Nikki Crawford

Behavior Basics, part 1.

If only I could….

How many times have we uttered this phrase?

If only I could ______, then I would ______.

But then….we get overwhelmed by the scope of what’s ahead, don’t know where to begin, worry we won’t stay on track or maintain the change.

Something about February has hit me hard and challenged me to reflect on bones of this business and my mission to help you find more peace and self-compassion. To support you to finally get unstuck.

Let’s look the Basics of Behavior Change so you can create what you want. Over the next few weeks I’ll touch on each of the basic truths about how to change your behavior whether you want to create new healthy habits, deal with the clutter in your home, find a job you love, or learn to speak French. 

The first basic, is to Chunk It

Chunking is a term we use in education. Thirty years years of working with adults to change their behaviors and support kids to do the same, taught me the power of chunking.

When you breakdown the bigger task or project into small, doable steps you can make change. Research tells us that 25 minute sessions are an effective way to deal with these small chunks. 

Whether it’s dealing with your physical clutter, getting your calendar under control or learning to play the guitar… the point is to stay engaged with the activity for 25 minutes at a time with short breaks between sessions. 

This changes the way we see a project…instead of an entire mountain we expect to climb in one big step, we see it's step after step...chunk after chunk.

Working in 25 minute sessions, with the focus on the next, small chunk makes behavior change soooo much easier. Loads of people I’ve worked with have found scheduling their work in 25 minute chunks to be a total game changer! The most common comments:
“When I see the project in small chunks instead of the whole thing, I can get started.”
“I can almost anything for 25 minutes at a time." 

Of course, one 25 minute session won’t likely complete your project, but multiple 25 minute sessions, over time, will. You will get the basement cleaned out. You will complete your taxes. You will feel the benefits of healthy eating.

It’s powerful to realize you can deal with whatever comes your way by breaking it down into small, doable chunks.

You can create the life you want, 25 minutes at a time.

Stay Tuned! 
The next basic of behavior change is figuring out where to actually begin your project...I will talk about this in my next video.

Sometimes we get attached to things.

Image 1-29-19 at 3.31 PM.jpg

The lemons.

I have been carting these lemons around the house. When I go to bed, they sit on my nightstand. When I work in my office, they are near. When we eat a meal, the bowl is on the table. An amulet of sorts to ward off the cold, snowy winds. I picked these two lemons from a tree in Palm Springs last week, and I've become unreasonable attached to them. They remind me of the warm sun, playing in the pool with Sugar Bear and laughing with a dear, old friend. I get that these memories are in my mind, not the lemons. I know even when the bowl is empty, I'll still have the memories of our trip. But for now, I want the lemons nearby. 

Maybe you have a similar relationship with your grandfather's bowling trophies, a tea cup from your aunt or a dining room set from your parents. We look at these memory triggering possessions and feel attached to them, as though they carry the love and connections we miss. 

Just to say, it's okay to keep things that trigger sweet memories as long as you have room for them and they don't add stress to your life. Also note that having more items from your grandmother will not keep you more connected to her, a few lovely things, sitting out where you can appreciate them, will do the trick. 

Everything in your home should make your life a little better in some way. So, enjoy your things that prompt sweet feelings and let go of those that don't.

Time together, not material gifts deepen connections.

IMG_3758.JPG

We know our connections with each other are more important than stuff, but this time of year many of us give material gifts as a way to show love.

But come to find out, giving material gifts isn't the best way to deepen our connections with each other. 

This is worth repeating....in a 2017 Harris Poll survey found nearly 7 in 10 Americans said they would skip exchanging gifts this holiday season if their friends and family agreed to it. 

AND 60% said they would spend more time with friends and family if they didn't have to worry about gifts.

Our brains are wired to value experiences with others, especially if they are emotionally powerful. Fun and interesting time together like seeing a concert or a day at the zoo are actually better than material gifts at deepening our connections. 

Experiences with a lot of emotion are more easily stored in our long term memory. This means we can recall them and enjoy the experience again and again…the gift that keeps giving. 

Research supports that experiential gifts are more effective than material gifts at improving relationships from the recipient's perspective. If you want to deepen your connection with someone, consider a gift of doing something together.

