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The Survival Buzz #152

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

The highlight of this week was a trip off island to the LDS Home Storage Center in Mount Vernon, Washington.  At a Home Storage Center, you will find the lowest prices anywhere on bulk foods for your survival pantry. The best part is that they are open to the public and not just to LDS members.

Nothing bugs me more then when I see other bloggers recommend purchasing wheat, as an example, from Amazon at over $2 a  pound. 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #152 by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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BDS Book Festival 7: The PrepSmart Series from Prepper Press

Early on, when I was a newbie blogger, I was lucky enough to hook up with a boutique publisher who was interested in compiling a series of articles by a dozen or so bloggers.  The project did not pan out but the publisher, Prepper Press, remained in contact.

Many of books featured in Backdoor Survival book festivals have been published by the Prepper Press.  They include books by Glen Tate and the 299 Days Series, R.P. Ruggiero and the Brushfire Plague Series (my favs), and titles from the prolific Joe Nobody and his Holding Their Own. 

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BDS Book Festival 7: The PrepSmart Series from Prepper Press by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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The 10 Best Cities to Live Rich on a Dime (So You Can Bring Your Dreams to Life)

Admit it. You’ve wondered more than once…

Is there a better life out there?

You work your butt off every day, but just paying for the essentials becomes more difficult with every passing month.

And what about your dreams?

Will you be able to start your own business, send your children to college, or live the life you always wanted?

And you can’t help thinking …

Is there a smarter way of doing things?

A way to achieve a lower cost of living – and a higher quality of life?

Maybe it’s finally time to accept the fact…

Your city is way too expensive.

So why not do what so many others have done before you and move to a place that is more affordable and offers a better quality of life?

Perhaps somewhere with less crime and pollution – and more time to enjoy life.

Let’s see if such a place truly exists.

10) Alicante, Spain - the best of everything Spain has to offer.

OK, an explanation is needed. Yes, Alicante is not a place where you can literally live on a dime.
But compared to any North American city, and many in the UK, the cost of living in Alicante is so low and the quality of living is so high that this fabulous city deserves mention here.

Alicante lives its life in Barcelona’s shadows, which is not a bad thing.

This beautiful and safe beach city on Spain’s Costa Blanca is one of my favorite cities to live.

Alicante is famous for its traditional architecture, climate, food, entertainment, relaxed lifestyle, and lack of mass tourism. If you want to live a modern Spanish dream, Alicante won’t disappoint you.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $550/month.
Public Transportation: $37/month.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $37.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $5.00
Beer: ½ liter bottle, excellent, domestic $1.00
And if your kids insist on eating at McDonalds, you can get a beer there too.

9) Mendoza, Argentina - where Argentina is still affordable

Mendoza is the heart of beautiful Argentinean wine country. It offers everything you would expect from a major metropolitan city — gourmet dining, exciting nightlife, and an energetic atmosphere, plus endless leisure activities.

The local economy offers ample opportunities for entrepreneurial spirit, and if your dream about starting your own business in Argentina, this could be your place.

The low cost of living in this urban metropolis makes it easy to pursue your dreams.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $380/month.
Buy: One-bedroom apartment, brand new, city center for $62,500.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $38.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $4
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic $1.40

8) Bali, Indonesia - considered paradise by many

If you dream about low-cost living in a beautiful Asian city (perhaps writing your first novel), and you wish to participate in its exotic culture but also are willing to accept things you can’t change, Bali is your paradise.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $300/month.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $22.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $12
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic $1.60

7) Chiang Mai, Thailand - possibly the best climate in Thailand

Exotic Thai culture, amazing food, milder mountain weather and friendly people — this is the city where you can live your dreams without running out of money fast. An active expats community will make integration easy for you and allow you to follow your passion; be on vacation for the rest of your life, start an online business, or work part-time as a tour guide.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $250/month.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $15.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $13
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic $1.30

6) Corozal, Belize - if your dream is to simply “kick back”

Tropical paradise Corozal is all about the slow pace of life — yoga and meditation on the beach, a stroll through beach waters, a cocktail enjoying the sunset, or uninterrupted quiet time to concentrate on your business. Whatever your dreams are, here you can afford them.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $190/month.
Buy: Two-bedroom apartment, brand new, city center for $115,000.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $19.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $12
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic $1.50

5) Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - cozy and romantic despite all the tourism

Vallarta is extremely versatile and has lots to offer those who can look past the cities heavy tourism.

The city offers incredible natural beauty, a small-town atmosphere, and a romantic side that many don’t expect, just outside of town.

If you can’t afford to live your dream in the US, take the short flight to Vallarta where you can.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $450/month.
Buy: Traditional town house, city center for $55,000.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $15.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $7.50
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic $1.25

4) Ojen, Spain – affordable living only minutes from luxurious Marbella

If you ever dreamed about living in southern Spain, Ojen could be your place. A stone throw away from busy Marbella and its multi-million-dollar villas, beautiful and romantic Ojen offers a much more quaint life without being boring.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $330/month.
Buy: Traditional town house, city center for $100,000.
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $28.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $4.00
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic $1.25

3) Prague, Czech Republic – a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site

Have you ever dreamt about living in a gorgeous historic European city, sending your kids to excellent international schools, and running your own online business? But Europe is too expensive … so you thought?

