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Posted by on Jun 14, 2018 in Self Improvement

11 Brilliant Strategies for Becoming A Decision Maker, Improving Your Decision Making and Crushing Annoying Indecision Forever

flowers coffee - decision maker
Are you facing a decision today that no matter what you do or how much you think, you just can't seem to find the answer?

Maybe you struggle with decision making in general or maybe this is a baffling first time experience.

Either way, the frustration of indecision can be the cause for countless sleepless nights, on-purpose distractions and desperate advice-seeking.

If you're pursuing your ideal life, one thing is for sure. You must become a decision-maker.

Sometimes we're the cause of our own indecision, either from lack of self-confidence, fear of the unknown or memories of bad decisions made in the past.

But, sometimes the cause comes from external sources - sudden changes in circumstances such as divorce, death or job loss can precipitate huge emotional strain that causes our usually clear judgment to become muddled.

Or, we simply become fearful of making a wrong decision, and so abandon the role of decision maker over all but the smallest things.

Indecision can even be caused by something good, like multiple job offers, where suddenly having many options at once becomes overwhelming.


Whatever the reason, whether it's you, your circumstances or otherwise, you can only sit in indecision for so long. Eventually you will have to make a choice.

And when you choose, it's very important that you don't make a choice that is uninformed, in haste, or out of desperation to just choose 'something'.

This is particularly true if you are faced with a major life decision such as a move or a new job.

Something than can affect you long term needs to be decided thoughtfully and carefully, not by merely flipping a coin because you just can't stand another night thinking about it.

do something great neon sign

The truth of it is though, that we're all decision makers. We all make decisions every day.

Many, many decisions daily.

A majority of those decisions are routine and familiar, so we don't think very much about them.

But decisions that carry more risk or higher consequences require more thought and consideration.

So, the problem is not that you cannot make decisions.

You do it all the time. You are a decision maker.

It is making more challenging or difficult decisions that is the problem.

And guess what?

You're totally normal for being that way.

Any level of risk or uncertainty naturally causes us to slow down, step back and rethink (and sometimes rethink and rethink and rethink) our next step.

So, how do we make these important decisions?

Fortunately, there are ways to systematically approach decision-making that can help you reach an answer, even if you're not completely sure what to do.

The following 11 strategies can help to refine your decision making skills so that you will be an engaged decision maker, and able to confidently come to a conclusion of what to do when you need to.

african american woman making decision


11 Strategies for Becoming A Decision-Maker


1. Clarify the Situation

Before you even begin to make any important decision, it is imperative that you are fully aware of the situation surrounding it.

This includes knowing everyone involved in the process, who and what will be affected by your decision and the potential outcomes of the various ways that you can decide.

Perhaps there are facts that you are unaware of that could make a difference in how you decide.

Check with those involved to uncover all the relevant facts pertaining to the situation being considered to make sure that you are fully informed.

There's nothing worse than discovering something after you've made a decision that would have changed your mind, had you known earlier.

It may seem a time-consuming process, but better to verify your information and be aware of everything now, than to have an unpleasant surprise later.

2. Create More Options

"The wider the options you explore, the better your final decision is likely to be." (from the MindTools article, How to Make Decisions).

This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but giving yourself more options to choose from can help to ensure that you haven't left out a possibility that might work.

This can be accomplished by looking at the problem from different perspectives or simply considering alternatives.

If your decision is to stay at a job or leave it, for example, consider the possibility of working only part time or working from home (if possible).

Would one of these decisions create a compromise that would work for you?

Sometimes the answer isn't just yes or no - there can be other viable alternatives that can work, even temporarily, until you are more certain of making another decision.

3. Research These Options

Once you have all possible options identified, it's time to do your homework.

If a new option has arisen, find out all you can about the results of making this choice.

You may have new things that you hadn't considered before, so it is to your benefit to make sure that these options will, indeed, work for you.

If the decision is job-related, find out the long-term effects of making this decision - how will this affect your salary, benefits or job duties?

If it's a personal decision - who or what else will be affected by this choice?

Find out as much information as possible so that you don't inadvertently create a situation down the road that you hadn't planned on.

women friends talking by the ocean - decision making

4. Enlist the Help of Friends

Often, we like to think that we can handle problems and make tough decisions all on our own.

And, while the final decision may be ultimately up to you, get as much feedback as you possibly can from others whose insight you value, especially those who have the most knowledge of the situation or will be the most affected by your decision.

They may have perspectives or information that you had not considered.

A fresh point of view and a listening ear can be especially helpful.

Sometimes, it's possible to work through your options and come to a decision just by talking it over with someone else.

Verbalizing the situation can help to clarify it and solidify the facts in your mind.

Go to someone in your trusted circle of friends and family.

You may find answers that you didn't even know existed.

5. Create a Pro and Con List

It may seem kind of old-school, but it can be very helpful to have a visual list of your options and the outcomes right in front of you.

It's easy to overlook possibilities or facts when you have a hundred things swirling around in your mind at the same time.

Having it all in one place where you can easily compare and contrast your options can help.

In this way, you to know that you haven't left out anything, and you create a smoother decision making process, especially if you are a more visual person.

6. Clarify Your Goals

It is important for you to understand and identify your long term goals and how they relate to the decision you have to make.

If you have never clearly identified these goals, now would be a great time to do so.

Put some thought into and make a list of your most important goals that you want to accomplish.

You can divide these into categories if you want, like personal, professional, financial, etc. and list details for each one, or you can just make a long "bucket list", if you prefer - whatever works best for you.

The point is to understand what you want to accomplish the most in life.

Gary Lynn Harr states in his book, Career Guide: Road Maps to Meaning in the World of Work, that "Decisions should be put within a larger context. If you do not have clear goals, you will find it difficult to make wise choices."

Once you've established them, look at your decision through these goals.

Will your decision help or hinder them?

This new perspective may help make that decision much easier.

helping hand - decision making

7. Imagine You are Helping Someone Else

It's easy to get completely bogged down in our own emotions and situations so that looking at the problem objectively becomes nearly impossible.

It may help to imagine the situation belongs to someone else.

How would you react if a friend came to you with this problem and wanted your advice?

What would you say to them?

How would you advise them to proceed?

According to Jayson De Mers in his article - 7 Strategies for Making Effective Decisions - "Because you're in the middle of a situation, your views are distorted, but on the outside, you might see things differently."

Use this reverse perspective to separate yourself from the situation, at least somewhat, and it may give you a very helpful insight.

8. Narrow Down Your Options

Now that you've done your research, explored every possibility and gotten sound advice, it's time to narrow down your choices.

You may have done so already, but if not, now is the time to eliminate all but two of your options.

Then from these remaining choices, make your final decision.

You should be able to do this with all the information you've gathered, and it's necessary to keep you from being overwhelmed by too many choices when making your ultimate decision.

Use the decision making activities above to help eliminate less beneficial options so that you are left with the two best possibilities available.

9. Call on a Higher Authority

Whether or not you consider yourself to be a spiritual person, there can be a tremendous benefit in prayer and/or meditation.

After listening to all the outside input you can, it is time to silence the voices of others and look inward (or upward).

If you are a person of faith, then by all means, pray (because we know that “prayer changes things”).

But if you're not a spiritual person, it can still be helpful to have some quiet time in a peaceful place where you can think without interruption or distraction.

Do this in whatever way helps you most - go for a walk, sit on the beach or spend the evening at home, wherever you can feel free to think in peace.

If anything, this can be a time of much-needed refreshment in the middle of the stress.

10. Just Do It

The time has come for you to be the decision maker.

If you are on a deadline, you will have to make a decision.

If not, there will eventually come a time when your decision will have to be made.

Gathering all your facts, research, advice and so on, choose the option you truly believe will bring the biggest benefit to you, your family, your company, etc.

Sometimes you may not know until after you've decided, but that doesn't get you out of making a decision anyway.

Trust yourself.

You've done all you can possibly do to make the right choice, so even if things aren't perfect, it will not be from lack of effort on your part.

