Did you have a theme this past year? Will you have one for next year? Themes can make your life fun and focused. Have you ever given a birthday party and asked people to bring gifts with a
“garden” or “fishing” theme? I know someone who asked people to bring something they made themselves! What wonderful ideas! To actually get what you want at your party!
A theme can help you get what you want out of life, too. Anyone who is evolving, can be helped considerably by having a terrific support network. Well, themes are part of a person’s support
structure, the part that comes from the inside-out. When you have a theme for the year (or month, or quarter), you will be pushed forward towards your goals automatically. Why? Your theme
will help you keep focused by providing you with a starting point during your decision making process. Creating a theme is the first of 24 steps towards creating a strong
“Personal Foundation,” a program that many coaches offer their clients.
A life theme can be a few words… or even one word to describe what you overall want to accomplish. What’s important is that it inspires you. Some examples are…
I’m worth it!
Financial Freedom Here I Come!
Have fun, fun, fun in all I do!
Put down roots.
Be present, present be.
Be a successful me.
With the holidays just around the cornerFeature Articles, now is a great time to create your theme for next year.
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The process of starting a business or choosing a career is very enjoyable and stressful at the same time. It’s a good type of stress, but stress nonetheless. One way to
keep your sanity in the midst of growth is to do what you know!
Let’s say that your vision is to teach business, personal development and internet classes. Narrow the list down to 4 or 5 classes that can teach in your sleep! Well, don’t take
me literally…please!! Teach classes on subjects you’ve taught before or topics with which you’re very familiar.
Or maybe your vision is to operate a full-service, 5-employee virtual assistant business – the premier place clients stop for all their services. Here comes potential
client “X” wanting you to re-design a database for use on their web site. You take on the job knowing that you don’t have any knowledge about databases or web sites. My question
for you is why?
If you are just starting a business or growing your career, here are some questions to ask yourself…
~~What are you passionate about? What is that “something” that you do as a volunteer or would do without being paid? ~~What do you do in your business now, that is very familiar.
What would taking that skill to the next level look like? ~~What skills do you have now, that others can benefit fromFind Article, and that will generate an income for you?
~~What are you doing to build a strong business or career foundation?
Build your confidence slowly and surely as you build a strong foundation. Start with what you know! I bet you know plenty!
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Making exercise a priority is a challenge for everyone. And for parents it can be especially difficult to find time to workout because of the full plates that they often juggle. When summer arrives the juggling act becomes even more tricky with kids home from school and involved in extracurricular activities.
But, finding time for regular physical activity is so important that it should be a priority placed on your calendar, just like your kids’ softball game. A parent needs to exercise not only for themselves, but also for their kids benefit. It’s important to set a good example. If your children never see you engage in fitness or if they hear you complain about working out, then they are going to have a negative image of exercise. Let them know that you workout to stay healthy, to be strong and to have more energy and stamina (so you can keep up with them)!
The big question is how to make it a priority that fits in your schedule. Well, it’s actually easier than you may think. With a little planning you can find ways to incorporate workouts into the time you spend with your children. Regardless of what age your children are, there’s a way to find time to workout (often even with your kids)! Here are some tips based on the age of your children.
Age: Infant through pre-school
Fit in exercise time while they are napping. Try a home exercise video, walking or jogging (if you have a treadmill), jumping rope.
Occupy them for even 15 minutes with a video or toy while you do some toning exercises like squats and tricep dips.
Grab your stroller and go for a brisk walk*. Or, buy a jogging stroller for more flexibility. With a jogging stroller you can walk faster, jog or even run at a fast pace. And, for veteran rollerbladers, you can even use the stroller for some skating time.
For younger children, you can use a back carrier to transport them while walking. This can burn even more calories as the extra weight makes it more challenging.
Turn on some music and dance together. Toddlers love dancing, especially when their parents joins in.
Push your kid on a swing. And, after every push complete one squat.
Use an infant carrier or bike trailer to enjoy a bike ride together.
Age: Grade School
Try rollerblading or skating together.
Spend an afternoon at a park with a playground, but don’t spend the whole time relaxing on the sidelines – join in on the fun. Spend some time swinging to help workout your legs. Try making it across the monkey bars – even just once (it’s a great upper body workout and you’ll be amazed that your kid does it with such little ease). Try some pull-ups using a bar on the playset. Do some tricep dips on a nearby park bench.
Play catch with a ball or get a small group together for a kickball or softball game.
Make Saturdays family bike outing day.
Involve your kids while you strength train. Let them count your reps out loud for you and/or clock your rest time in-between sets.
For pool outings, don’t just spend time soaking up the sun. Walk back and forth in shallow water while your kids have fun splashing about.
On rainy days that force you inside, walk or run up and down the stairs. You might even make it a contest to see who can finish 5 complete rounds first.
Register for a fun run (or walk) event and spend time together training for the event.
Purchase a family gym membership and workout together weekly.
Play tennis or basketball together.
Consider joining a community volleyball or softball team that includes enthusiasts of all ages.
Don’t just sit and cheer your kids at their sporting events. Every few minutes do some walking or jumping jacks or squats.
Implement a daily family walk each day before or after dinner.
Work together in the yard raking leaves, planting flowers, trimming trees.
So, with all the above recommendations, you no longer have the “I’m a parent – I don’t have time to workout” excuse. If you implement these activities for just 30 minutes three times per week, you can easily burn an extra 450 calories or more! Plus, working out sets a great example for your children that will teach them at an early age how important (and easy) it is to make physical fitness a part of daily life. Exercising with your kids also provides the extra bonus of spending quality time together.
