Archive for 2012

27 nov

Making the Decision to Live a Healthy Life

JennaSmithIn today’s hectic world, making decisions to live a more healthy lifestyle can be easier said than done. After all, most people barely have the time to cook dinner for their families let alone take strides to live healthier, and it doesn’t seem as if this is will slow down anytime soon. Making the decision to improve your diet and exercise regimen can dramatically elevate your quality of life, however, and is more than worth thinking about. While it may seem as if transitioning towards a more healthy lifestyle would be difficult, there are plenty of ways you can go about doing so by taking small steps. Consider the following tips, each of which can help lead you towards a healthier lifestyle.

Avoid Processed Foods

One of the most important things you can do when trying to improve your lifestyle is avoid processed foods. A lot of people don’t realize just how detrimental fast food and other processed foods can be to one’s health. Not only are they loaded with sodium, saturated fats and artificial colors, they tend to be very low in nutrition. The result is a meal that may leave you feeling full initially, but you’re often hungry within an hour of eating. This can lead to becoming overweight, and is generally taxing on the body. Processed foods are everywhere in America, although you can avoid eating them by simply cooking at home and shopping the perimeter of your grocery store (where fresh items tend to be situated).

Begin an Exercise Regimen

Exercise is an essential element of any healthy lifestyle. The modern world has made it so many people live increasingly sedentary lifestyles, getting less exercise than ever before. Sitting too long can not only cause discomfort, but in the long run can be bad for your cardiovascular function. While it’s true that starting an exercise regimen can be incredibly challenging for those who are used to being sedentary, the importance of doing so cannot be overemphasized.

Start by joining a gym and striving to get at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3-4 times per week on a treadmill, elliptical or similar machine. You can begin to ramp things up once you become more comfortable with the routine, although it’s important to avoid pushing yourself further than the body can handle. Over time, however, you’ll find that regular exercise will not only give you more energy, but will help to relieve stress as well.

Take the Right Supplements

Many people aren’t quite sure where they stand on supplements, and for good reason. After all, a lot of nutrition can simply come from eating healthy, in which case supplements may not always be necessary. There are certain supplements that can improve health that are next to impossible to get in diet, however. Fish oil, for example, is extremely beneficial to both brain and heart function, and you’d have to eat a fair amount of fish to get enough in your diet without taking a supplement. The same can be said for vitamin d, which can be difficult to get during the winter. Big Apple Rx and other, similar stores sell supplements of all kinds, making it possible for you to tailor a regimen specifically to your needs.

Making the decision to improve your health can be stressful, and doesn’t typically happen overnight. That said, you’ll benefit greatly from embracing a healthier lifestyle. Start by eating healthier, followed by embracing an exercise regimen. Once you have these two things under your belt, consider adding supplements to your diet for a three-pronged approach to a healthier, more productive you.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on November 27th, 2012 in Diet and Fitness, Health | No comments

18 nov

Actual Freedom While Still Having an Actual Job

JennaSmithWorking at an hourly job or in a corporate structure can be a real drag. You have to come into work when someone else tells you to. You have to wear the clothes they demand. You have to take their rate of pay and if you don’t like it, you can quit and not have a job at all. But, there are some jobs that give you far more flexibility. There are jobs that let you be your own boss, in your own time and where you want to be. You can even set your own pay rate in these types of careers. They are not for everyone because there is not the stability of a steady paycheck and sometimes there will be some lean months, but if you are a free spirit and have had enough of working for the boss, it might be time to explore other options.

Massage Therapy

One of a number of very flexible types of careers is that of a massage therapist. With a few months of massage therapy training, you could be well on your way to a career that allows you to set your own hours and be independent. But, be aware that it may take some time to establish regular clients and there are some drawbacks to this line of work. Some people still have the wrong idea about massage therapy in general so you might have to deal with a few bawdy suggestions and winks. You may have to invest in a portable massage table which can be pricey as well as bulky. But, it is well worth having the professional appearance that the table will give to you. The amount of money that you can potentially earn will vary depending on your location and the number of clients that you have. Marketing and other expenses will have to be considered as well.

