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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do This Before You Pursue a Relationship By Deb Allen

Even as children most of us dream about what our life partner will be like. Some of focus on the appearance of our mate and others focus more on the personality of that special person. The truth is that almost everyone of us will feel that we are in love at some point in our lifetime. Being in love does not guarantee our happiness, but being in love with a compatible person might. That is why there are a few steps to take before pursuing a relationship in order to ensure that it will be a great one.

The steps are easy but they can be time-consuming. The reason is that you should give careful consideration to each step. Okay, please see the list below:

1) Get to know yourself

2) Consider your dreams, goals and plans

3) Decide what, if anything, you are willing to compromise on

4) If children are in your plans determine a parenting style you are comfortable with

5) Consider your budgeting style, are you a spender or a saver

When I listed 'get to know yourself' as step one I thought many people might misunderstand.

You see, this is really the most time-consuming step for most people. In order to know yourself you will need to carefully analyze what is important to you. After completing this step you will be able to tell anyone your basic thoughts about the fundamentals of life.

I suggest that you begin with your values, faith, and ethics. I always find it helpful to make lists on paper (or a computer screen) so I can look over it. But if you prefer making the list in your head that is fine. The purpose of defining these things for yourself is so that you can decide just how important they are to you. For instance, if you are a very religious person you may plan to raise your children with that same religion. Consider how you would feel if your partner has a different religion and wants to raise the children with those beliefs.

You most likely have some plans for your future. I think we all do. The point in this step is so that you become clearer on your goals and you can more easily determine how important they are to you.

Step three is reviewing your lists from step one and two in order to determine if you are willing to compromise on any of those issues. An example might be if you meet your partner and he or she feels that their goals are more beneficial to the relationship so you are asked to assist in helping them reach their goals while yours are put on hold or forgotten.

Raising children often results in disagreements between the parents. One may have a more liberal style of parenting while the other is very strict and authoritative. Consider how that could be handled. Ideally this is something that would be discussed early in a relationship in order to avoid disputes later.

And the last step I have listed is determining your budgeting style. Some of us are spenders and some of us are savers. Arguments over money are common in relationships. Sometimes having a spender and a saver in the couple is the ideal mix. They tend to smooth the edges of one another. But if you have been on your own for awhile it may be hard to switch styles. Decide how you would handle such a situation if your partner wanted money matters handled differently than you do.

By assessing yourself before you even begin a relationship you will be better equipped to make an intelligent decision about the viability of the partnership. Some relationships may be better left as a friendship than to be pursued as a lifetime partnership.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Conversation starters

There is nothing worse when meeting someone for the first time then that awkward silence after greeting each other.

Kick the silence into orbit with these conversation starters.

How was your day?

You look really nice, where did you get (item in question)?

How was work?

If you are in their home comment on an ornament or a piece of furniture.

Have you seen any movies recently? How did you like it/them?

What kind of music do you listen to?

Ask if they saw a interesting TV program.What sports do you play or like? How long have you played for?

What did you do this weekend (week)?

Have you been to (a local restaurant)?

What kind of foods do you like?

Where are you from?

Where did you go to school/college?

Have you read any good books lately? Was it interesting?

What do you normally do for fun?

Do you like (an interest of yours)?

These will get the conversation going and you will find out what the other is interested in. Then you'll know if you have anything in common.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Character is Who We Are When No One is Watching By Fred Nicklaus

I remember a conversation that I had a while ago with a person who was talking to me about a chance that he would have to make some extra dollars and possibly take over part or all of the ownership of a company. Sounded like a pretty good deal at first, but then the person went on to tell me that he was not happy with the opportunity for extra dollars but wanted to move on the ownership of the company. In order to do that, he was willing to do some underhanded things in order for him to achieve his goals. I thought

The aforementioned person never achieved his goal and is it any wonder? Isn't it true that the way of the universe is most often that we never get things if we don't really deserve them. It almost never happens with proper joy or reward if a person is willing to use underhanded means in an effort to get what they want.

It's interesting that this theme of Character is something that I come across on a regular basis. I was at my weekly bible study and we talked about the Character theme among the group of men that I meet with. Character, it really is at the center of our relationships with family, friends, and everyday acquaintances. Any contact that we have will always be more fruitful and more fulfilling if we allow our Character to come to the front and be ourselves.

