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There’s no way to completely eliminate petty annoyances, but you can cut back on the ones that happen over and over. What makes you repeatedly frantic? Make a list of these resentment and deal with each one with the same focus you would have for a project at the office.

Categories: Prevention

There’s no way to completely eliminate petty annoyances, but you can cut back on the ones that happen over and over. “No one ever tripped over Pike’s Peak,” my friend Mary Beth used to tell me. “It’s the little stuff that gets you.” She was right. When a serious problem arises, we mobilize our defenses.

Categories: Prevention

Have clean hair every day. Sit down for as many meals as possible. Floss. Sort the mail into answer, pay, and file stacks, and discard the rest. Read (or tell) the kids a bedtime story—even by phone if you have to be away.

Categories: Take Control

There are a variety of basic disciplines that can help you feel efficient, organized, and capable. Because there are so many circumstances over which we have no control, it is liberating to consciously take control of those we can do something about. That’s why making the bed every morning can be such an important habit.

Categories: Take Control

You certainly can do journal writing on a computer or in one of those lovely, cloth-bound blank books, but when you write in a 99¢ spiral notebook you’re more likely to do what you’re supposed to: just write. When people get fancier, they tend to worry about spelling, punctuation, and margins, which, in this context, don’t matter one whit.

Categories: Writing

The journal’s loftier function is in helping you sort through tangled feelings, work through dilemmas, and tap into inner resources that can be impeded when you’re racking your brain to figure something out. Getting your emotions down on paper can clear the blockages that impede creativity. It can also keep you from losing your temper or sinking into self-pity.

Categories: Writing

The key to a journal’s effectiveness is that you simply put pen to paper and see what you get. One of the most direct means for contacting the psyche is with a pen and paper. Writing helps you see through confusion and bring challenges down to conquerable size. It is an invaluable aid in creating a charmed life.

Categories: Writing