Freelance Writing and Other Work From Home Jobs

As a freelance writer, you can write from home or from anywhere that you have an internet connection. Projects come in with a deadline so you can budget your time in your own fashion. Other options including data entry and customer service jobs which you do from home using your computer, your home phone or Skype. These jobs will range from fairly low volume to higher traffic and the pay will depend on how much work you actually do. Choose a reputable company to work with, preferably through an agency which can help ensure that you are getting jobs that will actually pay you. Writing assignments will depend on your skill level and education.

It is a fallacy that you do not have to pay taxes on this type of work. Like any other occupation, you do have to file your own taxes based on the income that you earn. Like any other type of work that you do independently, the amount that you can earn will vary depending on how fast you finish projects, how many projects you can get and how well you do them. So do your research, and figure out what you really want to do, then get out there and make it happen.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on November 18th, 2012 in Uncategorized | No comments

17 nov

Back to School: Making the Decision

JennaSmithThere are many reasons for heading back to school to further one’s education, with plenty of opportunities to match. After graduation and working in a certain field for and extended period of time, some come to find that there is a lot of room for professional advancement, pending the completion of an advanced degree program. While working hard at one’s current position may be stable and sufficient enough for the everyday expenses, a good amount of people recognize that they are capable of more, even management roles and beyond. Choosing to invest the time and money into pushing on to the next level can be challenging in itself, but the rewards and benefits far outweigh the negatives.

In order to take pressure off deciding whether or not to expand upon prior education, choosing a degree in something practical will be a wise choice. This provides people with a peace of mind that their newly acquired skills will not be in vain or a later regret. Of course, an individual must first figure out what type of higher level positions are available and if any of the degree programs match up well.

Leadership and management based courses are great for those looking to get into the managerial level positions and even venture into entrepreneurship. For example, a typical project management masters degree would be a great choice for these types of people. Learning to manage employees as individuals and as a team are things directly related to careers in marketing, advertising, business administration, human resources, public relations, finance, and other similar fields.

The workload that comes with being a project manager includes overseeing multiple facets of project and defining what type of strategy will be implemented for success. Rather than a direct, hands on role, the project manager is responsible for the coordination of the teams, assigning tasks, general troubleshooting, defining goals, and assisting wherever necessary.

In terms of the value of an advanced degree, it has the potential to more than pay for itself when implemented correctly into one’s career path. For a project manager, a higher wage or salary is only one of the benefits that come with the territory. Leading different teams successfully through projects allows the project manager build amazing communication skills, expand his/her knowledge of different team dynamics, and become better prepared for unplanned situations. It is in these cases, after experience with the new field, that these project management degree holders can start thinking about taking their careers to the next level.

After learning about, and taking on, the different roles of team members, these higher skilled workers may decide to take those skills and talents with them and go into business for themselves. Freelancing has its benefits and allows more freedom on which projects they want to get involved with. When it comes time to start his/her own company or project, they will have a better understanding which team positions will be needed to grow. Although it is difficult to see the road ahead when starting on a new educational path, the value of that higher education is priceless.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on November 17th, 2012 in Career | No comments

07 nov

Giving Back

JennaSmithWe as human beings need to look out for each other. There are a lot of minorities in the U.S. and people from these minorities have stepped up in order to give back to the society. The minorities in the U.S include black Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and Latino.

The Chinese American Hero, Morgan Chu is a well-known name in the world of law. He is an intellectual property attorney and is also one of the first Asian Americans to lead a major law firm in the U.S. He is also included in the list of ‘Top 100 influential lawyers’. He has made a reputable name by winning major cases regarding disputes between big companies like Samsung and Microsoft. He was also elected to Harvard Board of Overseers in 2009 for a six-year term. He has handled some cases without any fee and does what he can in order to give back to the society. He wants to help as many people as possible to receive the justice they deserve.

