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A better you

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Just Love Yourself
A series of articles to create a better you.
Ways to a better you
1
“Nothing is impossible, if
you really want it”
6 Easy Routines to Help Your
Family Bond
2
6 Easy Routines to Help Your Family Bond
Your family can strengthen its bond an...
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A better you

  1. 1. Just Love Yourself A series of articles to create a better you.
  2. 2. Ways to a better you 1 “Nothing is impossible, if you really want it”
  3. 3. 6 Easy Routines to Help Your Family Bond 2 6 Easy Routines to Help Your Family Bond Your family can strengthen its bond and grow closer by following simple routines. These activities are easy to incorporate into your family life and can be adjusted to fit your needs. Routines and rituals like these can help your family connect on a daily basis: 1. Find simple things to do together that don’t take much time. It’s not easy to find time to spend together as a family, but you can create routines that help. Look at your schedule and find a short time to add simple rituals to the day when you’re together. • For example, you could pray or sing a song together b e f o r e b e d .
 • Maybe your family would enjoy jokes during dinner. 2. Eat breakfast together. The morning can be a hectic time for families as everyone tries to get ready for school or work. However, breakfast is an easy opportunity to eat together. • It may be tempting to let everyone grab a quick meal or drink and rush out of the house in the morning. However, you’re missing the chance to spend time together as a family and create a simple routine. • Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated, so you can prepare easy items such as bagels or cereal. By having these items ready before your family wakes up, you can encourage them to eat together. You may have to adjust the family’s schedule for this routine, but you’ll be creating memories. 3. Make lunch box notes. Simple rituals such as lunch box notes for every member of the family can help you bond. • Children and adults alike can benefit from the sweet notes in their lunches. Use small note cards or sticky notes and write an encouraging message. You can also draw pictures or include jokes. • Lunch box notes can become a family tradition that lasts for years. 4. Create a secret family handshake. Make up a special handshake that only you and your family uses. You’ll make another connection with your loved one each time y o u u s e i t .
 5. Make movie night special. Replicate the feeling of being in a movie theater by getting popcorn, candy, and turning off the lights. You can even grab a flashlight and use it to find your way during intermission, or rearrange the furniture and add chairs f o r a m o v i e t h e a t e r e x p e r i e n c e .
 • Rotate who picks the movie every week. This gives both the adults and children the chance to watch their favorites. Ensure that each movie is appropriate for the entire family by setting a few guidelines on choosing the movie. 6. Create a pizza and game night. You may enjoy taking a break from the stove, and the children will appreciate the chance to eat pizza. • Pizza and game night can be a fun way to bring your entire family together. You can do this ritual once a week or once a month. Adjust the frequency to fit your schedule. 2
  4. 4. • Games are a simple way to reconnect with your loved ones, and they can fill an entire evening with laughter. Help your family bond by creating simple routines and rituals. These routines can quickly become family traditions and create cherished memories that last a lifetime. 3
  5. 5. 8 Ways to Keep Your Mind in Shape 3 8 Ways to Keep Your Mind in Shape A lot of us are concerned with the size of our biceps or the girth of our waist. Having a fit body is important. However, keeping your mind in shape is critical to enjoying your life at the highest level. Give your brain the attention it deserves! Keep your mind healthy, active, and in shape with these strategies: 1. Exercise regularly. Roughly 30% of your brain’s volume is composed of blood vessels. It’s important to keep your blood moving! Exercise will get your blood flowing and help to control your blood sugar. High blood sugar is harmful to blood vessels. That’s why so many diabetics die of heart disease or stroke at a r e l a t i v e l y y o u n g a g e .
 2. Read each day. Reading requires a lot of your brain. It’s not easy to transform symbols into words and meaning. Spend some time each day with a book that makes you think. You might learn something useful, too. • Avoid reading the same types of books on a regular basis. Read well-written articles. Read the classics. Try a new science fiction novel. How about a book on theoretical physics? Reading the sports page every day doesn’t count. The same goes for romance novels by your favorite author. Mix it up.
 3. Eat well. A healthy diet will help preserve your brain function. Do a little research on the best diet for longevity and attempt to make a few changes to your eating habits. A few, small changes each month will go a long way toward keeping your brain healthy.
 4. Meditate. Meditation is powerful for several reasons. You’ll learn to focus like a Tibetan monk. You’ll also learn how to relax. Both are wonderful for your brain. Meditation is hard work. It’s like a decathlon for your mind. • Find a good teacher in your area and meditate in a group. You’ll make some new friends, too.
 5. Challenge yourself. Learn something new. Learning to paint, speak a new language, or dance are a few great examples. Learning something new forces your brain to create new neural pathways. Your brain’s ability to change is referred to as its “elasticity.” • This can be very challenging at first. If you’ve been living the same day repeatedly for several years, learning something new is similar to going jogging for the first time. It’s painful, and you don’t get too far. Be patient and give your brain a chance to w a k e u p .
 6. Do something that requires a lot of brainpower. It might be solving cryptograms or writing a computer program. Take a multivariate calculus class. Study c h e s s . P u s h y o u r b r a i n t o t h e m a x i m u m .
 7. Remember the past. As we grow older, it’s more challenging to remember facts from the past. When you can’t remember something, avoid giving up. Take all the time you need to remember. You might finally remember the name of your high-school English teacher while you’re mowing the grass. Keep at it.
