such a great page

By Leo Babauta

The tendency to put off difficult tasks that we don’t want to face is almost universal.

And it turns out, the moment of starting a task is often so much harder than actually doing the task.

Once we get started, there can be challenges (and we will want to switch to something else) … but if we can just start, then half the battle is already won.

So getting good at starting something tough can be a powerful skill to master.

Let’s talk about how to master it.

What Gets in the Way & How to Shift It

Why is it so hard to start? We feel uncertainty, fear, stress, overwhelm about the task. Or it makes us feel bad about ourselves, inadequate in some way.

It’s like opening a box that you know is goig to cause you pain — of course you’d put off opening the box! We want to protect ourselves from that kind of stress.

We can force ourselves to touch the electric fence, but that can only last for so long. We only want to put ourselves through so much pain before we start to question why we’re making ourselves suffer.

The opportunity is in finding a new way of seeing these tasks — instead of filled with overwhelm, stress and inadequacy … can we find a more powerful way of seeing the uncertainty of this task? Can it be an opportunity, an adventure, a playground, an expression of our art? Can it be a dance of joy, a powerful way to serve others with love?

Find that for yourself. What is the opportunity of this task? What would make it meaningful and joyful?

Connect to that before you start, and things will get easier.

How to Start

Once you’ve taken a look at how you’re viewing the task, and find a new way to view it … you’re ready to train yourself at starting!

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Pick a task that’s important/meaningful, but that you’ve been putting off. Usually it’s easy to find one. Look at your list, think about what you’ve been avoiding. Pick one, even if it’s a fairly random choice, it doesn’t matter.
  2. Find a way to make it meaningful & joyful. How can you view this task so that it serves others, that it’s an adventure or play, that it feels powerful opportunity? Even just a little bit is good. Connect to that.
  3. Shrink down the task. YOu don’t have to do the whole thing. Just a bit of it. For example, instead of having to write this whole blog post, I can focus on just writing the first few paragraphs. This will help lower resistance, because
  4. Clear everything away. Close your browser, disconnect your phone, close applications. Remove distractions. Give yourself the gift of simplicity.
  5. Dive in joyfully. You only need to start. You can work on staying with the task later. Just start! See it as a dance, a way to serve, a way to bring the full vitality of your being! Pour yourself in.

Appreciate this act of starting. It’s delicious and profound.

How to Practice the Art of the Start

An amazing way to practice this is to set yourself a challenge to do this once a day, 5 days a week, for a month.

By doing it just once a day, you’ll relieve yourself of the pressure of trying to do it all day long. You can be deliberate about it and find a way of viewing the task that feels powerful and joyful.

By doing it most days in the week, for a month, you will get better at it quickly.

Here are some additional tips:

  1. Keep a simple journal. Write down things that help and things that don’t help. Use it as a learning log.
  2. Do a short review every week. I recommend having people you report to, so that you’re sharing it with others, like an accountability group.
  3. Do it with others if it helps. That means you might meet someone on Zoom once a day where you each tackle the things that you’ve been putting off. It gives you the little push you need to start.
  4. Enjoy the practice! Don’t make this a sacrifice, another burden in your life. Make it a playful, joyful adventure. Something that feels meaningful and delicious.

I also highly recommend my Fearless Training Program, where we work on this together.

The post Getting Good at Just Starting a Difficult Task appeared first on zen habits.

Anything related to mindset is so important

Wooden blocks

(Image: snowing)

Sometimes, we may see others’ successes and feel discouraged. Like so-and-so just launched a book and it hit best seller lists. Or so-and-so launched a product and it achieved sold-out status.

So we set a high bar for ourselves and strive to do the same, if not better. We set high expectations on who we should be, what we should do, and push ourselves to do just that.

Except that it doesn’t always work out. It fails as we become weighed down by the enormity of our goal, and stressed by the need to do great things, we decide to do… nothing. Days turn into weeks, which turn into months, and nothing happens as we hold on tight to our grand goal, waiting for the perfect moment to set ourselves onto it.

In such cases, I have something to share with you: If you cannot do great things now, for whatever reason, then start by doing small things in a great way.[1]

This means, if your goal is to start your restaurant, then start by perfecting your recipes for your meals, right in your kitchen.

If your goal is to develop the next big app, then start by developing tools that people will use, that solves people’s pain points.

If your goal is to be a best-selling author, then start by refining your writing skills, through your daily writing, and researching to understand what makes others tick.