I believe that everyone knows the importance of acting the way you act at all times, no matter who the audience is that you might be in contact with. Are you the same you in all situations or do you have different yous that come to the front depending upon the situation that you are in or the people your around whether your acting a certain way might benefit you depending upon the you that you display?

I believe that it's all fairly simple. Decide who you are and let people know who that is by the way that you act in all situations. I hope that we all decide to be honest, fair, humble, willing to learn, and willing to help others. I believe that these are some reasonable character traits that can lead to a successful and happy life.

Be true in all your actions,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Can't See the Forest From the Trees By Blanca Stella Mejia

I always pondered on this saying and don't think I really understood what it meant until today where I fully experienced this through a situation that presented itself for me as a perfect learning opportunity.

I was driving looking for an address."I think I know where I am going," my sister calls me on the cell phone. Here we are talking about our plans, our dreams and our future or should I say she was, because all of a sudden I find myself lost while she is talking up a storm as to "how on fire she is" with our dream. For the past year, we have worked intensely together creating a blueprint for our concepts and our dreams. The plan was we would be making these real estate deals so we could continue to fund our dreams. I had left my "job" after basically having a stable income for all of my adult life in some form or another. Of coarse, we were able to do this through a business credit line, of which we had anticipated to pay back within the year due to the projected sales of real estate.

But then came the real estate crash, who would have thought........ Go figure, right???? And even in the crash, with the listings we had, and good solid contracts coming in, the deals fell apart because the sellers were suddenly upside down. There is no way we could have foreseen the drastic drop in prices in one year in Miami. At the time the market seemed to be doing well. But life has a way of take funny turns. My sister is a single mother and I, while married, and in a very stable relationship had been the major bread winner in our household. All of a sudden my sister and I are faced with no income coming in and debts piling up. It so happened that at this time my sister was also in the process of a surgical procedure to repair damage to an injured ankle from a car accident five years ago. The pain was so bad from barely any cartilage, she could hardly walk.

We were both faced with: "Now what?" There was no other option but for me to go out and find another "job." This was excruciatingly difficult for me, probably as much as the pain in her ankle.

I have been in the system of working for someone and receiving a "paycheck" for 30 years since I got out of college. On the other hand, my sister has always been self-employed and an entrepreneur in her real estate business. Quite a different world for each of us. So when I began working with her, it really took a long while for me to make that shift from "paycheck mentality" to self-employed, entrepreneur, creator of my own destiny. Don't get me wrong, I have had my own small private practice and within the last 15 years worked as an independent contractor with different agencies. But our work together was different. It was creating something different.

We were really creating our hopes, dreams and desires. And then came the real estate market crash, and then the financial markets crash. I had to go back to work in something that I did not necessarily receive a great deal of satisfaction but in the moment paid the bills and most of the time barely.

Going back to the beginning of the story, while I am on the phone with her and lost looking for this address, she was been "TOTALLY "immersed in continuing the dream because her schedule and lifestyle at this point allows it. (Thank God because if not our dreams would have died). One person always has to hold that dream.

A few months ago, I re-entered the "system of work "and all that this entails. Yes living paycheck to paycheck as so many Americans do this day. Today happened to be a more frustrating day as I experienced computer problems etc. etc. etc.

As we were talking on the phone, I finally get fed up with going around in circles and tell her I need to get off the phone because I am lost and need to find this address before 5:00 pm. I focus and begin to think as I am driving, "I know I am in the right area. I am only a block off, how can
I not find this place? "

As I retrace my steps to where I had been earlier I decide to go a little further in what I had assumed and thought was a DEAD END because I was in my frustration of the emotion of my conversation with my sister and was not paying attention. As I went a couple of feet further, there was the address that I was looking for. Yes it was the DEAD END" I HAD NOT GONE FAR ENOUGH.

Funny in our conversation on the phone my sister had said something about pushing - pushing for the dream. While I felt sometimes I was drowning being back in the system and allowing myself to get frustrated about details, I understood what she was saying. I do the same in my marriage with my husband. Sometimes I hold the dream and push for the dream.

