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Get Organized Now!
Mid-Week Mini Edition

By Maria Gracia
June 14, 2017

  Today's Feature

How I Get from Idea Stage to Make-it-Happen Stage

A few nights ago, I was teaching one of my Zumba classes and one of the attendees asked, 'Hey, why don't we gather up some people to Zumba-dance at the upcoming 4th of July parade?'

Every year, there is a huge 4th of July parade on Main Street where I live in Watertown, WI. To be perfectly honest with you, I've been so busy with work projects and family activities that I haven't even considered being part of the parade.

I thought to myself for a few minutes, 'Self...can you actually pull this together in a few weeks?' I grabbed a sheet of paper and pen to consider the possibility.

I titled it, 'Idea: Zumba in the 4th of July Parade'

Then I started interviewing myself, writing each question and answer down in a notebook.

Question 1: Am I really interested in doing this?
Answer: Yes, it would be fun.

Question 2: Do I have time to pull this all together in just a few weeks?
Answer: No, not if I take it all on by myself.

Question 3: Can I get help with the various TO DOs (vehicle(s), drivers, banner makers, decorations, water needs, etc.)?
Answer: Yes. (I posted a message to my Zumba Facebook Group just to be sure, and got excellent response.)

Question 4: Are there any equipment needs?
Answer: Yes. But the YMCA where I teach will help out with that (speaker, PA system, etc.), along with a truck.

Question 5: Can we learn new dance choreography in this short of a time span?
Answer: Probably not. Solution: Do a bunch of dances we already know from class.

Question 6: Do we have enough of folks interested to walk/dance in the parade?
Answer: Not sure. (I posted another message to Facebook. At least a dozen people responded YES immediately.)

I think you get the idea. Whenever you're trying to make a decision, it's important to 'interview' yourself, so to speak. Having the questions and answers in front of you, written or typed up, does a few things:

a) It helps you think better. Sometimes, when you're just thinking about something in your head, it can seem very overwhelming. Having it on paper makes the steps more visible.

b) It acts as a decision-making tool. You can even highlight all the 'pros' in green and all the 'cons' in yellow. In doing so, you can then address any of the yellow areas and determine if there are other possibilities or modifications to get those areas into the green-zone.

c) It helps you begin the planning stages if the 'idea' ends up turning into a 'project.'

With all of my initial questions answered and in the green zone, we can now begin a TO DO list to make this project happen.

This question/answer process works with any idea you have, from what type of new computer to buy, to whether or not you should RSVP yes or no for an event, to determining if changing careers is the right move for you.

Most of the time, jumping right into an idea without any thought, questions, or planning, ends up in endless hours of time and effort, lots of frustration for you and others, and disappointing results. On the other hand, interviewing yourself, and recording those questions and answers, is an excellent springboard for getting from the idea stage, to making it happen.

P.S. Speaking about making things happen, tons of my readers are THRILLED with something I mentioned last week and are using it to look and feel their very best. If you want to shed some pounds and trim up, but have been unsuccessful, discover the 3 mistakes that may actually be making your muscles saggy and packing on belly fat. Please visit this is my final reminder:

Scroll down to the bottom of this issue for full details.

  Fabulous Reader Tip

Planning ahead for traveling

Hello Maria! My name is Trish and I am from England. I have been following your website for a long time and love it. There is always something useful and new to learn and plenty to make me think about. I recently heard you on the Keeping You Organized were great.

I love the reader's tips and I have one of my own if you would find it useful?

Here in the UK, we do a lot of traveling by plane and have to take into account luggage weight. So a couple of months before we fly, I start putting aside half empty bottles and tubs of toiletries (e.g. shampoo, conditioner, shower wash, hairspray, body cream, etc.) I also take my toothbrushes, Scrunchies etc.

Then, on my holiday, I can use all my favorite brands and toss the empties away, which means I have the space to take any souvenirs home. I always ensure I have a new supply of everything at home ready to go. I hope someone finds my tip useful!

