Three Steps To Achieve Freedom From Too Much Clutter

Are you feeling anxious and finding it hard to focus? Are you easily annoyed over the smallest things? In case you’re wondering why you are constantly stressed out, it might help to take a minute and observe your surroundings. Do you see a messy room overflowing with stuff? Is your work area laden with random papers and other unnecessary things? The clutter around you may just be the reason for your inability to concentrate and stay calm!

Take the challenge to declutter today!

The things you accumulate throughout the years contain memories that are hard to leave behind.It is understandable if you struggle in letting go of too much stuff. Science can explain this behavior, as a study done by researchers from Yale School of Medicine revealed that for hoarders, throwing away previously owned stuff triggers the brain area that is associated with pain. Taking the challenge to declutter is essential to maintain a positive mindset and achieve work efficiency. Holding on to old things traps you into all the negative effects of a disorganized life. In fact, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles found a direct link between stress and clutter. So if you want organization, clarity and peace back in your life, free your home or desk from things you do not need. Say yes to decluttering today with the following steps.

Complement your goals with concrete plans.

Once you decide to declutter, set out goals that you need to accomplish for a simpler, minimalist lifestyle. To lay out achievable objectives, the first thing to do is determine the areas or spaces that you need to work on. It is probably the closet that is brimming with clothes you have not seen or worn for some time. Or your child’s playroom which is filled with broken toys. After listing down all the areas that you need to clean up, it is time to think of concrete plans to get rid of it by selling or recycling those items.

Take it one day at a time and set a deadline.

Even if you are aware of the urgency to free your home or desk from things you do not need, the task of decluttering is not always easy. You may be tempted to just throw everything in sight, but that is impractical and irresponsible. Most of the time, you need to carefully go through your things to determine if something is for keeping, throwing or donating. The whole process can take time, so do not not expect the road towards minimalism to be a fast one.

You are unlikely to finish decluttering in a day, so break down your goals and target one messy area at a time. The pace of your progress will depend on your schedule. But don’t forget to set a deadline for your decluttering goals. With a fixed time frame in mind, you can easily avoid the lure to procrastinate or set aside your mission to live with less stuff.

Choose a desired decluttering method.

Admit it, you need every help you can get to finally live with less clutter. It would not hurt to look for inspiration that can motivate your decluttering efforts. You can also choose to follow a method or technique that is known to effectively help people who wants to lead a minimalist lifestyle. One method you can try is Konmari. This method was is proposed by Japanese author Marie Kondo. In this approach, you organize your things and keep only the things that spark joy. Another option is called the four-box method, wherein you allot four containers to easily sort through your things. One box for items to give away, another box for things to throw away, one box for things to store and the last box for items you can’t decide what to do with. There are more organization methods, so try to choose one method that will suit you best.

The decision to live with just the basics is not a spur of the moment thing. Rather, it is a lifestyle change.nce done with decluttering, try not to be tempted to hoard things again. Remember that every item you purchase but do not actually need adds up to invisible baggage that may become very hard to carry later on. Commit to living with less stuff to enjoy the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle!

Dean and Marcie WhalenThree Steps To Achieve Freedom From Too Much Clutter
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Four Practical Tips To Stay Productive When You Feel Exhausted

The deadline for several projects you are working on is looming, and you desperately want to finish your work, but your head is aching and your body feels weak. Sound familiar? Almost everyone can relate to the above scenario because we have all been there at one time or another. There are days when you are swamped with tons of tasks that need to be done, but you are also aware that your body needs rest.

Your initial reaction may be to sacrifice one or the other. Either you listen to your body and ignore the deadline or stretch your strength to the limits as long as you get the work done. Facing the dilemma in one of these ways may work, but can also backfire in the long run. You may think it is too good to be true, but with a few tweaks to your daily habit and routines, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. You can stay productive and meet the deadline without abusing your body. Try the following practical hacks:

Take regular breaks.

Have you been struggling to finish your tasks easily because you’re not taking breaks? It may feel a bit sad to know, but this tactic will not work. In fact, ignoring break times may only slow you down. Taking a break and forgetting about your work for a little while will refresh your mind. After the break, you will likely to be more inspired and ready to tackle the tasks anew

If you need further proof, researchers from the University of Illinois showed in a study that taking quick breaks can greatly enhance focus and performance. So no matter how heavy your workload gets, remember to take a short break once in a while. Allow your mind and body to recharge by taking a short power nap or eat some snacks. If you know that a busy week is coming, you can prepare for it by taking a relaxing getaway just before things get hectic.

