Breast cancer survivor and clutter clearing author learns to walk her talk

Clutter clearing cancer coping author and motivational speaker We can learn to live our priorities fully (and not just surviving or getting by on a day to day basis) by clearing out the distractions and focusing on what is important to each of us, our families, and our lives. Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools: We'll get you through this by Barbara Tako, two-time cancer survivor and published author and motivational speaker on the topic of clutter clearing. For updates on this new book, click here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3 ways to make New Year's resolutions that stick and a secret to help

Good New Year’s resolutions are difficult to make and even more difficult to keep. How can we  get these resolutions accomplished instead of repeating the same resolutions year after year? There is no single New Year’s resolution that works for everyone. Still, here are ways to make resolutions that work.
To make New Year’s  resolutions that stick, make them specific, measurable, and achievable. Resolutions are really just personal goals, and we can use  proven goal setting techniques.
Let's take a goal we have all heard before:  "I want to lose weight this year."
1. Specific: The vague “I want to lose weight this year” becomes the specific “I want to lose 20 pounds by May.” It now is a clear quantifiable amount.
2. Measurable: You can measure your progress by weighing in regularly each week. There is no guessing. The amount lost is tracked by stepping on the scale.
3. Achievable: Most of all, it is achievable. "By May." A realistic time frame was chosen. Realistic goals are more likely to succeed than unrealistic ones.
Now, what is the secret to assure your personal New Year's resolution success? In studies of why some people can achieve their goals and others do not, the secret of the successful goal achievers is to establish contingency plans at the time the goal is made. For example, if the resolution is to exercise three times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then the contingency plan might be to exercise early Saturday morning if one of those regular days is missed! Set up your contingency plan at the outset and you will have an important tool to achieve success.
You can make New Year's resolutions  that work for you. Use resolutions to help you  focus on your priorities. With specific, measurable, achievable goals that include backup plans for life's surprises, you can move yourself in the direction you want to go.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Radio Interview with Kim Caldwell of Think Fit

As a new book author, I was very happy to be interviewed by Kim Caldwell of Think Fit to share my clutter clearing tips with her audience.

The show aired on Sunday, December 27, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. Here is the link if you would like to listen: Think Fit - Clear Your Clutter And Enhance Your Life

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree! Clear Christmas tree clutter

The "perfect" Christmas tree for each family looks a little different. Some folks want them to be short and round. Some folks look for trees that are tall and skinny. Some want room between the branches for ornaments to dangle, and others want the tree to be full and thick. Some prefer short needles, and others like longer needles. Some choose a cut tree, and others keep an artificial one. Some people even have more than one tree! Sometimes our definition of the perfect Christmas tree changes over time, maybe as the kids grow up.

We haven't even talked about Christmas tree ornaments! They can be inherited, home-made, purchased for looks, or purchased to remember a vacation or other event. Is there a solution to Christmas tree clutter? Maybe it isn't even clutter at all? I do know our family tree has gotten smaller over the years. We used to live in a house where the tree was put in a room with a really high ceiling. Now we opt for a smaller tree in our present home. We used to put a small "kid Christmas tree" in the family room of our old house. Now, the one tree that we put up is in our family room. We seem to have extra lights and ornaments these days.

I have weeded out and donated some of the extra lights and ornaments. Some of the ornaments I will keep until my kids are ready for them when they have their own households. I look forward to giving them each a "starter set" of ornaments that will be a mix of inherited ornaments, ornaments they will remember from their childhood here, and ornaments they have made over the years. I think that will be fun.

Maybe it will be a little sad too because our perfect Christmas tree may become even smaller by then. But, I think I have to separate the Christmas tree from Christmas itself. The tree is, well, a tree. It is a decoration that we enjoy for about three weeks per year. What is Christmas? A lot more than that. It is a holiday that I try to keep in my heart all year round. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Simplify Christmas Cards

I received a Christmas card from a friend, and I think her idea is brilliant! What was it? It was an e-mail with a brief holiday wish and a .JPG photo of her family. It didn't require paper, postage, or ink. The receiver could choose to e-mail it to fellow family members so they could enjoy it too, delete it, or print it. What do you think of this? What do you do to simplify Christmas cards?

Five tips for a frugal simple Christmas

Five tips for a frugal simple Christmas

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9 uncluttered Christmas decorating tips from 2 perspectives

9 uncluttered Christmas decorating tips from 2 perspectives

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5 ways to get organized for Christmas

5 ways to get organized for Christmas

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Emotional Clutter: Stress, Holiday stress

Too busy, too little time. I'll never get it all done "in time." My mind goes in ten directions at once. These thoughts can create emotional clutter in the form of stress, especially during the holiday season. Stress doesn't feel good. It makes the stomach roll and the head hurt. It wears people down.

Is there a cure for holiday stress? For me, I need to drop the perfectionism. The holidays will come and things will be "good enough." Good enough is just fine. Maybe I can drop the self-torture of perfectionism. It will be a smaller and simpler celebration at our house this year. I am going to try to take a deep breath, or several, and slow it down.

What about a little self care during this busy time? Humm? What would that look like? I think it looks a little different for each of us. Maybe it would be worth thinking about and implementing a little self care. Mine, today, looks like this: coffee and conversation with a dear friend, even though technically I don't "have time." And, flannel sheets! I installed the flannel sheets on the bed this morning. We live in a cold climate, and, with an unusually warm November, I hadn't taken care of this yet. These fresh, warm,  cuddly sheets give me something to look forward to all day!

Maybe you could give yourself the gift of self care today too? What helps you manage the emotional clutter of holiday stress?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank you for helping "Clutter Clearing Choices" book along

Wow. Yesterday was a very exciting day for this new clutter clearing author. And, I owe it all to you. Here's what happened: Clutter Clearing Choice's  rank on Amazon went from 750,000 (down near the bottom) up to 52,000 (a very good spot much higher up). Thank you! Each and ever order and review counts.

I also got to appear in the second half of a show on Blog Talk Radio! Here is the link:

Original Air Date: 12/9/2009 12:00 PM
The Longevity Club Radio Show Adriane Berg' Longevity Club Radio Show--Guests: Jerry Rhoads, Elder Abuse; Barbara Tako, Clutter Clearing Choices

Let me know what you think. And, again, thank you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Clutter Clearing Choices" now available to purchase on Amazon

As of last night, my book Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life became available on Amazon. They have inventory! As a new author, this has been a long road, and I am very excited. It can even be ordered in time as a gift for the holidays! Here is the link to Clutter Clearing Choices on Amazon!