Ask These 5 Questions to Reach Your Goals

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
Napoleon Hill

Pathway on Montjuic (Barcelona)
Pathway on Montjuic (Barcelona) by Martin Pilat

We’re more than half-way through the year. Get out the resolutions and goals you made in January for this year. Read them through.

Has all the upheaval and unexpected events of this year changed your outlook and your goals? Maybe some of the goals don’t seem as important. Maybe some seem more precious than ever.

Update them, change them, revise them. Write down why you want each goal. Not some casual scribble done to get through the exercise. Ask why and why again. Let the answer reveal itself to you with clarity.

Note on each goal where you were on Jan 1st and where you are now. Did you make any progress? If not, why not? Answer this again, and again.

5 Questions to Guide You

Pick the three most important goals – and answer these questions:

  1. What will it look and feel like when the goal is fulfilled? Details!
  2. What exactly must happen before you can declare the goal fulfilled?
  3. What obstacles can you reasonably expect to encounter and what ideas do you have to overcome them?
  4. What is the next small step that needs to be taken? Which day shall you schedule it on your calendar?
  5. What are the habits and regular actions of a person who is succeeding in reaching this goal? Which small habit will you start today to become successful like this person?

Now begin again or continue on. Small, regular steps and daily habits. Goal achievement is a process. Starts, stops, sputters, and stalls are to be expected. You must expect them and plan how you will overcome them. You must learn to adjust and continue on if you want to fulfill your goals.

Review, Adjust, Repeat

Periodic review of your goals and adjustment of your daily habits is essential to achieving your most coveted goals.

How are your goals progressing this year?

 Changes – Advice from Rumi

Our lives have changed. Our world has changed. Let us face it together, with grace, with strength, with compassion, and with love.

 Home Blessing with a Cleaning Routine

A recent Simple Life Tip of the Day was to take a few moments each day to sweep and clean the dust and dirt from entry ways. By doing this small cleaning routine, you can prevent dirt from being tracked around the house. This keeps the rest of the house cleaner and saves time by reducing the need to clean tracked in dirt.

I recently visited a site – – that had a related version of this tip. It was part of a house cleaning routine called the Weekly Home Blessing. I love that name and the thought of blessing your home by cleaning and caring for it.

The Flylady suggests taking 10 minutes and sweeping or vacuuming all the main pathways of your home. She emphasizes that you don’t move out furniture or micro-clean corners; you just give a good quick vacuuming or sweeping down the middle or main area of each room.

10 Minutes and No More!

The rest of the Home Blessing follows the same theme. 10 timed minutes – no more! – for each of a total of 7 routines. All work simply on the main and visible areas of your home. She has Zone Cleaning routines for deeper cleaning. The Home Blessing is a sort of weekly maintenance for keeping your home always in a respectable and relatively clean state.

Other parts of the home cleaning routine include 10 minutes each for dusting/polishing, cleaning mirrors and door frames, purging all junk mail and old magazines.

This set of routines can be done in 10 minute daily segments over the course of the week or all at once in a weekly one hour or so block .

A Clean, Tidy House

The idea is that your house has a fresh, tidy appearance most of the time. As you keep up with the routine, it becomes much easier to maintain and you will accomplish more each time.

Now don’t worry, the FlyLady has routines for regular deeper cleaning. She calls it Zone Cleaning and as you work your way around your house zones, it is like a continual spring cleaning.

I’ve started the Home Blessing routines and I like the idea of a 10 minute cleaning task each night. It is easy to fit in my schedule and as a bonus it is a way to practice discipline. I try to clear my mind and give full focus on the task as a form of meditation.

I also like the rotating task concept. You don’t start over on the cleaning routine until you have completed each task. It helps to keep me from continually skipping one … like dusting.

Start With These Cleaning Routines

If you are interested in starting your own home cleaning routine, here is how to start:

First start with the 7 recommended 10 minute routines.

  1. Vacuum main pathways and areas
  2. Dust visible surfaces
  3. Quick Mop floors
  4. Polish Mirrors and Doors
  5. Throw away magazines/catalogs/junk mail
  6. Change Sheets
  7. Empty Trash Cans

Print these on a sheet of paper with a checkbox for each one. Put the sheet of paper in a clear 3-punched sheet protector. Then work your way through them, 10 minutes each. Set a timer – 10 minutes. Use a dry erase pen and check off each one as you finish it. Do them all at once or one or two a day. You should complete a cycle each week. When you finish a full cycle, wipe off the check marks and start fresh.

House cleaning routine chart for weekly home blessing

The above is a photo of my Home Blessing routine. I labeled it House Blessing because it sounds more like the prayer “Bless this House, O Lord I pray…” You may also note that, as usual, I saved the dusting for last.

Now, as you begin to work this routine, you will likely find that the list needs some tweaks to fit your style and your home. Do it! Work with the list until you have 10 minute routines that hit the spots that keep your house clean and looking good most of the time.

The 10 minute limit is important because it keeps you focused. There is no time to get sidetracked. It also is easier to work into your schedule. Ten minutes does not seem so daunting that you don’t want to start.