If your goal is to be a top YouTuber, then start by creating simple videos that convey your ideas well.

Whatever big goal you’ve been putting off, ask yourself: What is a small thing I can do well instead?

Because it’s so easy to overlook the small things in favor of that big goal we want to get to. Yet our results in the long-term are built on the little steps we take today.

  • An athlete wins the race because he has spent each day following his workout regime without fail.
  • A singer achieves her big break because she has performed many small gigs which helped hone her vocals and develop her onstage persona. Stefani Germanotta played gigs and performed in clubs throughout New York City before being discovered in 2007, later adopting the moniker Lady Gaga, winning 11 Grammys, and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music artists.[2]
  • An author publishes a best-selling book because he has spent years building his expertise and his writing skills. Malcolm Gladwell is an author who has published five The New York Times bestselling books, the first of which was The Tipping Point. Before he published his first book, he worked as a reporter for nine years, covering business and science, and later started at The New Yorker in 1996. There, he gained popularity with two articles, both written in 1996: “The Tipping Point” and “The Coolhunt,” which would become the basis for Gladwell’s first book, The Tipping Point, for which he received a $1 million advance.

    Gladwell said regarding his writing, “I was a basket case at the beginning, and I felt like an expert at the end. It took 10 years—exactly that long.”[3]

We are, in essence, not what we will do on some fine day, but what we do today.

While doing small things well today may not seem like a great deal, especially when we stack them up against our final big goal, a 1% improvement each day, done for 365 days, leads to a 37-times improvement.[4] As these small steps are taken each day, they eventually build up to an unstoppable, unshakable force.

But it starts by first committing to these small steps, and doing them well. It is not that grand big goal that you’re going to work on at some point in the future that matters. It is what you do now, today. These small steps determine what you eventually become.

So to you I ask: What small steps can you take today? And how can you do these small steps in a great way?

Read: The Power of Little Changes

Quick note: I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted anything new in so long. I’m still alive, just really busy being a full-time mom and caring for my household (my baby is almost two now!).

But I’m starting to introduce time back into my schedule for work, even if for just a little bit every few days, and I’m doing that by practicing the habit of doing small things great. I’ve also been busy updating old posts, recategorizing all the 700 articles (the topics page has been reorganized), and overhauling PE on the backend (the site, for example, is now much faster as I just changed servers).

I miss you guys and I hope to write more soon. ♥️

Footnotes[+]

Footnotes
1 Inspired by the quote “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way,” often attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.
2 Lady Gaga. Wikipedia.
3 Outliers: Malcolm Gladwell’s Success Story. Times magazine.
4 In 2009, the then-COO of Zappos, Alfred Lin, wrote about the power of 1% in an internal mailer to his staff. He said, “If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365. That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year.”

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anyone else like method as much as me

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

Join for free and receive upcoming articles, teachings, special announcements, and more.

The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.

I think stuff about self-improvement is fantastic who agrees?

One of the least fun things about being an adult is dealing with the dreaded feeling of the Sunday Scaries. You know, the feeling that you can’t fully enjoy Sunday knowing that you’ll have to go back to work on Monday? It can be a daunting experience and take away the joy of enjoying your Sunday.

7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

I for one want to savor my Sundays without having to think about work tasks I have to do for the upcoming week. But how do you get rid of that feeling without being a complete mess on Monday morning?

If all you can think about is work on your day off, I’m sharing 7 tips to help you make the most of Sunday to prepare for the week ahead. That way, the anticipation of Monday won’t take over your whole Sunday mood.

What are the Sunday Scaries?


If you work on Mondays as most of us do, your Sunday probably involves a nagging reminder in the back of your mind that you’ll have to deal with work the next day. This can be a daunting experience and makes Sunday feel like the least enjoyable day of the week.

That’s where the concept of the Sunday Scaries comes into play. Sunday Scaries can be defined as, “The feeling of dread knowing that Monday is going to be rough.”

Even though I’m self-employed, I still get the Sunday Scaries when I haven’t prepared myself for the week ahead. The thought of how many emails have accumulated over the weekend or the fact that I have to trudge through whatever I didn’t finish last week isn’t exactly a calming sentiment.

Though many of us deal with the Sunday Scaries, there are (luckily) ways to deal with them and make Sundays a little less overwhelming.

