Issue 21
L E A R N I N G, L A U G H I N G & S T R E S S - F R E E L I V I N G
“This Year
I’ll Exercise”
How to Really
Keep Your Fitness
When the Brood
is Rude
How to Deal
with Them and
What You Can
Learn from
Teaching Civility
to the Kids
4-Day Attitude Diet
How to Acquire a
Positive Attitude
The Ten Things
Stopping You
from Reaching
Your Goals
Why You Burn Out
and How to Revive
featured article by
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Letter from the Editor
Editor in Chief: J. Carol Pereyra
Production / Designer: Marcelo Holzinger
Subscriptions: Arleen Zenzen, Jenny Hollis
Marketing: Joe Pereyra
If consistently working towards your goals were a
test, I would not get a passing grade so far for 2011.
Would you?
Staff Writers: Nicki Blake, Lou Isaacs
Roey King, Rene Brunts, Robyn Sabes
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D
Danita Johnson Hughes, Ph.D
Terri Levine, MCC, PCC
Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
Scott Greenberg
Marcelo Holzinger
Jill Cook-Richards
Lesley Cordero
Judith Viorst
Eric Adler
Rob Stringer
Tony Davies
Lynn Bode
Vincent Iannelli, M.D.
Virginia Bola, PsyD
Dr. Marjorie Wolter
Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Janet Greenwood
Andrea Redmond
Patricia Crisafulli
Kevin Eikenberry
Keith Varnum
Jean Kelley
Kendra Cherry
Maria Gracia
JoAn Majors
Randy Glasbergen -
Dennis Cox -
Jonny Hawkins - [email protected]
Here we are, almost knee deep into the year, and if
you’re like me, “life” has already gotten in the way
of your good intentions. I haven’t stuck with some
of the things that I resolved to do on January 1. But
the good news is that, no matter the month, we have
the entire rest of the year to make it happen. We still
have plenty of time to turn this “New Year” into a new me and a new you. But only if
we start . . .
A brand-new you isn’t as difficult as it sounds. It simply means that we take the things
we want to improve and we make them better. It means we replace unhealthy habits
with healthy ones. And it means that if we’re willing to change just one thing, and make
just one positive step in the direction of our goal, then we’re headed back on track!
Going Bonkers Magazine
P.O. Box 6190
Katy, Texas 77491
Phone: 281-492-1605
Fax: 281-754-4458
E-mail: [email protected]
Volume 5, Number 1 (February 2011)
Going Bonkers (ISSN 1933-7752) is published
bi-monthly by Going Bonkers, LLC.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2006-2011 Going
Bonkers, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part
without written permission is prohibited. Going
Bonkers, Bonkerisms, Bonkeroids, Bonkers Bits,
Wacky Wisdom and 60-Second Self are trademarks
and the use of these trademarks is strictly prohibited.
But how do we begin again, and stick to it? Well, when we’re not feeling well, we see
a doctor. When our car needs repair, we see a mechanic. So when we’re stuck in old
habits, not living the life we want, who do we turn to? Our experts!
We’ve lined up best-selling authors, teachers, and doctors, who are experts on change
and goal setting, to guide us on our journey. Each article is designed to offer us information, motivation, and the skills that will help us get back on our goal track.
The journey through change isn’t easy – but it’s worthwhile. So jump in with me and
let’s get started. And the next time goal report cards come around, we’ll be confidently giving ourselves an A+.
Blessings to each of you,
J. Carol Pereyra
Editor in Chief
Join us
on Facebook.
Let’s share your goals
and your progress. I’ll be
posting mine! I’ll see
you there…
The articles and information contained in Going
Bonkers Magazine are for entertainment purposes
only, and are not intended to diagnose or treat
physical, mental or emotional illnesses.
If you are sick, please consult a doctor.
Photo by Frank Wang ~
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Volume 5
Number 1
On the Cover
What’s Stopping YOU?............................................................
The Ten Things Stopping You from Reaching
Your Goals
Difficult Family Members........................................................ 48
How to Deal with Them and What You Can Learn
Why You Burn Out & How to Revive
From Them
When the Brood is Rude.......................................................... 59
Teaching Civility to the Kids
“This Year I’ll Exercise”........................................................... 70
How to Really Keep your Fitness Resolutions
4-Day Attitude Diet...................................................................
How to Acquire a Positive Attitude
Relationships & Family
Parenting Resolutions..................................................................
Resolve to Be a More Effective Parent this Year
Gender Matters............................................................................. 12
Decoding the Communication Differences Between
the Sexes
Disneyland Dad’s (and Mom’s).................................................... 16
Understanding the Divorced Parent’s Guilt Trips
and Guilt Traps
The Choice..................................................................................... 18
A New Way of Looking at Relationship Issues
Family Matters.............................................................................. 21
How to Make More Family Time
Family Goal Setting...................................................................... 32
Featured Article by
Self Improvement
11 Questions to Kickstart Your Dream................... 6
Great Idea!................................................................ 10
How to Turn Your Ideas Into Action
Life Lessons Learned from a Senior....................... 20
Looking Beyond Age 65
Resilience.................................................................. 22
Bouncing Back and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles
Take a Laugh Break 40
Wacky Wisdom 50
Bonkeroids 55
Ask The Expert 58
Bright Idea 66
Life is Funny 68
The Three Pillars of Success................................... 24
The Joy Thief Within................................................ 30
Understanding the Beliefs and Behaviors
that Steal Your Joy
Writing Great Specific Goals................................... 35
5 Simple Ways to Get and Stay Organized........... 42
Cause or Effect....................................................... 38
Stress Busters........................................................... 44
Surefire Strategies for Success Over Stress
Terrible Tuesdays.................................................. 42
Bonkers Eye Focus................................................ 47
The Healing Power of Art........................................ 52
How to Use Art & Beauty to Manage Stress
The Five Minute Mission...................................... 53
Is Bargain Shopping As Good As Sex?............... 66
Surprise!................................................................. 71
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.................................... 56
Ten Ways to Make Your Life Easier
Tough Conversations............................................... 67
How to Say What Needs to Be Said . . .
Unresolved Emotional Issues
The Art of Detachment
How to Keep a Resolution....................................... 64
Understanding the Stages of Change
I AM Good Enough!................................................. 62
How to Dump the Old Tapes and Increase
Your Self-Image
How to Get What You Want Out of the New
Year Resolutions...................................................... 46
Goal Setting Skills for the New Year
A Winning Attitude
How to Change Your Future
Questions to
Kickstart Your
By Keith Varnum
Do you want to give your goals and
dreams a jumpstart for the new year? If
the answer is “yes” then write them down
and ponder these questions to speed up
their delivery!
Do you really, really
want this dream?
Do you bound out of bed every morning
to pursue your vision? Or is it a lukewarm
dream you chase because it sounds meaningful? Only the real deal will generate
enough energy to be realized. Is yours the
real deal? Is this goal or dream a burning
desire? If it is, then you’re ready. If it’s
not, then focus on the one that is!
What’s your highest
priority this year?
What’s most important for you to experience, explore or embrace this year? Get
clued into your true joy. When your goals
are aligned with your authentic self, synchronicity kicks in to guide you to your
Is this your dream, or
someone else’s?
Are your goals your own choice, or what
others think you should strive for? You
have a divine right, and a self-obligation,
to listen to your own heart.
Are you settling for
less than?
Are you resigned to accepting less than
your full share of love, health and success
this lifetime? Have you compromised and
sacrificed your dream to death? Anything
short of living your true passions will
never make you happy.
Is your dream actually
just a means to some
other dream?
Is your goal the ultimate end in itself, or
merely a limited means to that end? Is it
the money – the means – to buy the new
car, or the new car itself that you really
want? More to the core, isn’t it really a
renewed sense of self-worth you desire,
rather than the new car or house to
impress the family and neighbors? And
isn’t it really happiness you want, rather
than the picture-perfect mate, car, job or
Focus on the experience you want to create, not the physical form that may or may
not bring you that experience.
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What will you feel
like when you reach your
Personal passion fuels dreams.
into the thrill and exhilaration
feeling of living your dream.
moment you can, drink in the
having your goal.
of the
joy of
How will you
benefit from getting
your dream?
Get specific about the benefits you’ll
receive from achieving your goals.
Write down the benefits so they will
sink in as motivators. What exactly
would happen if you made a lot of
money doing something you love? How
would you approach your life differently if you allowed people to love and
support you? What would you do with
your new vitality and good health?
What steps can you
take today toward your
your progress. Track those little wins –
by writing in a journal or telling a
Are you telling
yourself: "I can’t have
my dream?"
Many people believe they can’t live
their dream. Their belief system has
them believing they can’t achieve it, or
that they don’t deserve them. To avoid
the pain of feeling they can’t have their
dream, they often keep their dream
buried deep inside. What do you really
Are you afraid
of getting your dream?
Are you stuck
on achieving your goal
or dream by only one
specific method, or in
a particular way?
If so, then enter the "hootless state" –
the stage where you no longer give a
hoot if the exact "picture" of your
dream comes true. When you relax
your grip on the exact way your future
"must" unfold, you give yourself, and
the Universe, more flexibility in how
your dreams can be fulfilled. GB
About the Author
Keith Varnum shares his practical
approach to transformation as an
author, radio host and "Dream
Change is scary, even good change.
Instead of living in fear, harness the
energy created by your fear and find a
way to use it in your favor. It’s true that
achieving your dreams may be life
threatening! – but only to your old self
– the parts of your life you want to
Workshops" facilitator. Keith helps
people get love, money, health
and spirit with his free Prosperity
Ezine, free Empowerment CD and
free Coaching at
Don’t defer your dream. Set up supports
and systems around you to instantly
translate your intentions into action.
Jump on every opportunity that is in
line with your purpose and vision.
Keep the momentum going. No matter
how hectic life gets, pledge to take at
least one action a day. Even the smallest
actions – jotting down a new idea, reading a single page, or making one phone
call – can start to add up.
Are there smaller projects that lead to
your larger dream that can give you
pleasure in the meantime? If the dream
is to run a marathon, train for a local
fun-run first. And find a way to measure
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By Vincent Iannelli, M.D.
Often, our New Year's Resolutions
include a list like: exercise more, eat
healthier, or stop smoking. But this year,
consider adding some resolutions to
become a more effective parent.
Here are some parenting resolutions to
consider. The changes you make in these
areas will help your child lead a healthy
and happy life!
Be a Good Role
Most parents do not realize the amount of
influence they have over their children.
Children are more likely to smoke, have
an unhealthy diet, not wear a bicycle helmet or seatbelts, or make poor food choices, if one or both parents have these bad
Model good behaviors and activities, such
as sharing, not letting your temper get out
of control, not making racist or insensitive
comments about other people, and teaching your children how to handle frustration. Make your own list of behaviors that
you need to improve on, for yours and
your child’s sake.
Effective Discipline
Learning to effectively discipline your
children is important, both to teach them
how to behave and to minimize bad
behaviors. Remember that discipline and
punishment are not the same thing.
Punishments include time outs, taking
away items, etc, where discipline is about
teaching. If your child hits or has a
tantrum, a time-out or taking away a privilege may let him know that it wasn't the
right thing to do, (punishment) but he
won't know what is the right thing unless
you show him. Take some time after your
child gets in trouble to explain or model a
better or more appropriate behavior. If
you are having problems disciplining your
child, then get some help. All children are
different, and what works for one may not
work for another, so you may not be doing
anything wrong, but you may need to
learn some alternative methods.
Most importantly, when your child gets in
trouble, stay calm, avoid physical punishment, be consistent, and learn to reward
and praise good behavior to reinforce it.
Whenever possible, let your child face
natural consequences for his actions.
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Learn to Understand
Your Child
Do you understand why your child does
the things he does? Why does a toddler
look at you and then hit his brother or
throw something on the floor? Doesn't
he know it is wrong? Maybe, but he
likely isn't doing it to be mean or bad.
Most children try to explore their limits
and see what they can do. It is a normal
part of development, and if you understand your child's reasoning, you are
less likely to get mad. And giving a big
reaction, even a bad one, is only reinforcing a bad behavior. Why? Because
he wanted your attention and he got it.
Why does your older child always leave
her clothes on the floor? Doesn't she
know she is going to get in trouble? It
depends on how you handle it, as to
whether or not she will learn to stop
doing it. Do you just yell a few times
and constantly remind her to pick up
her clothes, toys, etc? Does it turn into
a fight? Stop the insanity! Instead, just
remind her, in a calm voice, to pick up
her clothes. If she still doesn't, then
remind her again and this time, calmly
tell her that if she doesn’t do it by (set a
time) that you will pick up with
clothes/toys, and she won't be able to
wear/play with them again for a few
weeks. If the time passes and she still
doesn't pick them up, then offer no
more reminders or discussion. Just
calmly and quietly pick up the items
and put them away for the set amount of
time. If it is a favorite shirt, just not
being able to wear it should teach her to
be more mindful of her chores. And
during the days following, whenever
you see her clothes picked up, be sure to
praise her. However, do not, and we
repeat, do not cave and give her back
the confiscated items early. Stick to
your word.
This technique works well for toys and
video games too. If you’ve asked your
child to turn off the video game, and
you glance over and they are still playing, say, “if it’s not off in (state an exact
time)” then you can’t play it for 3 days.
They may test you and continue playing, but that will not happen often after
their video privileges are gone.
Likewise, in the future when they do
quit playing upon request, be sure to
offer praise for their great listening.
Many parents often unknowingly reinforce their child's bad behaviors by providing too much negative attention, like
yelling, and not enough positive attention, like praises when they are behaving.
Teach Your Children
to Eat Healthy
Most parents need to stop telling their
children to clean their plates at each
meal. Instead, your child should learn to
eat until he feels full. If he consistently
leaves half of his meal on his plate, then
as long as he is growing and developing
normally, give up the fight. If it really
bothers you for your child to leave food
on his plate, then you may consider giving him smaller portions so that he will
be more likely to finish everything.
Also, provide healthy choices, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats and
low fat dairy products (once your child
is 2 to 3 years old), and limit the amount
of juice, soda, high sugar and high-fat
foods that your kids eat.
Encourage Regular
Physical Activity
An increasing number of children and
adolescents are becoming overweight,
partly because of a poor diet and partly
because of too many sedentary behaviors, such as watching TV, and playing
video and computer games. In addition
to healthy eating habits, regular physical activity for at least 60 minutes, on
most days of the week, can help to keep
your kids fit and healthy.
Do you know how to talk to your kids?
There are a lot of things that you need
to talk with your children about, including sex education, how to handle peer
pressure, smoking, drugs and alcohol
use. Have you talked to your older child
about these important topics yet? If age
appropriate, make this the year you start
those conversations.
Be Prepared
Do you know what you will do the first
time you are faced with a specific parenting problem, such as your child
lying, stealing, skipping school? You
can't prepare for every situation, but a
little advanced planning can help when
you are faced with a common, although
difficult parenting problem. Sit down
with their other parent, or alone if they
aren’t in the child’s life, and make your
plan. GB
About the Author
Vincent Iannelli, M.D., is a board
certified pediatrician and Fellow of
the American Academy of Pediatrics
and is the author of The Everything
Father's First Year Book.
Dr. Iannelli currently has a private
pediatrics practice in a suburb of
Dallas and he is an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University
of Texas Southwestern Medical
School in Dallas. He is also the
webmaster and creator of, a website for medical and parenting
advice. In addition to being a member of the American Academy of
Pediatrics, he is also a member of
the Texas Medical Association and
Dallas County Medical Society.
Just when you know all the
answers, nobody bothers
to ask you the questions.
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Great Idea!
How to Turn Your Ideas Into Action
Great ideas! – we all have them! But
having a great idea and actually making
it happen are two very different things.
the space and time to turn the idea into
reality. It has to move from the idea
stage into action. Focus your energy on
making that happen.
This is the year to bring your great ideas
to life! And it all starts with action
steps. Here are six actions you can take
right now to help you implement those
great ideas.
Get Over Them
Get Aligned
Whether you are an individual or part of
an organization, there are goals and
objectives in front of you. What are the
most important things that you are trying to accomplish? Having a good idea
isn't enough. The idea must also be relevant and important to your goals. Ideas
that don't pass this first test should be
set aside for later (or never).
Get Clarified
Ideas in their infancy are fun and exciting, but they are seldom complete or
crystal clear. Before taking action on
your ideas, make sure you truly understand what is involved in the idea and
what results you expect. This step is
especially important for ideas that will
be implemented by a group, as not
everyone will have the same clear picture of the idea until it is clarified.
Get Organized
If your idea has passed the first two
tests, it is time to plan. Figure out the
implementation steps. Think about the
timeline. Put this idea into the larger
scope of your efforts. Time spent in
By Kevin Eikenberry
planning and organizing will always
pay dividends.
Get Help
You may not be able to turn your idea
into reality by yourself. Your planning
should help you see where you might
need other experience, insight or another pair of hands. This is true for teams
as well. Think about what resources you
will need and work on lining them up
early on. When you do, you’ll see your
idea become reality much more quickly.
Get Focused
Once you have decided which idea(s) to
implement and you have a plan, you’ll
need to make the time to make it happen! Getting focused means creating
You may have an idea (or many) that
you love. Remember that there is a big
difference between a good idea and the
right idea. You may have many good
ideas on your list. For some of them the
time isn't right. Some of them aren't
important enough. Some won't be completely aligned with your goals and
objectives. That is OK. In order to
implement our best ideas sometimes we
must be willing to let go of, or at least
defer, some others. When you are willing to do this you improve your chances
of implementing the one you have chosen.
In the end, as important as creativity
and idea creation is, it requires action
before any idea will have real value.