Schedule a time for emails.

Email notifications can be useful but can also distract you from the more important tasks. To keep these messages from stealing your attention, you may want to allot a specific time for it. Choose the most convenient time in your day to check and reply to emails and stick to it. You may be surprised at how much you can accomplish if you do not have to stop your work progress just to reply to a message or read an email. A smart idea to ensure that emails will not take up too much of your time is to set a timer for it. Thirty minutes a day will be more than enough to ensure that you do not miss any important messages or reminders.

Drink your way to productivity.

On days when you feel really sluggish and unmotivated, a cup of black coffee can help you get through the day. A research study published in the British Conference of Undergraduate Research showed that drinking coffee before physical exercise results in longer workout hours. You can boost your caffeine fix by drinking black coffee mixed with coconut oil. Many claim that this drink gives tremendous benefits, but others say that it can pose health problems. To be certain, you may want to consult with a physician regarding your coffee intake. If you are not a coffee drinker, tea is an alternative power drink. One study revealed that drinking tea stimulates the mind and help you do your job more efficiently.

With coffee and tea on this list, it seems obvious that staying hydrated is essential to staying productive. So aside from the drinks mentioned, do not forget to drink enough water. Research done by the University of East London proved that water intake can increase brain activity up to 14%. Next time you feel a need for something to perk you up, a glass of water may be all you need. It is generally readily available and safe for all.

Stand, walk or stretch.

Sitting too long working on a task is likely to lead to health problems and can contribute to poor work performance. Throughout the day, take time to engage in a brief physical activity. This suggestion is tied into the idea of taking a break, because it implies finding opportunities to have time away from your desk. You can allot a few minutes to stand and stretch your muscles. Or have lunch at a nearby restaurant. Walking to the restaurant and a bit of change in the surroundings can leave you more inspired to work.

Aside from the four tips featured here, there are many other ways to stay competent and productive even when the workload starts to get overwhelming. Panicking and worrying will not help and may further slow you down. So stay calm amidst a pile of tasks. With a few tricks here and there, you can finish them all in a cinch!

Dean and Marcie WhalenFour Practical Tips To Stay Productive When You Feel Exhausted
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Responding To Emotional Bids: The Key To Lasting Relationships?

Starting a relationship with someone can be easy and spontaneous, but the challenge is in keeping that close connection strong and intact throughout the years. With claims that almost 50% of marriages in America end in divorce, you can clearly see that building a meaningful relationship takes hard work and serious commitment.

For this reason, people are usually in awe upon seeing couples who manage to keep their union happy and fulfilling throughout the years. And no one starts a relationship with the intention for it to fail. With guidebooks and numerous studies suggesting various ways on how to have a happy marriage, you can even conclude that our society is obsessed with building and maintaining relationships.

So why do many relationships fail to survive the test of time? What is the reason some marriages or partnerships last while others don’t? An American psychologist, John Gottman attempted to answer this perennial question with the introduction of emotional bids.

What are emotional bids?

The concept of emotional bids is the result of a longitudinal study where Gottman observed newly-married couples and followed up with them six years later to see who among them were able to keep their vows. Gottman claimed that by observing the couples whose status remain unchanged after several years of  marriage, he has unraveling the secret formula to a healthy and rewarding relationship.

According to him, one main difference between a successful and failed marriage is the ability of the couples to recognize and positively respond to each other’s call for connection. Gottman called the signals that people send out to those they want to form a connection with – emotional bids. Apparently, we all send and receive these signals (they can be verbal or nonverbal) in everyday situations to people we interact with. The way we choose to respond to these emotional bids are like steps we take in relationship building. A negative response turns you away from someone, while a positive response leads you towards a person.

How can you use the concept of emotional bids to improve relationships?

In a relationship, both parties constantly make emotional bids to each other in various ways. It happens whenever someone attempts to reach out to his or her partner. An emotional bid is easy to miss because it can be as simple as a wife asking her spouse about his day wherein a husband can either give a short standard reply or enthusiastically narrate the events of the day. In another scenario, the husband may try to suggest to his spouse a new place they can hang out and the wife can either accept or reject the idea.

