yourself, “What’s my Vision for 2020?”

Maybe for you, you cannot possibly think like that because of chaos and conundrums facing you daily. So don’t stress yourself by thinking that far into the future. See if you can come up with a plan for the day.

The night before, ask yourself one simple question, “If I want to count tomorrow as a success for me, the One Thing I need to do for the day is_________________________.”

Too much gift giving and entertaining ahead for you this month? Ask yourself, “What can I eliminate here so that I can stay healthy through the season and enjoy it myself?”

That one question can provide you with the gift of sanity and that, my friends, is the ultimate gift to yourself.

Plan it and make it happen.

Wishing each of you a wonderful holiday season and the very best to you in the New Year!

What plans can you “backward map” to create your biggest successes this month or into the New Year? Drop me a line at sue@suecrum.com and your Plan of Action may get shared in a future blog post!! I love hearing from you!

“Failure to plan is a plan to fail!.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Live Locally and Need a Shot in the Arm Before the New Year?

My last public presentation of 2016 is:

Monday, December 19, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Carmel Valley Library
"De-clutter Your Life - How and Where to Set Started"
If not now - When?

Sue Crum


The Art of the Start - When Stumped with Where to Begin, Here’s a Great Place!

Often my clients are stuck on where to start to declutter their life and get on with the life they imagine and deserve. Recently, one of my clients was feeling absolutely overwhelmed with so much getting in the way and blocking her success and dreams.

Whether it’s virtually or in person, once I see the environment that has put my client into so much stress, I can easily pick a starting place. However, I have to say when I arrived and saw what the problems were, even I was perplexed for a few minutes about a starting point.

There were so many places we could choose!

We both took a few deep breaths and I made a decision -

A decision to start with the refrigerator! I know it may sound counterintuitive to you that with so much “visual noise” surrounding her environment that I would pick something hidden and “behind the scenes.”

But it worked!

Organized Refrigerator

By starting small in this one contained area this mini-project had boundaries (the refrigerated items were all together and not all over the house), the decisions came quickly and efficiently (expired, moldy food had to go), and categories were so simple to discern (fruits from dairy, from vegetables, etc).

Done in less than 30 minutes this client was beaming and feeling like she was starting to take back control…and ready to tackle another mini-project!

And that’s really key -

taking back control of the one life we have —one step at a time —one day at a time!

Guaranteed!

Sue Crum