FYI- Friday morning around 9:00 I'll be having this very conversation with the friendly anchors at Kansas City's Fox 4.

Another Kind of Gift.

Client: "Do you know what I want from my husband for Christmas?"

Me: Ummm, no.

Client: "Our time together has been so helpful that I want my husband to give me your 6-Month Laser Coaching Package so we can continue our work together."

Well, that's about the sweetest thing I've ever heard...for a girl who's whole purpose for being alive is to be helpful, this feels like a big, warm affirmation hug! A true, true gift for me.

I am gathering my watercolors to create a magical little gift card especially for this woman...I might even get out the glitter. 

Trimming $100 off the 6-Month Laser Coaching package (Reg. $897) until Dec. 24th to make it easier to say YES to yourself this season! (If you want a hand made gift card, let me know by the 19th so it will arrive in time.)

If you're looking for the gift of creating an expansive life focused on doing more of what you want and letting go of what you don't, click here and send me a message.

The Magic of Loving What's Good for You-3.jpg

Let Peace On Earth Begin with You

2017 Harris Poll survey

2017 Harris Poll survey

For most of us, the holidays are a sweet time to revisit traditions that connect us to our home, families, friends and spiritual practices.

At a deep level we know these connections can increase our sense of well-being

But often, we also experience the stress that comes with weeks of shopping for perfect gifts and brace ourselves for the influx of stuff into our already full house.

The research is clear, although our consumption of material goods has doubled in the past 50 years, our happiness levels have flatlined.
 

Here’s an interesting bit of info…in a 2017 Harris Poll survey found nearly 7 in 10 Americans said they would skip exchanging gifts this holiday season if their friends and family agreed to it. 

Did you catch that? Of the 10 sitting around the holiday table, 7 of us would have been all too happy to skip spending time and money on buying gifts.

AND 60% said they would spend more time with friends and family if they didn't have to worry about gifts.

Spending more time with family and friends…a solid alternative to lonely, late night online shopping and crowded malls.

So instead, here are ideas to help you spend time together:

1. Togetherness. Together, research and choose one of the micro loaning non-profits such as kiva.org to support small businesses throughout the world.  
 

2. Find a Good Cause. For those who have everything, check CharityNavigator.org to find a highly rated charity that supports a cause this person is passionate about. Check out local shelters for those who are homeless or offer food to those who are food insecure.

In Kansas City? Don’t forget about our local harvesters.org a community food network; they are happy to have monetary donations and hands-on help.


3. Plan Family Nights. Gather around the kitchen table and create a monthly family night for the year. Maybe a movie night, visit a new restaurant, library event, live theater, local and regional state parks, bike ride to breakfast, streetcar ride or city tour, museum visit, volunteer work, art class, or a family cooking class. Most cities are full of amazing opportunities.

Start a conversation NOW to explore how to create new traditions focused on using your energy to create experiences together.

This new way of living through the holidays may be just the connection and relief and you are looking for. This year, peace on earth can begin with you.
 

Happy Holidays! 

Nikki

Our things, aren't THE thing


We’re looking for something…

We’re looking for something…


And yet it seems that's what I expected. The new cute coat, big house or upgraded I-Phone would fill a longing...make me feel like enough. 

But bless me for trying. It's understandable that I got confused since my brain delivered a bump of feel-good dopamine when I purchased something. And bravo to the sophisticated marketing gurus who have spent the past 70 years getting better and better at convincing us that things make us whole, beautiful, popular, acceptable, trendy, even lovable.  

We have been conditioned to look to things to make us feel safe, peaceful and content. For those who see behind the curtain, it's clear that we are looking in the wrong place. 

A world of stuff will never be able to fill that space of wondering what we're doing here. What our purpose is. How to feel content, peaceful and a sense of enough...the existential puzzle of life.

I've looked in the wrong places plenty of times, accumulating things that can't possibly fill that space. 

Now that I can see the things aren't the thing, I buy less and let go of more. I spend time being quiet in order to hear the next easy, step forward.

What's emerging is more self-acceptance, gratitude, love and deep desire to be helpful. 

What's a way forward for you? What can you let go of? What can you do do more of? Where is your true refuge?

If you would like help discovering your way forward, please click here to contact me.