Whenever we make emotional bids, we are unconsciously conveying a hidden message to one another.  For example, the simple questions above can actually be a plea for your partner’s attention or affection. In the first example, the wife asking her husband a question is actually saying that she cares about her partner’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, the husband suggesting a new place is saying that he wants to spend more time with his wife.

If you know how to detect the hidden meaning to the messages that someone relays through emotional bids, you can discern the proper answer or response that will address the needs of your partner. Consistently hearing or receiving negative responses to emotional bids will weaken, and may ultimately break, the relationship. On the other hand, regular positive responses nurture and strengthen the relationship. If you closely delve into it, the key to lasting relationships is simply choosing to be kinder to your partner. Gottman’s research centers on romantic relationships, but the idea behind emotional bids can be applied in all types of relationships.

The quality of the relationships you have in your life affect your overall happiness and wellbeing. Successful relationships, though, take real effort. If you wish to nurture relationships, be more thoughtful and attentive to fulfill the needs of others. If you fully understand the idea of emotional bids and consciously apply it to your everyday life, you may soon discover that you have found the key to lasting relationships.

Dean and Marcie WhalenResponding To Emotional Bids: The Key To Lasting Relationships?
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Five Ways Philanthropy Improves Our Overall Well-Being

Philanthropy is primarily about being generous and spreading goodwill. As you share time and resources for the betterment of others, your welfare is ideally not your first concern. Philanthropic acts that are driven by what you will gain from it are hardly genuine and ruin the purpose of the deed.

If you are a true philanthropist, you offer what you can without expecting anything in return. The end goal of the services you do is to improve and enrich the lives of other people. The most wonderful thing about it is that you often receive more than what you originally gave. As they say, every act of kindness comes back tenfold. Just read on to see how philanthropy improves your physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Prevents Ailments

Pills and supplements can help you stay in the pinnacle of health. However, if you want a natural way to keep diseases away, you may want to join a group that will allow you to give back to society. Numerous studies have proven that being charitable can help prevent illnesses such as hypertension, heart problems and dementia.

The health benefits of philanthropy can also result in a longer lifespan, as shown by a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and published by the American Psychological Association (APA). This long-term study that followed a group of individuals revealed that those who volunteered for altruistic reasons live longer than those who volunteered seeking personal satisfaction.

Fights Stress

If you are always annoyed or upset, engaging in charitable activities can be an effective mood booster. When you set out to do something for others, you get preoccupied with new things that may lighten the mood. Furthermore, the feeling of satisfaction you get from knowing that you are doing something worthy makes you feel good about yourself.

The happiness factor involved in philanthropy is not based on a hunch, as research suggests a clear link to happiness and philanthropy. A study conducted by a group of psychologists from the University of British Columbia in Canada and the Harvard Business School in Boston found out that people who donate money to charity are happier compared to people who only choose to spend for themselves.

Builds Confidence.

Your simplest act may mean the world to a person in need. The thought that you can make such a huge difference for others will make you realize that you can do even greater things. If you are suffering from low self-esteem and are feeling down on your luck, it is a good idea to spend some time doing altruistic activities. Moreover, altruistic efforts are like learning sessions, so you increase your knowledge and sharpen your intellect, which can further build your confidence.  

Develops Gratefulness.

Philanthropy will sometimes expose you to the not-so-pleasant things in life such as sickness, poverty or abuse. Instead of making you feel down or upset, it can instead open your eyes to all your blessings and develop a sense of gratitude. Gratefulness is the key to an optimistic and cheerful attitude that ultimately improves our well-being.

Fosters Relationships.

Humans have an intrinsic need to connect to others and philanthropy is a great way to reach out to others. The social interaction that takes place as you do volunteer work can result in genuine friendships. The positive relationships you form will enhance your sense of purpose in life.

The reasons given above show that altruism is a virtue worth pursuing for the right reasons. As you consider the needs of others before your own, the universe sees every good deed you do. In time, you will receive rewards for your selfless endeavors.

