Coach Jen Simplify

Out with the Suckers!

This post originally appeared on Jen’s blog at

What does week #3 have to do with SUCKERS?

If you know me, you know I love sweets! Am I sending them to the curb? … Of course not!

Am I ousting some special people in my life? … No you lucky SUCKERS! :)

I am using the great amount of knowledge that I have accumulated in the past month or so from my gardening class to get rid of another type of sucker altogether.

If you are unaware (as I was just weeks ago), suckers are the:

“vigorous vertical growth coming from the roots or lower main stem of a plant. Suckers are generally considered an undesirable thing—you want the plant but you don’t want its suckers, because the latter sap the original plant’s energy and turn it into weak growth in the wrong place.” (4 Ways to Control Plant Suckers: Controlling Suckers to Keep Your Plants Healthy By Jonathan Landsman)

Now, what does this have to do with giving away 40 possessions in 40 days? Good question! Through a conversation with yet another wonderful friend, they mentioned to me that they were following my progress and felt the items I was getting rid of were not all that hard to part with. And they were right! But the, now 21, items that I have parted with are suckers in my life:

  • They vigorously grow! I accumulate things very quickly. I don’t mean to but: I pick one small thing up here and there and suddenly it adds up with many other little things that I have picked up along the way. My possessions vigorously grow! I’m guessing yours do too.
  • They sap the original plant’s energy! I think if you asked the plant, it would say that the sucker is just fine to stay there, but once you prune that sucker, or get rid of unneeded possessions we and the plant suddenly feel freedom and open space! We can put our energy into real growth and not just supporting the suckers.

For me, saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days is helping me to keep control over the vigorous growth of stuff in my life and is giving me a sense of real freedom everyday when I make the decision on what to part with.

Here is my low down for the week!

movie 1

Day #1: A fun movie, but I don’t need it!

movie 2

Day #2: Another great movie. Can you tell I raided the movie shelf this week?

nike flops

Day #3: My favorite Nike flip flops. My feet apparently have shrunk because they are HUGE on me. I could not even walk out to the trash can with them on.

drying rack

Day #4: This one was a tough one for me. I love my household tools and I have dried clothes on this puppy for years. Last year I expanded and got a portable clothes line that I can use outside, so this one was just taking up space. It felt great to have the space after it was gone!


Day #5: I used to buy journals on clearance so that I could give them to my coaching clients if they wanted them. These were a few I had left over, so it is time to pass them on as I had originally planned.

pebbles toy

Day #6: Pebbles, my sweet dog, contributed today! She could not even get her mouth around the toy. Good bye!

challenger tshirt

Day #7: This is a special t-shirt I got as a child when my family visited the space museum in Huntsville AL. The image on it is of the Space Shuttle Challenger which broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members on January 28, 1986. I have held onto it because it is so special, but now I want it to be in the hands of someone who will really appreciate it.

Goodbye 7 more possessions! Goodbye SUCKERS! Hello more space and freedom in my life and home!

Coach Jen Simplify

Obligation, Impulse and Security

Week Two! It’s getting very interesting! I have made it through 14 days of giving away one possession a day and I can see how this is going to continue to get more challenging as I go along.

My words for the week are OBLIGATION, SECURITY and IMPULSE. This week, I discovered that I have purchased things out of obligation, and at times, very impulsively. I have also found that I have held on to much of it for its sense of security.

I’ve made a conscious decision, saying goodbye to obligations, impulse and security. I have found great peace as I have placed items on my goodbye pile! Here is what I was able to part with this week.


Day #1: My friend Monica inspired me to get rid of a dress that has been collecting dust in my closet. I bought this dress a few years ago and only wore it once. I don’t even know if it fits me any more, but there was a sense of security I felt with having it in my closet. Once I took the step to remove it and add it to my goodbye pile, I felt a freeing feeling. It’s gone!


Day #2: I love having clear walls. Some may think that my walls are bare when they come to my house, but I just like them clean and clear. I find it refreshing. With that in mind, I took down three trivets (small plates that sit on the table or countertop on which you place hot serving dishes) that I bought at a home party years back, but never used other than for wall art. I do love home shows, but I have also found that I buy things out of obligation, not out of want or need. I say goodbye to the trivets and I think I have to say goodbye to home shows too. Goodbye!

wooden book

Day #3: Another book! This book is great and very inspiring. Why not pass it on so someone else can get inspired!