Another famous minority figure is Maya Angelou. She is an African-American author and poet. Her work has awarded her with numerous honors and more than thirty honorary doctoral degrees. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barak Obama in 2011. She has been an inspiration for many women writers and has displayed the life of African Americans. She has done a lot of work in order to make her community better. She has been honored by universities, government agencies and many literary organizations. Her poetry has allowed people to look at how African Americans live and what troubles their women have to face.

Joe Baca is a Hispanic American who has been serving since 2003 as the U.S. Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district. He has received many honors because of the public service he has done. He has received the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President’s Achievement Award. He also has two local parks named after him.

The above three names are only few of the many people who have worked hard and are now giving back to the society, in one way or another. These people serve as living examples for the future generations of the minority and influence them that they too can make a difference in this world if they work to achieve their goals. They will continue to give back to the society in the upcoming years.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on November 7th, 2012 in Career | No comments

26 oct

Protecting Your Privacy Online

JennaSmithIn the early days of the Internet, scientists used it and scholars to exchange information back, and forth to one another. As its use expanded, however, privacy started becoming an issue. Now, more people use the Internet to do all their business, from buying and selling, transferring money and sending sensitive documents.

What You Should Be Concerned About

Online information can open you to identity theft attacks from hackers, but there is more that you have to be concerned about. Everything that you post online, every site that you go to, even briefly, even your chat conversations can become part of your reputation. Like it or not, your online footprint can help determine who you are in the eyes of strangers. If you plan to apply for school and school loans, a new job or run for public office, you might need some information about reputation management

Finding Out What is Out There Already

The more important that the position that you are applying or running for is, the more likely your competition will think nothing of sinking to the lowest common denominator slander to climb over you. In the past, private investigators were hired to dig for dirt in your past but now, that is just a matter of pulling your online records. Every time you post a photo on Facebook or send out a tweet on Twitter, it is right there for the whole world to see. You can’t claim to be a moral, upstanding person, if the average person, can pull up a dozen obscene photos of you in various states , typically holding a cup, mug, or bottle in one hand, and making a rude gesture with the other.

.Preventing Future Mistakes From Being Made

Next up, the management team will handle anything you might possibly post or tweet. When celebrities prove that they are unable to tweet on their own, they turn over the account to their management team to prevent any further damage. That is also commonly done by less famous people as well. Which prevents them from making more online errors, that could cost them the job they want, enter into the school they want, or the ability to be elected into public office. It is a service that could be valuable beyond its price. The job of an online management team would be, find, identify, and then deal with anything that is already in existence online.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on October 26th, 2012 in Career, Technology | No comments

18 oct

Setting and Achieving Goals: 5 Big Ways a Calendar Can Help

RobertCordrayCalendars. We all use them—to mark the change of seasons, to keep track of important events, and in the case of the ancient Mayan people, to predict the end of the world. A more upbeat benefit of calendars is that, if used correctly, they can be very effective tools in helping us turn our dreams into realities. So if you plan on being around after Dec. 21, 2012, and you’ve got some lofty aspirations, here’s a look at 5 ways a calendar can help you to set and achieve your goals.

1. Calendars turn wishes into goals

There is great power in putting our hopes and aspirations down in written form. As a wise person once said, “A goal not written is only a wish.” Writing goals on wall calendars take them a step further than writing them down in journals or on slips of paper to post in prominent places. Calendaring your goals right along with other events that will surely come to pass puts them in the realm of what is real and possible in your life.

2. Calendars give goals timeframes

“A goal is a dream with a deadline,” said Napolean Hill. And as noble as your intentions may be, unless you assign your goals a reasonable deadline by which to achieve them, they are doomed to remain in the dream stage forever. Goals with timeframes become impending events, providing the all-important motivation needed to act upon them and make them happen.