 8. Get out and socialize. Spending too much time alone has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing dementia. Have an active social life and spend more time with others. You’ll enjoy your life more, too. 4
  6. 6. There are many benefits to keeping your mind in tip-top condition. You’ll enjoy better mental health and preserve your mental faculties longer. Keeping your mind healthy requires attention. Challenge yourself to learn new information and skills. Your brain is highly elastic. Give it a chance to use that ability. 5
  7. 7. Add Fun to Your Life by Harnessing the Joy of Anticipation Add Fun to Your Life by Harnessing the Joy of Anticipation The happiest moments of your vacation may take place before you board your plane. Studies show that looking forward to a vacation is often more pleasurable than the time you spend away. After all, you can dream about sunbathing on tropical beaches instead of dealing with crowded airports and squabbling kids. While the benefits of anticipation come naturally, you can also train yourself to make the most of your high hopes. Look forward to checking out this guide to anticipation. How to Heighten Anticipation Create more opportunities to experience happiness. Anticipation intensifies and extends the joy of any special occasion or daily treat. Try these strategies: 1. Be specific. Drawing vivid mental pictures boosts your enthusiasm. Rehearse what you're going to say when your boss announces your promotion. Research art museums and gourmet restaurants at your travel d e s t i n a t i o n s .
 2. Tune in to your feelings. Anticipation depends on generating current emotions about future events. Try to put your feelings into words. Feel free to smile, d a n c e , a n d j u m p u p a n d d o w n .
 3. Demonstrate perseverance. It can be difficult to maintain your motivation when you're working on long-term goals like completing a college degree or establishing a small business. Envisioning your future helps you to stay the course because you sample a l i t t l e o f y o u r s u c c e s s r i g h t n o w .
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  8. 8. 4. Work on your timing. Find inspiration in short term benchmarks. While you're waiting to sign a book deal, picture yourself writing a column for your local n e w s p a p e r .
 5. Share the thrills. One of the most effective methods for leveraging your anticipation is collaborating with others. Split a workspace with other entrepreneurs who are trying to get their ideas off the ground. Take dance lessons with your best f r i e n d .
 6. Enjoy your memories. Reminiscing completes the process. While it may be less potent than anticipation, nostalgia also contributes to feeling good.
 7. Revise your to-do list. Of course, you need events you can look forward to if you want to practice anticipation. Ensure your schedule includes fun and e n t e r t a i n m e n t a s w e l l a s w o r k .
 How to Manage Anticipation Anticipation is such a powerful force that it’s important to handle it with care. Learn to savor the excitement without giving in to the potential drawbacks: 8. Apply effort. Making your dreams come true requires concrete action as well as imagination. While you're planning for your dream home, start s a v i n g f o r a d o w n p a y m e n t .
 9. Live in the present. Pay attention to the here and now while you're keeping an eye on your future. Take satisfaction in the journey as well as the results.
 10. Keep minor issues in perspective. Reality sometimes falls short of our expectations. You can relish your new job offer even if it comes with a slightly longer c o m m u t e .
 11. Treat yourself with compassion. What about job interviews when you're unemployed or dating when you're nursing a broken heart. Sometimes you need to be gentle with yourself and practice restraint so you won't feel let down when times are tough.
 12. Make contingency plans. At the same time, being flexible and focusing on solutions can help you to indulge your dreams even if your bank account is low. If one option doesn't pan out, you'll have a stockpile of a l t e r n a t i v e s t o w o r k w i t h .
 13. Soothe your anxiety. In some ways, coping with anxiety is like practicing anticipation in reverse. Your future will probably be a mixed bag, so it's just as realistic to emphasize the positive aspects instead of speculating about what could go wrong.
 Even if you have more than a few grey hairs, you can feel like a kid waiting for Christmas all year round. Discover the joy of anticipation. You’ll be glad you did! 7
  9. 9. Eliminate Your Fear of Failure and Soar to Greater Success 4 Eliminate Your Fear of Failure and Soar to Greater Success Fear of failure can alter every choice we make. This fear can be helpful. Some of us are able to use the fear of failure as motivation to do our best work. However, most of us are influenced by this fear in a negative way. We often change our plans altogether and find an alternative that feels safer. This is a sure way to limit your results and experience feelings of regret. Put the fear of failure behind you: 1. Understand that failure is part of the process. You’re very lucky if you figure out the right way to do something with your first effort. Short-term failure is much more common. Anytime you want to accomplish something significant, you can expect failures to be part of the process. Keep improving your process u n t i l y o u ’ r e s u c c e s s f u l .
 2. Realize that failure is only a temporary condition. A single failure isn’t a permanent condition. Failure is like a rainy day. Sunny days always show up again.
 3. Find something meaningful. With enough motivation, fear isn’t an issue. For example, if you’re feeling overly bashful at work, maybe you aren’t working in the right field or with the right company for you. When you have enough passion for something, fear is much easier t o o v e r c o m e .
 4. Failure isn’t personal. Failing only means that your approach wasn’t the best option. It doesn’t say anything about you as a person. Even the most talented people deal with failure on a regular basis. A wrong choice isn’t indicative of a fatal flaw.
 5. Stay present. You can’t worry if your mind isn’t living in the future. It’s only when you project a negative outcome that you become anxious. Reality is happening right now. The future is only a daydream. If you’re going to think about the future, imagine success. At this very second, you’re okay. You’ll be okay in the next s e c o n d , t o o .
 6. Learn to enjoy fear. If your life isn’t in danger, being afraid is a sign that you’re doing something new. Only new behaviors will change your life. No one wants to live the same day repeatedly. That uncomfortable feeling is a sign that something amazing might happen.
 7. Minimize fear by taking action. The people that are most afraid tend to be the most paralyzed, but they didn’t start out that way. You weren’t born afraid of the things that you fear today. But by giving in to fear, you teach your brain that fear is an effective way to control your behavior. It will continue ratcheting up the fear because it knows it works. • Ignoring fear and taking action has the opposite effect. You can teach yourself that fear doesn’t impact your behavior. In time, the amount of fear y o u f e e l w i l l d e c r e a s e .
 8. Look ahead. If you continue to allow fear to dictate your behavior, what will your life look like in 20 years? How would your life be different if fear didn’t control your actions? Would you rather be a little uncomfortable now or be filled with regret for the r e s t o f y o u r l i f e ?