Modern Prague is a beautiful and vibrant city with energetic people, yet it's preserved much of its artsy charm and narrow cobblestone streets.

Prague has it all — beauty, entertainment, culture, thriving nightlife with amazing pubs, restaurants, cafes, and a prestigious university. The best of all … it is inexpensive.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $590/month.
Public Transportation: $25/month or $240/year city-wide
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $27.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $5.00
Beer: ½ liter bottle, excellent, domestic $0.75

2) Bucharest, Romania – the Paris of Eastern Europe
The 6th largest European city is bright, energetic, beautiful, and in the middle of an economic and cultural boom, yet it's surprisingly affordable.

If you dream of living a rich Bohemian lifestyle in Europe, this is your city.

To top it all off, it’s only 90 minutes’ drive from the beautiful Black Sea.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $450/month.
Public Transportation: $15/month city-wide
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $22.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $7.00
Beer: ½ liter bottle, excellent, domestic $0.80

1) Chisinau, Moldova - Europe’s most affordable city
Today’s Chisinau is emerging from its East Block heritage with a world-class National Opera House and Ballet, three national museums, 33 universities, large shopping malls, and an active nightlife.

Like most European cities, the streets are filled with friendly, well-dressed people and luxury cars. Wi-Fi is everywhere, and it’s free; you can run your online business easily from any of the beautiful city parks while enjoying the scenery.

Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center $270/month.
Public Transportation: $6/month city-wide
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, $22.
Wine: Supermarket, good quality $5.00
Beer: ½ liter bottle, excellent, domestic $0.80

So what do you think?

Having seen these alternatives, does your city still seem like a smart place to live?

Thought not.

So isn’t it time to move somewhere you can finally make your dreams a reality?

A place where you have enough money left at the end of the month to invest in your future – and your passions.

Because the perfect place for you is just waiting to be discovered.

Don’t procrastinate any longer. Pick a city from the list and start making your plans. It's much easier than you think to live a life you love.

So – where will you start living your dreams?

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Wilfried Lehmkuhler is passionate about helping people achieve their dreams; create financial Freedom and a Life they love by applying proven success strategies. Wilfried is a blogger, speaker, consultant and accomplished author who has worked with professional athletes and businesses in Europe and North America. You can find him at FinancialFreedomAndALifeYouLove.com or @WLehmkuhler

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The post The 10 Best Cities to Live Rich on a Dime (So You Can Bring Your Dreams to Life) appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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5 Steps to Becoming an In-Demand Expert

Have you ever wished you could utilize your know-how to become a speaker, a writer or an expert advisor? Professionals in every field, from teachers to nurses to financial advisors aspire to speak at local and national events, to write for magazines, author online articles, get interviews on TV, lecture at seminars or find consulting projects in industry. The idea of seeing your name in print or listed as a speaker can be exciting after years of hard work. Yet, at the same time, what if people write negative comments about you once you enter the public eye? What do you think of becoming a professional expert? Does it sound intimidating, fun or exciting?

If you want to become a well-known professional expert- you are not alone. A recurring question that I have been receiving from doctors, dentists, teachers, engineers and parents about the media: ‘I am a coach and I know I would be great on TV. What steps can I take so that I will be invited for an interview?’ Many professionals in the US and around the world have transitioned into public figures quite effectively. The fact that so many people want to become freelance professional experts is a good thing and a little bit overwhelming at the same time.

There are more tools for people without high-powered connections to establish themselves as experts than ever before- but the competition can scare some great professionals who have promising potential as freelance experts from even trying.

Here are 5 useful strategies for getting your foot in the door as a professional expert:

1. First and foremost, you must decide what you are going to talk about. What do you have to offer that is new, unique and interesting to the broad public?

2. You have to start somewhere. Whether your message is global or local, you can begin by connecting with people who already know and respect you and contributing articles for your community magazine, hospital newsletter or professional association. You can even contact local media and let them know about your interesting material.

3. Network. If you want to find an effective contact, you should reach out to writers of newspaper, magazine or online articles that are complementary to your message and view them as colleagues, not as competition.

4. Build an identity. You could consider starting a blog to attain a geographically wider reach and to be easily searchable in your area of expertise.

5. Accept both positive and negative feedback. Once you get started, you should gauge feedback to help you understand the community's response and fine-tune your message.

You have almost nothing to lose and you can possibly gain an amazing career transition.

Heidi Moawad M.D. is author of How to Be a Freelance Expert: The steps to becoming a professional expert and Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine.

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9 Little Things That Make A Huge Difference For Your Happiness

9 little things that make a huge difference for your happiness

When it comes to happiness, most, if not all people are always advocating the idea of not letting the little things get to you.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” as they say.

Let’s flip it around. The little things DO matter.