3. Calendars help you plan for success

Goals that help you to change and improve your life are big by design. But the task of achieving a major goal in a specified period of time can seem daunting, making it difficult to know where to even start, let alone devise a plan. Calendaring your goal allows you to visualize and strategize a path to success—a path paved with smaller, more manageable goals, each with its own doable timeframe. As each smaller goal is achieved those mini-successes will help to spur you on with greater drive and determination, until the larger goal is accomplished.

4. Calendars help to track progress

With large goals divided into smaller ones, your calendar becomes a great tool to help you visually track and measure both your successes and shortcomings. Being that all roads to a worthwhile goal will have their share of roadblocks, having your goal planned out step by step on the calendar will help you to see and hopefully avoid any pitfalls that may lie ahead. And when setbacks occur, and they often do, being able to track the progress you have made will help you to strategize a new plan for success.

5. Calendars go with you everywhere

Not long ago a calendar was something that hung on your wall, along with your goals, to be viewed and reviewed once or twice a day. With today’s advances in technology—namely smartphones, laptops and tablet computers—calendars are with you everywhere we go. Now, with a mouse click or the touch of a screen, your goals and game plans for achieving them can be called up, evaluated and orchestrated virtually anywhere and at any time. You can also receive alerts to instantly remind you of the goals you’ve set, and spur you on to success. And since success calls for celebration, you’ll want to schedule an appropriate time to do just that—on your calendar.

About the Author

Robert Cordray is a former entrepreneur and business consultant with over 20 years of experience. He is a freelance writer for multiple organizations. He is currently exploring the coaching realm, and trying to help people through his experiences. If he’s not sipping an ice cold margarita on the beach, he’s most likely living life with his wife and three kids.You can also find him on twitter.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on October 18th, 2012 in General, New Directions | No comments

15 oct

Harvest Time

ZulmaCarbajal Autumn is the time of clearing the old that no longer works in order to plant new seeds for the life that you desire. If you have been wanting to improve your life this is the season in which many things from the past are going to be brought to the surface for you to look at in order for you to see what is keeping you stuck in your old life that no longer serves you.

When a negative situation comes up, try not to get upset. Know that what is happenning in your life is resurfacing in order to give you the option to choose healing and growth to prepare the way for what you now want in your life. It is possible that you may not even know what you want on a conscious level because you are so caught up in the drama of life. However, your soul knows and will share that knowledge with you if you are willing to listen.

Often we don’t want to listen. We are so focused on blaming others for our circumstances instead reminding ourselves that there are no accidents and everything happens for a reason. Our ego wants us to hold on to old pain and beliefs because once you start listening to your soul you will gain mastery over your ego.

This is also a time when the energy of transformation is the most powerful. If you begin to plant the seeds now, by Spring they will grow and bloom. This means that you would need to take aware action right away.

You do not nessarily have to take physical action. What you may need to do in order to create the most positive outcome could be changing old beliefs or thoughts. Or it could mean getting rid of negative reactions.

Sometimes what is required of you is to let go of a dysfunctional relationship or heal the one you are in. Perhaps you need to seek out like minded friends to support you with your new endeavors. It may be time for you to get out of your comfort zone and instead of listening to what others want you begin to listen to your heart.

It is possible that events have presented an opportunity for you to heal and let go of childhood wounds even if they are deep. Or you will need to unlearn the false information that your primary caretakers, society, peers and family have programmed into to you.

You might have to stop the busy work and workaholism so that you can focus on what really matters (to you) and for once begin taking at least small steps towards your dreams. Probably you will have to learn to take better care of yourself in order to have the energy to accomplish your goals.

We are all unique individuals with different experiences so what I will need to do is different than what you may need. However, if you listen to your soul, it will tell your precisely what is required to let go of or to do in order to leave space for the circumstances and people that you want to fill your life with.

If you would like more information please contact me at or you can view my blog for related articles

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Posted by Zulma Carbajal on October 15th, 2012 in Health, New Directions, Uncategorized | No comments

13 oct

Parenting Kids Through Times of Change

happier_confidenceWe live in transitional times. Each of us is affected by change, whether it be a job change, a relationship change, a financial change or even a health-related change.