These six steps can help you take that
all important next step on your ideas. GB
About the Author
Kevin Eikenberry is an expert in
converting organizational, team and
individual potential into desired
results, and the Chief Potential
Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry
Group. He is the two-time best selling author of Vantagepoints On
Learning And Life and Remarkable
Leadership: Unleashing Your
Leadership Potential One Skill at a
Time. Kevin can be reached at
(317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER
and through his website,
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Decoding the Communication Differences
Between the Sexes
By Jean Kelley
Women: Do you ever wonder why your
husband or boyfriend can sit idly by
watching television while you’re scurrying about cleaning the house, paying
the bills, doing the laundry, answering
e-mail, and watching the kids – all at
the same time?
Men: Do you ever get frustrated when
you’re talking with your wife or girlfriend about one topic and she brings
fourteen more topics into the conversation – all of which seem totally unrelated?
We all know that men and women think
and act differently, whether at work or
at home, but knowing there are differences between people is only half the
battle. To have successful relationships
with members of the opposite sex, you
also have to know why those differences matter and what to do about them.
The good news is that with a little
insight into men and women, you can
overcome the apparent communication
and behavioral challenges that plague
any relationship and gain greater understanding of each other.
ing back into human evolution. Once
upon a time about a million years ago,
communities consisted of hunters
(men) and gatherers (women). The
hunters left every morning and tried to
hunt food for the community. The gatherers stayed home and gathered the nuts
and berries and made preparations for
the food the men would bring back. So
as far back as scientists can tell, women
and men had different roles, and
through that developed different ways
in which their brains worked.
of a man’s brain at rest and a woman’s
brain at rest, you’ll see that the
woman’s brain is busy and firing everywhere, whereas the man’s brain is quiet.
This is not to say that one gender is better than the other; it’s simply an illustration of one of the many differences
between men and women and how it
For example, a man’s brain goes in and
out of a rest state all day. Millions of
years ago when men sat in trees waiting
for their prey, they had to be quiet and
disengaged. They didn’t want to scare
away their potential dinner. So their
brain evolved to learn to engage, disengage, engage, disengage throughout the
Brain chemicals. Men produce more
Once Upon a Time…
Women, on the other hand, couldn’t do
that. They had to be on high alert all
day, protecting themselves and their
children as they gathered necessities
and tended to the community’s needs.
Their brains evolved to be always
Before we can look forward to a harmonious future, we need to begin by look-
In fact, if you look at a functional MRI
So what else is different from a brain
wiring perspective? Here are a few
testosterone, and women produce more
oxytocin. Testosterone is an aggressive
chemical, and oxytocin is a “tend and
befriend” kind of chemical. These
chemicals are a person’s primary driver.
Cycles. While women have a 28 day
cycle, men have a cycle every day.
Their testosterone spikes in the morning
when they wake up (so they can go out
and hunt), wanes in the afternoon, and
spikes again in the evening around 8
p.m. It then goes back down, only to
repeat the cycle the next day.
Brain matter. Men have more gray
matter, while women have more white
matter. The gray matter is used for local
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processing of thoughts and tasks. The
white matter is what connects everything. This is why when a woman is
processing an emotional event, it will
take her much longer to do so. She’s not
just processing the event; she’s also
processing what her friends have said,
what she read in a book, and what she
saw on TV. A man is processing locally, and he’s just processing that one
Hierarchy. While both men and
women understand hierarchy, men really understand it. Whoever brought back
the biggest animal from hunt received
the most status in the community. So
that desire to be “top dog” is innate in
men. Likewise, the women wanted to
hook up with the men who had the best
resources – the men who could provide
the most food for the family. That, too,
is biologically wired, as we see today
how women naturally favor the man
with the most resources.
Of course, there are always exceptions
to every rule. Within the spectrum of
both male and female brains, there are
gradations. There is also something
called the “bridge brain,” which is
someone who has characteristics of
both the male and female brains.
Why this Matters
Because we’re communicating with
each other every day, knowing the differences in gender communications is
vital. Much has already been written
about personality, values, and behavioral differences in communication;
now it’s time to overlap gender differences into the equation.
For example, while women are more
verbal and social, men are quieter at
home. However, at work, men are typically more aggressive, more argumentative about their ideas, and more vocal
about their stand on a certain thing.
building consensus. And because
they’re contextual and they process
information in the white matter, they’re
often trying to reduce the heated arguments. This doesn’t mean a woman
doesn’t like a good argument; however,
if it gets hostile and the woman gets
stressed, she’ll start producing oxytocin, which will prompt her to take
steps to calm the situation down. And
because women have so much white
matter, they may take a longer time to
answer a question because they’re filtering it through the commercial that
they saw last night or what their friend
said over the fence. Think of it like sorting in a computer. They’re doing a huge
sort through the entire database to
arrive at an answer.
Tips for Better
To ease the daily communication challenges, keep the following points in
For men…
Keep women’s white matter in mind.
They are not jumping from topic to
topic just to annoy you. In their brain,
everything is connected.
Remember that women “tend and
befriend.” As a result, they have a tendency to use up-talk – where it sounds
like they end every sentence with a
question mark. Or they say such things
as “What do you think?” This does not
mean they don’t know what to think.
They simply want to gain consensus.
Women all over the world tend to
use more emotionally loaded words
when they communicate. So they use
high drama phrases such as “always”
and “never” much more often than men
For women…
If you want to talk to a man about
something that’s critical, and you think
he’s going to be defensive, don’t do it 9
a.m. or 8 p.m. Remember that daily
Don’t jump from subject to subject,
and always condense your words. Men
have a word limit (this has been scientifically tested), and once they reach
their word limit, it’s almost like a little
blind goes down. They simply can’t
process any more information.
Remember that a man’s brain shifts
into that rest state throughout the day.
So when you’re talking to him and he’s
fidgeting, tapping his fingers on the
table, or jingling coins in his pocket, it
doesn’t necessarily mean he’s bored or
not interested. In fact, it probably
means just the opposite. He’s unconsciously forcing himself to stay alert,
keeping his brain active by that movement.
Closing the Great
The key now is to accept this information, embrace it, and impose it as a new
structure of thought in your own mind.
Become conscious and aware of the differences between the sexes and use it in
your daily interactions with others. By
doing so, you can ease some of the frustrations you feel when interacting with
the opposite sex and build relationships
built on understanding, collaboration,
and trust. GB
About the Author
Jean Kelley, president and founder
of Jean Kelley Leadership
Consulting is the author of Get A
Job; Keep A Job. As the sole
owner of Jean Kelley Personnel for
25 years, she personally helped
more than 20,000 clients enhance
their careers. Coupled with her
other book, Dear Jean: What They
Don’t Teach You at the Water
Cooler, Jean has positioned herself as America’s workplace coach.
For more information, please visit
Women, on the other hand, focus on
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What’s Stopping YOU?
The Ten Things Stopping You from Reaching
Your Goals
By Scott Greenberg
Many of us make New Year's resolutions. But before you set new goals for
yourself, you may want to take a
moment to look backwards to see what
has stopped you from achieving previous goals. Here are 10 things that may
be getting in your way:
Many people spread themselves thin
and get frustrated that they can't excel at
anything. No one can do a million
things at once. You're better off with
fewer commitments and more focus.
Fear often scares us out of pursuing
goals – fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, and in some cases, fear of
success (which is really just fear of
change). Avoid too much self-analysis,
and just go for what you want. If you
give it 100%, and you end up even one
inch closer to your goal, then you
haven’t failed – you’ve made progress.
Time can be your friend or enemy. Set
aside sacred, uninterrupted time devoted to achieving your goal. Learn when
your best hours are (morning, late night,
etc.) and set your daily agenda accordingly.
Sometimes we lose focus on the work
and stop too soon to evaluate ourselves.
You're always going to find some kind
of shortcoming or flaw with yourself.
Fortunately, you don't have to be perfect in order to be excellent. Just do the
work, and let the end result be your
The more time you spend trying to
decide what to do, the more time you
spend doing nothing. Make a choice, go
with it, and don't look back. Every positive action will lead to a positive result.
You can always make adjustments later.
Sometimes we set goals that are so
unreasonably high we set ourselves up
for frustration. If that happens one too
many times, we give up altogether. At
the same time, remember that most of
us can achieve a bit more than we think
possible. So shoot a little bit higher than
what feels realistic. Talk to positive
people in your life to hear their
It's tempting to evaluate yourself based
on what your peers are achieving. You
can always find someone more successful. Your path toward success is unique
to you. Keep your eyes to yourself.
thoughts. Often people who know and
believe in us can better assess what we
can achieve.
Do your peers encourage you or discourage you? Does having them in your
life focus you or distract you? Keep
yourself surrounded with people who
help you move onward and upward,
rather than hold you back.
In an age of overnight millionaires and
high speed Internet access, it's easy to
expect immediate results. Don't give up
if you aren't getting the payoff you want
as soon as you want it. Anything worthwhile is worth waiting for.
Tomorrow is never more convenient than
today. By the time it arrives, it IS today.
If you can do it now, do it. Don't wait. GB
About the Author
For over 10 years, Scott
Greenberg has been a motivational
speaker and leadership consultant.
A graduate of UCLA, Scott has
devoted his life to studying personal
growth, leadership, and group interaction. He has given presentations
for the United Nations and the
California Department of Education.
Today he is an established
Hollywood screen writing consultant
working within the movie industry.
For more information visit:
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Disneyland Dad’s
(and Mom’s)
Understanding the
Divorced Parent’s Guilt Trips
and Guilt Traps
By Robyn Sabes
You may not even know that you’re
doing it. But it’s harming your kids!
You’re excited because it’s your weekend with the kids. Maybe you’ll go the
movies and see the latest Disney film;
Maybe you’ll take them to the fair –
that’s always fun. And of course, a trip
to the store is a must, followed by their
favorite dinner. By the time the weekend concludes, the kids are tired and
weighed down in souvenirs and gifts –
evidence of the great time you had
together. So what’s wrong with that?
Divorced parents who, perhaps because
of the limited time spent with the kids,
buy “little” gifts when there is no occasion, eat out most meals or allow the
kids to dictate the menu, take the kids to
expensive events, give into their whims,
slide on discipline, and generally treat
them like visiting royalty instead of
You may feel it’s one of the most natural expressions of love for your child,
but in reality, your actions are your own
subconscious effort to minimize your
feelings of guilt over the divorce – and
no matter how well intentioned you are,
it’s selfish and it’s hurting your kids.
It begins innocently with a few gifts
purchased for the kids just because you
love them. On the surface, this natural
expression of giving to your child may
seem harmless, but it actually places
your relationship with your child at risk
in several ways.
It’s called the Disneyland Dad
Syndrome and nearly all newly
divorced dads and moms (those without
physical custody) slip into it at first.
The problem is that some never get over
it. For these unlucky parents and their
kids, it eventually strains the parentchild relationship. It also alters your
child’s beliefs and expectations about
healthy relationships; affects their selfesteem and self-worth; causes them to
associate “things” with love; and causes
them to feel insecure and inferior.
Disneyland Dad (Mom)
Syndrome’s Harmful
1. It creates the illusion that your relationship is based on ‘things.’ Kids will
come to expect this same level of gifting and entertainment from the absent
parent. They begin to associate gifts
with love. When the gifts stop or lessen,
they’ll feel you’ve stopped loving them.
That’s not a risk many parents would be
willing to take. Are you?
2. It’s an unsustainable situation.
Sooner or later you’ll run out of both
money and ideas. It will exhaust you
and you’ll end up feeling like you’ve
failed your kids . . . again.
3. It becomes progressively more
harmful with age. If your behavior
continues into your child’s teen years,
the request for specific gifts will eventually turn into demands. And when
their demands aren’t met, they act out in
ways that are harmful to themselves.
Why? Because they take your failure to
meet their demands as a sign you don’t
love them. And no amount of talking
will be able to convince them otherwise
. . . only your purchases can.
4. Your children will ultimately mimic
your behavior. You know how kids
mimic everything they see? They’re
like sponges that soak up everything
they come into contact with. You don’t
want your child growing to believe that
all relationships are based on this
approach. Only by demonstrating an
emotionally healthy parenting style will
you encourage your child’s future parenting success.
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do with you on their visit. Incorporate
your children's needs. Make this a mutual and respectful time together.
5. Your children won’t truly connect
with you as a person. When your relationship is based on give, give, give
(you) and take, take, take (your child)
what are you teaching them about relationships? You’re teaching him that the
world owes him. If you frequently hear,
“can you buy me _____?” then your
child has stopped seeing you as a loving
parent and more as a weekend ATM.
child's day. Know who their teachers,
friends, and after school activities are,
and stay involved with those as much as
2. Promote good communication
between you and your children.
Employ an open door policy and allow
your children to come to you whenever
they need.
9. Don't burden your children.
Burdening your children with thoughts
and discussions of feelings towards your
ex-spouse or about the financial conflicts
associated with the divorce will only
spoil the time that you have together.
6. Your child won’t feel at home with
you. Treating your kids like visitors
who are catered to, with no rules and no
responsibilities doesn’t allow them to
feel like they have a place in your home.
They aren’t visitors. Establish rules and
assign chores. Treat them like they live
3. Be consistent. Make it a point to keep
every promise. Whether it's as simple as
I'll call you tomorrow at 5 or following
through with the reward for their
accomplishments, or discipline for this
unacceptable behavior.
10. Parent out of love not guilt. Being a
loving parent requires consistency and
holding your children accountable for
their action and behaviors. Avoid
decreasing consequences or adding
rewards because you are feeling guilty.
4. Implement natural consequences for
misbehavior. When your child misbehaves, enforce natural consequences.
Studies show that children respect and
love parents who hold them accountable
for their actions. Children want and
need you to be a parent, not a friend.
Any parent who loves his/her children
wants them to be happy and as unaffected by the divorce as possible. The guilt
we feel because of our personal decisions can be almost unbearable. As a
result, we often find ourselves doing
almost anything to compensate for the
pain we have caused. While we might
believe that over-compensation is in
some sense redemptive and healing, we
can be easily deceived by ourselves and
by the reactions of our kids. We do
something, we see them smile, and so
we kick into overkill believing we have
found a way to erase their pain and our
guilt. In the long run, these things will
only cause them more pain – and you
more guilt. In the end, if you must give
your child something – give a hug.
Ways to Avoid Weekend
Being a divorced parent has a great deal
of internalized stress associated with it.
There's a strong desire to make your
children like you and want to spend time
with you, especially if you only get to
see them a few days a month.
Studies show that what kids remember
growing up is not the extravagant birthday parties or the expensive vacations.
It's the ongoing consistent time spent
together that create memories and bonding experiences.
Here are 10 ways to avoid becoming a
Disneyland Dad or Mom. By implementing these 10 simple skills, you will
notice that your time with your children
will be of better quality and will
improve your relationship with them
more than opening your wallet.
1. Be involved in your children's life.
Be present to celebrate birthdays, significant events, and celebrations. Make it a
point to attend their ball games, recitals,
and school functions, even if it's not
your "day," because it will make your
5. Spend quality time with your children. Make it a point to clear off part of
your schedule to spend one-on-one time
with your children. Remember your
children are coming to see you, not the
great toys at your house.
6. Send heartfelt tokens of your love
and affection. Send notes or cards to
your children. Remind them that you are
thinking about them and love them. This
will also let them know that you are
always there for them.
7. Never pass on your time with your
children. Sometimes we get sidetracked
by our busy lifestyles and are unable to
see our children on visitation days.
Spending time with your children is the
only way you can genuinely show them
that they are more important than anything else.
8. Ask your children what they want to
About the Author
Robyn Sabes is a research writer
and staff writer for Going Bonkers.
Copyright Going Bonkers
Magazine. All rights reserved.
Sometimes the majority only
means that all the fools are
on the same side.
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The Choice
By Lesley Cordero
Kathleen and Dan have been together for
several years now. At first it was magic
and Dan was so romantic and attentive.
Now he is either criticizing her, or telling
her about the many women who find him
attractive, or ignoring her completely.
When he’s home, he’s busy watching TV
or playing video games, expecting her to
wait on him. Just when she thinks that she
can’t stand it any more, he becomes the
old loving, romantic Dan once more;
however, this never lasts longer than a
few days and then he resumes his old
behaviors. Kathleen knows that something has got to change, but simply cannot
bring herself to take action. She needs a
fresh set of eyes to look at her situation.
tim, trapped in this relationship. Kathleen
sees Dan as the problem; if only he would
change, then her life would be better. In
her eyes, his behavior is rendering her
NEW CHOICE: Examine how you are
choosing to see yourself. Do you see
yourself as a victim or as a partner in this
relationship, helping steer its direction?
Pay attention to how you choose to interpret your situation. Do you see yourself
as stuck, or as having many options?
We see or perceive the world based on
what we choose to pay attention to and
how we choose to interpret it. If you see
yourself trapped ... then you are. If you
see yourself as a victim ... then you are. If
you see your relationship as hopeless,
then it is. But you do have a choice of seeing things in a different way.
Kathleen is choosing to accept Dan’s
behavior and she really thinks that she has
very little choice in the matter. There is
always a choice. Kathleen has made a
choice simply by choosing to accept Dan's
behavior. Dan sees that he has an infinite
number of choices at the moment and this
has given him an enormous amount of
power. He is very much like the puppet
master pulling the strings.
Kathleen is attracting Dan’s abuse and
neglect primarily because she hasn’t created the boundaries which will show Dan
how she expects and deserves to be treated. She is choosing to see herself as a vic-
NEW CHOICE: Choose to change your
behavior by identifying more and better
choices. What are your options for changing your situation? You can’t change your
partner, but you can change you…and
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when you change one thing, everything
Every behavior is useful or valuable to
us in some way. Kathleen’s submissive
behavior is useful to her in that it reinforces her view of herself as a victim
with no choices. Dan’s behavior is valuable to him as it reinforces his belief
that he is master of his domain. Dan
believes that he gains power by manipulating others.
NEW CHOICE: Choose to determine
what is valuable for you in your situation. How are your unhealthy behaviors being useful to you? In what ways
are they supporting your subconscious
beliefs about yourself?
Every thing that we think, feel and do
works to produce the results in life that
we are getting. Kathleen’s relationship
with Dan is on some unconscious level
helping her achieve exactly the results
that she wants.