I realize that this is what is important in working with partnerships whether it is with my sister or with my husband, at some point in time one person of the partnership has to hold the dream.

We all go through those moments where we feel like giving up. I have been in that mode and today's experience reminded me of that. What I thought and saw as the DEAD END was really the final destination that I was looking for. We all somehow tend to give up right before we get to our final destination. It's that last mile that makes or breaks us. It's not being able to see the forest for the trees that we lose our vision.

Want to know how to learn from life experiences, let go of pain and find real strength right from the heart of the crisis in your life? Get free tips, resources on personal development and spiritual growth from

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Build Strong Relationships - Four Tips on How to Use Conflict to Create Intimacy By Eric Coggins

If you are a normal red-blooded human being, you hate conflict. In fact, most people avoid conflict like the plague. However, what we do not realize is that at least some level of conflict is necessary to gaining intimacy with another human being. A Cambodian proverb says "you are not a close friend until you have had a fight with that person." This article presents four tips on how to use conflict to create intimacy.

First, look at conflict as a way to learn more about yourself.

Often, when we are in the heat of the moment, we become locked into the problem and fail to learn from the situation. However, Stephen Covey, 1989, wrote that humans have four distinct gifts to help us change unwanted behavior. One of those gifts is self-awareness. Through the gift of self-awareness, you can use conflict to find out who you are and what makes you tick. You can learn about what is important to you and why you are having a problem with your friend.

The other three gifts are conscience, imagination and independent will. These gifts help us assess our behavior as right or wrong (conscience); design a new course of action (imagination); and carry it out (independent will).

Employment of all four gifts will help you know how to fine-tune to your partner and allow you to grow closer to them.

Second, look at conflict as an opportunity to learn more about your friend or partner.

When your worldview collides with their worldview, you learn more about them and what makes them tick.

This follows only if you are willing to suspend your need for self-preservation. Covey points out that in between stimulus and response is a space or gap. If you can teach yourself to think before you react, then you can exploit this space to make better choices. Unfortunately, most of us are prone to react instantaneously rather than take a step back and think through what just happened.

If we can learn to exploit the space and delay our response, then we can also learn to ask questions about our partner's behavior. Such questions will help them know that you want to know them better and will cause them to trust you more. As trust deepens, your relationship will become more intimate.

Third, learn to be humble.

Humility is an essential quality for close friendships. Humility means to have a right view of yourself. To have a right view of yourself means to accurately assess your worth, thinking neither too highly nor too lowly about your life. In fact, you are a masterpiece of
God's own hand, created to be the special person you are.

The same is true of your friend or companion. As such you are both very valuable. When you have a correct view of yourself and others, you will treat them with greater respect and dignity. Conflict is an opportunity to practice humility and to reiterate the worth of others.

Fourth, learn the fine art of reconciliation.

Few know how to reconcile their relationships. When relationships go sour, most people either throw up their hands to fight it out or drop their heads and slink away. But, if you can learn how to reconcile in an amiable way, you will have the intimate relationships of all. Reconciliation includes learning how to apologize for offenses committed against the other and how to forgive when others hurt you. A

lthough it is not advisable to purposely seek out trouble, the more conflict you encounter the more you will learn how to deal with conflict and how to reconcile with your loved ones.
Conflict is never easy and most people try to avoid it. This article has discussed four tips on how to use conflict to create more intimate relationships.

Eric Coggins - is the author of the 92 page ebook The Best You:Foundation Principles of an Effective Life. If you would like to know more about that book and how to have an abundant life, checkout

Eric CogginsLevel: Basic PLUSI grew up somewhere between Disneyland and Hollywood. I am the third child of four, and second boy of three. Both my parents are still ... ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Been Dumped? Relax, already!

This post was written obviously for the women but I think men can take something from it as well...

So you've been dumped. It's happened to all of us, at one time or another. Still, this is a case where 'misery loves company' doesn't quite apply. It hurts. A lot. It may require some effort to learn to be alone again. But there are things you can do for yourself to make it easier. First step is: be kind to yourself. Even though it feels like amputation, ditch every reminder you have of the relationship. Seeing things that remind you will only make it harder to get over him.