 9. View failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure might provide a small sting, but the information you gain is invaluable. A few, small improvements are often enough to turn a failure into a success. Look for the lesson and apply it to your next attempt. 8
  10. 10. Has the fear of failure had a negative impact on your life? Dealing with the fear of failure is something everyone faces. Avoid allowing fear to dictate and limit your life. Remember that the fear is self-created. You can choose to have an attitude that supports your success. 9
  11. 11. 7 Essential Preventive Health Screenings 5 7 Essential Preventive Health Screenings Preventive screenings are an easy way to test for a variety of illnesses. They can help you catch a disease in the early stages while it’s easier to cure, or provide peace of mind. Preventive health screenings are available from your doctor, so you may want to discuss them. Consider getting these screenings on a regular basis:
 1. General physical exams. General exams give you the chance to talk about your health with your doctor without the distraction of being sick. You may want to have a general physical exam once a year or more often. • You can also do tests for various illnesses and discuss your risk factors. 2. Diabetes screening. Your doctor may recommend a different schedule, but a regular screening schedule for diabetes is at least once every three years. • If you have risk factors for diabetes such as being overweight or a family history, then you may want to get screenings more often. A blood glucose test is one of the most popular ways to screen for this disease. • Your doctor can test your blood sugar levels and see early signs of diabetes. • By catching the disease in its early stages, you may be able to reduce the amount of medication you need or control the illness with diet and exercise. 3. Blood pressure screening. It’s a simple test, but your doctor’s office has more accurate equipment than your local pharmacy. • Health experts recommend having your blood pressure tested at least every two years. If you’re at a high risk of developing hypertension, then you may want to get the screening test more frequently. 4. Cholesterol screening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults have this test at least once every five years. • If you have several risk factors such as obesity and smoking, then you may want to start these screenings at the age of 20. If you don’t have high risk factors, then you can wait and start at the age of 35. 5. Skin cancer screenings. Your doctor may have individual guidelines for you to follow, but you may want to discuss skin cancer at least once a year. • If you have a history of tanning or suspicious moles on your body, then you may need to get tested more often. Your lifestyle and risk factors will determine how often you need to get the screening. • You can also check your skin at home once a month to track mole changes or other skin irregularities. 6. Hearing screening. It’s wise to get a hearing test once every five or ten years. If you have other risk factors or notice a change in your hearing, then get your hearing checked more frequently. 10
  12. 12. • If you’re over the age of 50, then health experts recommend getting your hearing checked every three years. 7. Bone mineral density screening. Experts recommend that women over the age of 65 get this test. However, men may also want to consider it. • Osteoporosis can affect both men and women. In addition, the symptoms of osteoporosis may not be noticeable until you break one of your bones. It’s important to have this screening test done at least once and discuss the results with your doctor. • Your physician may recommend a more frequent screening schedule for osteoporosis. Preventive screenings can help you stay proactive about your health. They can be a routine part of your doctor’s visits and help keep you healthy. 11
  13. 13. 8 Thought Patterns That Cloud Your Judgment 8 Thought Patterns That Cloud Your Judgment Our thoughts impact our actions, and ultimately, the level of success we achieve. Our thought patterns influence our emotions and perspective of the world. If you can identify your unhelpful thought patterns, you can correct them and develop new ways of managing yourself and the world. Your thought patterns influence multiple aspects of your life: 1. Making assumptions. Good decisions require information. Too many of us jump to false conclusions because we don’t have all the facts. Before you reach a negative conclusion about a situation or person, delay your judgment. Gather all the available information and make an informed decision. • How many times have you made a decision too quickly and regretted it? Give yourself the chance to be right. 2. Applying the past to the future. The most beautiful girl in high school might have ignored you, but that has nothing to do with your ability to appeal to the woman of your dreams today. The past doesn’t have to equal the future. • We’re too quick to believe we’re experts regarding our abilities. One failure isn’t enough to prove anything. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t allowed to test a drug on just one person and then release it to the public. Many attempts are required to prove that results aren’t due to random chance.
 • Would you believe that a flipped coin would only land on “heads” in the future after flipping it once 12
  14. 14. o r t w i c e a n d g e t t i n g t h a t r e s u l t ?
 • Even if you lack natural skill in one area, you can always learn. You weren’t born knowing how to walk or do algebra. You can learn to be a great public speaker, salesperson, or social butterfly, too. 3. Focusing too much on the positive or the negative. Strive to be accurate. Consider when you start dating someone new. At first, you’re too focused on their positive traits. As the relationship is failing, you’re too focused on the negative. Neither is accurate.
 4. Giving things too much or too little relevance. Do you give your failures too much attention? Do you give your successes too little? Have a balanced view. Just because your boss ignored your morning greeting doesn’t mean you’re about to be fired. Give yourself t h e c r e d i t y o u d e s e r v e .
 5. Taking something personally that has nothing to do with you. People do and say things for many reasons that don’t include you. They might be having a bad day or dealing with a personal issue. Your car breaking down doesn’t mean the universe is out to get you. Others have more on their mind than just you.
 6. Focusing on the past. The past can provide lessons. However, most people don’t use the past constructively. They focus on the missed opportunities and mistakes. When used this way, the past creates feelings of regret. Let go of the past and avoid a l l o w i n g i t t o c l o u d y o u r f u t u r e .
 7. Focusing on the future. Having goals and plans is great! But it’s common to use the future as a source of worry. Stay focused on today. Today is the only time you can change your life. Allow the future to arrive. I t w i l l c o m e s o o n e n o u g h .