I’ll never get someone new. It’s
better to put up with what I’ve got
Anything is better than being alone
He is exactly what I deserve
He’ll change if I’m patient, he’s a
good person underneath
He really needs me, he just doesn’t
realize it
I need him, without him, I’m
NEW CHOICE: Choose to examine
your beliefs and change them. You created them; you can change them. Look
for evidence in the world to support
your new beliefs about yourself.
If Kathleen wants a loving relationship
based on mutual respect then she needs
to model those essential qualities, not
only in how she treats others, including
Dan, but also in how she treats herself.
In Kathleen’s case if she was more loving and respectful of herself she would
draw some definite boundaries as to
how she expects to be treated. If she
really loved and respected Dan then she
would expect more from him as well.
NEW CHOICE: Choose what it is that
you really want to achieve in your relationship then behave as if you already
have it. If you really want to be loved,
then be loving, not only to others, but
also to yourself. If you want respect
then be respectful, not only to others,
but also to yourself. GB
About the Author
Lesley Cordero's mission is to
significantly change people's lives
by helping them to 'see things differently.' Cordero Consulting offers
personal growth solutions in the
form of workshops, keynote presentations, and Internet information resources. As a professional
speaker, she has designed and
delivered workshops, and keynote
presentations to thousands of people internationally. Lesley has a
background in education, is a
trainer in Personality Type
Indicators (True Colours,
Personality Dimensions), a Master
Practitioner in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and a Process
Consultant. Subscribe to her free
ezine "Deep Linking" at and
begin to connect with what is really important in your life. Are you
ready to 'see things differently?'®
NEW CHOICE: You can choose a new
outcome. If you don’t like what you’ve
got, change what you are thinking, feeling and doing.
What does Kathleen believe about herself that requires her to stay in an
unhealthy relationship? Whatever she
believes she will always find lots of evidence in the world to support it. If she
listened to her ‘self talk’ every time she
thinks about leaving Dan, she would
soon find out that deep down she
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Life Lessons Learned
from a Senior
Looking Beyond Age 65
By Judith Viorst
It matters not if today you’re 20, 40 or
60. If you’re one of the lucky ones,
you’ll one day reach the ripe young age
of sixty-five and wonder, “what now?”
At sixty-five I acquired – in addition to
my first grandchild – senior discounts,
Social Security, and Medicare. My
granddaughter was enchanting and the
rest very helpful indeed, but I couldn’t
help wondering, "Is that it for the good
stuff?" Fifteen years later, after making
my journey from the far shores of middle age (65) to the age I’m calling
Unexpectedly Eighty, I am prepared to
say there’s still plenty of good stuff in
your future – if you’re thinking family,
friends, oceans, ice cream, novels,
movies, and sex, you won’t be far off.
This is not to deny the fact that there is
also plenty of bad stuff, like the holes in
our brain through which names and
dates have dropped, like the end of all
hope of getting a good night’s sleep,
and like the acquisition of ever-growing
numbers of medications and specialists
for ailments that we’d never heard of.
And increasingly, our adult children are
challenging our competence, with questions like, "Do you even know the difference between an iPod and an iPad?"
Okay, so you do know the difference
between an iPod and an iPad. But
believe me, there’s always going to be
some New Big Thing that you won’t
find all that easy to understand.
But while, in all kinds of ways, moving
through your 60s and 70s won’t be easy,
you can learn some valuable life lessons right now, well before you arrive at
65, that will sweeten your journey and
help you enjoy the good stuff.
Here are four of those lessons:
This moment will not come
again. There once seemed to be
countless moments for you to waste or
wish away, but after 65 you’ll live with
a sharpened sense of finitude, with the
inescapable knowledge that there are no
longer many moments left to spare. You
can use this knowledge to mourn the
relentless brevity of life, but you also
can use it today to notice, embrace and
be grateful for whatever beneficence
each moment offers.
Get over it. When you age, you will
contemplate your past and feel overlooked and underappreciated – you’ll
feel that you never got what you wanted, expected, or deserved. Life, you’ll
conclude, is unfair. Take a little time to
rail against the injustice of it all. And
then, today, because life is short and
you have better things to do, move on
and move forward. Pursue all those
things today, in the hopes you’ll have
fewer regrets later.
It’s not always about you. Just
because a friend is curt doesn’t mean
you’ve done something to offend her.
Nor does the fact that children fail to
return your phone calls or e-mails once
they leave home prove that, when the
final grades on parenting came in, you
had flunked. You can’t imagine how
free you will feel when you finally start
believing what you’ve never really
believed before: that sometimes people
don’t behave the way they ought to
behave for reasons unrelated to your
You’re never too young or
too old to try to fix the
world. Whether you belong to the
generation that once marched for peace
and freedom, or the tech and gadget
generation, you have talents to contribute. The world is a wreck and you
need to do – we all need to do – whatever we are able to do to repair it. Do it
for your kids, and their kids, and their
kids. And do it out of love and respect
for the riches – the good stuff – offered
to us by the world – the good stuff you
have today, and the good stuff you’ll
have when you reach 80! GB
About the Author
Judith Viorst, 80, is a poet, novelist and writer of children’s books.
Her most recent book of poems is
Unexpectedly Eighty and Other
Adaptations, published by Free
Worry is the darkroom
in which negatives can develop.
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Family Matters
By Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP
Many of today's families are very busy.
Most households need two incomes to
survive. Some parents even hold down
two or more jobs in order to make ends
meet. Many parents feel out of balance
when it comes to their working and
family time.
Today's parents talk quite a bit about
spending quality time with their children. Some parents believe that if
they've spent time in the same room
with their children, they've done
enough. Unfortunately that time is usually focused on an enjoyable activity
like watching a movie, or playing
Xbox, or eating.
The quality time your children spend
with you gives them many benefits.
Spending time as a family provides
your children with feelings of love, support, security and safety. But how does
a busy, tired parent find the time for
“quality” time?
Rethink your life
Squeeze your work schedule into your
family life, rather than your family into
your schedule. Change your mindset
and evaluate what is truly important.
Make your family a priority.
Give generously
Make sure that you give each child individualized attention. Talk to your child;
find out how he’s doing. Make yourself
responsible for having a finger on his
pulse. Be accessible, even when you’re
busy. Give your time generously.
Spending time doesn’t mean you have
to do anything special. If you’re over-
whelmed with chores, ask your kids to
help. There’s something about engaging
with others in activity that invites conversation and connection. Above all,
check yourself before you use candy,
money, toys or trips to make up for
being unavailable. Remind yourself that
this is often a clever attempt to minimize a sense of guilt.
Discover the power
of 15 minutes
You can find at least 15 minutes in your
day to spend with your family. It might
be cuddle time with your children, or
time to read to them or speak with them,
or take a walk, or cook a meal together.
Those 15 minutes with you being fully
present are what really counts.
work related. Simply spend the day
with your family. You don't have to do
anything special, just be together and
experience being a family. Recovery
days are appointments you never break.
You'll be replenished and renewed.
Share positive aspects
At dinner time, or any together time,
share things you appreciate about each
family member. Tell the others what
you appreciate. Be focused on what is
working and what is good about each
person. Really feel how much you
appreciate them and how joyful you are
for who they are. This is a great way to
feel connected, appreciated, and to amp
up your energy and love.
Lunch and listen
Have a weekly
family night
Each week schedule a family night –
one hour or longer. Start with less time
and build up. One family member
selects what the family will do. You
each take turns. This week you may
pick dinner out. Next week your son
may choose a family video or your
daughter a special family game, or a TV
show, or walk, or shop, it really doesn't
matter as long as you all do it together
and you don't break the date. This is
quality time to be together and enjoy
each other and an event.
Plan a monthly 24-hour
recovery day
Plan one day a month where you do no
work. You don't think about work, talk
about work, or do work – no cell phone,
pager, email, or paperwork – nothing
Make a lunch date with your partner or
your kids or both and grab a bite together. Catch up, and really tune in deeply
and listen with your heart to what they
have to say. Focus on them and on hearing them and learning more about them.
You'll feel closer. GB
About the Author
Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS,
CCC-SLP, is the Founder of
Comprehensive Coaching – The
Professional's Coach Training
Program. A popular Master
Certified personal and business
Coach, Terri is also a sought after
Public Speaker. She is the author
of the bestsellers “Stop Managing,
Start Coaching,” "Work Yourself
Happy", "Coaching for an
Extraordinary Life" and "Create
Your Ideal Body." She can be contacted via the web site at: or by
phone: 215-699-4949.
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Bouncing Back and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles
By Andrea Redmond
and Patricia Crisafulli
maybe you’ve never had to deal with a
business failure before. However, you
may have experienced the loss of a relationship or dealt with a serious medical
diagnosis. Remembering what enabled
you to stay positive and hopeful about
the future, instead of feeling victimized,
will help you become more resilient
now. What are the lessons learned from
your past that can be applied to your
current situation?
When upsets in life happen, and they
always do, it can be hard to find your
way forward. Uncertainty, self-doubt,
and fear can cloud your perception and
cause you to second guess your decisions, making things unnecessarily difficult and complicated. Fortunately, you
have an ally on your side: resilience.
By the time we reached adulthood, we
had faced and conquered a number of
challenges including job losses, failed
relationships, serious health issues for
our self or a loved one, or the death of
someone close to us. Moving through
and beyond these difficult episodes creates resilience, a kind of emotional
muscle that, once we develop, we never
really lose. Remembering what got you
through the trials of the past will help
you be resilient now and in the future.
Here are some tried-and-true tips to
help you become more resilient:
years ago. Because you’ve been
through this before you know the pitfalls you’ll face, especially the uncertainty of when and where you’ll find
your next opportunity. Take heart in the
fact that you were able to find a job five
years ago, and you’ll find one again.
How much have you learned and grown
since then, and what accomplishments
have you mastered? Remember, what
has made you successful thus far will
make you successful again.
Identify what is similar
in your current challenge
to what you’ve faced
in the past.
Look for emotional
similarities as you face
new difficulties.
The connections may be obvious: losing your job today and a layoff five
Some challenges in life feel like
uncharted territory. For example,
Remember your allies
who have
championed you.
As the saying goes – no man is an
island. We are all part of networks –
familial, social, and professional –
which keep us “plugged in” to a source
of information and inspiration. These
are the allies on whom you rely.
Consider the example of former
Hewlett-Packard Chair Patricia Dunn,
who in the midst of a corporate espionage scandal while fighting stage-four
ovarian cancer, drew strength from her
allies. She defined these supporters as
the people who really knew her and
who bolstered her resilience by their
unwavering support. Keep in mind, too,
that your allies are the ones who will
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Identify your resilience
role models.
Resilience is an in-born quality that we
all possess to some degree. By being
more conscious of this quality in yourself, you can build your emotional
stamina to go through the inevitable
challenges in life with clarity, confidence, and grace. Keeping your perspective will allow you to discern the
path ahead to move yourself forward
into the future. As today’s difficulty is
eventually resolved, and it will be, be
Focus on other areas
of your life that give
you joy.
Even when a challenge consumes your
time, energy, and attention, it is not the
only thing in your life. You may have
lost your job, but you still have friends
and family who surround you, and pastimes and other interests that add meaning. After being asked to step down as
chairman and CEO of Baxter
International, Harry Kraemer was able
to transition to a new life because he
had never defined himself by his job.
Other interests, including his family
and faith, had always been a major part
of his life. What in your life provides
balance and brings you joy?
Know that this, too,
shall pass.
Even the darkest days do not last forever. Eventually there is resolution. Life
goes on. The knowledge that the chal-
The inspiring example of people who
overcame significant challenge can
teach you about becoming more
resilient in your own life. Consider
Christopher Galvin, the third generation
CEO of Motorola, who was stunned
when he was asked to step down from
the company’s leadership, just as the
turnaround he had orchestrated was
coming to fruition. Remembering the
experiences of his grandfather, whose
first two businesses went bankrupt
before he became successful, Galvin
claimed resilience as his personal and
family legacy. Whom do you admire as
resilient individuals, and what can their
experiences teach you about finding
your way forward?
lenge you face now will not continue
forever can help you set your sights on
the proverbial “light at the end of the
tunnel,” rather than seeing the difficulties as interminable. When have you
gone through a particularly difficult
challenge that, in the end, had a satisfactory or positive conclusion?
help you find new opportunities for the
future, including connecting you to
people whom they know. Who in your
network champions you?
grateful for the experience. Know that
you are better for having gone through
it. You will emerge even more resilient,
which will serve you well in the future.
About the Author
Andrea Redmond and Patricia
Crisafulli are the authors of
Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from
Leaders who Suffered Setbacks and
Recaptured Success on Their Terms
(Jossey-Bass, 2010).
Read more about them at and
Never miss a good chance
to shut up.
Emotional Issues
If you’ve ever had an emotional burden weighing heavily on you, you’re
all too familiar with how it drains
your energy. Unresolved emotional
issues can range from anger and
resentment about current problems
to grief and trauma from past experiences. Avoiding dealing with these
issues will cause you to feel like
you’re moving underwater. You’ll
feel sluggish, weighed down and
held back from creating a more balanced life.
How to Resolve Emotional Issues
It may sound overly simplistic, but
working through them is the best
way to resolve them once and for all!
If you still hold a lot of anger toward
someone in your past and refuse to
forgive them, you’re only going to
keep harming yourself. Likewise, if
you feel angry or resentful toward
someone in your life right now,
avoiding the issue will only make it
worse. Instead, make a strong effort
to work through these situations.
There are numerous ways to do so,
from having a heartfelt talk with the
person you’re angry with, to journaling your feelings, to working with a
therapist. The most important thing
is to work through any pain, trauma,
anger or resentment you are holding
inside so you can finally release it
and achieve closure. Once you do
that, you will find yourself feeling
much lighter and freer – which will
provide the space you need to better
balance your life.
Going Bonkers Magazine. Copyright 2011
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The Three Pillars of Success
By Eric Adler
Getting ahead in life is like building a
superstructure and in order for the
structure to stand securely it needs supporting pillars. Three are all you need
and here they are:
Pillar #1
The majority of people tend to get into
a comfortable rut. They know what
they will be doing each day, each week,
and each year. Within certain guidelines, their lives are predicable and stable.
Predictable and stable, however, are not
factors that lead to success. Risk taking
and instability are the keys to going
from mediocre to stellar. Most people
have a difficult time moving out of a
comfortable situation and into one of
insecurity and unknown turns. But this
is exactly what you have to do to
become successful – get out of your
own way.
The best way to do this is to take small
steps towards a larger goal. Realize that
there are four major areas that make up
our comfort zones: Geographical, personal, activity-related, and mental.
That is:
Geographical: Where we live, work,
Understand that expanding doesn’t
mean getting rid of what’s already
there. You can make new friends and
not abandon the old ones. You can pick
up a second hobby and still enjoy the
first. This is an addition not a subtraction process.
Pillar #2
It’s easy to say, “Set goals.” It’s not so
easy to set ones that are actually meaningful to you. We sometimes get so
comfortable that we lose sight of what
else there is to strive after. So our list
ends up looking like everyone else’s
New Year’s Resolutions: Lose weight,
exercise, and spend more time with the
family. We all know how successful
these broad, half-hearted goals are –
made on January 1, forgotten by
February 1.
There are three factors that need to be
put into play when setting goals:
Set Your Own Goals: Don’t let others decide for you. If a goal isn’t meaningful to you, you won’t develop the
enthusiasm needed to achieve it.
Make Your Goals Concrete and
Specific: Don’t just say you want to
make more money. Set an exact amount
and a firm time frame in which to make
the goal.
and hobbies
Determine What Effort is Required:
and play
Personal: Our friends, family, and
Activity-Related: Our entertainment
Mental: What and how we think
Now, the trick to expanding one’s comfort zone is to not change all these areas
at once. Try one or maybe two at a
time, get used to that and then move on
to the others. Changing any one area
can be stressful. Doing too much, too
soon will send you scurrying back to
your comfortable rut.
If you don’t know what you need to do
in order to reach a goal, it’s a wish not a
goal. Be very clear about how much
energy, time, and resources are going to
be needed to be successful.
Pillar #3
Deciding to move out of one’s comfort
zone and setting the goals to get to new
levels are the easy parts. These are the
planning stages. Now comes the time
for action. Too many times people stop
after setting up the parameters for success and then never take another step.
Don’t Announce Your Goals:
Telling others only invites people who
will tell you how hard it will be or why
it can’t be done. Keep your goals to
yourself to avoid all the naysayers.
Never Move Backwards: Don’t let
setbacks stop you. If things are temporarily going wrong, don’t use this as
an excuse to retreat. Analyze what went
amiss and what is needed to get back on
Reward Yourself Along the Way:
Break a large goal into many minigoals. Once you achieve a mini-goal,
reward yourself. This will help keep
your enthusiasm high and give you
many small successes leading to the big
success at the end.
Establish these three pillars and you can
accomplish anything you desire. GB
About the Author
Eric Adler is a trainer and mastercoach in the fields of communication,
motivation and mental training. He is
an Austrian-based, best-selling author
and Europe’s leading social competence expert who developed a unique
method for measurable and verifiable
personality development. A public
study that consisted of 800 adults and
teens documented that Eric's unique
form of personal development training
had a very effective impact. His knowhow is widespread in the licensing
system in Europe, and he now issues
licenses to trainers, speakers, coaches and consultants in the U.S., as
well. For more information, visit or e-mail
[email protected]
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Featured Article
Why You Burn Out
& How to Revive
By Joan Borysenko, Ph.D
Are you feeling emotionally and physically
exhausted and cynical, wondering if you’ve
got what it takes to make it in this rapidly
changing world? What happened to the spark
you had as a child that powered your curiosity and creativity, and kept you engaged and
excited about life? Has it burned out?
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continued next page
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Fried - continued
What Exactly is
While burnout isn’t a recognized clinical psychiatric or psychological disorder, there are some similar features
between burnout and depression.