There is often a huge relief that comes with finally making a decision - let that motivate you to make one.

woman sunset - decision maker

11. Stick with Your Decision

Once you have made your decision, go forward with it with all you have.

This is not a time to second-guess yourself or to keep wondering if you did the right thing.

Put away the rear view mirror.

Is it possible you made the wrong decision?

Sure, it's possible.

It's also very possible that you made the right decision.

You may not even know for a while.

But the point is that you decided.

You became the decision maker, which is certainly better than hovering in indefinite indecision.

If things don't turn out as you anticipate, then you can work that out when the time comes, but in the meantime you've gained some valuable experience along the way.

Believe in yourself enough to carry out the decision you've made and communicate it to others with optimism and enthusiasm.

Getting others on board will help you to move forward and likely provide any needed support to help you stick with the choice you made.

In the end, there's just no getting around it. You have to be a decision maker. Life is full of decisions that must be made and some of them are very, very difficult.

And while it may seem awkward or inconvenient in the middle of things, taking time to research the situation, talk with trusted friends or stakeholders in the decision, and carefully considering your options will help you to make a far better choice than just going on a whim or choosing out of desperation.

Having a decision making process can be extremely beneficial in helping you to make a fully-informed decision that will be in your best interest and the best interest of all those involved.

Your life is too important to not do this.

We each have one chance to live life the best we can.

Make sure you have the tools and information you need to live it the very best.

It's worth it for you, for those you love and all that life holds for you.

If you like this post, please share it with your family and friends! Thanks!

Decision maker - decision-making process

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Posted by on Apr 29, 2018 in Personal Growth, Self Improvement

12 Effective Ways for Letting Go Of The Past, Moving On With Your Life

Discover 12 Effective Ways for Letting Go of the PastYou’ve probably heard the familiar adage that in order to truly move forward in life it's important to let go of the past.

This is much easier said than done.

Letting go of the past involves having command of several things, not the least of which includes immense self compassion, the ability to trust yourself and live in the present moment.

In all reality, letting go of the past is a lot of work. And, it's an ongoing process.

If you’re interested in starting the process and learning how to let go of the past, there are some simple steps you can take to get started.

But first.....


What Does "Letting Go of the Past" Mean?


For the purposes of our discussion, “letting go” means no longer allowing yourself to dwell on moments in your past that cause you distress or pain.

Letting go of the past is about acknowledging that these memories are uncomfortable or distressing.

It means that instead of focusing on them and letting them influence or consume your present and future thoughts, feelings or actions, you choose instead to release them.

By doing so, you redirect your focus to the present moment and from there, look forward to the future.

Letting go of the past can be as simple as forgiving yourself for a mistake that you made yesterday instead of beating yourself up about it.

Or it can be as hard as letting go of negative thought patterns ingrained in you from a bad relationship in your history.


Why is Letting Go of the Past Important?


Life is uncertain.

On some level we are all fully aware that life is short and that even carefully laid plans can be usurped at any given moment.

All we truly have is the present moment.

In order to be fully present in the now, we must let go of the past.

If you're consumed by your past, it is impossible for you to be fully “present”.

You have probably experienced this at some point— going for a walk in a beautiful place but not really being fully aware of it all because your mind, your attention, was focused elsewhere.

You may have been concerned about something that had happened in the past or worried over some future event.

Ultimately, letting go of past moments that are gone and no longer in your control, instead of maintaining a neverending grasp on them, has the power to transform your life.

Letting go can help you feel happier, allow you to be more focused, and feel more in touch with reality.

You may have heard before of mindfulness techniques.

At the very heart of mindfulness is the idea of immersing yourself in the present moment.

If you find you are having a hard time detaching yourself from something that happened in the past, whether a misfortune such as your car breaking down or a bad breakup, it can be helpful to practice a simple mindfulness exercise to help you.

Check out the exercises at the end of the article for some easy examples to get you started.


What is “Dwelling on the Past”?


Dwelling on the past is the act of focusing on past events, so much so that it colors your current mood and affects your present moment.

Replaying an embarrassing moment from a few weeks ago over and over in your mind, holding a grudge because of something that may have happened years ago, or hearing the negative and destructive voice of a past abuser (even when they are no longer part of your life) are all examples of dwelling in the past.

Dwelling on the past is ultimately harmful because it can make you form limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities which in turn limits your present and future.

Dwelling on the past takes us out of the present moment and prevents us from living our best life in the here and now.


woman holding red heart - what is forgiveness?


What is Forgiveness?


Very simplistically, forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of something that hurt or wronged you in some way.

Ultimately, forgiveness allows you to stop dwelling on the past.

It's not just about repairing relationships, but more importantly it is also about allowing you to move on from something that hurt you.


1. Letting Go of the Past - How to Forgive Others


Letting go of the past is impossible if you don’t forgive others.

But forgiveness is often extremely difficult because of overwhelming feelings of anger that we might have towards those who have wronged us.

There are two main ways to forgive others. The first involves an ongoing open discussion in which the parties in a relationship are aware of and acknowledge that one or the other has been hurt, and decide together how to move forward.

This works best for long-standing friendships and minor, “forgivable” hurts.

This type of forgiveness allows for a continued and often strengthened relationship between those involved.

In many of the hardest situations, this kind of reconciliation is not possible.

You might have betrayals or hurts from years ago that still linger.

In these cases it can be hard to deal with the intense anger when it seems there is nowhere for the anger to go.

You might wonder how it could be possible to forgive someone that harmed you YEARS ago and whom you never see anymore.

You might wonder how it is possible to forgive something truly unforgivable, like a betrayal of trust, breach of privacy or emotional abuse.

This is where the second type of forgiveness comes into play.

In this type of circumstance, you aren’t forgiving to repair a relationship but rather to let go of your own anger and allow yourself to move on.

Forgiveness, especially in this scenario, is ultimately for you, as it allows you to let go of something poisonous and caustic, leave the painful past behind and walk into the future.

You can forgive and still decide that someone should not be in your life.

This method of forgiveness is for past abusers or false friends, or other people who you’ve decided to remove from your life.

This is a much harder type of forgiveness, as it involves letting yourself forgive “unforgivable” offenses, and to close a chapter in your life without the emotional closure that involves acknowledgement or apology from the individual who hurt you.

It is important to allow yourself to reach a point where you can forgive those who have mistreated you, even if that means you will never see them again or never “forget” what they did.

This type of forgiveness allows you to stop dwelling on the past and move on.

One tangible way to work through this type of forgiveness is to write a letter to the person who hurt you.

The intention is not to actually send it, but to allow you to express your feelings and any anger and hurt so that you may truly put it behind you.

It can also be helpful to recognize that forgiveness is a process that often takes some time, especially to forgive some of the worst offenses.

Although it may take a considerable conscious effort, forgiveness is utimately essential in allowing you to let go of the past.


2. Letting Go of the Past - How to Forgive Yourself


You may find it easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself. Surprise.

This is a very common feeling, especially among those of us who are particularly empathetic.

However, forgiveness starts with you.

In order to truly forgive and move forward, you must cultivate a sort of self love that allows you treat yourself as you would a close friend.

Try extending the same kindness to yourself that you would show your best friend.

What would you tell them?

Whatever it is that you are struggling to forgive yourself over, pretend you were consoling a friend struggling with the same guilt.

This is one of the easiest ways to start the process of forgiving yourself.


road through the woods - how to move forward?


3. Letting Go of the Past - How to Move Forward


Sometimes the challenges life throws at us seem insurmountable, and moving forward feels utterly impossible.

But nothing is insurmaountable.

From the loss of a loved one to the discovery of a chronic illness to struggling with mental illness, the fact is you are still alive and here on earth no matter what the hardships with which you've dealt.

With God's grace, you are an incredible amalgam of atoms that has gotten through all of this to where you are right now.

But, you must move forward.

Using mindfulness techniques, such as those at the end of this article, can help put you on the path to moving forward and learning how to “be” in the present moment.