 8. Putting things off. Is it easier to have your muffler replaced when you notice it’s deteriorating or to wait until it falls off in the middle of the highway? If you wait until you’re forced to deal with things, your solutions will be less elegant and less convenient. Do things on your time. Do indulge in any of these negative thought patterns? Noticing your tendencies is the first step to changing them. When you catch yourself thinking in a way that clouds your judgement, replace your thought pattern with one that serves you well. 13
  15. 15. Are These Items Causing Your Fatigue 6 Are These Items Causing Your Fatigue? Fatigue can make you feel unable to handle the simplest task. However, you can identify the cause and treat it. Instead of reaching for another source of caffeine, consider finding the root cause of your weariness. Fatigue doesn’t have to ruin your life, and you can fight it. These issues might be causing you to feel tired: 1. Dehydration. You may be feeling sluggish because you’re not hydrated. • Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try water first. Water will hydrate your body and increase your energy levels. It’s an easy and quick way to treat fatigue. 2. Skipping breakfast. If you skip breakfast, then you’re at a higher risk of fatigue. • Breakfast helps you get the fuel you need for the rest of the day. It’s important not to skip it because it can leave you tired. • A good breakfast will have a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. One way you can fight fatigue is to eat nutrient dense food that will help you feel full longer. Try oatmeal with blueberries on top and bacon on the side. 3. Low iron levels. If your iron levels are too low, you will feel tired. Anemia is characterized by feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. Talk to your doctor about your fatigue and get your iron levels tested. • If you’re lacking iron, eat plenty of iron-rich food. Meat isn’t the only source of iron. You can also find this important nutrient in eggs, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and kidney beans. • It’s important to consume vitamin C with your iron. They work together in the body, so you want to make sure you’re getting both. 4. High amounts of sugar and junk food. These items raise your blood sugar levels and then make them drop, causing you to feel tired. • Fatigue is a common issue associated with blood sugar spikes and falls during the day. • You can fight this type of fatigue by avoiding simple carbohydrates and high amounts of sugar. • You can also eat foods that are higher in protein to help you feel full for a longer time, so you don’t feel the need to snack on junk food. Items such as meat, brown rice, sweet potatoes, peanut butter and more can help you control these spikes. 5. Caffeine addiction. An addiction to coffee, energy drinks, and other sources of caffeine can make you feel tired. • High amounts of caffeine can affect your sleep and waking cycles. If you’re not able to sleep, then your next morning will likely be filled with fatigue. Drinking more caffeine simply makes the c o n d i t i o n w o r s e .
 • Try to cut down on your caffeine intake. 6. Glare of technology. The light created by your Smartphone, tablet, computer, or other device can 14
  16. 16. affect melatonin levels in your body. This makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep, and you’re tired the next day. • The solution is to avoid using these devices for a few hours before you go to bed. Fatigue can be caused by multiple factors, but you can work with your doctor to find the one that is affecting you. You can treat fatigue and fill your life with more energy. 15
  17. 17. Balance Your Independence and Your Marriage for a Happy Equilibrium 7 Balance Your Independence and Your Marriage for a Happy Equilibrium It’s possible to strike a blissful balance between your independence and your marriage. You can find a way to make them work together. This will create a stronger relationship that makes both you and your spouse feel fulfilled. Try these strategies to find what works for you: 1. Discuss your need for independence. A relationship suffers if one person feels trapped and isn’t able to share ideas. This leads to resentment and anger building up to a dangerous level. You can avoid these issues by talking about your needs with your partner. • It’s important to have an open dialogue about your desire for more independence. First, reassure your partner that you still love them more than ever and want to spend time with them. However, you need space and time to grow as an individual. • You can share that you need to develop your own hobbies or activities outside of the home and relationship. • You can still do activities as a couple, but your own interests don’t have to be neglected. 2. Plan time with your partner. Marriage doesn’t create the obligation to spend every second with your partner. Plan to spend some time with your partner and other times for pursuing your other interests. • This will help you develop your independence and feel freedom without hurting your marriage. 3. Find time alone. The time you spend alone can help nurture your independence. • Do you crave a few hours with a good book and no distractions? Do you want to take a long hike alone with your thoughts? These types of activities can help you feel free and give you space from your partner. 4. Find time for friends. Spending time with your friends can be a fun way to find your independence again. • You don’t have to force your partner to attend every chat, meal, or event with your friends. It’s normal to spend some time without your spouse while you visit with your friends. 5. Give each other room to handle challenges. It may be tempting to act as a savior and try to fix all of the issues in your partner’s life. However, it’s crucial to give each other space to handle difficult situations on your own. Your partner may not want you to interfere. You can still support each other, but you can also give each other room. 6. Enjoy your own hobbies. You don’t have to share every hobby with your partner. Although you can enjoy hobbies such as skiing or hiking together, you can also find other activities to do on your own. • Consider the hobbies you liked before marriage. Did you create your own paintings in a small studio at home? Did you take cooking lessons at a local school or learning center? Do you miss the dance class you participated in before you got married? • You can do hobbies on your own without hurting your partner. First, discuss your need for a solo 16
  18. 18. activity and share why it’s important to you. Then, create a separate list of hobbies you can do as a couple, so your partner doesn’t feel neglected. You can create a balance between marriage and your desire for independence. It requires time and effort from both sides of the relationship, but that time and effort can actually bring you closer together. 17
  19. 19. Create Abundance by Changing Your Habits Create Abundance by Changing Your Habits Whether you’d like to lose a few pounds, enhance your love life, or make more money, your habits are important. Your current situation is the result of your habits. Habits control what we do and think each day. Your thoughts and actions add up over weeks, months, and years. Your circumstances are the result. For example, your physique is the culmination of the eating and exercise habits you’ve had over the last several years. Your financial situation is no different. Your social life is the grand result of your beliefs, attitudes, and actions regarding other people. Regardless of your objective, you won’t be successful without habits that contribute to that success. By changing your habits, you can create the abundance you desire. Use these strategies to develop habits that bring you abundance: 1. Raise your glass ceiling. We have a level of abundance that’s challenging to surpass. We might be able to see ourselves earning $100,000 per year, but can’t wrap our minds around $500,000. Some numbers seem impossible to reach. • If you don’t believe you can do it, you’ll prove yourself correct. Work each day to raise your level of expectation. Visualize earning more than you believe is possible. Stick with that image until the resistance melts away. When you can imagine it without feeling uncomfortable, you’re on the road to success. 2. Keep negative thoughts and emotions out of your head. This is especially important when it comes to earning money and your lifestyle. You can control your 18
  20. 20. thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to negative outcomes. Take a deep breath. Let the thoughts go, and get back to work. It requires practice to stay positive. There’s no time like the present to start p r a c t i c i n g .
