Tag Archives: self-care

Self-Care (for Sanity’s Sake) Through the Holidays

The holidays are here, whether we are ready or not.  It seems like the year just started, but it is almost over.  The holidays, while they can be wonderful, are tremendously stressful.  Don’t let them be – there are things that you can do to put the joy back in the holidays and keep your sanity.

 

NOTE: I also want to say at the outset that if you suffer from depression, please talk to someone – a friend, a family member, a coworker, or anyone that you trust.

 

  • Eat healthy meals before going to parties.
  • Moderate your caffeine and alcohol intake – too much of either will leave you feeling bad later, and also dehydrate you.
  • Get enough sleep.  Go to bed earlier than normal at least once a week.
  • Evaluate any “obligations” that you are facing.  Just because you have done something in the past doesn’t mean you have to continue.
  • Family can be stressful.  It is important to spend time with people that you ENJOY, family or not.  Also, recognize that old patterns reappear under stress, so be aware of that in interactions with family.
  • Say “No” – and mean it.  Remember that NO can  be a complete sentence – you don’t have to explain.
  • Take short breaks to fit in a walk or other forms of exercise.  Not only will it help with possible weight gain over the holiday, it is an excellent stress reliever.
  • Watch how much you spend, to avoid making the start of the new year a more stressful one.
  • Make sure your routine stays the same, or as close as possible.  Keeping a regular routine makes rest/sleep easier, and also helps keep you in balance.
  • If you have stress management techniques that you use in other circumstances, pull them out and use them. Find what works for you and stick with it!
  • Prioritize.  Look at your activities and do what is most important to you.  Don’t worry if less important things don’t get done.
  • Take a time out for yourself – away from noise, stimulation, and things that need to be done.  They will still be there in five, ten, fifteen minutes.
  • Relax and be present in the moment – not worrying about the future, not worrying about what happened in the past.  Enjoy the family around you.  Enjoy the smells of the holiday.  Enjoy the sounds of the holiday.
  • Simplify.  Cut your to-do list in half.  Send fewer cards.  Exchange fewer gifts.  Say NO to a few occasions.
  • Stay flexible; things can change at the drop of a hat so be ready to change.
  • If you have too much to do, delegate.  Ask for help from those around you.  You do the best you can; remember that.
  • Don’t bake six types of cookies if two will do!
  • Laugh.  Hang on to your sense of humor and take care of it.  Look for the funny in life – there is plenty of it out there.  Find some funny websites and look at them first thing in the morning, or any time you need a giggle.
  • Let go of the “ideal” Christmas and enjoy the one around you.
  • Do non-materialistic things with friends and family.
  • Be aware of your breaking point and step back before you reach it.  Step away and take a break.  Avoid those things that push you close to your breaking point, even if it is family.  There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Chose your battles; ask yourself, “Is this worth a fight?”
  • Keep expectations realistic.  Don’t look for a Brady Bunch Christmas if your family tends to be more boisterous.

If you get stressed, stop and ask yourself, “Is it worth this?  Am I doing this to myself?  Is there something that I can do to make this fun again?”

 

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30 Foolproof Self-Care Tips for the Greatly Stressed

On Your Own Nerves

Life is stressful and complicated – I am fairly certain that we can all agree on that.  Many families either have two parents working or are single-parent homes.  Add to that schedules for children that require families to be in multiple places at the same time and you find stress – how to feed the family, be involved with both children, work, get laundry done, and so on.  Other stresses for people with or without children include travel for work, long work hours, having to work holidays, not being able to make ends meet, committing to too many things, not having enough time, eating poorly, inability to accept things as they are, and failure to take time to relax.  Of course, those just scratch the surface.  I am a mother of two, one of whom has a chronic illness that she will never grow out of, a lifelong situation that has changed her life and those of me and the rest of the family.  We face the stresses of changes in her condition, hospital stays, lots and lots of doctor visits of various types, and the fact that even simple things like having her teeth examined by a dentist are complicated. That doesn’t even begin to describe the stress of trying to make sure that our son, who doesn’t have health issues, doesn’t feel neglected.  Stressors abound.