If you have suffered a severe trauma, it can be extremely beneficial to seek professional help through therapy.

Therapists can help you move through complicated and difficult times, and figure out how to start the process of moving forward after a life-altering event.


4. Letting Go of the Past - How to Let Go of Past Hurts


Our bodies really do keep the score.

Unless you do the work to actively let go of past hurts, the emotional scars they cause end up being carried with us through life as a result.

And, those emotional scars can and often do manifest themselves in our physical health or lack thereof.

It is important then to recognize the power of corrective experiences in healing trauma.

Corrective experiences are experiences we encounter, and because of things that have happened in the past, we expect those experiences to have a negative outcome.

But what happens is we actually receive a positive outcome.

(I know, it's a little confusing. Let me explain.)

An example would be if you, as a child had always been criticized for singing in the car.

But then, as an audult, you find a friend or have a partner who not only doesn’t mind you singing in the car, but actively enjoys it and comments on it positively.

This would be a corrective experience.

Focusing on these positive experiences in the present moment, that correct the negative experiences of the past, can be exceptionally helpful in letting go of past hurts.


5. How to Reconcile Hurt Feelings


It is extremely important to be open and honest with those you love.

If a close friend or loved one has done something to hurt you, it is vital that you tell them and make them aware of the situation instead of bottling it up.

This can be easier said than done, as this may make for an uncomfortable situation especially for those of us that dislike any possibility of confrontation.

However, in order to foster the kinds of strong and healthy relationships that you truly want, it's important to exert genuiness and honesty and that includes being truthful about your feelings and emotions.

If the person who has hurt you is really worth keeping in your life, they will be willing to recognize and acknowledge your hurt and their part in it even if the hurt happened a long time ago, and should want to make amends.

Sometimes, the best and kindest thing two people can do for each other is realize that a relationship, whether it be friendship or romantic in nature, isn’t going to work out and let the other person go.


couple holding one another - how to let go of the past in a relationship?


6. How to Let Go of the Past in a Relationship


In any relationship, both people involved within it are constantly evolving and changing.

And in a world where no one is perfect, this means that inevitably both people will make mistakes.

Acknowledging this growth and change is key to maintaining a healthy relationship over the long term.

This means that holding things against each other that might have happened years ago is toxic to the relationship and keeps it from flourishing.

If something big has happened, like a betrayal of trust involving cheating or dishonesty, professional help can be sought to start the process of repairing the damage done to the relationship and moving on together from such an event.

If it’s something simpler like a misunderstanding or miscommunication, it may be best to either let those things go or talk them out if something remains that needs to be resolved.

Ultimately, a relationship is one aspect of life that benefits most from you living in the present moment.

Letting go of the past issues, hurts or mistakes is something both members of the relationship need to do in order for the relationship to flourish and grow, be healthy and strong.


7. How to Let Go of the Past and Trust Again


Trust is extremely difficult to rebuild once it's been broken.

If you have had a breach of trust in a relationship, or find it hard to trust a new person after a past toxic relationship, it is important to engage in mindfulness practices to help you to let go of these negative feelings.

Especially with issues of trust, it can be helpful to work through the specifics of how your trust was broken with a counselor or therapist and make a plan for building corrective experiences into your life that will enable you to get to a place where you are comfortable to trust again.

Letting go of the past is difficult, but ultimately vital in helping you live the life you truly want.

Negative feelings about past events that you cannot control simply way you down and keep you from being in the present moment.

Try some of the exercises we've outlined below to jumpstart your journey to letting go of the past.

Exercises for Letting Go of the Past


woman swimming on her back - how to let go of the past and live in the present?


8. How to Let Go of the Past and Live in the Present


This exercise will help you get in touch with the present moment and gently let go of negative thoughts and fears.

Set aside 5 minutes.

It is helpful to set a timer the first few times so that you can stay fully focused until the timer rings.

Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.

Draw your attention to your breath, and the feeling of it entering and exiting your body.

Try to keep your attention with the breath and with the feeling of it coming in and leaving your body.

When you notice your mind start to wander, as it inevitably will, don’t get frustrated and angry with yourself for failing to clear your mind.

Instead, gently let go of that thought by returning your attention to the breath, and thus the present moment.

If you have a particularly hard time focusing on the sensation of the breath, it can sometimes help to repeat a simple mantra to yourself such as “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.

Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out” or even something as simple as “in breath, out breath” or even “in, out”.

After the 5 minutes are up, reflect on how you feel in your body.

Does the sensation of your breath feel more vibrant?

Are you feeling calmer?

Simply take note of how you are feeling without passing judgement.

Try repeating this exercise every day for a week and notice how it gets easier.


9. How to Let Go of the Past and Be Happy


Mindfulness can extend to more than just focusing on the breath.

Once you have practiced this idea of gently returning your attention to the breath, you can try a more complicated exercise.

This exercise will help you to find happiness in the present moment by letting yourself explore without judgement or dwelling on the past.

Go for a 15 minute walk around where you live.

Try to focus on the world around you, the sky and the air and the trees.

When your mind starts to wander, return your attention to something around you, whether it is a dog walking by or a particularly tall blade of grass.

Let your attention stay wherever it wants to around you in the physical world.

You will find that you naturally gravitate towards the things that make you happy.

Maybe you will find yourself wandering into a bookshop and stroking the spines of books, or you’ll walk to a dog park and observe the joyous play and activity of the dogs.

Notice how you feel being surrounded by the present moment, and allow happiness to fill you.

If walking isn’t your thing, you can try this exercise in all sorts of spaces— on a train, in the shower, even while commuting to work.


woman sitting on bed having a tantrum


10. Letting Go of the Past - How to Let Go of Anger


It is important to let yourself express your anger in a healthy way.

Bottling up anger causes us to erupt at unfair and inopportune moments, creating conflict.

A good first step when confronting your anger is to give yourself time to evaluate what needs to be done.

Anger is a powerful emotion, and some of us will feel the urge to act immediately.

However, it can sometimes be much more helpful to do something restorative and just let yourself exist with the anger for a bit.

Take 30 minutes for yourself.

Ask yourself what might help diffuse some of the sting of your angry feelings.

You might decide to go to the gym or go for a walk or run.

Or you might try taking a bath or shower to help you relax, give yourself some quiet time to allow your anger to diffuse and give yourself some needed emotional space.

You could try painting, journaling or some other art form to viscerally let out your emotions.

While doing this, try your best to keep your attention on what you are doing.

When your mind wanders to what you are angry about, recognize the anger and then bring your thoughts back to the task at hand.

How do your muscles feel, or how does the paint smell?

Once your body has relaxed a bit from the anger, then you can begin to evaluate whether what you are angry about is something you can control or whether it is something you should simply let go.

If it is something you can control, begin to figure out an action plan for how to reconcile your anger, such as talking with a manager, friend or partner.

If it is something you cannot control, try to focus your energy into the present moment as you have just done in this exercise.


11. How to Let Go of the Past and Forgive Yourself


Think back to a painful mistake you made in your childhood.

Try to pick something that isn’t too raw, but definitely still stirs emotions, such as a painful rejection or a particularly acute failure.

Now imagine that this is happening not to you, but to a small child.

For truly, it did happen to a small child.

That child is you.

Imagine how you might comfort this upset child if she were your own child or the child of friend.

What would you say to her?

How would you comfort and encourage her?

You may even choose to write down the things that you might say in order to comfort the child.

Now, try saying those things to yourself and notice how you feel.

This exercise can help you on the path to cultivating a kind, loving inner voice to soothe and forgive yourself when you need it most.


smiling dark haired woman - letting go of the past


12. Letting Go of the Past - When all else fails, pray about it.


I firmly believe in the power of prayer.

It has helped me too many times out of too many situations that I thought were insurmountable.

And let's face it...When you're trying to let go of the past, especially when dealing with issues of betrayal and hurt and anger, some of that “stuff” is incredibly hard to deal with, get over, get past and work through.

