Joining FORCEs Newsletter

Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Hereditary Cancer Info > FORCE Publications > Newsletter > Archives > Simplify Your Life: 5 Tips to Focus and Energize

Simplify Your Life: 5 Tips to Focus and Energize

by Fran Miller

Most of us pack too much into the day, cluttering our lives and exhausting our resources. Simplify, balance and improve your life with the following five strategies.

1. Keep it simple
Remove unnecessary clutter from your life. Eliminate undesirable items from your environment and avoid people who drain your energy or affect you negatively. Embrace a less-is-more attitude.

2. Reassess your to-do list
Strive to replace an exhausting, unfulfilling pace with a simplified schedule. Carrying over a perpetual to-do list from month to month is an energy drain. If you are always yearning for and anticipating the next activity, you may miss out on the joy of being in the moment.

3. Redefine your boundaries
Gain more peace by saying “no” to requests for which you don’t have the time, energy, or interest. Boundaries are healthy parameters that define personal needs and limitations; they facilitate clear communication and create reasonable expectations between you and other people.

4. Create a personal vision consistent with your priorities and values
Set personal priorities. Evaluate your activities and relationships with the following questions: Does it have a positive effect on my life? Is it consistent with my values? Does it help maintain my personal momentum?

5. Slow down and have fun
Create a simple plan with proactive steps for things you’ve always wanted to do. Prioritize activities to allow yourself to slow your pace. Schedule time to have fun each week and reflect on your experiences. Take the time you need to think clearly.

San Francisco-based life coach Fran Miller helps people simplify their lives and create changes to thrive while fulfilling their personal goals. Founder of Full Circle Fulfillment, Fran provides telephone seminars, one-to-one and group coaching, and life strategies and advocacy for people with chronic conditions.

Other Tools in the Coping Kit

by Kathy Steligo

Let’s face it: we live in hectic times. Fran’s advice to simplify our lives is something from which we can all benefit, but may be particularly helpful for the FORCE community.

In addition to the stress of so-called “normal” life, we worry whether we have a BRCA mutation (Will I develop cancer? Will I pass the mutation on to my children?). If we’re found to be BRCA positive, deciding what to do about it can be exceptionally draining (What option is best for me? How will I handle the side effects?). For too many of us, the anxiety of diagnosis and making treatment decisions can be debilitating. And as studies have shown, the younger you are, the tougher it is to handle these issues.

Stress wreaks havoc on our sleep patterns, our relationships, and our overall mental and physical well-being. So it pays to take the time to learn to slow down. Fran’s suggestions for simplification are a great beginning. There’s also exercise, meditation, support groups, volunteering, and many other methods of de-stressing to regain the control anxiety strips away. FORCE’s mission is to simplify your quest for answers by providing information, knowledge, support, friendship and peer counseling. Our goal is to provide services that bring comfort and respite to all who are concerned with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.


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