Ep. 77: Change the Environment

by | Jan 11, 2022 | Intentional Living

Ep. 77: Change the Environment 1

Hey friend, welcome to the Rich Living on Less Podcast. I’m Amberlee Rich. Yes. You heard me, right. I’m Mrs. Rich. If you are wanting to have a more intentional life and improve your finances, you’re in the right place. I’ll be giving you my best tips and resources that helped us get out of debt and be more present in. I’m committed to helping you ditch survival mode and walk in the abundance and freedom found in Christ. I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s dive in.

Hey friend, welcome to today’s show. Last week we talked about your mindset. What is something that you believe about yourself that you don’t like, something that you want to change and shift this year?

And today we’re gonna talk about your environment.

How can your environment support the identity you want to have?

A lot of times we think our environment is something that we really can’t control. It’s something that is out of our hands, in some cases that’s true. But in a lot of cases, we actually can change the environment that we live in to help us do the things we want to do.

I’ve been talking a lot about James Clear, he’s the author of “Atomic Habits.” And one of the things that he says, this is a quote from him. He says:

“You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.”

James Clear

One of the things that James and I recently did was we wanted to become the architect, our environment, and one of the environments that was really nagging at us was our bedroom.

Maybe your bedroom is one of those places that is just the bottom of the barrel. It’s like the last thing on your list. We’ve been doing a lot of, home renovations. We had a big flood last year and we had a complete redo of our main living spaces and we just redid and updated a lot of areas. But the last on our list was our bedroom.

And I think that a lot of times especially as moms, we just typically don’t take care of ourselves. We do everything else for everyone else. And we’ve we just try to make things happen. And just let it work itself out. And for me, our, our bedroom became this, this dumping ground. It was like this place where we would have unfinished projects would just live in our bedroom.

The things we didn’t want our kids to to touch like our e-bike batteries. We didn’t have a place to hold them and a place that would be safe. So we had it in our bedroom. It’d be like on the floor with all the cords and it just looked like blooahk. And I just felt like this was just a dumping ground and never looked nice. We didn’t have a home for so many different things. It was just like the catchall for all the random stuff.

It wasn’t this place that I would go to, to think like, oh, we just have this tranquil sanctuary that we, that we go to bed and every night. It didn’t feel like that at all.

And so James and I just started brainstorming, what do we want our bedroom to look like? Because right now this is not something that we are enjoying.

And so we just went through and looked at pictures on, on Pinterest and, and saw just different ideas that would just set us up for a place that we would want to go and relax and get better sleep in.

So, we decided to find a home for all those little things that were just taking up space. I realized that those e-bike batteries need a place to go. So we ended up being able to get a dresser that was stored at my parents’ house. And it was from my great-grandmother was one that was passed down from generation to generation and it’s like a mid- century modern and it really goes with the theme of our bedroom. And so now we have a home for all those little things that we, we didn’t have a place for and it looks really beautiful.

And we looked at the paint color that we had before, the people that own the house beforehand. They had like all kinds of stuff on their walls and they, they filled in holes and tried to repaint, but it was like a different sheen and it just looked bad all over.

And we just neglected it. And the, the ceiling wasn’t a pure white, it was like the same color as the wall. And so it’s just like, we need to just do a total redo. So we ended up choosing a white. And painting the ceiling. And the walls except for our back wall is it is a deep blue. And so we’ve, we painted that. And then we had a ceiling fan that was original to the house and it was so wobbly we ended up having to put photos. And we had our Costco card and like a bunch of different pieces of paper to stabilize it so it would make less noise.

This was something we would just lay down in bed and look up at and I was like, this is not something that is nice. And so we searched, it was probably over a month of looking for a ceiling fan that we actually loved.

And a previous episode, I don’t even know which one it was james and I talked about the process of purchasing that ceiling fan. I, I was almost convinced of getting one that was kind of okay. Just because it was cheap. We could live with it for a few years instead of finding something that I love, that I enjoy seeing. And, we ended up finding one.

To this day, I typically tell James, I love the ceiling fan probably several times a week. I just love it cause I laid down and I look at it more than any other thing in our house. Those little things make a difference.

And one of the things we also noticed with looking at pictures on Pinterest of, of what we like in a bedroom is having a real plant in it.