Burnout actually looks a lot like depression, but it’s not. Nor is it a biological
bogeyman that medication or simple
stress management can cure. It’s a disorder of hope and will that sucks the life
out of competent, idealistic, hardworking people like you.
Burnout is much more common than
depression. It’s also less severe, more
temporary in duration, and clearly
caused by situational stressors rather
than a biological or chemical imbalance. It’s kind of like depression’s
younger, less intense cousin that just
comes for a visit and disappears when
you stop feeding it (make the appropriate lifestyle changes).
3 Major Symptoms
of Burnout
Fatigue is one of the three major symptoms of burnout. It’s a particular kind of
tired, too. You feel emotionally
exhausted and overwhelmed – drained
– like you can’t manage anything else.
The second component of burnout is
called depersonalization. You don’t
want to engage with anyone and you
lose empathy. It’s hard to relate to other
people – it’s hard even to relate to yourself. It’s like something vital inside –
one’s soul or ability to relate – has gone
The third aspect of burnout is loss of
confidence and competence. You feel
like your performance is slipping,
which it often is.
As burnout progresses your health goes
south as well as your relationships, productivity, enjoyment of life, and overall
wellbeing. Burnout can be compared to
a state of living hell.
You become cynical and angry, despising others for being stupid, lazy, or
Stage 7: Emotionally exhausted and
12 Stages of Burnout
The psychologist who named burnout
Freudenberger, and his colleague psychologist Gail North, identified 12
stages. They may or may not occur in
precise order and sometimes you may
not experience some of them. If you
can recognize where you’re at – as if
you were looking at a map – and realize
that you’re on a slippery slope, it’s easier to wake up and do something to shift
the course of your life before you end
up sick and depressed. Below are the
twelve stages of burnout:
Stage 1: Driven by an ideal.
You have a compulsion to prove yourself (commitment to win no matter
Stage 2: Working like a maniac.
You’re working harder and harder, feeling irreplaceable as you buckle down,
raise personal expectations, and take on
more and more responsibility.
Stage 3: Putting your own needs last.
You’re neglecting your own basic
needs, and eating, sleeping, playing are
sacrificed for performance.
Stage 4: Miserable and clueless as to
You experience a displacement, like
something is wrong but you’re unsure
Stage 5: The death of values.
You revise your priorities and what is
important to you – friends, hobbies, and
fun are dismissed.
Stage 6: Frustrated, aggressive, and
You withdraw socially; experience a
loss of hope and direction. You may risk
addiction as you seek relief from drugs,
sex, or alcohol.
Stage 8: I’ve morphed into what?
You experience obvious behavior
changes (shy, apathetic, depressed, haggard)
Stage 9: Get away from me!
Depersonalization; you lose contact
with self and others, and life becomes
meaningless and mechanical.
Stage 10: Inner emptiness.
You feel an inner emptiness and you
may be compelled to overcompensate
by oversexing, overeating, drug and
alcohol abuse in place of leisure time.
Stage 11: Who cares and why bother?
You feel depressed, indifferent, hopeless, exhausted, and life loses meaning.
Feelings ranging from agitation to apathy set in.
Stage 12: Physical and mental collapse: Full blown burnout.
You may have suicidal thoughts and/or
obsession with heaven, physical and
mental collapse, and an immediate need
for medical help.
The first stage is really your own idealism – your deepest need to prove your
value. As you slip into the next stage,
you’re trying your very best to be a
good worker, a good parent, a good
whatever. You work very hard at it.
With time you begin to work even harder and your priorities start to get lost.
As you progress, into burnout you start
to feel more exhausted and obsessed
and as if you’ll never catch up it’s harder to sleep, which adds to the exhaus-
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tion. Some people try to soothe themselves with food, alcohol or drugs,
which is why burnout can lead to addiction. Somewhere along the line the people you serve at work, or your loved
ones at home, become a bother to you.
They require too much from you, and
you have nothing left to give. You experience a loss of empathy and caring.
Your ability to do a good job slips, and
life starts to seem hopeless or even
meaningless. You feel empty and you
lose your motivation. Stress related illness is common, the joy goes out of life,
and finally you slide into despair and
Burnout and
Your Health
Fatigue is the commonest complaint
that people have during burnout.
Somewhere between 70-90% of visits
to family practice docs are for stressrelated illnesses. Let me be clear.
Burnout is not stress or caused by
stress. It’s a kind of shutting down and
closing up shop in mind, body, and spirit. Nonetheless, being burned out is
incredibly stressful. It can lead to
stress-related disorders like back pain,
headaches, digestive symptoms, profound fatigue, muscle aches, high blood
pressure, irregular heartbeats and a
myriad of other symptoms. If you’ve
got diabetes, stress can make your
blood sugar hard to control and it worsens almost all chronic illnesses.
Furthermore stress causes inflammation
in the body, and that is a common factor
in so many illnesses.
When you feel good in your life, the
tendency is to be healthy in your body.
When you’re in a state of psychological
hell, as in burnout, unfortunately the
body responds in kind.
I wrote a book on burnout, in part,
because I’m an expert at doing it. I’ve
been burning out regularly since I was
15 years old. When I began to reflect
on the 12 stages of burnout I realized
that they are a powerful tool.
Every day I rate myself on this burnout
scale. In terms of the early stages,
sometimes you do have to work hard to
meet a deadline and put your own needs
last. It’s when that becomes chronic that
you’ve got a problem and begin to feel
miserable – that’s a stage 4 and that’s
my red flag. I know I have to take time
out and refresh, which for me, is all
about going into nature. When my mind
stops running, then I can get a little distance on where I am and see what else
might need to change.
Another revival strategy is to develop
stronger boundaries – saying “no”
more, letting go of friends who are
draining, turning down work that you
know doesn’t feel good to you, even
when your mind tells you that you need
it to make ends meet or to please someone else.
At a certain point – stage 7 for me – I
know that I’m in deep trouble. That’s
when I have to get away for a longer
retreat. And over the years, I’ve worked
on some of the underlying patterns that
have made me so single-mindedly convinced that I have to change the world
to be of any value.
Years ago I became a fan of Dr. Martin
Seligman, Professor of Psychology at
University of PA. His theory is that
learned helplessness is the precursor of
depression. Let me give you an example. When I was seven I went to
overnight camp for the first time. To
make a long story short I was tormented by the older girls who made fun of
me, threw my tennis balls into the
woods, and humiliated me in sexually
explicit games of doctor. So I packed up
my stuff one night in my duffel bag and
ran away. The next morning I got
caught and brought back to the camp
where I was held prisoner in my bunk
until the end of the summer. I was told
that my parents would never believe my
story and that they’d hate me if I said
anything. Six weeks in solitary confinement disabled my get up and go. I
became easily discouraged and sometimes – even when a situation wasn’t
very serious – I began to think it was
the end of the world. My ability to see
that I was effective diminished and I
stopped taking risks. That’s called
learned helplessness. As soon as I
understood its roots I was able to go
back and do some healing of that childhood trauma. I was also able to identify
the pessimistic thinking that it created
and then dispute my own self-defeating
thoughts. Was it really true that if I didn’t finish my book on time my publisher would hate me, I’d never get another
contract, and I’d starve to death? Did it
mean that I’m a bad person? Of course
not. It only meant that I needed a book
extension and I got three of them for
Learning to pay attention to your own
needs and to ask for what feels manageable and healthy is so important to prevent and revive from burnout. GB
About the Author
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D, a
Harvard-trained medical scientist,
psychologist, and renowned pioneer in stress and health – straddles psychology, biology, and soul
in a completely fresh approach to
burnout. Her book Fried: Why You
Burn Out and How to Revive is
published by Hay House, Inc. and
available at all bookstores or online
at Joan’s
deeply human (and often amusing)
personal accounts of burnout and
recovery; the science of helplessness, hopelessness, and empowerment; and the rich wisdom of people who have gone from fried to
revived, including many of Joan’s
vibrant community of 5,000
Facebook friends, make her powerful and practical book a must-read
for our times.
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The Joy
By Dr. Marjorie Wolter
It had taken half a decade for Amy to
realize that Sally was the culprit – stealing her own joy, and even Amy’s joy,
when Amy let her. Sally was all too
ready to demean Amy’s job promotion
and her upcoming wedding. It was as
though “joy” had been ripped from
Sally’s dictionary, and it saddened Amy.
Far from feeling her friend was a lost
cause, Amy just wished Sally could see
that everyone had opportunities masked
as problems, but also the unique abilities to dance through them – and that
each of us are an absolute perfect, and
necessary, piece of the humanity puzzle.
Amy’s heart went out to her friend,
Sally. Watching Sally’s actions was a
lesson in what NOT to do to live a
happy life. “I’m a magnet for idiots. I
can never catch a break. You just don’t
know how bad things get for me,” Sally
would lament. Yet Sally discounted
Amy’s feelings when Amy faced hardship. Amy felt as if they were in competition to see who had more tough
Here are four of the ways we let ourselves and others steal our joy:
The first type of joy thievery is a
belief in the idea that arbitrary negative
traits exist. Are you too loud, too quiet,
too big, too little, too poor, too rich?
Pick a trait, and there are media clips
devoted to the idea that who you are is
just plain not good enough.
Type two joy stealing occurs when
They used to hike every day and chat
about their dreams. During the last five
years, Sally had gained at least fifty
pounds, preferring to sit alone and eat
instead of giving herself the healthy
pleasure of getting outside. On the flip
side, Sally was quick to point out all of
Amy’s flaws.
we believe we must hide the behaviors
that society labels as unsavory, so that
we fit into someone else’s ideals of perfection. Sally chose to sooth her
wounds through eating. The eating in
and of itself was a coping mechanism.
But, her need to hide what society
defines as an unsavory habit caused her
joy to disappear as she became more
isolated and depressed.
Type three joy destruction condemns
us to see themselves as flawed at the
core, therefore unworthy of happiness.
Instead of seeing who we truly are (a
piece of divinity) we allow behaviors
that were once transient problem
solvers to become imbedded as an
unchangeable part of our being.
“Doing better when we know better”
becomes “I will never change because
my behaviors control me and my beliefs
about them are fixed.”
Type four joy extraction is negativity. Dark clouds hang around negative
people – so we shouldn’t. When these
negative souls encounter someone who
is really happy, they, often unconsciously, sabotage our joy by lying, cheating,
judging or gossiping. Most “dark cloud
people” don’t realize what they are
doing; Their ability to understand that
there is a different way is either lost or
While headlines beg us to conform,
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what we really need is the courage to
claim our unique beauty and genius.
Being a leader in your own life prevents
you from ever second-guessing your
worth or allowing your joy to be stolen.
Changes happen regardless of our
attitude about them, so why not be a
beacon of light for others AND keep
yourself happy in the process?
Here are a few tips that will take a
pitchfork to the joy stealers taking up
space in your brain or your life:
Current events may seem overwhelming, but you have the resources
within to make an ally of them. Go
back to a time when the world was your
oyster and a solution/skill set came out
of you that was beyond belief. Focus
on that time, and how easily victory
was achieved. Your example could be
as simple as pulling a chair up to the
kitchen counter when you were too
short to get at Grandma’s cookies. You
came up with a successful strategy then,
and that same strategic thinking is still
within you, so tap in and enjoy!
frustration feeding frenzy. Love yourself the way a best friend would. See
beauty in every aspect of your physical,
mental, emotional make-up. This also
gives others permission to do the same.
myself for your wedding.” Sally met
her goal, thoroughly enjoyed the wedding, and met a groomsman who
thought she was the most delightful person he had ever met . . . GB
When you are tempted to disconnect,
About the Author
plug in. Amy wanted to help her friend
through rough times and remind Sally
of how special she is. Because Sally
checked out, both parties lost out.
Instead of collaborating, they were
stagnating! Give yourself the benefit of
receiving the support family and friends
offer to deliver. Equal parts of giving
and receiving are part of life’s natural
balance and a sure fire way to keep joy
a mainstay in any situation!
Dr. Marjorie Wolter is a speaker,
mentor, and founder of Vita
Celebrata, a consulting firm specializing in inspired leadership, and
creating unique cultures of success. With over twenty years of
experience, she is a catalyst for
those who will only be satisfied
having achieved a life worth celebrating. Marjorie has authored
three books: “Magnificent Men are
Everywhere,” “Seekers and
Evolutionaries,” and “Seeking
Celebration.” You are invited to
learn more about her speaking and
consulting by visiting
or calling 800-959-8096.
To Amy’s surprise, a phone message
from Sally changed everything. “Amy,
you have been such a good friend.
Watching how you navigated tough
times and coming away stronger and
happier, was an amazing and motivational gift. Thanks to you, I am rethinking what my life should look like. I
wanted you to know I just joined a gym.
My goal is to look and feel good about
Compassion is difficult
to give away because it keeps
coming back.
Be vigilant of the negativity that
floods airwaves. The underlying media
message is significantly slanted toward
disaster and telling us we are just not
good enough. You know better!
Remind yourself that you are here for a
reason. Your talents and passions will
inspire others while freeing you from
Standards of perfection shift like
sand. Instead of being embarrassed
about qualities deemed unworthy, owning them fully will allow healing to
begin. Understanding that potentially
unhealthy behaviors may be your own
way of caretaking your emotional
wounds lets you lovingly thank and
release them. Self-hatred only creates a
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Family Goal Setting
By Rob Stringer
Successful families don't just happen.
They take time and planning. This
month, in addition to any personal resolutions you may have made, consider
sitting down with your family to reflect
on your collective accomplishments
and dreams. Then set some family goals
for the year ahead.
How to begin:
1. Schedule. Set aside a few hours
over a series of nights, and gather
together everyone in your home. Your
teens will need notice, but tasty treats
might help attendance.
2. Share the purpose. You will be
discussing your wants, dreams and the
values you hold important in your lives,
then using them to develop goals to
guide your family.
Reflect. Consider having each
member choose and record one really
important goal from each category:
Discuss. Share your ideas. Be
open and accepting. Some might need a
little coaxing to share, for fear of being
ridiculed. However, if done in an
atmosphere of mutual respect, this can
be a great opportunity to really get to
know your family! It can also give
insight into people's frustrations and
stressors, as you learn about the ideals
they hold important in their lives.
Analyze. Are they feasible? Are
they specific enough? Look for similarities. Do any overlap with others?
Write. Now collectively create a
series of statements to both collapse and
capture these common desires. These
will become your family goals. For
We are a kind and loving family
who is thankful for all that we have.
We value & support family and
We exercise regularly and lead
healthy lives.
We share our time, talents and
resources with others.
We invest in the future financially
and spiritually.
We strive for excellence in
education, and encourage life-long
Celebrate. You now have a set of
goals to help guide your family's decision-making. Everyone can now weigh
choices against these statements to
determine if they lead your family closer or further from your family's goals.
Post & review. Whether you
frame your goals or carry copies in your
wallets, take time each day, week, and
month to reflect and review what you
have accomplished. Are you making
choices which support these goals?
Don't worry if you slip. Even the most
effective families can be off track most
of the time! The trick that keeps them
on target is their shared sense of focus
and destination. They know where they
are headed, and they keep coming back
to it.
Thoughts to ponder:
Change is hard. Old habits are
difficult to overcome. Be patient and
supportive of one another.
Involve everyone. The process
of family goal setting can help give
family members a better sense of
"voice." Telling your family what their
goals are will not promote acceptance.
Take your time. Creating family
goals should be a process, not a one
day event.
Regardless of your family type – big,
small, divorced, blended, adoptive or
otherwise, successful families don't just
happen. So, make a plan and provide
the focus needed to achieve your family’s dreams and goals. GB
About the Author
Rob Stringer is an award-winning
educator, speaker and author who
coaches parents with his upbeat
approach to learning, and parenting. Rob is currently working on his
first book, Parenting with Intention,
and has launched a free monthly
newsletter by the same name. Visit
to subscribe, access resources, or
learn more about his parent coaching services.
Deal with other's faults as gently
as if they were your own.
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You’ll learn
You’ll laugh
You’ll LOVE it!
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Specific Goals
By Nicki Blake
You’ve written your goals, probably
listing each one in a line. You know
what you want to achieve and you know
the benefits you’ll get from achieving
it. Now you are ready to write it in a
way that will help you make it happen.
Studies of successful people have
shown that they write goals that contain
similar elements. To write a goal like
winners do, be sure that:
1. It is stated in a positive way. (I will..."
instead of "I might" or "I hope..."
2. It is obtainable. (Be realistic, but
don't sell yourself short.)
3. It involves your behavior and not
someone else’s.
4. It is written.
5. It includes a way to measure successful completion.
6. It includes the specific date when you
will begin working on the goal.
7. It includes a projected date when you
will reach the goal.
8. If it is a big goal, it is divided into
manageable steps or sub goals.
9. The projected dates for working on
and completion of sub goals are specified.
Despite the length of the list, great
goals are easy to write. The following
are examples of goals containing the
necessary components.
General Goal: I will be a better basketball player during this year.
Specific Goal: I will get 18 baskets in
20 tries by June 1, 2011. I will begin
working on this goal January 15, 2011.
General Goal: I will become an electrical engineer some day.
Specific Goal: I will have a job as an
electrical engineer by January 1, 2015. I
will begin working on this goal
February 1, 2011.
General Goal: I will go on a diet.
Specific Goal: I will lose 10 pounds by
April 1, 2011. I will begin dieting and
exercising February 27, 2011.
Now, write your general goal. (Be sure
to start with "I will")
Now make it more specific by adding
the manner of measurement and projected completion date.
continued next page
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Writing Great Specific Goals - continued
I will begin working on this goal on
Considering how completing this goal
will benefit you is quite important
because this benefit will be the source
of motivation for the work and sacrifice
needed to complete your goal.
To remind yourself why this goal is
important to you, complete the sentence
below. Use as much detail as you can by
imagining the goal completed. Begin
with, "I will benefit by meeting this
goal because..."
Because some goals are so big that
thinking about them makes us feel overwhelmed, it is necessary to break them
into sub goals or the steps you need to
take in order to meet your major goal.
