9 Ways to Successfully Create Good Habits and 5 Reasons Why You Fail At Breaking the Bad Ones

9 Ways to Successfully Create New, Good Habits and the 5 Reasons Why You Fail At Breaking the Bad Ones

"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones." – Benjamin Franklin

We all have habits. Some are good, healthy habits, while others are bad and possibly even dangerous. Throughout our lives we often set goals to try to create new, good habits or to break the bad ones we already possess. Many people try again and again to change their habits for the better only to meet with failure in the end. Learning a new habit can be just as difficult as breaking a bad one that you've struggled with for years. There are reasons for this and steps that you can take to help ensure your success.

Establishing good, healthy habits can enrich your life in countless ways. When an action becomes a habit, it becomes automatic and you don't really have to give it much thought. Some of the healthy habits that people try to develop include; eating healthier, exercising regularly, meditating, completing chores around the home, or simply taking time out daily for them-selves. These are just a few examples but, basically anything that you want to do on a regular basis that will enrich your life and make you happier can become a habit.

Here are nine, simple tips that are easy to follow and can help you to turn healthy activities into lifelong habits.

1. Take baby steps. – You cannot expect to just dive in and be successful when developing a good habit. Start with small manageable steps. If you would like to make healthy eating a habit, start by swapping out specific foods or meals for healthier options. If you make sudden, drastic changes to your lifestyle, the odds are good that you will not be successful.

2. Make yourself accountable. – Tell a friend or family member whose opinions matter to you. By telling a trusted friend or family member about your intension to develop a new habit you promote accountability. You will be more likely to stick to your habit if you know that you will have to answer to someone other than yourself.

3. Treat yourself. – You should be proud of the fact that you are trying to make positive changes in your life. Reward yourself regularly when you stick to your new habit. Treat yourself to a pedicure or a warm bubble bath. Spend a Saturday morning sleeping in, or play a few rounds of golf on the course. Whatever it is that you love … do it.

4. One habit at a time. – Work on developing one habit at a time. If you are anything like me, there are a ton of new, healthy habits that you want to incorporate into your life. Focus on one at a time so that you don't get overwhelmed. Developing a habit, like exercising regularly might seem like a small change but it's not. When you begin to develop a new habit of any kind you are changing the way that you live your life.

5. Make sure that you really want it. – The more you want to make even small changes, the more likely you will stick with them. Don't ever begin to develop a habit that you don't want just because you think, or have been told, that it's the right thing to do. If you try to force yourself to do something you hate, you will avoid it at all costs. If you hate going to the gym, don't do it. There are plenty of good habits that you can develop that will enrich your life and that you will enjoy.

6. Plan it out.- Sit down and make a list of the good habits you would like to develop. Prioritize the list and determine what habits you would like to develop first. Once you have this figured out, write out a plan. By putting this in writing you can refer back to it whenever you need a bit of extra motivation and it will help you stay on track.

7. Be very specific. – Don't just say, "I want to make it a habit to drink more water". Instead, say, "I want to begin drinking eight glasses of water each day". By being specific you know exactly what you have to do to develop your new habit and will not become overwhelmed. If you are too vague, you could easily rationalize that you drank more water today than yesterday, even if it wasn't your desired eight glasses.

8. Use tools. – Utilize every resource that you have at your disposal. You can make lists, journals, charts, spreadsheets … anything that will help you to keep track of your goals. I often use sticky notes around the house. I will place reminders on walls, mirrors, the refrigerator, and anywhere else that I think they may be helpful. They may not look pretty but they help me to stay motivated.

9. Don't berate yourself for slip-us. – We all slip up from time to time. Just yesterday, I was snacking on a few potato chips while watching television. Before I knew it, the entire bag was empty! It happens to everyone. Realize this, and don't be too hard on yourself. Remind yourself of why you wanted to develop the habit in the first place, and then start again

"A man who can't bear to share his habits is a man who needs to quit them." – Stephen King, The Dark Tower

Why is it so difficult to break bad habits? There are things we do on a daily, or even hourly basis that we know aren't good for us. We bite our fingernails, smoke cigarettes, make unhealthy food choices, procrastinate, lead sedentary lives, etc. Every one of us has a bad habit that we would love to break, but we often have difficulty doing so. This is because, once a habit is developed, we rarely even notice we are doing it. It becomes part of who we are. If we want to improve our lives, breaking bad habits is a wonderful place to start.

Here are 5 common reasons why we often fail at breaking bad habits.

1. We expect results too quickly. – We didn't develop our bad habit in one day, and we certainly can't expect to break it in one day either. Breaking a habit takes time. We must be patient and persistent in our goals.