 3. Have a clear goal. Whether you believe in God, the universe, or yourself as the source of your success, you can’t get what you want if you’re unable to define it. Know what you want and develop a plan to achieve it. • Make a habit of reviewing your goals daily. Set aside a few minutes twice a day to review and v i s u a l i z e r e a c h i n g y o u r g o a l s .
 4. Provide as much value as possible. Money is a compact, liquid form of value. You can use it to purchase any item or service. Without money, we’d be trading chickens, goats, milk, and rubies for goods and services. It’s hard to fit a goat in your pocket. • Understand that you can’t receive something of value, including money, without providing value. Praying to the universe, hoping, rubbing chicken bones together, and howling at the moon don’t provide value to anyone. So, they’re unreliable means of bringing more value into your life.
 • Spend each day brainstorming ways you can help others and charge them for it. You only need one good idea. Once you have a good idea, get busy bringing it to life. Studies have shown that habits are best changed slowly. Big changes are very difficult to maintain and uncomfortable to even begin. Add a new habit into your life a piece at a time. It might take weeks or even months to have a new habit fully implemented. That’s okay. How many positive habits have you added in the last five years? Slow results are better than none. Remember to look at the habits that are currently limiting your abundance. Remove them from your life slowly. Your habits create your environment. Creating effective habits will increase the level of abundance in your life. Avoid being in a rush. Seek to improve slowly, but consistently. Abundance is coming your way. 19
  21. 21. Give Yourself the Gift of Saying No More Often 8 Give Yourself the Gift of Saying "No" More Often Do you feel like you’ve lost control of your life? Are you spending too much time on activities and responsibilities you don’t enjoy? There’s a good chance that saying “no” more often would bring some relief. Most of us feel uncomfortable saying “no”. But no other word can provide more freedom. Use the word “no” more often: 1. You’ll have more free time. Are you lacking the free time necessary to pursue your hobbies and interests? Is it possible that you’d have more free time if you had declined a few requests? You’re more able to help others if you also give yourself priority. There’s nothing left to give if you don’t allow yourself to unwind. • Decide how much free time you need each week a n d s t i c k t o t h a t s c h e d u l e .
 2. Saying “no” gives you more control over your life. When you say “yes” too much, you’re allowing others to dictate your schedule for you. • Happiness is elusive when you don’t believe you have control over your life. Do what you can to help others, but never give up control over your life.
 3. You have a better chance of achieving your goals. When you say “yes,” you’re helping others reach their goals. Give yourself the same consideration. Your goals are important, too. Ensure you have enough time to address your own dreams. • You can’t achieve a big goal without giving it consistent attention. How much time do you require t o w o r k t o w a r d y o u r g o a l s ?
 4. You’re able to set boundaries. Relationships with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and romantic partners all require boundaries. Otherwise, your neighbors would be borrowing your car every day, and your lover might be spending the weekend with someone else! Avoid being afraid to say “no” when the situation calls for it. • There are certain limits on each person in your life. You can choose and enforce those limits with one s i m p l e w o r d .
 5. Saying “no” keeps your values intact. Sometimes we’re asked to do things that sacrifice our values. Your friend might ask you to lie to his wife so he can meet his mistress. Your boss might ask you to fudge the numbers in order to make him look better. • When you’re asked to do something that conflicts with your values, you can protect your integrity by s a y i n g , “ n o ” .
 
 6. Other people won’t be able to take advantage of you. If you haven’t been taken advantage of, you haven’t been paying attention. Whether it’s loaning $5 for gas or watching your neighbor’s pet for the week- end, we’ve all be hung out to dry at least a few times. You can refuse to take part in any activities that might lead to a loss. • You don’t have to let others take advantage of your kindness. It’s not admirable. It’s self-destructive. Have respect for yourself and expect respect from o t h e r s , t o o .
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  22. 22. 7. You realize that people aren’t as sensitive to rejection as you think. People that struggle to say the word “no” believe that the other person will be upset or hold it against them. You’ll likely find that the other person will understand your refusal. The next time will be even easier. We can’t say “no” to every request. After all, we’d like other people to do things for us occasionally. But saying “yes” to everything creates stress and eliminates our free time. This isn’t acceptable. Value your time and energy. You’ll have more to give if you take care of yourself. 21
  23. 23. Life Altering Questions to Ask Yourself 9 Life-Altering Questions to Ask Yourself Questions are a valuable tool. By asking yourself questions, you can change your focus and the direction of your life. The proper question can open you up to new possibilities and ideas. Take the time to examine your life and ensure you’re on the best possible path. Ask yourself these questions on a regular basis: 1. Have I seen enough to have an accurate view of the world? It’s surprising how many people have never crossed their state line. The northeastern part of the United States is very different from the South, Midwest, or other parts of the country. Europe is very different from Africa. • You’re missing out on a lot if you don’t explore other places and cultures. What are the odds that you were born in the precise place that fits you the b e s t ?
 2. Will my finances be able to support my retirement? It’s important to start asking this question immediately. Focusing on the short-term at the expense of the long-term is a common error. You only have so many tomorrows to prepare for the latter p a r t s o f y o u r l i f e .
