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time quotes

Time is our most precious resource.

Here are 59 time quotes to help you make the most of your time.

1. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” ~ Bruce Lee

2. “We give our time away all day long, to emotions that gain us no advantages, to people who do not value our time, to inefficient habits. If you want to take back this time, you need to cut to the chase.” ~ Stuart R. Levine

3. “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” ~ Lee Iacocca

4. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

onehouradayformula banner long5. “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might as well put that passing to the best possible use.” ~ Earl Nightingale

6. “Either you run your day, or your day runs you.” ~ Jim Rohn

7. “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” ~ Golda Meir

8. “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” ~ Charles Richards

9. “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” ~ Lord Chesterfield

10. “All you need to achieve your goals and drastically change your life is one-hour-a-day.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

11. “You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.” ~ Doc Childre and Howard Martin

12. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” ~ Marcia Wieder

13. “Your greatest resource is your time.” ~ Brian Tracy

14. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Altshuler

15. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg

16. “Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.” ~ Jean De La Bruyere

17. “In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” ~ Sir John Lubbock

18. “The real problem of leisure time is how to keep others from using yours.” ~ Arthur Lacey

19. “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” ~Richard Whately

20. “Up until now you’ve probably heard the terms ‘investing” and ‘return on your investment’ only in relation to money. However, you have to start applying these concepts to your time as well. Make wise time investments and then enjoy the positive returns that you receive on your investment.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

21. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb

22. “While we are postponing, life speeds by.” ~ Seneca

23. “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: ‘I did not have time.’” ~ Franklin Field

24. “With perseverance, the very odds and ends of time may be worked up into results of the greatest value.” ~ The Royal Path of Life

25. “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” ~ Lord Chesterfield

Make It Happen!

26. “I recommend you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.”  ~ Earl of Chesterfield

27. “How long will you wait for the right time to come? The right time is now, and the right place is here.” ~ Dada J.P. Vaswani

28. “Your purpose should dictate how you spend your time.” ~ Brenda Johnson Padgitt

29. “Stop allowing time to control you; instead, take control of your time.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

30. “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” ~ Anthony Robbins

31. “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” ~ Charles Buxton

32. “Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg

33. “Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target.”
~ Peter Turla

34. “The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business–or almost anywhere else for that matter.” ~ Lee Iacocca

35. “Spare moments are the gold dust of time.” ~ Bishop Hail

36. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey

37. “If you want to be more productive, you need to become master of your minutes.” ~ Crystal Paine

38. “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” ~ Tony Morgan

39. “If you don’t set aside some time each day to create the life you want, then you’ll be spending your time surviving instead of living your best life.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

40. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker

41. “Don’t spend a dollar’s worth of time on a ten cent decision.” ~ Peter Turla

42. “We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.” ~ Jim Rohn

43. “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

44. “You wake up in the morning, and your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of un-manufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.” ~ Arnold Bennett

45. “A man must be master of his hours and days, not their servant.” ~ William Frederick Book

46. “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.” ~ Horace Mann

47. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” ~ Marcia Wieder

48. “The time for action is now. It is never too late to do something.” ~ Carl Sandburg

49. “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.” ~ M. Scott Peck

50. “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: ‘I did not have time.’” ~ Franklin Field

51. “We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.” ~ Alice Boch

52. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” ~ Brian Tracy

53. “What comes first, the compass or the clock? Before one can truly manage time (the clock), it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are, in which direction you are headed (the compass). Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent, learn to focus on what is really important.“~ Unknown

54. “We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, we have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.“ ~ Charles E. Hummel

55. “To get all there is out of living, we must employ our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and sip life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of a minute.” ~ Robert Updefraff

56. “If, before going to bed every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark, there goes another day of my life, never to return, you will become time conscious.“ ~ A.B. Zu Tavern

57. “We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.“ ~ Henry Ward Beecher

58. This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment. Menachem Mendel Schneerson

59. “Use some time each day, one-hour-a-day is all you need, to bust your regrets. What do you regret not having done in the past? Start doing it now.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

Conclusion

I hope your found these 59 time quotes useful. Live your best life by improving how you manage your time.

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how to move more

Humans were made to move.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) only 20 percent of American adults meet the minimum national exercise guidelines of at least 150 minutes per week of mixed aerobic workouts and strength training.

onehouradayformula banner longIn turn, a lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. In addition, being inactive can add to feelings of anxiety and depression. It can even lead to premature death. On the other hand, here are some of the many benefits of moving more throughout the day:

  • Control your weight.
  • Improve your mental health and mood.
  • Combat disease.
  • Increase your chances of living longer.
  • Improve your sleep.
  • Have more energy.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Improved brain function.

The human body isn’t designed to sit bent and scrunched up in a chair all day, day after day – it’s designed to move. Fortunately, any movement can be considered physical activity and is beneficial, even small amounts of movement. In this post you’ll find 24 sneaky ways to move more.

1. Set the Goal to Move More. In my post on 29 New Year’s Resolution Ideas – Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever I recommended that you set the resolution of moving more. If you didn’t set that resolution at the start of the year, you still have time to do so. Set the goal to move more for what’s left of the year, and make a commitment to stick to that goal.

2. Maximize Your Daily Movements. Look for ways to add more movement to things you’re already doing. Look at the following:

  • When you drive to work, forgo the coveted parking space right next to the building’s entrance. Instead, choose a parking space farther away from the front door and add steps to your day.
  • At work, visit the restroom at the other end of the building. Taking the stairs to the restroom on another floor is even better.
  • Refill your coffee cup at the machine farthest from your workstation.
  • Use the printer or copier furthest away from your desk.

A few extra steps here and there can go a long way.

3. Move Faster. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines moderate aerobic activity as “anything that makes your heart beat faster.” That means a wide variety of daily activities can become exercise if you do them faster or more intensely.

Picking up the pace, even if you’re just walking to your car, will help you burn more calories and strengthen your legs. I walk to the gym, and I run errands by foot (my apartment building has a great location). I’ve now resolved to walk to these destinations more quickly.

Get more out of your movements by doing them faster.

4. Increase the Beat. A lot of us listen to music while doing things like walking or exercising. As stated in the point above, you can get more out of your movements by increasing the speed at which you do them. And a great way to pick up the speed is to listen to music with a faster tempo.

As I wrote in my post, 12 Easy Ways to Bring More Music Into Your Life, songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) make you work out harder. I, for one, am going to look for songs with this BPM so I can start jogging faster.

5. Get a High Energy Dog. Having a dog will force you to move more. After all, you’ll have to take it out at least once a day so that it can get some exercise, or risk having your furniture destroyed as punishment for keeping it cooped up inside all day.

I’m currently considering getting a Husky, which is a gorgeous, sweet-tempered dog breed that needs lots of activity to stay happy.

6. Make Moving Fun. Moving more doesn’t have to be one more task or chore to add to your to-do list. Instead, you can categorize it as “play”. How? By making it fun! Here are some ideas:

  • Get a mini-trampoline –rebounding is great exercise, and it’s lots of fun.
  • Join a dance class.
  • Try the latest exercise class that’s all the rage. These include Pound, a class created by a drummer that uses lightly weighted “drumsticks” called Ripstix; pole workouts; and rowing-based strength classes.

7. Devote One-Hour-A-Day to Fitness. I devote one-hour-a-day to fitness. As I’ve written previously, I run three times a week, and I lift weights at the gym three times a week. Although I’m currently resting one day a week, I’m looking for a good stretching DVD I can do for one-hour on the seventh day.

Keep in mind that even if you do devote one-hour-a-day to exercising, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to move for the rest of the day. The benefits of exercise can be reduced if you spend most of the rest of your day sitting. So make sure that you still squeeze in as much active time as possible throughout the day.

8. Walk Indoors.  Most experts recommend that you take at least 10,ooo steps a day– which is roughly the equivalent of 5 miles. The good news is, you can walk those miles indoors. If it’s raining out, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, or you simply don’t want to leave the house, walk indoors. There are many great walking workout programs you can get on Amazon.

As an example, there’s 10,000 Steps Weight Loss – Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles Walking Exercise DVD. Each of the five walks is about 15 minutes long, and one mile in distance. Do all five walks at once, or spread them out throughout the day; it’s your choice.