I feel grateful to have you there...I appreciate your attention and desire to understand.

Thank you ever so much,
Nikki

Easy Listening...Radiate Peace


Earlier this fall I joined Christi Clemons Hoffman, owner of Radiate Wellness for a chat about how letting go of clutter helps us radiate peace.

Show notes:
11:44: You can actually choose which thoughts to believe.

14:45: Feeling overwhelmed?

15:00: Stress hormones and clutter.

17:14: Why we get attached to things. 

19:13: The confidence and bravery that comes from facing what you're afraid to face.

28:45: Fearful thoughts can't actually stop you from doing anything.

34:42: We're all holding on to something

I would love to hear your thoughts about the podcast...what was helpful, what would you like me to explore further

Honey...the kid's don't want our stuff!

0504.jpg

I'll be on Fox 4 in Kansas City the morning of November 8th around 9:00 am to address one of the conundrums I hear regularly..."my parents want to give me their stuff, but I don't want it." 

The early Baby Boomers have entered 70s and are downsizing or moving to assisted living which means there is stuff to get rid of. So what are they doing with the house-full of possessions they’ve curated over the past 50 years?

Many of these folks want to give their things to their adult children who often don’t want it or have space for it. These Items include oak dining room sets, china, crystal, silver, and collectables, none of which are highly valued by the next generation. 

What accounts for this generational difference in values?

In the past these items signaled to friends and family that you had arrived…which was heavily promoted by increased sophistication in marketing and new ways to access credit beginning in the late 1940s. Sometime In the 2000s we started on a more minimalist trend.

Although we still consume plenty, we're not interested in the kinds of furniture and household goods our parents have collected. With easy and cheap access to manufactured goods, we buy what we want without waiting to get the dining room set from our parents. 

Additionally, with many more women in the workforce "homemaking" no longer includes using dishes that can't be put in the dishwasher, silver that needs to be polished or collectable plates that must be dusted. Our priorities have shifted...what we value has shifted. 

What kinds of problems are caused by these shifts?

Because this is the first time in our history there is a kink in this chain of passing down stuff, both parents and adult children are struggling. Aging parents may feel hurt when kids don’t want the items and children may feel a sense of obligation to take things they don’t want and won’t use.

What are some ideas to make this process easier for both parties?

Start the conversation now, before a health or financial crises forces a quick resolution. For many, sorting through possessions feels like a life review; you don’t want to rush this process if you don’t have to.

Consider getting outside support from someone like me. Tomorrow I am meeting with an elderly couple and their adult daughter to have this very conversation.

Or borrow and idea from my own creative mother...a table in the garage with things she is ready to pass on. When we are home to visit, we take what we want and leave the rest, guilt free. 

Please reach out with questions, thanks! Nikki

Feeling stuck is normal...staying stuck is optional

town-sign-1865304_1920.jpg

Let me say it again...staying stuck is optional.

Bold statement...maybe. I am in this world to help you create an amazing life, sometimes that requires bold statements

For those of you who have struggled with clutter for a long time, another magazine, book or workshop that doesn't offer support for practice is probably not going to get you unstuck. 

The key is supported implementation...not more information. 

If you're serious about moving forward, creating a life you love, here are 3 easy ways to begin. 

1. Register here for the 14 Day Clutter CleanseI am offering along with Tina Sprinkle owner of Pilates 1901...an amazing woman focused on helping the rest of us feel amazing. This Cleanse will give you an opportunity to actually put in action the strategies I teach. I will support you during this Cleanse via email, text and a private Facebook group, so open to you no matter where in the world you live. This decluttering festival runs from Oct. 22-Nov. 4th.

Save $20 and sign up by Oct. 21st to get the early bird rate of $79.

2. Click here to send me an email to reserve a spot for the Cost of Clutter workshop on Oct. 20th from noon-1:00 at Pilates 1901, 1901 West 43rd Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66103. (This will be good fun, but remember, if you've been stuck in your clutter for a long time, it's likely you'll need more than this workshop to actually create change.)

3. Click on this link to schedule a complimentary chat so we can discover how to get you unstuck and even unstoppable!

You get to choose...stay stuck or take a small but bold step forward. Let me know what I can do to help.

Much love,
Nikki