Kids feel these changes, too. They witness them closely. For example, often they are involved in the case of a divorce, a death or a move.

I’ve found a few insights that can really make a difference when parenting children during these types of life events. Plus, my personal belief is that teaching them about change is one of the most fundamental life skills to impart to them to be prepared for the years when they’re growing up.

Parents need to get comfortable with change, then your children will be comfortable, too. Kids are a lot less fragile through change than their parents are. Kids often simply reflect how you are feeling, so if they are acting out, it’s because you may have some emotions that aren’t being expressed. If they are anxious, it’s because you are, too, at some level. Think about it, at any moment, you are either being a warning or an example for your kids, how you eat, how you communicate, how you behave, everything you do. They see and feel everything. So regarding the change you’re going through, are you coming from a place of trust and faith or one of fear? Are you coming from your heart and a loving space or from your head and responsibilities? Be an example for how to navigate change. Be positive, accept the change once it’s happened and stop comparing things to what was. Believe in something greater going on, ask for help so your kids see that there are always people ready to help and they/you are never alone. Take some action. Take care of yourself during times of change so your kids see that just because something has changed doesn’t mean your whole life and especially your health will be affected.

The most important thing your kids want is for you to be happy! This is what your kids are yearning for. They aren’t yearning for their old school after a while, or how things were. They want to be in a home that is filled with laughter and love. Get out of the serious box. Yes, a change may be serious, but it’s not so serious that you want to teach your kids that all change is hard, tough, and worth getting concerned about. So yes, if getting happy and doing what you want involves going away for the weekend, going to the gym, taking a new class, going back to work, do it. Your kids will unconsciously and consciously relax when they know you are OK and doing things you love and enjoy. They’d rather you were happy than at home all the time. They’d rather you be happy alone than unhappily married.

Parents need to wake up and place their trust in their children’s inner-guidance system. So many parents tend to over-parent their kids, do everything for them, show them, help them. This is underestimating their innate ability that the same life force that is flowing through you is flowing through them. Wake up their intuition, their instincts. Believe they can figure things out. Ask them how something feels. It’s easier for you as parents to worry about your kids, when the truth is that you yourself are the one that’s worried. Kids aren’t that worried at their core since they are in the present moment, while we adults feel fear and nervousness when thinking about the past and future effect of a change. Teach your kids that they have access to answers on the inside of them at all times–even more answers than Mom or Dad can provide. Their bodies are always sending them signals about what’s the right thing to do.

Teach them that they have a “change muscle.” Kids love knowing this. That there is a specific muscle to be able to handle changes, that they can flex it, use it and it gets stronger with every change they experience–that the body is made for change and that the best of who they are is going to come out during times of change, that life is always giving them an opportunity to grow, to learn something, to acquire a new set of emotions, such as courage, faith or patience when change comes their way.
Teach them “The Change Guarantee.” Write down the following phrase for them, somewhere visible. “From this situation, something good will come.” Start showing them that good things come from change. Go through previous changes that have happened and the good that eventually came. Teach them that life is on their side, that it’s always coming up with new ways to bring something into their lives.

Allow kids to be human and express their emotions. Teach them that its perfectly OK to be sad, to cry, to be angry, to be anything they are feeling. Make their feelings seem right, not wrong. Don’t impose any deadlines on when they should stop feeling something. The same goes for you. It’s good for your kids to see you have feelings. Do not only be in supermom or superdad mode. When they see you are human, sad, scared for a little while, then they feel much safer being the same. Do not try to change what they are feeling. If they are feeling something, reward it.

For more information on the 9 Principles of Change, be sure to pick up a copy of my book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier. The change principles equally apply for children of any age.