I had a plant it’s a Swiss cheese plant. It’s a Monstera and it was just getting out of hand. It was really big in our living area and it was just taking up like a whole corner.

Since we took so much out of our bedroom, we were able to move that plant into our bedroom.

Which looks great. I’m like, wow. I love this plant in here. I love it. And it also has made me open up the blinds.

When you change your environment, it changes little things about your life.

And one of the things that I’ve started doing is in the mornings I open up our blinds every day, which I never opened up our blinds before. They’re like the blackout curtain ones. And it’s completely dark in our bedroom.

But now I have this plant that I know if I have the blinds down, it’s going to die because there’s no sunlight. Doing one little thing, by moving the plant into the bedroom changing up our environment now has me open up the blinds every day. And now there’s all this natural light coming in. And I am shocked at how nice our bedroom looks because it’s open and airy and there’s light shining through. It’s crazy just doing one little thing about your environment, how it has this ripple effect and it changes things.

You don’t have to go and change your room completely and do a complete makeover, little things like maybe putting a plant in a room can change the environment.

So I want you to just think about your environment right now. Your environment matters. And a lot of times the thing that really feels out of place is having clutter and it just makes us feel anxious. There’s scientific data showing this.

Our environment changes the way we live our lives.

I know for me when my kitchen is clean. I feel so much more relaxed. I feel like I will cook a better meal than when it is just a complete dumping ground. And you probably realized that too. When things are put in place, it changes your attitude and your perspective.

We wanted to, to make our bedroom beautiful and that changed our environment. We now have this pride in our room where we want to keep it clean. Before I just felt like it’s nothing special. It’s nothing that I am proud of.

But now I feel like if there’s something out of place, I want to fix it because I want it to look the way that we planned it.

When we start being that architect of our environment, we start changing things up and making things look the way we want so that way we can have the life we want.

Here’s some more examples. It’s not just rooms in your home. It could be your fridge. Think about the food that you have in your fridge, in your pantry, your freezer. That is an example of your environment. If it’s full of fresh produce, healthy snacks. You’re going to most likely eat good food for you. But if it’s filled with processed stuff like TV dinners, frozen pizzas, hot dogs, whatever. Those are the things that you’re going to eat.

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, you need to change your environment.

A couple of years ago, my husband ended up going on a really big, shift in his diet and, We did the AIP diet. He has a lot of food allergies and that’s auto-immune protocol. And like you’re doing no sugars, no grains, no dairy no night shades, pretty much no to everything.

And one of the things that we did is we just went through our entire pantry and we just boxed up all the food that was not okay.

When you have those things out, it’s a lot easier to just go and snack and get the things that are easy. And so we took all of the “no” foods and we just put them away for several months. And that changed our environment because then those things that we cling on to and eat that we shouldn’t we’re not accessible.

What could you do about your environment if your pantry and your food in your home is not supporting what you want.

Here’s another one think about your focus in your living spaces.

If your TV is in the center of your room, you’re going to when you have free time watch TV, but if your fireplace is there, and there isn’t a TV accessible, it changes what you do on a nightly basis.

An example from our own lives, we have not had a TV in our house for a long time. I have an episode about living a year without having a TV. I didn’t watch anything on TV for a full year and it was amazing and hard and very interesting. So that’s definitely something to listen to. I’ll put it in the show notes.

But one of the things that we’ve tried to do is limit our TV watching as a family. We try to have that be something that we don’t do on a daily basis or something that is just like an easy babysitter with our kids.

And so what we’ve done is we’ve tried to make this hard, intentionally making our environment challenging to do this.

We don’t have a TV. We do have a projector. So we’ve had a projector for probably half a year. And what we’ve done is we don’t have the projector set out and ready to be used at any given moment.

That dresser, that mid-century modern one, I talked about that’s in our bedroom holds our projector, the stand, everything we have to put together.

It is a process to go and put it together. It’s not like, oh, you can just turn on the switch and make it easy. We are actually trying to make our environment harder. So we have to go and set it up. We have to really know that like, Hey, we actually are going to be watching.

Because we have to go set this up and we have to take it down. It’s not an easy thing.

