Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sleep On it: Dreams May Help You Solve Problems

Did you know Paul McCartney composed “Yesterday” in a dream? Studies show that when you dream, you’re more open-minded and may see things from a different perspective. Here are two different approaches you might try to solve a problem or increase your creativity: 1. Clear your mind before you go to sleep. Read a book, talk about something else, go to sleep, and trust your subconscious. 2. Focus on the problem you want to resolve. Form it into a question (for example, “What should I say to have a successful meeting?”), write it down, and visualize a positive outcome. With either method, write down what you remember about your dreams when you wake up. They may be illogical, but the imagery or events could be a metaphor for a solution that relates to your problem. These techniques require a positive attitude and lots of practice, but they can help you! For further information, look up the work of dream psychologists, such as author Deirdre Barrett.

Monday, February 25, 2019

You Might Be Fitter Than You Think

Blame the media, Photoshop, the feats of professional athletes, or your own unrealistic expectations, but the truth is you’re probably not that out of shape. In fact, you may just be fitter than you think – and I can prove it! You stand and sit. Active people feel the need to get up and move around throughout the day. Getting in and out of a car involves basic squat movements, and you should be able to do this without pain. You constantly carry stuff. Whether you’re picking up and carrying children or shouldering a massive bag to and from work, those pounds add up to a healthy dose of weightlifting! You recover quickly. Take a short jog, try a few squat exercises, or just walk at a steady pace for a while. Are you tired and worn out, or could you endure a bit more? A healthy recovery time is a good indicator of physical fitness. You do household chores. Carrying laundry down the stairs requires balance. Navigating several tasks in the kitchen while avoiding dropping, burning, or falling is proof of coordination and dexterity. You take the stairs. If you can walk or run up and down stairs without feeling lightheaded or out of breath, you’re probably in decent aerobic shape. You crave healthy habits. It’s a good sign if you seek out exercise simply because it makes you feel good. Ditto if you prefer to eat healthily as well just because you want to not because you feel guilty.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Negotiating On The Job

Would you like to improve your job negotiation skills? A recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management and, found that both employees and HR specialists are willing to talk about salary, but they differ on other issues. Employees focus on bonuses, incentives, and time off, while HR specialists may be more willing to talk about flex schedules and relocation costs. (The survey indicated employees may have more negotiating power on non-salary issues.) Here are six valuable tips you can use for better negotiating on your job: • Make sure to show your enthusiasm for the job at hand. • Know your strengths and skills and explain why you’re the best person for the new job or raise. • Use the right words and cite facts, “I’ve done the research, and the market reflects this salary.” • Ask for what you want, and explain why you deserve it. • Be open to what is presented and remain objective. • Avoid talking about specific salary figures until the end the interview process; otherwise you may limit your options.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Teaching Kids Life Skills

Teaching kids how to approach and solve life’s challenges is one of the biggest jobs parents face. Here are a few tips to help your children (or grandchildren) grow into self-sufficient and responsible adults: • Teach Kids To Look For Solutions. When kids are faced with a problem, have them identify several options and solutions. Then you can help them choose which solution works best. • Teach Kids Responsibility: Let kids know they are responsible for their actions. They have to do their homework, but you can offer them two “positive choice” options: Do you want to do it in 15 minutes or 30 minutes? Teach them how to organize, and give them the tools to stay organized (calendar, palm pilot, notebook). • Teach Kids How To Make Good Choices. Giving kids choices empowers them to make their own decisions. Have them weigh the pros and cons of their choice, and let them make the decisions. • Teach Kids How To Deal with Failure. Teach your children that failure is not personal, permanent, or pervasive (i.e. losing a soccer game doesn’t mean you’re bad at other things as well). Developing a positive explanatory style early in life will help your children live a happier, healthier and more successful adult life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Make Your Emails More Effective

