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Many of us want to be more creative. If you¶re a blogger, you are searching for a killer idea for your next post. If you work in marketing or advertising, you¶ll be trying to come up with that brilliant concept that will bring in a swarm of customers. If you have a creative hobby, like painting or writing, you want the next piece to be a masterpiece. Sometimes, we might feel as though we¶re ³just not very creative´. Other people seem to have better ideas and bigger projects. The truth is that there are plenty of ways to help yourself become more creative. Here are ten of my favorites: 1. Read widely and Deeply Whatever field you¶re in, reading can only help. Go to the library and check out some good books ± and don¶t make all of them ones in your area of expertise. Why not get a novel you¶d never normally read, or a book about a topic you have no knowledge on? This can jump-start your brain into working more creatively as you try to assimilate the new information based on what you already know from your own field. 2. Try New Activities Another way to get your brain in gear is to try something totally new. Whether it¶s salsa dancing, pottery or a medieval reenactment, taking up a new hobby can help shake things up and encourage you to think laterally. For example, you might be inspired to write an article using your new interest as a metaphor for something in your main field of work. 3. Talk To Strangers Children are warned about ³stranger danger´, but as adults, we shouldn¶t be too afraid of talking to new people. We naturally associate with people who are like ourselves ± the same income bracket, the same dress sense, the same career or industry ± and this can stifle our creativity by making us feel that ³everyone¶s just the same´. Branch out. Chat to someone you don¶t know in the cafeteria. Say ³hi´ to the person next to you in line at the coffee shop. 4. Reject Your First Ten Ideas One great way to generate ideas, if you¶re stuck for inspiration, is to sit down with a blank piece of paper (or a blank document on your computer) and list at least twenty ideas. Reject the first ten: they¶ll almost always be too ³normal´ and bland. You have to get through these easy ideas in order to be reallycreative. If you¶re writing a short story for a competition on ³murder´ for instance, the first ten ideas you have will be the ones that judges see time and time again. 5. Experiment: Don¶t Be Afraid to Fail We¶re often wary of trying new ways of working or new activities because we¶re afraid we¶ll fail. But there¶s no shame in failure ± after all, as a baby, you failed countless times at walking, talking and potty training« but you¶re an expert in all of those areas now! The path to success often requires trying out a lot of ways which don¶t work. ³If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.´ ±Thomas
6. Make Connections: Link Two Projects Do you have a stack of half-finished sketches or half-written short stories languishing in a drawer? One very effective way to reignite your enthusiasm is to combine two different projects. Take a character from one of your short stories and insert him into the plot of a different one. Mix that fantasy dreamscape sketch with the steampunk idea. Take an idea from that zany game you were designing and put it with the brainteaser series that you had planned. 7. Take An Unusual Perspective If you¶re working on a long-term creative piece, like a blog or a novel, it¶s easy to get stale. Try adopting an unusual perspective. You might write a scene in your novel from the point of view of an inanimate object, or through the eyes of a character whose state of mind has been altered by alcohol or drugs. You could try writing a post on your blog from someone else¶s perspective. For me, one of the most memorable posts on Darren Rowse¶s ProBlogger is ³5 Things You Should Know About My Dad the ProBlogger´, purportedly from the viewpoint of his (at the time) one-year-old son: ³You see my Dad reads more than he writes. I think he does this because his writing gets better after reading what others say and because it means he¶s learning more about his topics.´ 8. Do Your Chores This might sound like odd advice ± after all, chores aren¶t exactly creative. But physical activities like vacuuming, washing the dishes or scrubbing the floors leave your mind free to wander ± and it¶s surprising how manyideas can occur to you when you¶re not sitting staring at your desk. 9. Use A Different Medium If you¶re a writer, try drawing for a change. It doesn¶t matter if you can¶t draw ± use stick figures ± but this can help jolt you out of your comfort zone, allowing you to approach a problem in a new way. If you¶re a painter, try making up a tune and words for a song. If you¶re a graphic designer, use modeling clay or create a collage. Don¶t limit your creativity to just one medium. 10. Daydream: Keep Asking ³What If«?´ The final, and most important tip for enhancing your creativity, is to daydream. Stare into space. Let your thoughts drift. Think about your project when you¶re going to sleep at night ± unusual thoughts often crop up in that half-awake, half-asleep state. Don¶t try to force or rush creativity; give yourself time to let yourideas simmer away in the back of your mind. Which of those ideas work for you? What tips would you add to the above list?
HOW TO MAKE A GREAT IMPRESSION AT PEOPLE AT WORK
So you want to make a great impression at work, this article offers you five great ways to do so. However, this article is not only about making a great impression; it¶s also about embodying that impression. By simultaneously using the five keys below, you will not only get noticed as a top-
Come early or Leave Late Try to consistently arrive at work 15 minutes early. and judicious (even if they¶re not). People who work just a little later.´ Just an additional 15 minutes is often enough to make you the first person to arrive in your department. Order means the accurate arrangement of things. this is a great first tip as long as you use the extra time productively. or leave 15 minutes late. Making a great impression on the job is both an important and worthy goal. task. Working just a few minutes more a day sends a silent positive message to all of your co-workers that you¶re a dedicated employee. and all of the manager¶s where sports coats or pantsuits. . Dress to Impress Everyday Image is everything. or the last person to leave.notch employee. When trying to make a great impression at work. People who dress to impress are assumed to more intelligent. Let your employer know that you¶re organized and that you always prioritize. Keep an Organized To-Do List and Office Always keep ³order´ around everything you do. In addition. An organized and prioritized ³to-do´ lists will help ensure that you never miss a meeting. In addition. or deadline. dressing your best helps you to feel your best. or plan your tomorrow. then you should probably do the same. Give the impression that you¶re already ³one of them. Organize your ³to-do´ lists in a way that gives your most important task your greatest and best attention. ³Everything you do sends a message. but you will actually become a better employee and/or boss. and retain employees who make favorable impressions. are perceived to be more dedicated. It¶s important that you ³package´ yourself for where you want to go. people see who you are before they hear who you are. perception really is reality. or come in just a little earlier. assign more positive traits to a person who has a neat and clean appearance than a person who has a sloppy appearance. Here are five ways that you can make a great impression at work: 1.´ and you¶re just being underpaid. With this additional time you can organize your day. help. you will perform at your best. People in general. What are the benefits? You will have more time to accomplish more work. right or wrong. astute. loyal and concerned (even if they¶re not). If you¶re trying to become a manager in your department. 2. Why is it so important? Because companies and bosses will usually promote. and when you feel your best. 3. people will actually begin to believe that you¶re a hard worker.