Best wishes

We're, once again, accepting Reader Tips and Ask Maria Questions for publication in this mini edition and our newsletter. Just reply and share with us!

  Ask Maria

What to Keep? What to Throw Out?

Reader Question

Hi Maria,

My question relates to what to keep and what to throw out. Like health. I go to the doctor, get three sheets of paper, and am not sure what to keep, and for how long? Or insurance for car/house, investment papers, etc. Thank you.

-- Barb

Response from Maria Gracia

Hi Barb,

So much for the paperless society, right? Somehow, we always seem to be the owners of yet another sheet of paper.

First, you might find my How Long Do I Really Need to Keep This article, located on my web site, helpful. For papers you get after a doctor visit, it kind of depends what it is. For example, you might get:

a) Numbers that are vital to your health, like cholesterol counts, blood pressure readings, and the like. If this information is important to you (like if the numbers are any cause for concern), I'd actually suggest you transfer this information to digital form, either entering it into an app on your phone or keeping it in a note taking program on your computer. If there is no cause for concern, shred it and recycle it.

b) A receipt for a co-pay. I would keep that so you can prove, to the insurance company if necessary, that you actually made a payment, in case there is any question you did, or if you're double billed. You may also need the paper if you're claiming that charge on your taxes...if you are, it's going to have to be kept with your tax paperwork. Of course, you can scan it, if you wish, eliminating the need to keep the physical paper.

c) Information about diet restrictions, steps you have to take to improve or maintain your health, or prescription information. If the diet restrictions, procedures, or prescriptions are temporary, you can pitch those papers after the time period that you must follow those guidelines is over. If they're permanent, they should be kept in a file folder in your filing cabinet for reference.

Some doctors, medical clinics, and hospitals these days, have gone paperless, and allow you to access any of your health records and further information online. But there has been a slow 'acceptance process' to make the switch. That being said, ask your doctor if a paperless plan is in place, or if there are any plans to go that route in the future. It's worth finding out. If you ever switch doctors, this may be one of the deciding factors of you choosing one clinic over another.

For property and liability policies, such as auto, home, umbrella, etc., you need to keep only the most current coverage summary page, called the 'declarations.'

For investment papers, according to Investment Junkie, 'Since most investment brokerage firms supply pretty-looking year-end summary statements - typically with more detail than you even need - you should generally keep your brokerage statements only until the end of the current year, when the annual statement arrives. Once it does, there'll be no need to retain monthly or quarterly statements. Be certain you reconcile the monthly or quarterly statements you received during the year with the annual summary. If all the information matches, you can feel free to destroy the short-term statements.'

Hope this helps a bit.


  New on our Web Site!

  In Closing

An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.
--Scott Belsky

I'd love to hear from you.
Comments, suggestions, or just to say hello. Just REPLY to this email with a short note.

And remember...Being organized creates a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life!


Maria Gracia
Get Organized Now!

This is the end of our
Regular Newsletter Content
If you'd like to learn more about
Today's Special, Gotta Have Resource
you will find that information below.

  Special 'Gotta Have' Resource

These 3 WORST exercise mistakes make you plump and squishy (instead of tight and toned)...

CrossFit, hot yoga, kettlebells, spin classes, high intensity interval training -- everywhere you look people 35 and over are thinking of new and exciting ways to re-capture their youth.

There's just one problem - they are STILL making the same 3 metabolism-damaging exercise mistakes. Visit:

A damaged metabolism ages you prematurely, drains you of energy and makes you fatter. PLUS, it puts you at a dramatically increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's.'

So please IMMEDIATELY stop making these 3 exercise mistakes below before it's too late.

Instead, consider the 'smart' alternative that's recently been developed. It's short, efficient and absolutely torches the most amount of fat in just 15 minutes, 3 times a week. More on that below...

1. Worst Exercise Mistake 1: This Adds Belly Fat...

When you want to burn more fat, it's as simple as working out longer, right? Wrong.