In view of all this, I have been trying to find ways to de-stress, lessen my anxiety, and take care of myself.  I want to be a better worker (I work part time), better spouse, and better mother.  I have found that to be impossible as long as I am stressed to the max, anxious alm0st all time time, and beginning to see physical side effects of stress.  Here are a list of things that I have tried and found help me.  Some or all of them may appeal to you.  I hope that at least some of them will help you as well.

  1. Soak your feet in hot water and Epsom salts.  I use about one cup of Epsom salts in a dishpan that I use specifically for soaking my feet (purchased on Amazon, but can probably be found at Wal-Mart or Target).  I make the water fairly hot and soak for 10 minutes or so.  Then put moisturizer on your feet and cover with stocks.  I highly recommend this an hour or so before bed – it even helps me sleep.
  2. Solitude.  Sometimes you just need a brief break – some quiet to either contemplate the situation or to not think about it at all.  As I mentioned earlier, I have two delightful, wonderful children – one of whom is very chatty.  Sometimes I just need a few minutes of quiet to gather my thoughts.  In my experience, I have less stressful days when I can have 15-20 minutes of time to myself.
  3. Fifteen minutes to yourself when you get home.  I highly recommend taking fifteen minutes or so when you get home to sit in a quiet place and unwind.  Ask your children to give you a few minutes before asking you anything – or go in your room and shut the door.  Let them know it will just be a short time.  Read for a few minutes, rock in a rocking chair, crochet, write, or whatever else helps you relax.  If just sitting helps, by all means sit and be still.
  4. Keep a journal.  Write out the good things, as well as the bad.  You can look back at the good memories on days you need something to perk you up.  Also, seeing what you’ve overcome can help as well.  In addition, sometimes writing out a problem can help you see things more clearly.  Remember, there is no rule that says you have to keep any or all of your journal.  If you feel better burning, shredding, or otherwise disposing of what you’ve written, then do so.
  5. Be sure to get enough sleep.  At least once a week, go to bed at earlier than normal to make sure you get a good night’s sleep.  If you have trouble sleeping, try getting more exercise.  If that doesn’t work, talk to a doctor or look into other methods of getting help with sleep problems.
  6. Clear some clutter.  Believe it or not, by organizing, you will make yourself feel better.  Clutter is a source of stress.  When you cannot find something, you get frustrated and worried, especially if it is something like car keys or cell phones.  It results in time spent looking for things rather than being productive.
  7. Five things to give up:
    1. People pleasing
    2. Negative self-talk
    3. Complaining
    4. The need to be right
    5. Running from things you fear
  8. Exercise a little every day.  There are some creative ways to work exercise into your day; do some research on Google.  Even 20 minutes a day is a big help, and may help you sleep better too!
  9. Make a humor file – collect articles from magazines or newspapers, comic strips, pictures, etc. – anything that makes you laugh or smile.  Pull it out on tough days.
  10. Read, read, read.  Sometimes curling up with a good book, whether it is fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, book, magazine, or whatever, is a great escape for a while – long enough to relax and unwind a bit.
  11. Practice gratitude.  If you are feeling stressed or depressed, sit down and make a list of five things that you are grateful for; it doesn’t matter what it is.  Start small: a flower, the breeze, waking up this morning, the tree outside your window, the sunset.
  12. Cut back on junk food, caffeine, and sugar.  Don’t overuse alcohol.
  13. When stressed, focus on what you can control – and  stop worrying about the things that you can’t.  Keep telling yourself to do that until it gets to be a habit.  Worrying about things you cannot change won’t change things, won’t make them better – but it can make your stress worse and make you sick.
  14. Replace negative self-talk with positive.  This can be something along the lines of using positive affirmations.  Reframe the negative things you tell yourself.  For example, if you think something like, “I can’t do this,” rephrase it to: “I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I will learn.”
  15. Cut back on electronics and media.  Keeping up with world happenings is a good thing overall, but it is negative in general.  Bad news sells papers.  Cut back on the amount of time you spend on computer, playing games, reading the news, following the news stories.  Spend more time with family, reading, exercising, or doing a hobby.
  16. Take up a hobby – speaking of hobbies!  Learn something new or pick up something you’ve been doing already.  Crochetcan be very relaxing – and yes, men crochet or knit too…
    1. http://www.pinterest.com/csuecrafty/real-men-crochet-or-knit/
    2. On Being a Man Who Knits
    3. No Yarn: Charity Does Good With Stitch In Time 
    4. Meet the Soldier Who Learned to Crochet In Afghanistan
  17. Try meditation.  Start small – mediate for five minutes.  Keep practicing – it takes time to build up but any amount should help your stress levels.
  18. Take an online course and stretch yourself.
  19. Do something nice for someone.
  20. Stop trying to be someone else, for someone else – or trying to live your life to please someone else.  Be yourself – live your values and your interests and follow your dreams.  You’ll find that relieves a LOT of stress.
  21. Sit on the back porch and enjoy your favorite beverage as the sun rises or sets.  Enjoy the sounds of nature.
  22. Practice healthy breathing – many people don’t breathe correctly and stress can affect breathing as well.
  23. Learn to acknowledge all of your feelings – including the negative ones, like anger and jealousy.  Recognize when you are feeling them, explore why you are feeling them, and acknowledge them.  Then let them go.
  24. Cry – let it all out.  Sometimes you just need to vent and let out some of your internal pressure.  It is a way of releasing pressure and stress.
  25. Make a list of activities that you enjoy doing – and do one.
  26. Say no to something that you really don’t want to do, or say no if you don’t have enough energy to commit to something else.  Forget what other people say or think – this is for your own well-being.
  27. Stop watching TV and read instead.
  28. Set your own goals and get away from living by someone else’s rules and goals for you.
  29. Determine your core values and make sure your job and your lifestyle are aligned with them.  When they aren’t in agreement, there is a disconnect and it can be very stressful.
  30. Develop coping strategies.  Sources of help include:
    1. Common Coping Responses for Stress
    2. Stress Management
    3. 101 Ways to Cope With Stress