Dean and Marcie WhalenFive Ways Philanthropy Improves Our Overall Well-Being
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Traits You Need To Build Extraordinary Resilience & Achieve Success

Truth be told, you will never really know just how strong and adamant you are unless adversity strikes. Then you learn courage, you build resilience, you learn to persevere, you build character. T. Whitmore

The classic book by Charles Darwin, “Origin of Species” talks about the importance of resilience. In this literature, the late scientist states that the strongest and brightest species is not necessarily the one who survives, rather it is the species that can best adapt to change.

So if you have set your sights to accomplish great things, resilience is definitely one factor you cannot ignore. The result of research done by Executive Coaching Consultancy, an executive coaching provider based in London, shows that resilience plays a very important part in achieving career success.

Big goals demand extraordinary resilience. If you want to stand out from the rest, it is necessary to be stronger than the average person. Building stronger resilience may sound like a tough challenge, but a closer look will reveal that it mostly involves strengthening character and improving your mindset.

Gain focus to keep distractions away.

The planning stage is usually the easiest part of goal-setting. Challenges come in once you immerse yourself on the task at hand and find yourself surrounded by so many distractions that attempt to steal your time and attention.

It would be next to impossible to finish anything if you cannot concentrate. You need focus in order to avoid distractions, and you need willpower to finish a task. Various techniques like meditation and affirmation can sharpen your ability to focus and strengthen your willpower.

Be consistent to stay on track.

The level of energy you put on a task may vary depending on your mood and the situation. It is typical to display so much enthusiasm at the start of a project. That is, until fatigue and other roadblocks cause you to gradually lose interest.

If you want to be more resilient than the rest, try not to let anything affect your performance. It will not be easy but consistency in giving your best in any task is a sure road to success. To keep your ardor from slipping away, you can rely on your support group such as friends or family to tirelessly remind you about your goals every now and then.

Be humble and admit your own mistakes.

When things go wrong, it is so easy to resort to blaming and pointing fingers. The truly resilient individual will first examine his or her own actions before others. This is because someone with a strong mentality does not see mistakes as a sign of weakness, but rather an opportunity for learning.

If you have the guts to acknowledge your own mistakes, then you gain the wisdom to understand that failures happen for a reason. Likewise, by having the humility to accept your own flaws, you open doors for improvement and correction. This trait will be easier to achieve if you are clearly aware about your strengths and weaknesses.

Be brave enough to move on.

The exceptional individual allows time to heal after a failure but then also knows that sulking or wallowing in despair for too long is not an option. If you see defeat as simply part of the journey, you will always be ready to stand up and move on after every fall.

Things can get so tough that giving up seems like the easy way out. However, if you have a firm resolve to win, you will be determined to survive the blows of failures, mistakes and disappointments that you will meet along the way.

Life is a series of ups and downs, so greater resilience is indeed a trait that everyone should aim for. The process may get difficult but the positive rewards will cascade in all aspects of your life so it will be worth it.

Dean and Marcie WhalenTraits You Need To Build Extraordinary Resilience & Achieve Success
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Can You Be Busy & Healthy? Easy Wellness Tips In Today’s Hectic World

Everyone wants to enjoy the benefits of healthy living. So you vow to set a regular time for exercise, be more mindful about food intake and indulge in rest and relaxation. For most people though, the commitment to be healthy quickly vanishes into thin air once the demands of the real world come in.

Too often, once you realize that you have too much on your plate, you find it difficult to have the time nor the energy to even bother about wellness. The journey to health and wellness can really be a struggle with today’s hectic lifestyles. However, if you are ready to exert effort, staying in tip-top shape amidst tight deadlines and numerous goals is not impossible.

Time management is the key.

The gift of time is essential for you to accomplish your healthy goals. Still, being busy is not an excuse to ignore your fitness regimen. If you take time to organize your day, you can discover ways to squeeze a quick workout on your to-do list. You can also spend some time to whip up a nutritious meal.

You do not necessarily need superb and sophisticated organizational skills, just a clear idea on the tasks that make up your day. By identifying the areas that eat up most of your time, you get to see what you need to adjust or give up to be healthier.

Strive to get enough hours of sleep.

Sleep deprivation is surely one of the ill effects of the modern way of the life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ((CDC) reported that one out of three adults in America do not get the recommended number of hours of sleep every night. Moreover, many studies have linked lack of sleep to chronic diseases such as heart problems and diabetes. According to the CDC report,  if you truly want to be healthy, decide to give your body at least seven hours of sleep every day.

