Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Posts Tagged ‘habits’

6 Steps to Achieve Your Goals

In Career, Family, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, Relationships, Spirituality on May 8, 2014 at 09:00
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…It does! Let’s make the best out of it!

Would you like to take a look on my agenda? Or the recent notes on my pad?

You wouldn’t need to read between the lines to realize that these days I find myself experiencing random moments, feeling mixed emotions on a constant basis. My ongoing to-do list, the tags on this blog, the outline of our upcoming book or the bookmarks on my laptop, everything reflects how varied is this stage of my life.

As much as work and unproductive distractions try to dominate the scene, there is much more out there and, most importantly, inside us. It is always important to keep in touch with all the relevant pieces of life that genuinely matter to us.

Writing a sympathy letter, fundraising for your favorite cause, requesting sponsorships for an entrepreneurial project, applying for that dream job, listening to that heartbroken friend, giving unsolicited advice to that teenager, remembering deadlines, anniversaries and birthdays, juggling your day-to-day with lifetime projects, keeping yourself updated about your interests and current news, while staying in shape and saneOverwhelming, indeed, but it’s worth it. Everything shows that you care, not only about you, but also about others, and caring is the first move for giving and receiving love.

How can we do that?

I invite you to try this empirical exercise:

1. First, let’s divide our lives in areas.

Relationships, spirituality, health, lifestyle, career, financeswhat would you add? Be aware that there might be aspects of your life that you are not taking into consideration and that might be just what you are missing.

Bonus Tip: If you need help or ideas to start, check out the goal-setting application Mindbloom, our dear contributor Laura Barboza introduced me to it years ago, and I cannot thank her enough.

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…It does! Let’s make the best out of it!

 2. Establish your priorities.

What goes first on your list? Yourself? God? Family? Work? Your partner? What are your big rocks?

What can’t you afford to lose? What can you live without? What is not negotiable? What is urgent? What could wait?

It’s never too late to start prioritizing in life, but ensure you begin  before you learn some  lessons the  hard way.

 3. Set specific goals for each area of your life.

 Be healthy, spend more time with my loved ones, be more productive, get rid of debtOur goals are often  broad, take long to achieve and are difficult to measure. Set more specific goals with close deadlines that  will take us where we want step-by-step while keeping us motivated with little triumphs along the way.

Bonus Tip: I also use apps to achieve my specific goals, from drinking more water (Water Break) to limiting my distractions online (Self-Control).

4. Identify the habits that serve your purposes.

Examine your everyday routine and answer: What do you spend your time, energy and attention on? Are you investing them in a beneficial and positive way? Are your current habits aligned to your purposes? If the answer to the last three questions is yes: Kudos! Keep going! If your answer is no, start reducing or eliminating those activities and substitute them with new habits that get you closer to your goals. Often, we don’t even enjoy certain habits, but we have had them for so long that we don’t realize their negative impact on us. Let’s be honest and complete the blank: We can live without____________________.

5. Plan your day and include one action towards each goal.

Now that we have established our priorities, set specific goals and identified the habits that we need to keep or eliminate, let’s take action and create opportunities to improve. How can we make our day better? What can we start doing today to change our lives? Let’s start right now! Breathe, stretch, choose to call instead of text, be proactive at work, pick a healthier selection for your next meal, find information about that project that you want to volunteer for, put that dollar bill in your piggy bank instead of the vending machine, ignore the urge to check your cell phone in publiceverything counts!

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…It does! Let’s make the best out of it!

6. Check often, be flexible, adjust, and celebrate!

Change doesn’t happen overnight, therefore during our journey to become and live better, we need to reflect and check how we are doing. If the results are not the expected ones, don’t quit. Be flexible, start again and keep going. Add or delete items from your list based on your current needs.

In case you find yourself checking off some of your goals alreadyCongrats! Be grateful and celebrate! Whoop! Whoop!

I recommend you these six steps because I have tried them and they work for me.

I feel better now, living a fuller life after adding the positive details that I craved for years and I keep looking, because no matter how full we think our jar of life is, there is always room for improvement.