Discard the love letters, Valentine cards and the CDs. Whatever reminds you of the guy, get rid of. If he gave you valuable jewelry, sell it. Better yet, throw it into the nearest body of water, whether it's the ocean or a river-- the physical act of throwing his things away will free you, really it will.

Then, relax. Relax? When your heart feels as if it's been through a blender? It's really not as difficult as it sounds-- trust me on this. Doing sweet, romantic things for yourself will help ease your heart and mind. For instance, draw a nice warm bath for one. Light a few candles, brew a steaming mug of chamomile tea and turn on some lovely music (just not 'your song'). Something instrumental, without words, is just the thing. Add a generous spill of essential oil such as lavender or rose to your bath for an even more relaxing time. Roll a thick towel into a nice neck pillow and climb in.

Every time that 'he' comes across your mind, push him away with better thoughts. If you find this difficult to do, simply count backwards from one-hundred. Whatever it takes to displace thoughts of the jerk that dumped you-- do it. Indulge your favorite fantasy, as long as it doesn't involve you-know-who. Lather up with the most expensive soap or bath gel you can afford; this is the time to totally treat yourself, and well. Skip shaving your legs, unless this is something that you like to do just for yourself.

This is a good time to be absolutely selfish! Sing out loud, as long as it's nothing romantic. "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" is a good choice, if you know it. And if you don't know it, fake it. Scrub yourself all over with a long backbrush, loofah or natural sponge. Enjoy your beautiful body and nevermind the idiot who left it. Remember that you're an exquisite woman and you will be loved again. No hurries, though-- realize that this is a time of solitude, not loneliness. As you soak in the soothing, fragrant waters let your mind wander, as long as it's not toward memories of him. Lavish yourself with love 'til your toes wrinkle, then dry yourself with a thick, warm towel.

Now, caress yourself slowly with an indulgent body-butter or lotion. Enjoy yourself completely.

Give yourself a good deep foot massage then slip into a pair of warm, snuggly socks. Brush your hair slowly while reminding yourself what a lovely, valuable woman you truly are. Above all, keep relaxing, gentle thoughts in your mind.

The old adage 'time heals all wounds' really is (as most old adages are) true. Each day that passes will be easier and easier until finally you will laugh that you every thought 'he' was worth your time. Be your own best friend and love yourself completely. Face it. Fellows come and go, but we're with ourselves forever.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Be More Attractive & Release the Fear of Being Alone Today By Nick Arrizza, M.D.

The fear of being alone inflicts on anyone who harbors it feelings of insecurity, anxiety, low self esteem and self worth, the tendency to depend and rely too readily on others and their opinions, feelings of emptiness and a needy disposition that makes them unattractive to others. In other words it perpetuates the very thing that the person fears i.e. being alone.

Yet many who are afflicted by this have no idea what to do about it other than to try and wrestle it to the ground and pretend to themselves and others that they are not afraid of being alone.

Does this feel like a tenable strategy to you? Hardly!

There is another solution and I present it here in a powerful way that I feel will shift you and your experience permanently if you wish to undertake this pioneering journey into yourself.

Let's start with the simple question:

What does this fear actually motivate you to do?

Well it supposedly motivates one to find friends so that they will no longer feel alone.

So if they are no longer feeling alone what are they supposedly feeling instead?

Well they would be feeling secure, comfortable, like they fit in, attractive to others, loved, good about themselves, happy, at peace and so on.

So in summary one could then say that:

The fear of being alone causes one to feel secure, comfortable, like they fit in, loved, good about themselves, happy, at peace and so on. (I call this the Summary Statement)

Now if we look at what the fear of being alone actually does to you you'll notice as stated above that it leads to feelings of insecurity, anxiety, low self esteem and self worth, the tendency to depend and rely to readily on others and their opinions, feelings of emptiness and a needy disposition that makes them unattractive to others. In other words it perpetuates the very thing that the person fears i.e. being alone.

This fear is clearly TOXIC, is it not?

If you see this place one hand over your heart and as if you are speaking from there simply affirm this to yourself and then notice how you feel.

Now does what this fear does to you concur with the Summary Statement above?