Day #4: In my continued pursuit to remove chemical cleaners from my home, I parted with a bag of different detergents now that I have found healthier alternatives.

love lang book

Day#5: A great book that is very useful for everyone. This is going to a good friend who is interested in serving her husband better and wants to find out what Love Language he has!

church book

Day#6: This book is going to the same friend as day #5. She is an amazing woman always serving others with a glad heart!

Day #7: Impulse buy! Last year I wanted a pair of comfortable sandals. I knew I did not LOVE these shoes, but I got them anyway. They are not cute and they are not comfortable. They are gone! I have felt guilty for buying these, so I held on to them. It was a mistake, and now it’s time to move on. Ahhhhh! (deep sigh)
Giving away one item a day does take a lot of work, but it is worth every moment.

Have you bought things or kept things out of Obligation? Security? or Impulse? We all do, but don’t let those mistakes continue to tie you down. Break the ties to those possessions and gain some freedom!

Until next week! Keep living your BEST!!!

Connect with Jen on her blog:

Coaching John Leadership Development Simplify

Rock Tumbler – What John’s favorite toy can teach us about life

When I was a little boy, one of my favorite toys was a rock tumbler polishing kit.

The kit included a mechanized tumbling drum, some starter rocks and a couple of pouches of different polishing grits. It looked just like this one:

rock tumbler

You took the rough and nasty looking rocks, added some water and then the polishing grit (most coarse first) and then let the rocks tumble for over 24 hours in a rotating drum that was louder than a diesel semi using the jake brake.  You’d pull out the rocks, clean off the grit and then repeat the process with an finer grit. This process would happen 4 or 5 times and at the end you’d have the is incredibly beautiful polished rock.

I believe that learning to focus on your dreams, striving to leave average behind, is a process a whole lot like rock tumbling.

Read more at John’s Blog:

Coach Jen Simplify

Week #1 of my “saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days”

Week number one of my “saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days” was a great success! Getting rid of seven items was not too hard. Here is what it looked like for me this week.

Vietnam Vet donation

Wednesday was the start of this great journey, and in order to start out on the right foot I gathered up all of the items I had already set aside to donate, called the Vietnam Veterans of America, and had them pick up two bags of goodies. Now I felt like I could start fresh.


Red sweater

Day #1: Wednesday I pulled a sweater out of my closet that I had not worn all winter. It’s one of those garments that had to be paired with just the right thing and it was way to high maintenance for me – it goes in the donation pile!

Read about the rest of the week’s items at Jen’s Blog: Click here to read more.

Coach Jen Simplify

Saying Goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days

I love my stuff! I love the things that I have purchased. They either have a wonderful usefulness to them or I simply love them and they fit my personality and style perfectly. I love my home and being surrounded by the things I love.

But I also love simplicity. I was raised with minimal possessions, even though we had plenty. But to this day, I still thrive when I have less stuff.

I am stuck between two worlds again! This seems to be a theme of mine lately. (I may want to pay attention to that!)

little boy

Starting Wednesday, March 5th, the Roman Catholic Church goes into a time of 40 days of preparation for Easter, and these 40 days are called Lent. I was raised Catholic and consider many of their rituals to be absolutely beautiful. One ritual that I was raised with was giving something up for those 40 days. As a child it was some sort of candy or sweets, but now that I am older, I ask myself each year if there is something I should give up during this time.

Catholic or not, I think that the idea of giving something up for a period of time has huge benefits. It certainly helps us to appreciate what we have in life a lot more.

A wonderful friend of mine mentioned a time that she heard a Benedictine Monk speak. Even though monks own a lot less than the average person, he shared the idea of giving away 40 possessions during the time of Lent. He said the first 20 days were pretty easy, but the last 20 days became very challenging. That is when true sacrifice had to be made.

My friend and I shook hands on it this past week. We have decided to give away 40 possession in the 40 days before Easter.

There are many reasons for doing this, but most important are:

  • I want to bless others during this time. I want to find items that others might love and pass it on to them.
  • I want to enjoy the wonderful side effect of clearing more clutter from my home.
  • I want to sacrifice. This is not something I have to do very often, but I believe it to be very healthy. As I get closer to Easter and the end of my 40 days, I want to be to the point where I am giving up things that I really love, so that I can pass them on to people who will love them as well.

If you want to follow my journey, I will keep you up to date on saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days through this blog as well as share other fun stuff too.

