Happy May everyone!  

It's hard to believe that we're already (almost) half way into 2016.  Yikes!  How are you doing on your 2016 goals?  I'm "ehhhh", but more on that later.  Anyway doe, even though we started April with a reminder not to let social media hand you a piping hot plate of "the sads", I tried to make it a point to take my own advice and focus on me, myself, and moi; AND the results were pretty inspiring.

First up, we were honored to participate in a pretty awesome #BetterForIt challenge with Nike Women x Nike Dallas at Social Mechanics here in Dallas.  And, even though I was sore for days...DAYS...D-A-Y-S, I really enjoyed meeting everyone who attended and making more local connections. Myself and some of my amazing ladies also made another appearance at the Dallas-based Kicks 101 Sneaker/Reselling Expo which was marked by an tremendous opportunity to team with Kicks101 and Villa Dallas for an awesome TheFotoBooth experience at our table.

The good vibes kept coming at Kicks101 as a familiar face, our homegirl Dalila Thomas, popped up at the expo with a camera crew in tow.  I had the opportunity to talk CNKDaily, our mission, and the idea behind SneakerHER Style with Dalila and we made it on the news! 

We added a new writer to the squad (Hi Ticara!) and she introduced her own new section - #WishListWednesdays - that gives us an inside look into the Wish Lists of some of our favorite sneaker-loving ladies.

Image: TicaraDevone

After taking a trip to NYC earlier this year, I shared two sneaks that definitely made my trek around the city that never sleeps 100x easier with a set of awesome shots captured right in the heart of Manhattan. And, finally, thanks to the bestie Brit I was invited to a brunch with a few ladies who helped remind me how important it is to shut up and listen. 

To be completely honest, I don't think any of these blessings would have manifested themselves they way they did had I not made a conscious decision to turn off the in-my-head negativity and turn on the self-love.  That said, since the beginning of April I've been kind of obsessed with spring cleaning.  Taking inventory of my closet, my shoes, my digital inbox, the papers I've been saving for God knows whatever reason, and all of the STUFF that fills my space in general resulted in a bit of an honesty hour moment:

I'm kind of a hoarder.

After giving away a tub of shoes, a few boxes of clothes, tossing old suitcases without the wheels (don't ask...please), and shredding a large plastic bin full of old documents (I'm still asking myself why I had tax returns from 2008....WHY!?!) I felt really proud of my space and of my ability to rid myself of things that I didn't need any longer.

Image: NBC/Friends

This month, I'm hoping to take my "Spring Clean Your Life" boost and apply it in other ways as well.  Chiefly and most importantly, I'm embracing the idea of a mental spring clean. A Spring Clean of my Mife (mind + life = Mife - I know I'm a geek. I know this.), if you will.

It's pretty safe to say that my life is a bit on the cluttered side.  Even though I've made a dent in the stuff department, I still have a number of things I've accumulated which I no longer use. I have a lot to do and no way to (seemingly) simplify my schedule, and sometimes I really feel like I'm wading through life with my head barely above water. 

I am in need of some decluttering in my mind. I know it and now you do too. So, how does one go about identifying and shedding the clutter? How do you start when you're facing a mountain of commitments and the to-do list from hell?

Luckily, after I noticed this need in January (!!!), I started to take action by committing myself to little behaviors, and the HOW has begun to reveal itself slowly, but surely: 

Start Simple.

Have I found complications that made things harder since I started this mental refresh early last month? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY.  But, I've also found that I'm starting to notice the triggers of my bad (and often cluttered) behavior and, if you're down, I’d like to share 3 things, briefly, in hopes that you’ll be inspired to start decluttering.

1.  Control of your commitments = control of your time.

Time is a commodity.  Anyone who truly understands its value won't waste it on things that will only derail their energy, nor will they allow themselves to waste the time of others.  I didn't fully grasp this truth until this year and, in an effort to better respect the time of others, I'm starting by really learning how to respect my own.  I've found, for me, that essential level of RESPECK starts with reducing my commitments and saying "no" to non-essential things throughout my day.   

How? I've been starting with making a list of important get-shit-done items in my to-do notebook.  I refuse to allow myself to list anything over a half a page (usually 5-6 things) and I am learning to say "no" to anything that wasn't previously scheduled for that day.  Unless super urgent in nature, I can't be distracted with every phone call or email.  Far too often, I've been guilty of ditching my to-do list for something that could have waited only to come back to my list with more to do because I didn't value the schedule I'd set for myself.

That laundry list of to-do items kept building and building because I didn't think enough of my time to guard it.  Now, while I'm flexible enough to know when something may need my immediate attention, I'm starting to recognize those small distractions that will throw my time in a tailspin.  Game of Thrones, sadly, is included in my "distractions" pile.

2. Assess Your NEEDS 

I'm really bad with needs vs. wants which is why it took me forever to finally toss a W-2 from 2008 and a handful of Forever 21 tops from the days when I was barely able to buy a drink.  I don't like feeling that familiar sense of panic - "What if I need this later?", "Maybe I'll find the perfect sneakers to go with this shirt.", "It's just a few old 1099s. YOU NEED THOSE."  

Welcome to my mind circus. 

Though I still have a few things I've yet to allow myself to part with (I just can't say goodbye to my patent leather Nike Blazers), this month I'm taking some advice from the folks at LifeHack and asking myself key questions: do you really need this? Do you use it regularly? Do you love it? If the answer to any of these is no, then recycle, donate, sell (more about this in a later post - yay!) or give it to someone who might want it. 

The same thing is applying to my work/life balance.  Do I NEED to do this today? Do I want to do this today? If it doesn't get done, will it affect someone else? I've really had to ask myself these questions lately (especially when it comes to the FitChicks content we bring you alongside FitXBrit) because I have a tendency to procrastinate and put off what NEEDS to be done in order to address less important things. That, my friends, is something I've recognized as a self-sabotage trigger.  I'm trying here, y'all.

3. Cluttered Mind, Cluttered Life

In April, I was blessed enough to stumble upon an article written by GG Renee, author and the beautiful wordsmith behind the AllTheManyLayers.com. In her article "Running On Empty? This Might Be Why", GG expands on something I'm all too familiar with: allowing myself to be driven by what others are doing and what I think they expect from me.

I get frustrated with myself sometimes for how slowly I move. But your pace does not define your motivation or your passion. The key is knowing what inspires you and generously giving it to yourself. Cultivate a creatively stimulating lifestyle.

Inspiration is what my solitude offers me and I know when I’m running low. So I protect it, I’ve stopped apologizing for it, and I accept that not everyone can get with it. When life gets hectic and demanding, practice finding a calm center inside of you.

It’s amazing how peaceful and energized you can feel when you stop letting yourself be driven by what other people are doing and what you think they expect from you.
— GG Renee

If you've ever been a blogger, you know the e-streets can be quite demanding and it can be easy to get sucked into the churn of always present information.  Because I run a small site virtually by myself, I can't afford to waste my energy trying to keep up with sites that are 10x bigger (with 100+ staffers) than I am.  And, in my attempt to keep up sometimes, I neglect the things I need to do (read: sleep) in favor of one more post, one last check off a to-do list that was way too long in the first place, and/or a trip to talk-too-much Twitter where one can lose a solid 2 hours doing nothing at all.

I am learning, slowly but surely, that I must offer my best work on my terms and know that people will enjoy it more than they'll enjoy half-assed posts and rushed delivery.  

Take that, clutter!

What are some of the ways you're learning to declutter your space and your life?  Please share below!

More #Chickspiration...