Hardly, because they are exact opposites!

So which is the truth about this fear?

Well I think that you'll recognize that the Summary Statement is false.

If you do, place one hand over your heart, and as if you are speaking from there simply affirm this to yourself and then notice how you feel.

So do you want this false statement to be living inside your mind or body? If not, as if you are speaking from your heart command that it be forever purged from your life.

Next, with your hand over your heart command the fear of being alone to be purged from your life.

Finally, in the present tense (i.e. I am feeling ...etc.) describe how you would rather feel and be.

Once you have your list then once again affirm this as if you are speaking this from you heart.

Notice how you feel now.

If you've followed this you'll find yourself in an entirely new place in your self and you life.


Friday, July 10, 2009

A Positive Emotional Mental State = Experiencing Life to the Fullest By Daniel Massicotte

Mental state is what getting anything done boils down to. Throughout the years I have been encouraged by my teachers to learn how to multi-task. I really don't like multi-tasking because I cannot focus on one thing with my entire mind and do the best job possible. Multi-taking is something that I can do if I want to get a bunch of activities out of the way at the same time. When I do this the quality of the activities I am engaging myself in is jeopardized.

I recently put myself in a mental state that focused on being thankful. I just had surgery and was bed-ridden for a full three weeks. There really was only so much Seinfeld I could watch!

I built up the courage to write 15 "Thank You" letters to the first 15 people that came to my mind. This was a challenge because I had never done it before. I also was a little concerned that the people receiving the letters would think I'm crazy.

As I worked myself up to do this challenge I began to feel strong emotions of gratitude. I'm not talking about the thankfulness you exhibit when the driver waits for you as you run in the pouring rain to catch the bus. These emotions brought tears to my eyes because I knew that I was addressing certain things I had never taken the time to be grateful for. I never even considered their meaning.

One of these things was how my brother practically yelled at me to 'grow up!' Another one was the generosity in time someone had given me so I could share things with them I could not with others. Another letter made me realize just how much one of my mentors had done for me over the last four years.

These are feelings that we are meant to experience every day. Unfortunately we're not always receptive to them and so we close them out. This can happen for any number of reasons. I would like dive into what I feel is one of the top emotions that prevent us from feeling so full and abundant, but that will be another article, for another time.

What is most important is that we learn to be grateful for everything and everyone in our lives.

We need to recognize things that happen to us that displease us and change out mental state so that we can see the good in them instead of the bad.

Negative people always see negative results and experience life from a negative stand point.

Positive people on the other hand have a complete reverse experience. They look for the good that happens in every situation. Instead of having a bad day, they have a bad hour. Instead of crying over their wallet being stolen, they get on the phone to get new cards and then go do something they enjoy!

Be that positive person, and tell me about it!

Dan Massicotte is perhaps the most positive oriented individual you will ever meet. You can learn more about him on his website: Join his newsletter to be informed of new articles and website developments.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A New Look at Finding Love By Dr. Brenda Shoshanna

Everyone wants love and yet today it seems more difficult than ever to know how to build a lasting relationship and find the fulfillment we desire. In many circles, traditional relationships and commitment are a thing of the past. For many, it has become hard to find a suitable partner and create a lasting home.

It's useful to take a new look, from an old point of view about what love is and how to find it. Both Zen and Jewish practice offer unique point of view about love, which can ease the loneliness many today experience.

In Jewish practice, it is in the very process of being in relationship, in which we learn what it means to love. In Jewish practice, romantic feelings, which come and go, are not a foundation for lasting love. The wedding is just a beginning; the person you marry is there to show you what it means to love. Your partner is your teacher, to show you the ways you need to grow. You focus on caring for and serving your partner, not on being served. When your partner is disturbing you, they are giving you an opportunity to grow. Thank them for behaving this way. They are teaching you to let go of self-centered focus, accept differences, be patient and not judge.

Zen practice asks that we first establish the ability to love within. We step back from the chase and ask what it is we are truly seeking and what it is we lack? Many feel something is missing without a partner. If they cannot or do not find their perfect partner, they are unworthy or have failed. But who is searching, and who must be found?