Finally.In addition. but they will help you be your best. Even if you¶re an executive. everything you do. No. find out the requirements needed to get where you¶re going. get others involved in helping you attain these requirements. with a high six-figure salary. or at least an assistant. it¶s probably a good idea to help him or her out. so if you want to make a great impression and increase your chances of getting promoted. I am not talking about getting coffee. 4. decide to take charge of your career. high-energy individuals. You will only be rewarded in this life for the problems that you solve for others. I'm talking about the needs they may have as it pertains to the business. Remember. Be the change you want to see on your job. find out what your boss needs and wants. Get Educated What certifications and degrees do the supervisors and managers have where you¶re employed? Find out how you can get those same certifications. they will not only help you make a great impression. Become the Boss's Right-Hand Man/Woman Every boss wants a protégé. be sure to keep your office tidy (but not so tidy that it looks like you¶re not busy). Once again. find out how you can make a difference. this will certainly benefit you on your job. Keep your area presentable. sends a message. go outside of your basic job responsibilities and make a difference in your group or department. be sure to implement the steps above. etc. you know. this will go along way in giving you a great impression at work. I recommend you get those first. These problems could be quite simplistic. You¶ll have to go back to school in order to get a degree. and you¶re the only one around. Leaders are always needed. but determine to make your boss¶s job easier. An organized desk represents an organized person. be sure to get educated. Try to become the right-hand man or woman. In conclusion. so be sure to always see the glass as half-full. the more certifications and degrees you have the more intelligent you will be perceived. People like hanging around positive. 5. Discover the ³work related problems´ your boss is encountering and come up with ways to solve those problems. let people know what your plans are. don¶t wait for someone to come tap-you-on-your-shoulder and tell you that it¶s time for you to be promoted. and soon you will be on your way to being where you want to be. . If they need a strategic thinker. if your boss needs a ³copy´ of a document. Get involved in special projects. Special Bonus: Be Positive Your attitude really does determine your altitude. some certifications are relatively easy to attain. try to be one. A messy desk represents«well. 6. but if you¶re looking to move forward it¶s best to strategically position yourself sooner rather than later.
It could be buying a house or a car. You know that people with written goals succeed. Start With What You Enjoy We all have natural interests and passions ± things that we get really excited about (even though our friends and family might be bemused). and please feel free to add some additional tips below. Maybe you really enjoy playing the trombone. HOW TO SET GOAL WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT You¶ve heard about the importance of goal setting. or success in some way that society has defined. Perhaps you absolutely love everything to do with baseball. Relax! A ³goal´ is simply something which you¶d like to do or achieve. Goals aren¶t things that you feel you ³should´ do. Maybe you¶ve got the impression that goals need to be about money. yes. It could be anything! Write down a list of five or ten things that you really enjoy. Relax Your Ideas on What ³Goals´ Mean We often think that a ³goal´ has to be something big. Thank you for reading. so plan your success today. Maybe you¶d really like to play your trombone in front of an audience (even though the idea scares you a bit). Perhaps your .. 2. Is there a goal buried in any of them? Perhaps you¶ve always had a desire to coach Little League. and any good life coach will steer you away from goals that have been imposed upon you by other people.Success comes to those who plan it. it seems like a futile exercise. you don¶t have any ambitious goals. and you might have read all about achieving ambitious goals. You don¶t have any goals at all. Think About What You Don¶t Want You might have a really hard time figuring out what they want from life. You¶re not really sure what you want from life ± maybe something a bit more than what you¶ve currently got.. Here are four ways to identify the goals that you really want. we all have. but it could also be something which might matter to no-one in the world except you ± perhaps your goal is to learn to bake cakes as good as the ones your grandma used to make. 1. but every time you try to write a list of goals. The problem is. What goals arise from your interests? How could your hobbies become part of something bigger and more meaningful in your life If That Doesn¶t Work .
Do you have a gut feeling that any of them are lacking or out of balance in your life? Do any particular goals or ambitions come to mind? You might find it a useful exercise to write down a score for how you feel you¶re doing in each area (from 0-10. Consider the Key Areas of Life In the great book. with 0 being ³awful´ and 10 being ³perfect´). Now turn these around to find your goals! For example. The Success Principles. We¶ve all heard of (and probably struggled with) impulse spending. and lists these categories as: o Financial o Job/career o Physical health o Relationships o Personal development o Community 4. If you¶re still stuck in your goal-setting. In this case. go through these seven key areas. the above list would become: o o o o I want to reach and maintain a healthy weight I want to have a meaningful life I want a good relationship with my partner (family/kids/etc) I want to work in a job I love 3. Jack Canfield suggests that there are seven areas where you should consider setting goals. try writing a list of things you don¶t want. don¶t you just wish that there was such a thing as impulse saving? Alas. It¶s never going to be the most thrilling word in the world. That could be things like: o o o o I don¶t want to be overweight I don¶t want to live a life without meaning I don¶t want a bad relationship with my partner (family/kids/etc) I don¶t want to work in a job I hate Write down whatever comes into your mind. however great it would be to have a lump sum in the bank. is it? Perhaps you¶d like to start or increase your savings ± but you somehow never have quite enough left at the end of the month. What could you do to raise that score? What goals might you set? Do you struggle with setting goals that are meaningful to you? What are your current goals (if any) and what made you decide to set them for yourself? HOW TO MAKE SAVINGS AS EXCITING AS SPENDING Saving. I doubt that anyone ever has the sudden urge to transfer a wad of cash into their savings account! . Look at the areas where you score low. Plus.interests and hobbies don¶t seem to lend themselves to any actual goals. the process of getting there is distinctly unsexy.