 3. Where will I end up in five years if I live this day repeatedly? You might not have a time machine at your disposal, but you can probably predict the future better than you think. Our daily activities determine our future. Ask yourself these questions and project your answers over the next five years. What’s the logical outcome? • What did I eat today? • What did I do to earn money today? • What social activities did I engage in today? • H o w m u c h e x e r c i s e d i d I g e t t o d a y ?
 4. If today were my last day to live, what would I do? You probably wouldn’t spend your day in front of the TV or spend your time worrying about silly things. Whatever answer you receive is a good indication of how you should be spending more of your time each d a y .
 5. Am I pleased with my career choice or would I rather do something else? Having multiple careers is much more common than it used to be. If you’re in a career you don’t enjoy, you have other options. Spending 40 years in a career that doesn’t excite you i s a h a r d w a y t o g o t h r o u g h l i f e .
 6. What are my goals? If you don’t have any goals, how do you know where you’ll end up? Without goals, we’re relegated to choosing the best options that randomly pass through our lives. It’s much more effective to decide what you want and make it happen. Leave l u c k o u t o f t h e e q u a t i o n .
 7. Which parts of my life are making me unhappy? Becoming happier isn’t just about adding all the right components. It’s also about getting rid of the stuff that makes you miserable. The low-rated parts of your life make you unhappy. It’s not the fact that you don’t have a Ferrari in your driveway. Take out the trash b e f o r e a d d i n g t o y o u r l i f e .
 8. Am I living my life in a way that supports my health? Young bodies can take a surprising amount of wear and tear without showing any signs of abuse. That doesn’t last. Taking care of yourself today improves the odds of enjoying good health down the road. Eat and sleep well. See your doctor on a regular basis.
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  24. 24. 9. Am I enjoying my life as much as I could? Are you too busy with work to notice all the good things in your life? Are you too worried to enjoy time spent with your children? You can experience many simple enjoyments every day. It’s easy to get caught up in your old routine and never take the time to look around. By the time you lift your head, you realize you’re not where you want to be. Questions are one way to evaluate your life and create change. Be aware of your life and make conscious choices. 23
  25. 25. The Lessons Learned From Grief The Lessons Learned From Grief Whether it’s the death of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job, we all have to deal with grief at some point. Grief is a normal healing process. After all, your life has been permanently changed when you suffer such a loss, and it requires healing to get past the event and move on. While grief is painful, there are many things to learn from grief. Challenging times provide the possibility of growth. Learn from your grief: 1. Grief creates gratitude. You might not think you have anything to be grateful for, but grief happens when things are taken away from us. Grief can help you to appreciate what you had, as well as what you still have. It’s easy to take things for granted. Grief is a tough way to learn to be more grateful, but the opportunity i s t h e r e .
 2. Grief can help you engage with your life. It’s very easy to float along without really committing to anything. Tragedy can be a wake-up call and remind you that your time is limited. There are only so many days left. Ensure that you’re making the most of each d a y .
 3. Grief can’t be solved by avoiding it. You might try to avoid your grief by staying busy. But you can’t stuff your grief into an overhead compartment without something falling on your head sooner or later. You’ll find that your grief will be waiting for you and your sadness will get your full attention eventually.
 4. Grief can help you to refocus. Perhaps you spend too much time focused on work at the expense of your family life. Use grief as a time of reflection. Are you spending your time in the best manner for you? Have 24
  26. 26. y o u e v e r t h o u g h t a b o u t i t ?
 5. Life doesn’t stop. After a tragedy, life continues and 99.999% of the people on the planet are unaffected. Everything keeps moving forward. Your life must continue, too. It doesn’t seem fair that the world doesn’t take a timeout for your grief. But there’s always someone grieving somewhere. Nothing would ever get accomplished if the world stopped operating.
 6. You can move on knowing that things can’t get worse. You may have had the worst experience you’ll ever have. There’s a certain relief in that knowledge. Everything can seem easy by comparison after you’ve successfully dealt with grief.
 7. Bitterness only creates more pain. Some of us tend to be bitter regardless of the occasion. Grief highlights the fact that bitterness isn’t a viable strategy for dealing with life. The Holocaust survivors with the happiest lives were those able to avoid bitterness. Grief can facilitate a less bitter view of l i f e .
 8. You’ll find out who your friends really are. It’s uncomfortable to be around others in pain. But your true friends will still be there for you. The others will f i n d a n e x c u s e t o s t a y a w a y .
 
 9. You can overcome anything. Your life will eventually recover from your loss. It’s surprising how good things can be after enough time has passed. You can then approach the future with the knowledge that you can handle anything life has in store. You’ll be stronger t h a n y o u ’ v e e v e r b e e n .
 10. You become less small-minded. After dealing with great heartache, it’s not easy to be petty. The small things become even smaller. The important things become more important. Grief can be a blessing in this regard. Your life has the potential to become richer in the future. Grief gives you an opportunity to reevaluate your life and refocus. Turn to your friends and family during difficult times and one day soon, you’ll be able to move forward, stronger than ever. 25
  27. 27. The Lies You Tell Yourself 10 The Lies You Tell Yourself 
 We lie to ourselves on a daily basis. These lies cover up our perceived shortcomings and prevent us from taking risks. Ultimately, these lies limit our lives and our ability to enjoy life fully. In the end, our lies serve the purpose of making us feel better in the short-term. You may not even be aware of the lies you tell yourself. A v o i d l y i n g t o y o u r s e l f a n d s t a r t l i v i n g :
 1. “I don’t have a choice.” We all have an unlimited number of options available to us at any time. You might not feel brave or capable enough to consider them all, but you do have options. Consider what advice you would give a friend in a similar situation. Or deter- mine what your most capable friend would do. Can you d o t h e s a m e ?
 2. “If I do X or say Y, people will think less of me.” Thought it’s hard to believe, no one cares. Everyone is too preoccupied with their own lives or else wondering what your opinion is of them. • If you believe you’re worthy, you won’t have these types of thoughts. You’re good enough to do and s a y w h a t y o u w a n t .