So I encourage you to try prayer.

It doesn't have to be a long, drawn out, dramatic kind of thing.

Prayer is simply a conversation.

It's just that in this case, you happen to be talking to the Creator of the universe.

I've undergone my share of life situations where I've had to learn to let go of the past.

They were not easy life lessons.

But what I have learned s that letting go of the past allows you to be able to rid yourself of a terrible burden.

The past is often a tremendous weight that we carry around with us for much longer than we were ever meant to.

And when you can finally let go, you wonder why in the world you carried it around so long in the first place.

You feel so much lighter, freer, better.

Let go of the past that's troubling you.

Leave behind the hurt and pain and anger.

Get on with your life and discover the multitude of good things in store for you not only today, but as you move on into your future.

Have you ever had to let go of the past? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 in Personal Development, Self Improvement

How to Rekindle a Relationship – Discover 5 Basic Reasons Relationships Sour and How To Fix Them

How to rekindle a relationshipDo you need to rekindle a relationship?

Do you find yourself wanting to take your love life from lackluster to a steady simmer (or maybe a raging boil)?

Do you wish you had kept in better touch with your college BFFs?

Has it been too long since you’ve really had a good talk with your sister?

Learning how to rekindle a relationship may be just the help you need.

The number and quality of our relationships is often a vital aspect of how we assess our quality of life. (Close Relationships and Quality of Life.)

Knowing how to rekindle relationship helps to ensure you'll always have strong and healthy connections to those who mean the most to you.

It's sad when relationships are allowed to diminish or deteriorate.

However, there are some simple steps we can all take to counteract this distance, andlearn how to rekindle a relationship that means so much.

Whether romantic, friendship or familial in nature, relationships often go bad as a result of these five fundamental issues:


couple holding hands


1. The relationship is being neglected.

These days, everyone is busier than ever, and it can be increasingly difficult to keep up with relationships.

One of the most common reasons relationships fail is that the relationship becomes neglected in favor of other aspects of one’s life (priorities or lack thereof).

Individuals involved in romantic relationships can often grow apart when one or both members of the relationship begin to prioritize work, other activities or other relationships over their romantic partner.

So, how to rekindle the relationship?

In this instance, scheduling date nights and setting aside quality time with one another is an easy way to rekindle your relationship so that neither partner feels neglected.

Plans can be as simple as settling down on the couch at the end of a long day with a bottle of wine and a good movie or as extravagant as planning a weekend away together.

How you choose to rekindle the relatonship is up to you.

What really matters is making sure that part of your normal routine is dedicated to enjoying each other’s company and cultivating opportunities for feeling close to one another.

With friends and family, an “out-of-the-blue” phone call can often help you keep up with goings-on in each other’s lives and to avoid emotional distance and feelings of neglect.

Even if you don’t have the time to make frequent calls, a simple note, email or text can help the other person know you’re thinking of them.

Scheduling even an hour out of your week to keep in touch with friends and family can do a world of good for strengthening your relationships.

Similarly, scheduling quality time that fits with your schedule can help to keep friendships and family bonds alive and healthy.

This can be as simple as meeting up for coffee if you're in close proximity to one another, or as planned out as going on a cross-country trip together.

couple holding each other


2. Your relationship is taken for granted


Expressing gratitude  for your loved ones is one of the most important foundations of a healthy relationship.

How often do you say I love you to your partner?

How about your parents or siblings or best friends?

“I love you” is a powerful statement, and though it can be hard to remember to express this sentiment as regularly as we should, it is extremely important.

Other simple acts of gratitude such as saying “I appreciate you” and “thank you” can help to strengthen a relationship and make sure that the other person doesn’t feel they are being taken for granted.

Aside from verbal gratitude, you can also show appreciation by extending help.

Does your partner hate doing the dishes?

Even if it’s his turn, you could always do it for him and leave a little love note letting him know that you wanted to help him out.

Little gestures like this can extend non-verbal love in a way that makes your partner feel appreciated.

This goes for friends and family as well.

Though it may be harder to find small acts of love to complete when you don’t live together, sending small care packages or letters through the mail can be a great gesture, particularly if you know that a friend or family member is struggling.

If you feel your relationship is suffering because the other person is taking your relationship for granted, it can be important to voice this concern.

They may not realize they are doing this to you in the way that you yourself may not have evaluated how often you tell your partner you love them.

cat staring at couple facing off


3. Lack of communication


How often have you heard that “communication is key” in a relationship?

The truth is, good communication and healthy relationships are inseparable.

Without open and effective communication, there can emerge a distance between two people that in some cases can become unbridgeable.

Sometimes, even if this is acknowledged, it can be difficult to actually take the leap of improving communication.

How do you rekindle the relationship?

One of the most important ways to open the lines of communication is to ask questions.

If you ask your partner or friends questions, it gives them opportunity to express themselves, their thoughts and emotions in ways they may not have felt comfortable in doing on their own.

Something as simple as asking “how are you feeling?” can help to open an important discussion about daily feelings.

If for example, you find you and your romantic partner struggling with your sex life, you could ask questions of your partner in an effort to open up a line of communication where you can both discuss your feelings.

These questions could be as simple as asking what they especially like or want in the bedroom, or how they envision their ideal sex life.

Try to tap back into the exciting moments early in your relationship when you wanted to devour all you could possibly want to know about one another.

Staying in this mindset leads to excellent communication.

With a friend or family member, it is equally important to keep an open line of communication even though these relationships tend to fall into communication doldrums.

It is important for friends and family members to understand what is going on in your life and for you to understand what is going on in their lives as well.

In this way, you can avoid miscommunication and achieve closeness.


African American couple at an event

4. Unrealistic Expectations

We’ve all heard the tired mantra that love is a game where you don’t know the rules.

This is an extremely misguided thought.

True love and intimacy are founded on open communication.

You and your partner should constantly be communicating in order to establish the “rules” of your relationship.

Are you angry at your partner because he doesn’t show you physical affection when you’ve had a rough day, or doesn't understand when you don't want physical contact for the same reason?

The answer is to talk to him about it.

How can he modify his behavior if he doesn’t understand yours and know why you are angry?

Having huge expectations for your partner, or anyone for that matter, including thinking they should be able to read your every thought or satisfy your every whim without you telling them, is a recipe for disaster.

We are only human.

Some people are better than others at intuiting what the other partner needs.

However, you can learn to manage unrealistic expectations by keeping in mind that everyone is not inherently skilled at intuitive emotional understanding.

So how can you rekindle the relationship?

Instead of expecting the response you want from your partner when you are sad, try explaining to your partner what it is you are looking for to bring you comfort.

Similarly, expecting friends to reach out to you when you won’t reach out to them is hypocritical and leads to disappointment.

Instead, simply letting your friends or family know when you are struggling can trigger the very outpouring of friendship and love you might need.

Managing reasonable expectations and discussing them openly is key.

Even the best of friends and partners are not mind-readers.

group of friends men woman


5. Lack of Vulnerability


Leaning on people in your times of need is difficult, but essential, in order to create lasting intimacy.

Vulnerability cultivates trust.

Every successful relationship involves a delicate balance of trust and vulnerability.

Each person in a relationship must be able to trust the other completely, and at the same time be willing to be open and thus vulnerable to the other person.

If either one of these things is lacking, missing or out of balance the relationship will suffer.

In a romantic relationship, vulnerability can be cultivated through honesty.

If you are worried about a big job promotion coming up, talk to your partner.

Too often, we worry about being burdens to those we love.

Being stoic and solid is definitely an attractive quality, but in all reality, all humans are flawed, vulnerable, have worries and face difficulties or hard times.

Being open about your own struggles will allow others to be open to you about theirs.

In this way, you will be able to cultivate deep and lasting intimacy in all of your relationships.

An easy way to get become accustomed to showing vulnerability is to simply express your feelings openly.

If your friend asks you how you are, instead of just offering the reflexive response of “fine”, really think about it and answer honestly.