9. Maximize Your TV Watching Time. Most people spend a lot of time watching TV. And what does that mean? It means that they spend even more time sitting. However, there are many ways to be active while you watch TV. Here are some ideas:

  • Get a treadmill or a stationary bike and use it while you watch TV.
  • If you don’t want to be in full out exercise mode while you watch TV, at least get yourself a portable pedal bike.
  • Use the commercials –hold a plank during commercial breaks, do burpees, or do some jumping jacks.
  • Preset the timer on your TV to turn off after an hour to remind you to get up and go do something more active.
  • At the very least, hide the remote control so that you have to get up to change the channel.

Turn TV time into active time.

10. Use Temptation Bundling. In my post, Adopt Good Habits With Temptation Bundling, I write about Wharton professor Katherine Milkman. Her guilty habit is listening to low-brow novels on audio tape. So she came up with the following idea: she could listen to those audio tapes only while she was exercising.

You can follow this same approach in order to move more. What are your guilty habits? Tell yourself that you can only engage in these activities while you’re exercising, squatting, standing, or moving around.

11. Incorporate Movement Into Your Morning Routine. One of the best ways to have a great day is to start it off with a morning routine that will set you up for success. Get moving from the moment your feet touch the ground in the morning by incorporating movement into your morning routine. Here’s three ways to do this:

12. Spend More Time In Nature. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and I’ve already written about the many benefits of spending more time in nature. An added benefit is that when you’re out in nature it’s highly likely that you’ll be moving around. After all, the outdoors was made for all of the following:

  • Playing Frisbee at the park, or throwing a ball back and forth.
  • Playing with your dog or your kids on the grass.
  • Flying a kite.

Whenever you can, head outdoors and move around under the clear blue sky.

13. Use Your Commute. Rethink the way you get to and from work. Do you drive? How about walking, rollerblading, or cycling to work, instead? You’ll be adding movement to your day, saving on gas, and maybe even saving on parking.

If you ride public transportation, try standing up for most of the way. A European Heart Journal study found that standing instead of sitting an extra two hours a day can lower blood sugar and boost good cholesterol.  In addition, get off the bus or subway a stop early and walk part of the way.

14. Set Goals for Your Amount of Sitting Time. lan Hedge, a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, explains that both sitting all day and standing all day are bad for you. He recommends that you break up your activity throughout the day.

Hedge indicates that for every half-hour working in an office, people should do the following:

  • Sit for 20 minutes;
  • Stand for eight minutes; and
  • Move around and stretch for two minutes.

There are apps that will remind you to get up and move around every so often. These include the following:

  • Breakpal.com–a reminder will pop up on your screen to get up and exercise, and you’ll be directed to a short exercise video.
  • TimeOut, which blacks out your screen for 15 seconds every 10 minutes, and for 10 minutes once an hour, forcing you to take short breaks.

15. Fidget More. A study involving over 12,000 British women found that those who fidgeted while seated staved off the negative effects of sitting much better than the non-fidgety women. In addition, people who fidget tend to be thinner than those who don’t because they burn more calories throughout the day. Do yourself a favor and fidget around a bit.

16. Play a Fitness Board Game. Board games can develop thinking abilities and life skills. In addition, you can get board games that will help you to stay fit.

One option is the Fitness in a Box Board Game — to move around the board you have to perform activities like jumping, stretching, and adopting strength-building poses. Bakari Fitness Memory Game is another fitness board game; it doubles as a memory game.

17. Go On Active Dates. When you want to spend some quality time with your spouse or significant other, instead of going to dinner and a movie, do something active. Challenge them to a game of tennis, go hiking, or go kayaking. Other ideas include the following:

  • Visit a new town and take a walking tour.
  • Go geocaching.
  • Go on a city-wide scavenger hunt.

You know the saying, the couple that sweats together, stays together. 🙂

18. Same With Catching Up With Friends. When you want to catch up with friends, instead of going out for coffee or a drink, go to the museum or a gallery exhibit. Other ideas include going to a planetarium, going bowling, or playing golf (meeting for a round of golf isn’t just for men).

If your friends live nearby, you can even start a walking club: get together for speed walking before work.

19. Use Stolen Moments. Any time you have a few minutes to spare here and there, use that time to get some movement in. Here are some examples:

  • If you’re waiting for your son or daughter to finish soccer practice, walk a few times around the field.
  • Got some errands to run nearby? Try walking to get your errands done. Typically, if it’s within two miles from you it can be considered walkable.
  • Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

20. Take Up An Active Hobby. Hobbies aren’t just a way to pass the time. They can also improve the quality of your life. To squeeze more activity into your life, take up a hobby that involves moving around, such as birding, nature photography, or indoor rock climbing.

21. Try Active Meditation. If you’re thinking of taking up meditation to relieve stress, become more mindful, and improve your focus and concentration, instead of sitting in the lotus position consider taking up a form of active meditation.

Forms of active meditation include Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Yoga.

22. Encourage Your Boss to Make the Office More Exercise Friendly. Many employers are  looking for ways to get their employees to exercise more. After all, people who exercise are healthier and take less sick days. In addition, they’re more creative and productive, and they tend to have better attitudes.

Here are some of the things you could recommend:

  • Propose walking meetings — have walking-and-talking meetings instead of the usual sit-down ones.
  • Start a company team — you can play softball, soccer, or tag football.
  • Start a mid-morning stretch group.

Round up all the studies out there which document the many benefits to companies of having a healthy, active work force, and impress your boss with your initiative.

23. Use the Rule of Threes. If you don’t have time to exercise for 30 minutes straight, break it up into three 10-minute segments. Get 10 minutes of cardio in the morning, 10 minutes of cardio after lunch, and 10 minutes of cardio in the evening.

24. Volunteer in Ways that Allow You to Be Active. A popular goal is to help others by volunteering. If volunteering is one of your goals, tie it to the goal of moving more. Look for volunteering opportunity that involve movement, such as these:

  • Participate in clean-up days in your community.
  • Volunteer to run/walk for an event, like Race for the Cure or Relay for Life.
  • Volunteer at a community garden.
  • Volunteer to coach little league. You’ll spend more time with your kid, get to know his or her friends, and get some exercise in. Three for one!

Volunteer and become more active, at the same time.

Conclusion

Improve your life by becoming more active. This includes not just exercising or playing sports, but also adding more movement to your day. Live your best life by moving more.

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bold, daring, and audacious

“Fortune favors the audacious.” – Desiderius Erasmus

You’ve probably heard that the people who succeed in life are those who are smart and have a good education. However, not enough is said about the need to be daring, bold and audacious.

Brilliant people with Ivy League educations probably won’t get very far—or, at least they won’t get as far as they could–without these three qualities. At the same time, people who didn’t graduate at the top of their class and who went to community college can get far if they do have these traits.

If you’re looking for ways to be more daring, bold, and audacious, you’ll find seven of them below. (You can read the post below or watch the YouTube video.)

onehouradayformula banner long1. Stop Being So Scared of Looking Foolish. I jog three times a week along a jogging and cycling path that runs parallel to the ocean. In the last few of weeks, I’ve seen a woman—she looks American and is probably in her early fifties—rollerblading by. She doesn’t rollerblade very well at all. Frankly, she looks a little bit ridiculous—she teeters back and forth, and from side to side, and she looks like she’s scared of losing her balance and falling.

That being said, I sincerely admire the fact that she doesn’t seem to care how she looks. She wants to go rollerblading and that’s what she’s doing, regardless of what other people may think.

I used to rollerblade when I lived in Washington, DC—in fact, I’d rollerblade on Pennsylvania Avenue right in front of the White House—but I haven’t gone rollerblading in years. A few times I’ve thought to myself, “I want to start rollerblading again.”  Nonetheless, I kept putting it off because, at least at first, I’m going to be wobbling along and I’m going to look foolish.

Last week I decided that it was really dumb of me to put off rollerblading—which I remember was lots of fun—for fear of how I may look to others. I proceeded to do the following:

  • I found a place that teaches rollerblading;
  • I asked my 8-year-old nephew, who’s pretty much up for anything, to take classes with me.

Tomorrow I’m going to get myself a pair of rollerblades. I’m no longer going to stop myself from doing something that I really want to do because of what others may think. That is, I’ve made the decision to be more daring.

Ask yourself: “What is one thing that I want to do but I’ve been putting it off because I’m scare of looking foolish?” Then, go do it.

2. Give Yourself Permission. As I wrote in my post, 50 Things to Give Yourself Permission For, we each need to outgrow the need to ask for permission before going after the things we want.

As children we’re indoctrinated that we have to ask for permission for just about anything we want to do, and a lot of people enter adulthood still thinking that they need approval or consent from others before they act.

