If you follow my blog you know that a couple of my recent posts feature the practice that I call right-sizing. What I hope you’ve picked up on is that right-sizing is actually a way of life—at any age—not just those entering retirement. For anyone just joining us, I define right-sizing as creating a life that uniquely fits and satisfies you and your family with the greatest amount of joy and contentment and the least amount of stress or worry. While the lifestyle offers tremendous benefits to those of us in midlife or contemplating retirement, every person who is interested in a more simple, meaningful, and happy life will benefit. The first post “Step One” focused on the consciousness behind a right-sized life, while “Step Two” got down to the nitty-gritty of finances. In this, the final step to right-sizing your life, I want to throw out a few random thoughts that can help to increase your understanding and awareness. Finally, I’m hoping that each and every one of you who reads this post will offer at least one small suggestion you already practice, or think will benefit you, so that we can all learn and grow together as we right-size our lives. [Read more…]
This photo was taken at Pebble Beach on the Northern California coast. The quote comes from a SMART Living 365 Facebook fan who came up with it when we asked for suggestions. Thanks Eema!
Click on photo to enlarge. For more photos go to: SMART Photos by Thom
It doesn’t take a genius or a scientist to know that music has the ability to lift our mood and make us feel happier. In fact I’ll bet every single one of us can think of a song that played at a pivotal moment in our lives and be instantly transported back to that time and place the minute it plays. Or I’ll bet you can remember a time when your all-time favorite song spontaneously came over the radio and you burst out in song and/or dance with a smile on your face. But if we all know music can make us happy, why don’t we use music more regularly to experience greater happiness and motivate our actions when necessary? More importantly, are we willing to consider that music might even alter the very chemistry of our bodies and positively influence our overall health. [Read more…]
Back in our twenties, Thom and I wanted to be millionaires. TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fueled the desire to amass our fortune. Then somewhere along the way someone really SMART asked Thom, “Why a millionaire?” and forced him to consider what he meant by that idea. For the first, time Thom began listing experiences and feelings that he hoped to achieve if and when he/we became millionaires. To which his friend said something like, “So it’s really the feelings and experiences you want—not the money itself?” From that moment forward, we began realizing that the labels of being rich, poor or somewhere in-between had little to do with the actual quality or experience of our lives. In fact, the things we thought most important could be realized with far less income than we ever imagined. That’s why through the years we’ve come to believe that “right-sizing” is a much better way to describe the unique and priceless lifestyle that brings you happiness, purpose and peace of mind regardless of your age. Once you have that clear picture of what brings you a happy and quality lifestyle, you can begin to figure out the second step of where money fits into your life. [Read more…]
Last week was my birthday. Or I should say, one of my birthdays. That’s because we all actually have many birth-days or major turning points during our lifetimes if we choose to remember and acknowledge them. Each one of these birthdays marks a significant turning point in our experience here on planet Earth. And even though there are always a large number of major and minor days of significance for each of us, I believe my life contains four extra-ordinary days of beginning. By sharing my special days with you, perhaps it will be easier for you to pinpoint and acknowledge similar events and birth-days in your life that you might want to honor and commemorate.
Hi, I’m Thom, Kathy’s partner in life,
Starting today, and in the weeks to come, I will be sharing some of my photography with you on SMART Living 365 and a linked Tumblr account.
Inspiring words and photos have always uplifted my soul…and what I plan to share are my attempts to mix my photography with words in ways that will shift your mindset and help to create a more happy, peaceful and meaningful life—365! We’re calling this series “SMART Photos by Thom” and you can see all my pictures at any time by going to the link under the photo. Oh, and please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments under each post. Thanks!
Click on photo to enlarge. For more photos go to: SMART Photos by Thom
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” ~Antoine de St. Exupery
After nearly a dozen overseas trips I’ve learned that you really don’t need to take as much stuff as you think you do. In so many ways, that also offers us all a lesson in rightsizing. Of course it is easier for guys because they can get away with a pair of jeans and a couple of t-shirts. But even though I’m responsible for toiletries and toothbrushes, I’ve learned that the penalty for lugging around a ton of stuff while trying to enjoy yourself is not worth the benefit of having it “just in case you need it.” And that made me think about all the other things I’ve tried to over-pack throughout the years, and a few things I’ve discovered about eliminating unnecessary clutter.
Last month Thom came across an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) with a headline that said, “Everybody Says You Should Downsize. Everybody May Be Wrong.” We both found that statement to be so incredulous that we had to reread it. And we weren’t alone in our surprise. Most of the other comments online also questioned many of the negative points offered in the article. Clearly the author herself had not downsized and it was also obvious that her focus came from an outdated definition of the concept. Naturally that got me thinking that maybe most of us approach the topic from the wrong direction to begin with. Instead of thinking of it as “down” sizing—maybe we should consider it to be “right”-sizing. And once we get the label right—it is much easier to consider the real benefits that come from living a lifestyle that is right-sized from the beginning. [Read more…]
At the end of every year I have a habit of going back and reviewing things that worked well in my life in the last 365 days. I think it’s useful to explore the actions, mindsets and understandings that have enhanced my well-being and happiness—and recognize those that didn’t, so they can be modified And because a big part of living SMART 365 is staying conscious, awake and aware—this practice might prove valuable for all of us. I’ll start by sharing a few ideas that increased the quality of my life in 2012. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Do you Google? Or do you prefer Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Ask or any of the other search engines available? Even if you use one or more of them every day, have you ever thought about how they continually direct our thoughts? And although there is an amazing amount of information out there, without the means to find it—it might as well not be there at all. That’s why Googling, or how we use any search engine, is a great metaphor for how we go about looking for those things we say we want and need in life. Plus, not only are our Google searches a mirror to what we think is important and worthy of our attention, it may also be SMART for us to remember that what we search for, we most often find. [Read more…]