You could tell them you had a good day because you got to spend time doing the things you love.

Or you could mention you are feeling sad because a family member is sick.

Expressing your feelings authentically is a surefire road to intimacy.


How To Rekindle A Relationship


Strengthening relationships is one of the most important goals you can set for yourself in the coming year.

Having strong relationships helps us to feel a sense of purpose.

Strengthening your own relationships might seem like a difficult task.

It’s best to start with analyzing which of the above areas need work in your relationships.

Try some of the tips to improve your relationships and watch as they strengthen and become better.

Once you discover how to rekindle a relationship, enjoying healthy relationships will become a long-lasting benefit to your life.

Did you enjoy this post or find it helpful? If so, please share it with your family and friends. Thanks!

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Posted by on Feb 18, 2018 in Emotions, Self Improvement

10 Proven Methods for Anger Management – Why You May Feel Angry and How to Control Your Anger to Prevent It from Controlling You

Pinterest pin for Anger Management for Adults TipsWe all experience anger, but in some cases our anger becomes misdirected or extreme.

Those are the times when we need to utilize the tools for anger management...

Today we'll discuss 10 proven ways to control your anger:

But first, let's dive into the subject a bit...


Do you feel angry all the time, or that you have no control of your anger?


Do the littlest inconveniences send you on Godzilla-type rampages?

You feel it bubbling in your belly, and before you can stop yourself, you're screaming at your child, your teenager, your spouse or partner.

You're engulfed in uncontrolled anger.

Or maybe you're not a yeller.

Maybe you find yourself snapping at your BFF, snidely responding to a co-worker, giving a scathing “dressing down” to your assistant or condescendingly responding to your adult child.

Perhaps anger brings on the waterworks, which as women frustrates us even more because then we feel weak for crying.

So you become a blubbering mess and even angrier because you're stuck crying in the ladies room.

It could be that on occasion you've found yourself driving to work when someone swerves or cuts you off in traffic.

Before you know it, you're yelling, calling names and saying (really) unkind things about the offender.

Or in another instance, you violently “gesture” at a young driver who took your intended parking spot at the local grocery store or shopping center.

Or maybe you “just lose it” because at work you didn't get the credit you felt was deserved for a project on which you worked so hard.

Granted in the course of your experience, you may have reason to be displeased, unhappy or even upset about something.

But in hindsight, you may realize that the situation did not warrant you erupting like a roided out wrestling superstar.

Afterwards, you feel bad or ashamed or even sad because your reaction was an unnecessary outpouring of emotion and drama.

That is a situation which calls for anger management.


angry child with painted eye mask


You are not alone in having angry (ugly) outbursts.


A lot of us feel angry over any number of things.

Just ask a coworker, your neighbor or the fabulous tech at the local salon, and they can probably tell you a thing or two that gets their blood boiling.

Anger can present itself in different ways, and it rarely makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.



We have to learn to control our anger, especially if it results in inappropriate emotional or physical outbursts.



Because one, we don't want to go around having inappropriate outbursts all the time.

And two, when we're in a state of anger it's difficult for us to think clearly, to articulate our thoughts, feelings or problem or communicate in a way that is most likely to resolve our problem or issue.

And if we don't solve the problem, it will happen again and again and again.

That's why it's necessary to learn anger management.

Even so, we have to crawl before we can walk.


And, the first step to managing our anger is identifying its reason and source.


That means asking yourself some tough questions.

What we might find when we dig into it is that the anger we experience in a given circumstance may be masking an entirely different issue than the one we find we're addressing.

And if that is indeed the case, we must deal with that underlying issue in order to heal; to rid ourselves of anger.

black figure wearing multi-colored irridescent face mask


What Problems or Emotions Is Your Anger Masking?


There have been many studies on anger, the reasons for it and how to overcome it.

One of the fundamental tasks required to manage or to overcome anger, is to identify the root of it.

You have to understand the source of anger in order to know how to deal with it.

Here are three emotions that your anger might mask:


Anger Management for Adults: Emotions Your Anger May Mask


Insecurity- Do you and your partner fight because you feel ignored or that you are not being heard?

It may be that you have unresolved issues rooted in feelings of abandonment or insecurity with the relationship that are causing you to be angry.

Take an honest look at how you feel and why you feel the way you do and communicate it healthily within your relationship.

In this case, the solution may be as simple a setting aside specific time, for example scheduling lunch together, or a “date night” with your partner, where the two of you have time and opportunity to reconnect and focus solely on each other to strengthen your relationship and help you to feel more secure in it.

Anxiety- As women and especially for those of us who are moms, our anxiety can be through the roof.

In our roles as mothers, we want to provide and protect our families 24/7, and it is simply an impossible task to accomplish.

There are things we have control over (or what we think we have control over), but many more elements in our lives and those of our families over which we have no possible control.

And our attempts at control of the uncontrollable can often cause anxiety.

For example, many of us work, take care of the household and the kids (or grandkids). Mornings can feel like a circus.

You're trying to get ready for the day and your seven year old decides to dump milk all over the kitchen floor 10 minutes before you have to have said seven year old at school.

So you flip your lid, yell about the mess and cause them to cry.

Realistically speaking though, spilled milk is not a big deal.

In fact it may be the smallest problem you have to solve all day.

The solution: clean it up and move on.

But when your mind is racing forward, and you're anxious about all the things that you have to do that day (or even in the next few hours), it can seem in your mind that this milk mess throws the whole day off track.

So, you freak out and become a rage monster not because of any particular thing, but as a result of anxiety you're harboring over things of which you may have little or no control.



Disappointment - Sometimes we cover our disappointment with anger.

Maybe you're angry about a situation where a friend or partner failed to “be there” for you or support you in some way when you depended upon them.

But instead of having an adult conversation about it (that would mean you initiating a discussion with said person, and you speaking up about how it made you feel), you hang onto the hurt and disappointment keeping it all bottled up inside.

As another example, maybe you didn't get a promotion you thought you deserved, so you lash out focusing anger toward company management or your supervisor.

These are both examples of situations in which your angry behavior is masking disappointed feelings and emotions. And it's quite possible your anger isn't even warranted.

In the example given above, it's possible there was a valid reason you didn't receive the work promotion.

But without having first inquired (in a non-combative way) why you were passed up for advancement, you may never have the true answer to that question.

If you discovered the problem is that you're skills are not being valued where you are, then maybe it's time to go elsewhere.

But it's usually never a good idea to lose your cool at work or badmouth your current employer.

Becoming angry doesn't often help your overall situation or aid you in collecting information you may need to help improve your circumstance.


After all that we've discussed about anger to this point, the good news is that there is anger management.


There are tools and techniques available to you that when put to use, may help you to successfully control your anger. We've listed a few simple tips below.


angry face poster held in front of brick wall


How to Tame Your Temper

Here are 10 ways to help you release your anger in a healthy way.


1. Breathe.

When you start to feel your body begin to change, increased heartbeat, heavy breathing, flushed cheeks, tensing muscles, take a minute and breathe.

Focus on each breath, maybe close your eyes and count to ten.

This helps to slow the physiological changes that occur in your body with anger and at the same time gives your mind a chance to slow the flow of your thoughts and focus.

2. Calm yourself, then express your issue, challenge, point of view or frustration.

I have actually had to stand in front of my boss, breathe deeply while (slowly) counting to ten (silently in my head), and then taking another deep breath to calm myself before attempting to discuss a work related matter that was extremely upsetting to me.

By doing so, I avoided saying something I would later regret, I was able to maintain my professional composure, very clearly articulate the problem and the assistance I required.

The result was that my boss was able to hear me, understand the issue, respect the way in which I was presenting the problem and determine a course of action to effectively resolve the situation.

Important note...

It's been my experience that when you have a problem whether it's with another person or involves getting the assistance of another to help resolve it, people have to be able to hear and understand you.

But they can't effectively hear or understand you when you're having a fit of temper and the level of your voice and your physical actions and behavior is a complete distraction.