Be bold and realize that the only person you need permission from is yourself. Whatever it is that you want to do, give yourself permission to do it.

3. Start Before You Think You’re Ready. When I lived in Florence, Italy I met a girl from Mexico who was also living there. We both went to the same Italian language school, and then we both applied to, and got into, L’Universitá per Stranieri di Firenze (The Florence University For Foreigners).

Later when the girl went back to Mexico and I returned to Panama I got a letter from her. She was teaching Italian in her hometown. I was taken aback by this because it would never have occurred to me to go to the Accademia Italiana here in Panama and apply for a teaching position.

I’ve always thought that you need to have all your T’s crossed and all your I’s dotted before you do something.

Although when I left Italy I spoke Italian fluently, I didn’t take the C2 DELF test so I wasn’t “certified” as someone who spoke advanced Italian. But my Mexican friend hadn’t taken the test either, and that certainly didn’t stop her.

Because of that experience, I created a new rule for myself: “When I want to try something new, I’m going to give it a shot when I feel that I’m 80% ready.” I put that rule to practice when I wanted to get a realtor’s license.

To get a realtor’s license here in Panama you have to take a course and pass a test. I took the course and, although I didn’t feel 100% ready, I took the test the very next day after the course ended (most people wait a month before taking the test so that they can have time to study).

I passed –just barely, but I got the necessary score to get a realtor’s license. This meant I saved myself weeks of studying and worrying about the test.

To be bolder, more daring, and more audacious, get started before you think you’re ready.

4. Constantly Push Against Your Comfort Zone. Always be pushing against your comfort zone to keep it pliable, malleable, and flexible. Do things like the following:

  • Try a new restaurant at least twice a month – preferably restaurants that serve a cuisine that you’re not familiar with.
  • At least once a month go exploring. Visit a part of your town that you’ve never seen, or take a day trip to a city nearby that you’ve never been to before.
  • Four times a year try a new sport – one for each season.
  • At least once a year take a MOOC just because it’s on a topic that interests you or that you’re curious about.

By doing this, when the time comes to try something new which will have a big impact on your life, you’ll have an easier time doing it. After all, your comfort zone will no longer be tight like a corset, limiting your every move. Instead, it will be flexible and easy to move in, like a well-worn pair of jeans.

5. Break the Rules. Learn the rules, and then break them. Look at conventional guidelines as a framework. However, once you know how things are done, give free reign to your own self-expression. Ask yourself questions like the following:

  • Are all of these rules really necessary?
  • Is it essential that things be done in this order?
  • What do I think I should do now?
  • What is my gut telling me to do?
  • What if I were to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing?
  • How can I inject my own personality into this?

Stop thinking that you need to do things like they’ve always been done, or like everyone else is doing them. Instead, be bold: make up your own rules and do things your own way.

6. Do Something You Think You Can’t. We all have a list of things we think we’d be really bad at or could never do. Here are some things that often make it onto people’s lists:

  • “I can’t run a 5K, I’ve never been athletic.”
  • “I can’t draw anything other than stick figures.”
  • “I have two left feet; I can’t take part in that dance class.”
  • “I’m really bad at public speaking. I can’t possibly give a speech in front of 50 people.”

Pick one thing on your “Things I Can’t Do List” and give it a try. You may not be fantastic at it, but it’s almost certain that you will be able to do it. And the more you realize that you can do anything that you put your mind to, the more daring, bold, and audacious you’ll be.

7. Hang Out with Daring, Bold and Audacious People. Let’s face it, the people we hang out with rub off on us. If your friends are constantly shying away from trying new things, it’s very likely that you’ll become more hesitant when it comes to trying new things yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re part of a bunch of people that loves trying new things, it’s highly likely that you’ll find yourself tagging along and having lots of new experiences yourself. Watching people who are close to you take risks will encourage you to do the same.

I already mentioned my 8-year-old nephew above – he’s one of the boldest and most daring people I know. I look forward to spending more time with him now that we’re going to be rollerblading buddies, and I hope some of his audaciousness rubs off on me.

Conclusion

We could all use more daring, boldness and audacity and our lives. Live your best life by being more daring, bold, and audacious. Start with the seven ways listed above.

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stop comparing yourself to others

When you compare yourself to others you’re engaging in destructive behavior.

We live in a competitive society, which often means that we end up comparing ourselves to others. Am I prettier than she is? Do we make more money than they do? Is he a better father than I am? Comparing yourself to others can easily become a habit; and an incredibly destructive one at that.

onehouradayformula banner longHere are just some of the reasons why you should stop comparing yourself to others:

  • Comparing yourself to others often leads to self-doubt.
  • Constantly comparing yourself to others can fuel mean-spirited competitiveness versus collaboration.
  • Comparing yourself to others makes your self-worth dependent on the achievements of others. If they’re doing poorly compared to you, you feel good. If they’re doing better than you are, you feel bad. Do you really think it’s a good idea to make how you feel about yourself depend on how other people are doing?
  • Comparing yourself to others sucks the joy out of life.

Below you’ll find ten ways to stop comparing yourself to others. You can read the post, or watch the YouTube video I made of the post:

1. Recognize You Are Incomparable. Why would you compare yourself to others, when you’re one of a kind? It may sound like a cliché, but the truth is that there’s no one else out there who’s exactly like you. Comparing yourself to others is dishonoring your uniqueness and your individuality.

After all, when you compare yourself to others you’re basically saying: “I should be more like them”. When you’re feeling down because you think that you’re coming up short, instead of telling yourself that should be more like so-and-so, tell yourself the following:

  • “I’m going to become a better version of myself”.
  • “I’m going to start living up to my potential.”
  • “I’m going to become the person I was meant to be.”

Life is about being the best that you can be, not about trying to become someone you’re not.

2. Realize that Comparisons Are Unfair. Life isn’t a level playing field, so it’s not really fair to make comparisons. Look at the following:

  • We begin at different starting lines. Let’s face it, someone born to a wealthy family with college educated parents starts off much further ahead in life than someone born to poorly educated parents living on welfare.
  • We’re all running a different obstacle course. Think of two obstacle courses: one has 5 obstacles on it and the other has 20 obstacles on it. Obviously, it’s much easier to run the first obstacle course. It’s almost a given that the person running that course will have a better finishing time than the person running the obstacle-ridden course.
  • We don’t all get the same breaks. I know people who stepped out of law school and walked straight into cushy jobs at the law firm where their mother or father was a partner. That’s certainly not a break I got. You can’t really compare yourself to people who have gotten more breaks than you have.

A lot of the time people are “ahead of you” in life simply because they’ve had it easier than you have: they started out further ahead, they’ve had to face less obstacles, or they’ve been given more breaks. Is it really fair for you to compare yourself to those people? No, it’s not.

3. Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drummer. Just as you’re incomparable, your journey is incomparable. The path that you follow toward your destination doesn’t have to be the same path that someone else is following, even if you’re both trying to arrive at the same place.

Maybe your path has more detours than their path. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that their path is better. The reason your path is longer could be any of the following:

  • You’re more curious than they are, and you got off the main path a few times to go take a look at something that caught your eye.
  • You’re bolder and more adventurous than they are. Perhaps they wanted to go down a different route a few times, but they were too scared to do it, so they missed out on some great experiences.
  • You’re taking the time to smell the roses. You’ll both end up at the same place, but although your journey will take longer, it will also be more enjoyable.

If someone is standing at the spot where you would like to be, instead of feeling bad because you’re not there yet, tell yourself that you’ll get there when the time is right for you. And when you do get to where they are now, you’ll be a better-rounded person than they are, and you’ll have better stories to tell.

4. It’s a Waste of Time. The time that you’re wasting thinking of others and comparing yourself to them is time that you could be using to improve yourself. Instead of spending forty minutes cyberstalking other people, use that time to do any of the following:

  • Learn something new;
  • Spend quality time with someone you love; or
  • Do something that recharges your battery.

Your time is sacred. Why waste it thinking of the achievements of others?

5. Count Your Blessings. I once read that jealousy results when you count the blessings of others instead of counting your own.

The next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself because your best friend’s career is advancing more quickly than yours, or because the people down the street just bought a car that you can’t possibly afford, shift your focus from what they have to what you have.

You do this by counting your blessings.

6. Do What You Can with What You Have. Maybe the person that you’re comparing yourself to does have talents which you don’t possess.

As an illustration, your co-worker might be more charismatic than you are and, therefore, better at closing deals and making sales. C’est la vie. Instead of pining for their gifts, identify your own gifts, and then do the best that you can with what you have.