Stress Less

Sources of information:

Clear Clutter Out of Your Life

Why Mess Causes Stress

 

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Breaking Out of a Rut

In a Rut

Recognizing a rut

What does a rut look like and feel like?

“Stuck in a rut” is an idiom that means being mired in routine. The figurative phrase calls to mind the image of a wagon wheel hopelessly trapped in a deep rut on an unpaved road.    It feels like nothing is changing, that your life is the same all the time.  Basically, it is a fixed, usually boring routine.  You can be in a rut in relationships, at work,  in exercise or diet.  Ever had that feeling that you were going nowhere?  Just spinning your wheels?  That every day was the same?  When you are out of inspiration and ideas, you are stuck in a rut.  How can you get out of it ?  How can you get back to being creative, energetic, enthusiastic?

  1. Remember what you want.  Do you want to participate in a marathon?  Do you want THAT more than you want the doughnut at work?  How about free time on the weekend? Do you want that enough to do laundry during the evening during the week?
  2. Listen to your gut, your instinct.  I have found that when I feel a situation isn’t right for me, I should trust that feeling.  If something comes up that is a little out of your comfort zone, but you are interested in it, take a chance and do it.  You may find out something about yourself or your hidden abilities!
  3. Look at your to-do list and start on small tasks.  Clearing off your list can help make room for new ideas, new projects, and new ideas.  It can also give you energy, believe it or not.  Sometimes simply getting moving in ANY direction can help you refocus.
  4. Work on a self-improvement project.  No, I don’t mean a DIY house project or anything similar.  I mean, improve YOURSELF.  Read a book outside of your normal interests or even one on a subject you are interested in but don’t know much about.  Write a letter to the editor.  Take an online course; there are a lot of them available from mainstream universities online and FREE.  Take a class at the community college.  Go to a seminar.
  5. Talk to a friend or go out to dinner or a movie.  Sometimes getting out and about and spending time with others can get your mind off of the rut and help you break out of it.
  6. Get some exercise.   Not only may that spur new ideas and energy, it will improve your overall health and sleep.
  7. Break your pattern by doing something that you wouldn’t normally do.  If someone asks you to go to an ethic restaraunt that you haven’t been to or t see a movie of a genre that you don’t usually choose, say YES instead of no.
  8. Amazingly enough, helping someone else can help you.  If you simply cannot think of a way to get out of the rut, help out in a soup kitchen, clean out the closet and donate to a veterans’ group or local charity.Now what
  9. Don’t worry so much about mistakes.  If you try too hard to avoid failure, you will avoid success as well.  Learn from your mistakes; that is how you grow and develop good ideas and stimulate creativity, rather than stifling it.
  10. Remember that “this too shall pass.”  Everything passes, given enough time. If you are in a rut, remember that you will move through this; there will be brighter days ahead.
  11. Check your diet; sometimes eating too much junk, drinking too many things that are bad for you can make you feel stuck or uncomfortable.  Check it out and try eating a little healthier, changing a little at a time.
  12. Try a change of scenery – something simple like a walk in a natural area or as involved as a vacation.  Change your location and your surroundings.  Sometimes that is all it takes to jolt you back to creativity.  In addition, time away from the tasks at hand can give your mind the break it needs.