2. We have a low level of self-awareness. – I have been a nail biter for the majority of my life. I do it without even thinking and am usually not even aware that I have been chewing on them until I feel pain or see blood. This is because I am not always self-aware. We often go through life on autopilot, but when we are trying to break a habit, we need to slow down and pay attention to everything we are doing. We must make an attempt to really live in the moment. If we develop a stronger sense of self-awareness, we can head off our bad habits as soon as we begin doing them.

3. We use our habits as an emotional crutch. – Many of our habits, like smoking or turning to food when we are in need of comfort, serve as a coping mechanism for emotional stress or pain. We need to look for other, healthier substitutes for these habits. When I was trying to quit smoking, I would often exercise whenever I would feel an urge. The exercise took my mind off of my immediate craving and helped me to relieve my stress in a healthy way.

4. We don't tell anyone we are trying to break our habit. – Breaking a bad habit is extremely difficult. It is even more difficult when we do not have the support of our friends and family. We often fail to tell them out of fear. We think that by not telling them, we can avoid disappointing them if we fail. In order to successfully break a bad habit we must tell those we love and trust. They will give us the support we need and they will also make us accountable for our actions.

5. We are too hard on ourselves when we slip back into old patterns. – Just as developing new habits is hard, breaking old ones is extremely difficult. We will all slip up from time to time. We must stay positive and remember why we want to break our habits. Do you want to be a better role model for your children? Do you want to avoid a second heart attack? Do you want your nails to be beautiful for your wedding day? Whatever your motivation is, remember, there is a very good reason why you decided to break your bad habit in the first place. When we slip up and fall back into our bad patterns, we must take a moment to remember why it is important to break the habit. Then, we must start again.

I hope that these tips will help you to feel guided in having motivation to break habits you're not happy about or develop new ones you're proud of.

"Successful people are simply those with successful habits." -Brian Tracy

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Divorce – 5 Financial Steps To Take BEFORE Getting A Divorce

Marriage is defined as «the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law». When two people enter into a marriage the expectations are that it will last for the rest of their lifetimes, for better or worse, until death do them part. However, some marriages – as hard as people may try – don’t always last a lifetime.

A marriage may result in separating ways and end in divorce regardless of how hard one or both parties try to make it work. This can be a giant roller coaster of emotions. With everything going on there is one extremely important thing many people neglect to think about… YOU. If you find yourself going through a divorce you need to look out for yourself and your financial independence. Too often we see a separating spouse blindsided by certain financial realities. Take a look at these 5 steps BEFORE getting a divorce to ensure you are looking out for your own interest before the divorce finalizes.

1. Audit your current financial situation

Divorces can be unexpected and abrupt. They can also be prolonged and only come to fruition when a step is finally taken to formalize it. Regardless of sudden or more prolonged, there is an urgency with awareness of your current financial situation as a married couple.

With some couples, one person handles the finances more than the other person. While this is not recommended, it does inevitably happen. And in some cases of couples separating we see females who are left in the dark about the financial state of the two as a couple. Whether it be because the husband assumed the role or the wife is staying home with the kids, it is more common for the woman to be less aware of the couple’s financial state. However, this can undoubtedly go both ways and both should take this step into consideration regardless of which role.

This is something you need to protect yourself from. If you know that a divorce is coming, you will be initiating a divorce soon or you just had the bomb dropped that your husband or wife wants a divorce, take this step with extreme urgency. Print out or make copies of bank, brokerage and retirement statements, credit card statements, trusts, or joint investments. Have hard copy evidence of any and all of assets of the marriage.

Why do this?

The hope is that the divorce will be an amicable one, however, when emotions run high, one party may do something out of spite. We’ve seen instances of a spouse trying to shield assets from the other, change account authorizations to restrict the other spouses access, or hide any information that would benefit them-self to do so in the event of a divorce.

So how do you combat this? First start with educating yourself on your current financial situation. If you have a financial advisor you trust, set an appointment with them. If you want to consider a different financial advisor that is independent of your spouse, make an appointment accordingly.

Be aware of any outstanding debt there may be. Sometimes one side of the couple is blissfully unaware of the amount of debt their spouse is racking up while they are still married. This can come out when the divorce is in process and may leave both spouses responsible for the debt regardless of who created it.

Its far too important to be prepared with documentation in case your spouse decides to try and change log-in information etc. preventing you from getting access to these records later on. Do this with urgency to protect yourself and take control of your financial independence.

2. Establish your own credit

In the event that a couple shares credit card accounts, it may be likely that the account is held in one person’s name while the spouse has authorized access to use the credit card. You may be unaware that the account is held solely in your spouses name. This information will need to be figured out because simply having your name on a credit card does not mean that you are establishing any credit. Typically we’ve seen this with a spouse who does not currently work. They have a credit card under the working spouse’s account because of this.

Why do this?