Calm down so that you can communicate effectively and in a way in which the others involved can willingly receive your communication.

3. Think before you speak.

Often times in the heat of anger, our mouths runs faster than our brains, and before we know what's happened, we say something we definitely shouldn't.

Think about what you're about to say. Is it relevant to the discussion you're having and the issue with which you're dealing in that specific moment?

Is what you're about to say going to contribute to resolving the problem in a way that's helpful and beneficial?

If the answer is no, then don't say it.

4. Don't jump to conclusions.

Make certain to avoid the temptation of assuming that you know what others think, feel or how they'll behave and then jumping to conclusions based on your assumptions.

That is why communication even when you're in the middle of a disagreement with someone (and really especially so) is so important.

Allow the other person the opportunity to make her side known (how she sees and feels about the situation) by letting her speak (without interruption) and listening to what she has to say.

5. If calming down doesn't work, try to find a way to (constructively) release your anger.

For example:

*Go for a walk or a run and relieve your pent up emotions through physical activity. A nice walk or jog will help your body to physically release pent up stress, and at the same time it can help to clear your mind, allow you to identify what is upsetting you so much and to think of a possible solution to your situation.

*Go into your bedroom, shut the door, grab a pillow and scream into it. Sounds really dramatic and stupid, but it can be an effective form of release.

*Grab a pen and paper, or a keyboard and get those emotions out. Just start scribbling down whatever you're feeling at that moment. Don't judge your writing or the emotions. There's no right or wrong in this exercise. It's simply a means to release and get your thoughts and emotions out of your system.


wide-eyed gray striped cat peering from under blanket


6. Put things in perspective.

Ask yourself the question, is the thing you're angry about something that's going to matter or make a difference in your life one way or another next week, next month, a year from now, in five years?

Many of us are guilty of failing to value and prioritize the things that truly matter in our lives.

We allow ourselves to become preoccupied with thoughts, feelings, behavior and actions that may seem to matter greatly “in the moment”, but in truth have nothing to do with where we want to be in life or what we envision for our lives.

Try putting things in their proper perspective.

Remember, no problem or circumstance lasts forever, and if it is not a life or death situation, you always have a chance to change it.

If you need to address something important or significant in your life, don't waste time with anger.

Be about the business of getting to the root of the issue or problem, and then working to find a viable solution to it and move on.

7. Avoid placing blame on or criticizing others.

When you're angry, blaming others or criticizing them is an easy way to project the responsibility for the problem onto them and allow you to then feel justified in your anger toward them or over the situation in which you find yourself.

By making them the focus, you're conveniently relieved of any responsibility to thoughtfully and objectively examine the situation to determine the “real” basis of the issue and any part you may have played in contributing to the problem.

Instead of becoming angry and finding fault with others to justify your anger, try looking beyond their actions or even their words to get to the real nexus of the situation and beginning to figure out how it can be corrected or repaired.

8. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Ladies, as painful as it may be to hear, there are times when the thing that has riled your anger is your own fault.

If you leave home 15 minutes before an appointment that's an easy 25 minutes across town, it's not the fault of the driver of the car in front of you who is driving too slowly that you're late.

If you've failed to communicate to your boss your expectation that you would advance from your current position, and you never initiated a discussion with her to work together on a plan to make that happen, you can't be upset, angry or blame her for not considering you for the new (advanced) position.

And the fact that it makes your blood boil every time you ask your husband to take out the trash because he doesn't take it out before you ask, isn't necessarily his fault.

His routine is this: as soon as you ask, he takes out the trash. No hesitation. No complaint. In his mind, he's done a good thing. He's completed the task promptly and properly.

However, in all of the years prior to your (what now looks like a cra-crazy) outburst, you never communicated to him that your expectation was that he take out the trash without you asking him to do it.

And so there is a problem...

If you repeatedly find yourself in situations where you are constantly frustrated by others; their behaviors, their actions or inactions, take a look at how you may have contributed to the problem.

If you've failed to communicate your position, what you want, need or the boundaries of what is acceptable before a problem arises, then you cannot be angry at the other party for failing to meet your expectations; expectations that they didn't know or didn't fully understand.

Take responsibility for your part in relationships and your interactions with others to avoid problematic situations that will cause you to become angry.

9. Use your voice. Learn to say "no", and "yes".

At this point in my life, there are untold thousands of problems and situations I could have avoided by saying “no” when I should have.

Too many instances when I was afraid of disappointing others, hurting people's feelings, being “rude”, seeming selfish and the list goes on.

I've said “yes” so too times and later regretted it; sometimes regretting it as the word was coming from my lips because I immediately knew I was agreeing or committing to something I did not want, didn't wish to do or want to be involved in.

The remedy?

Put your “big girl” panties on.

Act like the adult you are.

Stop saying “yes” to things you're certain you don't want to say yes to.

In the end, those yes's will most likely make you miserable, and often they'll make you plenty resentful and angry (not angry at yourself of course, where blame should be squarely placed, but at others).

This is unnecessary anger you can prevent happening.

By the same token, if you want to say “yes”, do it. Stop worrying about what others will say, what they're opinions of you will be; what they will think of you.

You have one life. It is yours. God gave it to you and not to anyone else. You must live your life, and in the end, answer only to Him.

Turning down opportunities to do the things you truly desire to do, or to have the things you want in your life makes you unfairly resentful of others and angry.

It's up to you to have the guts to say “yes” to what you want or what you believe is best for your life, even if others think you should say “no”.

You should be confident and satisfied in your decision, and not be angry with others because you failed to make a decision or said no to something you truly desire.


fuzzy golden brown squirrel against black background


10. Don't take yourself so seriously.

When you're angry, it helps to back away and review a situation objectively.

In doing so, you sometimes realize just how ridiculous the entire situation (or your anger) is.

Sometimes we can get all worked up over things simply when our pride or ego has been bruised, or we get embarrassed.

And when we take a moment to actually consider the situation, we realize that nothing else about the situation really matters.

At times, it's better to laugh at your own expense, get over a thing and let go of anger than to magnify a situation (and possibly damage relationships) over ego.


Final Thoughts...

Not All Anger is Created Equal


Some anger issues are incredibly toxic, harmful, hurtful and may mask other emotions.

But not all anger is bad.

Sometimes anger is actually good. In some instances, it can be the only thing that has the power to propel us forward in life or to move us into different areas of life that without having become angry, we would not have entered or experienced.

Anger can be used to fuel the fire of change.

Righteous anger, anger over injustice or mistreatment (real, not imagined), is a good thing as long as you don't become stuck or mired in the anger.

Something has to come after the anger.

That is currently most evident in the #metoo movement today.

Women are using their voices and teaching others that it is okay to be angry, when anger is a natural response to being harmed or suffering injustice.

And they're demonstrating that a constructive way of coping with the anger is speaking up and enacting change so that others do not have to suffer the same injustices.

While anger can destroy peace of mind or sense of well being, it can also be used constructively in the context of shared stories and experiences to help right wrongs and heal emotional wounds.

Uncovering the truths surrounding your anger may take time, and it often requires work on your part, but it is important work to do.

And dealing with anger may take more than just yourself.

If that's the case, know that it is okay to ask for help and support, whether that's talking to a trusted friend, or seeking professional help.

We often do not place enough value on our emotional well-being, but it is immensely important.

Anger is an emotion and so it is a natural part of our human experience.

And as with any other emotion, it's not all bad. It is simply a part of who we are as human beings.

But you can't be rooted in anger and be a healthy, happy or productive person.

You can't allow anger to overtake you; to color or to overshadow your life.


Today we've discussed 10 proven ways to control your anger:

1. Breathe
2. Calm Yourself
3. Think Before You Speak
4. Avoid Jumping To Conclusions
5. Release Your Anger
6. Put Things In Their Proper Perspective
7. Avoid Blaming and Criticizing
8. Take Responsibility
9. Learn To Say "No"
10. Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously

Learning anger management, learning to harness and control your anger puts you in the driver's position.