The reasons that rob you of sleep may vary, but whatever it is, your body deserves some rest.  Giving your body ample amount of sleep will get you in the best condition to accomplish more, making it possible to be busy and healthy at the same time.

Be an early riser.

If you want more hours in a day, try getting up an hour or two earlier. By being an early riser, you get a chance to finish tasks that you would normally run out of time for in the course of the day. You can use the extra time to improve your well-being. Maybe you can meditate to clear your mind or allot some time for flexing those tired muscles. By making it a habit to wake up early, you are one step closer to reaching whatever goals you set your mind to.

Have a role model.

An article that appeared in American Psychological Association  notes the importance of role models when setting goals. The scientist, Albert Bandura states in his social learning theory that people learn by imitating certain influential individuals.

With this theory in mind, it is safe to conclude that choosing a certain person to serve as inspiration will greatly help in your fitness journey. Aside from the tips and tactics you can learn from your fitness idol, he or she can also be the powerful reminder you need when you feel like giving up.

Set achievable goals.

If you have been stretching yourself to the limits but still failing to achieve results, it may be time to examine your goals. Chances are, you have set unrealistic targets. To succeed, it is better to start with small goals then gradually increase targets in time.

Stick to your wellness goals no matter what.

It is normal to feel guilty whenever you skip a gym session or feel bad whenever you stray from healthy eating habits. These mishaps can happen every now and then but it does not mean you need to abandon the overall goal altogether. Sometimes, what matters is that you strive to stand up and start again even if you keep on failing. Small progress is better than none at all, so do your best to hold on to your goals.

Good health is associated with happiness and vitality. It is hardly surprising that many are aiming for physical fitness. Sadly, the stress-filled days of the modern world are not exactly health-friendly. Nevertheless, with sheer determination and discipline, you can enjoy all the benefits of being in the peak of health.

Dean and Marcie WhalenCan You Be Busy & Healthy? Easy Wellness Tips In Today’s Hectic World
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Ten Effective Techniques to Achieve Emotional Freedom

Holistic freedom is a term that defines liberation within every area of daily life. One of the most important elements of our day-to-day demeanor is our emotional well-being. Every interaction we encounter can either positively or negatively affect our next actions. Whether we allow our undesirable experiences to shape our attitude is completely reliant upon us. If you find yourself feeling depressed, irritable, anxious or hopeless, you may be suffering the effects of emotional burdens. Keep reading to learn how to regain control of your emotional freedom.

Emotions can be tricky. Sometimes we feel stuck dwelling on emotions that we’d rather not have. Other times, we struggle to feel the emotions that we think we should be experiencing. Maybe you aren’t as happy as you’d like to be. Maybe you feel angrier than you know how to adequately control. You get frustrated and label yourself as an emotional wreck, but what’s really going on? Often times, negative emotions can present themselves as anger or embarrassment, when really they are masking deeper emotions that haven’t been expressed.

Anger is frequently rooted in fear, rejection or hurt. Embarrassment usually follows vulnerability or isolation. People struggle to find genuine solutions to their negative feelings because they regularly tend to the secondary emotions instead of the primary causes. Occasionally, even primary feelings are difficult to sooth. So what’s the proper approach? Rest assured, there are many techniques and best practices that, when practiced habitually, promote healing and emotional freedom.

Try:

