The Key to a Great Year Ahead

One goal.

Only one.

One that would change your life for the better.

If someone gave you 365 days to accomplish most goals, you would jump at it and that’s what is better than a New Year’s resolution.

Wonder why gyms and health clubs do their biggest business in January and then the majority of new members disappear by June?

Or why building a better relationship with a family member or friend doesn’t usually last until the next insult?

One goal – the thing that would make a significant difference in your life is worth 365 days of intense focus.

Meet someone special.

Grieve a loss and go on with life (with that person in your mind and by your side).

Quit smoking?  If it’s your one goal and you’ve got 365 days to do it, you likely will.

If we set but one goal a year and made it our focus for 365 days, that’s 5 significant changes in five years, ten in ten years.

Not failure.

Not disappointment.

So if you want to lose weight, enjoy life to the fullest, spend less and save more or spend more time with your friends, the key to change is to choose the one that will inspire you to devote 365 days in a row to achieve it.

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Carrie Fisher

You would think that playing the iconic Princess Leia in Star Wars would be enough to mark a lifetime in the public eye, but Carrie Fisher went at least one further.

Fisher was among the first A level stars to talk intelligently about mental disorders including her own bipolar condition, a mood disorder characterized by highs and lows, depression and unusually high energy.

“It’s kind of a virus of the brain that makes you go very fast or very sad.  Or both.  Those are fun days.  So judgment isn’t like, one of my big good things.  But I have a good voice.  I can write well.  I’m not a good bicycle rider.  So just like anybody else, only louder and faster and sleeps more.  Oh manic depression … how I love you”.

She half-jokingly came up with the idea of Bipolar Pride Day.

Life is not perfect.

We are not perfect.

As hard as we try all of us are subject to forces and conditions not of our choosing, but the one thing that we can control is the way we choose to look at these challenges.

To see the good.

To show appreciation.

To have a sense of humor about ourselves and the human condition that we all share in some way or the other.

That’s why the loss of Carrie Fisher before the holidays was so meaningful.

In a world craving authenticity, the Start Wars fantasy actress was so real.

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30 Seconds That Can Change Your Life

Most of us react instead of respond to other people, their ideas and thoughts.

Reacting is knee-jerk, top of mind living that gets us into trouble.

All that is necessary to respond and offer truer feelings is 30 seconds.

30 of the most difficult seconds we could ever suffer through.

Resisting the temptation to jump in and answer when we need the other 29 seconds to think about what we just heard first.

Holding back emotions until we have spent at least 30 seconds getting in touch with those emotions and how to frame them.

My wife and I play a game based around the 30-second rule.

When I jump in and react, I can be reminded that I still had 29.5 seconds left to think about what I was feeling.

When one of us comes up with an idea and we have 20 seconds left, we warn “the first idea could be the worst idea”, a reminder that living in a fast paced world is not necessarily beneficial.

The good news is that it is entirely possible to change the way we positively relate to people and to get to know ourselves better.

Take the full 30 seconds and see if it doesn’t make a difference for you.

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The Perfect Gift

This is the year when cybershopping has really taken off.

You can see more, buy more – often for less – without leaving your screen.

In theory, we have more tools to come up with the perfect gift for those we care about.

The perfect gift is not necessarily something tangible.

It is the gift of your time which, at holiday time, seems like very little left to offer to someone else.

The price is right.

The results beat anything money can buy.

  1. A day without screens with your children. In one day, see the magic that occurs when phones, computers and gaming is turned off.  The ultimate gift of rediscovery.
  1. No movies for kids in the car. You can’t be serious?  Yes, no child will ever remember the movie she or he watched on the trip to grandma’s for holiday 2016 but they will remember the number of license plates the family saw out the window during their time together.  The gift of parenting with a purpose.
  1. Let someone else have YOUR way.  When the choice could be yours, give it up to someone else.  Give someone else the gift of choice and feel what real empowerment is.

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How to Feel Less Stressed

To gain control, you do the opposite – give up control.

When rushing and making mistakes, slow down, do less and get fewer things right.

To feel less stressed, offer more of your time to those around you.

Getting the mind off of you is a secret weapon for dealing with grief, depression and disappointment.

Making other people your 100% focus lifts that which ails us including the stress of everyday living.

Ironically, when we spend more time helping others, we feel less stressed.

No pill, no form of therapy and no spa day even comes close.

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