Seven Blocks To Living A Rightsized Life

Rightsizing * A SMART Living Guide To Reinventing Retirement by Kathy GottbergI am very pleased to announce that my latest book is now published and available in either print or as an ebook on Amazon.   Titled Rightsizing * A SMART Living Guide to Reinventing Retirement, this book is the second in what I hope will continue to be a series. What is Rightsizing? Simply put, rightsizing is the conscious choice to create a life and a lifestyle that more sustainably aligns with your unique Self in the best possible way at every stage. This small volume compiles the best of what I’ve written on the subject here on SMART Living 365 along with some bonus ideas that presents them in a way I think most readers will appreciate.  The good thing about rightsizing your life is that it doesn’t matter what your age or situation. Although many reach retirement before finally making it happen, rightsizing can benefit everyone and leads to more happiness, fulfillment and peace of mind than ever before regardless of circumstances. Of course, just like most things that are desirable, it comes at a price. Here is a list of the most common obstacles that keep many of us from choosing a rightsized life. Continue reading


Is A Cohousing Community In Your Future?

cohousing info SMART Living

Enjoying the cohousing experience

Have you spent much time thinking about where you’ll be living in 10 or 15 years? Probably not.   While many of us say we want to live long, active and happy lives, it’s easy to avoid thinking about what that will mean. Few of us want to consider where we will live, who we will live with, and how our days will unfold when we, for whatever reason, can no longer do what we do now.  Even with our aversion to following the example of our deteriorating parents as they languish in nursing homes or assisted care facilities, we tend to avoid the conversation. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Co-housing or intentional communities offer baby boomers another option to rightsize their home, increase the quality of their lives, and age-in-place. And a good time to start talking about it is today. Continue reading


Five SMART And Timeless Lessons From Star Wars

SMART Living 365.comI vividly remember sitting in a small theater in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina with my soon-to-be-husband Thom watching Star Wars for the first time in 1977. The innovative film technology brought the classic story of good versus evil to the screen in a visually exhilarating way. That summer we sat enthralled by the movie seven times and since then at home, probably a dozen more. Fast forward to 2016. After all these years the Force has been reawakened. Not only does the new Star Wars revive pleasant recollections of all the space adventures we’ve witnessed during the last 39 years, it also reinforces timeless lessons that are now simply part of our culture. Regardless of whether you are a fan or not, and irrespective of your age, Star Wars offers, at least, five big ideas that can lead to a happy and SMART life. Continue reading


Quiz: Things We Didn’t Know When We Were Young

SMART Living 365

Back when we thought we knew just about everything.

Can you remember back to a time when you thought you knew everything there was to know about life and love? Thom and I were talking the other day about how dramatically that has changed for us. As Thom likes to say, “The older I get, the less I know, but the more I understand.” Do you feel the same? With that in mind, Thom and I came up with 60 things we think we now understand that we didn’t even know we didn’t know when we were young. If you are over 40, take this test to see if you agree. If you are younger than 40, then here are some things we think you have to look forward to understanding on a deeper level as you age.



Continue reading


Fearless Travel And Adventures In Egypt

Egypt--SMART Living

Camel riding around the great pyramids of Egypt.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to travel to Egypt. I’m not sure if it was a vision of the pyramids or movies about Cleopatra that created the longing or not. I just knew that given the chance, I would go. In 2015, I turned 60, and I had no interest in a big party or an expensive gift. Instead travel, as usual, was at the top of my list.  Now, after just returning from nearly three weeks in this chaotic, ancient and mesmerizing country, I still don’t know for certain why I needed to go. But what’s clear is that the biggest thing to fear about traveling to Egypt is the challenge it gives to our comfort zone, our limited scope of history, and our egocentric view as citizens of planet Earth. Continue reading


2016 — A Blank Sheet of Paper Awaiting Your Story

This weekend Thom and I return from our vacation.  But rather than a guest post, I am offering one I wrote four years ago.   After re-reading it, I realized that this idea was exactly what I wanted to share with you at the start of another new year.  Please join me in 2016 as we all write a story of peace, well-being and meaning for ourselves and others in 2016.

SMART Living 365.comAs a writer, it’s easy for me to imagine each New Year as a blank sheet of paper awaiting my creativity.   But that metaphor actually works for everyone.  Every year we each have the potential to start over with a story—our personal story for sure—and any other story we want to create.   Some of you may have already started by creating a year filled with all sort of drama and possibility.  Others are planning to make this one just another carbon-copy of last year.  Or, for those awake and aware, some of us are willing to accept the idea that this year’s story can be filled with all the peace, love, adventure and purpose that we desire. As usual, the choice is up to us. Continue reading


Guest Post #2: It’s Always SMART To Take A Breath

During the last four and a half years I have written and published every post here on SMART Living 365. But as Thom and I prepared for a three week trip over the holidays, I decided to invite other bloggers I enjoy and admire to contribute and share their SMART advice. Today’s Guest Post comes from author and writer T.O. Weller on her blog. Never Too Late To Write.   And even though T.O. lives in Canada, north of Toronto, and we’ve never met in person, from the first time I read her writing it was as though I had known her for a very long time.  I hope you enjoy this post, and I strongly encourage you to check out her blog if you get a chance. Thank you, T.O., for sharing your SMART, thoughtful, and authentic writing with us all.


SMART Living“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The holiday season is upon us. Most of us are plenty busy to begin with, but add the extra load of family gatherings, parties, gift-buying, home entertaining, vacation getaway planning, … and the list goes on, and on, and on. Bottom line: this time of year can be extremely stressful. But, does it have to be? Is there a SMART way to de-stress the holidays? Continue reading


8 SMART Life Lessons From Santa

Life Lessons From Santa SMART Living 365.comIn case you haven’t noticed before, I believe we can find positive life lessons just about anywhere if we are looking for them. With Christmas and other holidays fast approaching, it occurred to me that Santa has some SMART wisdom to offer us if we are paying attention.

Here are eight positive perspectives Santa offers us all:


Continue reading


The Problem Is Not The Problem

The problem is not the problemOn any given day, many of us will wake up and face what we consider to be a huge problem. If you’ve been watching the news lately, then you’ll agree. Top that off with any personal or health problems you have, and sometimes those problems appear overwhelming. But gradually through the years I’m learning that where ever and whatever I put my focus on, grows. Most problems are like that. I also remember hearing the late Norman Vincent Peale give a talk one time when he said, “The number of problems you face shows the aliveness in your life. The only people who don’t have problems are six feet under.” With that in mind, could it be that the way we choose to look at the problems confronting us is the real problem? Continue reading


Small Talk, Big Talk and Meaningful Conversation

conversation at SMART Living What you probably don’t know about me is that I like to talk. While I tend to believe that my writing represents my best form of communication, good conversation with interesting people is one of my greatest joys. Put me together in a room with people who are creating new possibilities, transforming their part of the world, or passionately involved in subjects I find intriguing, and it’s hard to shut me up. On the flip side, invite me to a cocktail party where people care more about what they look like, who they know, and what they own, and I have little to say. Or start a conversation with me and then stop the minute your cell phone rings to answer, and I’ll likely just walk away.   While conversation often means different things to different people, for me, big talk and meaningful conversations are what really matters. Continue reading