| Simpler Living Programs | Blog | Resources | Media | About Beth | Contact | Coaching



"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



July 2004 Newsletter

Personalized Simplicity

Creating a saner, simpler life


July 2004

Welcome to Encouraging Words monthly newsletter. You have subscribed because you want encouragement to create a saner, simpler life. Please pass it along to friends who could use this tips.

I have been doing some business planning and visioning lately. I've decided I want to focus on the 8 strategies for creating a saner, simpler life. Most of the women I have talked with lately complain of overwhelming schedules and time shortages. The next 8 newsletters will focus on the 8 strategies for creating a saner, simpler life:

  1. Personalized simplifying
  2. Deciding, choosing and planning
  3. Creating nurturing habits
  4. Making self-care a priority
  5. Designing supportive environments
  6. Paying attention
  7. Building connecting relationships
  8. Financial integrity


Getting Things Done: July 20! Join us for hourly challenges.

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." ~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993


Personalized Simplicity

"We are constantly called on to negotiate between the many and the one. We cannot be everywhere, we cannot be everything, indeed. But, we often drive ourselves crazy in the attempt." ~ Marlene A. Schiwy in her book Simple Days

Have you ever tried to simplify your life, only to find you gave up the things you love? Do you picture simple living as a house on a farm where you live off the land?

The reason I call it personalized simplicity is because no one can tell you how to simplify. Only you know what is important to you and your family. Only you know what you love and don't like. Any simplifying idea has to be thought through to make sure it is best for your family. And if you try it out and don't like it, experiment with a different idea.

Today's article is from my Simplicity Course.


Did you eliminate your 10 tolerations? If you did, start a new list and keep going until you are toleration-free.

Today is the last day of the simplicity e-course. We will build on yesterday’s lesson on finding out what matters to you. Once you find out what is important, you can eliminate those things, projects, and to do’s that that don’t add value to your life for you.


Is there any project you are working on that has no positive impact on your life? Get rid of it. Are there any crafts projects you started but didn’t finish and now aren’t interested in? Give them away. Do you have books on your shelf that you bought because someone told you should read them, but three years later the books sit on your shelf unread? Give them away.

Are you in the middle of planning yet another huge Christmas and you hate Christmas? Don’t do it. People may complain, but then they can do something about them. Let the person it means the most to, do it.


Is there anything you do too much of that does not enhance your life? For example, excess TV watching, talking on the phone, gossiping, complaining, and working overtime. Wean yourself off those excesses. You'll be amazed at the time you will get for important things.


Check your life for balance. Where is your life out of whack? Finances, health, friends, family, work, community, etc. How can you restore balance? Is there any area that you spend a lot more time at than you need to?


Drop things from your to do list. The 80/20 principle, says that 80% of your results, comes from 20% of what you do. So if you focus more on the 20% that yields results you can improve your life dramatically. Look into your life and see what is already working and apply those ideas to other areas of your life. For more examples on the 80/20 principle visit: http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/80-20principle.html


Are you involved in social groups, volunteer societies or professional organizations that don’t align with your goals and values? Quit them. Let go of obligations that just make you feel obligated. This is not easy. *This means taking responsibility for the choices you make regarding the use of your time and gently letting others no you won't be available.*


A big clue to think about when you are dropping things is if you use the word should. Should is almost always someone else talking. "You should always be nice." "You should always make your bed." "You should never sing outside." "Good moms should always cook big meals every night." Are your shoulds really your priority or someone else's?


“Apply the “choose life” principle to any questionable situation which confronts you. You’re tempted to have one more drink; choose life and have apple juice or water. You’re tempted to indulge in a piece of chocolate cake; choose life and eat fruit. You’re tempted to spend another hour watching TV; choose life and read the Bible. You’re tempted to attend another late-night meeting; choose life and spend time with your family.” –Lynn Morrissey

This idea of creating your life by dropping things that don’t fit your life and doing more of what you want to do, is difficult. You may have people annoyed with you. Your parents may be disappointed you aren’t doing things their way. But, if you are going to live the life that only you were meant to live, keep persisting. Continue asking yourself if you are doing the right thing for the moment.


Action Plan

Projects and things to let go of that no longer enhance my life.











Congratulations! You are on your way to a simpler life. Many of the lessons can be done in an ongoing way so peek back at past lessons to renew your goal of simplicity. Each time you go through this course, you will be closer and closer to a simpler life.

If you want a step by step plan to simplify your life, visit the Simplicity Course today.



How Much Joy Can You Stand?
Learn how to give your own creativity seminars



Self-Care Tips for July:

·         Take a break

·         Learn how to use a power tool

·         Take a meditative walk

·         Play Monopoly

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction."

~E.F. Schumacker


Relationship Ideas for July:

·         Invite a group of women over to write or journal

·         Create a field trip to go on with your kids

·         Practice patience

·         Sing together

"Live simply that others might simply live." ~Elizabeth Seaton


I encourage you this month to decide what you want, eliminate the nonessentials and enjoy the wonders around you.


Beth Dargis
The Encouraging Coach


A Note About My Recommendations: I provide links in this newsletter to products and services I am offering or I have personally found valuable. I have an affiliate agreement with some of the products I like. If you are ever disappointed with one of these recommendations, please let them and me know. If they don't make it right, I will.

Copyright (c) 2004 Beth Dargis, Zeeland, Michigan.  All rights reserved. Feel free to use these articles on your website and newsletters as long as the footer is included. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy or distribute this e-letter so long as this copyright notice and full information attributing Beth Dargis is attached.

To subscribe send a blank email to: encouragingwords-subscribe@topica.com

To unsubscribe send a blank email to: encouragingwords-unsubscribe@topica.com


PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis