Adding more to life one thoughtful decision at a time.

Value Added Life

Value Added Life

Adding more to life one thoughtful decision at a time.

Recent Posts

Making Room, My Progress: The Front Room

As I wrote about in a previous post, December’s Resolutions for 2016, I am trying to make room in my life for items of value that provide a richer life. Oftentimes you have to remove physical or mental stuff that is taking up too much room […]

Grief and Stories

My grandmother’s funeral was yesterday and it was a lovely service. I cried a little listening to my two cousins describe what she meant to them and the family. I helped bear the casket as a pallbearer along with my step-dad, my husband, my uncles […]

December’s Resolutions for 2016

Water lilies can only grow in a space clear of pollution.
Water lilies can only grow in a space clear of pollution.

I recently finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” and decided to start this blog as she suggests to keep track of my own goals and resolutions. I like the idea of a blog as I hope to connect with others, both friends I already have (since most of them do not live anywhere near me) and new friends.

I want to focus on my activities and resolutions because I am not an expert on the best ways to accomplish bettering oneself, although I hope to become one someday. Also, the “best ways” are very subjective even when studied by science. If a particular action or routine is working awesome for you, I think you should continue doing it, no matter what anyone else says. I only ask that you examine to make sure it is actually working awesome for you. A minor example:

For years, I resisted eating breakfast in the morning. I did not feel when I woke up in the morning unless it was around noon. I felt generally ill, like I was always coming down with the stomach flu. Any kind of food smell in the morning made me want to run away although by lunch time I was starving. I had been like that for so long, I assumed there was nothing I could do to change it. In college, when I initially tried to look into the problem (after dealing with it since I was twelve or so), I was just continually asked if I was pregnant. Ladies having stomach and digestion problems apparently means you are pregnant, whether or not you are sexually active at the time not withstanding. This question would have been fine if it had been one of many, but instead since I was not pregnant they could do nothing. Very helpful.

When I did have a break-through, I was not thinking about my breakfast habit. I was eating pizza at home on break, when I got the feeling I normally do in the mornings. This was followed by sharp, hot pains up and down the middle of my chest and into my throat. My mom declared it to be heart burn. The next morning, light bulb. Was this pain and discomfort I was feeling every morning heartburn?

Long story short, it was heartburn. I changed my diet and lifestyle after I was offered Zantac every day for the rest of my life. After I managed to stop having heartburn every morning I began to notice another pain. Turns out, I was hungry in the morning! So I started eating small amounts of food starting around ten and working my way earlier. After a couple years of doing this, I still have to convince myself to do it, but I do have better energy and a general wellbeing throughout the day. Its important to get down to the whys of negative feelings and not assume it is normal.

My resolutions for this month (another idea from Gretchen Rubin, themed resolution months. I love themes and I love resolutions!) is to make room. This will be mostly a physical clutter clearing endeavor, but I hope to make room in other areas as well, such as in my mind, and on my calendar.


December’s Theme: Making room 

Action items:

  •      Clear out the front room so that a Christmas Tree will fit there!
  •      Finish the dining room
  •      Finish the kitchen
  •      Finish my office
  •      Identify and organize the deep forgotten spaces (Garage, under the sink, and closets)
  •      Get my calendar system going


I am leaving myself open to adding more action items but only if I make really good progress on these. I have a bad habit of asking too much of myself and then being massively disappointed I could not somehow finish everything. I want to be more realistic and try to chug along that way.

Why Value Added Life?

Value-added is a commonly used business term to help businesses make decisions. When deciding if they want to perform an action, or buy a product, or even take a step out of a process, a person can ask themselves or their team: Is it value-added? […]

My Diary

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Tree as Brain Head ProfileValue-added is a commonly used business term to help businesses make decisions. When deciding if they want to perform an action, or buy a product, or even take a step out of a process, a person can ask themselves or their team: Is it value-added? For example, let’s say we are considering as a team to buy new software. When you ask the question about the value added, you need to dig deep. Will this software add more value than the software you already have or is it just new and pretty looking? Is the value enough to justify the cost of licensing the software and then training all of the staff on how to use it?

My favorite business use for value-added questions is actually getting rid of things. If you take a process and then ask “Is this step value-added?” you would be surprised how many steps can often be removed. If a step adds no value, such as naming a document an overly specific way when it will be named something else by the time the process is over, the step should be removed. Steps with no value can be hard to spot when you have done the same process over and over again. The best thing to do is to try and prevent those steps from entering the process you begin with.

Humor always adds value, especially Dilbert humor
Humor always adds value, especially Dilbert humor


I love the concept of only adding value and removing that which does not have value so much I ask this question constantly in my personal life. If I want to make a purchase, I ask will this add value? How much of a multitasker is it? Do I have anything I could use right now instead? This helps me prioritize my money to going to things that bring me joy, ups my happiness level, or helps me live the bigger life. It can mean the difference between living by my personal values versus living by someone else’s values.

For me, coming up with better ways to live (especially when it involves no money and is an easy change) is one of my favorite hobbies. I can be a bit evangelical about my friends trying new things to make their lives better and I pity the stranger who asks an innocent question or makes a noncommittal statement that sets off my speeches about it. I think about it so much that I decided to start this blog to help me organize my thoughts and give me some direction when I over research topics.

I want to emphasize what would be an improvement to me may not be an improvement to someone else. For example, adopting a dog is a step I plan to take in the future for the fun of having a dog and for all of the benefits that can come from having one. For someone else, this may not improve their lives. Their main goal in life might be to travel and despite improvement with airlines, it can take a lot of additional planning to bring a dog, and not everyone wants to bother with all that. Then again, a person might want to do both and more power to them! The point is, you do you. I hope the experiments I undertake for myself (and perhaps willing guinea pigs?) help others find their own path and that readers get creative. And then TELL me about it! I want to connect and hear what other people have tried and how they feel about research that contradicts their personal experience. For science!

The main purpose of this blog is purely selfish: I hope to use this as motivation to push myself to do better. Research better, cite better (so that I can be called out on my facts) and write better. I also hope to add my voice to the many voices out there that want to help people grow, improve, change, and live a big life. I have been stuck before despite my hobby of constantly wanting to do more, and blogs, books, and podcasts have inspired me to get moving again. If what I write or say encourages someone else in the same way I feel that this blog is definitely value-added.

Warren Buffet Quote Price vs Value