When a divorce occurs, this becomes important. Having a credit card in your own name helps build your credit. You will be better able to be approved for a new mortgage, based on your own qualifications, if you decide you want to purchase a home on your own, or any loan that you may need. This should be done before the divorce proceedings happen. Especially if your spouse earns significantly more than you do or if you didn’t have an income while married. It is a lot easier to get approved for one while still married with a joint income. Also, a credit card can help with the day-to-day expenditures when you’re still figuring everything out in the divorce settlement.

3. Review and revise beneficiaries, wills, health proxy, power of attorneys and other estate plans

When two people get married, it is not uncommon for them to make each other their beneficiary, health proxy, power of attorney, executor etc. When you’re married, you want your spouse to be the beneficiary and you believe they will carry your wishes out should something happen to you. This changes when a divorce occurs and should be looked at carefully.

Why Do This?

When you know you’ll be separating ways it is best to review and revise these. Change each of them to reflect the current situation. You may want to consider using a family member of your own or children if any are of age to do so. It is best to review them with a trusted individual and most financial advisors would be willing to help you with this process.

4. Adjust your budget for your new financial independence

Many married couples have two incomes coming into the household. You get used to spending at a certain level without feeling any financial pressure. This level is typically more than you would be spending when you were single and operating on your own salary. When you are entering into a divorce, it’s time to adjust your budget and become acutely aware of where your money is going. To do this, start by taking an objective look at what your new budget will be. Look at the expenses that are necessary and then look at ones that you would be able to eliminate. Create a new budget you can commit to on your own.

Why do This?

All too often we see a recently divorced woman or man trying to live the same lifestyle as they did when married. It can be a harsh reality when they realize this can no longer happen. Any reduction in income takes some time to get used to. You may have to sacrifice shopping trips, golf outings, getting your nails done, or other luxuries you were able to comfortably afford as a married couple. Understand that life is changing. Doing this step will help you find your new financial independence and put you in the best position for your financial future.

5. Surround yourself with those who will support you

Going through a divorce most likely won’t be cut and dry. Any situation that involves emotions from 2 or more parties makes it difficult. Sometimes divorces are sudden… and some times it is a long time coming. No matter how the divorce has transpired, it is extremely important to surround yourself with people who support you. Especially in a time where a lot of decisions will need to be made.

Why do this?

You need to surround yourself with those concerned with your best interests. Divorces can hold feelings of resentment or distaste towards the other spouse. When emotions are all over, people may do things that they wouldn’t normally do, out of spite. Have the support behind you to make sure you stick up for yourself but also be there to tell you when it’s best to put your pride aside and come to an agreement.

In Conclusion:

Going through a divorce can be an emotional and even traumatic event. Just remember, it doesn’t define who you are. You WILL make it through this and your life WILL move on. Be mindful to protect yourself in the process and be confident that you can start again with new financial independence! Consider each of these 5 steps to take when getting divorced. Hold your support system close and don’t be afraid to call in some professional advice.

Most financial advisors will be able to guide you through this process and help you make good decisions that are in your best interest. If you are from Buffalo or Western New York, we would be happy to review your situation and offer suggestions. Call us at 716-662-4470 to schedule your free consultation.

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How To Choose The Best Printed T-Shirt Company

You may be looking for custom printed t-shirts for the entire staff crew in order to attend a sporting event or you may want all the members of your gang to look similar. Whatever the reason behind you looking for a company that will help in custom designing your t-shirt, you need to check for a few traits that ensures you of the highest quality and affordability. The company needs to be punctual in delivering your merchandise too.

The world is buzzing with names of companies that can provide you with custom design t-shirts. With so many options to choose from, it is vital that you be able to choose a company that ensures they follow all the rules in creating magic. You need to take precautions and follow a set of steps to be awarded with the name of a single company that meets your budget providing you the best of services ensuring all your requirements are liberally met.

First and foremost make sure you have the right count. You will need a clear picture of how many t-shirts you need designed. You may be a member of a team taking part in a marathon or one among a group of friends attending a theme party. Either way, ensure to get the sizes of all the team mates. This way you will know the budget you can afford to set. Most t-shirt printing companies give you the option of choosing their own t-shirts, this helps with avoiding multiple bills and payments.

It is important to order a spare for each of your team members as there are chances that the t-shirt might get dirty and they will need a change. It is vital that members dress neatly in case of a promotion. This will help increase brand visibility.

The next step is to identify a design. The design should coordinate with the t-shirt. If you are a company, then the logo of the company can be incorporated. Choose the company colors so that you know it is going to be different and helps in standing out of a crowd.

Identifying and setting a deadline is crucial. The printing company has to be briefed on when you would like the delivery to be made. When identifying a deadline you need to keep in mind that there may be alterations or changes required so it is wise to set a window that will give you space for changes.