It puts you in control, not over what happens to you, because there is no controlling that, but over how you react to your circumstances.

And controlling your reaction allows you to have some control over how those circumstances affect your life. And when possible, to avoid being angry.

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Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Personal Development, Self Improvement

10 Brilliant Relationship Goals to Help Make This Your Best Year Ever

Relationship goals.

Relationships, whether romantic, friendly or with family are crucial to our survival as human beings, especially as women.

We need the connections, the love and the support of good relaitonaships to be healthy, happy and to thrive.

Healthy relationships help us to reduce stress, recover better from illness and provide us the emotional support we need.

It's a brand new year. The season for goal-setting. We've firmly closed the door on the year past, as we move forward into the year before us.

And as we consider what we want the future to look like, what we wish to see in this current year, some of our thoughts turn toward our relationships.

So it makes this a perfect time to consider relationship goals.

What do we desire from our relationships?

What do we hope to gain?

How can we make our lives richer, better, happier and more enjoyable through our interactions with the important people in our lives?

We can talk all day about things we want in life and what we desire from our relationship connections, but unless and until we create a plan to make those desires happen, and then act on that plan, nothing will change. Nothing will improve.

We'll simply have a wish list that's not much good for anything.

So why set and pursue relationship goals?

To provide yourself with a "road map" for achieving what you desire to have in your relationships as part of a better life.

To give focus, direction, motivation and accountability for your day-to-day efforts to achieve the things you say you want.

To help you maximize your efforts to get the most benefit from your relationships and life.

So below, we've outlined ten relationship goals to help you as you work to make this year your best one yet.

10 Relationship Goals for 2018


1. Be kind.

Lately the world has become a place where it seems we have almost completely lost all sense of the need for civility and kindness towards one another.

If you want to have better relationships at home, at work and in your community, start by showing a little more kindness toward those with whom you come in contact.

It costs little to nothing for any of us to be kind to others, and the benefits to others, but even more so to ourselves are infinite.

Be kind and I promise you you'll find you have more, you'll have better, and you'll enjoy deeper relationships in all aspects of your life.


2. Be sensitive to the needs of others.

We're all somewhat used to being the stars in our own show.

Life is something that happens around us. We're in a story where the center of the narrative is each one of us.

But the truth is, everyone has their own story individually.

They're not simply “extras” in yours.

And just as you may see your needs and wants as the priority in your journey, other people have the same feelings and perceptions relative to their lives and their journey.

Be aware of and sensitive to the needs of others.

By demonstrating a caring demeanor, you strengthen the bonds of your relationships through your sensitivity.


3. Listen with open ears and an open heart.

Sometimes when our friends or loved ones speak, we're too busy to hear what they are saying.

Instead of listening, we're busy planning what we'll say in a response or worse, we zone out entirely, disregarding the essence of their conversation in favor of focusing on our own thoughts (like going over to do lists in our head).

When you're engaged in conversation with people who matter to you, pay attention. Be present.

Ask them questions about what they're talking about. Actively engage in what they are saying by first listening and then appropriately responding to them.

This will lead not only to better communication, but will also lead to a stronger bond and connection.


4. Put away the devices and allow yourself to genuinely connect with others.

Between smartphones, iPads, and wifi everywhere it's easy to get lost in technology, be continually distracted and ignor the one sitting right next to us.

Introduce mandatory periods of time where devices aren't allowed such as a “no device night” or a device free mealtime and spend that time talking with your family and friends about each other's day or what's happening in each other's life.


5. Develop an appreciation for yourself and the important people in your life based on where you (and those close to you) are at this moment in life.

Life isn't perfect, humans are not perfect, and relationships are certainly not perfect.

But learning to appreciate the people, friendships and the love you have in your life right now helps you to develop a level of contentment with your life that will encourage positive growth and development of your relationships.

Things in your life, including your relationships, may not look like or be exactly what you thought they would, but appreciate what you have now, and work to make them even better for the future.


6. Tell your family and close friends your favorite things about them.

Everyone loves to hear good things about themselves.

Tell those important to you what you love most about them.

This will make them feel great and will make you feel good too.


7. Ask for what you need.

As women, this one can be a little tough for us.

We tend to put other's needs ahead of our own or put up a facade of strength and independence lest we be percieved as “weak”.

However, it has at least been my experience that those we love are not mind readers and it's unfair of us to expect them to somehow know information (in this case what we want or need) that we're not sufficiently communicating to them.

When we don't get what we need from others, it leaves us with resentment towards the other person.

Speak up and let others know what you need.

Do it kindly and as lovingly as possible, being mindful of their feelings, but making sure to communicate clearly, and you will be amazed at the outcome.


8. Get over being right and learn to say I'm sorry.

In a relationship of any kind, being right may make us feel good, but it's never the most important thing.

Pointing out that you're “right” in a given situation when the other party is wrong or mistaken, is generally not a good thing.

Nobody likes to hear “I told you so”; no one wants to be nagged.

Even if you feel you're right, your need to be right is not worth damaging or losing your relationship with the other person.

And just as importantly, when you are the one who is mistaken or wrong in a situation, you need to learn the subtle art of saying “I apologize. I was wrong.”

We're all human, and we all mess up from time to time. Handling it with love and grace in your relationships with others will strengthen and deepen your connections.


9. Trust.

Trust is a critical component of any relationship, and it works two ways.

You obviously want to trust your partner or family members.

But it's important to remember that they want that same from you.

If you have been wronged in some way by someone, be gracious enough to allow that person to make amends.

By allowing them to espress their regret, to say “Sorry” and to make amends, you are showing them that they can trust you not to shut them out or to reject them when things go wrong.


10. Take time to care for yourself.

Okay, I have a confession.

I hate hearing the term “self care”.

It seems that it's everywhere now.

And for me it just sounds so very self-centered.

Everyone needs “self care” these days. Ugh!

However, that being said, if we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of anyone else.

Loving others means first loving yourself.

If there are things you dislike about yourself or your life, work on them and allow yourself the grace to know that it's perfectly okay that you are not perfect. You were never meant to be.

When we're not functioning at our best, or we're uncomfortable with who we are or how we're presenting ourselves to the rest of the world, we may lash out at others.

Such behavior is certain to be detrimental to our relationships with those we love the most.

Be sure you are taking the time you need to care for and love yourself, so that you can truly love others.

Is this YOUR year?

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Was this post helpful to you? If so, please leave me a comment then think about who you know that needs to read this and would be encouraged and benefit from this information in their personal journey. Please share this message with them. Thanks!

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Personal Development, Self Improvement

Minimalism: Be More With Less

Minimalism: Be More With Less minimalist tips

Minimalism: Be More With Less


Can You Create More For Your Life By Including Less In It?

Minimalism is a concept that's become quite popular in recent years, especially as a topic of discussion related to the phenomenon of the "tiny house movement" in the housing market in this country.

When hearing the word minimalism, your mind likely flows to thoughts of stark simplicity, depriving oneself of material things, existing in a cold, uncomfortable environment devoid of personality, warmth and character.

You may think of minimalists as people living on the fringe; extremists interested in determining how much comfort, technology and consumer goods they can learn to live without.

And while all of those things may be elements of minimalist living, that's not really the point of it or what it's really about.

The essence of minimalism is not stripping away everything to the point of you being miserable or feeling deprived.

In fact it's really quite the opposite.

Minimalism about living your life in a way that brings you personal freedom.

"Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom."

Joshua Becker, author, founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist describes Minimalism as "the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it."

Think about that for a minute... how amazing would it be to be concerned with, and surrounded by, only those things that mean most to you?

The thing is, by becoming minimalist or including elements of minimalist lifestyle into your life if you so choose, you can shape it to be more of what you want.

Using the ideology of minimalism to help you shift the way you think about your life and the relationship that exists between you and the things in it, may take some effort on your part.

But you can use it as a tool to help you to create a life that is more authentic and genuinely reflective of who you are, which in turn brings you more joy.