You might even want to make a visual tracker for yourself. this was my postgraduate creative writing course: I knew what it was going to cost. This can really help to keep you motivated when you¶re tempted to spend. To stay motivated and disciplined along the way. perhaps establishing an appropriate amount for your emergency fund. I had about eight months to set the money aside.So how can you make saving a bit more exciting? How can you work towards getting the same thrill from saving money as you do from spending it? Have a Goal in Mind Firstly. and I was determined enough to do it. I¶m definitely more eager to save when there¶s something I really want to use the money for. give yourself mini-challenges.000: challenging. and maybe even relieved. Perhaps: y y y y y You¶re saving up to take a course that could launch you into the career of your dreams You¶re saving for a foreign vacation You¶re saving for a special occasion. this will arise naturally from your goal: you¶ll know how much the course or holiday you want is. like a wedding You¶re saving for a new car or house You¶re saving so that you have an emergency fund and peace of mind (this goal could actually bring you a lot more day-to-day happiness than the others) Talk to other people about your goal. Most recently. Each time you put a deposit into your savings account. on the fridge or even in your wallet ± somewhere you¶ll see it daily. like one of those fund-raising thermometers that charities and churches use. enjoy that great feeling of getting a bit closer to your goal. If you don¶t really have an idea how much you want to save. or write it down: this helps to make it real and concrete in your mind. Set a Total and Track Your Progress As well as having a clear goal for your savings in mind. Keep the bit of card in your daily planner. with each square representing. Other times. you might have to think a bit. give yourself a target to aim for ± an actual figure in dollars (or whatever your currency is). but not unrealistic. . like saving for the cost of a course. Sometimes. proud of yourself. You could use something as simple as a piece of card divided into squares. start with a target of $1. $50 or $100. it might seem like it¶s taking forever to reach your goal. you can track your progress towards your total amount. Give Yourself Mini-Challenges ± And Rewards If you¶ve got a big target. say. Try imagining how you¶ll feel when you¶ve accomplished that goal ± probably happy. Your goal could be a fun one or a serious one. Now. or for the deposit on a new home.
how do you motivate yourself if you're not feeling motivated? I think the feelings are key to understanding the root challenge. give yourself a reward. And. not let your emotions lead you. You have to lead your emotions. So. especially if you're in the midst of some difficult circumstances. and things aren't going the way you planned. and you don't know where the money is coming from to pay the rent. you might have a tendency to fall into a funk. The "fight or flight" response is dependent on feeling fear as its source. too. . crack open some Ben and Jerry's. and save the money you¶d otherwise have spent on buying lunch out Keep a spending log for a month and see if there are any big items there which you can cut down on Find a way to earn an extra $200 this month (perhaps spending a few evenings childminding. books. So. Take one or more of these 8 eight concrete steps to inject some purpose into your situation. This is a poor solution to your problems. You'll end up feeling worse about your situation the less you do about it. gadgets) and put the money into your savings account I¶m sure you can think of lots more! Try to make it a bit fun ± turn saving into a game. let fear work for you. If you're at all like me. you'll end up with a weight problem. (Make it something that costs nothing or next to nothing. Let Fear Take Hold Fear is one of the strongest motivators we have. you might just want to put on some pajama pants. or a couple of Saturdays doing odd jobs) Sell things you no longer use (like DVDs. Issues that seemed to be obstacles before are going to fade to the background. you're going to do whatever needs to be done. sitting around isn't going to solve anything. though!) Are you saving for anything? Do you have a target that you¶re trying to reach? How do you stay motivated along the way? 8 GREAT WAY TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF WHEN YOU DON¶T FEEL LIKE IT Motivation is a tough thing. And when you successfully accomplish one of your challenges. Seriously. and watch TV. you could be more creative in challenging yourself: y y y y Take a packed lunch to work every day for two weeks. You're not always going to feel like doing something. Instead of conquering the world.These could just be specific targets (perhaps at $200 or $500 intervals). Alternatively. if you keep up with the B & J. If you're genuinely concerned about what's going to happen now that you've lost your job. 1.
but sometimes it's the only one that will work. 7. you'll tell as many people as you can. rather than the big picture. For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of daily affirmations. You can take the initiative to lead these folks into a group that supports each . This sounds a bit hokey to some. the men didn't have the option of thinking. If you were to give up on your dream. If you talk to enough people. Find ways to measure yourself. You need to make it specific. if you want to succeed. you'll eventually wonder why it is that you're doing what you're doing. Make It a Game This one works wonders with little kids! If your goal is to clean up toys before bedtime. You write down a sentence or two that specifically details what it is you're going to achieve. they keep their dream to themselves. Tell Someone Else If you have a goal you want to reach. If you're training for a marathon. you read your affirmation aloud to yourself. 4. it's important to look up at the finish line occasionally. You've made a verbal contract in a sense with people whose opinion you care about. but because they're scared of failure. even when there are many other things that are demanding your attention. it becomes harder to give it up. If you don't. or your split times. Once you've publicly acknowledged it. just before going to bed. Be sure to share it with people you respect. or whatever. However. you would lose face with them. Recruit a Group In the course of telling people around you about your goal. quitting that secure day job is a "burn the ships" moment. 6. Keep the Finish Line In Sight A lot of folks have a tendency to look at the next step. but it serves to keep your mind focused on what it is you're working toward. because that's what got you excited in the first place. and at various set points during the day. and they have to succeed. One of his first orders to his men was to burn the ships that they had arrived on. When things were going poorly. "well. even if they have developed a substantial business on the side of their fulltime employment. first thing when you wake up. Most folks don't want this to happen. we can always go home". It keeps your mind on the task at hand. you may run into a few of them that are excited about what you're doing. don't keep it to yourself. This was to remove any thoughts of retreat from their minds. Tell Yourself Daily Make an affirmation to yourself about your goal. For a person who wants to work for themselves. and you need to keep it short. 3. you can continually try to improve on your overall time.2. and you're constantly focused on the day-to-day minutiae. you'll find some that have goals just like you. and constantly try to set personal bests. 5. They may be so excited that they want to do something like it. Then. This is a scary step. There isn't anything to fall back on. It's important to remember the payoff. you parents know that it's often beneficial to race your kids to see who can pick up the most toys in the shortest amount of time. While this technique has its merits. The same thing works with yourself. it goes a little something like this. Remove All Other Options Hernán Cortés landed in Mexico in 1519 in order to secure lands for the Spanish crown.
