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3 Ways to Simplify Your Life Starting Today

Holy cow, the last 6 months of 2017 has tried to kick my bootay…can I get an amen?

This entire year has taught me a lot about not only myself, but the world, what I want out of it, and especially the direction I’ll be taking in 2018 both in my personal and professional life.

One thing will remain the same as it has since 2013 when Justin and I made a pledge to reduce stress, stuff, and debt.

At the time we didn’t know it had a name. We were becoming “minimalists.”

Since 2013 I knew we were “weird” only having one car, sharing a phone, spending extra money on our debt instead of the flashiest flat screen….but I didn’t realize just how different we were.

Since taking our minimizing seriously, we have worked to pay off over $21,000 worth of debt….while BOTH being entrepreneurs. Whaaaaaaat?!

Today I want to share with you three of the most valuable steps we’ve taken to simplify our lives. These three things have been imperative to our success and I know that with empowering knowledge, a burning desire, and the appropriate action steps, you can do it, too.

Without further ado, let’s begin.


3 Ways to Simplify Your Life Starting Today

1. Reduce Clutter

There is life changing potential in this first step to simplify your life: reduce clutter.

Take a moment and look at the room you’re in. Does everything have a home? The remotes? Your 15 coffee mugs? How about the empty photo album sitting on the shelf, covered in dust, ready to be filled with the photos you have yet to print from your phone?

All this “stuff” we have lying around is actually holding you down. It’s overwhelming and, without you even realizing it, will keep you from reaching your potential.

A clear space creates a clear mind. Having a home for all of your things helps clean up. There is no distress in, “where does this go?”, “I can’t clean up because then I have to shove this somewhere”, ” I really need to clean out that junk drawer.”

Action Step:

One of my favorite ways of reducing clutter is taking 5 minutes to take the things that don’t have a home, or you’re not really in love with keeping, and putting them in an empty tote, out of sight.

Now, with a clearer space, start to organize what is left in front of you. If something doesn’t seem to fit, add it to the tote.

Put the tote out of sight and after 30 days, if you haven’t thought about it consider donating or selling it. If you have thought of something and you’re still not emotionally ready to let go of it, evaluate why you’re not ready to let it go, and if that reason is justified, place it back in the tote until you’re ready to send it on its way.

I’ve found that after a month, I’m generally ready to let things go. Although there have been a few items that have taken me 6 or so months to have peace about giving up. Simplifying your life is a process, be gentle (yet lovingly tough at the same time 😉 ) with yourself.

2. Turn off Your Phone Notifications

Wow, it wasn’t until I did this, did I feel the satisfying freedom of not having the notifications pop up every few seconds.

We live in a “squirrel-y” world; always jumping from thought to thought, short attentions spans, forgetting what we were doing seconds before because our phone lit up so, of course we go straight to it.

One day I was fed up with constant dings from social media apps, emails, and text messages so I went to the notification settings in my phone and took care of business.

Action Step:

Make a list of your notification priorities. For me it was text messages and phone calls.

Go through and turn off notifications to the remaining apps. Now you can check these apps whenever you have time or are mentally ready to (for me, this particularly applies to emails, I have to be in the right state of mind to answer emails.)

You’ll have to resist the tempatation every time an app tries to remind you to turn notifciations on, but once you experience “notification freedom” I think you’ll enjoy it so much, it will be easy to stay strong 😉

3. Cut Up Your Credit Cards

Yulp, you heard me right. A key step in simplifying your life is cutting up your cred it cards.

Credit cards are a way to live outside your means. You’re borrowing someone else’s money and paying them back extra later.

The only credit cards Justin and I have had since we’ve been married were Lowe’s and Best Buy.

Justin had used the Lowe’s card to help build our home, but once we paid it off, we went so long without charging that they cancelled our account! An oddly, awesome feeling! As for Best Buy, we’ve used it for their 12 months same as cash when purchasing my laptop for school, my cell phone outright (to avoid corporate cell phone payment scams…I mean plans 😉 ) and for an investment camera for our business and my blog. We’ve never been hit with extra interest because we are aware of our budget and what we need to pay to pay off our balance in time.

Action Step:

Cut up your credit cards. That’s really it. Evaluate why  you have the credit card. Are you using it for things and stuff you don’t need? Are you using it to invest in your education i.e. My computer for nutritional therapy school? Or another reason?

I steer clear of all credit cards, and while I’ve heard stories of individuals and families using them to their advantage…absolutely, 100% do not use them as a form of income. And if you do choose to charge something, take a mindful approach to it: would you buy this item if you could hand the cashier cold, hard cash?

Debt weighs you down, especially mentally and emotionally. You owe someone something, and that’s never fun.


I mentioned changing the direction of Naturally Katie in 2018.

I noticed that I’ve been holding back talking about some of the things I’m most passionate about because I “thought” I was supposed to exclusively talk about nutrition, and nutrition only. But since I’ve given myself permission to venture out in discussing the areas of my life less talked about, like minimalism, yoga, and my lifestyle as a whole, ideas and content have been flying through my mind.

That being said, I’m happy to announce that the blog you just read and co-hosting @rebellenutrition ‘s Making A Minimalist Challenge are the first two steps into introducing this new content to my audience and the Naturally Katie community as a whole!

