“I never even felt pretty until I turned sixty. But surprisingly I found I liked my sixty-year-old looks. And at 65, I feel quite beautiful. That’s such a lovely feeling. I’m keeping it.” Personal musings by author Nancy Roman at Not Quite Old, in which she contemplates the woman she’d like to be.” Source: The Old Woman I Will Be
“Eat Pray Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert shares 11 ways to think smartly about creativity and how to live a meaningful creative life. Source: Fear is Boring (and Other Tips for a Creative Life)
“It’s so beautifully arranged on the the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” – Julia Child Source: Cookin’ and Shootin’
1. Walk the talk — always set a great example.
It’s not what you say, it’s how you live your life every day. Don’t tell your children how to live; LIVE and let them watch you. Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all. Walk the talk. Your children look up to you and they will emulate your actions and strive to become who you are. So BE who you want them to be.
2. Reduce YOUR stress, and thus the stress level in the household.
Not easy, I know, but believe it or not what children want from their parents more than anything else is for them to be happier and less stressed.
3. Believe in your children.
The greatest compliment you can give to a child is to believe in them and let them know you care. When you see something true, good and beautiful in them, don’t hesitate to express your admiration. When you see something that is not true, good and beautiful in them, don’t neglect to give them your wholehearted assistance and guidance. The simple act of believing that your child is capable and worthy makes a big difference. It gives them confidence and makes them feel qualified to do great things.
4. Praise your children for their effort, not their intelligence.
Based on the point above, this might sound a bit counterintuitive, but when you praise a child’s efforts you are bringing attention to something they can easily control — the amount of effort they put in. This is immensely important because it teaches them to persist, and that personal growth through hard work is possible. They come to see themselves as “in control” of their success in life. With that said, a word to the wise: Don’t over-praise your children for no reason. Make sure your gestures of praise are warranted. Because if every single move your child makes is based only on rewards like constant praise, when the praise stops, the effort stops too. And that’s not good because it means they won’t be able to perform well when you’re not around. 5. Don’t read TO your children, read WITH them. Got a youngster who’s learning to read? Don’t let them just stare at the pictures in a book while you do all the work by reading every word to them. Instead, call attention to the words. Point to them. Point to the pictures that illustrate them. Read WITH them, not to them.
6. Eat dinner together as a family.
Eating dinner together makes a difference. According to The Secrets of Happy Families, children who have dinner with their families do better across pretty much every conceivable metric. “A recent wave of research shows that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, become depressed, and develop eating disorders.”
7. Create logical, reasonable rules and boundaries for your children.
Children don’t do well in a free-for-all environment. It’s a myth that being too strict guarantees rebellion and being permissive drives better behavior. From the research we’ve done, it’s clear that children who go crazy and get in trouble mostly have parents who don’t set reasonable rules and boundaries. If their parents are loving and accepting no matter what they do — even when they are unruly — children take their parent’s lack of rules as a sign that they don’t really care about them — that they don’t really want the job of being parents in the first place. On the flip side, parents who are consistent in enforcing rules and boundaries are often the same parents who become the closest with their children. According to a Penn State study by Dr. Nancy Darling and Dr. Linda Caldwell, parents that set logical rules pertaining to key principles of influence, and explain why the rules are there, engage more closely with the children and ultimately have a happier, healthier relationship with them.
8. Give your children an opportunity to make healthy peer relationships.
The peer group your children associate with has an enormous effect on their long-term happiness and educational aspirations. As parents, we sometimes only talk to our children about peer pressure when it’s negative, but more often than not, it’s positive. Living in a nice child-friendly neighborhood, going to highly rated schools, and making sure your children associate with the right peers can make a world of difference. Bottom line: As a human being, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with. And that’s why it’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters most. The same is true for your children.
9. Make sure your children get enough sleep every night.
A tired mind is rarely constructive or content. And it’s even worse for children than it is for adults. According to the insightful book,NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, missing an hour of sleep turns a sixth grader’s brain into that of a fourth grader. Even a loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive development to the typical child.
10. Help your children maintain a gratitude journal.
In 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently,Angel and I discuss the powerful benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. And the good news is, it works for children too. Bottom line: Children who keep a gratitude journal are happier, more optimistic, and healthier. As soon as your child is old enough, help them start one. Read more: via 10 Proven Ways To Raise Smarter Happier Children – Motivational Schools.
There used to be all of the time in the world. Then I started a business. Then I got married. Then we had two kids. Now, … time is the most valuable thing there is.
Every day, you can steal a little time. It’s as simple as waking up a little earlier or going to bed a little later.
Steal some time for yourself, or with a friend, or with your special someone, or your pet, or kids. It’s free, and it’ll create some of the best memories you’ll have. Take them.
Read more: Stolen Time ⏰ — Medium.
Photo: John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
After a decade of marriage, if things go well, you don’t need any more proof. What you have instead — and what I would argue is the most deeply romantic thing of all — is this palpable, reassuring sense that it’s okay to be a human being. It’s sexy to feel less than totally sexy and still feel like you’re sexy to one person, no matter what. You savor the repetitive, deliciously mundane rhythms of survival, and you want to keep surviving. You want to muddle through the messiness of life together as long as you possibly can. That is the summit. Savor it. That is the very definition of romance. Read more: What Romance Means After 10 Years of Marriage — The Cut.
All these outcomes came from doing small things every day over a long period. I’m a big fan of working smarter, not harder and finding small ways to make my work more efficient. Basically, I used small, everyday habits to build up into big, long-term outcomes. Read more: How I Became a Morning Person, Learned a New Language, and Read 5x More Books in 2015 — Life Learning — Medium.
Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control – and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen–and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.
Read more: via To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind In Life.