7. Compete With Yourself. Let’s face it, we live in a society that’s obsessed with measurements: height, IQ, GPA, rank, and so on. And the people with the high numbers never let others forget how well they’re doing. It can be hard not to compare yourself to others when other people are intent on letting you know how well they’re doing.

However, you have to resist the urge to compare your numbers to theirs. Instead, compare your current numbers to your past numbers. Look at the following:

  • Instead of asking yourself if you’re making more money than your neighbor, ask yourself if you’re making more money now than you were last year.
  • Instead of comparing your career to the careers of the people you went to high school with, ask yourself if you have more job satisfaction now than you did the year before.
  • Instead of comparing your physique to that of the guy next standing next to you at the gym—who let’s everyone know how much he can bench press—ask yourself if you’re in better shape now than you were six months ago.

As long as you’re making progress, who cares how everyone else is doing. Instead of competing with others, compete with yourself.

8. Realize that You Can’t See the Whole Picture. When you look at other people you’re only seeing what they allow you to see. Keep in mind that you can’t see the whole picture. You don’t know what’s really going on underneath the surface, or behind closed doors.

As an illustration, I remember when I was in high school I knew a girl who had a fantastic figure. Later I discovered that she had an eating disorder.  I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience yourself, maybe something like the following:

  • The glamorous woman living in your building who was always traveling and taking fancy vacations confided in you one day that she wished she had a husband and kids, like you do.
  • The couple you thought had a perfect marriage that ended up getting divorced.
  • The guy down the street with the Lamborghini in the driveway who started his own tech company had to file for bankruptcy.

No one’s life is perfect, regardless of how hard they try to make others think that it is. That person who you think has it all may just be really good at faking it and keeping up a façade. In fact, they may even be comparing themselves to you and thinking they’re coming up short.

9. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Metrics. Make sure that when you do measure how well you’re doing, that you measure the things that are important to you, instead of applying the metrics that others think are important. Here are some examples:

  • Maybe your parents are always pushing you to make more money, so you can be rich like your cousin. But the reality is that, as long as you can pay for what you need, money isn’t that important to you. What’s important to you is helping others. So, measure how well you’re doing based on how many people you’re helping, not based on your net worth.
  • Maybe your son has a friend who’s always getting new toys, and you’re tempted to think that you’re falling short because you can’t buy all that stuff for your kid. However, you passed down a promotion at work, so that you could spend more time with your son. So, measure your success as a parent based on the amount of quality time that you’re spending with your child, not based on how many toys you can buy him.
  • Maybe there’s a girl at your gym who wears a size zero, and you’ve always been curvy. So stop measuring yourself based on how much you weigh or what size of clothes you wear; instead, measure yourself by using metrics related to health – your waist to hip ratio, your cholesterol level, your blood pressure, and so on.

Don’t let other people push you into comparing yourself to them based on the metrics that they think are important. Instead, when you want to gauge how well you’re doing, choose your own metrics based on the things that are important to you.

10. Use Other People as Inspiration. Now that I’ve written over 1750 words on why you should stop comparing yourself to others and how to do it, I’m going to do the exact opposite. I’m going to encourage you to compare yourself to others. However, you’re going to turn this into a positive.

If you look around and you notice that there are certain people who are doing better than you are—these people can be your friends, co-workers, peers, and so on–, use this as inspiration to try harder yourself.

In addition, you can use them as a role model. Ask yourself: What are they doing that I’m not doing? How can I learn from them? How can I replicate their success?

That is, instead of despairing because someone else is more successful that you are, use the comparison as motivation to improve.

Conclusion

Use the ten tips above to stop feeling inferior because someone else seems to be doing better than you are. Live your best life by dropping the habit of comparing yourself to others.

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Use the Mind-Body Connection

The body and mind are inextricably connected – use that to your advantage.

You’ve probably heard of the mind-body connection countless of times. What goes on in the mind—what you’re thinking and feeling—affects your body. Negative thoughts and feelings can lead to pain and disease. Positive thoughts and feelings can lead to health and physical well-being.

onehouradayformula banner longLook at the following:

  • If you’re constantly worrying about your finances, this can lead to headaches and stomach problems.
  • If you’re going through a stressful time at work, this can cause muscle pain and high blood pressure.
  • Optimism can help people avoid or healthfully manage diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression.

The body-mind connection is the reverse of this. Your physical state, your posture, gestures, facial expressions, and your movements can affect your mind, your mental well-being, and your brain’s health. In this post you’ll discover how to use your body to heal, center, and strengthen the mind.

Below you’ll discover ten ways to use the body-mind connection to your advantage.

1. Stand Like Wonder Woman. You can use your body to create the mental state of confidence by standing in a power pose. As I explain in my post, Seven Ways Your Body Language Can Positively Influence Your Life, there are certain levels of hormones that are associated with success. Here’s the winning combination of hormones:

  • Successful people have high levels of testosterone–which makes them confident and assertive.
  • Successful people have low levels of cortisol — which means they’re better able to deal with stressful situations.

In turn, your body language–your stance, gestures, and movements–has an impact on your hormones. If you want to achieve the ideal combination of testosterone and cortisol, stand like Wonder Woman — this applies to both women and men. To stand like Wonder Woman, stand tall with your chest out and your hands on your hips.

The next time you feel your confidence taking a nose dive, use your body to replicate the hormonal balance of someone who’s in a confident state of mind by striking a Wonder Woman pose.

2. Clench Your Muscles. You can use your body to give yourself a willpower boost by clenching your muscles. Willpower is your mind’s ability to make the choices that are best for you, and that are aligned with your goals, regardless of impulses to the contrary. So, how can clenching your muscles help your mind make good decisions?

Just as your body takes cues from your mind, your mind takes cues from your body. We associate flexed muscles with endurance and striving for goals. Studies show that when your mind notices that the your muscles are flexed it takes this as an instruction to stay strong and make the right choice.

By clenching your fists the next time that you’re about to reach for a brownie instead of an apple, you’ll increase the chances that you’ll stop yourself and grab the apple.

3. Put Your Awareness On Your Body. You can use your body to become more mindful by putting your awareness on your body. As I write in my post, 13 Ways to Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Life, your mind is usually busy time traveling. Look at the following:

  • Every time you remember something from the past, your mind time travels to the past.
  • Every time you think of something in the future, your mind time travels to the future.

All that mind time travel is not conducive to mindfulness. After all, mindfulness is being fully in the present.

However, regardless of where your mind might be at any given moment, your body is always in the present. When you feel your mind going on one of its time travel expeditions, pull it back to the present by focusing on your body. Here’s the process to follow:

  • Focus on your feet and notice any sensations that are there.
  • Focus on your ankles and notice any sensations that are there.
  • Focus on your calves and notice any sensations that are there.

Continue in this way slowly moving up your body until you reach the top of your head. Keep your mind in the now by focusing on your body.

4. Pinch Your Nostrils. You can use your body to de-stress by pinching your nostrils. That is, do a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Block your left nostril with your finger and inhale through your right nostril.
  • Then close the right nostril and exhale through the left.
  • Inhale through the left, then close the left and exhale through the right.
  • Continue following this sequence for 1 to 3 minutes.

Alternate nostril breathing will help to calm an agitated mind. If you’re under a lot of stress and you feel like there’s a barrel of monkeys screeching in your head, tame your monkey mind by inhaling through one nostril and then exhaling through the other.

5. Go for a Run. You can use your body to learn to ignore the little voice in your head telling that you can’t—you can’t become a writer, you can’t start your own business, you can’t travel alone, and so on—by running. When you go for a run, the little voice in your head will begin to complain almost immediately. Here’s what it sounds like:

  • I’m so tired. Why don’t we just skip the run today?
  • Slow down; I can’t do this anymore. My lungs are going to burst! (The little voice in your head is very melodramatic.)
  • Is this really necessary? Why can’t we just walk really fast?

You may want to quit. But, you’re a runner. By running you’ve trained yourself to ignore the little voice in your head. So you ignore the little voice and you keep going, until you’ve reached your running goal for the day.

Then, you apply this lesson to other areas of your life:

  • You keep writing your business plan even when the little voice in your head tells you that you’ll fail.
  • You keep practicing your French even when the little voice in your head makes fun of your accent and mocks you when you make a mistake.

And you can do this because–by running–your body taught you how to ignore the little voice in your head.

6. Hold a Warrior Pose. You can use your body to increase your mind’s ability to focus with yoga. Yoga is great for the body – it can help you lose weight and keep you toned. But it also has many benefits for the mind.