write. or you have a story about how one of these tips worked for you. If your goal is so big that it scares you. here are eight tips to keep your motivation up when you just don't feel like it. It's really all about fooling yourself into doing something that you know is good for you (like eating broccoli with cheese. The sub-goals you set for yourself should still be something you can be proud of on their own. this may be a good tip for you. even if your words don¶t make much sense. you may discover subjects in your free writing that are important to you and that you may want to write about in more detail. ³I can¶t think of anything to write. At first. huge. With a little work and effort. anyone can write. right?). Many people become anxious when they attempt to write. Here are some ways you can begin to build confidence about writing: y Forget the past Maybe you had a teacher who criticized every other word you wrote. That¶s unfortunate. By taking things in smaller doses.other in reaching each of your destinations.´ just as lifting weights strengthens you physically.´ or. Get a large sheet of paper and some colored pencils. If you can¶t think of anything to write. Break It Up While I said that you need to keep your eye on the prize back up in step #2. No one is born with a writing gene. audacious goal into smaller goals along the way. Let the criticisms go. Some get panicky at the sight of the blank page and say they have a writing phobia. your writing will become more focused. but you also have people available to provide ideas and brainstorm ways to keep going when you get stuck. strengthens your writing ³muscles.´ and continue writing. y Practice free writing Three or four times a week. share it with the rest of us in the comments. Just break it up into chunks. you may produce a lot of gibberish. It's amazing the things that members of an accountability group can accomplish together. but it doesn¶t have to affect you now. HOW TO WRITE WHEN YOU THINK YOU CANT When you have to write something and you feel as if a family of butterflies has taken up residence in your stomach. The act of writing. With different colored pencils. you won't get easily frustrated. you aren¶t alone. Write your topic in the middle of the paper and draw a circle around it. you put yourself in a situation where you're not only afraid of losing face with the other members. there's nothing wrong with breaking up your big. write about a subject for 10-15 minutes without going back to correct your mistakes or judging what you¶ve written. but in time. or you worry about not being able to achieve it no matter how hard you try or how many people you tell about it. y Experiment with clustering Let¶s say you¶ve been assigned a topic in school and you don¶t know where to begin. By having an accountability group. 8. If there's something I missed. So. but they should also advance you toward the main objective. ³I¶m looking for something to write. draw lines from the .
Write your first draft. If something catches your attention. edit. 3. sentence structure. For example. however. Even if you¶re writing a short e-mail (you could do the process in your head in this case). write words that are related to your topic. During the third step. if possible--then go over it one more time. Proofread. Notice the world around you. you¶ve planned and written without judging how you¶re doing. using The Writing Process will help you write more efficiently. you might freewrite about the sea gulls later or make the subject into a poem. Unless you¶re writing a short message (maybe that e-mail I just mentioned) you¶re going to write and revise numerous drafts. Make your cluster as long or as short as you want to. Check your grammar. Remember the old adage: ³All writing is rewriting. Not judging is crucial in the first two steps of The Writing Process. and I¶m not finished yet. and revise Until now. you must question what you¶ve written. Put your work away for a while--a few hours or more. y Carry a small notebook with you.´ This article has gone through five revisions. Plan your writing. and circle them. a problem many would-be writers experience. What do you want them to do or think as a result of reading your writing? Obviously. . What do you want to write about? Tailor your writing to your audience. Extend your cluster by adding words that are related to the words you wrote. you would use a different level of diction if you were writing for children than if you were writing to a group of cardiologists. If you¶re so inclined. get in the habit of following these three steps: 1.circle. jot down a few words to describe it. Simply write down a few of your impressions and try to appeal to more than one sense. y Follow the three steps of The Writing Process In the long run. you see a flock of sea gulls at the beach. Make your cluster colorful. Make certain you¶ve done what you set out to do. This gives you a perspective you wouldn¶t have if you worked continuously. Your notebook entry might look like this: Sea gulls high-pitched squawks swoop down to beach for food large wing span flying in a cloudless sky This activity makes it easy for you to transfer your thoughts to paper. Make a brief outline of your main points. These jottings don¶t have to be profound or even well thought out. 2. and content. Put on your critical hat and leave it on until you¶re satisfied with your document.
we're not talking about blogs and random articles. you can now swap them for other items. or are afraid of being judged. Note that you need to get permission from your carrier in advance and let them know if you want to keep your phone number. Canada. I think all that is worth the effort. . you may begin to look at writing as a powerful tool for communication. We are talking about pure. Australia. letter. check out How Stuff Works. kind of sites. you¶ll be able to produce a decent report. richer. Just think: Your written words can help you express yourself. United States.000 searchable public record databases. Do you? 30+ USEFUL WEBSITES YOU PROPABLY DON¶T KNOW ABOUT No. educate or inspire others. Check out: Cellswapper and CellTradeUSA. Practice using The Writing Process. and keeping a notebook. clustering. get something done now. and Europe.com: If you can't sell your airline points and if you can't use them either. easy way to back-up your computer? Maybe you'd love a new way to discover cool music that is suited to your tastes. Or maybe you just need to find a public toilet. essay. Would you like to get out of your cell phone contract? How about finding a free. Extensive and useful resource! Search Public Records. Only during the last step. but don¶t write and edit at the same time. good news. Eventually. take it too seriously.I¶m convinced that most people have problems with writing because they try too hard. Convert any measurement to another. like right now! Well. should you edit mercilessly. boss! Help for these needs is just a click away! Here are some super useful websites that you've probably never heard of that can help make your life easier. please leave a link in the comments! General Goodness y y y y y y Cellphone Contract Buster. Want out of your cellphone contract? You may be able to do just that. This extensive list will give you the ways to reach a live person at hundreds of companies! Cash in on Airline Points: at Points. Learn to play with words and get ideas by freewriting. and make people laugh or cry. Maybe writing will never become your favorite activity. no nonsense. but if you follow these tips. or story. Links to over 41. and more enjoyable! If you have some favorites to share (and I know you do). How Stuff Works: If you ever need to know how something works from computer related queries to health to business and more. Online Conversions. GetHuman: Stop being frustrated with automated phone systems.