How to Deal with the Sunday Scaries


7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

There are a few key things I do to get prepared for the week on a Sunday evening. I don’t always do these things perfectly, but when I do them, I notice that my week goes a lot smoother. Here are the things that help me prepare for the week ahead:

1. Find the Cause of the Scaries

If you often find yourself dreading Mondays and getting anxious on Sunday night, it’s important to dig into where that feeling is coming from. Awareness is the most important thing when it comes to making changes in your life.

Can you figure out why you’re getting hit with the Sunday Scaries? What are you anticipating? Is it inbox-related? A certain task? The feeling that you didn’t get to make the most of the weekend? I recommend grabbing a journal and writing down some thoughts and ideas that come up around this topic. From there, you can brainstorm ways to make things easier for yourself.


2. Plan Your Schedule for the Week

I have a recurring task in Asana that reminds me every Sunday of what I need to do to prepare for the week. Having this automatic reminder means that I don’t forget to do these things. It includes things like:

  • review my calendar
  • identify projects and tasks to work on
  • plan my workouts and dinners

I take about 15-30 minutes to review my work projects and tasks for the week. I’ll plan when I’m going to work on each task and add this to my calendar. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll check my inbox to make sure I’m not hit by something on Monday morning.

I always write my to-do list the night before, so I’ll make sure I have a solid (and reasonable) plan for Monday. I recommend that you avoid cramming too much into your schedule on Mondays because it can make Mondays that much more daunting. It’s okay to do less if it means your to-do list is actually achievable.

Related: How To Plan Your Weekly Schedule For Success


3. Write a Brain Dump List

If there seems to be an infinite number of things to do for the upcoming week, I’ll write a brain dump list to get everything out of my head. Then I organize the list based on what’s important and what’s not. If you have trouble prioritizing your tasks, you can grab my free brain dump worksheet here.

Related Post: How To Declutter Your Mind With The Brain Dump Method


4. Plan Dinners

7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

There’s nothing worse than getting off work at the end of the day and realizing you have no brain-power left to figure out what to make for dinner. To help with that, I plan my dinners for the week ahead in Google Calendar. I try to build dinners around the different types of protein I have in the fridge (e.g. shrimp or veggie ground “meat”), and I’ll look up recipes based on those ingredients.

I’ll then add these as events in my calendar and paste the recipe link into the description of the event. This makes it super easy to find the recipe when it’s time to cook. From there, I’ll just slot the event into a day of the week that I think it’ll work best for. I only do this for 3-4 meals to keep some flexibility.


5. Plan Workouts

7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

For planning workouts, I do the same process as above. Lately, I’ve been following Sydney Cummings’ workout videos on YouTube (they’re free and INCREDIBLY high-quality) which means I can follow them in order (Day 1, Day 2, etc). I’ll add these to my calendar as events, and then add the video link in the event description. That way, I don’t have to go searching for the video when it comes time to do the workout.


6. Clean & Organize

I’ll be the first to admit that I hate cleaning, but I also can’t stand working when there’s a mess around me. I’ll take about 45 minutes on Sunday to clean my apartment, do laundry, water my plants, and put things back where they belong if they’ve somehow migrated to a random spot. I put on a fun playlist and try to knock it out as quickly as I can.

Related: My Sunday Routine: How I Prep for the Week


7. Relax & Unwind

I try to let myself truly relax for the last few hours before bed. I’ll take a bath, watch a show (without the distraction of my phone), put on a face mask, and read a book. 

Last year, I started going offline on Sundays, and I definitely think that’s helped me to start the new week on a good note. Getting away from social media for one whole day a week has done wonders for my mental state.

Related: Digital Detox: What I’ve Learned From Unplugging Once A Week


How do you deal with the Sunday Scaries?

I hope this post has given you some ideas to better deal with that dreaded Sunday feeling.  When it comes down to it, preparation is the key to dealing with the Sunday Scaries.

If you want to take action now, try adding a Sunday reminder in your calendar with a few tasks that will help you feel prepared for the week ahead.

The post 7 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

Thanks big method fan here

Wooden blocks

(Image: snowing)

Sometimes, we may see others’ successes and feel discouraged. Like so-and-so just launched a book and it hit best seller lists. Or so-and-so launched a product and it achieved sold-out status.

So we set a high bar for ourselves and strive to do the same, if not better. We set high expectations on who we should be, what we should do, and push ourselves to do just that.

