Is your life harder than it needs to be? Stress is the enemy of Health and Beauty. If your diet or wardrobe is complex or painful, it likely won’t work and will add to your stress.
Making too many changes at once can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive, and it might be harder to find out what works and what doesn’t. Small changes are often less stressful and lead to big improvements.
Getting dressed and making dinner shouldn’t require a lot of effort or add stress to your day. We believe preparing will simplify your life. Shopping is necessary to being prepared. Preparing to shop will help make shopping more productive and simplify your life.
Less is usually more. Having what you need is more important than having everything. Having more than you need does not simplify your life and may complicate it.
Make a list, on paper or on your smartphone, to will help you get what you need and avoid what you don’t. Mental lists don’t work and often lead to over-buying or under-buying, which does not simplify anything and adds more stress.
Let’s start with creating weekly HABITs for preparing for your everyday needs. Each week, scan your schedule, find out what you need, and then inventory what you have to create a to-do list to fill in the blanks (shopping list, laundry, etc.).
You plan meetings, social events, and a plethora of other things, but do you plan your outfits? I promise if you plan your outfits in advance—not 10 minutes before you need to walk out the door—you’ll significantly reduce stress and avoid coming home each day to the morning’s pile of tried-on discards. Here are easy steps to help your days start wrinkle-free:
- Book time on your calendar each week to plan your outfits for your upcoming meetings and social events, and don’t forget to check the weather, as well. No one wants to get caught in the rain with suede!
- Write down your outfit for each day from head-to-toe, including shoes and accessories.
- Inventory each item to make sure it is ready-to-wear: Does it need laundered or ironed? Do your tights have holes in them? Did your friend return the belt she borrowed?
- The night before, prep your outfits and lay them out for the next morning.
When you plan your outfits for the week, include time to plan your meals and snacks. When making your meal list, start with recipes using food you have to reduce your shopping time and avoid wasting the food you have. Next, what do you need? Nothing is more frustrating than getting home from the grocery store and realizing you have to go out again.
Read the recipes you plan to make. Keep the following in mind when making your list:
- Do you already have it? Check the back of the fridge, corners of the cabinet or pantry. If you already have it, you may not need more.
- Do you have enough? Is the milk carton full or almost empty.
- Is it fresh? Check the expiration date? Does it smell or have mold?
Focus on what you need and want, not what you want but don’t need, and stick to your shopping list. When you are done, celebrate and add a small treat, something you really want but might not need. You can’t be perfect and you need to enjoy your life.
HABIT Helper: Avoid hunger when making your list or grocery shopping; you will likely overdo it if you are hungry.
Thank you for reading our second foundational HABIT—simplify! It may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. If you cannot plan everything, plan something. If you cannot plan a week ahead try a day ahead. A little planning here and there will help avoid stress and complications that add up to a bad day.
May you always feel great and look great,
Natalie and Becky
Natalie Tincher, owner and personal wardrobe stylist at Buttoned Up in New York City, desires to help others gain an added measure of confidence through cultivating a style that complements their unique personality, lifestyle, and physical attributes.
Becky Nagle, owner and health coach at getting2well in Bergen County, NJ, works with clients to make small changes to reduce stress and improve nutrition that fit their lifestyle to reach healthy weights and wellness goals.