The longer you exercise, the more your body is under stress and the more the powerful stress hormone, cortisol, floods into your cells. Some cortisol is good to help you deal with stress, but too much is BAD.

Excess cortisol causes you to lose muscle from your upper body and store fat, especially in your mid-section and lower trunk. That turns women into a pear shape and makes men look like a swollen apple.

However, what's interesting is that with the right type of metabolic training, cortisol can actually be harnessed to become a VERY powerful fat burner and muscle toner as you'll see in a sec.

2. Worst Exercise Mistake 2: This Drives Sugar Cravings...

Most people exercise TOO hard, thinking harder is better. But that just sends your sugar and carb cravings through the roof, forcing you to think about donuts and pasts until you get a your sugar fix.

That sets up a VERY dangerous situation because there's no substance on the planet that's more damaging to your metabolism than sugar (and carbs that turn into sugar).

Sugar triggers a process called glycation, which coats your cells with a thick caramel-like substance. That prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting into your cells and damaging toxins from getting out.

That's like starving, choking and drowning your cells all at the same time.

Working out at the right intensity IS important. But as you'll see below, strategically RESTING during your workout is the #1 key to torching fat and toning muscle - WITHOUT damaging your metabolism.

3. Worst Exercise Mistake 3 - The Circus Workout...

Ever seen someone hop from one machine to the next, scurrying all over the gym or jumping all over their living room trying to imitate the 'insane' moves on the TV?

That's a circus workout. It's like exercise ADD -- they never focus on ONE THING long enough for it to stimulate their metabolism to burn fat and tone muscle. No wonder they don't get results.

The key is to focus JUST long enough on a particular exercise that it forces your body to respond... but also not TOO LONG that it triggers excess belly- fattening cortisol as we learned earlier.

It is like goldilocks. Not too much... not too little...but juuuust right.

When you hit this magic metabolic sweet spot, your body burns up large amounts of fat during the 2-3 days after your workout as your body recovers, repairs and prepares to be challenged again.

How to Avoid These 3 Mistakes and Hit the Metabolic Sweet Spot...

Fortunately, there's a new approach that avoids all these mistakes AND has 3 advantages:

It stimulates your metabolism to become MORE efficient, making you MUCH better at burning body fat for energy, instead of driving you to eat sugar and carbs... It's extremely fast, taking only 15 minutes, 3 times a week to get results. These 15 minutes are incredibly efficient as they stimulate your metabolism to burn fat for 2-3 days after... It triggers the release of powerful youth- enhancing hormones that give you a makeover from the inside out as your cells repair, rejuvenate and refresh your body AND brain...

The best part is how much this new approach FORCES you to rest. Strategically resting at the RIGHT time can dramatically ramp up fat burning, muscle toning and how quickly your body re-shapes.

This avoids the dangerous trap of pushing too hard, sending your cortisol levels through the roof, making your muscles saggy and packing on belly fat -- the opposite of what you want.

You can read more about it here:


P.S. - This new type of metabolic workout is something that anybody can do, at any age, regardless of their fitness level or health status. In fact research shows that the older, sicker and more overweight you are, the more fat-burning, muscle-shaping, anti-aging benefits you'll enjoy.

It takes only 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week and broken into 3 simple phases that systematically fires up your metabolism, one step at a time, until ultimately it becomes a raging fat-burning, muscle-shaping metabolic inferno.

How to Use This Newsletter

In this newsletter, you will find stories, ideas, inspiration, links and more to help you live a less stressful, more organized, more fulfilling life. We encourage you to apply these ideas to your own life AND share them liberally with your family, friends, and fan base via email, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, other social media outlets, and in person, of course!

When you share, please mention my name and web site - Maria Gracia - as the source.

Thank you for helping to spread the gift of organizing far and wide! -- Maria

(c) Copyright 2017 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now!

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-- Maria Gracia