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Backup your computer online for free with either Mozy or Carbonite. though. dear. This is hardly new advice. Ringtones: Check out Phonezoo. you already know some of their interests. These might be hobbies such as woodwork. Maybe you can never quite get them to understand what you do for a living ( so. almost insurmountable. Here are some simple ways to get on well with your grandparents (or other folk of your grandparents generation): Focus On What Interests Them Whenever you want to establish a great connection with someone.y y y y y y Free Paperbacks: Paperbackswap. keep an eye out for books or magazines around the house for clues). or you see them on a very regular basis. Both sites have free offers but the larger packages and durations will need to be paid for. or of good food! This is particularly helpful if most of your hobbies (and your conversations with your peers) revolve around cutting-edge technology or very recent inventions. collecting or entering competitions. & DVD's: Titletrader. .com . Computer Backups . they are both free. Church and community topics are also often of interest. Perhaps you had a lot of contact with your grandparents as a child. (If you re trying to relate to older folk who aren t relatives you know well. FSI does the same and maybe even a little better. You can choose. Free Books. just explain this internet thing again. Learn a Foreign Language: Mango can get you started in 12 different languages. you need to find out what their interests are. at times.com -there's nothing to lose! Also check out Full Books for more free books. it s an important principle in Carnegie s How to Win Friends and Influence People (published in 1936).all for free. you might find that you have to work a bit harder to build up and maintain a good relationship with your grandparents. and use those as a starting point.. Free Technical Support: Did you know that you can get free tech support? Try these free services if you're sick of paying big bucks to Microsoft and other big name companies for help: o Tech Support Guy o 5 Star Support o AskMeHelpDesk o Protonic HOW TO HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR GRANDPARENT Some of us are lucky enough to have a naturally great connection with our parents parents. Perhaps the generation gap seems. Maybe they provide free childcare for you (or free baked goodies my granny is great at this!) Sometimes. Look for timeless interests that you can share with them: perhaps a love of the outdoors. You can create ringtones and download a ton . So how do you find out what interests your grandparents? Chances are.. ) You might also be struggling to establish cordial relations with your partner s grandparents. CD's.donate yours and take others'.
or did you have to work at it? What tips do you have for maintaining a strong relationship? HOW TO LEARN A LITTLE EVERY DAY Something can be said for knowing a little bit about a lot of things. taking a small amount of time to learn something every day is a great way to add to your personal knowledgebase. take the time to choose one with a picture or design that you know will appeal. Perhaps you ve always admired your grandma s ability to make Christmas puddings. you might find it best to avoid discussing certain topics. but depending on your own views and those of your grandparents. avoid letting family occasions turn into an argument. As above. take the time to send an occasional letter or card. a new hobby or interest or simply any new idea.Teach One Another A very powerful way to build up a great relationship is to ask your grandparents to teach you a particular skill. The knowledge you gain. or maybe your great-uncle would secretly love to be able to compete with the younger generation on Guitar Hero. or a community event. If you have differing political views (if you re liberal and they re conservative. or maybe your grandpa is an expert carpenter. Avoid Political/Religious Discussions This isn t always necessary. Whether it s keeping up on current events. pen and paper.. Be as respectful as you can be of their beliefs. Incorporating bits of learning into your every day experience puts you on a path to lifelong learning. Perhaps you were brought up as a strict member of a certain religion. even when you think they are wrong or misinformed. builds your knowledgebase. If your grandparents are still praying for you to return to their belief system. write it the old-fashioned way. or vice versa). and you ve since made up your mind to follow a different path. When sending a card. Send a Handwritten Letter or Card If you aren t able to visit your grandparents very often. Let them know about all the news in your life though keep business or work jargon out. Older people have decades of knowledge and skills to pass on make the most of this! And don t stop there: return the favor by teaching something in return. tools you get and experiences you have with learning a little bit everyday all work together to . ensures that you use your mind.. Ideally. Do you have a great relationship with your grandparents (or other people of a similar age)? Has it arisen naturally throughout your life. Being an everyman or everywoman can propel you to a more efficient. This also goes for religious views. Lifelong learning keeps you engaged in your environment. you probably don t want to go in all guns blazing about why you reckon it s a load of baloney. provides a sense of accomplishment and simply makes you feel good. Perhaps your nan would love to learn how to use email. productive and fulfilled personal and professional life. instead of using a computer (typed letters often come across as business-like or impersonal to older folk). focus on topics of mutual interest: you might want to describe a recent trip to the theatre.
If you were to put away money every day in an account that earned simple interest the balance on the account would accumulate exponentially by the daily addition of principal. Take an article to lunch or add a video to watch to your iPod. make sure you choose some piece of information that fits within your personal goals or might simply add value to your knowledgebase. After you have shut down your computer for the day pull out your learning file and read a new article. web videos of skate boarders smashing through plate glass windows for the sheer fun of it. However. keep a folder of articles either physically or electronically. These things tend to be really useful later . see below) on those subjects. For example. to reading some new article or book chapter or watching a video. For example. learning a little bit everyday can be virtually free if you take the time to find valuable resources. When using the web. However. On average we are all doing way too much in our daily experience. a great way to feel good about your day is to start off with an accomplishment by learning something new. At least every few days choose something to learn that may not be on the top of your list as an interest or might not even be on your list at all. Once you have your interests settled . However. If you can t start your day with a little time for learning something new. try doing it at lunch time or at the end of the day. but let s stick to the learning a little bit a day theme. twenty minutes of learning how to fold a paper swan might come in handy years later as a way to change what s on your mind and bring some focus back into a really stressful work day. By the way. I would venture that most folks reading this article are not heavily into Japanese Origami. add to it daily and your personal abilities will benefit exponentially. The same concept works for your knowledgebase. Use free resources Organized education can be expensive even though a necessity.surprise yourself. exercising or completing a work task. You might try all three before you start your real day. doesn t necessarily add to your lifelong learning experience .find resources (hopefully free.achieve real personal advancement.unless you add it to the what not to do in life column. Organize your interests whether on paper or electronically in a way that can deliver bits of new information to you on a regular basis. Think About What Interests You and Surprise Yourself What ideas. 20 minutes. Think of learning a little bit in your daily routine as simple compound interest on your personal knowledgebase.if not directly then indirectly. Here are a few thoughts on how to incorporate learning a new thing each day into your routine. So. information or things interest you? Answer that question for a moment. Once you have your answer . Pick something out of that folder and dig into it at least once a day. Make it part of your routine and give it 20 minutes Are you a getting things done kind of person? Devote a small amount of time each day. Use the web but also understand its limitations and use your public library. recognize that there are incredible bits and pieces of information to learn from all .