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By the time your children reach their teens, there is only a limited amount of time left to influence them and get them started in life in the right direction.
The teen years are a critical time for role models in your children’s lives. Often you will find teens have a hard time talking to their parents. This isn’t always the case, but even in the closest families, teens often feel more comfortable talking to another trusted adult about some of the things going on in their lives.
Of course you would prefer your teen would go to an adult when they need to talk something important out, instead of relying on their friends who may not have the insight an older, more experienced adult would have.
Obviously you have no real control over who your teen goes to for advice, but there are a number of ways you can steer your teen in the right direction.
The best chance your teen has for interacting with other adults is in extracurricular activities. There are all kinds of activities your teen can be involved with, here are some that come to mind: church youth group, scouts, sports, music, school clubs, community service, just to name a few. Personally I don’t encourage parents to involve their teens in so many activities that it leads to burnout for both the parents and the teen, but carefully selected activities led by good and capable leaders will enrich your teen’s life in a way few things can, and will increase the likelihood that your teen will establish a relationship with one of the group leaders.
One word of caution, however. Talk to your teen about their activities and get a feel for yourself the effectiveness of the group leader. Not to say that they have to excel in every way, but just make sure that they are a good role model, and not a negative influence in your teen’s life. There is the potential of bad leaders in any activity, including in a church setting, and it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure their teen is in a positive atmosphere, influenced by mature leaders.
Involvement in group activities is especially great for teens of single parents. Teens who don’t have regular contact with mature adults of both sexes often have a hard time later in normal adult relationships. Being exposed to “normal” at this age very much increases the teen’s chances of growing into a well-adjusted adult. I have seen this often with boys who are raised by their moms with not much influence or negative influence from their dads.
Placed into group settings, with responsible adult male leaders, these teen boys have much less difficulty transitioning into adulthood. It also takes of a lot of the pressure off the often overworked mothers.
From my own experience, I have found that often other adults can help my teen in ways that I can’t, mostly due to big differences in our personalities. I am more of a quiet introspective thinker, and my daughter is very outgoing, and has a lot of potential leadership qualities that are hard for me to help her develop because I do not possess those qualities myself. Knowing how important it is to help her develop her natural abilities at this impressionable age, I make sure there are other adults in her life who can help influence her in ways I can’t. My daughter and I are very close, but there are just a lot of things that I can’t help her with, so I encourage her in developing relationships with adults who do have those abilities.
My daughter and I both respect our different abilities. It is very easy to be critical of people who are not like us, and parents and teens very easily fall into this trap. The best thing to do is be honest about your own abilities, and of the abilities of your teen, and do whatever is necessary to find outside influences for your teen. The more you can help your teen develop their abilities now, the less they will have to do on their own later (often, the hard way).
And don’t forget, you are a role model too. Get involved in the lives of your teen’s friends, or volunteer to help in a group activity in some way, even if only occasionally. There are teens out there who really need to hear what you have to say.
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Last week in my newsletter, I mentioned that my children knew how to behave in nice restaurants because they had been exposed to the atmosphere at an early age. My idea of well behaved might be different from yours, however, I think there are certain basics that are important and universal.
When my daughters were babies, we would take them wherever we went. If they began to fuss or cry, one of us would promptly remove them from the room/restaurant/market/wherever. Not because we felt their crying or fussing was a bad thing. No, it’s a perfectly normal occurrence for infants and toddlers. We removed them as a courtesy to others who we felt did not need to be as tolerant as we were with our children’s noise. In consequence, my daughters know that other people are not as wildly in love with their racket or with them as we are. Nor should they be expected to be.
get a little crazy … just know your audience! If we are at a five star restaurant where many other diners have come to enjoy a gracious and expensive meal, would we expect everyone there to be enthralled with junior’s vocal or behavioral outbursts? Would we really expect them to care if our child is having a bout with walking pneumonia and coughing uncontrollably? Nope. It’s rude. And rudeness is basically nothing more than bad manners. If there is an emergency with your child, by all means don’t give a flying flamingo about what others think. But this is the exception. Besides, children who are that sick belong at home, not in public.
Last night, my girls and I were in a department store. There was a toddler carrying on and screaming for more than 15 minutes when my younger daughter said: “Now his mommy is going to tell him to stop because there are other people in here that don’t want to hear it!”
Unfortunately, his mommy did not tell him any such thing. She let him wail and scream and cry, much to the chagrin and annoyance of everyone else in the store. You know what? As much as I love kids and cannot bear to see or hear them suffering, I disliked this kid immensely!
My reasoning is this: if our kids learn that they are free to trample on the peace, space or rose gardens of others, they will develop into spoiled and inconsiderate brats. And then who will like them? Who will want to spend time with them? Who, besides their forgiving parents, will be able to tolerate their lack of social graces and good manners? No one except maybe another ill-mannered person who feels at home with a similarly clueless individual. Do we really want our children reduced to such horrible options? I think not.
We teach our children not to steal, lie or punch their brother in the nose. Shouldn’t we teach them respect for others at the same time? That their whining and out-of-control behavior is something no one really wants to hear or witness, especially strangers who have no vested interest in their developing minds or self-esteem? A simple reminder of the rules, consistently, works wonders … eventually.
Good luck. Kids need to learn manners and social graces. They will go farther in life if we teach them well.
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