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One of the emotional issues facing those of you who are considering retirement is the amount of time you will be spending with your spouse. When you change from spending 8+ hours a day outside the house at your work to suddenly spending 24 hours a day with your spouse, conflict inevitably comes up. You both have your own interests and agendas. Sometimes they’re miles apart!
Not only is the conflict unpleasant but it affects your health. To keep your stress level down and your heart healthy, resolve conflicts by working together to meet the needs of everyone concerned. Honest communication is the key. Here are some tips that work during the majority of conflicts:
- Take a breath and count to 10. Breathe slowly and deeply to calm down your emotions if you’re feeling angry.
- Have the intention of working cooperatively toward a resolution or agreement. Focus on the positive not the negative.
- Attack the challenges, not the person. You are looking for a solution, not trying to be a winner or turn the other person into a loser.
- Don’t waste time on “who started it.” Work together to figure out the next step to remedy the situation.
- Focus on the future not on all the wrongdoings and emotions of the past. Avoid using phrases such as “You always…..”
- Really listen to the concerns of the other person. Come from the heart and do it without judgement. Agree to give each party a specific amount of time to speak (say10 minutes), without interruption.
- Come from a place of respect. Name calling and unkind words will only escalate emotions on both sides. If you can’t control your emotions, walk away after agreeing to a cool-off period.
- Avoid blaming the other person and take responsibility for your feelings. Start your sentences with “I” rather than “you” and express your emotions. Don’t make the other person guess what you’re thinking or feeling. They’ll inevitably be wrong, causing further conflict.
- Brainstorm some positive solutions by beginning with what you both agree on rather than on what is lacking. If you look hard enough, you will find something.
- Know your goal. What do you want the person to do? How do want them to behave? What are YOUR needs? Be specific.
- Think about where you want to be in five years time. Will this conflict impact that scenario? How do you want to remember it?
So take a deep breath, listen, be fair, be flexible and remember that there is always a solution!
There are a number of reality shows out there in TV land. They feature dancers, singers, models, fashion designers, home designers, chefs etc. etc. The only show along those lines that I’ve ever really followed is Dancing With the Stars though I have to admit I enjoy the food-related ones as well.
What makes people appear on those shows? Probably a number of different reasons but the bottom line is that they are passionate about the skill they bring to the show. They give their all. They are focused on being absolutely the best they can be at their craft. All in the hopes of winning and being able to fulfill the dream of living their passion. Every decision they make, every sacrifice is based on following their passion. Some are successful, some aren’t.
Take Paul Potts, the winner of the Got Talent competition, for example. He always liked opera. With his self-confidence at rock bottom because he was always “different”, he sang in private to console himself. At the age of 37, nervous and shy, he nonetheless showed up for the audition of Britain’s Got Talent competition and launched into a spectacular tenor aria Nessun Dorma. The judges and the world were stunned. He went on not merely to win, but to sing for the Queen. And now having produced a hugely popular CD he is touring the world.
Are you following your passions? If not, why not?
All too often we make choices that are not in favor of our passions because we can’t see HOW that passion could possibly be fulfilled. You are not responsible for the HOW. Your job is to get crystal clear on the WHAT. Once you are focused on and totally committed to the WHAT, the HOW will take care of itself. By taking even small action steps you will find opportunities coming to you that you hadn’t even imagined. When Paul Potts committed to the WHAT, the HOW appeared.
You can discover your passions without spending agonizing months in front of audiences and a panel of judges. Let The Passion Test(tm) help you become clear on those five things that would leave you feeling terribly unfulfilled if you didn’t accomplish them during your life. If not now, when?
… to venture outside of your comfort zone, to learn something new, to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are like many of today’s Baby Boomers, you have probably wondered whether you had the courage to “get out of that warm, comfortable cozy box”, whether you still had enough brain cells to master something you had not done before and whether it was important to contribute to the world at large. These are issues that come up at midlife when we are driven more by internal motivation than external, when we make a shift from success to significance.