Certain yoga poses–or asanas–produce different mental states, including patience, mental clarity, increased confidence, and courage.

In addition, a study from the University of Illinois conducted a couple of years back showed that practicing yoga for 20 minutes can improve brain function. Researchers said that after practicing yoga, “the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information.”

The next time you need help focusing the mind, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you, and fold forward from the hips. By holding a yoga pose your body can help your mind to focus and perform better at cognitive tasks.

7. Turn Up the Corners of Your Mouth. You can use your body to give yourself a mood boost by turning your mouth up at the corners – otherwise known as smiling. If you think of something funny or pleasant, you smile. But the opposite is also true. If you smile you’ll affect your thoughts, in a positive way.

When you’re feeling down, use your body to give yourself a pick-me up by smiling. This works even if you have to hold a pencil horizontally between your teeth to force yourself to smile.

8. Move Like a White Crane Spreads its Wings. You can use your body to improve your memory and thinking by moving like a white crane spreading its wings. That is, by doing Tai Chi. In its simplified version, the mind-body practice of Tai Chi contains 24 postures, and one of these is White Crane Spreading its Wings.

Tai Chi has been shown to boost brain volume. A 2012 study revealed that it makes your brain bigger and can improve memory and thinking. When you need a mind boost, take out a Tai Chi DVD, open your arms like the wings of a white crane, and shift your weight over to one leg.

9. Go For a Hike. You can use your body to allow your mind to frame success by going for a hike. Do the following:

  • Plan a hike to the top of a small hill.
  • Start at the bottom, plan your ascent, and get going.
  • Once you’ve reached the top, you’ve succeeded. Allow yourself to savor your success.

You can then take this success frame of mind and apply it to your other life goals. By achieving physical goals, your body can teach your mind how to succeed in any life area.

10. Knead Your Feet. You can use your body to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of mental well-being by giving yourself a self-massage. Self-massage releases serotonin and dopamine into your system, which are also known as the feel-good hormones. These feel-good hormones will help to calm and anxious mind.

You can give yourself a head massage, a face and ear massage, a neck massage, a foot massage, and so on.

Then, once you’re loaded up with dopamine and serotonin, your head will be in the right place to write the next great American novel, compose that film score, or launch your next product.

The next time you’re working on something important and you start to feel anxious, calm yourself down by giving yourself a massage.

Conclusion

The body can influence the mind. Live your best life by using the body-mind connection to your advantage. Start with the ten ways explained above.

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25 summer goals

Set seasonal goals – start with summer!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer (at least to those who live in the Northern Hemisphere). Some of the telltale signs of summer include the weather heating up; everyone starts smelling heavily of sunscreen; and the stores are suddenly stocked with beach umbrellas, boogie boards, and pool toys.

One of the best ways to make sure that you have a great summer is to set goals for the summer. Below you’ll find 25 summer goals to make the most of the season.

Idea Book - 500 Ideas For Your Summer Bucket List1. Meditate Outdoors. One of the great things about summer is that you can take your meditation routine outside. Try walking meditation — go out for a walk and cultivate mindfulness by placing all of your awareness on walking. Imagine that you’re kissing the earth with your feet with each step.

You can also try Tai chi in the park, or yoga at the beach.

yoga at the beach

2. Make a New Friend. Regardless of your age, it’s important to socialize. Summer is a good time to make friends—either meet new people or turn an acquaintance into a friend—since there are so many activities for people to participate in together.

Invite someone to join you for a bike ride, a hike, or a game of tennis. Get things off to a good start with the 36 questions to kick-start a friendship.

3. Try a New Hobby. There are many hobbies which are perfect for the summer months. One of these is photography. A great way to improve your photography skills is by tackling a project, such as taking a photo of something that represents the season every day throughout the summer. Here are some ideas:

  • Pool floats
  • Summer plants and flowers
  • Jumping into the water
  • Fourth of July Shenanigans

summer goals

Another hobby you can try is coloring. Get yourself a box of colored pencils, some coloring books for adults, and head on outside to sit under a tree and color your heart out. Then, share your masterpiece on social media.

4. Stay Hydrated. When you’re out in the summer heat you have to make sure that you stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you—preferably one made of glass– and eat fruits that are high in water content, like watermelon. Drinking coconut water is also a good idea.

5. Read a Classic. Summer is for reading trashy novels while lying on a beach towel, and I certainly don’t intend to interfere with this time-honored tradition. However, it’s a good idea to squeeze at least one classic into your summer reading list.

I recommend reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but other good choices include “Middlemarch” by George Eliot, or “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy.

reading at the beach

6. Try a New Lawn Game. Lawn games are outdoor games that can be played on a lawn. This summer, set the goal to play at least one lawn game you’ve never played before. Here are three ideas for lawn games you can try:

  • Washer Toss: This game is similar to horseshoes. Washer Toss involves teams of players that take turns tossing washers–metal disks about two inches in diameter–towards a pipe placed in the center of a box.
  • Kan Jam: Kan Jam is a flying disc game. It’s played with a flying disc and two large cans. The goal is to get the disc to hit the kan, or to go into it (either through the opening on top or the slit on the side). 
  • Spikeball: Spikeball is a game that’s similar to volleyball, but it’s played with a small trampoline instead of a net. It’s usually played with four players. You smack the ball over to your opponent–just as you would in volleyball–but the ball has to bounce on the trampoline first.

7. Tackle a Personal Development Goal. Be a better person by the time fall comes around by tackling a personal development goal this summer. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

8. Learn to Do Push-Ups. Doing push-ups has many benefits, not the least of which is having strong, toned, sexy arms.

Push-ups are a compound exercise which calls upon multiple muscle groups. This means your heart has to work hard to pump blood to all that muscle tissue, so it’s also getting a workout. Doing push-ups also improves your posture, it helps you to prevent lower-back injuries, and it strengthens your core.

Progress your way to the perfect push-up. Start with an inclined push-up by using a bench or a barbell on a rack. Gradually lower the position of the bar until you can do a push-up on the floor. Aim for being able to do ten push-ups in a row, all with proper form.

9. Enjoy Simple Summer Pleasures. Make a long list of simple summer pleasures to engage in this summer. Your list can include walking barefoot on the grass, filling vases with brightly colored geraniums and placing them around the house, eating strawberry popsicles, and lounging in a hammock.

Then, each day of the summer, engage in at least one of these activities.

hammock

10. Knock One Item Off of Your Travel Bucket List. One way to make this a memorable summer is by going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. So, take out your travel bucket list, choose a destination, and plan your vacation. Then, when you get back, regale your friends with tales of foreign lands, exotic foods, and mysterious folks.

11. Complete a DIY Project. Completing a DIY project can be incredibly fulfilling, and there’s no shortage of projects you can try. Put up shelves (to hold all the books you’ll be reading this summer), build a stone path for your garden, or build a bird bath.

12. Make Your Own Beauty Products. Making your own beauty products is healthier than using store bought brands which are filled with toxic chemicals. It also costs less in the long run. I make my own face wash, deodorant, conditioner, hair dye, facial mask, and toothpaste.

You can start making one beauty product and move up from there.

13. Learn a New Skill. This summer, set aside one-hour-a-day to learn a new skill. Here are three ideas:

  • Learn how to use GIMP or some other graphics editor for image retouching and editing.
  • Learn how to use a good presentation-making tool like MS Powerpoint, Prezi, Keynote, or Canva.
  • Learn how to cleanse your house properly and quickly.

14. Hold a Fundraiser. Hold a fundraiser and donate all of the money that you make to your local charity. Ideas include the following:

  • Hold a car wash.
  • Hold a dog wash.
  • Hold a garage sale.
  • Hod a “Bingo Night” — have prizes donated and charge an entrance fee.
  • Set up a smoothie stand — this is a twist on the traditional lemonade stand.

15. Have a Laugh a Day. Make this a joyful summer by setting the goal to laugh every day of the summer. Laughing has a myriad of physical and mental heath benefits. Plus, it just feels good to laugh. Need ideas on how to laugh more? Here’s 22 of them.

16. Play a Giant Board Game. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post on 12 Board Games for Developing Thinking Abilities and Life Skills. Given the many benefits of playing board games, make sure to incorporate board games into your summer.

However, give playing board games a summer twist by playing outside–you can play in your backyard or at the park. And, of course, since you’ll be in the great outdoors, you’ll need giant board games. You can try giant scrabble, giant chess, or giant Chinese checkers.

giant chinese chckers

17. Make Your Home Green. This summer, do your part to save the planet by taking one step to green your home. Some easy ideas are: recycle, buy a houseplant, get a reusable water bottle, leak-proof your home, use water wisely, and use non-toxic cleaners.