Do you have 40 items you could and should part with? Join me and my friend! Let me know that you have made the commitment and keep me up to date on how it is going!

 Follow Jen at her blog:

Coaching John Simplify

One quick step to free up 25 to 55 minutes each day and significantly lower stress

Two of the biggest complaints that my coaching clients have is that they are:

1. pressed for time and
2. stressed out.

I suspect that you’re suffering from the same pressures that they do…

One of the greatest tools of a good coach is questions. Questions allow the client to assess themselves and discover patterns of behavior that are holding them back from their dreams and making a difference in the world.

When I start to ask probing questions about their daily time blocking (what they routinely do every day):

I usually find one easy way to help them remove stress and reclaim between 25 and 55 minutes of their time – every day!

That’s up to 6 hours per week of time that can be used for their important personal development time! Can you imagine what you’d do with an extra 6 hours per week?

Time to change

Here it is in a nutshell, the simple process that you can apply to your life starting tonight.

Read more at John’s Blog:

Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts On “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 7

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!


Chapter 7 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Contribution

Well, we have made it to the end of our Minimalism book, but just the beginning of the journey! I love the definition that is given.

“Minimalism is a tool to eliminate life’s excess and focus on the essentials.”

Here is the fact. You can accomplish what you set your mind to accomplish! I have found that all the important things in life take time and energy, but you can do it!

Find someone to do it with! It is great to compare notes and especially successes! John and I are trying are hardest to remove excess and focus on the essentials. We would love to encourage you along the Journey!

Please keep in touch and let us know the big and little things you are doing to focus your life on the essentials!

Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 6 9/10/12

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

Thought Bubbles

Chapter 6 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Contribution

“The second type of positive experience – the positive experience you dislike – are the key to living a meaningful life. That is, finding ways to transform the positive experience you dislike into positive experiences you enjoy is the ticket to changing your life long-term. This one strategy is the ticket to long-term happiness, fulfillment, and a life with meaning.”

Have you noticed that so many of the challenging areas of our lives really come down to a challenge of the mind? When we change our mindset, so much more is possible. I love what the authors of minimalism describe above. To try to take something that is good, but is hard and change our perspective on it to make it a positive and allow for long-term change. A silly example of this in my life is that even though I lost 20lbs a few years ago, I simply could not get off the last few pounds. I have realized over time that I love prizes, so I created an incentive program of prizes for me as I lost the last few pounds. So when I was craving sour cherry balls I asked myself if it was worth it because I might not get my prize. Find what works for you! Change your mindset on something that you are challenged with today and work towards long term change!

Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 6 9/14/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

Peeking out of box

Chapter 6 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Contribution

“Whenever you start, you’ll need to start somewhere that’s a little out of your comfort zone if you’re not used to contributing in these ways.”

I love my comfort! Yeah, it’s great to help, but I still want to be comfortable. Well, I have found out that comfort is not all that it is cracked up to be. I just recently read a quote on Facebook by Donald Miller that made me think and motivated me. It was “The abundant life is not a comfortable life, it’s a meaningful life.” I have started to experience this first hand with starting a business. There is not a lot that is “comfortable” about it, but I have come to see that I have limited myself for years because I wanted to stay in my “comfortable box”. Contribution is the same! We have to step out of our comfort zone and into other’s lives to give them value or help with a need. How can you step out of your comfort zone today?

“…contributing beyond ourselves gave us a deep sense of satisfaction we didn’t experience from other aspects of our lives.”

Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 6 9/12/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

check out counter

Chapter 6 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Contribution

“If you’re constantly asking yourself How an I adding value? you’ll start getting some great answers. When you think in terms of adding value, you’ll start to notice that everything you do starts adding value in various ways. That’s because over time you’ll begin to weed out anything that doesn’t add value to your life or to other people’s lives.”

Contribution can be so many things, but what I have learned it the greatest way that I can make a difference in the world everyday is add value to people. But just like everything good, I have to be intentional about doing it. It is so easy to run to the grocery store and be in my own world, I have to remind myself to be about others. To smile, to say excuse me when I walk to front of someone trying to figure out what laundry detergent they need (since the seem to change the labels on a regular basis), allow others to go ahead of you when you walk up to the checkout at the same time, and thank the bagger and wish them a great day. I also note how it makes me feel when people that I don’t know make kind gestures towards me. You can’t go wrong with adding value to people! Lets be intentional about it today!