While you complete your routines, feel the love you have for your home. Express it in the way you dust, sweep, straighten up. Make the routine truly a home blessing. It is amazing how this transforms you and your home.

The FlyLady has written a book about her methods – Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley – The FlyLady. She apparently has a whole tribe of followers and a long line of cleaning products. Her website is

You might also be interested in another Simple Life article Will A Housekeeper Simplify Your Life?

How about you? Have you tried the FlyLady methods? Or do you have a cleaning routine that really works for you? Leave a comment!

 Season of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving! Let this be a season of gratitude.

May you and your family be blessed with abundance and surrounded by love this Thanksgiving.

Count your blessings and realize how much you already have to be thankful for. Visit our page Today I’m Grateful- Everyday Gratitude for encouragement and ideas for your gratitude journal.

What are you grateful for? Share in the comments!

Woman showing heart sign hand - gratitudes in the sunset

Photo courtesy of Hassan Quajbir from Pexels

 Love Quote from Rumi

Rumi wrote this over 800 years ago, yet love hasn’t changed.  Love is timeless, endless.  And no one says it better than Rumi.

“Although I may try to describe love,

When I experience it, I am speechless.”

– Rumi

May you experience love today and every tomorrow.

Mountainside view and Rumi love quote


 Ahhh. Satori.

Sometimes I come across a word that lights me up because it expresses something perfectly.  My word for the day is satori.   I needed it.

I discovered the word in Eckhart Tolle’s book – A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose – on page 177.  It immediately resonated with me.  I had to stop and write it down in my fat little notebook of new words.

Satori: “A zen word for a moment of presence, a brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes, and their reflection in the body as emotion.  It is the arising of inner spaciousness where before there was the clutter of thought and the turmoil of emotion.”

Inner spaciousness replacing clutter of thought and turmoil of emotion.  Perfect.

I hope you, too, find space for satori today.

Chain O Lakes view from hiking trail

View of lake from Chain O Lakes State Park hiking trail July 2017







 Free Kindle Books Today – Eggs and Clutter

I’ve downloaded a few free Kindle book titles today. Note that often Amazon has free book titles for only a very short time, so they may revert back to regular prices at any time.

First, I found a title on egg storage. Even though we sell eggs, we often seem to have an extra dozen. I freeze many of them, but am interested in other methods of preserving.  Here is the free book (for now) link:

How To Preserve Eggs: Freezing, Pickling, Dehydrating, Larding, Water Glassing, & More


Next, I found two titles on simplicity and clearing clutter:

The Joy of Less – Volume 2 – Finding Simplicity: How to “let go” and learn to love yourself on the path to a simplified, de-cluttered life

The Joy of Less: Volume 3 – Purging: A step by step Guide to a Clutter Free Environment


I hope these free Kindle books are still available for you!






 An Ernest Holmes Quote


I’ve been reading and also working in the gardens this last week.  Here is a quote from Ernest Holmes that has caused me to spend time in thought while I pulled weeds and admired flowers:

Ernest Holmes Quote with Cape Cod beach background

You cannot heal anyone of his trouble if it is the result of some mental attitude which he will not surrender.”  – Ernest Holmes

I guess we each have had times when we needed to hear this. It’s not an easy idea to accept, but that doesn’t make it any less true. So many times our loved ones have to find their own path. We can only watch and pray.


Cape Cod beach photo by Patti Tokar Canton

 Wisdom from Rumi

Rumi quote

I have lived on the lip of insanity wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door.  The door opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.




Rumi Quotes – Wisdom for today

Photo of door courtesy of artur84 and

 On the Verge of Berries



Strawberries on a cutting boardI walked across the meadow to the wooded area of our property tonight.  We call it “the woods” even though it is only about 2 or so acres of trees.  Nothing like Pooh Bear’s Hundred Acre Woods.

This year it looks like we are going to have plenty of blackberries.  A few weeks ago, the whole woods seemed graced by clouds of small white flowers on the blackberry bushes.  Now the flowers have been replaced with hard, green, baby berries.  I wonder how long before they turn into tender, ripe blackberries?

As well, the mulberry trees and bushes are covered with green berries, although there are some patches of pale pink berries in the first stages of ripening.  It will still be awhile before they ripen to purple-black mulberries.  (Check my earlier blog post on picking mulberries.)  We should have all the mulberries we care to pick this year, too.

Back in the yard, the raspberries are in the stages of ripening, too, although it looks like the blackberries will ripen before the raspberries do.  We’ll see.  Nature is in charge and I am just the rewarded spectator.

I didn’t even mention the best part so far:  Chris picked well over a gallon of sweet, bright red strawberries a few days ago!  And there are more strawberries almost ready for picking.

It’s times like these when I see the berries, the woods, the vast blue skies over the fields, the trees filled with bird song, the chickens grazing contentedly in their yard, the newly planted flowers blooming in the flower beds, (and so much more) that I feel peaceful, happy and very grateful.

Yes, life is berry, berry good.  🙂


See also How to Pick Raspberries on the Simple Life Blog.