Archive for May, 2011

betterME Day 1 : Declutter D-Day

Posted in Declutter on May 31, 2011 by cklaslan

betterME | Day 1 – Declutter D-day

The Day 1 challenge : to declutter, by whatever definition seems fitting, whether mentally, physically, or emotionally.

For today I decided that doing a physical declutter of my living space was typical and cliche.  While that is something I definitely need to do, I decided to add that to the list as a separate challenge (it will probably have to be a weekend thing).  Instead I decided to focus on a social declutter.

What is a social declutter?  Well, my Facebook has 353 “friends” on it, most of which I’ve never met, never will, and rarely talk to.  Their feeds fill my wall and I blaze past them to get to news from real friends.  I don’t know what we have in common, how we became “friends” or if we’ve even communicated on any level.

I started my declutter by removing those “friends” that I had have never met and little chance to ever meet.  I then moved on to those that I’ve never communicated with in the last 3 months.  With that, poof, 83 “friends” were removed.

I continued that theme, and delisted 35 people and services from Twitter, 15 people from FourSquare, 78 screen names from Yahoo chat, and 115 names from AIM.  Then I moved to Google where I removed 450 email contacts (GMail saves everyone you ever email or receive email from) and 15 chat contacts.

Since I was in Google I looked at my Inbox and realized that daily I would open GMail and select mail to be instantly deleted.  These were not junk/spam mail as they were genuinely emails I had signed up for. They were emails from companies, services, product updates, subscriptions, etc but I rarely read them.  So I started unsubscribing to them.  It’s amazing how easy it is.  Most emails have a small, tiny, “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom and simply clicking it removes you from the list.  In the end I will now be getting 39 less emails a day.  My In-Box has been decluttered!

One of the emails I decluttered was for a renewal of an online subscription for $3.33 to EPSN Insider, online content I subscribed to once to read a specific article and haven’t used since.  I parsed thru my emails and my bank account to find out how many of these I had.  EPSN Insider, two Pod Casts I never listen to, 3 news feeds that I never read, (I was at one point researching my family history), and 2 travel blogs.  I cancelled my subscription to all of them and will now be saving $43.77 a month.  That may not seem like a huge amount, but for me that is almost a tank of gas!

So with that my social sites are now decluttered and contain only news from people I care about, my email inbox will now actually contain valid email, and my bank account has been decluttered of useless recurring fees for things I never use.  I think I can call this challenge completed as at least now there are slightly less distractions for me.

Oh, and for the heck of it, I did declutter my desk and cubicle 🙂

What do you think?  Thoughts?  Comments??

Not too bad for a day’s work and the first challenge!  So fate, aka the Random Number Generator, has decided that tomorrow’s challenge is:

* Do something you didn’t think you could or ever would

Check back tomorrow for how I did.  Again I welcome your thoughts, comments, suggestions, feedback and even your own personal stories that may relate to an ongoing challenge that you may or may not have had success with.



The Beginning…

Posted in Declutter, Welcome on May 30, 2011 by cklaslan

Perhaps my first challenge should be to get a calendar. LOL  In my intro email I sent out last week I said I’d start on Tuesday, June 1. Unfortunately Tuesday is May 31.  To keep the momentum, I thought I’d stick with the Tuesday part of the message instead of waiting for the 1st on Wednesday.  I also figure it’s best to get this thing off the ground.  I believe there is a quote that says “Motivation is what get’s you started, habit is what keeps you going“.

So here we go.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

And so I have.  I’m not going to stay where I am.  So with that let the change begin.

In my intro I mentioned a few challenges that would not be set on a specific day, rather they just have to be completed within the next 30 days.  These challenges are :

* Meet 5 new people
* Renew 5 distant/lost relationships
* Remove 5 unhealthy relationships
* Do 5 random acts of kindness
* Tell 5 people why you appreciate them

As these challenges happen I’ll update the progress on that days’ blog.

Fate has decided, or rather the random number generator on my Droid, that the specific daily challenge for tomorrow, Tuesday, May 31 is :

* to declutter, by whatever definition seems fitting, whether mentally, physically, or emotionally.

Check back tomorrow evening to see how I decided to interpret “declutter” and what and how I did.

If you’ve done any similar “decluttering”, please feel free to share.


Here Goes Nothing — or Everything!

Posted in Welcome on May 25, 2011 by cklaslan
Hello! & Welcome! 

I recently heard an executive of a company describe himself as an “agent of change” and it was his job to make changes, good and bad, to get his company back on track, to create a vision for the future, and to head in the right direction.  He went on to say that the changes were sometimes difficult and painful and other times they were easy and painless.  But he felt they were necesary to make progress.

This inspired me to think about being an agent of change on a personal level.  Over the past few months, things have changed at work (good and bad), several personal relationships have changed (also good and bad), and as a result my views and outlooks have changed.  I’ve felt myself questioning things I’ve never questioned before and being unsettled with where certain aspects of my life are.  Those of you that know me know I am slow to change and like most people, don’t like to admit fault or a better way to do things.

Over the past month or two I’ve seen people issue challenges to themselves and others in an effort to make themselves better.  I’ve seen it on blogs, websites, news sites, and even on Facebook among several friends and co-workers.  I’ve seen them range from improving fitness to life decisions. So betterME was born – A challenge to myself to change things to make myself better, to make those around me better, and where I can, to make my world better.

If you’re reading this, then this is where you come in !!!  I invite you not only to read, but to participate, comment, encourage, and hold me accountable.  I’m asking ou to help inspire me and motive me, and yes, even challenge me yourself.  At least once or twice a week I want one of the challenges to come from the community of people I know — those of you reading right now  — it’s your chance to better me! No, asking me to give you $100 will not make me a better person so let’s keep it real

Sometimes I may invite a friend to join in on a challenge or help me fulfill one.  I do hope you’ll accept the offer if made, but if not I understand.  And if you do participate and don’t want to be mentioned in the blog, just say so.

Here are some examples of some of the challenges that may pop up : Get out of my comfort zone for a day, Do something spontaneous, Learn 10 new words, Try new foods, Talk to a stranger, Catch up with an old friends, Try something I think I suck at, Volunteer my time, Go out alone, Learn something new, Go to church, Stop a bad habit, Think positively, Be encouraging, Smile at everyone, Face a fear, Eliminate something non-essential, etc

There are also some goals I’ve set that can’t really be accomplished on a specific day.  Most of them deal with relationships and you can’t really plan when will that happen.  So I’ve set them to be completed within the 30 days instead of a certain day.  These may include challenges such as : Meet 5 new people, Repair 5 damaged relationships, Support a cause, No snooze-button for a week, Do 5 acts of kindness, etc.

I plan to kick this off next Tuesday, Jun 1.  I’ll make posts daily and update the results and make it available on Twitter and Facebook as well as right here 🙂

So I invite your encouragement, comments (you’re invited to leave them below by clicking on the link), suggestions and most of all your inspiration.  I am honestly asking for your help, participation, and truthful feedback.  Obviously I can’t embark on something like this without expecting some of the truths, realities,  and changes to sting.

This is something I feel I  must do and need to do. This is not a gag, gimmick, stupid trick or a way for attention.  Change requires some accountability and transparency.  If you’re aware of my challenge for the day by all means make sure I’m adhering to it.    So thank you in advance and hopefully in 30 days (and beyond) there will be a betterME!