Except that it doesn’t always work out. It fails as we become weighed down by the enormity of our goal, and stressed by the need to do great things, we decide to do… nothing. Days turn into weeks, which turn into months, and nothing happens as we hold on tight to our grand goal, waiting for the perfect moment to set ourselves onto it.

In such cases, I have something to share with you: If you cannot do great things now, for whatever reason, then start by doing small things in a great way.[1]

This means, if your goal is to start your restaurant, then start by perfecting your recipes for your meals, right in your kitchen.

If your goal is to develop the next big app, then start by developing tools that people will use, that solves people’s pain points.

If your goal is to be a best-selling author, then start by refining your writing skills, through your daily writing, and researching to understand what makes others tick.

If your goal is to be a top YouTuber, then start by creating simple videos that convey your ideas well.

Whatever big goal you’ve been putting off, ask yourself: What is a small thing I can do well instead?

Because it’s so easy to overlook the small things in favor of that big goal we want to get to. Yet our results in the long-term are built on the little steps we take today.

  • An athlete wins the race because he has spent each day following his workout regime without fail.
  • A singer achieves her big break because she has performed many small gigs which helped hone her vocals and develop her onstage persona. Stefani Germanotta played gigs and performed in clubs throughout New York City before being discovered in 2007, later adopting the moniker Lady Gaga, winning 11 Grammys, and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music artists.[2]
  • An author publishes a best-selling book because he has spent years building his expertise and his writing skills. Malcolm Gladwell is an author who has published five The New York Times bestselling books, the first of which was The Tipping Point. Before he published his first book, he worked as a reporter for nine years, covering business and science, and later started at The New Yorker in 1996. There, he gained popularity with two articles, both written in 1996: “The Tipping Point” and “The Coolhunt,” which would become the basis for Gladwell’s first book, The Tipping Point, for which he received a $1 million advance.

    Gladwell said regarding his writing, “I was a basket case at the beginning, and I felt like an expert at the end. It took 10 years—exactly that long.”[3]

We are, in essence, not what we will do on some fine day, but what we do today.

While doing small things well today may not seem like a great deal, especially when we stack them up against our final big goal, a 1% improvement each day, done for 365 days, leads to a 37-times improvement.[4] As these small steps are taken each day, they eventually build up to an unstoppable, unshakable force.

But it starts by first committing to these small steps, and doing them well. It is not that grand big goal that you’re going to work on at some point in the future that matters. It is what you do now, today. These small steps determine what you eventually become.

So to you I ask: What small steps can you take today? And how can you do these small steps in a great way?

Read: The Power of Little Changes

Quick note: I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted anything new in so long. I’m still alive, just really busy being a full-time mom and caring for my household (my baby is almost two now!).

But I’m starting to introduce time back into my schedule for work, even if for just a little bit every few days, and I’m doing that by practicing the habit of doing small things great. I’ve also been busy updating old posts, recategorizing all the 700 articles (the topics page has been reorganized), and overhauling PE on the backend (the site, for example, is now much faster as I just changed servers).

I miss you guys and I hope to write more soon. ♥️

Footnotes[+]

Footnotes
1 Inspired by the quote “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way,” often attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.
2 Lady Gaga. Wikipedia.
3 Outliers: Malcolm Gladwell’s Success Story. Times magazine.
4 In 2009, the then-COO of Zappos, Alfred Lin, wrote about the power of 1% in an internal mailer to his staff. He said, “If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365. That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year.”

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anyone like method as much as me

One of the least fun things about being an adult is dealing with the dreaded feeling of the Sunday Scaries. You know, the feeling that you can’t fully enjoy Sunday knowing that you’ll have to go back to work on Monday? It can be a daunting experience and take away the joy of enjoying your Sunday.

7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

I for one want to savor my Sundays without having to think about work tasks I have to do for the upcoming week. But how do you get rid of that feeling without being a complete mess on Monday morning?

If all you can think about is work on your day off, I’m sharing 7 tips to help you make the most of Sunday to prepare for the week ahead. That way, the anticipation of Monday won’t take over your whole Sunday mood.

What are the Sunday Scaries?


If you work on Mondays as most of us do, your Sunday probably involves a nagging reminder in the back of your mind that you’ll have to deal with work the next day. This can be a daunting experience and makes Sunday feel like the least enjoyable day of the week.

That’s where the concept of the Sunday Scaries comes into play. Sunday Scaries can be defined as, “The feeling of dread knowing that Monday is going to be rough.”