  13. Believe it or not, doodling helps.  Draw simple drawings or repetitive designs on a notepad for a little while.  Do it every day.  Do it when you are listening to someone or while watching TV. You will be surprised at how well this works to jump-start creativity.  Check out “zen doodling” or “zen doodles” or “doodle art” online – you will find a lot of ideas.
  14. Go for a long drive and listen to loud music.
  15. Listen to some TED talks.
  16. If your rut is diet, buy a new cook book.  Try a new type of food.  Try a new spice or ingredient.  Go to a new restaurant or try a new dish at your favorite restaurant.
  17. When you are at the grocery store, pick up a vegetable or fruit that you’ve never tried before.
  18. To keep weight loss continuing or to get off a weight loss “plateau,” change up your exercise routine.  Make sure you do different types of exercise: walking, basketball, racquet ball, aerobics, et cetera.
  19. Learn something new.  Pick up a new hobby, take an online course, go to a seminar.
  20. Set some goals.  Find something that you’ve always wanted to accomplish, set a goal and a time to accomplish it, and then break the goal down into smaller steps.  The goals don’t have to be large to start with; accomplishing anything, even a small goal, will help.
  21. If you are in a relationship rut, do something with your partner that is out of the ordinary.  If you don’t go to the theater, find something local and go.  Try out the local symphony.  Go to see a local sports team play.  Buy a conversation starter pack (cards with conversation starters) and try that.  Surprise your partner with a night out on the town – or even out of town!
  22. Attend a lecture with your partner – then go discuss it over coffee or dessert.
  23. Go out to dinner, try a new cuisine – and TURN OFF THE CELL PHONES!  Talk to each other, hold hands, go for a walk.

Nothing goes away until

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May 2013 Useful, Amusing, or Odd Websites

DIY sites

http://www.diynetwork.com/topics/crafting/index.html:  The DIYNETWORK.COM site in general looks like a terrific place to spend some time (hours, days…lol).  There are sections on home improvement, made & remade, TV shows, experts and hosts and so on.  You can even search for projects that you see on TV, which is fantastic.  On the front page of the DIY section, you can easily find the editors picks, most popular, and videos, as well as repin of the week.  I highly recommend checking this one out; there are some great ideas and tips to be found.

http://www.sheknows.com/tags/diy-crafts:  Ok, I like SheKnows.com – I believe I may have already mentioned this site before.  It bears repeating.  This link goes to a list of crafts, as you can tell.  Currently chalkboards seem to be fairly popular, but there are homemade crafts for Mother’s Day, gifts using printable templates, giant fringe photo props, and an article on how to upcycle a dresser.  The website in general has the following categories to explore:

  • Entertainment
  • Beauty
  • Love
  • Parenting
  • Pets
  • Home
  • Living
  • And more

http://www.geeksugar.com/Geeky-DIY-Crafts-22651317:  Ok I am going to have to explore this site in general at some point, but this is a good article on “20 Fun and Geeky DIYs for Your Weekend.”  I am ALL about quick crafts, since I have two young children and a job.  The first is a paper iPhone stand, for the cost of a sturdy piece of card stock paper.  For the Star Wars geek in your life (or yourself, if that is YOU…lol), the second project described is a custom Star Wars poster.  I don’t know that this is up my alley, but it is a good idea!  The idea that I love MOST is the cross-stitch iPhone 4 Cover – though I’d have to adjust for my phone which isn’t an iPhone 4.  Still – this is fantastic.  The kit comes with a grid case, three colors of thread, a needle and a booklet of patterns to chose from.  And those are just the beginning…I can feel my crafty urge bubbling to the surface…