Take notes. One of the most effective ways of making sure you retain something is by getting that piece of learning past your short term memory.over the web from established media outlets. Once you found some of these resources that interest you. Public libraries are an incredible source of free learning. You need to make the most of those 20 minutes of everyday. So. Here are three ways that you could put into practice today. Once in a while. use your 20 minutes to look back at your notes. governments. Practically. at the end of a week or month. Why not give one a try? . in fact it could be that folder. you might be seriously curtailing your gifts. get your card and take the time to find books and other information that fit your interests. Gather those notes because you are going to use them later. if you value being able to help others and contribute. Looking back at your notes will ensure that your knowledgebase was added to and that you have gotten past short term retention. on the article or on a sticky note. it goes without saying that many people are having to make very difficult decisions. An RSS reader can help you organize your learning folder . Note taking can accomplish that by requiring your brain to process the information in another way. universities. For some. A good way to do just that is by taking some action beyond reading or watching. RSS feeds can be a great way to find little bits of new information. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can make a real difference. Overall. and other sources. This can have a negative effect on you. without much money. Or perhaps you've rarely or never given to charity in the past. take some notes . Find your local library. However.yet you yourself have little money to give. that means some hard choices about charitable donations: if you're a regular or occasional contributor to good causes. HOW TO GIVE TO CHARITY WHEN YOU DON T HAVE MONEY TO SPARE Given the current economic climate. see if they serve up their information through Really Simple Syndication RSS. spend some time reviewing Learning something new also requires you to retain all or some of what you ve learned.in a journal. whatever your financial circumstances. you may feel upset or even guilty that you're no longer in a position to do so. cutting back on spending and going without anything not strictly essential. all e-mail programs support RSS and there are many web-based and desktop programs that also support it. it doesn t take long to find a small bit of useful and interesting information that you can retain. Try these few simple tips for learning a little bit every day and enjoy the added value you have created in your personal knowledgebase. but you've been moved by the suffering caused by the financial crisis .
but how about $5 or $2? Foregoing a Starbucks latte once a month could give you enough for this.that's a record-breaking figure.. it's less than one pound (approx $1. and one septuagenarian I know has just abseiled from the roof of a hospital building to raise money for their geriatric ward.you'll be giving your colleagues an easy and quick way to change the world! Get Sponsored to Do Something If you don't have any money of your own to give to charitable causes.Even $1 Is Worth Giving You might not be able to contribute $20/month to a good cause. Save Your Spare Change Do your pockets end up full of small change? Many of us have a jar of coins gathering dust at home. and a televised all-evening event in March) raised £57 million by the end of the televised event . How about saving up all your nickles and dimes for a month. And don't think that you're too old.9 million. the recent Comic Relief fundraising (with thousands of events around the country. on board. or to do something you've always wanted to try but never plucked up the courage to attempt! Here are just a few of the many sponsored events you might consider: y Ask people to sponsor you to lose weight (get healthy AND raise money for a good cause) .. Doing a sponsored event is also a great way to break out of your comfort zone. and donating them to charity (dropping them into a donation jar is an easy way to do this). but add those drops together and you have a river strong and powerful enough to sweep change across the world. instead. with a UK population of 60. Here in the UK. or some work colleagues. I'm not suggesting a Robin Hood plan of robbing from the rich and giving to the poor . tiny children can participate in simple events like sponsored walks. each individual's act may be as insignificant as a single drop of water. It's like voting. how about giving someone else's? No. and an enormous amount of money for people in desperate need. Remember that next time you think that your $1 or $2 bill won't make any difference. you ask people to sponsor you to do something. You're very unlikely to miss them! You could take this idea further by asking friends or colleagues to join in. and asking people to drop in any change that they have? One of the reasons why many of us contribute little or nothing to charity is because we just don't get around to it . (If possible. or that your kids are too young. How about putting a big jar in the kitchen (or some other communal location) at work.) Your options here are really only limited by your imagination.45 at current exchange rates) for every person in the UK. However. get your whole family.
accommodation. Be as ambitious as you want. Set your sights and make it happen. Say you want to start your own business? Your ideas could be put into groups such as: what your company will do. etc. Sort out your finances This can be a tedious job but is essential for goals that involve spending money. You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. and where your money is going out. what staff you plan to have. .. where your business will be. 5.. Know your direction and pursue it . how about organising a "sponsored write"? Which of these ideas could you get going on today? Or have they sparked off any other bright thoughts about how you could get some cash to those who really need it . Organise Get all of those ideas you just wrote down and organize them into workable groups. Using one of your skills: eg. but be ready to be flexible down the road because all plans change at some point. nice car. and positive. How do I do it? I¶m going to let you know how I achieve all those big goals that so many people think they can¶t do. travel expenses. and planning on starting my own business in the next few years. Know what you want The key to accomplishment is to be motivated. determined. what kind of customers you want. Know what money is coming in. if you're a writer. Brainstorm Get a piece of paper and write down all your ideas about your goal.y y y y A sponsored walk (anything from your local park with the kids.without your own budget suffering? Let us know in the comments.in full. It is not going to be easy... etc. Create your own opportunities and you will get what you want. the people who seem to have everything including a big house. then look at your budget. 2. bungee-jumping. 1. If you want to go on holiday. All of this and I¶m only 20 year old and admittedly on a very low income. about to go on a trip overseas. 4. Budget Do some research and find out how much money your goal is going to cost you. there will be many bumps and bruises along the way and you will never get through them if you go into this project half-heartedly. it will never come. Try not to underestimate. hang-gliding.. go online to get prices of flights. HOW TO ACHIEVE AMBITIOUS GOAL Do you get jealous of the couple next door? You know. you don¶t want to be running into hidden expenses later on. and leftover money for holidays with the kids? Don't be. You can¶t just wait around for the perfect opportunity because more likely than not. I am currently building a house. 3. to walking the Great Wall of China) Running a marathon or taking part in an organized cycle event Abseiling.