Even though I’m self-employed, I still get the Sunday Scaries when I haven’t prepared myself for the week ahead. The thought of how many emails have accumulated over the weekend or the fact that I have to trudge through whatever I didn’t finish last week isn’t exactly a calming sentiment.

Though many of us deal with the Sunday Scaries, there are (luckily) ways to deal with them and make Sundays a little less overwhelming.

How to Deal with the Sunday Scaries


7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

There are a few key things I do to get prepared for the week on a Sunday evening. I don’t always do these things perfectly, but when I do them, I notice that my week goes a lot smoother. Here are the things that help me prepare for the week ahead:

1. Find the Cause of the Scaries

If you often find yourself dreading Mondays and getting anxious on Sunday night, it’s important to dig into where that feeling is coming from. Awareness is the most important thing when it comes to making changes in your life.

Can you figure out why you’re getting hit with the Sunday Scaries? What are you anticipating? Is it inbox-related? A certain task? The feeling that you didn’t get to make the most of the weekend? I recommend grabbing a journal and writing down some thoughts and ideas that come up around this topic. From there, you can brainstorm ways to make things easier for yourself.


2. Plan Your Schedule for the Week

I have a recurring task in Asana that reminds me every Sunday of what I need to do to prepare for the week. Having this automatic reminder means that I don’t forget to do these things. It includes things like:

  • review my calendar
  • identify projects and tasks to work on
  • plan my workouts and dinners

I take about 15-30 minutes to review my work projects and tasks for the week. I’ll plan when I’m going to work on each task and add this to my calendar. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll check my inbox to make sure I’m not hit by something on Monday morning.

I always write my to-do list the night before, so I’ll make sure I have a solid (and reasonable) plan for Monday. I recommend that you avoid cramming too much into your schedule on Mondays because it can make Mondays that much more daunting. It’s okay to do less if it means your to-do list is actually achievable.

Related: How To Plan Your Weekly Schedule For Success


3. Write a Brain Dump List

If there seems to be an infinite number of things to do for the upcoming week, I’ll write a brain dump list to get everything out of my head. Then I organize the list based on what’s important and what’s not. If you have trouble prioritizing your tasks, you can grab my free brain dump worksheet here.

Related Post: How To Declutter Your Mind With The Brain Dump Method


4. Plan Dinners

7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

There’s nothing worse than getting off work at the end of the day and realizing you have no brain-power left to figure out what to make for dinner. To help with that, I plan my dinners for the week ahead in Google Calendar. I try to build dinners around the different types of protein I have in the fridge (e.g. shrimp or veggie ground “meat”), and I’ll look up recipes based on those ingredients.

I’ll then add these as events in my calendar and paste the recipe link into the description of the event. This makes it super easy to find the recipe when it’s time to cook. From there, I’ll just slot the event into a day of the week that I think it’ll work best for. I only do this for 3-4 meals to keep some flexibility.


5. Plan Workouts

7 ways to beat the Sunday Scaries

For planning workouts, I do the same process as above. Lately, I’ve been following Sydney Cummings’ workout videos on YouTube (they’re free and INCREDIBLY high-quality) which means I can follow them in order (Day 1, Day 2, etc). I’ll add these to my calendar as events, and then add the video link in the event description. That way, I don’t have to go searching for the video when it comes time to do the workout.


6. Clean & Organize

I’ll be the first to admit that I hate cleaning, but I also can’t stand working when there’s a mess around me. I’ll take about 45 minutes on Sunday to clean my apartment, do laundry, water my plants, and put things back where they belong if they’ve somehow migrated to a random spot. I put on a fun playlist and try to knock it out as quickly as I can.

Related: My Sunday Routine: How I Prep for the Week


7. Relax & Unwind

I try to let myself truly relax for the last few hours before bed. I’ll take a bath, watch a show (without the distraction of my phone), put on a face mask, and read a book. 

Last year, I started going offline on Sundays, and I definitely think that’s helped me to start the new week on a good note. Getting away from social media for one whole day a week has done wonders for my mental state.

Related: Digital Detox: What I’ve Learned From Unplugging Once A Week


How do you deal with the Sunday Scaries?

I hope this post has given you some ideas to better deal with that dreaded Sunday feeling.  When it comes down to it, preparation is the key to dealing with the Sunday Scaries.

If you want to take action now, try adding a Sunday reminder in your calendar with a few tasks that will help you feel prepared for the week ahead.

The post 7 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries appeared first on The Blissful Mind.