These steps should be listed below
along with a projected date for completion.
can complete all of them. Use this as
your projected ending date.
Next, turn this table into a Gantt chart
by labeling columns to the right of completion date with an appropriate time
periods (weeks, months, or years) and
color in the cells for the times you will
work on a particular step.
Project management software usually
contain features for making Gantt
charts and make the job more fun by
automatically changing related charts
when you make a change in any one of
Now that you have learned to write a
great specific goal and to schedule sub
goals on a Gantt chart, you are ready to
learn how to maintain your motivation
and momentum.
Maintaining Motivation
& Momentum
Creating Sub-Goals
Write the goal you are working on here:
Since this list will be used to schedule
your work on these steps, you will save
time if you set up a table on another
piece of paper with a wide column for
listing the steps, and a number of
columns to the side which will eventually be used to indicate time periods.
Once you have written a specific goal,
sub goals, and a schedule for completion, you will need to figure out how to
get yourself to do things you are unaccustomed to doing. Remember that
unless you change what you do, it is
unlikely that you will meet your goal.
On a separate sheet of paper, make a
table with a two columns. To the right
of these columns, attach gridded or
graph paper. See the image at the top of
the page for an example.
Below you will find a list of suggestions others have used to stay on track
to meeting their goals. Since everyone
is a little different, you will need to
guess which of the following suggestions will work for you. It may be helpful to try several for a week, evaluate
their effectiveness and then modify
them. Sharing ideas with your class-
After you have listed the steps you will
need to complete in order to attain your
goal, estimate the date by which you
mates may also be helpful since slight
modifications of these suggestions
might make them work better for you.
Tips to Trick Yourself
into Success
1. Keep Your Dream in Mind.
Review the benefits of meeting your
goal. You must keep these in mind
daily. If these benefits stop seeming
important to you, you may want to
reconsider the goal.
Some easy ways to keep benefits of
reaching your goal are to:
1. Reread your goal dreaming sheet.
2. Make signs showing pictures of your
completed goal and the benefits of
meeting it.
For example, if your goal were to be a
famous singing star, you might post pictures of famous singers. You could
paste your face on these pictures and
make "headlines" stating your name
and describing your success. Get creative with this! Post these signs in
places where you will see them often
such as on the door of your locker, on
your bathroom mirror, and on the door
of your refrigerator.
Describe three signs you will make to
keep your dream in mind.
2. Maintain a Positive Attitude.
If your goal is big, you may need to
overcome doubts that you really can
meet it. Keeping yourself on track,
however, requires a steady belief that
you actually will meet this goal.
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a. To remain optimistic, remind yourself that the steps you have listed really
will lead to success. If you don't believe
they will, review them with someone
and make adjustments until you believe
these steps really lead to meeting your
b. Find other people who have met this
goal. Knowing how long and hard others have worked for it will give you
strength to keep going when you begin
to doubt. You need to be able to believe
that with determination, perseverance
and hard work and you can meet your
goal. (Wanting it badly is not enough.)
2. Make working toward your goal fun.
For example, if you want to exercise
more, but find it boring, you might
make it fun by exercising with a friend
or while watching your favorite TV
show. The more enjoyable you find the
work toward your goal, the easier it will
be to stay on track.
You will have to forgive yourself for
days when you don't complete all tasks
and start fresh with a positive attitude
each day. Set up little rewards for yourself for completing your tasks.
List as many ways as you can which
could make working on your goal fun.
If possible, brainstorm with a partner.
3. Chart Your Progress.
Name two people who have met this
You can find out how they worked
toward their goals by talking to them or
reading about their lives.
How do you plan to find out more about
these two people?
Make a chart with of things you plan do
to meet your goal down the left side.
Label the columns with days of the
week or dates when you will check off
whether or not you have completed
these tasks. If you have support of your
family, post this chart so everyone will
see how you are doing. Knowing someone will see whether you have completed your tasks for the day can be helpful;
however, even if you are the only one
who sees it, the chart can be a powerful
4. Consider Asking for Support
from Close Friends and Family
It is important to limit the number of
people you tell about your goals to
those who will not discourage you by
suggesting that your goal isn't important or that you cannot meet it. Because
1. Post quotes about winners never giving up and hard work making dreams
come true. Check books of quotations
under the headings, “perseverance,"
"dreams" and "positive attitude" for
quotes that will keep your spirits high.
Write three different quotations you
will put on three positive attitude signs.
If you are religious, you might also
write a prayer about your goal.
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continued next page
Writing Great Specific Goals - continued
friends and family members may have
difficulty believing in your dreams or
because they may not really want you to
change, they may unintentionally discourage you, so be really cautious about
revealing your goals. If you are fortunate enough to have someone who will
encourage you, however, by all means,
enlist their support. Show them your
goal worksheets and your plans for self
motivation, and then ask them for suggestions. Get them to be your cheering
squad telling them to compliment you
on good days but not to be critical if
you don't complete everything.
Who will you tell about your goal?
Who will you not tell about your goal?
5. Schedule a Regular Time to
Techniques You are Using.
At these times, you may want to stop
using some of these techniques, change
some, add others, or even change your
goal. Remember if you decide to
change your goal then you should complete all the steps listed in your worksheets for the new goal.
List the dates you will assess your
efforts to maintain motivation and
____________________________. GB
About the Author
Nicki Blake is a research writer
and staff writer for Going
Bonkers. Copyright Going
Bonkers Magazine. All rights
Cause or Effect
Making this Universal Law Work for You
The Law of Cause & Effect states that
absolutely everything happens for a
reason. All actions have consequences and produce specific results,
as do all inactions. The choices we
make are causes, whether they are
conscious or unconscious, and will
produce corresponding outcomes or
effects. The Law works the same for
everyone at all times.
Distilled down to the simplest possible terms, this Law states that for
every outcome or effect in one's life,
there is a specific cause; poor diet and
exercise habits (cause) result in poor
health (effect); constant and uncontrolled spending (cause) results in
debt and money worries (effect); not
putting effort into your relationships
(cause) results in poor relationships
and all of the associated issues
Making It Work For You
The wonderful thing about this law is
that by definition, we are able to manifest that which we truly want (the
effect) simply by making the right
choices (cause). The good news is
that you don’t have to figure out the
cause on your own. For example, if
you have a desire to achieve success
in a chosen field, then find someone
who has achieved it and figure out
how they did it. What books did they
read? What courses did they study?
What beliefs did they hold? What
actions did they take?
If you were to emulate the things they
did to be successful, you would
achieve the same results over a period
of time. If, over time, this does not
occur, it is likely because there is
something different in what you were
doing – some vital piece of information that is missing.
What You Can Do
Here are three action exercises to help
you get more of what you want:
1. Determine the Cause & Effect in
the areas in which you want improvement. Identify the specific things you
will need to do in order to get the
results that you desire.
2. Take action! Make the decision to
focus on, and do, the things that others have done to achieve your desired
result. Half the battle is taking action.
3. Persevere. If you take action and
do the things that others have done,
you will eventually get the desired
results. Success takes time, so if it
doesn't seem to be working immediately, don't give up! Stay focused,
analyze your causes to ensure you are
doing the right things; tweak your
approach if necessary – you will get
the desired results!
There is no mystery to achieving success – it is available to all of us. One
need only be aware of, understand
and live in accordance with this
Universal Law! GB
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tony Davies is a Business & Personal Coach. He is an expert in the areas of
Leadership and Personal Development. To contact Tony, check out his website
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At the end of their first date, a
young man decides to try for that
important first kiss. With an air of
confidence, he leans with his
hand against the wall and says
to her, "Darling, how 'bout a
goodnight kiss?"
A man muttered a few
words in the church and found himself married. A year later he muttered
something in his sleep and found
himself divorced.
She replies, "Are you crazy? My
parents will see us!"
An archaeologist is the best
husband a woman can have;
the older she gets, the more
interested he is in her.
"Oh come on! Who's gonna see
us at this hour?"
"No, please. Can you imagine if
we get caught?"
"Oh come on, there's nobody
around, they're all sleeping!"
Take a Laugh Break
"No way. It's just too risky!"
"Oh please, please, I like you so
"No, no, and no. I like you too,
but I just can't!"
Why don't you ever see the
headline: 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
Why ‘abbreviated' is such a long
"Oh yes you can. Please?"
Why it is that doctors call what
"NO, no. I just can't."
they do 'practice’?
Why lemon juice is made with
The porch light goes on and the
girl's sister shows up in her pajamas. In a sleepy voice the sister
says: "Dad says to go ahead and
kiss him. Or I can do it. Or if need
be, he'll come down himself and
do it. But for crying out loud tell
him to take his hand off the intercom button!"
artificial flavor, and dish washing
liquid is made with real lemons?
A young boy was
looking through the family album and asked his mother, "Who's this guy on the beach
with you with the muscles and
curly hair?" “That's your father,"
she replied. With a puzzled look,
the son asked, "then who's that
old bald-headed fat man who
lives with us?"
Why the time of day with the
slowest traffic is called rush hour?
Why there isn't mouse-flavored
cat food?
Why sheep don’t shrink when it
One attractive young businesswoman to another, over lunch:
My life is all math. I am trying to
add to my income, subtract from
my weight, divide my time, and
avoid multiplying.
Real advertisements
For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and
large drawers.
Drycleaner: We do not tear your
clothing with machinery. We do it
carefully by hand.
Dog for sale: eats anything and
is fond of children.
A hobo comes up to the front door of a farmhouse and raps gently on the
door. When the farm owner answers, the hobo asks him, "Please, sir, could
you give me something to eat? I haven't had a good meal in several days."
The owner says, "I have made a fortune in my lifetime but I've never given
anything away for nothing. However, if you go around the back, you will
see a gallon of paint and a clean paint brush. If you will paint my porch, I
will give you a good meal." So the hobo goes around back and a while
later he again knocks on the door. The owner says, "Finished already?
Good. Come on in. Sit down. The cook will bring your meal right in." The
hobo says, "Thank you very much, sir. But there's something that I think
you should know. It's not a Porsche you got there. It's a BMW."
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The Art of
When someone is rude or
treats you in a derogatory
manner don’t allow yourself
to be hurt. Instead, practice
the art of detachment.
That person’s behavior is not
a personal attack on you. It is
the pain from a wound in that
individual’s soul that is crying out to be healed. Even
people who seem to have it
all together can have deep
wounds or fears that cause
them to react to others in a
less than compassionate or
even civil manner. And even
if another cannot be compassionate toward you, the
choice to detach and react is
4 years
of Going Bonkers
Business Edition
Realize that any lashing out
in your direction is not personal, even if it seems that
way. Counteract the negativity
Developing the art of compassion can take time, and in
doing so you will be deflecting the negativity away from
yourself. There is strength in
Going Bonkers Magazine. Copyright 2011
4 years
of DIGITAL version of
Going Bonkers Magazine
4 years
of Bonkers Bits
(Our monthly digital newsletter)
the self-help
with a sense of humor
(USA, CAN & International)
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Many people are under the impression
that being organized means getting and
staying that way once and for all.
However, you may be surprised to learn
that organization is really a habit. It is
very much a continuous system of processing your belongings as they come
in, leave, or stay in your possession.
Think about what “your belongings”
means for a moment. You’ve got clothing, household items, books, media,
paperwork, junk mail (mountains of
junk mail!), shoes, purses, gardening
equipment, sporting equipment, personal care items, and more. These things
are constantly flowing in and out of
your life, and often gathering in piles in
the corners and surfaces of your home.
How are you processing them? If
you’ve got more coming in than is
going out, there is bound to be a logjam
That doesn’t mean you have to give
away something as soon as you receive
or buy something new (although that
isn’t a bad policy either), but you do
need a better system for handling all of
the items that move in and out of your
hands each day.
Below are 5 simple ways to create an
organizational habit that will keep your
belongings flowing easily or stored
neatly away:
Create a better storage system
for the things you want to keep. If you
struggle to find things when you need
them, your storage system needs work.
Assign a place for everything you own,
Simple Ways to Get and Stay
and group like items together. If you
use storage bins or any type of container, be sure to label the outside so you
know exactly what is in them.
Purge broken, unnecessary or
unused items weekly. Devote an hour
once a week to getting rid of items that
are no longer needed and taking up
valuable space in your home. You can
either spend a few minutes in each area
of your home, or rotate the areas weekly and spend the entire hour there.
Donate items that are still usable, but
ditch the rest. Be firm about what you
really need to keep, and what you can
let go of.
Process mail DAILY. Mail is
one of those things that need daily
attention so it doesn’t take over your
life and home. Junk mail should be
shredded or thrown away immediately
so it doesn’t pile up. Nothing is more
conducive to procrastination than seeing a big pile of stuff that needs to be
shredded before you can toss it! If you
shred these things right away, they
don’t have a chance to take over.
Put things away right after you
are done using them. Don’t set it aside
and tell yourself you’ll do it later,
because later never comes. Do it NOW.
Multitask! If you are heading to the
kitchen for a snack, be sure to pick up
any stray dishes or trash as you go. Your
weekly cleaning sessions get much easier and quicker when you’ve already
done the hardest part of picking up.
Involve your family members in
this activity too, so they know they
need to pick up after themselves. Be
prepared to keep reminding them until
they develop a strong habit themselves.
It may be challenging at the beginning,
but eventually they will get the message.
Like any habit, the more you commit to
doing these activities, the easier you
will find it to stay organized for good,
one moment to a time. GB
Terrible Tuesdays
People are at their lowest on Tuesdays, according to a new
study from the London School of Economics, where
researchers monitored the moods of 22,000 people over a
two-month period, using an iPhone App. It seems plausible
that on Monday the weekend has not quite worn off. And by
Tuesday we are well into the working week with the following
weekend not yet in sight.
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Sarah has been suffering a series of
medical conditions, which her doctors
have not been able to diagnose or treat
effectively. On and off pain in her
stomach, achiness in her neck and back
and headaches have become a regular
part of her life. Sarah fears that she
may have cancer or another dreaded
disease that has been missed by her
doctors. After a series of negative tests,
the doctors concluded that there is no
disease present and that her symptoms
are the result of stress.
Stress can cause medical symptoms
with no disease present. In fact, it is
estimated my doctors that a large
majority of the patients they see have
real symptoms, but these symptoms are
caused by stress alone, not by a disease.
Everyone knows about relaxation, exercise and proper diet, but what other
powerful strategies can Sarah use to
continually master the stresses in her
the warning signs of your
“Internal Critic.”
Your self-talk will either keep you well
or make you sick. Negative, pessimistic
messages that you allow to pass through
your mind immediately causes muscle
tightening throughout the body. This
tightening is accompanied by more
rapid breathing and often high blood
pressure. Practice catching yourself
when you have negative thoughts and
make a fist, which is a reminder to
STOP thinking that way. Next, take a
few, deep breaths, release the fist, relax,
and immediately replace the negative
thought with a positive one.
There is an old saying that “What you
believe, you can achieve.” Internal selftalk leads to beliefs (either positive or
negative) and beliefs lead to the body’s
reactions. So looking at stressful situations in a positive, optimistic way,
calms the body and mind. Example:
“My boss may be angry because of
something else happening in his life
today. I have no evidence that he is
really angry at me.”
Give yourself positive
affirmations each day.
Affirmations are positive, optimistic
thoughts about your future as if you
have already gotten there as of today.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t know
the difference between something real
or imagined. For example, visualize
yourself biting into a tart lemon and see
what your mind tells your salivary
glands to do! When you give yourself
positive affirmations and imagine these
things are actually happening right now,
your subconscious mind wants to make
them happen for you. Example: “I am
calm and relaxed when my teenager
tries to push my buttons. It is so wonderful to have control over my emotions.”
Make a list of at least seven positive
affirmations to say each morning upon
rising and each evening when retiring.
Say each one 10 times in the morning
and 10 times in the evening, breathing
slowly and imagine yourself accomplishing each affirmation as you recite it.
Choose to make optimistic
interpretations of events
in your life.
Research depicts the positive physical
health consequences of finding a silver
lining in every dark cloud that comes
your way. When you view unfortunate,
bothersome events in your life as temporary and not permanent indicators of
you having a weakness or a flaw, you
can continually ward off the stresses of
events that take place in your life. In
fact, maintaining an optimistic interpretation of events leads to the generation
of T-cells, which are critical components of your immune systems!
Example: “Just because I haven’t found
the right partner in life so far does not
discourage me. I am particular and
that’s good. It’s only a matter of time
until I find my soul mate.” The key
here is choice. You always have the
choice in how you will see a situation.
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By Jack N. Singer, Ph.D
Set realistic goals.
When you set attainable, healthy goals
and write them down, you will stay
focused and have a high probability of
accomplishing them. People are 11
times more likely to reach a goal when
they write it down, as opposed to simply thinking about the goal. Put these
goals into your computer to flash
reminders to you on a regular basis.
Visualize attaining these goals each
night as you fall asleep and you will
maximize your ability to achieve them!
Write down short and long-term goals
that are specific and action-oriented.
Example: “I will have a pad of paper
printed with the words, ‘Things to do
Today’ across the top and lines with
check off boxes on each page. This will
help me stay focused on what I have to
do each day and I will have a nice sense
of accomplishment.”
A key question to ask yourself is “What
behaviors am I likely to engage in that
would sabotage me from meeting my
goals?” If you are honest with yourself, you’ll see exactly why you haven’t
reached your goals before and you’ll
realize what you need to do to change
those behaviors today.
Find positive, optimistic, supportive
and non-judgmental people to get close
to, who will encourage and reinforce
you. What a breath of fresh air that will
feel like!
Find healthy ways
to defuse frustration
and anger.
Schedule regular visits to a gym, take
dancing lessons, get involved in church
activities, volunteer, or scream to your
heart’s content at a sporting event. All
of these activities have been shown to
melt away angry emotions.
Search for opportunities
for fun and laughter.