then you can know what you need to achieve and when you want to do it. If you clearly can¶t remember what their name is the next time you meet. you have something to work towards. and you lose business and career opportunities. 3. Show Up On Time Another basic but essential step is to always be on time. you¶ll look a bit of an idiot if you ask for ³that chap in the third office on the right with a blue dinosaur sitting on his computer´. this is where people give up on their goal because they aren't willing to sacrifice. as well as potential friends and contacts. Just think how you feel when you meet someone for the first time who won¶t make eye contact. So here¶s your guide to making a great impression on people when you¶re meeting them for the first time. judgments about people based on their body language. or very early on in your relationship. that does not mean you have failed in your attempt. 7. and that you¶re organized. Put all of the essential information you have into one document. Remember Their Name One very basic step is to be sure to remember the names of anyone new you¶re introduced to.Do you need to cut back on your spending to save more? Most of the time. Two simple steps to appearing friendly and confident are to smile warmly and to shake hands ± firmly. Plan So now it is time to formulate your plan of action. feeling that it just didn¶t go quite as well as you hoped? First impressions mean a lot. you should have no reason not to carry out all the steps to achieving your goal. Will you need to temporarily get a second job? Will you need a loan? 6. 8. 2. and put them along a timeline. or who leans in way too close. and life will go that bit more smoothly. a business meeting or a personal visit. 1. Just go back through the steps you have taken and see if there is a way you can overcome it. but not so firmly that you crush anyone¶s fingers. But get them right. you¶ll give the impression that you simply weren¶t interested. This will not necessarily be the exact way it pans out. And if you want to get in touch with them in future. Don¶t turn up too early though ± appearing at someone¶s office half an hour early means . but if you have a rough idea of when you want to achieve your goal. Smile and Shake Hands Body language is crucial: we make instant. Unless something substantial and unforeseen happens. Implement This is where your motivation. unconscious. Being prompt shows that you value their time. determination and positive attitude kick in. Get them wrong. And even if it does. Being late will create a bad impression before people have even met you ± not exactly the best way to get off to a good start. HOW TO STAND OUT AND MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION Do you find it hard to connect with new people? Have you ever come away from an interview. Timeline Break your goal up into smaller goals.
Adopt an Abundance Mentality One key reason people struggle to make great friends or build a social circle is because they are coming from a scarcity mindset. it¶s worth keeping things clean. or you¶ve been suffering with multiple health problems. Whatever the actual style.. your clothes absolutely must be clean.. I think friends play a huge part in that. That might mean a suit for a business meeting. or in a business context: language which might go down fine with the same people after-hours might fall very flat in the office. or with greasy hair. or a bottle of wine for your hosts at a dinner party? 6.) How about bringing a box of chocolates for a client¶s office when you¶re visiting them. I've already written a guide on how to make friends and being a social person is obviously going to help with this aspect of your life. . casual smart wear for meeting your significant other¶s parents for the first time.you¶ll have to sit around until your appointment. flattering clothes that send the right message. If I think back to some of the happiest and craziest moments in my life. Stay upbeat and cheerful. Pay Attention to Your Clothes and Grooming Give yourself enough time to dress in well-fitting. and people will warm to you. they¶ll still be running around with the vacuum cleaner. Additionally. 4. and showing up at someone¶s house early is not terribly polite: if your hosts are anything like me. Don¶t tell off-color jokes or use curse words. They don't realize that there are literally billions of potential friends out there and lots of people that you are going to meet on your journey through life. 7. 5. And of course you¶d never dream of showing up reeking of sweat. there's no doubt that they involved some of my closest friends. Even if you had a horrendous journey to get to your meeting.. as this would probably come across as a bit weird and could even be interpreted as an attempt at bribery. Watch Your Language Until you get to know people. taking a small gift for the person or people you¶re meeting is a lovely gesture. Have a Positive Attitude Most of us are quickly put off by someone who grumbles constantly. but double-check your appearance in a mirror too ± spinach between the teeth happens to the best of us. or something creative and zany when going for that job interview at an advertising agency. This particularly applies when meeting older folks.. and when it comes to getting the most out of life and having fun. How do you create a great first impression? What have others done at a first meeting that¶s really impressed you? HOW TO BUILD YOUR SOCIAL CIRCLE They say it's not what you know but who you know. these five points below should definitely help you in the process of growing your social circle. (I wouldn¶t recommend it for job interviews. your new acquaintances don¶t need to be told the details. Take a Small Gift In most situations.
Look at ways you can help to make other people happy without relying on your own happiness to come from your environment. In other words. if that is your default state then it's going to feel draining to others who spend time with you. However. When you do organise some events. I've also met . that's normal.) and through my job which seems to be a common thing. be your best self. etc. However. school. college. don't lie about your interests and don't agree with things you disagree with. To help. A genuinely fun person tends to keep a positive outlook. which gives you a great chance to expand your 'network'. if you like making music then sign-up to a college / university course or go online and find other people who like it as well. constantly feeling they are going to be brought down with you. Be a Genuinely Fun Person There will be times when you are feeling low and you want to talk about this feeling to others and that's fine. rather than problems. This is a genuinely fun person and this is the type of person that people want to be around. Be yourself. make some plans. off the top of your head. Organize Events People like to keep in touch with the person who is always throwing cool events. The point here is that you will find people who like the same things as you. you should actively pursue those passions. Meetup is a great site to find people getting together around topics that may interest you. some of mine include: y y y y Public speaking Going to nightclubs Personal development DJing / Making music Once you know the things that you like to do.e. it's likely that your friends will also bring their friends that you haven't met.Knowing that there are lots of opportunities to make friends. Actively Pursue Your Passions Think of some things that you really enjoy doing right now. so you already have some common interest which tends to quickly build rapport. If you like public speaking then join Toastmasters. but get people together and put new people in touch with each other. you should realize that you don't have to 'change' to get other people to like you. a house party or a day out go-karting. Be Open to Making New Friends If I look at some of my best friends. I've met most of them through education (i. You don't have to do all the work. see problems as situations or opportunities. Whether it is a trip to a nearby city.