18. Make Some Extra Money. Every season brings with it opportunities to make some extra money. Summer money-making ideas include starting a lawn mowing business; taking care of pets while their owners are away on vacation (water their plants while you’re at it); and barbecue catering.

19. Try a New Sport. One of the great things about summer is that you get to spend lots of time in nature and the great outdoors. This means there’s lots of sports you can participate in. This summer, set the goal of trying a sport you’ve never tried before.

It can be a water sport–such as paddleboarding or skimboarding–, or it can be a land sport–such as rollerblading or archery.

paddleboarding

20. Swim in A Natural Body of Water. This summer, make sure to swim in a natural body of water, whether it’s the ocean, a lake, or a river. Not only is swimming great exercise, but contact with natural water stimulates the immune system. In addition, some people compare floating in a lake or in the ocean when the water is calm to a meditative experience.

21. Play Mini-Golf. For many, playing a round of miniature golf is a summer tradition. Mini-golf can be played by anyone, from the little ones to the grandparents, so make it a family outing.

22. Plant Something. Feel immediately reconnected to the earth this summer by planting and growing something. Here are two things you can grow:

  • Create a fairy garden — a miniature garden complete with tiny structures and small plants.
  • Grow a vertical vegetable garden –you can create one using shelves, hanging baskets, or trellises.

23. Watch the Big Movie Blockbuster of 2016. There are going to be lots of great movies to watch this summer. For me, the blockbuster of the season is going to be X-Men: Apocalypse (I’m a big fan of the X-Men). There’s also Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.

24. Watch the Summer Olympics. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have been mired in controversy, including water pollution problems, the Zika virus, a presidential impeachment, gang violence, and the collapse of a bicycle path built for the summer games.

Nonetheless, it looks like the games will go on. So, make yourself a snack, sit down in front of the TV, and cheer for your favorite athletes. You can even invite a group of friends over for a Summer Olympics party.

25. Try a New Ice Cream Flavor. Summer is ice cream season. My favorite ice cream flavor is Rocky Road. It’s been my favorite since I was a little kid, and I’m pretty sure it always will be. I’m sure you have a favorite flavor, as well.

However, everyone should be open to trying new ice cream flavors for the sake of novelty. Each year new ice cream flavors come out, so find one that looks tempting, and dig in.

blueberry ice cream

Conclusion

Have a great summer by setting summer goals. You can find 500 summer goals to choose from in my eBook,  “Idea Book: 500 Ideas For Your Summer Bucket List“.

 

Summer Bucket List Ideas

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be more conscientious

Conscientiousness is the personality trait most directly linked to success.

Conscientiousness is one of the five traits of the Five Factor Model of personality. This model suggests that a person’s personality can be described using five traits: openness, agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness. At the same time, studies show that the most important personality trait for predicting success is conscientiousness.

onehouradayformula banner longThe Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “conscientious” as “very careful about doing what you are supposed to do : concerned with doing something correctly”. Here are some of the many benefits of being conscientious:

As an illustration, if Tom and Anne are conscientious, they’re likely to be at a healthy weight, be happy at work, have a good marriage, and have paid off their mortgage.

On the other hand, if Bob and Laura score low on conscientiousness, they’re likely to be overweight, dislike their jobs, be headed toward divorce, and have tons of debt.

The good news is that conscientiousness can be cultivated, even into old age. You become more conscientious by adopting the habits and attitudes of conscientious people. Below you’ll find 19 ways to be more conscientious.

1. Conscientious people pay their bills on time. People who are not conscientious are late paying their bills, so they end up paying late fees and their credit rating is negatively affected. Be more conscientious by setting up a bill paying schedule and sticking to it.

2. Conscientious people spend less than they make and set aside some money for savings and retirement each month. They plan their purchases and are less likely to buy stuff on whim – they think of the future consequences of what they buy.

People with low conscientiousness tend to spend their money almost as fast as they make it. To become more conscientious, create a budget and don’t exceed your spending limits.

3. Conscientious people live in clean, organized homes. People who are not conscientious live in wildly cluttered, untidy homes. This causes stress, it means they lose time trying to find lost items, and it generally creates a chaotic living environment.

To be more conscientious, declutter your living space. Then, create a cleaning schedule that works for you.

4. Conscientious people plan their day, while people who are not conscientious wing it. To be more conscientious, take five minutes before going to bed at night, or five minutes in the morning, and plan your day. Create a realistic daily schedule, and stick to it.

5. Conscientious people wear clothes that are clean and ironed, and that fit well. People who are not conscientious wear clothes that are stained and/or wrinkled, and which are usually too big or too small.

To be more conscientious, declutter your closet and make sure that everything that you put back in looks good on you and is ready to be worn. Then, start following wardrobe maintenance essentials.

6. Conscientious people purchase, prepare, and eat healthy meals. People who are not conscientious grab whatever they can find to eat, which means that they often end up eating meals which are high in calories and low on nutrients.

Become more conscientious by planning your meals weekly and organizing yourself so that you can cook yourself healthy meals.

7. Conscientious people keep their desks clean and tidy at work, with all of their papers filed away for easy access. People who are not conscientious have piles of paper sitting on their desks, they can never find a pen when they need one, and they usually have a few half-filled coffee mugs lying around.

Become more conscientious by decluttering your desk, setting up an effective filing system that allows you to quickly find the documents that you need, and by taking a few minutes to clear your desk before you leave work each evening.

8. Conscientious people are punctual. People who are not conscientious are chronically late, and are constantly missing appointments. To be more conscientious, work on your punctuality.

9. Conscientious people finish what they start. People who are not conscientious have poor follow through. If you want to be more conscientious, create the habit of sticking to a task, project, or goal, until you cross the finish line.

10. Conscientious people are dependable; when they say they’re going to do something, they do it. People who are not conscientious are constantly breaking promises and letting others down.

To become more conscientious, don’t commit to more than you can handle. In addition, when you do make a commitment to do something, uphold your commitment.

11. Conscientious people have grit; they persevere until they get the job done. People who score low on conscientiousness tend to give up when the going gets tough. To become more conscientious, work on becoming more perseverant.

12. Conscientious people are polite; they’re respectful of others. People who are not conscientious tend to be oblivious to social propriety.

If you want to be more conscientious, you may want to brush up on your etiquette, review George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Descent Behavior, or just pay more attention to how your behavior affects others.

13. Conscientious people eat the frog –they work on the most difficult task of the day first, in order to get it over with. People who are not conscientious avoid difficult tasks. If you want to become more conscientious, tackle the most difficult task of the day before 10 am.

14. Conscientious people meet deadlines. People who are not conscientious procrastinate on tasks until the last minute, which means that they often miss deadlines and have to ask for extensions.

If you want to be more conscientious, stop procrastinating and start handing assignments in on time and meeting project deadlines.

15. Conscientious people go to bed 7.5 hours before they have to wake up so that they can get enough sleep and get up when the alarm goes off. This means that they’ll be able to get to work on time, take their kids to school before the bell rings, or be on time for their first morning activity.

People who are not conscientious stay up later then they should and then oversleep the next morning. This means that they get a late start, which sets a bad tone for the rest of the day. If you want to be more conscientious, start following a sleep schedule.

16. Conscientious people get some form of exercise on a regular basis. People who are not conscientious lack the self-discipline to follow a fitness regime. If you want to be more conscientious, take up some sort of physical activity which you’ll engage in routinely.

17. Conscientious people have good impulse control. That is, they have high self-regulation. People who are not conscientious usually have low self-regulation. To become more conscientious, work on becoming better at regulating yourself.

18. Conscientious people are goal oriented. People who are not conscientious are usually not goal setters. If you want to be more conscientious, sit down and set some goals that are important to you, and create a plan for achieving those goals.

19. Conscientious people have an internal locus of control. That is, they take responsibility for themselves and what they do. People with low levels of conscientiousness have an external locus of control. When something goes wrong they blame others, or the circumstances, and refuse to take responsibility.

In order to make yourself more conscientious, begin cultivating the belief that you’re in control of your life, and whether you fail or succeed depends on you.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that there’s a scale of conscientiousness. All you need to do is work on moving up the scale until you reach the point at which you’re getting the results that you want from life.

Live your best life by being more conscientious. Get started by doing the 19 things listed above.