You can still expect nutrition and holistic lifestyle content, because, well, I’m super passionate about those two things, but expect a whole lot more. More content, more fun, and more tools to help you change your perspective and life in 2018.

Stay on the lookout for what’s coming 🙂

As for the Making a Minimalist Challenge, it begins January 1st!

It’s a 5 day challenge hosted by Amie from Rebelle Nutrition and it includes daily emails, prompts, and FB lives from Amie, herself + a slew of co-hosts, including me!

I’ll be going live on Wednesday, January 3rd at 3pm EST talking about how to minimize debt, eliminate credit card use, and how decreasing debt increases freedom.

Sign up by visiting http://www.rebellenutrition.com/mamchallenge. Amie’s first challenge included over 2,000 people who worked together and supported each other in the life changing process of needing less to live more.

I can’t wait to see each of you simplifying your life and alongside all of us!

Let me know you’re coming by commenting below or visiting me on FaceBook or Instagram!

In love and health,

Katie

 

naturally katie hurricane wv

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Confidence Boosting Yoga Poses for Beginners

Need a confidence boost?

You’re heading to a big job interview or maybe you’re trying to single handedly build your own business. Maybe you need to psych yourself up for a first date or need the confidence to ace a big test…

Regardless, you could use a little oomph in the confidence department, eh?

Part of my yoga teacher training homework last week was to watch this amazing TED Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

In the video Amy Cuddy outlines convincing evidence and studies that prove your body controls your mind.

Amy suggests the following:

  • To Expand
  • Make Yourself Big
  • Take Up Space
  • Raise your Hand Alllll the Way In the Air

And the big takeaway:

Fake it Until You Become It

This TED Talk is an absolute must watch and the next time you’re in need of a confidence boost, try out these beginner friendly, confidence boosting yoga poses.


 

 Confidence Boosting Yoga Sequence for Beginners :

Tadasana | Mountain Pose:

mountain pose

While in mountain pose, find yourself rooted deep within the Earth. Stand tall, finding strength from the tips of your toes all the way through the crown of your head. Hold arms strong by your sides, palms facing outward, arms engaged, eyes closed.

Begin an elevator breath, breathing life through your inhales up from the tip of your pelvis out the crown of your head: slow, controlled, on a count of 4-6. Bring the breath, like an elevator, back down with the exhale.

Hold Mountain Pose for 3-5 Breaths

Virhabdrasana II | Warrior II:

warrior two

With one foot pointing toward the short edge of your mat bring the opposite leg back and wide, back foot parallel to the short edge. Remember, take up space here. Bend your front leg at a 90-degree angle (as you can see from the photo, mine is not quite 90 degrees, that’s fine), begin to square your hips to the long edge of your mat, arms out to a T, parallel with your legs, gaze over your front hand.

While here, imagine you are a fierce warrior, preparing for battle. Continue your elevator breaths and with each inhale repeat: “I am Strong”.

Hold Warrior II for 3-5 Breaths before Switching Sides for another 3-5 Breaths.

Anjaneyasana | High Lunge with Mushti Mudra:

high lunge

High runner’s lunge combined with Mushti mudra will get you pumped up for anything!

Mushti mudra is a strong mudra, providing stability and confidence.

From Warrior II pivot your foot, tucking your toes and balancing on the ball of your back foot and entire front foot. Bring arms to a T, this time, perpendicular to your legs. Place your thumbs into the palms of your hands, creating a fist (mushti mudra.)

While here, imagine you are ready to launch forward, running your hardest to win the race at hand. Continue controlling your breaths and with each inhale repeat: “I am Ready”.

Hold for 3-5 Breath before Switching Legs for another 3-5 Breaths.

Tadasana | Mountain Pose with Clasped Hands:

mountain pose

Take a break from working those legs for a few breaths and return to Mountain Pose, this time with hands clasped behind the head.

Remember to take up space, find your inner confidence, and see yourself succeeding in whatever it is you’re about to do.

You’re supported, steady, and climbing mountains. You got this!

Hold for 3-5 Breaths.

Utkata Konasana | Goddess Pose with Temple Mudra:

goddess pose

Ladies and gents alike, this pose is going to leave you feeling like you’re ready to set forth and conquer.

Turn to the long edge of your mat, feet parallel to the short edge, toes points at the corners of your mat, and bend at the knees. Reach the arms above, clasping your hands like a church steeple (or Charlie’s Angel’s, whatever :p )

While here, tell yourself that you’re special and smart and have the courage to chase your dreams and change the world. Continue your beautiful breath and with each inhale repeat: “I Can Do This”.

Hold for 3-5 Breaths.


You’re ready!

Have the confidence to know that you can do whatever it is you set your mind to!

In love and health;

Namaste,

Katie

Grab my FREE “What You Need to Know Before Your First Yoga Class” (with a complete checklist) Below!

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Disclaimer: None of this information is intended to diagnose or treat any type of illness or disease. Always consult with your physician before making any decisions regarding your health. 

Most images included in my blogs are taken, edited, and owned by me. They are not to be used elsewhere without proper permission.