We now know that a primary antidote
for stress is fun, laughter and engaging
your sense of humor. Laughter is a positive and powerful force in our emotions and our bodies. It strengthens our
immune system, and releases endorphins, which in turns overrides our
stress hormones, and creates a sense of
calm within us. Sadly, the average
youngster laughs more than 100 times a
day, while the average adult laughs only
about 15 times. Whether it is reading a
joke book, watching a funny movie or
sitcom, or using your creativity to lighten up your workplace, bringing fun into
your life is important for your health.
It’s been said that people don't stop
laughing and having fun because they
get old...they get old because they stop
laughing and having fun! GB
About the Author
Jack Singer is a professional
speaker, trainer and psychologist.
Dr. Singer has been speaking for
and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite
athletes for 34 years. He is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC,
FOX Sports and countless radio
talk shows across the U.S. and
Canada. He is the author of The
Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery
Guide, and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more
about Dr. Singer’s speaking and
consulting services, please visit or call
(800) 497-9880.
A rich person is not one
who has the most, but is one
who needs the least.
Stay close to positive
people and positive
Unfortunately, many of you are married
to, related to, or work for negative, pessimistic people. These are folks who
have their own fears of change, do not
take risks, and wallow in their own misery. These members of the "negativity
club" want you to join them, because
that helps them justify their own behavior and ideas. Become a "Teflon" person by letting the comments of these
folks bounce off you. Assert yourself
and politely tell them to keep their negative opinions about you or your ideas
to themselves.
45. Subscribe at ~ Send us your feedback! [email protected]
How to Get What You Want
Out of the New Year Resolutions
Goal Setting Skills for the New Year or Any Time
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
Every year, throngs of people – maybe
even you – choose a list of resolutions
for the next year. Generally, these are
habits they will try to do every day, or
habits they will try to avoid for as long
as they can. Unfortunately, many of
these resolutions are forgotten by
March. A major reason for this is that
it’s deceptively difficult to develop or
deny ingrained habits “cold turkey.”
but with the baby steps you may be taking toward your goal, you can still feel
like you’ve accomplished something
and are on the right track, which will, in
turn, keep you moving in the right
direction. Once you’ve broken a rigid
resolution, however, it’s easier to feel
like a failure and give up.
While the effort to adopt resolution
shows a wonderful sense of positive
intent, a better alternative is to develop
new goals for the future. Goals are a
better plan than resolutions for a few
key reasons:
Resolutions are usually a means to a
goal, but if you find a resolution too difficult to stick to, it’s usually dropped
and forgotten. With goals, if you find a
planned change too difficult to carry
out, you can drop that plan, but pick a
different new behavior to try that will
still lead to the same end result, and not
lose sight of the goal. For example,
imagine you want to get in the habit of
exercising to be in better shape. You
might make a resolution to go to the
gym five times a week. But if you find
that you just hate the gym, you probably won’t stick to your resolution, and
you’ll be no closer to your goal.
However, if you make “getting more
exercise” the goal, you may drop the
gym, but switch to walking through
your neighborhood each morning, and
still meet your goal.
Rigid vs. Fluid:
Resolutions stay the same: “I will go to
bed by 10pm.” “I will stop eating junk.”
“I will go to the gym five times a
week.” If these are somewhat big
changes, it may feel like a huge change
with no buildup. Goals, however, can
be tackled in steps, beginning with baby
steps and increasing in difficulty as you
become more accustomed to the
change. This makes goals more realistic
for lasting change.
Sense of Accomplishment
vs. Sense of Failure:
Goals give you a direction to aspire to,
The Scope of the Change:
Now that you know some of why resolutions often fail and goals are a more
realistic route, here are some tips for
setting goals you can get behind:
Keep your future in mind:
Think of what you would have in your
ideal life, and where you’d like to be in
two, five, or even ten years, and see if
your goals bring you closer to that picture. If so, they’re good goals to stick
with. If you can keep in your mind the
image of where you would ultimately
like your goals to take you, it’s easier to
stick with them.
Think in terms of broad
changes rather than specific
For instance, resolving to “develop a
stress management practice” gives
more room for growth and change than
“do yoga every morning.” While you’ll
want to put your broad goals into specific behaviors, deciding to “develop a
stress management practice” gives you
room to experiment, and allows you to
change course if you find that yoga isn’t
working for you.
Think in terms of what
you’d like to add to your
life, rather than what you’d
like to take away:
For example, instead of making the
goal to “eat less unhealthy food” focus
on trying to “eat more healthy food.”
You may subconsciously feel more
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deprived if you think of taking something away rather than adding something good, and if you replace
unhealthy food in your diet with healthy
food, the same goal is accomplished.
Also, it’s usually easier to add a behavior than to stop a behavior.
DIRECTIONS: Focus. Find the 8 differences in details between pictures.
Once you have your goals set, keep
them in the forefront of your mind.
Keep them listed in your day-planner,
have them as part of your screen saver,
or post them in prominent places
around your house for a while. Reward
yourself with something small for continuing to stick with it, until you make
enough progress toward your goals that
the progress becomes its own reward.
And remember that change doesn’t
come overnight, but as you work
toward developing what is important to
you, the change will come, and it will
be lasting. Remember this, and enjoy
building the life you were meant to live!
About the Author
Elizabeth Scott is a wellness
coach, health educator, and awardwinning blogger with training in
counseling, family therapy, and
health psychology. Elizabeth works
with individual clients as well as
groups, and runs workshops on
stress management, maintaining a
high quality of life.
Whatever Happens,
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Sometimes we need to stop
analyzing the past . . .stop
planning the future . . .stop
trying to figure out precisely
how we feel . . . and stop
deciding with our mind what
we want our heart to feel.
Sometimes we just have to
go with "whatever happens,
The Joy of Difficult
Family Members
By Jill Cook-Richards
If your family is like most, it’s a breeding
ground for jealously, fighting, moodiness,
gossiping, nagging, and of course, an
ample dose of nit-picking. We all want
our home to be our sanctuary . . . a place
where we can be ourselves and experience
peace, happiness, and love. But sometimes, our loved ones behavior makes it
nearly impossible. Even if the difficult
family members live elsewhere, the ramifications of their words and actions can be
felt miles away and can take years to get
Difficult people are good for you, but
they’re not necessarily good to you! Their
purpose is to help you look at yourself and
decide who you want to become. They
bring out the best of you and the worst of
you, and bring you into the light like
know one else can.
You’re going to change with time anyway; difficult people simply push you
down your self-discovery journey a little
faster. They help make you more aware
of your own strengths and your faults.
When you have a difficult person in your
life, you often feel like you don’t have any
power in the situation. However, with a
little self-reflection, understanding, and
decision-making, you can learn much
from any difficult relationship.
When you’re at work, you’re usually in a
fact-based world where feelings have little merit. If someone hurts your feelings,
the normal practice is to keep it to yourself and push through your work. But at
home, feelings reign supreme. Home is
where your emotions belong, where you
need to trust your feelings and listen to
what your heart tells you.
If someone in your family hurts your feelings, listen to what your feelings tell you,
and then caringly and gently approach the
person in a non-confrontational way. For
example, if a sibling nit-picks on things
that you do, don’t be rude or criticize
them back. Instead, put the focus on your
feelings by saying, “I respect your opinion
and I do care about you, and your input in
my life, but is there a way we can both be
different without the difference causing
friction between us?” Involve the other
party in the resolution process so that you
can both take responsibility for the situation.
If you’re having a problem with someone,
stop and look at your role in the relationship. Are you playing the “tit for tat,”
“forgive but not forget,” “two wrongs can
make a right” game? Are you bringing up
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touchy subjects or doing things that you
know will set the other person off?
Relationships are a two-way street. It’s
time to look at how you may be contributing to the difficult behavior. Be
honest with yourself. Do you have
some underlying feelings or resentment
that you need to address?
Relationships are often like a mirror.
The difficult person is merely reflecting
something you don’t like in yourself.
Really listen to what the other person is
saying and doing. Look deep. Why are
their words or actions rubbing you the
wrong way and hurting your feelings?
Is this person reflecting something that
you don’t like about yourself?
Every difficult person in your life is
actually helping you learn something
you can use for your future. For example, suppose you have a mother who
constantly yells, screams, and throws
tantrums when things don’t go her way.
You certainly don’t like being around
her when she does this, so you make a
mental note that you’ll never act like
that when you’re in a stressful situation.
Later, when you find yourself in a
stressful predicament, even if you do
feel like yelling, you immediately think
of the person you don’t want to become
and you can calm yourself down. This
is called Observational Learning. When
someone is displaying a behavior you
don’t like, you become more aware of
what you want to do differently, and
who you want to become as you
progress through life. Learning by
observing and then doing the opposite
is very powerful. So rather than let the
difficult people frustrate you, see them
as teachers who are helping to shape
into a better version of you.
to remove – and yes, you can remove
family members from your life when
necessary. If you decide to put some
emotional and/or physical distance
between you and a family member, this
doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.
You can still care about someone
deeply but choose not to interact with
him or her. If it is good for you to
remove yourself, it will be good for the
other person too.
If someone constantly attacks your selfesteem and promotes added stress in
your life, you have to decide whether
that stress is acceptable. If it’s not, and
if the person shows no sign of caring or
changing, it’s up to you to keep yourself
safe. Not feeling safe emotionally and
mentally can be harmful and in certain
instances even become life threatening.
Yes, others in your life may criticize
you for this decision, but ultimately you
have to take care of yourself and your
emotional well-being first. It is called
Difficult relationships are a part of life.
The key is how you choose to deal with
them. Either you can let the difficult
person control your life and make you
miserable, or you can take responsibility, work for a resolution, make the
tough choices, and ultimately learn
some lessons.
As you think about the relationships in
your life, remember that happiness is
not always attainable, but peacefulness
is. If you can’t have happy, then aim for
peaceful. The more peace and tranquility you bring to yourself, the more
peace you can offer to others. GB
About the Author
Jill Cook-Richards is a Life Coach
and Counselor. She consults business executives, health care professionals and educators. She is a
regular columnist for several magazines and has spoken at all types of
companies, corporations, and associations such as Blue Cross, UPS,
and the Mayo Clinic. She has also
worked in television, radio, and the
movie industry. She is the author of
the upcoming book How to Heal
Any Relationship from A to Z.
To reach Jill call (904) 396-4060
or email
[email protected]
It’s your responsibility to make the
tough choice of who is going to be a
part of your life and whom you’re going
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Wacky Wisdom
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before
putting him into the box.
There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker.
One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was
getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered
him and he confronted the farmer. The baker asked the farmer
if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, I don't have
a proper measure, but I do have a scale. As you know, I have
been buying a pound of bread from you each day for a long
time. When you bring my bread, I put it on the scale and give
you the same weight in butter.
“There are 5 things you need to know before I send
you out into the world," he told the pencil, “Always
remember them and never forget, and you will
become the best pencil you can be.”
One: You will be able to do many great things, but
only if you allow yourself to be held in someone's
Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from
time to time, but you'll need it to become a better
Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you
might make.
Moral: We get back in life what we give to others.
Four: The most important part of you will always be
what's inside.
Moral: So it is with us.
A son and his father were walking on the mountains.
Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "Ahhh!!!"
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the
mountain: "Ahhh!!!" Curious, he yells: "Who are you?" He
receives the answer: "Who are you?" And then he screams: "I
admire you!" The voice answers: "I admire you!" Angered at
the response, he screams: "Coward!" He receives the answer:
"Coward!" He looks to his father and asks: "What's going
on?" The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."
Five: On every surface, you must leave your mark,
no matter the condition or situation.
A man planted a rose and watered it faithfully. He
saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed
thorns upon the stem and he thought, "How can any
beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so
many sharp thorns? Saddened by this thought, he
neglected to water the rose, and just before it was
ready to bloom... it died.
Moral: Too often we look and see only the thorns –
the defects. Strive to look past the thorns and see the
rose within.
Again the man screams: "You are a champion!" The voice
answers: "You are a champion!" The boy is surprised, but
does not understand. Then the father explains: "People call
this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do.
Moral: Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business to live a
more leisurely life and enjoy his family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The
carpenter said yes, but his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. When
the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter
and said, "This is your house... my gift to you for years of service.” The carpenter was shocked! If he had only known he
was building his own house, he would have done better work.
Moral: The choices we make today build the “house” we live in tomorrow.
Wacky Wisdom is a trademark of Going Bonkers Magazine. All rights reserved 2011
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The Healing
Power of
By Marcelo Holzinger
We were each born with the potential for
creativity: design, invent, paint, draw,
sing, cook, color, write, sculpt, sand,
weave, bake, tend a garden, or take a
photograph. Many already embrace this
potential for creativity, and recognize its
tremendous power.
There is a growing belief in the healing
power of art, with major health care
institutions across the country recognizing its power and acknowledging one
simple fact: Art brings healing.
Therapeutic effects can range from lowering stress levels, to faster recovery
times, and even reduced need for pain
medications. The process of creating
relaxes, rejuvenates, and heals us.
The connections between the mind,
body, and spirit, and their link to our
health is mysterious. What is certain,
however, is that art affects our lives at a
profound level.
moments. When these happen, it can be
difficult to know how to cope with them,
and it’s easy to become so overwhelmed
that we ‘shut down’ and lose sight of the
beauty that is always around us.
As an artist and designer, I have found
that expressing myself through art helps
me reduce my stress level, and also
channels my energy in a very creative
and productive way. By staying artistically connected, I’m constantly reminded to see the beauty around me, and this
adds depth, energy and inspiration to my
life every day. What I’ve realized along
the way is that you don’t have to be a
professional artist to gain the benefits –
all you need is a willingness to try new
forms of expression.
Everything in life has energy at its
source. This includes all of our feelings
and reactions, including stress. When
stress is present in our body, it’s like
having the circuits of our nervous system ‘overloaded’ or having a ‘back-up’
of energy in our bodies. Art is a natural
remedy when stress levels are high.
When we allow our creative juices to
flow, we release our bound up energy.
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The simple act of recognizing, acknowledging and consciously connecting with
the beauty around us can make us feel
Here is an exercise that will show you
how beauty (even a thought) can help
you reduce stress: Think of any stressful moment or situation. Notice how
tense you feel and how your body
responds. Now, take a deep breath, and
visualize yourself walking on a beautiful beach, or playing with your pet, or
contemplating the sunset, or smelling
your favorite flower. Let your mind
focus on that moment, and nothing else.
Just breathe and see that beautiful
moment in your mind. Smile as you do
this. Focus again on that beautiful
moment . . . keep smiling. Now, notice
how you feel and how your body
responds. Chances are, you feel more
grounded and relaxed having done this.
It can take some practice, but everyone
has this ability to appreciate the beauty
around them, and to use this as a means
of reducing stress. And you can do this
as many times you want throughout the
Whether you use the energy of the creative process for relaxation, self-reflection, emotional release, personal healing
or to reduce your stress . . . enjoy the
beauty of the process. Happy creating!
About the Author
Marcelo Holzinger is a professional artist, designer and creative consultant who expresses himself
though abstract painting, graphic
arts and interior décor. He’s been
the production designer for Going
Bonkers Magazine since its inception, and he has also worked with
various magazines and newspapers both nationally and internationally. He currently lives in Miami. His
art has been featured in galleries,
art exhibitions, and in national and
international publications. Contact
him at: or
become his friend on Facebook.
The Five Minute Mission
Five Things You Can Do
in the Next Five Minutes to Reach
Your Full Potential
What is it that you really, really
want out of your life? You’ll likely
achieve it if you’re working towards
it with your full potential. Here are
five things you can do in the next
five minutes to get started:
Tell yourself you can't do everything you want. But don't let this
fact stop you. Maybe you can’t do
everything, but believe that you can
do anything.
List the ideas, dreams, goals.
Maybe it’s a weekend project,
maybe it’s a lifestyle change – whatever those things are, write them
down on a quick list. It doesn't have
to be pretty or complete, just get
them down in ink.
One thing on the list will stand out
to you. One will be calling your
name. One will be exceptionally
motivating. Pick it.
Decide what the first thing is that
you need to do to put this idea into
action. This first step should be
small. One task to get you started. It
should be something you can do
today, regardless of how busy your
schedule is. If the step seems too
big, break it down in even smaller
Take the first step right now.
After you have done these five
things (you have now, right?) there
are two more things to do, and these
two can be done in a flash – far less
than the five minutes you just
A. Decide your next step.
B. Commit to completing the next
step by a certain date.
C. Repeat A and B until
These steps will change your life if
you DO them. That is the point of
this article after all. In the end, it
isn't about knowledge, ideas or
inspiration. It is about action. GB
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Kevin Eikenberry is the two-time best selling author of Vantagepoints On
Learning And Life and Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership
Potential One Skill at a Time. He has spent the last 15 years helping organizations all across North America reach their potential. He offers monthly teleseminars through a program called the Remarkable Leadership Learning
System. Kevin can be reached at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER and
through his website,
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4-Day Attitude Diet
By Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Hold up your thumb and forefinger
about 2-1/2 inches apart. It takes about
1/100th of a second for Olympians to
run that distance in the 100-meter race.
But that's the difference between winning and losing.
In the women's 100-meter dash at the
Barcelona Olympic Games, for example, the gold medal was won by an
American who crossed the line only 21/2 inches in front of her closest opponent. The fifth place went to a Jamaican
who finished a mere 6/100th of a second behind her. And yet that little bit of
difference made all the difference in the
The same goes for attitude. When you
compare age, gender, upbringing, education, IQ, and just about any other factor you can think of, research says that
attitude is the little bit of difference that
makes all the difference in success in
both your personal and professional
lives. In fact, the research makes it clear
that attitude is more important than any
other element when it comes to ensuring success.
So how do you build a positive attitude
that ensures your success? Just follow
this "4-Day Attitude Diet," focusing on
a different skill each day. And repeat the
cycle until you've built an invincible
attitude. It works!
Positive Attitude Diet
Day 1
FILL your mind with positives
Instead of living your life on autopilot,
letting any and all thoughts come into
your mind, consciously feed your mind
positive input. Do this on the first day
of every week, and do it throughout the
day. Read inspirational books; listen to
uplifting music, or call an upbeat person. And by all means, avoid the cynics
and gripers.