We made some of it just really challenging, so that way, when we come to our living room, we don’t have the TV on. When we have people over, we don’t have a TV going and watching football games or whatever, because it’s not accessible. We don’t have it available.

We play games more as a family, we do other things then watch TV as a family.

Ep. 77: Change the Environment 4

When we do want to watch TV. We make it like an event. We pop popcorn, we set up the projector and it is actually a thing that we’re doing.

What are some examples may from your own life that you can think of that are setting you up for success or things that are in your environment that are setting you up to fail?

Here’s another quote from James Clear. It’s just really interesting. He said:

“When scientists analyze people who appear to have tremendous self control, it turns out those individuals aren’t all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, disciplined people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control, in other words, they spend less time in tempting situations.”

James Clear

So really what they’re doing is they are changing their environment to make it easier to have self-control.

You don’t have to have self-control on eating sweets, if you don’t have any sweets in your house. You’re just eliminating that decision. If you are trying to not watch as much TV. Not having a TV makes it really hard to watch it. What can you do to set you up for success?

I want you to think about what changes can you make in your environment to set you up to reach the goals that you want to have?

If you want to have more family time this year. What things in your environment can set you up for success and what things are holding you back.

Maybe it is having a TV. Maybe it’s not having a dining room table where you sit down and eat meals.

What are some things that you can change in your environment to help you slow down?

These are some things that we do to set up our environment, to slow down and to enjoy each other. One of them is lighting a candle when we sit down and eat dinner.

I don’t know how it works, but it just slows us down. Especially, like in the winter months like we’re dealing with right now. It’s nice having this tranquil fire. That’s just right there. And it helps us to have deeper conversations.

We have on our table a question boxes to call table talks. I think. We open it up and it has questions like, “what’s your favorite type of pizza?” It brings us together and it gives us examples and ideas that we don’t have to really think about that sets us up for success in our environment because it’s just sitting there ready for us.

Even for cooking, I like to light a candle while I’m cooking dinner. I don’t do that every day, but when I really want to make something that’s nicer and that’s more slow. I enjoy the process more when I have a candle lit. It makes the environment just nicer or listening to music when washing dishes, it makes doing dishes a lot more enjoyable.

There’s different things you can do to make your environment a better place, something that you enjoy.

There’s different things like for homeschooling we do it at our kitchen table. Most of the homeschooling has done there.

When we eat lunch together, I noticed that the kids take so much longer to eat than all of us. James is the fastest. Then I come in second and then the kids are very, very much behind.

And I don’t know if your kids are that way as well. A lot of times I am just like, oh, I should just start putting things away and getting everything else done that I need to.

But instead of doing that, I’ve realized that this is an environment that they’re taking a long time sitting here. I have a captive audience, so I started bringing books.

And I go and I read to the kids after I finished eating the meal. And I read to them for 20 to 30 minutes and I’ve incorporated that into our homeschooling.

And so they’re getting more reading time in and they are eating and I’m doing two things at once and it’s really helping our family.

And it’s bringing them together at the table and I want mealtime to be something that is relaxed and important and something that brings us together and reading to them at lunchtime has really worked.

Maybe the things that are annoying you, like my kids taking forever to eat their meal, figuring out, how can I use this thing in our environment to make it actually be something that I enjoy and that works for both of us.

Come up with some ideas of the things that you’re wanting to do in your life. What are some of the goals that you have? How can you set up your environment to help you?

Then I also want you to look at what things in your environment do you need to change to make things harder for you.

If you make things that you don’t want to do easy, it makes it easy for you to continue doing those bad habits.

How can you change your environment to work for you and not against you?

One last thing that I want to bring up. We are doing the Debt Dump Challenge right now. We’re one day in.

If you’re not in already, you can still be part of it and you can listen to yesterdays lesson.

This is such a great opportunity for you to start changing your environment, changing your identity, your mindset on how you spend money.

What we’re talking about changing your environment is not just about your home, like how you were spending money your environment matters and that changes everything.

So join the Debt Dump Challenge. If you have not already done that. All you have to do is go to the debtdumpchallenge.com. I’ll also put it in the show notes and then you can join.

Remember that you do need to work on your environment. Like this is something that is so important. Don’t neglect this. I want you to listen to this and do something about it.

Work on your environment. What can you do to set yourself up for success?

And I will see you next week.