  1. Being Emotionally Accountable
  • Be open to the fact that you may be causing some of the emotional pain you’re feeling. Consider the part you play and accept a leadership role when it comes to being in control of your feelings. 
  1. Practicing Awareness
  • Being aware is a life skill that has endless benefits. Emotional awareness helps you identify triggers and remove yourself from situations that are causing a spike in your negative emotions. Awareness also helps you recognize what causes your happiest moments so you can duplicate them to increase the positivity. 
  1. Opening up to Others
  • Find a trusted companion and vent about your feelings. If someone hurts you, let that person know. If you caused emotional pain, apologize. 
  1. Practicing Forgiveness
  • Forgiveness is hard, but necessary. The emotional baggage that comes with carrying around negativity from the people and situations that hurt you, only causes you more damage – don’t allow outside forces to have such an effect of your life. 
  1. Altering Your Perspective
  • Perspective is everything. A simple shift of thought can make all the difference. Instead of focusing on the bad, cancel those thoughts and replace them with the opposite. 
  1. Changing Your Lifestyle
  • Think about what causes you the most strife and emotional turmoil. Now create a plan to remove it from your life for good. 
  1. Identifying Productive Outlets
  • Negative emotions can leave us feeling frazzled and upset. If you never release that tension, the pressure mounts and results in an outburst. To avoid this, find a healthy outlet to channel your anger. Rage rooms, physical activity and recreational hobbies are all perfect coping activities. 
  1. Granting Yourself Permission to Fully Feel Your Emotions
  • Many people try to avoid the feelings that they deem unfavorable. Grief and sadness are two of the most popular emotions that get pushed out of the way. The problem is if you never allow yourself the time to experience those feelings, you effectively remove your opportunity to heal. As uncomfortable as it may be, you must give yourself the chance to feel and heal. 
  1. Treating Yourself with More Mercy
  • Holding yourself (and your feelings) to unrealistic standards does more harm than good. Remember that each person is unique and you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. 
  1. Seeking Therapy or Medical Attention
  • If your negative emotions feel unbearable or overwhelming to the point of toxic coping methods or a desire to self-harm (more info here), seek professional treatment immediately. Clinical depression, chemical imbalances and emotional disorders are very real. Conditions such as these require assistance from professionals who are trained to handle these matters. Never hesitate to make that call. 

The goal of emotional freedom is reach the point where your negative feelings no longer control you. Emotional freedom leads way to overall freedom, which, when achieved, produces overall joy in every part of your life. Remember these 10 tips and take the next step toward holistic freedom.

Dean and Marcie WhalenTen Effective Techniques to Achieve Emotional Freedom
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How To Cope If You Have Outgrown Your Business Mentorship

Entering mentorship comes with expectation on both sides. Mentors expect to impart wisdom on the future leaders of the field. Mentees expect to have reliable support during the rocky beginning phases of their careers. Schedules are discussed, contact information is exchanged, and hopes are high. Understandably, neither party spends time thinking about where the mentorship will be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years. All conversation centers on the now. But in 5 years, will things still be the same? If not, what’s the proper way to handle the changes that will occur?

Growth

A difficult aspect of mentorship, which often gets glossed over, is the conclusion. There are several reasons that mentoring relationships can come to an end, but one of the most common is mentee growth. Typically, mentorships begin with the intent of easing the novice’s transition into a new career. During that time, mentors share networking connections, wisdom, and expert advice when problems arise. But what happens down the line when the mentee is flourishing and no longer needs the same type of guidance?

Mentees:
· Should you keep a mentor who has no experience in the direction that your career has led you?
· What should you do if you feel your success has surpassed the level of your mentor’s?

Mentors:
· If your mentee is asking questions about technologies and best practices that you weren’t trained in, should you still try to help?
· Are you holding back your mentee from moving on to someone who better suits his/her current position?

These are all plausible situations that many people face every day, but fail to address head-on. So, what should you do if you find yourself in the same position?

You have two choices; redefine your relationship or end it. Redefining your mentorship could include transitioning your former teacher-student dynamic into a friendship where you both seek and give information equally.

Mentees: You can now show gratitude by helping your former teacher through some of her business problems.

Mentors: You should be proud of how far your protégée has come; now you can reap the benefits!

However, if egos are causing a problem, tensions are mounting, or your bond is growing weak, it may be time to (amicably) part ways before damage occurs. Growth is a healthy part of life, but it can alter your perspective about who you will need around to help you with your next step. If it’s time to say goodbye, do so knowing that the time you shared was well spent. Remember that ending the mentorship doesn’t need to be a negative experience. It also doesn’t need to be the end of all communication. The benefits of mentoring are vast – it would be pointless to completely ruin the connection you worked so hard to build. You still have an opportunity to preserve your business connection (in spite of ending the mentorship).

Mentees: Express your gratitude. Your mentor didn’t have to share her time, knowledge and expertise with you, but she did. Credit her when you have a chance to, and check in every now and then to say hi.

Mentors: This is your chance to be understanding and wish your mentee the best of luck in his future endeavors. Speak kindly of him in his absence and be cordial to him when you see him in the field.

Most mentorships skip this step altogether and let things fizzle out over time. One person stops calling, the other stops returning emails, and before they know it, they’ve become nothing more than distant acquaintances. When they coincidentally bump into each other in public, things can be awkward and strained. Instead of maintaining what was formerly a viable connection, they’ve lost it.