Keep a journal and write down every
wonderful things that happen to you on
Day 1. Include even small things.... like
finding a quarter on the sidewalk.... or a
stranger greeting you with a cheerful
"good morning." Upon close evaluation, you'll see that most of the things
that happen in your life are positive.
Positive Attitude Diet
Day 2
AFFIRM yourself
To build a positive attitude you must
remind yourself of past victories.
Congratulate yourself on the good you
have done and will do. And refuse to let
any self-doubt enter your mind. Just tell
yourself over and over, "I am filled with
confidence, and I am competent." And
when you make a mistake, learn the lesson in that mistake and laugh at yourself. In fact, people who can't laugh at
themselves are not only more negative,
but they're also more susceptible to cancer, stroke, and heart disease. So
laugh... and affirm the fact you're learning, growing and increasing your
health, all with one giggle.
Of course you may have some doubts
about yourself. But on day 2, literally,
consciously feed yourself with positive
affirmations. As boxing champ Sugar
Ray Robinson said, "To be a champ,
you have to believe in yourself when
nobody else will."
Positive Attitude Diet
Day 3
THINK only good things
about people
Don't allow ill thoughts to enter your
mind. Look for something you like in
everyone you meet. One person might
have a great smile, and another one
might be extremely dedicated to his
work. You can always find something
you like.
Of course, you may think this a rather
Pollyannaish activity.... especially if
you're working with some very difficult
people. No problem. Simply see these
people as giving you an opportunity to
learn patience and practice assertiveness. That's something you can like.
Positive Attitude Diet
Day 4
SPEAK only positive words
In order to build and maintain a positive
attitude, you must speak hopeful about
everything – your job, your spouse,
your kids, your extended family (yes,
even them!), your health, and your
future. Go out of your way to talk optimistically about everything.
You may have to talk yourself out of
uttering negative words. If, for instance,
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the man at the front of the company
cafeteria line seems to be holding up
everyone else, you'll be tempted to
make a snide remark to the person next
to you. Don't do it. Instead, say, "It's
kind of nice not to rush every single
minute of the day."
When you have a positive attitude, you
refuse to use a loser's language. If you
talk like a loser, you'll end up losing. As
George Schultz, the former U.S.
Secretary of State said, "The minute
you start talking about the possibility of
losing, you’ve already lost."
And, Now The Challenge:
Start Building a Positive
Attitude Today!
Nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . contributes more to your success than your
attitude. The good news is you can have
a powerful, positive attitude . . . if you
start this 4-Day Attitude Diet today. It
has worked for thousands – now it's
your turn! GB
Bonkeroids \bonk’-e-roidz\ n. amazing,
but useless facts acquired through Going
Bonkers Magazine
There are 122 pebbles per square
inch on a Spalding basketball.
Bugs Bunny was originally called
"Happy Rabbit."
Asparagus comes in three colors:
green, white and purple.
When Alexander Graham Bell
invented the telephone back in 1876,
only six phones were sold in the first
India has a Bill of Rights for cows.
A honey bee has four wings.
Approximately two gallons of water
are used to brush your teeth.
Heinz Catsup leaving the bottle travels at 25 miles per hour.
Sharks are immune to cancer.
Americans eat approximately 20
pounds of pasta per person each year.
Reindeer like to eat bananas.
Cheddar cheese is the best selling
cheese in the USA.
Every second, 630 steel cans are
In 1946, the New York Yankees
became the first baseball team to travel
by plane.
Ed Cox from San Francisco invented
the pot scrubbing S.O.S. pads in 1917.
His wife came up with the name, which
stands for "Save Our Saucepans."
About the Author
As a best-selling author and Hall of
Fame professional speaker, Dr. Alan
Zimmerman has taught more than
one million people in 48 states and
22 countries how to keep a positive
attitude on and off the job. In his
book, PIVOT: How One Turn In
Attitude Can Lead To Success, Dr.
Zimmerman outlines the exact steps
you must take to get the results you
want in any situation.
For more information visit
Look at everything as though
you were seeing it either
for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be
filled with glory.
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Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
By Maria Gracia
Could you benefit from simplifying
your life? There is a lot of talk these
days about the benefits of simplicity,
but why is simplicity beneficial?
Clear Mental Noise. Although our
brains are capable of many remarkable
things, studies have shown that our performance and productivity plummets
when we multi-task. By simplifying our
thoughts to the single task at hand, we
are able to boost our performance and
focus on the important details with
more clarity.
Lower Stress. A nice byproduct of
clearing out your mental noise is lower
stress levels.
Lessen Clutter. Clutter, that pile of
mess that thrives on your desk, on your
bed and everywhere else can be reduced
or even eliminated by simplifying your
needs. Do you really need to buy an
extra pair of pants or the latest electronic gadget?
More Money in Your Savings Account.
Simplifying your needs and lessening
the amount of clutter you accumulate
will translate into more money into your
savings account. This can also be a significant peace of mind when emergency
strikes and you have to forgo income till
things return to their normal state.
Less Time Cleaning and Maintaining.
When we have a lot of ‘stuff’ we tend to
take a lot more time cleaning and maintaining. Do you have so much clothes
that they tend to overflow from your
closets and drawers? By simplifying
and minimizing our needs we can effectively cut down on the time we require
to clean and maintain which means
more time for other things you enjoy
More Time for YOU. By simplifying
your life commitments, you’ll be able
to have more time for yourself. Do you
want to learn a new instrument? A new
language? Or to just relax and do nothing? You can do this and more with the
extra time you gain from simplifying
the things in life we tend to complicate.
Here are the top 10 ways to organize
and simplify your life.
It's more important to have a few nice
things that you truly enjoy, than to just
have lots of stuff. Say goodbye to things
that don't fit, are out of style or are
unflattering. This goes for clothing, furniture, knick-knacks, and other possessions you're not happy with.
Most stores take Visa, MasterCard and
American Express. Pay off your other
credit cards, and in the future use only
one or two of these major credit cards.
Or, if possible, pay cash for purchases.
There are plenty of nice, washable
clothes available for both business and
pleasure. You'll spend less time and
money at the dry cleaners. The same
goes for bedspreads, curtains, etc.
Let your answering machine take all
your phone calls, and return calls on
your time.
Don't allow trivial matters to aggravate
you. If the milk spills, wipe it up and
move on to more important things.
Don't try to do everything yourself.
Split up household responsibilities
among family members. Delegate to
your staff. Outsource projects, repairs
and so on.
There's no need to store it in your memory. Write it down.
If your favorite program isn't on at a
convenient time, use your VCR and
record it. Then, watch it when you want
to – without all the commercials!
Too many activities can cause a strain
on your children, and you!
Spend 10 minutes each night, planning
for tomorrow. You'll be focused and
ready to take on the world each morning! GB
About the Author
Maria Gracia, is the author of
Finally Organized, Finally Free,
which has been read by thousands
of people all over the world. In addition, she has created a variety of
other helpful organizing products
that can be found in her Get
Organized Now! Store at
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A Winning
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You g a few of anagetryin g time mues to
lowin techniq life and
ment lify your ol over
simp ore contr
get mtime:
the Expert
by Dr. Janet Greenwood
Sharing feelings
Your attitude can make or break
you. It's virtually indisputable
that your attitude determines how
far you'll go in life and a positive
mental outlook can help you
My wife, rightfully, gets frustrated when I cannot share my feelings with her. Frankly, if I knew my feelings I would be glad to share them. This
probably sounds ridiculous, but is there any way for me to know my feelings so
I can talk about them? My wife does this so easily, but it is as if someone is asking me to speak Greek. Any suggestions?
achieve optimal success.
Having a positive mental attitude
helps you cope with challenges.
When you're put to the test,
whether or not you have the
A: Many people lack the vocabulary to distinguish and describe the
subtle shades of emotions; you are not alone in this struggle. Men particularly,
were often not encouraged as children to pay attention to feelings but rather were
encouraged to “keep a stiff upper lip” or “don’t be a sissy” or “be a brave little
soldier.” I have two suggestions for gaining an emotional vocabulary and for
identifying your feelings.
tools, skills, knowledge, or
resources, your positive attitude
will get you through tough times
and help you come out on top.
On the other hand, an attitude
makes everything much harder.
You can't win when you go into
the contest prepared to lose!
If you expect to do well, your
attitude will create positive, winning thoughts that help you succeed.
Going Bonkers Magazine. Copyright 2011
First, sit down with a pencil and paper and list as many feelings and
words as you can. After you have completed your list, ask your wife to do the
same. Combine the lists so you have a reference sheet. This can often be useful to look at from time to time and see what “feeling word” best fits for you at
a particular time.
Second, read the following feeling vignettes and fill in the “feeling
word” that feels right for you. There is no right or wrong answer. Refer to your
list of “feeling words” if it is helpful.
You wake up in the night and hear a strange noise and feel…
You discover your child has just shoplifted, you feel…
You are talking with an employee, knowing you have to fire him and you
You get a letter from your father and feel…
You watch your child in a talent show and feel…
The car in front of you is going 35 in a 55 mile zone and there is no place
to pass. You feel…
Someone you love touches you and you feel…
Light travels faster than sound.
This is why some people
appear bright until
you hear them speak.
Dr. Janet Greenwood is a licensed Marriage & Family therapist, specializing in
relationship issues in her private practice for over 20 years. For more information about Janet's Couple's Programs or an immediate download of her E-book,
"Rescue Your Marriage In 5 Hours: An Imago Guide For Couples In Crisis,"
please visit
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When the Brood is Rude
By Danita Johnson Hughes, Ph.D
“Finally, she answered the phone!”
Hank, a divorced father of one, calls his
pre-teen daughter every morning and
every evening. Rarely does he reach her
on the first try. More often than not, he
grows frustrated as he places two, three,
and even four calls a night before he
reaches her.
“Hi Sweetheart” Hank softly coos when
he hears his daughters sweet voice on
the other end of the line. “I’ve gotta
take a shower,” she curtly replies. He
hears the familiar click of a phone being
hung up. There was no, “I’m sorry
Daddy, but I’m in a rush. Would it be
alright if I call you later?” There was not
even a civilized “bye.” Just the cold,
harsh, rude click. Hanks heart sank.
The family/home setting is an incubator
for such incivility. And let’s face it; parents are the greatest influence for kids.
Kids model our behavior, both good and
bad, but especially the negative behavior.
The pressures of daily life can take their
toll on adults who are already working
under a great deal of stress.
Consequently tempers get frayed and
patience and tolerance are buried under
piles of household chores and homework waiting to be checked. It’s easy
for a busy parent to throw courteous and
polite practices out the window after a
long day of work. But if your brood has
a habit of being rude, then take a look in
the mirror – they are modeling your
behavior. American author and civil
rights activist James Baldwin expressed
it perfectly, “Children have never been
very good at listening to their elders, but
they have never failed to imitate them.”
Finding Civil
You can change your child’s rude
behavior, when you change your own.
And everyone will benefit in the process
– especially the children.
Encouraging civility at home promotes
a low-stress environment, improved
childhood self esteem and enhanced
social skills. Children suffer because
they see and model the worst of their
parents’ behaviors. The impact of such
destructive behavior can be more psychologically damaging to our kids than
open forms of abuse.
It’s a known fact that kids are keen
observers. They watch your every
move. They learn as much from your
actions as they do your words. So, what
you say must align with what you do.
For example, if you have a habit of
speaking negatively and with an edge of
frustration to your ex-spouse, it’s a guarantee you’ll see similar behavior when
your child is interacting with you, her
other parent, or even her friends. But
when you model dialogue that is based
in kindness, patience and respect, especially during times of conflict, then your
child will learn how to interact with others in the same way.
As a parent and role model, you’ll need
to spend time encouraging your children
to be sensitive, caring and concerned
about the needs and feelings of others.
You can teach your children to value
and support others by:
Insisting that they be respectful of
others at all times.
Reminding them to treat others the
way they want to be treated.
Teaching them tolerance and
acceptance of those who are
different culturally or physically.
Encouraging them to demonstrate
common courtesy in their
interactions by saying “please”
and “thank you.”
Getting them involved in
community service at an early age.
Encouraging them to seek common
ground, even if it's to agree to
Teaching them the importance of
accepting responsibility for their
actions and the consequences of
those actions.
It’s important to remember that your
kids are watching you and learning how
to treat others. Your words and actions
must exemplify your commitment to
civility. Every day, there are multiple
opportunities to model civility for your
children. Set an expectation of exercising civility in all your interactions by
"walking the talk." Your kids will follow in your footsteps. GB
About the Author
Danita Johnson Hughes, Ph.D. is
a healthcare industry executive, public speaker and author of the forthcoming Turnaround. Through her
work she inspires people to dream
big and understand the role of personal responsibility in personal and
professional success. In her first
book, Power From Within, Danita
shares her “Power Principles for
Success” that helped her overcome
meager beginnings and achieve professional, community and personal
For more information visit,
or email her at
[email protected]
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I can be a
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I AM Good Enough!
How to Dump the Old Tapes
and Increase your Self-Image
By Virginia Bola, PsyD
Every time something doesn't go quite
right, which might be rather frequently
for some of us, we start berating ourselves.
We can be the perfect example of courtesy and forgiveness to those we care
about, but turn and savage ourselves in
the most brutal fashion. How many
times have you told yourself: "I'm an
absolute idiot! What was I thinking?"
From those immediate negative selfassessments, we dive deeper, reinforced
by old admonitions playing in our
brain. We may be adults, our parents
and teachers perhaps long deceased, but
their deprecating, wounding, critical,
even, at times, cruel or abusive,
remarks play over and over as if we
were still children, being scolded for
"our own good."
With the help of those judgmental tapes
playing repetitively in the back of our
minds, we easily move from annoyance
at a simple mistake to a global view of
our own ineptitude: "I always blow it...
I can't do anything right... Why am I
such a failure?"
Why is it so much harder to forgive ourselves than to forgive those we love? Is
it because we don't love ourselves as
much? Is it because we expect more of
ourselves? Or is it that we know ourselves too well, painfully aware of our
dark secret places and our internal
shortcomings? We are hard on ourselves because we have a deep, subconscious, lifelong belief that we don't
quite measure up.
The maggot gnawing away at our core
is made up of a long string of events
starting when we first became aware of
the world and began to hear the word
"No!" It continued through a childhood
of making mistake after mistake, as we
all do when learning new skills, and
through adulthood as we are judged by
our bosses, our spouses, and our customers. We may face, intermittently, the
heavy emotional jolt of being laid off,
the ultimate rejection of our self-worth.
Psychologists have studied authoritychild interactions in both the home and
in school. Remarkably, feedback to the
child, in both environments, is more
than 70% negative with the remainder
either neutral or positive. Is it any wonder that we grow up to view ourselves
as not quite good enough, mess-ups, or
even total failures? We have internalized all of that destructive feedback and
face the world with a pride and selfcomposure that we know is only a
defensive façade, constantly in peril of
crumbling away.
How can we jettison this baggage of
One strategy is to become aware of
your own internal chatter. When something happens and you screw up, it is an
independent event: you made a mistake
as humans do. Try to separate that one
event from anything that has happened
in the past. One error can be quickly
dealt with and resolved. Watch as your
mind starts to link that event with every
other mistake you have ever made,
attempting to form a lifelong pattern of
questionable judgments and poor decisions. Analyze what you are telling
yourself and watch for the give-away
absolutes: "I always . . . I never . . ."
Absolutes are irrational and illogical;
they reflect our thinking, not reality.
Being aware of them bubbling in your
mind gives you the opportunity to
negate them: if you have ever, just once,
been successful at something, no matter
how small, then you cannot be, by definition, a "total" failure. Just one contrary event completely wipes out an
"always" or a "never."
Increase your consciousness of your
mental processes by writing down your
actions and your thoughts. Cognitive
therapy uses similar (more structured)
techniques to explore your mental processing so that you can understand what
your own mind is doing in shaping your
vision of the world and yourself. The
realization that it is your mind, right
now, which is defining your mood and
your emotional distress, creates a won-
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derful opportunity. If your psychological discomfort arises out of your thinking, not out of some long-standing
immutable neurosis nor warped brain
cells, then you know you have the
power to change!
This new perspective on the world is
freeing and empowering. The old recurrent critical tapes can be pushed into the
dead file where they belong. Your present, your future, your sense of self is
yours to control because your thoughts
can be consciously directed. It took
years to get you to where you are now.
Vow to spend the rest of your life nurturing those sprouting positive thoughts
until they blossom and fill your entire
brain. The old tapes will have no place
left to lurk. GB
About the Author
Virginia Bola, PsyD is a licensed
clinical psychologist who operated
a vocational rehabilitation firm for
more than 20 years. She studies
the emotional effects of unemployment, aging, overweight, and
social issues on the individual.
Her first book, The Wolf at the
Door: An Unemployment Survival
Manual addressed the emotional
aspects of unemployment, provided psychological support for the
rigors of the job search, and incorporated proven techniques for
obtaining successful work. Her
book, Diet With An Attitude: A
Weight Loss Workbook, approaches weight control through psychological strategies to permanently
modify the body-food relationship.
Visit her sites at
Never give up on something
that you can't go a day without
thinking about.
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How to Keep
a Resolution
Understanding the Stages of Change
By Kendra Cherry
Anyone who has ever made and broken a New Year’s
Resolution can appreciate the difficulty of behavior change.
Making a lasting change in behavior is rarely a simple
process, and usually involves a substantial commitment of
time, effort, and emotion.
Whether you want to lose weight, stop smoking, or accomplish another goal, there is no single solution that works for
everyone. You may have to try several different techniques,
often through a process of trial-and-error, in order to achieve
your goal. It is during this period that many people become
discouraged and give up on their behavior change goals. The
key to maintaining your goals is to try new techniques and
find ways to stay motivated.
Psychologists have developed a number of ways to effectively help people change their behavior. Many of these techniques are used by therapists, physicians, and teachers.
