Is Finding Your Balance Point A SMART Way To Live?

SMART Living 365.comAnything that reveals why people do what they do, or what moves us to act or not, fascinates me. That’s why reading or listening to motivational or success authors and/or speakers is something I’ve done most of my adult life. Sure some resources are better than others, but I always manage to learn at least one new thing that benefits my thinking, my perceptions, and hopefully my life. That’s why when I was offered a review copy of a new book by longtime author and speaker Brian Tracy, I said yes. Without a doubt the title intrigued me: Find Your Balance Point—Clarify Your Priorities, Simplify Your Life, and Achieve More. Doesn’t that sound SMART to you, too? Continue reading


10 Lessons About Life I’ve Learned By Blogging

SMART Living 365Most of the time I think I am one of the most fortunate and privileged persons on the planet because I get to write and do what I love all the time.   I began writing seriously back in the mid-eighties then took up blogging seven years ago. Four years ago I created SMART Living 365 and every week since do my very best to share ideas about how each of us can live a happy, meaningful and rewarding life every day of the year.   But although the mission of SMART Living usually keeps me focused on those things that inspire me and others, I do have my challenges. Ordinarily that has nothing to do with the writing, and everything to do with managing a website with limited technological understanding—like the last two weeks! Yet even then, the gift of blogging extends far beyond putting out an article on schedule and having everything go as planned. Ever wonder why a blogger, blogs? Maybe it’s because blogging offers life lessons available to us all. Continue reading


Releasing The Need To Control What Is

SMART Living 365.comSeveral weeks ago Thom came across a quote by author and speaker Eckhart Tolle that said, “Non-resistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” Since then, we’ve been toying with that idea to see if it’s true or even possible.  And as life would have it, personal experiences offer plenty of examples to test the theory.   Is it possible that at the core of it all is the desire to control the uncontrollable?

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Nine Things To Celebrate About The Precious Nature of Water

SMART Living

With Kloe on Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, CA

Chances are good that you’ve heard that California is in the midst of a severe four-year drought. If you don’t live here you might not think that has anything to do with you. But if you live in the U.S., there is a good chance you’ve eaten some of the food grown here—or at least used to be grown here. And if you live elsewhere around the planet you likely know that fresh drinkable water is becoming more precious everywhere humans live. But rather than scare ourselves to death about the dwindling supply, I instead want to remind myself of this precious resource that deserves our protection and appreciation. When we love something, when we value something, it is always easier to do whatever it takes to insure its continuation. So this week’s post is my tribute to water. Continue reading


What Do We Really NEED To Be Happy?

SMART Living 365.comYears ago, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs was a popular way of understanding human motivation and ourselves in general. His work was one of the first to look at what allowed people to thrive, rather than struggle in dysfunction, and preceded the field of positive psychology as we know it today. Beginning with a basic need to merely survive, Maslow showed how some people evolved beyond that to eventually arrive at a pinnacle: self-actualization. But while Maslow’s theory made a major contribution to developmental psychology, there are new theories replacing his. Could human happiness and motivation really be as simple as the three needs in Self-Determination Theory (SDT) or the six factors in The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being? And is it really possible to know what we humans need to be happy? Continue reading


The Gift of Girlfriends At Midlife

SMART Living 365.comLast weekend I had the amazing gift of two sets of girlfriends come for a visit. Like every summer, I’m out of town renting a cabin in the mountains with my husband Thom to escape the desert heat near our home. While we always enjoy handfuls of guests during our summer retreats, this was the first year in over 20 where I’ve enjoyed so much female company—and it certainly felt like something special. Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s my own awareness, but having good female friends is a simple, SMART and rewarding aspect to any happy life.   Continue reading


Midlife Desperate—5 Ways to Cope With Life At This Stage

SMART Living 365.comA new popular book on Amazon is titled, Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs To Breathe. And although I’m sure that young moms sometimes feel desperate and need hope and encouragement, don’t we all now and then–especially at midlife? So although I’m not a professional, I came up with five big issues that could trigger desperation for those of us in our midlife years, along with some possible solutions for helping us get through it and not only breathe, but thrive.
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The Benefits Of Pessimism and the Prevention-Focused Among Us

There is always more than one way to look at things.

There is always more than one way to look at things.

I’ve been an optimist since the day I was born. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you probably think I’m either incredibly fortunate or unbelievably naïve depending upon your perspective. Yet after reading a new book, I not only understand a great deal more about what motivates me and why, I’ve also developed a much higher appreciation for those more pessimistic than me. In fact, sometimes the best approach for any of us is to ramp up our prevention-focus and practice a bit of defensive-pessimism depending upon the circumstances. That’s right, I now know that even a diehard optimist like me can benefit from being a little pessimistic. Continue reading


Blogging Quote Challenge

SMART Living This week a blogger named G Angela who blogs at Living A Life Of Gratitude invited me to do a three-day blogging quote challenge.  Blogging challenges are something many bloggers do to help each other inspire ideas and new content.  And since I’ve had a very busy (but enjoyable week), and I love quotes to begin with, I thought I’d take her up on it. Of course in true SMART Living 365 fashion, I’m adapting the three days of quotes into one. With that in mind, here are my favorite three quotes of all time–along with my challenge to three new bloggers I follow. Continue reading


Letting Go Of The Clutter In Your Mind

SMART Living 365.comA common theme on this blog is simple living and minimalism. Those topics are all about letting go of stuff and clutter in our lives so that we can all better focus on what really matters. If you do a Google search you’ll see tons of books and blog posts around the idea, including a recent best seller called, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And while all of that focus on cleaning up your space is important, most of it ignores how cleaning up your thinking and what goes on in your mind is even more vital. Call it magic or merely life changing, once we learn to empty and let go of the chatter and mind clutter, chances are good that the exterior space around us will be equally free of distraction. Continue reading