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Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on October 13th, 2012 in Ariane, First30Days Book, General, New Directions, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments

12 oct

Staff Certifications that Get Results

JennaSmithAttracting and retaining top talent is a challenge for any organization. Companies spend huge chunks of their budget on retention programs that keep the best employees satisfied and loyal to the company. The first step in enjoying a stable staff is to place employees in positions where they will be most effective. In a standard interview, candidates often say what they think the interviewer wants to hear. By administering aptitude tests, you can be sure that your staff are matched with the positions that best fit their skills.

For current employees, periodic certifications give them the knowledge they need to excel in their jobs. When they feel confident in their abilities, they will be more likely to stay with the company and put forth their best effort. Maximize the return on your human capital by offering certifications that will help your staff stay motivated to add to the company’s bottom line.

Aptitude tests are great tools to use in your recruitment efforts. Use these tests to assess your candidate’s knowledge of software applications, office procedures and soft skills. By using these tests you can be assured that you are effectively matching your candidates with the jobs that best match their skills. Mismatched skills and positions are some of the major reasons for employee turnover. Prevent this turnover by placing your staff where they are most useful.

In-house certifications are an excellent tool for enjoying a more educated staff. Certifications like these promote teamwork and cooperation while teaching your staff principles of reducing waste and cutting costs. Your staff will enjoy earning their black, white and green belts, and you will enjoy a more motivated staff. These certifications will also make your staff look more credible to your outside clients and vendors, earning even more money and profits for your business. Cut back on turnover expenses by investing in your current employees and giving them more reasons to stay with the company.

While many employers offer these courses in-house, others save money by outsourcing company training to other companies. Organizations such as The College Network pair learners with courses, degree programs and certifications that will help them succeed in the workforce. Partner with a company that will deliver coursework to your staff that complements your training program. Certifications such as Lean Six Sigma can be completed in a few short sessions, making it easy for your staff to start using their new skills right away.

Overcome job dissatisfaction by using HR testing tools that work. By creating and delivering customized aptitude tests, certifications and continuing education courses, you will be able to give your staff the tools they need to excel at their jobs. Studies have shown that employees perform best when they are given intangible rewards such as a different title, award or accolade on the job. By creating a work environment where your staff are rewarded for their efforts and given opportunities for advancement, you will enjoy better overall satisfaction and lower turnover rates. Start your training program today.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on October 12th, 2012 in Career | No comments

09 oct

High-Interest, High Reward

JennaSmithOften in life you’ll find yourself with more money than you know what to do with. That isn’t to say you’re wealthy or have an overwhelming large surplus, simply that we all often have more money in our savings account we don’t really need to be there.

After bills, rent, groceries and so forth your bank account will often be well above zero when your next paycheck comes in. Which is great of course, we all need a healthy buffer of money. But it’s not really doing any work just sitting there.

Having multiple bank accounts is nothing new, but often people don’t think about the potential involved with different types of accounts. Though having identical accounts to separate rent from groceries and so forth is a good step towards good financial management, it is just a step. Your real goal should be opening up a savings account with a high-interest rate to deposit any money that you don’t need right this very second.

It’s simply wasteful to have your entire savings in your main account that gets billed rather than have interest due to the nature of how you use it. Don’t be afraid to have your account with a totally different bank either, so long as the fees cost less than the extra interest you would make. Profit is the main goal with any high-interest account after all, however you choose to spend it down the line.

Walter Wisniewski of Paragon Capital has been known to compare commerce with music. Numerous notes and breaks come together to form a glorious piece of music. If we were to follow this example a little further, having a high-interest paying account is a little bit like having an exotic instrument in your orchestra, or writing a solo for a certain instrument or player.

Certainly, you can’t use it all the time, and you shouldn’t. With high-interest paying accounts many banks reward you the less you use it, and so using it constantly is counter productive. But when the time is right it can raise a performance to new heights, and make it truly memorable.

The grand finale so to speak is that you shouldn’t put all your money in one place when you don’t need it all to be. High-interest savings account are a completely risk free investment that are guaranteed to pay off, and we should all be using them.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on October 9th, 2012 in Finances | No comments