Estimates are that 269 billion emails are sent every day worldwide, many by professionals in a working environment. While you may know proper email etiquette, follow these tips to make sure your business emails aren’t deleted.  Use a concise, compelling subject line. “More information” and “new program” only ask the recipient to say “about what?” Better to say “Action Items On Project XYZ.” Say “urgent” if necessary.  Don’t use long lists of email addresses if the subject only pertains to some of them. Type the relevant addresses into the address line ("To" line) and use the BCC line for the others.  Keep your message to the point. Say why you’re writing within the first two lines and try to limit yourself to one topic. Using bullet points helps you organize your thoughts. Re-read or print your email out (if you have time) before you send it.  Be careful with humor and irony. Emails aren’t good at conveying emotions, and humor, inside jokes or over-used phrases don’t really build a dynamic business relationship. Avoid phrases like “can I pick your brain” (what are you offering in return?); or “please advise” (better to say “can we discuss this further?”).  Respect confidentiality. Should everyone read this?  As a recipient, do not “reply all” unless everyone needs to know. You know this but people still do it, sometimes accidentally.  Respond promptly. Don’t leave people hanging. Include your signature and phone number for follow-up.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Microwaving Zaps Critical Nutritional Benefits From Foods

Researchers have found certain methods of preparation and cooking, such as microwaving, can cause vegetables to lose many key nutritional benefits. Researchers found microwaved broccoli had lost almost 90% of three major antioxidant compounds - flavonoids, sinapics and caffeoyl-quinic derivatives, which are thought to have cancer-fighting properties. In contrast, steamed broccoli had lost only 10% of the same health-promoting compounds. Veggies should be cooked in a minimal amount of water to retain nutritional benefits.

Monday, February 11, 2019

How To Find More Free Time

Where does the time go? Even if you work a normal schedule and get a full night’s sleep, you still have about 50 free hours during the week – but most people say they still can’t find free time for hobbies and passions. Take these steps to find more time for YOU: 1. Map your current time use. First track how you use your time. Keep a log for a week or two to get a good representation of how you spend your time now. Try the app Chronos for Android and iPhone for an easy-to-use and comprehensive time log. 2. Create a list of things you really want to do. Try to come up with a list of 50-75 things. Make some of them easy one-day things (visit a museum) that you can quickly accomplish and others things you tend to put off (practicing guitar). 3. Cut out unnecessary time-wasters and replace with something from your list. Cut out the time spent watching TV, surfing the internet, or attending too many functions. Start a new schedule and prioritize things that make you happy instead of time-wasters.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Walk Your Way To Excellent Health and Long Life!

According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control the most beneficial exercise we can do on a regular basis is…walking! All you need is a good pair of shoes and few hours a week to do a simple aerobic conditioning activity that really works. The benefits are substantial – walking helps your heart, lungs, circulatory system, and controls body weight. The positive impact of walking is similar to that of running or jogging without stressful wear and tear on your joints, knees, and shins. If you don’t follow any other exercise program, just simple outdoor walking could add many healthy years to your life.  A Brisk Walk Is Best. You should be able to carry on a conversation and have your breathing slightly elevated.  It’s Easy—Just Walk 20 Minutes A Day. Start slowly, and then build up to longer, faster paced walks. Stretch your muscles (especially the calves and hamstring muscles) before and after you walk. For the best benefit, make a commitment to walk everyday. A recent study in Germany found that walking just two hours a week can cut your risk of heart disease in half!  Walking Relieves Stress And Invigorates Your Mind And Body. Walking will make your heart stronger, improve your lung capacity, and the efficiency of your breathing. Walking circulates more oxygen through your body and is very effective in lowering your blood pressure. A regular walking routine can be your best preventative medicine – greatly lowering your risk of stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and even depression.  People Who Walk Live Longer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an 11-year study of 2,896 adults in their late 50’s who had been diagnosed with diabetes. Researchers found those subjects who walked just two hours a week had a 39 percent lower death rate from all causes! They speculate that if every healthy person in the United States walked briskly just 30 minutes a day, the incidence of many chronic diseases would go down 30 to 40 percent. So grab your shoes and get walking…your body will be glad you did!