 How do you do it? Do you have other ideas? I would love to know, please comment below.

Your tireless cheerleader,

Laura

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Quitting by 30 ‘cuts smoker risk’

In Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle on October 30, 2012 at 16:35

 

Women who give up smoking by the age of 30 will almost completely avoid the risks of dying early from tobacco-related diseases, according to a study of more than a million women in the UK.

The results, published in the Lancet, showed lifelong smokers died a decade earlier than those who never started.

But those who stopped by 30 lost, on average, a month of life and if they stopped by 40 they died a year younger.

Health experts said this was not a licence for the young to smoke.

Former smoker Angela

Angela started smoking when she was 11. “Before I knew it, I was addicted,” she said.

She used to hide her habit by taking the dog out for a walk. At one point she was smoking 10 cigarettes a day and more if she was going out.

After several attempts to quit she was successful: “I had a bit of a health scare and that really gave me the motivation to finally kick the habit.”

She is now 29 and says it is “brilliant” news that quitting before the age of 30 could make a big difference to her health.

“It’s amazing, I can feel it already actually.”

The study followed the first generation of women to start smoking during the 1950s and 60s. As women started smoking on a large scale much later than men, the impact of a lifetime of cigarettes has only just been analysed for women.

“What we’ve shown is that if women smoke like men, they die like men,” said lead researcher Prof Sir Richard Peto, from Oxford University.

He told the BBC: “More than half of women who smoke and keep on smoking will get killed by tobacco.

“Stopping works, amazingly well actually. Smoking kills, stopping works and the earlier you stop the better.”

Professor Peto added the crucial risk factor was “time” spent smoking, rather than amount.

“If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day for 40 years it’s a lot more dangerous than smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years,” he said.

“Even if you smoke a few cigarettes a day then you’re twice as likely to die at middle age.”

He added it was hard to measure the risk of “social smoking” a few times a week.

Early death

The records from 1.2 million women showed that even those who smoked fewer than 10 cigarettes a day were more likely to die sooner.

Sir Richard said that it was exactly the same picture as for men.

The British Lung Foundation said the prospects for long-term health were much better if people stopped smoking before they were 30, but cautioned that this was not a licence to smoke “as much as you want in your 20s”.

Its chief executive, Dr Penny Woods, said: “Stopping smoking can also be difficult to do – an estimated 70% of current smokers say they want to quit, so you shouldn’t start and just assume you’ll be able to quit smoking whenever you want to.

smoking

  • Smoking is responsible for more than five million deaths worldwide every year
  • Smoking tobacco is a known or probable cause of around 25 diseases
  • Cigarette smoke contains 4,000 chemicals that can damage the human body
  • Eighty of which are known to cause cancer

“The best thing for your health is to avoid smoking at all.”

Prof Robert West, from the health behaviour research unit at University College London, said it was important to remember that smoking had more effects on the body than leading to an early death, such as ageing the skin.

“Around your mid-20s your lung function peaks and then declines. For most people that’s fine – by the time you’re into your 60s and 70s it’s still good enough. But if you’ve smoked, and then stopped there is irreversible damage, which combined with age-related decline can significantly affect their quality of life.

“Obviously there is an issue around smoking if they want to get pregnant because it affects fertility and then there are the dangers of smoking during and after pregnancy.”

The chartered health psychologist, Dr Lisa McNally, who specialises in NHS stop smoking services, also emphasised other factors.

Speaking to BBC News, she said: “There’s the danger isn’t there that people could almost take permission to continue to smoke to 30 or even to 40, but actually in my experience younger women quit smoking for other reasons other than life expectancy.

“They’re more concerned about the cosmetic effects.”

The Department of Health has announced that more than 268,000 people registered to take part in its “Stoptober” campaign – the UK’s first ever mass event to stop smoking.

Health minister Anna Soubry said the £5.7m campaign had “exceeded expectations”, adding that smokers were “five times more likely to give up for good after 28 days”.

Source: BBC Health

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