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807: Shrink Your Fat Cells & Fix Your Metabolism – With Dr. Benjamin Bikman

TMHS 287: Recharge Your Health, Motivation & Happiness by Decluttering Your Life with Chalene Johnson

Since the beginning of humanity, I’m sure there’s been a fascination with the accumulation of a lot of “stuff”. There were probably a bunch of cave-people who had way too many animal skins and rocks hanging around just for the sake of showing off to the cave-folks in their neighborhood (this is basically the premise of every episode of The Flintstones, by the way).

It’s probably a hard-wired psychological game that if you have the most stuff, you win. But the sad reality is that this accumulation gene is still alive and well within us today. As a result, there’s been a tidal wave of folks jumping to the complete other end of the spectrum to become minimalist (in a revolt of our typical hoarding nature). But, as with most things, there’s actually a much more balanced middle ground that you can find great happiness. But, it starts with you finding out just how much the clutter in your life matters.

Seriously, this information blew me away! I had no idea how much organization in our lives could affect our food choices, our motivation in life, and our overall success. Today’s guest helps break this stuff down in a way that makes sense, and I promise that you’re going to experience ah-ha moments left and right!

Our guest on this powerhouse episode is New York Times bestselling author Chalene Johnson. She’s an icon in the fitness industry (she literally revolutionized at-home fitness with her record-breaking workout DVDs), a dedicated wife and mother, and an absolute phenomenon in the world of business, personal development, and entrepreneurship. If anyone had permission to clutter-up their life, it was her. But she found that the clutter was controlling her and holding her back. Now she’s on a mission to show you just how much the clutter is affecting you, and how to efficiently and effectively declutter your life.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The truth about vitamin C (it doesn’t work like you think it does!).
  • Why spending time NOT working is a big part of our health.
  • How dieting can get associated with being unhappy.
  • Why it’s critical to decide what’s most important to you.
  • Why you shouldn’t start a new diet until you get your environment de-cluttered.
  • How clutter is a psychological obstacle in our lives.
  • The shocking way that clutter can affect your food choices.
  • How tidiness in your home impacts your levels of motivation.
  • Why everything you’re exposed to requires you to make a decision (this is huge!).
  • Why hiding your clutter (aka getting clutter out of your sight) is actually a great temporary solution.
  • The belief we have about time that causes us to create clutter.
  • Powerful tips to effectively de-clutter your life.
  • Why everything needs a home.
  • The secret of do it NOW.
  • How simply paying attention to how you feel can help you to de-clutter your life.
  • Why you should never leave a room empty-handed.
  • Why it’s actually ok to be messy (you just need a good pre- and post-game routine).
  • The interesting connection between tidiness and success.
  • How clutter is linked to a scarcity mindset.
  • How to deal with sentimental objects that are cluttering your space (this is important!).
  • Why de-cluttering makes room in your life for new and better things.
  • Why guilt might be the reason that you hang on to things.
  • How to use The Four Bin Method to transform your home.
  • A great gift you can give your kids by simply tidying up one thing in their room each day.
  • How to recruit your family to keep your home safe, clean, and organized.



Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Listen, I'm on the road right now, and I'm on a top secret mission I'm going to tell you about really soon, but the great thing about being in this neck of the woods, I'm out here in California, I get to see some of my favorite people in the world, and I have one of them on the show today. I'm actually here in her place with her epic team, and we're going to have an incredible show for you guys, so make sure to tune in, listen in. Listen with your heart, listen with your ears, your mind, and your inner ears. Alright? Listen deeply because it's going to be really, really powerful. It changed my life, like what she's going to share with you guys today. You have no idea. But before I do that, listen when I'm on the road, I always make sure to be proactive. This is one of the big problems. You know, a lot of folks when they travel, they tend to end up getting sick, they tend to end up- especially even when they get back, coming down with something, right? 'Catching a bug.' If you're on the road and you're having fun, if you're getting your work on, you don't have time for that. We don't have time to get sick but we're so often reactive when it comes to our health. Like something comes up, we come down with something, and then we try to take whatever to try to suppress that, or try to get healthy again. Well how about being proactive? And so just to share with you really quickly, when I know that I'm going to be traveling, I make sure that I ramp my immune system up beforehand. A lot of people don't realize that if we look at it clinically, something like vitamin C. Everybody knows about that for your immune system, they've got the Emergen-C packs everywhere. But guess what? If you look at the research, vitamin C doesn't really work that well once you're sick, alright? But it does work well before you're sick in keeping your immune system strong. So that's really the key, so be proactive. And so getting in the medicinal mushrooms and vitamin C beforehand. And also when I'm on the road, I make sure that I get my nutritional bases covered because we're going to experiment, we're going to experience the lay of the land when it comes to our food. But I want to make sure I get my macro nutrient needs met to keep all of the systems in my body doing the things they're supposed to. And so I keep my Organifi Go-Packs with me in my bookbag, which I just opened one and started sipping on right now. I've got the minty feeling and it feels real good in my heart. So Organifi actually- the reason I love it so much is that it's cold processed so you're actually getting the nutrients and the really consolidated superfoods that you believe you're getting from company X. You're actually getting it when you get Organifi, alright? So one of the things that I highlight and talk about, and I just looked this up. Another study, University of Nebraska Medical Center found that spirulina helps to promote stem cell genesis. What? Literally creating new stem cells, alright? Captain Crunch can't do that. Alright? Lucky Charms cannot do that. I wish it could, but it does not have that kind of power, alright? So this literally helps your body produce more stem cells. Stem cells become basically whatever your body needs, alright? If you need more brain cells, if you need more muscle cells, liver cells, stem cells are kind of the seed cell that helps to build the cells for your body. Alright? It's incredibly powerful. There are very few things that we know about that can do that, spirulina can, and that's just one of the ingredients. We've got moringa, we've got chlorella, we've got ashwagandha helping to manage stress, alright? Check them out. And it's easy. I just literally opened up a package, put it in my little shaker bottle, and then I poured it into this fancy cup here because we're on TV. TV magic, so we're sipping on it right here. Alright? So the Go-Packs are awesome, they've also got the containers, they've got the red juice, they've got the new gold juice as well. Head over and check them out. It's That's and you get 20% off, alright? Dub. You get 20% off, so head over there and check them out, and now let's get to the iTunes review of the week. ITunes Review: Another five-star review titled, 'The Art of a Hero,' by Sinner. 'This podcast has opened my mind and heart to so much hope and wisdom that Shawn and his guests bring to the people. The show delivers the message and brings awareness in such a simple yet powerful way that you can be left satisfied or dare to dive deeper. I'm on my fourth or fifth book from listening to this show. A hero helping heroes create heroes, powerful stuff.' Shawn Stevenson: Alright, thank you so much for leaving that review, I appreciate it immensely. You are the best ever, and everybody, please head over to iTunes and leave me a review if you've yet to do so. I appreciate it so very much. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and our topic of the day. Our guest today is New York Times bestselling author, Chalene Johnson. She's built and sold several multi-million dollar lifestyle and fitness companies, she's also one of my favorite people, and she is a top ten podcaster and host of several number one infomercials, including PiYo. And by the way guys, like PiYo is so amazing, so make sure to check that out. And the Huffington Post recently named Chalene one of the top fifty female entrepreneurs to watch. And she's a mother of two, and devoted to helping people live more and work less. And I'd like to welcome to The Model Health Show, my friend Chalene Johnson. What's up, Chalene? Chalene Johnson: Thank you so much. It's great to be here. It's great to have you here. Shawn Stevenson: So happy to be here. Right so listen, I want to start with what I just said with your bio, which is helping people to live more and work less. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: Where did you get that? Like what inspired you to make that something you do? Chalene Johnson: Realizing that if I was truly devoted to helping people be healthy, I had to change my own ways, and I was working too much and not living enough. Just realizing that's part of health, is helping people to understand collecting things and being successful is awesome, but it can also lead to this never ending cycle where you just feel like you always have to work. And in order to be healthy, you've got to be able to have enough time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and people that matter the most. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, I so agree with that. So just take a step back. We've had her on the show before, we'll put it in the show notes, but I want to talk a little bit about your story because when people see you, they might be like, 'California girl, she's got all-' But let's talk a little bit about where you're coming from, kind of where you grew up, and what brought you into the field that you're in today. Chalene Johnson: That's interesting. So I grew up in Michigan, from the Midwest. I grew up surrounded by really unhealthy food, and people dieting all the time but always overweight. So I started associating dieting with being overweight and being unhappy. So I got into exercise as kind of my own personal solution like, "Okay so I'm not going to go that route, I don't want to diet because these people seem really unhealthy and unhappy, so I'll exercise." And I was also raised in a family of entrepreneurs, so I've had tremendous success in fitness, but not because there's something special about my magic secret. It's really I understand how to solve problems for people, and so I think it's a combination of my business sense, and understanding how to solve problems, and just passion to help people be happier, you know? Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, oh my goodness you are so good at solving problems. Chalene Johnson: Thanks. Shawn Stevenson: We're going to get to like the one you solved for us, specifically my wife which trickled down to me immediately. Chalene Johnson: Oh good. Shawn Stevenson: But before we do that, so your environment itself. So you're from the Midwest, from Michigan, specifically like what part? Where were you hanging out at? Chalene Johnson: The D! Shawn Stevenson: From the D? Chalene Johnson: Yes. Shawn Stevenson: And was there something with cars? Chalene Johnson: Yeah, okay so well I was born in Detroit. I like to say I grew up on the mean streets of Detroit, but the truth is I moved when I was about four. But you know, I'm going to hang onto that D. But I grew up just my dad was an entrepreneur, but we never had money, everything was always kind of imploding, or he was trying something new, and we learned from a very young age, one thing he instilled was that like if you solve problems for people you can make money, and you can do things you love. And so when he told me growing up that if I was going to have a car, I'd have to buy it myself, I'd have to earn the money to do that. I could earn- like it was an entitlement, like you get to do this. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: And so I started flipping automobiles. I bought my first vehicle from a state auction, I think it was $1,000, and then I spent- I was fifteen and I spent a year cleaning it up, cosmetic things, painting it black, resold it, made another $1,000, bought another car. And I just kept doing that realizing like, "Wow, all of my friends have these part-time jobs where they're making minimum wage, and I can do this and make a lot of money quickly," and eventually I was able to pay for my own school, pay for college, and I continued that business through college. And that just led me to see like, "Okay whenever I have a problem," because I started a used car lot for people who were selling their own vehicles to solve my own problem. And I just realized like, "If I just- like life is great if I just keep following whatever problem I figured out, if I just turn around and share with other people how to solve that, it's very fulfilling, it's very rewarding, and I never have to worry about what's next because there's always some problem I'm trying to figure out. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely. Oh my goodness, and so of course when we talked about this in the last episode that we had her on, she made the pivot into fitness with that modus operandi of solving problems, which you're incredible at. Like it's crazy how good you are at it because I think you become obsessed, but that obsessive characteristic is why you also pivoted to more like working less and living more. Chalene Johnson: That's true. Shawn Stevenson: You know? So I want to talk a little bit more about that, because this is something especially when people are maybe just starting a business, or- bottom line we tend to get out of balance in a way, you know? We lose track of what's most important. And I'm a very big advocate, and you were somebody who helped parallel that for me of like having it all, you know? Like I can be successful in my career, I can also be successful as a father, I can be successful as a husband, I can be successful with my health, I can do it all but I do need to have a strategy to go about that. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: So for folks, like what can you say that would help people to understand a little bit better of like why that really matters? Chalene Johnson: I think you have to start with- you said you can have it all, which is true, but which is most important? Because if you don't honestly answer that question, then your actions don't align. And for me, I was always saying my family was most important, but my actions and the way I was living my life didn't align with that because I was working ninety hours a week. And just even when I wasn't working, I was really pre-occupied with what I was supposed to be doing. I'd be in a movie theatre, and looking at the screen, but I couldn't tell you what the movie was because I was going through tasks, and ideas, and work. And it just took a toll on- it didn't take a toll on- I mean it was taking a toll on me, but I would have continued like that indefinitely until my husband really just said he'd had enough. And it took him a long, long, long time of just dealing with me to finally tell me that, "This isn't fun. This isn't what I signed up for." And I was like, "What do you mean? Look at all the things that we have." You know? Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: And so it was my go-to, it was my drug. Like for some people it's shopping, or drinking, or their sport. For me, work was how I just associated. I felt like I wasn't a worthwhile person if I wasn't working. Like I would never dream of letting somebody find out that I was taking a rest day because I thought they would think less of me. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: You know? And so how I solved that problem for myself, transparency is through therapy. I mean it's an addiction and I think you can figure it out yourself if you want, but that's kind of the long hard road. I always tell people, "If you want the shortcut, don't be afraid of it. Get a good therapist, and if you don't find the first person you see as great then keep looking because it is the shortcut." Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I was of course wondering like how did you get out of that? Because it's so pervasive and affects everything. And by the way, so this is to be clear, when I say 'have it all,' I mean having some value or a sense of accomplishment in each area. But you have to identify what matters most. Chalene Johnson: Yes, that's right. Shawn Stevenson: So thank you for that. And so yeah, this was around when I first met you, I saw that like you were really like your family, you know? Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And so this was like- was that after or during that time? Chalene Johnson: No I met you after that transition for sure. And what's funny is you- I think a lot of us as entrepreneurs, you learn from other entrepreneurs whom most are kind of regurgitating this hustle, hustle, hustle, grind, grind, grind message, and I believed that too. And I also believed that in order to be successful, like you had to pay a price or you didn't deserve it. Right? Like so I didn't deserve- in my mind, I didn't deserve to enjoy these things unless I was working that hard. And when I would wear the workaholic badge, like I was proud of it. And I remember going to therapy and thinking, "You're not going to be believe this, but I'm here because I work too hard." You know, I was like, "She's going to love this." And it wasn't- it didn't take long to get to the root of why I felt that way and then untangle it. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, oh my goodness gracious, that's incredible. Wow, so I'm so glad you brought that up too because it's like it's- especially today with social media, everybody's fronting like they're working twenty-five hours a day. Chalene Johnson: Bragging about how many miles they're flying, bragging about- like they're bragging about all the places they're going. I'm like, "How does your family feel about that?" You know? Shawn Stevenson: Right, exactly. What are you running from, you know? Chalene Johnson: Yeah. I don't see that as a badge anymore. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah but again, everybody to each their own. You know? This is what I also love about your work. Chalene Johnson: But you know, I do agree, to everyone each their own. But I'm also okay with offending people who have children because I think why'd you have children if you don't want to spend any time with them? Shawn Stevenson: There you go. Chalene Johnson: Because there are a lot of people out there who can't have kids, and they'd love to spend some time with them. So you know, I don't know, I'm okay with being a little bit of controversial in my stance there. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, Michael Jackson said if you can't raise the baby, yeah, yeah. Why'd you make the baby? Something like that. So I want to talk to you specifically, and this goes in alignment with everything, you know? Chalene Johnson: It does. Shawn Stevenson: And just really kind of cleaning things up in our life to really streamline, optimize, so we can get the most juice out of each area. And this is something that personally I didn't really think about, and seeing the transformation that happened in my wife, and then thinking back on my life and how this actually happened to me in me becoming more successful in various areas of my life, and how I dealt with this, and so it's the topic of clutter. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: Alright? So what led you to doing some master classes on this, and helping- like you've impacted so many people talking about this subject. Chalene Johnson: Well it really does relate to that first story that you brought up, realizing like, "Okay, I've got to work less. So that means I've got to be smarter. It means I need to be less distracted. It means I need systems in place. I need to make my life- if I'm going to work less, I have to simplify." And so many things that we learn as children, we don't even realize that we carry those habits with us moving forward, and part of the kind of process and me figuring out how to be more present, and how to work less meant figuring out that I was dealing with a lot of clutter and disorganization. Like I could work- right away I knew I could work fewer hours if I was more organized. So it started with just wanting to be organized, and then realizing, "Gosh, I never learned these things." Like here's a story. When my husband and I first got married, you always hear women say like, "Oh my husband just drops his clothes on the floor." He never did. He always took off his clothes when he was about to take a shower, put them in the hamper, and I would drop my clothes on the floor and leave them on the floor. And I'm like, "How do you do that?" He's like, "That's just something I've done- it's something I learned from my parents," and I'm like, "Oh I didn't learn that from my parents. It's their fault." But really like okay, so I can learn this, and I need to teach this to my children, and it makes a difference. Shawn Stevenson: Man, it so does. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: Same thing, like I'm the one that will like hang my jacket up when I come in. My wife's more likely to throw it over the chair, you know? Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: But also- and we've seen it happen with my youngest son, too. I don't think she shared that part with you. Chalene Johnson: No. Shawn Stevenson: But he started just- because he was very much about keeping things tidy, then all of a sudden he started throwing his coat on the floor in his room, you know? Just like, "What are you doing?" But once she had this transformation and learning some of the things you're going to share with us, it just changed everything, it also trickled down to him very quickly. Chalene Johnson: Wow. Shawn Stevenson: So I want to talk about- I want to lead into this with- you said that you don't even think people should start a new diet until they get their life uncluttered. Why is that? Chalene Johnson: Because it's an obstacle. I think it's an obstacle that most people don't recognize that chaos is not okay. Like chaos prevents you from being present, it prevents you from being focused, it prevents you from moving forward, and then- so when we have an obstacle that's there and we don't see it, we just keep running into it and we think, "Oh well this diet's failed me." "Oh, I'm not good at business." But meanwhile, there's this obstacle that you just keep hitting and you don't realize that's what it is. So I just think people need to first be aware of how much chaos and disorganization is in your environment. Shawn Stevenson: Because it does something to your mind. Chalene Johnson: It does a lot to your mind. It affects our bodies. A study showed that 44% of people said that they make unhealthy food choices when their home feels messy. And that's a lot of people a lot of the time whose home feels messy. It affects our happiness, it affects our relationships. Respondents said that 55% of the time, they feel much more motivated when their home is tidy. That's crazy. Shawn Stevenson: That is. Chalene Johnson: To think that you can impact- motivation is huge. You need motivation to be kind, you need motivation to eat healthy, to exercise, to start your business, to be focused, to be present. Like those things require motivation, so if you can be 50% better just by having a more organized space, and that's free, do it. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely. Wow, so, so good. So our internal environment is a direct reflection of our external environment. Chalene Johnson: It is. I remember a time when I was working in an office environment, and the gal in the cubicle next to me lived in the same apartment complex, and she asked me for a ride home one night and I was like, "Oh I can't, I've got something to do," because I remember thinking how mortified I would be if she saw the inside of my car because it was such a mess. And just I would freak out if anyone came by my home because I'm like, "No, no, no you need to think I'm perfect, and it's not good in here." You know? And just the way that it impacts your morning. Like you talk about your morning routine. If you walk into your closet and it is chaos, you just started your day with a healthy dose of cortisol and stress, and you're visually feeding your mind with this negative experience. So it's really- it impacts so much more than what people realize. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, something else that you said that I've said this to myself, it's just inner dialogue, is that when you see something out of place, for me I felt like it was a little bit of a stressor, but not something that's like an immediacy, but I just knew that my brain had that filed away as something I'm going to have to come back to. Chalene Johnson: That's right. Shawn Stevenson: But for me it's like why not do it now? So I would just usually, nine times out of ten, pick the thing up and keep it moving. But we don't realize that everything that's out of place or just kind of like has this sense of, like you said chaos, it's all messing around and rumbling around in your subconscious that you need to do something with it. Chalene Johnson: And it's depleting your energy. So everything that you do requires a decision, right? So even the things you're seeing subconsciously. Even if a bird flies by, you've got to figure out what to do with that. If there's a text message you've noticed out the corner of your eye that's hit your phone, your brain has to make the split second decision like, "Do I do something with that?" And which is why we feel so tired all the time because there are so many things we have to make decisions on now. We don't even realize it's happening subconsciously, and that requires energy. You burn so much energy, calories, with all of these decisions you have to make. You're burning through the glucose in your brain, and when you- when things are out of place, you don't realize it but your brain is going, "Do something with this now, or do something with this later?" So there's a lot of things out of place in your home, at your desk, wherever you are. Your brain is just feeling empty because you're constantly seeing that and constantly saying, "Do I do something with it?" Even though you don't realize you're doing this. So it really depletes the energy that you need to be focused and to do great things. Shawn Stevenson: Oh man, it's so powerful and so true. When you were just talking, it just reminded me of when I was in college and I had my college apartment. It's when I first met my wife, and I would keep my mess hidden, right? So it's like my closet was insane. It wasn't even the closet in my room, it was like this closet by the kitchen table, which in a college apartment is basically the kitchen table's in the living room. You know? Chalene Johnson: Right, yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And so there was just absolute- just it was crazy in that room. And so here's what's so funny. When I would have people come over to my apartment, even my family, like you take your shoes off at the door. Right? Take your shoes off. But then it was just like thinking back, why did I do that? To have them get their socks dirty because my place wasn't as clean as I would want it to look like, you know? I would just like hide things, you know? Basically people coming over, you're going to take your shoes off so you can get your socks dirty. You know? Chalene Johnson: You know, that's not all bad though. I want to say this because it was- it's interesting that you did that because it was out of your sight, and that's kind of important. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, that's important. Chalene Johnson: Like so I tell people on their desktop, your desktop, it's difficult for you to work efficiently if your desktop looks like your closet exploded. So like there's an app called Hide Me. I think it's Hide Me or Hidden Me, and you can just tap on it and it just hides everything on your desktop. It's still there, but if you click on it, it's like throwing everything into the closet. It's a temporary solution, but if you need to focus, I recommend people do that. Shawn Stevenson: I love it, oh I love it. There's levels to this. Chalene Johnson: Yes, there are. Shawn Stevenson: There's levels to this, you know? So same way, with my desk, I just- clear. I just want my computer there, everything else. You know? So I definitely feel that. But here's the thing, we can adapt, you know? You can work in- like I've worked in some pretty chaos circumstances, but ideally for my best self to show up, definitely want a cleaner environment. Chalene Johnson: Do you have to clean up before you start working? Does your space need to be pretty organized? Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I mean but I generally do that before I come to work, you know? Like when I'm going to my desk to work- so if I'm leaving, I'll just take stuff, get stuff out of the way so I don't have to try to even spend the energy to tidy up when I get there to start writing or whatever. Chalene Johnson: Yeah, that's what I call your reset time, and it's probably a habit you picked up from your parents I would assume? Don't know, but a lot of us, we pick up these habits from the way we were raised, and my belief was always, "I'll do this later because I have something to do right now." So I would leave messes and think, "Well this will save me time later." And one of the things that I teach people now is that you need a reset time. So things are going to get messy, that's fine, but either at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning, if you just set aside thirty minutes, however much time you need to reset the environment. Then you can walk in while you're hot, your brain is ready, and you're excited, and you're motivated to work, and you don't kill it with a mess. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so good. And by the way, so we're going to get into some specific tips. Chalene Johnson: Okay. Shawn Stevenson: To help you to declutter your life, and let me be clear. So I mentioned my wife a couple of times. So she listened to Chalene's master class episodes on her podcast- which listen, The Chalene Show is one of the best ever. Chalene Johnson: Oh, thanks. Shawn Stevenson: Alright? Best ever, and she covers a lot of things that are parallel with what we do, you know? But from her voice, and her experience, which she's impacted the lives of millions and millions of people. Super valuable stuff, so make sure to check out her podcast. Chalene Johnson: Thank you. Shawn Stevenson: But the declutter episodes, so my wife listened to them and she looked at me with this look like, "You don't understand what's about to happen." And I was just like, "Okay, whatever." You know? But she cleaned our closet, which for her, that was the bane of our existence, you know? It was just like the closet in our room. And I recommended like two years ago to put up a shoe rack on the door. She was like, "No, but it's a door." You know? I was like, "But the door is always open, just put the- you could leave the shoes or whatever." She would also- you know, we had the dirty clothes hamper, but it would turn into dirty clothes mountain, right? You know what I'm saying? Chalene Johnson: Oh yes, yes, yes. Shawn Stevenson: So it would just like kind of get out of control really quickly even though she'd kind of tidy up, but there was no system. And so she listened to the episode, she did a couple of things that I said to do awhile ago. She said I was right, which that was a big moment, you know? She's like, "You were right." Chalene Johnson: That's huge, yeah. Did you record it? Shawn Stevenson: I went and got my phone, she was like, "I'm not going to say it again. You have no proof." And so she got the closet together, and she changed as a human. Chalene Johnson: Yes. Shawn Stevenson: Like she had this sense of like peace. The next day when she working, she had this sense of accomplishment and just like- she just seemed to be more focused and clear. And I was like, "How could that closet affect your mind so much?" Chalene Johnson: A woman's closet, yeah. That's for sure. Shawn Stevenson: So that and also systems with the kitchen changed, and just like it really has had a big impact on us. Even when we left for the trip, her getting things together beforehand, it wasn't perfect but instead of the mad dash at the very end kind of thing. And so you really had a big influence on what's happening in our household. Chalene Johnson: That is so meaningful. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so thank you for that. But to get into it- so where do we start? What do we do to start to declutter our lives? Chalene Johnson: Because it's everywhere. It's your desktop, it's your office, it's every part of your home, so I always tell people, "Just start with- if I asked you right now, what area is driving you nuts, you know what it is." It's either your garage, or your closet, or your kitchen. There's a place that you're like, "I can't handle it and it needs to be okay." So maybe you've got a junk room or a rec room that you never see, that closet door that's closed, that's probably not it. It's the space you need to be okay with, so pick a space is my first suggestion that you want to start with before you start applying these habits. Shawn Stevenson: Simple, but you know, like we ignore it. You know? Just getting clarity on that direction we want to go. Like what is that place, being honest about it, that's driving you nuts? Chalene Johnson: Because if you start there, it will trickle into the other places. I think the worst thing you can do is think you're going to do all of this in one weekend, in one shot. It's like, "I'm starting to declutter," and you think it's going to all go away in one super productive weekend, and it won't, but it starts and usually if you understand the process it doesn't go back. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, oh my goodness. Chalene Johnson: It just gets better. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, there's levels to this. Chalene Johnson: Yes. Shawn Stevenson: Alright, so what's another tip? Chalene Johnson: Well the first thing I want people to do is to just recognize that everything needs a home, right? And everyone needs to know where that home is. And the example that I give, because this can be legacy. Think about- anyone who's watching right now, you have one drawer where you keep your forks, and knives, and spoons. Everyone knows where that drawer is, and it's so universal that when someone else is in your kitchen, they grab the drawer that they think it's going to be in because of their kitchen. So it is possible to teach everybody, even children, that everything has its place. And can you imagine if every time you needed to eat you had to search every room in the house for a fork? It's in one drawer. So everything you own needs a place, and everyone needs to kind of agree on where that goes, and it needs to go back there. So that's the first tip, is everything needs its place, which leads into the second tip which is put it back where it belongs. It doesn't save you time, and you need- everything needs to go back, and it needs to be done now. When I was a personal trainer, I did in-home personal training when I first moved to Southern California, and I had this client who was eighty-seven years old. Beautiful older woman, and her family had me go to her home, she lived in like assisted living, and lift weights with her. She was radical. But the first time I went to visit her, I came in, here she is eighty-seven, she was at the sink cleaning her plate and fork. The next time I came back, she was doing the same thing. And I said to her, "Oh you can put that down, we can do that later," and she said, "Oh no, I do it now." And I said, "Do you have someone come to clean your house or do your laundry?" She said, "No, why would I need to? It's me and I do it now." And I said, "Share with me your secret," and she said, "That's my secret. Do it now, don't do it later." And those words, like I get goosebumps, see? Thinking about like do it now, like that makes so much sense. There are so many things I thought I was saving time because I can let them pile up and do it all at once later. No, do the little things now. So even today, I hear her voice, today coming to the office I tried on like three pairs of black jeans. And I literally went back to old habit, I threw them on the floor, and I thought, "No, do it now and hang them back up." Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I think that was maybe Og Mandino as well. It's just like do it now, do it now, do it now. Using that as a moniker. You know what changed? You mentioned earlier like maybe this was something from my parents. Chalene Johnson: Yeah? Shawn Stevenson: Definitely not in my case, but what I really want people- and a big part of what I do is getting ourselves to a place where you actually are listening to your body, and you're listening to your internal monologue. Like actually paying attention to it, and not just brushing everything off, and kind of hiding things in the closet in a way in your own mind. Chalene Johnson: Yeah! Shawn Stevenson: And so I began to realize that I felt better when things were cleaner on my desk. And I'm not like very obsessive about it, you know? Like again, I can roll with the punches, but I just felt better. And so I started to do that, and it just became the way that I live my life, and also the 'do it now' moniker. I'm a very big- I don't want to have a meeting and we talk about ten things. Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: Just talk about one or two, let me go execute, alright? That's how I live my life. Chalene Johnson: Yes. Shawn Stevenson: Like do it now, I don't want to know because it's too much. Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: You know? So yeah, it's very powerful. Chalene Johnson: What you just said too is incredibly important for us to share with people because these are just- they're not even habits, these are actions you force yourself to do until they become habits. Shawn Stevenson: Yes. Chalene Johnson: And the way to make these stick as habits is you have to be aware enough to recognize the reward of doing the thing. Like you have to stop and go, "Huh, I just feel a little bit better about myself that I just hung up my jeans." And just noticing for a second like, "Okay that feels better," and thinking about like what it would feel like for me to walk back into my closet tonight and see jeans all over the floor, right? So if you want these things that we're sharing today, or any of the things you've learned on Shawn's show to become habits, think about the reward. Like, "Okay, how does it make me feel?" Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, pay attention. Oh, so good. And by the way, when you mentioned the drawer for the fork, it made me think about another drawer that somebody in this room probably has, the condiment drawer. Does anybody have a condiment drawer where all your packets of like ketchup, and little jellies. I don't have that drawer anymore, but my condiment drawer was strong. I mean it had the soy sauce, the sweet and sour, I had so many things. Chalene Johnson: The take-out knives and forks? Shawn Stevenson: Why? Chalene Johnson: Yeah, why? Shawn Stevenson: Why did I have it? Chalene Johnson: It's funny, it's so true. Shawn Stevenson: Literally one day out of the year I might pull something out of that drawer, you know? So get rid of it. Alright so do it now. What's another tip? Chalene Johnson: My next tip is to never leave a room empty handed. So it doesn't matter whether you're in your kitchen, or the area where everyone watches TV, or the office, just like quickly look around and see if anything you see belongs where you're going. So you know, it just makes it so much easier to just scoop things up and carry them with you. I'm a big fan of having kind of buckets, or maybe a canvas tote in your main room, just so you can do that. It makes it really easy. Like all these things belong upstairs. Why are the kids' toys on the kitchen counter? Why is the laundry basket in the middle of the living room? Like just never leave a room empty handed. Shawn Stevenson: I love that so much. It's like you have been living my life, it's so crazy. Like that's just something I do if I'm getting up like from leaving the living room, going to the kitchen, like I'll just do a quick scan and like, "Should I take anything with me?" Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: You know? Like that's so crazy. And again, I'm not perfect about this, or even I wasn't necessarily conscious about it, but this is just something that leads to a more kind of healthy, happy brain, and a happy experience. Chalene Johnson: And a happy wife. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, yes. Chalene Johnson: It makes for a much better relationship, whether it's a roommate or a spouse. I don't know how my husband dealt with me before I figured out how to do this, because I was like- and I still like to be messy to be clear. Like when I'm in creative mode, it's messy, but it needs to be organized before I start and when I'm done, you know? And it's much easier for him now because I'm far more organized. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. I feel like I've got to share something now. So I definitely was not like this, alright? I mentioned like my closet, my car as well when I met my wife, I just had a trunk full of like- because you know, I'm in school. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And like I had a finance class, I had biology, and I would keep everything. Every single note, every single handout, and I would like- but here's the thing, and I can't believe I'm sharing this. But these were from like two years earlier, alright? I would keep this stuff like, "Someday I'm going to need this or come back to it or review it." Literally never happened, alright? Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: And it wasn't like- literally I took that, that was when I had my Malibu. I had my Chevy Malibu to the Ford Explorer, and I had the same habit in the back end of my Ford Explorer. That's when I first met her, but when I got my nice car, it changed my- but I was a different person as well. Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: And so I ended that behavior, like I'm not going to do this, but I first had to be aware that I was doing this. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. You know, when I first started doing personal training like I shared, there was this like really rich neighborhood that I had a lot of clients in, and they had these huge expansive homes, and I remember thinking, "Do children live here? Like these homes are like museums, they're so perfect." And I really thought in my mind, "Oh when you're rich, you have a big house, so it never looks messy." I thought that's what was going on, and then I started getting wealthy successful clients who lived at the beach in like an 800-square foot bungalow, and it was still really organized and decluttered, and I thought, "Okay so this isn't about the size of the home, this is about successful habits," and it really was part of me learning to watch what successful people do. A tip I wanted to add based on what you just said, like thinking about all the things you held onto, it's this. Let go of it. Just begin to associate things that you're holding onto as a sign that you're holding onto the past, number one. And number two, it's a scarcity mindset. You know? I want you to believe that you will receive more, and you're going to get more, and you're going to make more money, and more blessings are going to be bestowed upon you. And if you're living your life like, "I can't throw away this coffee cup with a broken- because I can buy superglue and glue it back together." You're living with a scarcity mindset, and you have to have faith, you have to have belief in God or whatever your higher power is that more is coming to you, and you are too abundantly blessed as it is to hang onto all of these things. And if it's something personal, this is what I really struggled with, that something someone gave me, I felt bad getting rid of it even though I didn't like it, or I wasn't using it. And this really helped me, reading- I think her name is Marie Kondo, is that how you say her name? The author of 'The Magical Art of Tidying Up.' I know I'm saying that wrong, but you'll know the book, 'The Magical Art of Tidying Up.' That book- I've read a lot of books, but that one really helped me let go of this emotional attachment to things. So now what I do is if someone gave me something, I remember that it's already had its intended use. They meant to honor me, or they meant to make me feel good, and its use has been intended. I received it, but now it's clutter and it's weighing me down, and it's becoming an obstacle, and that person loved me so much that they wouldn't want me to have an obstacle. Shawn Stevenson: Right, yeah. Chalene Johnson: They wouldn't want something that had a negative impact on my life. So if I can't let go of it, take a picture of it and donate it. You know, even your papers, your photos, your awards, your trophies. Like we just threw out- I hate to say this, this is funny, we threw out all of my husband's high school trophies. We got a big dumpster, and he was like- he never wanted them. I was like, "But our kids might want them someday." Shawn Stevenson: Oh wow. Chalene Johnson: And they're like, "We don't want them." So we threw them away in a dumpster. Guess who I found in the dumpster digging them out? My dad! Shawn Stevenson: What? Chalene Johnson: I'm like, "Dad, no. No, because those are going to end up in your garage, and back in my garage someday, no." Shawn Stevenson: That's funny. Chalene Johnson: If it's really sentimental, just take a picture of it. You've got to let go because when you hold onto things, you're holding onto the past. Shawn Stevenson: Oh my goodness, that's so crazy. Wow, that is amazing and it's very difficult to keep moving forward when you're caught looking in the rearview all the time. Chalene Johnson: Yeah, yeah. Shawn Stevenson: You know? We need to be focused on moving forward. I love that so much. Chalene Johnson: And abundance. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, and it makes room, you know? Chalene Johnson: It does. Shawn Stevenson: You're making room for better things to come into place. Chalene Johnson: Yeah, yeah. Shawn Stevenson: That's another thing that she shared with me psychologically. She'd maybe want to get some new shoes, or maybe a new outfit or something, but she'd go back in her mind of like, "Well I have this stuff already that I haven't used, or I don't have room." Right? And so she would talk herself out of something that she really wanted. Chalene Johnson: Yes. Shawn Stevenson: And so like I've been working with her on that, of like you can have anything you want. It doesn't mean you have to get it, but you can have anything you want. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And with her making room, it's like opened her up psychologically to really doing things for herself that she feels good about. Chalene Johnson: I also had to learn to just be honest and recognize that some of the things I was holding onto were to impress people, but even though they might impress people, they were depressing me. So an example is like I had this shoe collection of like Nikes, that I'm like, "I'm not going to do an episode of Cribs. Why do I have these shoes?" Shawn Stevenson: You never know. Chalene Johnson: "I never wear these," and I had them all lined up by color, and it looked amazing, it was really impressive, but it was taking up all of this space and I never wear those shoes, and I thought to myself, "Somebody needs these shoes. This is so- this is just about ego, and it's not helping me get rid of collections." Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: You know? No matter what it is. Like we have collections because we want to show people the things we have. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: But you are what people want to see, you know? So let go of those collections. Shawn Stevenson: Oh my goodness, so good. You know, when you mentioned earlier the coffee mug, it's like again you've been living my life. It's such a good example and a recent thing because I had my favorite coffee mug, this Ironman coffee mug, loved- Like you know how you like actually go look for a cup you want to drink out of? Chalene Johnson: Yes, yes, yes. Shawn Stevenson: And so somebody broke my mug, broke the handle. And so it was sitting there by the blender for like- Chalene Johnson: To be repaired. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, and just like days turned into weeks, and I would see it every day, and I was just like- because when it first happened I was like- Chalene Johnson: And making a decision. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, exactly. Like it's taking mental energy of something I need to do. But when it first happened I was like, "Well I'll just let it go." And my wife was like, "No, we can fix that. You can repair it." And I would go along with that as well. And so even my son, the little guy, he was like, "You could fix it, Dad." Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: You know? But first of all, I've never seen that crazy glue like in the commercial when the guy had the helmet stuck- Chalene Johnson: It doesn't work like that. Shawn Stevenson: I've never seen it do that. Chalene Johnson: Never. No, I can't even keep a broken nail on. That stuff does not work. Shawn Stevenson: So one day, this is probably two weeks later, I just looked at it, I took it and put it in the trash, you know? And it's just like- Chalene Johnson: And look, you're sitting here today. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I'm alive! And guess what? I can get another Ironman mug if it's that serious. You know? Chalene Johnson: That's right. Shawn Stevenson: It just wasn't that serious. Chalene Johnson: I don't know if it's because we feel guilty about throwing things away. Like that was a big hurdle for me too, because I'm like, "Well somebody could use this, so I should wait until that person shows up in my life and I can give it to them." That doesn't make sense. Or I should make my problem somebody else's problem by giving them all of my donations. Or you know, it's wasteful for me to throw this away because I spent a lot. Or even it's wasteful for me to donate this because I spent a lot of money on it. But it doesn't matter, you know? If you're not- it's costing you too much no matter what you paid for it to be hanging onto something that just takes up space in your life. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so another thing she mentioned to me, and of course I heard it after I got this beaming review from her about the episode, is the four bins. So I want to talk about that right after this quick break. So sit tight, we'll be right back. Alright we are back and I'm with New York Times bestselling author, and literal superhero, Chalene Johnson, and we're talking about the power that comes along with decluttering our life, and the impact that it has on our minds and on our progress in life. So before the break I mentioned this incredible concept that my wife used as well to help to declutter our lives, which is this four bin strategy. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: So let's talk about that. Chalene Johnson: So one of the things you have to do before you do the work is to prepare, right? So you want to have a system in place, even for the decluttering process. First, mindset. Like before you begin, understanding you need to let go of things, and how to make that possible, which we've discussed. And then I suggest you either get four boxes, four bins, four containers, whatever you've got on hand and you label them, okay? Because it makes this process really easy. Everything has got to come out. Let's say you start in one little corner of a room, or half of the garage, or a closet. You want to label those things- the first one is trash, and you have to be okay with letting go of things that may have value to somebody else, but they're not useful to you and you don't want to make them somebody else's burden, just throw them away. You have to be okay with that. And then the second one is donate, and those are things that are- they're still in great condition. Because you know, The Salvation Army, they don't need your stained and tattered clothes. They're not going to be able to use them, so now you've made them their problem. It's also to consider donating things that are going to be helpful to someone else, not add additional stress to their life, so you make a pile for donation. And then the third box is what I like to call relocate, because in any area that you need to declutter are a lot of things that don't belong there. They weren't intended to be used in that space. And the fourth and final one are just things you're going to keep, and you want as few things as possible in your 'keep' bin. You know? You want to get rid of as much- I'm not suggesting that you need to be a minimalist, which is a great concept, it's a great goal, but I do think the fewer things we keep, the more we are accepting abundance. Shawn Stevenson: Oh my goodness, this is so good. So trash, donate, relocate, and keep. Something that really jumped out at me is the 'donate,' and I don't want people to fall into this other black hole that we fell into of like waiting to get rid of the stuff we got together to donate. Right? Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: Keeping that stuff in a bag in your car, or in a certain room, or just like, "I'll get around to donating that at some point." Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: Do it now. Chalene Johnson: Do it now. Shawn Stevenson: So that's what she did. Chalene Johnson: Call. Yeah, there are services that will come to your home to pick up goods. You just look it up on Yelp or whatever app you're using. You can look it up by using Dr. Google and figuring out where you can drop something off, and just make it a regular part of your routine because I donate every single week now. I just think of it as something- I don't have permission to bring anything new into my home unless I'm donating that week. And I think that's a really powerful way to go about the decluttering process. And the other thing you have to understand is that you need now a system for this space, or it's going to end up just the way it was before. I know a lot of people will start with their closet, and remember that clutter isn't just the things you don't need, it's how messy things are. Hang all of your shirts with the hook going in the same direction. I really recommend that if you can afford to do this, make sure all your hangers match because your brain has to do something with all the different styles, and colors, and clothes, and hangers. At first I took this concept to heart and I bought wooden hangers, which was quite an investment, but they took up too much space and everything falls off of them. Like I should have an affiliate deal with Huggable Hangers because I believe they're life-changing. They're thin, they last forever, don't buy the cheap imitations. They make your closet clean and neat and things don't fall off. When things are falling off, that's more clutter and more things you have to take care of later. When you're buying tools to help you create systems, whether it's organizing your pantry, or your closet, wherever, don't buy things that look trendy and cute because eventually you're going to need to replace one and you want them to match. If things don't match it's clutter for your brain. So I always say buy things that are in neutral colors, buy pieces that don't look trendy, they don't look like fashion. Just buy simplistic, simple, just what you need. Shawn Stevenson: So good, and I love that about - because that would bother me too - is the hangers, you know? Like I would know if somebody wore my stuff. Or you know, if my wife hung it up because she's left-handed, too. Chalene Johnson: Oh. Shawn Stevenson: So she hung it up like this way, you know? The reverse way. Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And I'm just like, "Who did this?" Chalene Johnson: And you see it. Shawn Stevenson: You've got your- like you go to grab something and then like it's not coming off or whatever because of how it's hung up. Chalene Johnson: Oh, I get it. Shawn Stevenson: So yeah, so wow I didn't even think about that, and how we put stuff- Chalene Johnson: Just the way things are lined up, and this might sound obsessive. Shawn Stevenson: A little Dexter. Chalene Johnson: Perhaps, but coming from a former like absolute- like my mom cannot believe my closet now. But I walk in and it's like peaceful. Everything is where it's supposed to be. I don't spend anytime searching, and I didn't used to be that way. Just mounds, and mounds, and mounds of clothes that I didn't like the way they looked on me when I got dressed in the morning. But now all the hangers match, I hang everything according to color and sleeve length, and everything has its place. It makes getting ready easy, it makes hanging things back up simple, and those tools are an investment. I've had the same hangers for fifteen years. The same Huggable Hangers for fifteen years, and that's an investment, you know? The wire hangers or the plastic hangers- Shawn Stevenson: I've never heard of such things. Wow. Chalene Johnson: Yeah, so again don't buy the trendy colors, buy a simple basic color that you will find again later. Shawn Stevenson: Incredible. Incredible. Wow, there are so many good tips here. Do you have any more for us? Chalene Johnson: Let me see if we've covered them all. Oh, I know. This is a good one. You know how you clean when your mother-in-law or someone who is like a little judgy is coming over? Or maybe like if you've ever put your house on the market? That's how I want you to think about leaving your home. So I try to leave my home and imagine that- my mother-in-law, by the way, is amazing and not judgy at all. I have to say that. But I try to imagine that there's going to be a showing. Like a realtor is going to come through my house while I'm away, and I want it to look like a million bucks. Or they're going to be filming an HGTV, or somebody is going to see my home while I'm away, so I want it to look neat and organized and like I care about my belongings. So I try to leave without doing that. And the last and final tip is for parents, and for adults, but it's one that your kids can adopt, and that is make your bed every day. Make your bed every day. It's a habit that you children need- they deserve it. And you shouldn't be making it for them because they can make it. If your kid is four years old, they can make your bed. It might not be perfect, but they can make their bed. And that is a gift. That is a gift when you teach your children that they themselves know how to be organized. And then talk about, "How does that make you feel? You made this, how does that make you feel?" Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: And then ask yourself, how does it make you feel to get into a bed that's been made. Brett and I make our- this is cheesy, but we make our bed together in the morning. We do that together. So we get up sometimes at different times, but together we come in and we make the bed. I also believe, while we're talking about bedrooms, that if you can avoid having your bedroom be multi-functional, do so. Sometimes you're living in a space that's so small, the craft area has to sometimes be used as a corner of the kitchen. You know, the laundry room is in the garage. But as much as you can avoid using your bedroom for anything else, especially if you're married or in a committed relationship, it's really important because that is sacred space where you don't need, and shouldn't have distraction. You know, you need to come together and that's where you should- you're such a great advocate for sleep, but there are things that happen before sleep, too. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: And those things need to be- you need to be present in order to really feel fulfilled and to connect on a deep emotional level with your partner, and you can't do that if you can see out of the corner of your eye your desk, and you're thinking about all the work you need to do. You know? If it's at all possible, try to get that stuff out of your bedroom. Shawn Stevenson: Oh that's deep. That is so deep, and the guys listening please keep this in mind because I think it's probably going to be- you know, I mean just being honest, we don't need much. Chalene Johnson: Yeah, that's true. Shawn Stevenson: There could be dishes piled up, we don't care. But for your significant other, it might be like a psychological barrier that you're trying to break through. Chalene Johnson: It is. Oh, I'm telling you what, she's not having a good time if there's laundry in the room. If there's laundry in her vision, I don't care how talented you are, if there is laundry in your eye line, it is not- she can fake how enjoyable it is. So that's really important. Like get that stuff- that belongs in the laundry room, get it out of the bedroom. Shawn Stevenson: That's powerful, but I don't know. Okay so listen, I think this is a good opportunity to talk about how. How do we recruit- because you mentioned it earlier, a lot of times we are in a living space with other people, you know? Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: And just like- and I've heard these statements. "It's my husband, he's messy." Or you know, like people push the blame off on somebody else because of communication. But how do we recruit people to get on board with this? Before you answer that, I want to say one quick thing. For kids, it's like again, you create it as part of the culture. Chalene Johnson: Yes. Shawn Stevenson: You know? But outside of that. So significant others, maybe other family members, brothers, sisters, whatever; how do we recruit people? Chalene Johnson: So it's kind of like weight loss, right? Like how do you talk to someone you love about their unhealthy habits without it feeling like you're attacking them, or without them becoming defensive? And I think it's the same approach where you have to lead by example, and make sure that people are in agreement, and that they understand that this is about health. And this isn't about you being messy, or you collecting all these things, because there's plenty of things you do too that are just as detrimental. So I think the right way to do this is, "This is to help me feel more calm and more centered because I want to be better for you." And if you just make it about you trying to be better, that other person usually comes on board. I do think when you live with other people, it's much easier if everyone is in agreement on how we're using the space. So you just don't necessarily understand that this is where your wife needs to fold laundry because the kids- you know, like you have to just kind of have those discussions so that it's functional for everybody, and everyone can reach an agreement with an open mind and thinking about, 'How can we make life easier?' And a lot of times rooms do have to be multi-functional, and there's ways to make that happen, but everyone has to agree that things need to go back where they belong so that our kitchen doesn't also become where we keep the kids' homework, and where the kids' toys aren't all over the room. And that provides structure that our children need too, and our relationships. You know? That structure, that clarity makes everyone feel safe, and it's a skill. Like we don't teach our kids- we try to do so much for our kids, and I see people do this in relationships too, where they try to do everything for their spouse, and then they resent them that they're not doing it. It's like helping people just be better by teaching they're capable of doing it instead of wagging a finger. Shawn Stevenson: Oh my goodness. Chalene, you're the best. This is like- I'm telling you, I had no idea how much this could impact somebody's life, you know? Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And also because of you and kind of putting this together, I got to see some parallels to my life and my evolution as a man. Chalene Johnson: Interesting. Shawn Stevenson: Just as I was going along, I was decluttering my life as I went along, you know? My wife, she used to even- and I had to check her on this, you know? And there's very few things I get to do that. She was like, "You and my mom are hoarders," right? And I was like, "Babe, that's not me anymore, stop putting me-" because her mom, she tends to keep a lot of paperwork or whatever. Chalene Johnson: Yeah, sure. Shawn Stevenson: I was like, "That's not me anymore." And she was like, "You know what? You're right, I've got to stop saying that." Because I was- Chalene Johnson: Was, yeah. Shawn Stevenson: I was doing that, you know? But as I evolved, really working on myself, paying attention to what makes me feel good, and also being a support for her because she doesn't know all the little things that I do. Like with the whole scanning the environment and taking something with me. I'm taking one little thing off her plate because I'm hoping that I can get something on my plate, you know? Chalene Johnson: Right. Shawn Stevenson: And so these are all small things that I did to evolve, and it just goes hand-in-hand, and I had no idea that it matters so much. Chalene Johnson: You said that you are the guy who when you take off your clothes, before you take a shower, you put them in the bin. Yes? Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Chalene Johnson: Is that something you grew up doing? Shawn Stevenson: No. Chalene Johnson: So when did you adopt that habit and how? And why? Shawn Stevenson: It was as I evolved, and kind of just again feeling how things feel. Like I would see the clothes in the bathroom that I left, and it didn't feel good when I'd come back, because now she's added some to it. Like I'm creating a culture. Chalene Johnson: So did you do that as like a college student, or once you were married? Shawn Stevenson: This was once I was married, definitely. Yeah, this all happened- my greatest evolution- like being in a relationship is your greatest practice ground for practicing compassion, for practicing patience, and also just for stepping up as a human being. Chalene Johnson: Yes, it's really true and I think too many people think of it about like, "What can you do for me?" But it's, "What can I do to be better for you?" I think that's a better way to look at it. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely. Chalene Johnson: And so much of these things transfer then to all the other areas. So at the beginning you asked me if I believe people should get organized before they take on whatever it is. I think that you'll find you'll be much more successful, no matter what it is, if you start with your foundation. So the environment that you're in, whether you realize it or not, has a tremendous impact on how you are viewing yourself. You don't think about it, but man when things are messy, and chaotic, and you're making that okay, you're making it okay to be distracted. You're making it okay to hit an obstacle. So it becomes a belief, right? Where you start to believe, "Well this is how I'm supposed to live. Other people are organized." But once you start adopting- like that's a foundational habit. You start adopting that, it's crazy how every area of your life starts to make so much more sense, and you start to realize, "I can now have a system in place for improving my health. And I can put a system in place for starting a side business." You know, and all of these things are foundational. So you know, I know not everyone watching has children, but if you do it's a really important skill to teach your kids. Shawn Stevenson: Definitely. Chalene, final question, what is the model that you're here to set with the way you live your life personally? Chalene Johnson: It is to always be focused on being just a little bit better. Not perfect, but just a little bit better, so that you can be happier, healthier, and live more. Shawn Stevenson: I love it. Simple and powerful. Chalene Johnson: Thanks. Shawn Stevenson: Can you let everybody know where they can connect with you online, remind them of your incredible podcast? Chalene Johnson: Sure, so I would love to have people listen to The Chalene Show. Specifically, I did a four-part series on decluttering, so I think that would be really helpful for people. You can find me at You can find me at, and I'd love to hear from people in social media. Let them know what you took away from the show. Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Oh Chalene, you're the best. Thank you so much for inviting me over. Chalene Johnson: Thanks for being here. Yeah, it's been fun. Hopefully you'll move out here someday, who knows? I'm trying. Shawn Stevenson: Oh, who knows? Who knows? Awesome. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. Wow, there's just so many nuggets of wisdom to really pull and extract from this episode, and please understand like my modus operandi, my mission is to bring you the very best people in the world in their respective fields. Chalene is one of those people. She's a rare like Renaissance woman hybrid, right? She's like got multiple superpowers, and I think it really is derived from something that I didn't expect her to say, which she's really about solving problems, you know? So for me it became an inspiration, like at the very beginning of the show, like making that more of something that's a focus in my life. Like how can I solve problems? I was doing it unconsciously, you know, as I'm creating this content for you guys, but I want to be much more focused on that because that's what really makes me feel good. And for all of us, you know? That's really one of the things that kind of drives us, is figuring out stuff, you know? Solving problems. And also what I love about her is also embracing the good stuff, embracing life, because she found a problem to solve. She just shared a story with me before we did this show about her roller-skating yesterday, but she also was getting really present and the juice out of life as well. So I don't want you to miss out on that, and with this episode it might seem like it's another thing to do, but you're not alone, alright? Make sure to throw on your headphones, listen to The Chalene Show, listen to my show, get some positive encouragement, and also you can recruit other people into this as well. There are going to be other people who want to get better, who want to feel better, who want to declutter their life so they can really get focused. Make room for greater things that come in, alright? So be aware of that, alright? You're not in this alone, but I do think- I had no idea how much value this could hold, but I truly do think that it is something valuable to pay attention to. And we talked about how this can be something that you recruit people for, and how do you invite people in to help, you know? Maybe if you're just like, "I want to do this, but my wife is so-" Or, "I want to do this, but my kids are so-" I think it's really important for you to practice patience and to lead by example, alright? And you might be like, "Well I'm already doing this." Well here's the thing, it's doing it with resentment versus doing this- because here's the thing, before my wife came upon this grand idea and really embracing this thanks to Chalene's podcast- and by the way, she said it's four parts. Alright? How many podcasts have a four-parter? It's like the Fast and the Furious movies, alright? They got progressively better, and then at some point- but she stopped at four, so it was right there at that mid part where it's really great, alright? Four part series because it's important. But before that, you know, it would- some things would annoy me. It's just like, "Why don't you just do this?" Or, "Why don't you do that?" And I know- here's the thing, she had things about me that was the same thing, and I have to understand that. Like listen, I'm not perfect. I know some things about me bother her, probably very few, but I knew that I had to like kind of check myself. And I started to actually- and this might sound crazy, but I would see it as cute like, "Oh here she goes again, leaving her jacket. Let me just go put this up." You know? So I brought a fresher feeling tone to it, and before you know it, like she started to change as well. You know? And by the way, let me be clear about, this is the most important part of this episode right here. My wife in no way is anything- she's perfect. Alright? Let me make that clear, alright? So all of these small things, this was a very small piece of a dynamic woman who's handling a lot of things. You know? And she felt a psychological like pull-down from the clutter, and so it wasn't something I was trying to fix about her, she decided that that would make her feel better, and be better as a mom, and as a wife, and as a person in her business as well. So I just want to make that clear, we're not here to try to change other people, especially when so many of us- we have to understand like we're good. Like we're really good how we are, you know? But it's taking the opportunity to embrace that there's another level for ourselves, and we can take other people with us, but we have to lead by example. Alright, so if you got a lot of value out of this episode, please make sure to share this out with your friends and family on social. Again, tag Chalene, tag me, let us know what you thought about the episode, and just share the love. You know? This can really be life-changing for people, and guys listen, I've got some incredible- I'm telling you, incredible episodes, some incredible show topics that are going to blow your mind, so make sure to stay tuned, alright? Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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  1. Pingback: TMHS 307: 12 Tips For Conquering Distraction And Getting More Done - My podcast website
  2. Pingback: TMHS 292: Create A Culture Of Health In Your Family And Why Fitness Is A Launchpad To Success - With Guest Anne Stevenson - My podcast website
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  4. Finally!!! Someone is talking my language and validating something I’ve been feeling for years. I could never explain why but, when my space is clean I just feel better. I breath better. I have more energy. Thank you!!

    1. Yes!! She is changing how we look at success and clutter. Thank you for sharing!


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