 3. “It’s too late for me.” People have graduated from medical school in their 60’s. An 80-year old successfully climbed Mount Everest. Do you still think it’s too late? • Many things become less convenient as we get older. For example, it’s more challenging to go back to school when you have a family and a full-time job compared to a single, 20-year old. But challenging and impossible are completely different.
 4. “Anything short of perfect is failure.” If you have to be the best at something before you’ll try, you’ll never get off the couch. Most of us don’t have the potential to be the best at anything, but we can all be pretty good at just about anything. However, it requires time and effort. • Do you really need to be the best? That’s another sign of feeling unworthy. There’s no reason to be competitive with everything you do. Enjoy yourself without worrying about how well you’re doing.
 5. “I’d be happy if I had more money.” Studies have shown that happiness and income are only correlated up to a salary of roughly $70,000 per year. That means that millionaires are no happier than those that make $70,000 annually. If you can pay your bills each month, money isn’t limiting your happiness.
 6. “I can change him (or her).” Unlikely. Think about how hard is to change yourself, even when you want to change. Now imagine how difficult it is to change someone else. And that other person probably doesn’t want to change. It isn’t going to happen. • Learn to accept others as they are. If something about them is too disagreeable, distance yourself f r o m t h e m .
 7. “I’m limited in my ability to accomplish anything.” It has been said that learning to walk and talk are far more challenging than anything else anyone has ever accomplished. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, everyone can walk and talk.” Exactly. You’re infinitely more capable than you need to be. • You may have a few issues to resolve, but your inherent capability isn’t one of them. 26
  28. 28. We are masters at deluding ourselves. We lie to the person in the mirror in order to protect ourselves – to make us feel better. Avoid giving up your future in order to appease your emotions in the short-term. It could be argued that the purpose of all self-help is to learn how to lie to ourselves less frequently. Try it! You could be the next marvel of the universe! 27
  29. 29. What a Caveman Can Teach You About Simple Living 11 What a Caveman Can Teach You About Simple Living
 If you've been shaping up on a paleo diet that has you eating like a caveman, you might want to take things a step further. Living more like a caveman across the board could help you to cut down on complications and stress. The next time you're facing a dilemma in your personal or professional life, ask yourself what a Neanderthal would d o .
 Caveman Lessons on Living Healthy 1. Stay active. Studies show that an hour at the gym may not be enough to offset the effects of prolonged sitting. Incorporate more physical activity into your routine. Taking the stairs and jumping rope can be just as effective as running after mastodons.
 2. Eat whole foods. Many of the benefits of a paleo diet come from focusing on natural foods rather than bags of chips and boxes of cookies. Fill most of your plate with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
 3. Cut down on white sugar and flour. Avoiding processed foods can be challenging, but it's worthwhile. Lose weight and lower your risk for diabetes by switching to whole grains and satisfying y o u r s w e e t t o o t h w i t h f r u i t .
 4. Limit toxins. Our ancestors also had less exposure to environmental pollutants. Wash your produce well or buy organic. Support clean air and water initiatives.
 5. Sleep well. Early humans didn't stay up all night binge watching Netflix or playing video games. Go to bed and wake up on a regular schedule. Darken your bedroom and wear earplugs if streetlights and traffic are k e e p i n g y o u u p .
 Caveman Lessons on Strengthening Relationships 6. Be direct. If you believe the funny pages, Stone Age courtship consisted of clubbing your partner over the head and dragging them home. Granted, that's extreme, but straightforward communications usually p r o m o t e m o r e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d t r u s t .
 7. Connect with your kids. Some anthropologists praise t h e i n v o l v e d p a r e n t i n g s t y l e o f a n c i e n t hunter-gatherers. Spend time with your children and e n c o u r a g e u n s t r u c t u r e d p l a y .
 8. Communicate face to face. Gathering around the dinner table draws us closer to family and friends. Log off Facebook for a while and spend an evening in t h e s a m e r o o m w i t h y o u r l o v e d o n e s .
 9. Cultivate alliances. Neanderthals couldn't order their groceries online when they were working overtime. Extend a helping hand to your neighbors, friends, and relatives so you can support each other on busy days. Throw potluck dinners and trade babysitting services.
 Other Caveman Lessons 10. Create a comfortable home. If home improvement projects are spiraling out of control, reclaim your free time. Cover the basics by arranging a space that keeps you warm and safe. For decorations, you can hang your o w n d r a w i n g s o n t h e w a l l .
 11. Repurpose and recycle. Our ancestors fashioned rocks and sticks into tools for farming and defense. You're carrying on the tradition when you fertilize y o u r r o s e b u s h e s w i t h c o f f e e g r o u n d s .
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  30. 30. 12. Appreciate nature. Studies show that time outdoors makes us feel happier and more energetic. Take a walk during your lunch hour or read outdoors before b r e a k f a s t .
 13. Kick your shoes off. Do your feet swell and ache because they've spent most of the day squeezed into fashionable footwear? Find relief by removing your shoes when you arrive home and practicing yoga exercises that strengthen your feet. As a bonus, you'll have cleaner floors and enhanced balance.
 14. Consume less. Most importantly, cavemen weren't big spenders. Liberate yourself by figuring out your basic needs. Trimming your monthly expenses helps you to pay for other priorities like travel or education.
 Even if your knowledge of the Stone Age is limited to watching reruns of the Flintstones, you can master living more like a troglodyte. Going prehistoric will make your life simpler, healthier, and more peaceful. 29
  31. 31. What Kind of To Do List Works for You 12 What Kind of To Do List Works for You? To do lists help you track your activities and manage your time. Then again, what happens when your lists grow out of control because they're too long or there are too many of them? Maybe the solution is using a different kind of list. Take a look at your options for designing an effective to do list, along with suggestions for using any productivity tool more effectively. Tips for Designing a To Do List That Works for You 1. Limit the length. Many experts recommend keeping your list as short as 3 to 5 items. Promptly cross off any tasks you complete. Move projects you're unlikely to get to off to a separate wish list.