Setting a budget is important because this will allow you to choose the best options within your budget. There are many options available these days. Some of it are vinyl printing, embroidery etc. The choice is based on your budget and requirement.

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Onshore and Offshore Outsourcing: Your Choices

Outsourcing is practised throughout the business world, offshore outsourcing in particular has been well documented in the media for numerous reasons.

The fact is businesses will continue to outsource especially if the process;

  • Offers them specific expertise they don’t have in-house
  • Most importantly, if it saves them money

Outsourcing is particularly popular as far as IT is concerned, many businesses outsource their IT departments to gain expertise in the field and in an effort to cut down on costs.

Whether you decide to go offshore or stay within the country will depend on the needs of your company, your budget and your business ethos. Both onshore and offshore have advantages and both are designed to increase productivity and cut down on staffing costs.

What’s best for my business?

Onshore Outsourcing; This usually involves outsourcing within your own country. For instance a business in London could outsource its call centres in Manchester or freelancers based in Liverpool.

The general consensus is that the costs you will face staying within your own constituency will outweigh the potential risks of transporting your business to another country or continent, particularly a country with another language and different legal regulations.

There’s also the geographical advantage to consider, meaning that if you want to get in touch with your IT department for instance, they’re likely to be only a train journey or short flight away.

One of the main advantages is that communication will be greatly improved.

You’re also likely to face less issues when it comes to legal issues, if you’ve outsourced within the same constituency, with stricter legislation in place intellectual property law is often vastly different in other countries.

Offshore Outsourcing: The process essentially follows the same ideas but you’re likely to face some problems going abroad. The main attraction for outsourcing offshore is the reduced labour costs, India is the most popular choice as far as the United Kingdom is concerned because the has a high number of fluent English speakers and lower labour costs than most of western society.

Of course there are the issues we’ve previously mentioned, despite the fact that some countries speak English, there’s no guarantee they’ll be fluent in the language. It can be costly and stressful consistently flying to far off countries meaning that communication will primarily have to be online or on the telephone.

It’s also worth noting that you may have to train these employees whether their based in the same city or in another continent.

So these are some of the choices you’re likely to encounter as a business, there are obviously arguments for both of these methods, outsourcing is likely to remain a popular choice for businesses for the foreseeable future, what method you choose will depend on your business.

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10 Reasons Liverpool is So Popular

As the 2008 European Capital Of Culture, Liverpool gained a lot of publicity and attention form the media all over the world. It’s not hard to see why Liverpool was chosen, and why it’s just reward for all the hard work that has gone on in the city in recent years.

Here’s why you should visit if you haven’t been yet.

1. Any sports fan will know that there’s lots of sporting history in Liverpool. Whether you’re a football fan worshipping at Anfield or Goodison Park, enjoy horse racing from Aintree, or keen on golf, athletics or swimming, there’s plenty to keep a sports fan happy in Liverpool

2. As well as the sport, Liverpool is well known for it’s music. As well as being forever remembered for the Beatles, there is a thriving music scene, and many local bands enjoy playing at the popular music venues in Liverpool.

3. The opening of the Liverpool One shopping areas has brought even more attention to the city, and encouraged more shoppers to browse. With over 160 shops, as well as restaurants and a cinema, there’s something for everyone in Liverpool One.

4. Culture plays an important part in this city. From the World Museum, and the Tate Gallery to the theatre performances, street events and festivals, and the up to the minute fashions and nightlife.

5. The Beatles are probably even more famous than the football teams, and even all these years later, fans come to pay homage, and take a magical mystery tour around the city to find out more about the Fab Four.

6. Liverpool has rapidly become a popular destination for cruise ships, and this is bringing more visitors and more revenue into the city, and encouraging people to explore this fascinating region.

7. Many businesses are moving here, and new companies are being formed all the time to provide the products and services that the residents and other businesses need. From the chemical and car industries of south Liverpool, to the companies in the commercial district, and the new and exciting companies in the new media sector, there are lots of reasons to start a company in Liverpool.

8. Thanks to it’s excellent infrastructure, Liverpool is very easy to get to. Whether you arrive at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which is just a few miles from the city centre, or by road or rail, you’ll find getting around isn’t hard.

9. Thanks to the highly respected universities, there are many students in Liverpool, and so a lot of research and hard work is done, that can be used to benefit businesses and residents here. In addition, many graduates who move to Liverpool to study will stay here after they finish their studies, and add to the talent of the local workforce.

10. There is always something to do, no matter what your interests, or when you chose to visit. From a concert at the new Arena by a global megastar, an historical tour of the city, and an amazing shopping experience and unrivalled nightlife.

Now you know more about Liverpool, and why it’s so popular, isn’t it time you came here?

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