Don’t let a similar sad ending be what comes of your mentorship. If you sense that growth is the source of the changes you’ve noticed, schedule a conversation with your mentor/mentee and have a heart-to-heart about what the future holds. No matter the outcome, remember that there is room for friendship after mentorship.

Dean and Marcie WhalenHow To Cope If You Have Outgrown Your Business Mentorship
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3 Things That Make a Happy Home

Your household should be a safe space for your entire family to come home to after a long day, after a fun trip or just after running some errands. One of the most effective ways to turn your home into a welcoming, warm space for everyone is to make an honest effort to fill it with happiness and love. A happier home makes a happier family. However, we all know sometimes that’s easier said than done, so we came up with three things that have helped us make our home a happier place. Here are three ways to make a happy home.

Make coming home an event

We fall into the routine of life all too easily, and by doing so, ordinary events just become a part of our schedule. However, if you make an effort to make simple things that happen every day a special event, your family will start recognizing the happiness that lies in the small moments. For instance, start welcoming your family members home with a joyous greeting and a hug. Let everyone know how glad you are to have them home even if your spouse was just running errands for the afternoon. By doing so, your family members will feel more appreciated, and your house will always be an optimistic place to come home too. Remember to embrace the small moments because that’s where life lives.

Turn meals into a family affair

There are all kinds of studies that prove families who sit down to eat dinner together as often as possible form better relationships, adopt healthier lifestyles, and experience more happiness. Sharing meals together gives you a chance every evening to connect and make memories with your family. Sit-down dinners with the whole family allow the perfect opportunity to build your relationships and strengthen your family bond. These conversations over the dinner table foster a space to share excitement, challenges, and laughs. From the planning stages to the cleanup, make sure your meals are a family affair as often as possible to increase the happiness in your home.

Use positive words

Never underestimate the power of words. Using positive words of encouragement and love on a daily basis will directly impact the positive energy in your home. Leave positive notes for your family members around the house and focus on positivity when you speak to each other. Never let a family member leave your home without a positive reminder so they go about their day with an optimistic mindset. If you focus on the positive and avoid dwelling on the negative, your home will be a happier place.

A happy home is the key to a happy family. Try these three tips to make your home the happiest it can be.

Dean and Marcie Whalen3 Things That Make a Happy Home
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Top 3 Questions to Ask Your Mentor

So you’ve finally found yourself a mentor who shares your values and life aspirations? Kudos to you! But now for the next step. You need to make sure you’re prepared to ask your newly found life coach the right questions to take advantage of your first meeting. In your first meeting, the most important thing to remember is to ask questions that show interest, gain insight, offer information about yourself, and get to know your mentor all at the same time. But how do you ask powerful questions that provide all of the information you need in such a limited time? Read our top 3 questions to ask your mentor to get yourself started!

Top 3 Questions to Ask Your Mentor

What mistakes led you to your successes?

Be sure to include a series of questions that hone in on your mentor’s skill-building process. This question knocks out two birds with one stone. It invites your mentor to describe both his or her weaknesses and elaborate on his or her successes. By asking about both strengths and weaknesses, you will gain insight as to how the two can be related and how to make the best of unfavorable situations. Additionally, your mentor is likely to identify and elaborate on his or her greatest accomplishments and give you advice on what could have been executed differently. Listen closely because you might find out something you’ve never even thought of before.

How do you spend your free time?

Not only does finding out what your mentor does to relax and unwind allow you to get to know them on a personal level, it also bridges the conversation from professional to personal development and provides insight on how all areas of your life can and should be dynamic and connected. Pay special attention to the answer to this question––you never know what you might learn!   

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time?

Asking any question that indicates self-awareness gives you the most insight on your mentor’s career successes. This question paves the way for a much more personal conversation that builds trust and imparts valuable wisdom. It’s important to build a relationship with your mentor that opens the conversation to both career-driven thoughts and personal facts on past lessons learned.

By thoughtfully preparing for your first mentoring session, you’ll be guaranteed to get more out of it and your relationship with your mentor is likely to be much more successful. Happy mentoring!

Dean and Marcie WhalenTop 3 Questions to Ask Your Mentor
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