 2. Consider categories. If you prefer longer lists, categories are one way to stay organized. Separate business and personal items. Group similar activities like shopping, reading, or making phone calls.
 3. Juggle timelines. Maybe your projects are interrelated with structured stages and strict deadlines. Calendar functions and color-coding could h e l p y o u s t r a t e g i z e .
 4. Add detail. When you need more than a simple list, create a full log. Build in supplementary information like daily summaries, phone numbers, and websites you v i s i t f r e q u e n t l y .
 5. Block out your time. Do you tend to waste small blocks of time? Planning your day in 30-minute increments could help you spot when you'll have 10 minutes free for filing or checking messages.
 6. Choose paper or digital. You may already know that GTD stands for Get Things Done, and there are a growing number of GTD apps to choose from. On the other hand, paper journals are still popular too. What m a t t e r s i s u s i n g t h e m c o n s i s t e n t l y .
 Tips for Using Any To Do List Effectively 7. Set priorities. A successful list lets you see your major responsibilities at a glance and approach them systematically. Arrange your list so your top c o n c e r n s s t a n d o u t .
 8. Distinguish between urgency and importance. Prioritizing raises some tricky questions. Picking up your dry cleaning before the shop closes in 10 minutes is urgent. Spending time with your friends is less time sensitive, but contributes more to your wellbeing. Pay attention to essentials that may otherwise be bumped.
 9. Automate routine tasks. Eliminate chores that robots and computers can do for you. Electronic banking frees up your time and gives you peace of mind knowing that y o u r b i l l s h a v e b e e n p a i d o n t i m e .
 10. Build in leeway. Studies show that most adults underestimate the time it takes to complete many everyday tasks. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes between appointments. Assume that a new dinner recipe may take you 20 minutes to pull together even if the cookbook claims you can do it in 10.
 11. Take a break. Put adequate rest and play on your list each day. It's time well spent when it keeps you i n t o p s h a p e a n d p r e v e n t s b u r n o u t .
 12. Expect surprises. However comprehensive your list is, you're sometimes going to run into circumstances that you couldn't predict. Be prepared to shuffle your 30
  32. 32. other obligations to the next week if your car breaks down or you win a trip to a tropical resort.
 13. Evaluate your progress. Hold onto your lists so you can review them periodically. Repeat the practices that simplify your life and fix the patterns that are c a u s i n g y o u d e l a y s .
 Keep your personal and professional life in order. Whether you prefer writing in a notebook with colored markers or downloading the latest productivity app to multiple devices, there's a to do list that will help you to stay on top of your game. 31
  33. 33. Why Does Success Elude You Consider These Top 11 Reasons 13 Why Does Success Elude You? Consider These Top 11 Reasons Most of us aren’t experiencing the level of success we desire. It’s easy to see what successful people do. However, it can be challenging to notice the things successful people avoid. Avoiding the common success mistakes improves your odds of attaining higher levels of achievement. Avoid these common mistakes on the road to success: 1. Using socially acceptable excuses to quit. It’s easy to come up with 20 good reasons to quit before you reach success. Socially acceptable excuses are those your peers will best understand. That’s the easy way o u t . R e f u s e t o f a l l i n t o t h i s t r a p .
 2. Not having habits that support your goals. Your results in life are a reflection of your habits. You’re moving either closer or further from success each day. Effective habits ensure that you make consistent p r o g r e s s .
 3. Relying on luck. In an effort to avoid work or responsibility, many of us do the minimum necessary to have a chance to be successful and rely on a little luck to carry us the rest of the way. • A more effective alternative is to have such a good plan and do so much that you’d have to be incredibly unlucky to fail. Borrow the military’s idea of overwhelming force. Bring more resources to the fight than you think you’d ever need. 4. Not knowing where you’re going. Success requires a known endpoint. You can’t accidentally end up on the summit of Mt. Everest. Any significant achievement requires that you clearly understand your objective. Avoid just working hard. Work hard with a purpose.
 5. Lacking a realistic timeline. In your enthusiasm, be careful about being too aggressive with the timeline when you set a goal. It’s easy to overestimate what can be accomplished in a certain time period. If you overestimate what you can do in the short term, you’re l i k e l y t o b e c o m e d i s c o u r a g e d .
 6. Giving up too soon. This is the biggest reason for a lack of success. If you never quit, you can’t fail. Sooner or later, things will work out. Keep going.
 7. You’re afraid of success. It seems like you’d have to be crazy to be afraid of success, but success isn’t 100% positive. There’s more responsibility. More people are watching you. There can be a certain amount of stress associated with success. Just remember that being unsuccessful is uncomfortable, t o o .
 8. You’re afraid of failure. Failing can be hard on the ego. The most successful people have failed the most. In all likelihood, most people won’t even notice t h e f a i l u r e s o n y o u r w a y t o s u c c e s s .
 9. Avoiding full responsibility. Your success and failures are your responsibility. It doesn’t matter that your parents aren’t supportive or that your friend won’t loan you $500. When you blame others, you admit to yourself that you’re not in control of the situation. Take control by accepting responsibility.
 10. Being pessimistic. A negative attitude brings negative results. When you expect a poor outcome, you won’t do the work necessary for success. Why would you even try? Keep your mind filled with positive thoughts.
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  34. 34. 11. You can’t handle being uncomfortable. Every time you try something new, there will be a level of discomfort. You have to deal with uncomfortable feelings all along the way. Learning to work through these feelings is part of achieving success. Success is a twisting road with many obstacles. It’s easy to become discouraged. The most successful people know what they want and have a high level of persistence. Avoid the common reasons for a lack of success and you’ll reach your goals. 33 www.justloveyourself.co.uk

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