From the Zen point of view, this search for ourselves in another person is dangerous and misleading. Just as you are, you are complete and whole. Nothing need be added. Your original nature encompasses all; it is neither male nor female, big nor small. The feeling that you lack something comes from obsession with seeking your good outside of yourself. In the practice of zazen as we sit, we become aware of our false ideas, fears and constrictions and let them go. As we do so, we become readily able to see the beauty in others and to love and care for all.

Jewish practice also teaches that the experience of falling in love is not necessarily healthy; it can be a blessing or a curse. The emotions connected to falling in love can be so intense that unless you are prepared, they can cause difficulty and blindness of all kinds. For example, you may not know if what you feel is love or some kind of fantasy infatuation. When intoxication lessens and you see things clearly, you may wonder what you ever saw in the person in the first place.

Psychological and spiritual preparation for this event serves as a protective shield, and directs the intense emotions of the heart. However, in Jewish practice relationship is always crucial. The relationship between man and woman is considered so important that the quality of a person's marriage can tell you everything about who they are. A student wanted to find the best Rebbe to study with. He went around asking, "How can I know if this Rebbe is really great?" Finally a great scholar answered, "If you want to know the quality of the Rebbe, look how happy he makes his wife."

Jewish practice teaches that a truly matched couple are two parts of the same soul, destined to unite. When you are longing for your true partner, you are actually longing for the other part of your soul. However, you have to develop to a level where you can be suitable for the person who is meant for you. If you want to find your soul mate, first attend to your soul - refine your character, increase your goodness. In Zen practice we do not connect with our soul mates but with our authentic selves. As we live from what is most deep and real, all separation and loneliness dissolve and love naturally arises for all. At this time it is not necessary to seek that one particular person, each person we encounter is simply another part of ourselves, there to be appreciated, nourished and cared for in anyway we can.

Whether based upon Jewish or Zen practice, all relationships which are grounded in the ability to care for and nourish others can only become a source of strength and wisdom for all concerned.

Dr. Brenda ShoshannaLevel: PlatinumDr Brenda Shoshanna is a psycohlogist, author, speaker and relationship expert on i.village. Her most recent book is The Anger Diet, (30 Days To Stress ... ...)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

365 Reasons Why I Love You - Tell Someone How Much They Mean to You By Allen Jesson

When it comes to giving someone a gift, most people will look for a something that stands out or in some way shows how much they care about someone.

Giving a gift to show a person how much they mean to you does not have to cost a fortune, In fact there is no better way to show your love than to spend some time making a list of 365 reasons why I love you.

When writing your list of 365 reasons why I love you, try not to focus too much on physical things, consider the persons likes, dislikes, things they say and most importantly the little gestures they make that make you smile.

An example of some of the reasons you could use when compiling your list of 365 reasons why I love you could be:

Your strength Your devotion

How you are always 100% honest no matter what

Your kindness

Your smile

The way you are always happy first thing in the morning when I am grumpy

The way you take pride in how you look

The compliments you give me

The way you touch my face when we kiss

The little looks you give me when we are around friends

Your loyalty to me and everyone or everything that matters to you

Your compassion for everyone around you

Your selflessness

Your integrity

Your strength

Your devotion

The way you hold me

The way you liven up a room just by being in it

How much you have taught me about life and myself

Your intelligence

The fact that you are good at fixing things or putting things together by hand

Your zest for life

I love to wake up with you by my side...It makes my days better

You always make me feel that you are by my side no matter what

I love that feeling of being secure when you wrap your arms around me

I love the way you keep your cool when I do something stupid

Just being with you feels like I can defy the whole world

You mean the world to me

I like your small gestures that speak volumes about how much you care

Once you have written your list of 365 reasons why I love you it may be a good idea to have a card made and place the list inside. You may even want to read the list to your partner over a romantic dinner.

However you decide to present your list of 365 reasons why I love you, make sure you have taken time to list everything that means something to you, sometimes the silly things that people do are the things that make us love them even more.

Are you struggling to create a list of 365 reasons why I love you? Allen Jesson can help you write 365 reasons why I love you.