Researchers have also proposed theories to explain how
change occurs. One of these theories, known as the ‘Stages of
Change’ model, has been used to help people understand the
change process. This model demonstrates that change often
requires a gradual progression of small steps toward a larger
Understanding the stages of change, and ways to work
through each stage, can help you achieve your goals.
The Elements of Change
In order to succeed, you need to understand the three most
important elements in changing a behavior:
Readiness to change - Do you have the resources and
knowledge to successfully make a lasting change?
Barriers to change - Is there anything preventing you from
Expect relapse - What might trigger a return to a former
One of the best-known approaches to change is known as the
“Stages of Change” model, and has been found to be an effective aid in understanding how people go through a change in
behavior. In this model, change occurs gradually and relapses
are an inevitable part of the process of making a lifelong
change. People are often unwilling or resistant to change during the early stages, but eventually develop a proactive and
committed approach to changing a behavior.
Read more about each step of the stages of change model by
following the links below.
Stage 1 – Precontemplation
Characteristics of
Helpful Strategies
•Encourage the individual to
rethink their behavior.
•Ignorance of the
•Encourage self-analysis
and introspection.
•Explain the risks of the
current behavior.
The earliest stage of change is known as precontemplation.
During the precontemplation stage, people are not considering
a change. People in this stage are often described as “in
denial” due to claims that their behavior is not a problem. If
you are in this stage, you may feel resigned to your current
state or believe that you have no control over your behavior.
In some cases, people in this stage do not understand that their
behavior is damaging or are under-informed about the consequences of their actions.
64. Subscribe at ~ Send us your feedback! [email protected]
If you are in this stage, begin by asking yourself some questions. Have you ever tried to change this behavior in the past?
How do you recognize that you have a problem? What would
have to happen for you to consider your behavior a problem?
Stage 2 – Contemplation
Characteristics of
If you are in the preparation stage, there are some steps you
can take to improve your chances of successfully making a
lasting life change. Gather as much information as you can
about ways to change your behavior. Prepare a list of motivating statements and write down your goals. Find outside
resources such as support groups, counselors, or friends who
can offer advice and encouragement.
Helpful Strategies
•Weigh the pros and
•Conflicted emotions.
the cons of changing a
•Confirm readiness to
change and encourage
confidence in your abilities.
Stage 4 – Action
Characteristics of
•Taking direct action
•Reward your successes.
toward achieving a
•Seek out social support.
•Make a list of motivating
•Identify barriers to change.
During this stage, people become more and more aware of the
potential benefits of making a change, but the costs tend to
stand out even more. This conflict creates a strong sense of
ambivalence about changing. Because of this uncertainty, the
contemplation stage of change can last months or even years.
In fact, many people never make it past the contemplation
phase. During this stage, you may view change as a process of
giving something up rather than a means of gaining emotional, mental, or physical benefits.
If you are contemplating a behavior change, there are some
important questions to ask yourself: Why do you want to
change? Is there anything preventing you from changing?
What are some things that could help you make this change?
Stage 3 – Preparation
Characteristics of
•Experimenting with
Helpful Strategies
During the fourth stage of change, people begin taking direct
action in order to accomplish their goals. Oftentimes, resolutions fail because the previous steps have not been given
enough thought or time. For example, many people make a
New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and immediately start a
new exercise regimen, begin eating a healthier diet, and cut
back on snacks. These definitive steps are vital to success, but
these efforts are often abandoned in a matter of weeks because
the previous steps have been overlooked.
If you are currently taking action towards achieving a goal,
congratulate and reward yourself for any positive steps you
take. Reinforcement and support are extremely important in
helping maintain positive steps toward change. Take the time
to periodically review your motivations, resources, and
progress in order to refresh your commitment and belief in
your abilities.
Stage 5 – Maintenance
•Write down your goals.
small changes.
•Collecting information
about change.
•Prepare a plan of action.
•Make a list of motivating
During this stage, you might begin making small changes to
prepare for a larger life change. For example, if losing weight
is your goal, you might switch to lower-fat foods. If your goal
is to quit smoking, you might switch brands or smoke less
each day. You might also take some sort of direct action such
as consulting a therapist, joining a health club, or reading selfhelp books.
Helpful Strategies
Characteristics of
Helpful Strategies
•Maintaining a new
•Develop coping strate-
gies to deal with temptation.
•Avoiding temptation.
•Remember to reward
yourself for success.
The maintenance phase of the Stages of Change Model
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continued next page
How to Keep a Resolution - continued
involves successfully avoiding former behaviors and keeping
up new behaviors. During this stage, people become more
assured that they will be able to continue their change.
If you are trying to maintain a new behavior, look for ways to
avoid temptation. Try replacing old habits with more positive
actions. Reward yourself when you are able to successfully
avoid a relapse. If you do lapse, don’t be too hard on yourself
or give up. Instead, remind yourself that it was just a minor
setback. As you will learn in the next stage, relapses are common and are a part of the process of making a lifelong change.
Stage 6 – Relapse
Characteristics of
Helpful Strategies
•Feelings of disap-
•Identify triggers lead to
pointment, failure, and
•Recognize barriers to
success and take steps to
overcome these obstacles.
•Reaffirm your goals and
commitment to change.
In any behavior change, relapses are a common occurrence.
When you go through a relapse, you might experience feelings of failure, disappointment, and frustration. The key to
success is to not let these setbacks undermine your self-confidence. If you lapse back to an old behavior, take a hard look
at why it happened. What triggered the relapse? What can you
do to avoid these triggers in the future?
While relapses can be difficult, the best solution is to start
again with the preparation, action, or maintenance stages of
behavior change. You might want to reassess your resources
and techniques. Reaffirm your motivation, plan of action, and
commitment to your goals. Also, make plans for how you will
deal with any future temptations.
Resolutions fail when the proper preparation and actions are
not taken. By approaching a goal with an understanding of
how to best prepare, act, and maintain a new behavior, you
will be more likely to succeed. GB
About the Author
Kendra Cherry is a writer specializing in psychology, child
development and education. She holds a Bachelor of
Science in Psychology from Idaho State University, and a
Master of Science in Education from Boise State University.
Her primary research interest is in educational psychology.
Love What You Do
Even If You Don't
In my local supermarket there's a guy who works as
a cashier. He's very different from all the other
employees – he has fun! He connects with every
customer he encounters. He comments on the things
they buy. He jokes with them. He asks how people
are doing and genuinely cares. He's sensitive to people's moods. If someone is projecting 'leave me
alone', he'll do just that. The line leading to his register is always the longest. People WANT to be serviced by this guy. They want it so much, they'll stand in
a longer line for it.
Even if you don’t love your job, try to find one aspect
of it that is enjoyable, and make the best of it. Look
for a way to excel at it while having FUN!
Submitted by
Is Bargain Shopping
As Good As Sex?
We all know how thrilling it feels to snag a bargain. Your pulse starts racing, your breathing
gets heavy, your toes curl . . . The feeling is
positively naughty. And according to new
research from London's University of
Westminster, that's because it is. Scientists
have found that bagging a good deal turns the
brain on the same way that sex does, which
explains why you tend to buy items if they're
on sale or discounted.
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By JoAn Majors
“We need to talk.” This type of requests
gives you chills, a pit in your stomach,
sweats, and diarrhea, even nausea. And
often the one hearing the news is not the
only one feeling the discomfort!
Unfortunately, an announcement like
“we need to talk” is the way most people have learned to handle a concern;
take care of business, lay down the law,
or deliver a tough conversation. What is
it about a request like this that makes
everyone involved just dread the
moment? How can a simple request
evoke such emotion?
Below are guidelines which will allow
even the most timid at heart, as well as
the brutally honest, a way to offer
unpleasant information with integrity
and empathy, while increasing the odds
that the recipient will be more willing to
hear it.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
When it comes to delivering tough conversations, starting with the right question and the right attitude can change
everything about the encounter and the
outcome. It doesn’t matter if the conversation is between friends, with family, or at work. The ability to start with
a question allows the other party to listen and participate at their rate of speed,
not yours. You must be willing to wait
for the answer. This allows the other
party to actually choose to engage in the
Ask Permission
When you have an issue with another
person and need the individual to listen
and participate in the actions that follow, then you must engage them in the
process. For example, you might say,
“Susan, you are one of my dearest
friends and such a thoughtful person. I
care about what happens to you and
your family. Do I have permission to
coach you in handling this issue with
your son?” Asking permission is
respectful, and she will most likely say
yes. Asking is less brutal then offering
unsolicited advice, and yet it still gives
you the freedom to the issue at hand.
More importantly, she is now involved
by saying yes. This simple question
allows it to become a symbiotic relationship of problem solving instead of a
reprimand or a judgment.
Ask Permission to be Honest
In a situation where you have a subordinate who wants to confront an issue
with someone in management, it works
similarly but the words would be different. Timing is important in these conversations and you would never want to
make someone else look bad or foolish,
this won’t serve you well, so be discrete. Step into their office or schedule
a time to discuss. Susan might say to the
administrator at the school, “John, Do I
have permission to be honest with
you?” John will respond positively.
Besides, who would say, “No, I want
you to lie to me!” Often people will
seem puzzled that you ask. Don’t fill in
the silence; wait for their response.
However uncomfortable this might
seem it will create the results you want
by allowing both parties to listen differently.
ent hears “we” have the problem and it
is “little.” However, if you say, “Mrs.
Jones there is a problem with Johnny’s
behavior; I am concerned and you
should be too.” This statement allows
the parent to hear the concern. These
types of conversations should only be
shared after asking permission to be
Assume Innocence
Don’t use accusatory language. When
having tough conversations don’t
assume you know everything about the
individual or the behavior that is being
displayed. When you ask for permission to coach or to be honest, presume
that the other party has no idea there is
an issue or problem – assume innocence. In the teacher/parent scenario
above, assume the parent knows nothing of Johnny’s behavior, and assume
that Johnny is good. Assuming innocence is much more productive to
everyone involved. Assuming innocence opens the conversation to honest
discussion with a spirit of working on
the same team.
These techniques will cut down on the
defensive mechanism we all have when
we know bad news is coming! Focus
on the fix not the flaw; this can help you
encourage others to greatness! GB
Leave Out the Limiting Terms
About the Author
When speaking to someone about their,
or their children’s, habits or behaviors,
it is of utmost importance to leave out
the limiting terms. For instance, if you
are going to discuss an area that is sensitive, it’s normal nature to want people
to like us, so we’ll often use words like,
we, little, sort of, kind of and other
words that lessen the impact of our
message. Let’s take a teacher to parent
scenario. You’re the teacher and you
say to the parent, “Mrs. Jones, we have
a little problem with Johnny.” The par-
JoAn Majors is a member of the
National Speakers Association and
the Global Speakers Network. As a
professional speaker and published
author, her systems deliver results
and encouragement to the workplace and home. For more on her
seminars and her latest book,
Encouragementors: 16 Attitude
Steps for Building Your Business,
Family & Future, please visit
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Stories so funny – they must be true!
While I was shopping in a pharmacy, a couple of teenagers came in.
They were dressed in leather,
chains, and safety pins. The boy
had blue and purple spiked hair and
the girl's hair was bright yellow. Suddenly the boy
picked up a pair of sunglasses and tried them on.
"What do you think?" he asked his girlfriend. "Take
them off!" she howled. "They make you look
The minute I walked into the post
office, my friend who was standing
in line noticed the new earrings my
husband had given me. "Those must
be real diamonds," she said. "Yes," I said. "How
could you tell?" "Because," she said, "no one buys
fake diamonds that small."
Watching a movie recently, I couldn't hear the dialogue over the chatter of the two women in front of
me. Unable to bear it any longer, I
tapped one of them on the shoulder.
"Excuse me," I said. "I can't hear." "I should hope
not," she answered. "This is a private conversation.”
I was performing a complete physical,
including the visual acuity test. I placed
the patient twenty feet from the chart and
began, "Cover your right eye with your
hand." He read the 20/20 line perfectly.
"Now your left." Again, a flawless read. "Now both," I
requested. There was silence. He couldn't even read the
large E on the top line. I turned and discovered that he
had done exactly what I had asked; he was standing
there with both his eyes covered. I was laughing too
hard to finish the exam.
When a woman in my office recently
became engaged, a colleague offered her
some advice. "The first ten years are the
hardest," she said. "How long have you
been married?" I asked. "Ten years," she
On the way back from a fishing trip my
grandson asked my son the question. "Dad,
I know that babies come from mommies'
tummies, but how do they get there in the
first place?" he asked innocently. After my
son hemmed and hawed for a while, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust. "You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's okay if you don't know the answer."
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“This Year I’ll
How to Really Keep Your Fitness
By Lynn Bode
The New Year is settling in. Do you
have a New Year's Resolution? Well, if
you're like most Americans (88 percent
according to a GNC poll), you have at
least one resolution. And, if you are like
the majority of promise-makers, your
resolution is probably related to health
and fitness.
With all the hype surrounding these
promises, it's easy to get caught up in it
without really taking them seriously.
We live in a throw-away society and
even our resolutions are not immune.
However, especially for promises that
include improving our health, it's in our
best interest not to take them lightly.
So, what's the secret to successful resolutions? While you can't wave a magic
wand and make your resolution come
true, there are some easy steps to take
that will make it easier to fulfill your
promises to yourself.
Choose an obtainable goal.
Resolving to look like a super model is
not realistic for the majority of us, but
promising to include daily physical
activity in our lives is very possible.
Avoid choosing a resolution
that you've been unsuccessful at achieving year
after year. This will only set you up
for failure, frustration and disappoint-
ment. If you are still tempted to make a
promise that you've made before, then
try altering it. For example, instead of
stating that you are going to lose 30
pounds, try promising to eat healthier
and increase your weekly exercise.
bumps along the resolution road and be
prepared with specific ways to overcome them. What will keep you from
skipping your workout or stop you from
having a cigarette? This may mean
seeking help from family or a professional, writing in a journal, etc.
Create a game plan. Write
comprehensive plan. All successful
businesses start with a business plan
that describes their mission and
specifics on how they will achieve it.
Write your own personal plan and you'll
be more likely to succeed as well.
Break it down and make it
less intimidating. Rather than
one BIG end goal, dissect it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals to
achieve throughout the year that will
help you to reach the ultimate goal.
Then, even if you aren't able to reach
your final goal, you will have many
smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way. For example, if
your goal is to complete a 10K race,
your smaller goals could be running a
5K in less than 30 minutes, adding
upper and lower body strength training
to increase your muscular endurance,
and running 2 miles with a personal
best completion time.
Make contingency options.
Don't assume sticking to your plan will
be smooth sailing. Plan on hitting
Give it time. Most experts agree
that it takes about 21 days to create a
habit and six months for it to actually
become a part of your daily life.
Reward yourself with each
milestone. If you've stuck with
your resolution for 2 months, treat
yourself to something special. But, be
careful of your reward type. If you've
lost 5 pounds, don't give yourself a
piece of cake as an award. Instead, treat
yourself to something non-food related,
like a professional massage.
Ask friends and family
members to help you so you
have someone to be
accountable to. Just be sure to set
limits so that this doesn't backfire and
become more irritating than helpful.
For example, if you resolve to be more
positive ask them to gently remind you
when you start talking negatively.
Don't go it alone! Get professional assistance. Everyone
needs help and sometimes a friend just
70. Subscribe at ~ Send us your feedback! [email protected]
Limit your number of
promises. You'll spread yourself too
thin trying to make multiple changes in
your life. This will just lead to failure of
all of the resolutions.
Test your flexibility.
that things change frequently. Your
goals and needs may be very different
in April then they were when you made
your resolution in January. Embrace
change, even if that means that your
resolution is altered.
Keep a journal. A journal helps
you recognize your positive steps and
makes it harder to go back to the same
old habits.
Start today! In just a few short months,
you’ll be well on your way to good
health. GB
About the Author
Lynn Bode is a certified personal
trainer specializing in Internetbased fitness programs. She
founded Workouts For You, which
provides affordable online exercise
programs that are custom designed
for each individual. Visit for a
free sample workout. Fitness professionals take your business
online, visit
People take different roads
seeking fulfillment and happiness.
Just because they're not on your
road doesn't mean they've gotten.
isn't enough. Sometimes you need the
help of a trained professional. Don't feel
that seeking help is a way of copping
out. Especially when it comes to fitness,
research studies have shown that assistance from fitness professional greatly
improves people's success rate.
How to Change
Your Future
For every effect in our
lives, there's a specific cause.
Through positive thoughts, we can
control these causes and change
effects or outcomes. How can we
change our outcomes?
In order to change your future for the
better, you must first alter your
thoughts in the present. For every
positive seed you plant, your
thoughts will grow and reward you
with a positive harvest. Negative
seeds have the opposite effect.
They'll grow, but result in a spoiled
and fruitless crop. You can't plant
negative seeds in your mind and
expect positive results. It just doesn't
work that way.
A vivid and defining difference
between people who are successful
and those who aren't is the way they
think. Successful people visualize
their goals and take action to make
them happen.
Unsuccessful people dwell on the
negative, spend their time and energy
complaining, and worry about things
that are unimportant. This negativity
wastes time and energy that could be
harnessed toward achieving your
Going Bonkers Magazine. Copyright 2011
Why Women Apologize
More Often Than Men
Whether it's bumping into someone when getting on the train to stopping an argument with a significant other, it seems that women are
always the first ones to say "I'm sorry."
While some of us are just being knee-jerk polite, two new studies
actually suggest that we're more likely to apologize in most situations
than men – only not for the reasons you might think.
A study that monitored the conversations of 66 male and female subjects over the course of a 12-day period found that women said
"sorry" significantly more often than men.
A second study asked male and female participants to rate three
social offenses on a seven-point scale, and those researchers found
that women consistently rated all three social offenses as more offensive than the men did.
In other words, next time he tells you, "But I didn't do anything
wrong," you might want to consider that he really does believe that.
71. Subscribe at ~ Send us your feedback! [email protected]
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