Imagine yourself in this position …
…at the ripe old age of 82, having been home-schooled in your younger days, you decide to go to college to take classes. Although you have spent your whole life appearing in public and making speeches in front of groups ranging in size from the small to the thousands, you believe that your professional speaking skills are lacking. You have always commanded attention due to your persona but now you want to provide input on a more personal level at community hall meetings. Believing you don’t have all the necessary skills, you begin attending weekly classes and occasional monthly labs to improve your speaking skills.
It can take a lot of courage to admit when something isn’t working, and certainly no less so in your senior years. But isn’t it worth it to live a more authentic life; don’t you deserve to take a more active role in living! So if you think it’s too late, perhaps it’s time to think again and take another look at what is going to fulfill you, make you come alive and live up to your potential.
If you find you need a guide to help you discover your passions, those things that are most important to you, or you need support on the journey of becoming a more “authentic you”, please visit me at http://www.blueprints4change.com or email at evelin(at)blueprints4change.com
PS In case you are wondering who the 82-year old is … it’s HRH Queen Elizabeth 2 and yes, this is a true story.
Eating Too Much?
Is overeating an issue for you? Here are some tips that might help:
1. Take smaller bites and chew your food more slowly. Take at least 20 minutes to consume a meal because that’s how long it takes for your body to give you the “I’ve had enough” message. Taking longer to eat will make you feel as though you are actually eating more.
2. Sit down to eat. If you stand or eat on the run, you are more likely to eat more food. Making it a point to sit down while eating will help you think about how much you are consuming.
3. Change to smaller plates. You will feel as if you are eating more than if you put a small amount of food on a large plate.
4. Drink a 12-ounce glass of water before eating. It will take up room in your stomach and make you feel less hungry. Sometimes you are really thirsty rather than hungry. If the sensation of hunger comes on in an instant, it usually means you are thirsty. Feelings of hunger generally come on more slowly.
5. Wait 10 minutes before having a snack. It will often make you realize you weren’t hungry at all. Between meal snacks are often impulsive acts.
6. Keep the “right stuff” where you can see it. Make foods such as fruits and vegetables readily available by keeping them in the front of the refrigerator.
7. Avoid eating distractions. If you find you are constantly eating too much food, then you may want to consider reducing distractions during your meal. A French study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (August 2001) reported that women who ate lunch while listening to a detective story consumed significantly more calories than when eating without distractions, even though their hunger level was the same. So the next time you sit down for lunch or dinner, turn off the phone, the television and any other distraction.
Have you ever put off your most important tasks until later and then later and later while you are busy with less important issues? Do you find it difficult to make decisions? Maybe you’ve been called lazy because you hope that you may have more time and be in a better mood in the future to start a project and do it properly? Perhaps you have a belief that you don’t deserve success!
If you’ve spent the first half of your life being plagued by procrastination, perhaps now is the time to change your thinking and deal with this compulsion so that you can live a more productive second half of life. A hidden self-sabotaging program lies at the root of procrastination. This program is fueled by self-fulfilling prophecies and beliefs such as
I don’t deserve it
I’m not acceptable
I’m not good enough
I don’t belong
I’m not wanted
It’s always my fault
Life is a struggle
Many of these self-fulfilling prophecies were created before birth, at birth or during our earliest days. Becoming aware of these negative beliefs that create our indecision and anxiety about completing our goals is the first step in ridding ourselves of this troublesome behavior.
If you find yourself using any of the typical “procrastinator phrases” such as
I wish I could
I have to
I had better
If I don’t
I probably will
I hope to
Maybe I will
I think I could
I need to
If only I could
Replace them with the following instead
I will ______ because I want to
I will definitely _____
I am confident that I can _____
It’s in my power to _____
I choose to _____ now
I know I can _____
Consider how your life might change if you were to stop procrastinating. The things that are holding you back most are the ones which will free you the most – once you take action. Take that action now!
In the next post I will talk about a tool that you can use to help get rid of your “procrastinator beliefs”.