Article Source:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

24 Daily Habits Posted by Peter Clemens

We first make our habits, and then our habits make us - John Dryden

I have previously written about how the habit of Exercising Every Day has helped me tremendously. Doing something every day is such a powerful way to form a habit that I thought I would make a list of 24 habits that are worth doing on a daily basis. Note: I have divided these into morning, day and night although some could obviously be under different headings.

The Morning

1. Wake Early:

I am a big fan of waking at 5am and spending time working on myself before going to work. I have written more about this habit here.

2. Exercise:

when I had the goal of exercising 4 times a week I found it was very easy to tell myself I will exercise tomorrow instead. Setting the expectation of daily exercise removed this as a potential excuse and I have since reaped the benefits of this daily habit.

3. Review or (even better) Rewrite Your Goals:

each day I try to get closer to achieving my short, medium and long term goals. Starting the day by reviewing or rewriting my goals means that I have better awareness of them throughout the day. As Robin Sharma says:
With better awareness you can make better choices and when you make better choices, you will see better results.

4. Read and/ or Listen to Motivational Material:

in the morning a whole day of endless possibilities lies ahead. I motivate myself to play my best game by reading and listening to inspirational books/ audiobooks.

5. Visualise the Day Ahead:

I like to take a few minutes to shut my eyes and visualise what I want happen in the coming day. It’s amazing how often my desires become reality when I do this.

6. Write a “To Do” list:

I like to write out a list in my diary of the important tasks I need to do that day. As they are completed I put a line through them. So simple, yet so effective.

7. Check the News Headlines:

I think it’s important to have an idea of what is happening in our community and the world. Also if don’t at least check the main stories, I find it is easy to feel left out of conversations throughout the day.

8. Take a Multivitamin:

I try to eat a well balanced diet, but taking a multivitamin daily reassures me that I obtaining the proper amount of vitamins and minerals that I need (**Update: see comments).

9. Tidy Up:

a cluttered house can lead to a cluttered mind and fuzzy thinking. I find it’s best to stay on top of things by tidying up each day.

10. Take Time to Look Good:

it’s a reality of life that people judge us by our appearance. I take a few minutes each morning to ensure I go out into the world looking the best I can.

The Day

11. Put First Things First:

Many people have their day controlled by tasks that are urgent , but not necessarily important. Examples include interruptions, some email and some phone calls. The habit of putting first things first is about organising and executing your life around your deepest priorities.

12. Connect with Nature:

I find spending time outdoors in nature is great for my sense of wellbeing. I have written about this here.

13. Blog:

blogging makes me think and write - two things that I can’t get enough of each day. I have written more about the benefits of blogging here.

14. Snack Well:

I substitute the chips, candy and chocolate with fruit, vegetables (carrots and celery are great to chomp on) and nuts.

15. Be Proactive:

being proactive means showing initiative and taking the responsibility to make things happen. Whenever I want something to happen, I ask myself: what can I do to make this happen?

16. Ping a Friend:

I try to send a quick email or text to a friend each day. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends when I am extremely busy.

17. Save:

I save at least 10% of each paycheck. A great way to find the money to save is to break it down to a daily amount, for example $10-15. By taking account of the Latte Factor I find it easy to save this much.

The Evening

18. Have Family Time:

on a typical workday I won’t see much of my partner and son, so I believe it’s important to, at the very least, be there most evenings. Family time is about quantity and quality.

19. Floss:

This is essential to reduce tooth decay and gum disease. Why wouldn’t you want to have the best smile possible?

20. Wind Down:

I try to switch off the computer and the TV about 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime and let my brain have some down time after a long day. I sleep far more peacefully when I do this.

21. Review My Day:

I find this is a great way to hold myself to account for taking action throughout the day. Did I get closer to achieving my goals? Did I complete my to do list? Did my day go as planned? If not, why not?

22. Read:

I love to read and do so continuously throughout the day. I find it is especially good to read just before to going to bed. Just makes sure it’s a relaxing book, and not one about nuclear physics (see habit #20).

23. Say I Love You to My Family Members:

don’t just assume that your family members know you love them. I say these words to my partner and son at least once per day.

24. Go to Bed At A Reasonable Time:

the first habit of this list (waking early) begins by going to bed at a reasonable time and getting a good nights sleep.