http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/: I can tell that I could spend a LOT of time at this site.  First of all, I saw that there is an “Outdoor Makeover sweepstakes” that you can enter.  Also they have sections on home and decorating, food and entertaining, crafts and DIY projects, as well as outdoor living and more.    So many sections, so little time on my part. The crafts section currently shows how to stain furniture, a bloggers’ best furniture makeovers, as well as 37 Crafts Made with Recycled Materials.  In addition, there is “Crafty Christmas Gifts, “ “12 Great Gift-Wrapping Ideas”, and more.

Well-being Sites

http://livewellnetwork.com/index: This just looks like it would be such fun to explore.  Food, frying, buns in hair, videos on cooking, “Six Weeks to Sleeveless” in Mirror/Mirror.  Fashion and beauty also appear.  Fitness includes a playground workout that I may have to look at – I hate having to choose between exercising and taking my kids to the park.  There is even an article on Online Groceries – it could save you time and money.  Anyway, I found a LOT to look at here and a lot to think about as well.  Excellent site.

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-recovery/self-care-for-survivors:  On a much more serious note, this is a fantastic article on self-care for survivors (of rape, sexual assault, incest, and sexual abuse).  Self-care can be a challenge for anyone, but for people in those situations it can be even more challenging – and an important part of the healing process.  I found this article thought out, and very good.  It even includes a warning to be wary of certain people who may not make recovery easier, as well as a suggestion to set limits.  Very, very important advice.  I have been through all of this and I need to absorb the advice here.

http://www.gaiam.com/self-care/10000515,default,sc.html:  Ok, I will be honest: this site sells things.  I haven’t tried anything from here yet. But, I do find it fun to look around.    They have home goods, clothing, wellness section, yoga, fitness and videos.  The link I’m sharing shares some examples for self-care: pure soap, organic cotton sheets, rainfall showerhead, and so on.

http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=847.  This is a good article for self-care and caregivers.  I have a special needs child and I find that if I don’t stop and take care of myself once in a while, I really don’t have it in me to deal calmly with issues that arise.  This describes why it is important, as well as why you should take responsibility for your own care, and how to identify personal barriers to your own self-care.  Then there are several tools suggested.  Good reading!

http://crisisclinic.org/find-help/crisis-line/self-care-strategies/.  From a crisis center come some very good suggestions for dealing with stress, trauma and crisis.  There is such an incredible strain on people these days that I thought this would be a good article to include.  This appears to be from WA State, but no doubt you can find one from your own state, along with the contact numbers, if you look on Google. (And of course, for your own area if you are out of the United States – I admit that I write with a US bias… )

 

On a lighter note:

http://www.sanitaryum.com/.  I was looking for some funny things and I found this.  Now, I get a kick out of some off-color humor as much as anyone, but sometimes it is nice to find something to share with just about anyone.  This site has cute comments, videos, and more.  There is a blog and a shop as well, but to be honest, I didn’t check those out.  I’m looking to browse, not buy!

http://www.laughdirectory.com/clean-humor – this is a link for a list of links to places to find clean humor.  I cannot vouch for all of them – I don’t have THAT much time to search, but this looks like a good place to start.  In addition, to the left of the list are folders for other types of humor, including practical jokes and pranks, science fiction and fantasy, job humor, and bizarre.

 

Oddities

In case you didn’t already realize just how strange this world and its inhabitants are, I bring you:

http://www.oddnews.org/

http://www.reuters.com/news/oddlyEnough

http://www.snopes.com/daily/

http://oddest.newsvine.com/

http://www.usnews.com/news/offbeat

http://www.dailybreeze.com/offbeat

http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/strange-sea-animals-2#slide-1

http://www.livescience.com/25707-10-weirdest-animal-discoveries.html

http://science.discovery.com/creatures/10-weirdest-sea-creatures.htm

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Stress Relief

I thought this might be a useful topic these days.  Goodness knows I’m feeling the stress from the economic situation!  Here are some suggestions, tips, or words of advice that I’ve gathered or put together over the years.  Each person is different and reacts differently to stress and stress relief techniques.  My recommendation is to try things until you discover what works for you, then make a note of it.  If you have suggestions of your own, please feel free to leave them in a comment!

