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One of the biggest barriers to simplicity is all of our loose ends.  I mean, when is the last time you went through your day without "100 things to do" floating around in your head?  Loose ends really get in the way of our simplicity and balance.  Most of us are so busy that an endless pile of unfinished business is just part of our everyday. But the problem with all that "in progress stuff" is that it weighs us down and makes our lives messier than they have to be.  Now, that is all fine and good to say, but really, what's a girl to do?  

Well, first of all, we need to take those loose ends seriously.  All the things we add to our lives that we shouldn't, all the things we procrastinate, end up being a pile of annoying clutter in our lives.  We are so used to loose ends, but what we need to do is remember is that we can teach ourselves to live without them.  When we take it seriously and really recognize that unfinished business isn't just life as usual, but a practice that harms the quality of our lives, we open the door to a simpler way to live.  

The next thing we can do to can tie up our loose ends is to stop thinking and start doing .  I don't know about you, but I have actually spent months talking or thinking about something "I have to get to."  The time and energy I spent avoiding it was ten times the energy it took to get the job done.  Yipes!  Changing your dialogue to "What task can I complete right now?"  is a great start.  Whenever you find yourself obsessing over your "to do" list, just stop yourself and create an action phrase, "What part of this can I finish right now?"  This is a great tool to alter our mindset from powerlessness and avoidance, to getting the job done. Try it, its simple and it can give you just the push you need to get the job done!

Third, we need to have less ends to tie up.   So many times we create problems for ourselves we don't need.  Case in point.  A few months age, I went to a wedding and I wanted to gift the couple a hand-made piece of art created just for them from an artist friend of mine.  That is so lovely, in theory.  Did I forget to ask my friend? Yes. Did I keep putting it off?  Yes.  Then when I asked her, did she absentmindedly forget?  Yes.  Is their one year anniversary coming up?  Yes.  Is my etiquette clock ticking?  Oh, yes.  Now mind you, at the wedding, a little voice in my head said, "Maria, just get them a gift certificate from their fabulous resort hotel reception site, so they can have dinner or something of their choosing, THAT IS ENOUGH."  Did I listen?  No, I wrote a beautiful card about this artwork, which has yet to be created....dare I say, 11 months later.  My point?  I am getting them a gift certificate from that very reception site for their anniversary, complete with some not-so-artsy, but beautiful words of my own.  I lost a lot of time in my head, a lot of peaceful free time, when a heartfelt card and generous gift certificate would have been just as appreciated.  So, I have (hopefully) learned my lesson.  Now, I try and think before I add new loose ends into my life. I remind myself things like, "It sounds nice, but is it worth the time and effort it will take to do?"  or, "You say you will do that, but will you really do that?"  

When we take our unfinished business seriously, when we decide to handle those loose ends with action instead of powerless statements and when we challenge ourselves to learn to accept fewer projects or create easier solutions for ourselves, we begin to move ourselves to a mindset of personal freedom and simplicity.  

Good luck, have a great week and *feel free to shoot me a question or column idea now and then. Feel free to sign up for my weekly e-letter [Link Removed] 

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