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self-improvement tips for making more money

To make more money, you have to become the type of person who makes more money.

There are an endless amount of tactics, strategies, and techniques for making more money. Some of them include freelancing, asking for a raise, turning your hobby into a side-business, promoting other people’s products, writing a book, and creating an app.

So, with so many ways to make money, why don’t people make the amount of money that they want to be making?

onehouradayformula banner longPeople don’t make the amount of money that they want to make not because the opportunities for making more money don’t exist, but because they’re not the type of person who is able to fully appreciate, and take advantage of, those opportunities. That is, because they do things like the following:

  • When they notice an opportunity they fail to act on it.
  • They decide that the opportunity is just too risky.
  • They start to take action, but then they don’t follow through .

To become the type of person who makes more money, you have to work on yourself. Then, when you’re ready to make more money, you will. Below you’ll find 15 self-improvement tips for making more money.

1. Stop Procrastinating. Procrastination can cost you big time when it comes to money. Look at the following:

  • You see a job posting for a position you’d be ideal for, that pays more money than you’re making now. However, you keep procrastinating on updating your resume and sending it in, until it’s too late.
  • You have an idea for an online course that you think would sell well, but you keep procrastinating on learning how to make videos.
  • You know there are courses you should take to make yourself more marketable, but you keep putting it off.

In order to make more money, you need to stop procrastinating.

2. Increase Your Self-Esteem. There’s a positive correlation between self-esteem and money. That is, the better you feel about yourself, the more money you’re likely to make, and be able to keep. Confident people have all of the following going for them when it comes to making more money:

  • They make better connections. Their friends are likely to be more successful, which makes it more likely they’ll be sent opportunities their way.
  • They’re less likely to give in to fear. After all, they feel that they have what it takes to do well and get what they want.
  • They’re better emotionally equipped to ignore naysayers.
  • They’re better at setting boundaries and placing limits on demands for their time and other resources from others.

To increase your net worth, begin by increasing your self-esteem.

3. Change Your Beliefs. As I wrote in my post, 35 Powerful Beliefs About Money: From Trump to the Dalai Lama, in order to make more money you need to create empowering beliefs about wealth. Here are a few negative beliefs about money:

  • It’s hard to make money.
  • Wealthy people are spiritually bankrupt.
  • If I make more money, that means others have to make less.

Now, compare those negative beliefs about money with these positive beliefs:

  • Money is what you receive for creating value, and I have lots of value to give.
  • The more money I have, the more good I can do for others.
  • There’s enough for everyone.

Obviously, it will be a lot easier for the person with the positive money beliefs to be wealthy than it would be for the person with the negative money beliefs. If you want to make more money, change your beliefs about money.

4. Build Your Courage. Making money takes courage. In order to make money you have to put yourself out there, take smart risks, and convince others that what you have to offer is worth their money. That is, you have to be brave.

5. Read More. One of the habits that most wealthy people share is that they read. According to Thomas Corley, author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals,” wealthy people love to read.

In fact, 88 percent of rich people claim that they read for self-improvement–both books on finances and personal development–for 30 minutes or more per day.

6. Stop Being Afraid of Failure. In order to make more money you have to act on your ideas. Your ideas may be right, which means you’ll succeed. But your ideas could also be wrong, which means that you’ll fail. If you’re so scared to fail that you don’t test your ideas, how can you expect to succeed?

If you want to make more money, you have to be willing to fail.

7. Take Responsibility. Lots of people have a long list of excuses of why they’re not making more money. And the excuses usually involve somebody else, or something outside of themselves. Look at the following:

  • I can’t make more money because of the state of the economy.
  • I can’t make more money because my boss is a jerk who won’t recognize my worth and won’t give me a raise.
  • I can’t make more money because my parents failed to provide me with the education that I need.

People who  become wealthy believe that they’re in control of their lives, and that making money depends on them and on what they do. If you want make more money, take responsibility for yourself and for your financial situation.

8. Make Yourself Lucky. What does luck have to do with making more money? A lot. Making money is a combination of skill and luck. That’s because there’s randomness involved in everything you do, which means that chance plays a role in how the chips fall.

However, as I explain in my post, “How to Make Yourself Lucky“, there are things you can do to improve your luck. These include the following:

  • Lucky people have the ability to maximize chance opportunities.
  • Lucky people listen to their “gut feelings”.
  • Lucky people expect good fortune.
  • Lucky people see the bright side of bad luck.

In order to make more money, make yourself lucky.

9. Learn to Manage Risk. Making money almost always requires taking risks. Here are some examples:

  • Investing in the stock market is riskier than putting your money in a savings account, but it will make you more money in the long run.
  • Starting your own business is riskier than holding down a job, but it also has the potential to make you a lot more money.
  • Asking for more responsibility at work is riskier than just sticking to what you already know, but it also makes it more likely that you’ll get promoted and be given a raise.

Learning to manage risk is vitally important if you want to make more money.

10. Learn to Focus. In order to make money you have to stop flip flopping from one thing to another. Choose carefully what you’re going to devote your time and attention to, and then give that project everything you’ve got until it’s done.

Ten half-completed projects won’t make you any money. However, one well-chosen project carried out to completion, will. Learn to focus on one thing.

11. Strengthen Your Self-Discipline. There are at least two ways in which having self-discipline will help you to become wealthy:

  • First, you have to have the self-discipline to set some money aside each month in order to invest it so that you can make more money.
  • Second, whatever method, technique, or strategy you choose for making more money, you’re going to need the discipline to work on it day in and day out until you get results.

Without self-discipline, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever become wealthy.

12. Boost Your Happiness. There are studies that show that happy people make more money. Therefore, instead of telling yourself that you’ll be happy once you start making more money, boost your happiness now. Once you’re happier, you’ll start making more money.

Here are some of the reasons why this is so:

  • Happy people are more optimistic, which makes them more open to opportunity and new experiences.
  • Happiness plays a role in overall well-being, which impacts your health. The healthier you are, the more time you can spend working on increasing your income.
  • Happy people are more likely to invest in themselves–in education, fitness related activities, personal development, and so on. The more you invest in yourself, the more likely it is that this investment will pay off in the form of increased income.

Increase your wealth by increasing your happiness.

13. Learn to Manage Your Time. One of the main reasons that people give for not making more money is lack of time. That is, they don’t have the time to look for opportunities, learn new skills, or do the necessary work.

Although there will always be just 24 hours in a day, no matter what you do, you can “find time” for making more money by learning to manage your time. In fact, to make more money, all that you need is just one-hour-a-day.

14. Set Goals. In order to become wealthy you have to set the goal to make more money. Your goal should specify all of the following:

  • How much money do you want to make?
  • What are you going to do to make that amount of money?
  • By when do you want to be making that amount of money?

Remember to start off with an amount that’s small enough to be reasonable. Then, move up from there. Here are three examples:

  • In six months I’ll be making an additional $100 a month by adding Google Adsense to my blog and posting high-quality articles at least once a week to increase traffic to my blog.
  • Within the next 12 months I’ll have applied for and gotten a new job which pays 5% more than the job I have now.
  • By the end of the year I’ll have set aside $5000 to invest in income producing assets by taking on freelancing gigs.

15. Increase Your Motivation. A lot of people set the goal of making more money and get to work on their goal right away. However, if they don’t see results in a short amount of time, they lose their motivation.

If you want to make more money, you have to keep your motivation high until you succeed.

Conclusion

Live your best life by becoming the type of person who makes more money. Start by following the 15 self-improvement tips for making more money explained above.

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happy birthday

Birthdays are an important milestone.