  • Forget yesterday’s mistakes.  It is a new day.  Learn from your mistakes but move on.
  • If something unfortunate happens, decide not to let it color your whole day.  Have a “bad moment” rather than a “bad day!”
  • If you can’t think of positive things about yourself, ask someone that you trust to list some.  Then keep that list and refer to it from time to time, particularly when you feel down or stressed.
  • Make sure you eat breakfast; it is important to give yourself some fuel to get started in the morning.
  • Try breathing exercises.  One way to do this is to “breathe out the negative, breathe in the positive.”  Let go of the negative thoughts as you breathe out, focus on the positive as you breathe in.
  • Cultivate gratitude: thank people who serve you food, fix your car, fix your dinner.  Thank your children.
  • If you and your spouse are having problems – decide you aren’t going to play the blame game.  Work together to fix the situation.
  • Choose the people you surround yourself with wisely – beware of people who are negative all the time, who complain constantly, who criticize others all the time.
  • Look at the stars or the ocean.
  • Clean your desk at the end of the day; large piles and general disorganization can be stress-inducing!
  • Stretch.
  • Be a child for 15 minutes: go buy some bubbles and blow some.  Share the joy and blow bubbles with or for a child.
  • Acknowledge anger rather than stiffling it.  If you can’t express your feelings calmly, then count to 10, 20, 100, or whatever but don’t explode.
  • Sit by candlelight, firelight, or simply in dimmed lights for 15 minutes before bed.  Listen to soft, gentle music or nature sounds if you like.
  • Sometimes it is better to walk away from a situation for a few minutes and catch your breath.  Take some deep breaths, go for a brief walk, splash water on your face, or doodle on a notepad, then face the situation when you are calmer.

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Resolutions? Throw those things out!

How many years have you set resolutions in January only to give them up within the first week or two? How frustrated do you get at setting them and failing so early to complete any of them?

Something I’ve found that works better is to set goals. I know it sounds like semantics – “resolutions,” “goals,” whatever – but there IS a difference. Goals are defined as “the purpose toward which an endeavor is directed; an objective.” Resolutions are defined as:

1. A resolving to do something.
2. A course of action determined or decided on”

The problem with resolutions is that they generally simply represent a desire to do something, to achieve something, but with no plan of action. As a result, a few weeks after setting your “resolutions”, you’re off the path completely. When you set up goals, you generally also come up with smaller steps that will help you achieve the goal – a plan of action. With a plan of action, you can see when you drift off the path sooner and decide more clearly if you need to adjust your goal or what you need to do to actually achieve your goal.

When you are setting your goals for the year (or whatever time frame you chose), consider areas of your life that you would like to work on, improve, or change.  Some areas frequently on that list include Work, Personal/ Relationships, Family, Social, Spiritual, Exercise/Weight Loss.

One method I’ve found helpful in setting up goals is to make “SMART” goals. SMART goals are generally considered to be:

S – specific, significant, stretching

M – measurable, meaningful, motivational

A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

S: are your goals specific, rather than vague? If they are too vague, there will be no way to know when you’ve achieved them. To make a specific goal, make sure that you include what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it by, and how you will achieve it.

M: are your goals measurable? If they are, anyone should be able to look at your progress and determine if you’ve achieved your goal. For example, “I want to learn to dance” is vague and immeasurable; most of us are born being able to “dance” (i.e., rock back and forth to music). A smarter goal would be “I want to learn to foxtrot by January 1, 2010.”

A: are your goals attainable? That is, can you achieve them realistically? It is a good thing to have goals that stretch you, that take you out of your comfort zone, but it is possible to set your goal in such a way that it isn’t realistic. For example, a person with a goal of “I want to be a professional dancer in six months” isn’t likely to achieve that goal if he’s the average person on the street. A more attainable goal for the average person would be “I want to dance a waltz at my daughter’s wedding in six months.” On the other hand, don’t set your goals too low either – a goal should challenge you to some extent, otherwise you’ll get bored with it.