Embracing minimalist living (or at least elements of it) compels you to consciously work to determine what genuinely is important to you and including that into your life, while simultaneously and continually working to remove that which no longer serves you and the vision you have for your life.

As a simple "for instance", several years ago I went through my own version of a personal minimalist experience as I created a new living space for myself.

As I moved through the process of choosing, planning and arranging my new space, something that in a lifetime of living I had never had the opportunity to do on my own, I used my own vision of minimalist living to thoughtfully and specifically select each piece of furniture that would be in it.

I brought a very few items that I had previously owned into the space.

Other items I painstakingly and specifically selected, one at a time, for their individual characteristics, functionality and their special appeal to me on a personal level.

I am by no means a “true” minimalist, but I applied my own vision and version of minimalist style that works for me to my living space.

The result is that I now live in an uncluttered space that is not only comfortable to me, but brings me a sense of peace and contentment every single day.

And the ability to live in this way has made a profound difference in my mental and emotional state, which has a powerful impact on my everyday existence and my overall quality of life.

And that's what minimalism can do for you too.

So now it's your turn to see how minimalism could benefit you.

But first things first.

If you're interested in some form of minimalist lifestyle, you need to determine why you want to become minimalist or include more elements of minimalism in your life?

Ask yourself why you want to live more simply?

Do you desire less stress?

Do you want to regain more of your time that's currently being spent to acquire or maintain your “things”?

Want more time with your family?

Do you wish to feel more in control of your life and environment?

Need to have less tasks you are required to perform or be responsible for on a daily basis?

Write it down.

Once you have your list of "whys", keep them close. These will be the motivators for helping you to create your ideal life.

Here are six beginning tips to put you on the path to living simply and with more freedom.


Becoming (your version of) Minimalist.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around.


1. Stop obtaining, collecting and purchasing things in the absence of thoughtful consideration.

Stop trying to "keep up with the Joneses".

Notorious BIG said it best when he said "mo money, mo' problems."

When we are continually trying to get more, more money, more clothes, more toys, we are just creating more stress.

Start working to bring more balance to your life by being more thoughtful when acquiring new things and spending money for purchases.

When you consider adding something to your life or buying something for yourself or your home, ask yourself "Do I really need this?" "Is this something I really want?"

Think of the things that make you happy.

Do you love to travel (but often feel it's not something you can afford to do as often as you'd like)?

If so, you may wish to save for a trip rather than buying another ____________ (fill in the blank).

And speaking of purchases, learn to stop for a moment and consider the true cost of an item you're considering buying.

Ask yourself "How long/how hard do I have to work to earn enough money for this purchase?"

"Would I rather save that amount of money or put the money toward something I think is more valuable/worthwhile instead of spending it on this?"

Another (closely related) issue relative to the consumerism we participate in is what we have to do to afford what we purchase or possess.

Staying in a job we hate just because the pay keeps us in a lifestyle we think we want, does not bring joy.

If you're in a job that makes you miserable or is a source of a majority of your life stress only so you can buy or afford things or to maintain a certain lifestyle level, you may want to reconsider your situation as well as your employment.

Think carefully about scaling back the things you can really live without.

Get rid of expensive toys, objects and activities that are unnecessary, don't really "fit" with who you are authentically or don't contribute to your ultimate happiness.

The result will be you lessening your financial burden and responsibilities.

Then find a job that may not pay you stacks of cash, but makes you feel fulfilled while still allowing you to meet your monetary obligations.

True fulfillment in your work will make you a much happier person than will keeping up with a job you hate just to pad your bank account or to purchase things you don't really need or want in the first place.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from overwhelm.


2. Turn off the notifications. Clutter in our lives is not just about having too much "stuff."


We are bombarded all day long by emails, status updates, text messages, work orders.

Whatever it is, we can be notified instantly.

This atmosphere of "urgency" can be stress-inducing, so we often feel the need to immediately answer texts or emails or messages from our BFF only to find they're anything but urgent.

No more. Turn off notifications on your phone, and schedule a time or specific times during your day to check your notifications and messages.

For example, allow yourself 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon to check your emails or social media.

Then go back to living your life.

Keep your social media "friends" and followers to a minimum; you do not have to follow them just because they're following you.

If your job revolves around social media, make certain to have a professional id and page separate from any personal one.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from worry.


3. Rid yourself of O.P.P. (Other People's Problems).


This one is perhaps one of the hardest.

We have those people in our lives that seem to be a big ball of drama (friends, family members, coworker's and acquaintances).

Their lives are chaos's of their creation, and they always seem to need something.

Whether it is validation they seek or someone to clean up their mess, if you are the "go to" person, you know the one who ends up always having to "fix" things, then you need to stop.

No more 3 AM phone calls or rushing to their side whenever they call you.

Set boundaries. If you choose, offer a specific and limited period within which you're willing to allow them to call and vent in a true crisis or emergency. But then, stop it there.

If they cannot respect that, then it may be time to put some distance between you and that individual in your relationship.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from unnecessary possessions.


4. Say goodbye to the just in case pile.


We have them, the clothes in the closet (or any number of other possessions) we keep "just in case."

This could be the clothes we hold on to in case we finally lose that extra 10 lbs, or the clothes we keep in case we ever go skiing again.

Whatever the situation, if you are holding onto clothes (or anything else) that you're not using (or haven't used in months or years), donate those things to charity and bring joy to someone else.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from stress.


5. Too much clutter causes stress.


When you have stuff laying around, shoes overflowing the closest, stacks of magazines on the tables, five sets of the dishware and you are single; it overloads your senses.

It can cause you to feel stressed, impair clear thinking and your creativity.

Get organized.

It may be challenging to say goodbye to some of these items.

Don't worry you are not alone. Many people, for any infinite number of reasons, attach value and sentiment to the items we possess.

However, it doesn't mean we should hang on to them.

Get rid of duplicates (linen sets, dishes etc.), put only the few magazines that you really want or feel the need to keep in storage bins in the closet or on a shelf (recycling or donating the rest), and find a nice shoe rack.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from ambiguity and uncertainty.


6. Clear the mind.


Clutter is not merely physical; our minds can quickly clutter with all the things that make up our lives.

Start by giving yourself five minutes a day to meditate, to clear the mind and sit in silence.

You will find that once you have the time to quiet the noise in your mind, the path to intentional living becomes clearer and more precise.

The key to living your most authentic life is to start small; incorporate small changes daily.

If you are feeling stuck, pull out your "whys" for becoming minimalist and/or living a minimalist lifestyle.


Minimalist Advantage - Freedom from meaninglessness and unintention.


7. Put your possessions, purchase considerations, potential experiences to the time test.


When deciding if something is worth acquiring and worth the investment of your money, time or effort to obtain or keep it ask yourself "Is this something that will be desirable, important to or necessary for me in 30 days, six months or a year?

Is this something that matters to me or makes a difference to my life in 5 or 10 years?"

It's a simple and easy way of putting things in perspective and quickly answers the question "Do I need this in my life?"

Remember minimalism, becoming minimalist or including elements of a minimalist lifestyle to your life is not about just throwing everything away.

It's about assigning value to all of the things in your life, keeping more of the things you love as a part of it and freeing yourself from those things that don't contribute to your best life.

Have you attempted to incorporate minimalism into your life? What was your experience and how did it go? Let me know in the comments.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share! Thanks!

Do You Need To Declutter?

Start being more with less now.

If you're feeling stuck in life, or you're in the midst of a significant life change, transformation or shift in circumstances, then chances are decluttering needs to be a part of your process. It was certainly a big part of mine.

From discovering (or rediscovering) who you are authentically, to getting organized, to finding clarity, prioritizing what's important to you, organizing your finances, redefining your living space or seeking more freedom, decluttering is an important step in your journey.

If you're moving to a new town, positioning yourself for a career change, going through divorce, designing a new living space or working through an emotional healing process, decluttering will help you to get free, rid yourself of emotional baggage, reclaim your time and heal your finances and more.

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