Workout Till Failure The general rule for losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat. Hopefully these tips will help you expand yours. Eat More Obvious? Yes. Foods such as chicken. some excellent articles already covering this topic include this one and this one. and the general rule for gaining weight is to eat more calories than you burn. 2. free weights tend to be the best for gaining weight and building muscle. only later to find out they skip breakfast and put in two big meals per day. over 50. 3. You don't 'just' have to make friends through your current friends and the people they know. Push Ups and Barbell Curls. the weight gain market is also surprisingly large. If you are looking to lose weight. 6 STEPS TO HELP YOU GAIN WEIGHT AND BUILD MUSCLE While weight loss is one of the biggest industries in the world. here are six steps to do exactly that. and experience more of our time here. . if you also want to build muscle then you need to shock your body into growth.people that later became close friends at the likes of running clubs. Use Free Weights Although Gym's tend to be packed with machines for all different muscle groups. you simply will not grow if you don't provide your body with enough food to do just that. from working out your neck to your thighs. with over $30bn spent annually on related products. In fact. Building a social circle is definitely one of the best ways to get the most out of life in my opinion. You walk past amazing people every single day and you never know when you might come into conversation with someone.000 people every month go to one of the major search engines and look for ways to gain weight. Always put into action? No. For those of you that would like to put on some pounds though instead of shed them. tuna. Deadlifts. No matter how much time you spend in the gym. You will see some people say that they are 'eating loads'. You should also look to eat medium sized meals but on a more regular basis (at least 4 meals per day) as your body can only digest so much of the nutrients you are giving it in one serving. speaking clubs and even standing in the line for a nightclub. nuts and peanut butter are great as they are high in protein. 1. Using free weights means that your body takes the strain of all movements that you make. I'm in the process of 'bulking' (gaining weight) and am a member of a number of forums where the topic is discussed. It is best that you do what are known as compound exercises such as Squats. However. Don't assume that just because you're not talking to someone in normal context it doesn't mean you can't arrange to meet up with them at another time.
Just remember. You need to keep up a consistent effort in order to achieve and maintain a good standard of physical health. Of course. it's likely that you'll very quickly hit a plateau. Eat big. However. without changing things up.Lots of repetitions at an easy weight is most likely to turn what you have into muscle and essentially tone your body. 4. and you're certainly not going to gain weight overnight. This means staying motivated and choosing to head out for a jog or gym class when you¶d rather just sit on the sofa to watch American Idol while downing a bag of potato chips. Simply stick to your plan and the results will follow. 6. then you will constantly have to increase the weights you lift and your food intake to continue growing. Your muscle doesn't grow in the gym but only during resting period. Get Lots of Sleep This is common knowledge. or twenty minutes of vigorous exercise. most of us either have some health related goals or need to get with it and create some. HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED TO MEET YOUR HEALTH GOAL Let¶s face it. Around every 4 weeks is a good time to increase the weights you are lifting and around every 6-8 weeks you should look at your calorie intake. 5. If you keep to a certain diet and workout routine. no matter how long it might take to increase your muscle size. Stick to Your Plan You aren't going to lose weight overnight if that is your aim. if you want to use your extra caloric intake to grow muscle then you need to lift very heavily for around 4 sets of 8 repetitions per exercise. It could take months or even years to see some major noticeable differences in your weight gain efforts but don't let the time length put you off. less than half of the US manages to meet the government¶s minimum exercise target (either thirty minutes of moderate exercise. so try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night to allow your body to react and grow. If you miss any of these then you are going to get some lackluster results. You shouldn't be able to do another set when you are finished. train hard and sleep well is the three keys to successful weight gaining. Regularly Increase Weight + Food Intake If you are what is known as a 'hard gainer'. five days a week. Think about it. you should be tracking your results to see when these changes are necessary for your situation. The trouble with health goals is that you don¶t just achieve them and stop. but something a lot of people tend to miss. three times a week). the above figures are simply a guide. . the time is going to pass anyway so you may as well spend it doing something productive.
Brushing your teeth is simply a habit. and health checks to ensure there¶s no medical problems that would prevent you exercising. Some good things to track are: o Your weight (most dietitians advise weighing weekly.000 words is less scary when broken down into 200 days of 50 words each. it¶ll become as much a habit as brushing your teeth is. and what level you¶re working at If you have a daily goal. such as portions of fruit and vegetables eaten. (For example.) You can do something similar with your health goals: being able to see the progress you¶ve made can give your motivation a huge lift on days when you¶re wondering why you bother. o Your waist. to avoid any discouragement caused by natural day-to-day fluctuations). the more reluctant you¶ll be to skip a day and break the chain. again. or grams of fiber o Exercise sessions: keep track of how many you do in a week. chest and hip measurements o Specific nutrition goals. it helps to keep track of your daily or weekly progress. look out for any bad habits that you have established in your eating or exercising habits. In particular. Or. If you go for a walk every day before breakfast for three weeks. writers often keep track of their daily word count towards a book ± 100. referrals to a dietitian. Find a friend who also wants a healthier lifestyle and share your triumphs and struggles with one another.Here are a few ways that will help you stay motivated. Do you always buy a mid-morning muffin from the canteen at work? Do you pour yourself a glass of wine with dinner every evening? Try limiting your habitual indulgences to occasional treats ± you¶ll find that you enjoy them all the more. A great way to circumvent the need for motivation is to turn your health goals into habits. y Track Progress When you¶re working on a big goal. The idea is to create an unbroken chain of crosses. look for someone who¶s successfully lost weight ± perhaps a family member or colleague ± and ask for their advice and tips. . Your doctor can provide a lot of help and support ± such as diet plans. don¶t feel that you have to do it alone. this becomes nearly automatic. day after day ± the longer you manage it for. then mark a cross on the calendar or in your diary each day that you achieve it. y Make It A Habit Do you brush your teeth every day? Hopefully so ± and you probably don¶t ever think about being ³motivated´ to do it. long-term goal like losing weight. chances are. If you always eat a piece of fruit before deciding if you really want that chocolate bar. such as ³do at least thirty minutes of exercise each day´. y Get Support When you¶re working on a challenging.
Have you got a health goal? How do you keep up your motivation over the long term? . Don¶t fall into the trap of running through exactly the same exercise DVD every couple of days. one of the reasons why many people give up on their diet or exercise plan is because they get bored of it. Don¶t eat the same thing for lunch and dinner every day ± even if it does let you tick all the nutritional boxes. . Get the gym instructors to demonstrate a piece of equipment you¶ve never tried before.y Try Something New Lastly. or using the same three pieces of equipment in the gym. Look through your recipe books. Try mixing things up a bit: it¶s good for your body and your mind. and try cooking a dish you don¶t normally eat. Have a go at a new exercise class (even one you think you won¶t like). or search for healthy recipes online.
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