R: are your goals realistic? Are they results-oriented? Are they reasonable? If they aren’t relevant to you, to your purpose in life or your belief system, then you aren’t likely to achieve them. For example, you may love commenting on football games to your friends, but do you really have the knowledge of all the positions, the training, and so forth to fill the air during a real game? Or, you may really enjoy cooking and do it well, but do you really have what it takes to run a successful big city restaurant?

T: are your goals time-based? Do you have a time frame for each one? If not, there is no motivation to get moving, no sense of urgency, no reason to take action today. An example of a time-based goal would be something along the lines of “I want to read one classic book a month for 12 months” or “I want to read one classic book each month from January to December 2009.”

Regardless of what you call them, they can really be motivating and stimulating, if done properly! Go out … and DO IT!

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Filed under Goals, Self-Improvement

Really Useful Websites (June 2008)

  1. Job Hunter’s Bible – the official site for the book “What Color is Your Parachute?”. I haven’t read the book, but I did find useful information/advice here.
  2. Eight Letters in Search of a WordThis is a fantastic addiction; each level has eight letters. There is at least ONE eight-letter word to be formed. You get points for each letter you use. In addition, you must reach a certain point level before time runs out.
  3. Lunchtimers – This is a cute little thing; well, it can be. You can spend a bit of time here, basically chatting with magnetic refrigerator letters. Ok, some players can be crude but it is kind of cute. In addition, they have other games. A definite time-waster.
  4. Spirograph – If you’ve missed playing with a Spirograph, now you can do it online (of course!). No more paper! (Well, if you insist, you can still buy an actual physical one, I think, but I loved this one.)
  5. 1980s Games – Ok, I admit it; I was feeling nostalgic. I loved some of the games from the 1980s so when I found a site online that allowed me to play them for free, I got excited. This is a pretty good site – there were a lot of games I had never even heard of (well, perhaps I’ve forgotten a few…). Anyway, take a look, if you’re waxing nostalgic, like I was.
  6. Unique IQ Tests – this is an interesting one. It is a collection of puzzles. Complete it to see how sharp you are (or aren’t!).
  7. RinkWorks – I think that this site has been around awhile (a long while, really) but it is worth revisiting. I seem to remember spending quite a bit of time browsing their “Computer Stupidities” section. In the humor section, there are summarized books and movies (much funnier than that sounds) and things people said (among other things). Then, there is a section for games and puzzles. All in all, plenty to keep you from your tasks.
  8. Google notebook:  I love this idea from Google.  You can save clips from sites you find online, plus you can save urls with notes in “notebooks.”  This way, you can move the clips/notes around, put then in notebooks by subject, create sections, and so forth.  It is a great way to organize information that you find online and need and/or want to remember.
  9. K Schweizer – a wonderful site for journals, glass pens and pens of other types, inks, handmade journals and so on.  I love it.
  10. Solitaire Central – this is a great site.  It has links to a good number of online solitaire games, as well as rules of variations, and downloads.
  11. Drinknation – I thought this was helpful.  You can check the ingredients that you have and it will list the drinks you can make with those ingredients.
  12. Shopping List (Google) – I’ve never noticed this before, so I have no idea how long it has been available, but I think this is rather nice.  Apparently, you can also make a Wish List via google, which is great since the products on it will not be specific to one website.  I love this idea.  You can add items from your shopping list to your wish list, and you can send your wish list to people.
  13. The Innerwords Messenger – here is a list of self-care tips that is really nice.  The back issues of the newsletter are also good reading.
  14. Name a Star – The international star registry; this is a site where you can name a star as a gift.  I thought it was an interesting idea – something for the person who has everything.  Everyone has at least one in their family!  On the other hand, you may want to take a look at this beforehand, from Space.com.
  15. Makeuseof.com – I’m not really sure HOW to describe this one, other than to say you could spend a bit of time here.  There is an interesting article on “40 Unusual Websites You Should Bookmark” but there is more there than that.  There is a blog, web applications, tips, and reviews.

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Filed under Lists, Reference, Review