Today, May 2nd, is my birthday. It’s a holiday here in Panama today (because it’s Labor Day, not because it’s my birthday). To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I’ve collected the 25 birthday quotes below:

  • onehouradayformula banner long“The first fact about the celebration of birthdays is that it is a good way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive.” – G.K. Chesterton
  • “Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.” – Menachem Mendel Schneerson
  • “Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” – Larry Lorenzoni
  • “Someone asked me once what I wanted for my birthday. I said, ‘I want more. More love, more laughter, more peace, more fun, more good days than bad.’ Simply more!” – Anonymous
  • “You don’t get older, you get better.” – Shirley Bassey
  • “Old enough to know better…Young enough to still do it.” – Anonymous
  • “Pleas’d to look forward, pleas’d to look behind, And count each birthday with a grateful mind.” – Alexander Pope
  • “The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.” – Pope Paul VI
  • “Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” – Pope John XXIII
  • “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” – Madeleine L’Engle
  • “Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” – George Meredith
  • “Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.” Sammy Hagar
  • “A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip!” – Author Unknown
  • “Youth has no age.” – Pablo Picasso
  • “A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.” – Robert Frost
  • “I intend to live forever — so far, so good!” – Stephen Wright
  • “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain
  • “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” – Lucille Ball
  • “Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Franz Kafka
  • “Youth had been a habit of hers for so long that she could not part with it.” – Rudyard Kipling
  • “Age is just a number – totally irrelevant. Unless you happen to be a bottle of wine.” – Joan Collins
  • “Deep down I believe my year was a special year: it produced me.” – Ned Vizzini
  • “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr. Seuss
  • “A man is getting old when he walks around a puddle instead of through it.” – By R. C. Ferguson
  • “May you live all the days of your life.” – Jonathan Swift
  • “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

Conclusion

Keep these quotes handy so you can take them out on your birthday. And, happy birthday to me! 🙂

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creative spark

Sometimes your creative spark goes out, and needs to be reignited.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals.  This gift of divine fire unleashed a flood of inventiveness and productivity in humanity. However, sometimes, that fire goes out.

If you currently feel like you’re sitting in a dark cave and the fire of creativity refuses to be ignited, below you’ll find seven ways to reignite your creative spark.

1. Toss In the Kitchen Sink

onehouradayformula banner longLife coach Martha Beck recommends that when you need to ignite your creativity in order to solve a particular problem, that you toss in the kitchen sink.  The process is the following:

  • Think of the problem that you’re having.
  • With this challenge in mind, read bits and pieces of several different books on non-related items.  One can be a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, another can be a book on bat behavior, and still another can be a book about raising alpacas.
  • The third step is to relax.  This can mean driving to your favorite rollerblading location while listening to an audio tape of a stand-up-comedian, and then rollerblading until a solution pops into your head.
  • If no solution is forthcoming, think of the problem periodically and then drop it again.

Following this process allows the right-brain hemisphere to step in and help you solve the problem. Here’s an example Beck uses:

“Laura wanted to travel but hated kenneling her yellow Lab, Buster. She also had partial hearing loss due to meningitis. One day when she had trouble hearing a flight attendant—ping!—she realized she could train Buster as a hearing service dog. Now they fly the skies in style together.”

2. If You See a Good Idea, Bend Down and Pick it Up

A lot of the time, when we have an idea we stop ourselves from pursuing it by saying the following: “If this were a good idea, someone would already have thought of it”. However, that’s not always the case.

There’s a story of a man who was walking down the street with an economist. As they were walking along he noticed a $10 bill on the sidewalk. Since the bill was closer to the economist, he thought that the economist would stop and bend over to pick it up. Instead, the economist walked right past the $10 bill.

At this point, the man stopped and asked the economist: “Why didn’t you pick up the $10 bill that was lying on the sidewalk? It was right next to your foot.” And the economist answered: “There can’t be a $10 bill lying on the sidewalk, because if there were, someone would already have picked it up.”

How many times have you had the spark of a great idea, but you’ve neglected to follow through on it because you told yourself that if it were a good idea, someone else would already have thought of it? Stop assuming that all the great ideas are already taken.

If you think you see a good idea, bend down, pick it up, and run with it.

3. Release Your Need for Recognition

A lot of the time, our need for some extrinsic reward, or external validation for our work, chokes our creativity. Here are some examples:

  • We may want our short story to be published in this or that magazine;
  • Our objective may be for our painting to be hung in the best gallery in town;
  • We may be hoping to win some award or other; or
  • We may be looking to be praised by someone we hold in high esteem.

You need to release the focus on an external reinforcement of your work, and, instead, allow yourself the freedom to focus on creating for the sake of creating itself.  Charles Johnson says this beautifully in the following quote:

“I think a real writer simply has to think in other terms. Not, ‘Will I get in this magazine?’ ‘Will I get the NEA next year?’ but whether or not this work is something he would do if a gun was held to his head and somebody was going to pull the trigger as soon as the last word of the last paragraph of the last page was finished.

Now if you can write out of the sense that you’re going to die as soon as the work is done, then you will write with urgency, honesty, courage, and without flinching at all, as if this were the last testament in language, the last utterance you could ever make to anybody.

If a work is written like that, then I want to read it. If somebody’s writing out of that sense, then I’ll say, ‘This is serious. This person is not fooling around. This work is not a means to some other end, the work is not just intended for some silly superficial goal, this work is the writer saying something, because he or she feels that if it isn’t said, it will never be said.’ Those are the writers I want to read. And there are not many twentieth-century writers like that.”

4. Who Cares What They’ll Think

Sir Ken Robinson argues in his book “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” that we need to look for that “sweet spot” in which our talent meets our passion; that’s our element. One of the chapters in the book is titled: “What will they think?”

In that chapter, Robinson explains that many times we don’t discover what we truly love and are talented at because of self-censorship. We’re afraid to go against the grain and be ridiculed by society.

In addition, opinions offered by friends and family–often well intentioned–can derail us from pursuing what we’re uniquely good at. I would argue that this same fear of what others will think can derail our creativity.

Robinson uses Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho as an example of how people can find disapproval for trying to follow their passion, if that passion is not in line with what is considered a traditionally acceptable career. Coehlo–author of “The Alchemist” and one of the world’s best-selling authors–wanted to be a writer since he was a kid.

Unfortunately, his parents greatly disapproved of this since it was not in line with what was expected from the son of people of their station. Yet Coelho persisted. When Coelho was approaching the age at which most people go to college, he wouldn’t let go of the idea of being a writer.

At this point, his parents had him committed to a mental institution. Coelho was given three sessions of electroconvulsive therapy to try and get the idea of being a writer out of his head. Fortunately, it didn’t work, and he turned into the Paulo Coelho we know.

Worrying about what others will think is like throwing a cold bucket of water on your creative spark.  If you’re trying to ignite your creative spark, one of the best things you can do is to follow Paulo Coelho’s lead and do what you feel you need to do, despite what anyone else may think.

5. Create a Shrine

Create a shrine filled with objects that inspire you to create every time that you look at them. In the book “Creative Sparks”, Jim Krause explains that a shrine is:

“ . . . a place or piece of furniture used to remind us of meaningful intangibles through the display of meaningful tangibles.”

Your shrine could be a place on a shelf or in a cabinet. It can include books, beads, letters, candles, small statues, artwork, images, photos, and so on. Look for things that remind you of your creative-self.

6. Use Affirmations

Eric Maisel–a psychotherapist and creativity consultant–is the author of “Affirmations for Artists”. The book is arranged alphabetically by subject (Ambition, Anxiety, Day Jobs, Depression, Failure, Fear, Inspiration, Success, and so on), with one page devoted to each subject.

Each page includes quotes from famous artists, a short paragraph to consider, and an empowering affirmation. Here’s an example of one of his affirmations (Ambition):

“I am ambitious, I want; I want so very much! I do not deny my ambitiousness; but I affirm that I will temper it with an appreciation of other things. There is both the mountaintop to aspire to and the patch of plain earth right here to love. I will not put aside my ambitions, but neither will I fail to embrace all the rest that life has to offer.”

And here’s another one (Inspiration):

“I believe I create for myself when I honor my artist’s nature and diligently practice my craft. I will work whether I feel inspired or not: I know that if I labor with an open heart and an open mind, inspiration will come. I am ready to create it, receive it, and be swept away by it.”

Create your own set of affirmations to help you reignite your creative spark.

7. Build a Mystery Box

J.J. Abrams, co-creator of the hit TV show “Lost” and director of “Mission Impossible III”, revealed in a TED.com talk that when he was a kid he would often go to the Lou Tannen Magic Store in New York City. One time he went to the magic store and bought a “mystery box” ($15 buys you $50 worth of magic).

A mystery box is a box full of items–in Abram’s case, full of magic tricks–without the buyer knowing what these items are at the moment of purchase. Even though Abrams bought his mystery box decades ago, and he keeps it on a shelf in his office, he has never opened it.

For him, the mysteriousness of the box far outweighs the value of any magic tricks it may contain. The box–which has a giant question mark on one side–represents infinite possibility, hope, and potential.

Abrams explains that mystery is a catalyst for imagination. Stories are mystery boxes. In TV, the first act is called the teaser. It raises questions which are going to be answered during the rest of the show. Ask yourself how you can use mystery to spark your creativity. What’s your mystery box?

Conclusion

Live your best life by reigniting your creative spark. Start with the seven suggestions above.

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