“A little bit goes a long way” as we all should say.

There’re a ton of simple ideas we can take up on to alleviate our pains, our ills and boost our happiness two to threefold.

1) Cleaning up your room

Because nobody, and I mean nobody will ever be happy living in their own filth. Whoever claims otherwise are probably hoarders and have major issues they need looking into.

A clean environment makes up for a healthy atmosphere, mind, body and soul. This is how you look forward to actually going back home and enjoy being alone.

So clean it up. Get rid of the clutter. Do a weekly thorough cleaning session and your mood will improve for sure.

2) Having enough sleep in a stretch

And when I mean a stretch, I mean sleeping 7-8 hours at a go. You can’t cheat by taking a few naps throughout the day and then back it up with Red Bull or some energy drink.

This may sound obvious enough, but most people don’t get enough sleep due to their hectic lifestyles. As a result, people get unknowingly cranky and unhappy.

You’ll look better too and definitely fall sick less.

3) Dress up. Groom

It’s easy to think and justify that we shouldn’t bother having to look good when we don’t have any engagements for the day. But I think it’s important to look good on the outside at all the times. If anything, we should put in the minimal effort to do so.

You’d want to look in the mirror and know you’re at your best. You do know after all, when you look your best. Why limit it to rare occasions? I don’t dress up at home, but I always shave or put on my contact lenses when I head out to wherever.

Look good for yourself. You’d subconsciously become more confident in everything you do then.

4) Shower

Again another obvious point, but surprisingly, most people don’t do this. I know of many friends who choose to head to bed after a night of drinking without showering. Gross.

So, at the risk of sounding like your mom, shower. Wash off the dirt and feel fresh. Clean behind your ears. This is how you stay clean, healthy and not smell bad.

This isn’t the cavemen era anymore. I bet you aren’t homeless either. Stop living with dirt!

5) Do that one piece of work, no matter where, no matter what

You know what happens when you decide to procrastinate and hold off work?

You feel half-hearted. You think you get to enjoy your newly-found space of free time, but at the back of your mind, you’re thinking of the work. You’re feeling guilty and unaccomplished.

That’s not how you become happy. You HAVE to do the work. So feel uncomfortable and do it anyway. It will make you happy later on.

6) Take a break

Yet, remember that you’re allowed to take breaks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with work and think that you’re have to use up every second of your time being productive.

You aren’t a robot.

7) Get off social media for just a bit everyday

It’s my personal opinion that social media does more bad than good. I think we’re constantly distracted and becoming unhappy because of it.

Now, I’m not asking you to go cold turkey and start hating on technology. I’m saying, take a break from it every now and then. Get off Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a couple of hours a day.

You’ll start to notice your surroundings. You’ll start to appreciate things for what they are and you’ll fall back in love with things. You can also create meaningful conversations with those around you.

How does this happen? Because you’re no longer relying on updates just to be happy.

Take this small step. You’re fully capable of being happy off the grid.

8) Don’t spend, yet spend

Let me be blunt:

If you’ve a ton of savings, then go ahead and spoil yourself. You deserve it. Life isn’t all about money, but it does make our life easier. And since you’ve worked hard for it, you should be rewarded.

If you don’t, stop spending. Please put that credit card back in your wallet. Don’t even think of going drinking if your idea of spending is only with credit.

Depending on where you are in life, be sensible with money. That’s all. There’re too many, if I may say it, stupid ideas on money by dumb and reckless people.

Be sure to manage your finances and life well your own way.

9) Don’t think about helping people. Just do it

Have you ever walked across a homeless person begging for money and then decide to give some change? But, when you reach in to your wallet, you realize the notes you’re carrying are too big. You then feel conflicted on whether you should give or not.

By then, you’ve walked far away.

And then you feel bad. You feel worse later because you end up spending that big note on some useless thing you don’t need.

That’s the folly in a lot of us. Perhaps it’s time we decide to help others to help ourselves. It DOES work that way!

Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking only for yourself. Use the power of impulse to make this world a better place. You’ll be guaranteed happiness this way.

Something awesome for Pick The Brain Readers!

I hope you enjoyed the article! Want more ways to be happy?

Then you’re going to want my book. It’s free! Here it is:

12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**K About!

Time to shed the crap in life and start being happy! This free book is only available through this link to Alden Tan.

Alden Tan keeps it real at his blog and writes about motivation in unconventional ways. His two main passions are Bboying and writing. Check out his free report, 12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**k About!

The post 9 Little Things That Make A Huge Difference For Your Happiness appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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7 Things to Remember When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

Getting healthier and learning to love your body can be hard, especially when it’s been a constant battle (sometimes for years). But, it doesn’t have to be.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind when you’re on your weight loss journey.

Your thoughts matter more than you think 

If you’re constantly thinking about how gross you are, how much you hate your body, and how you’ll never actually be able to lose weight, well, guess what? It’s going to be pretty hard to make healthy changes that last.

Take a step back and choose to see yourself through a lens of love. Would you ever speak to your friend like you speak to yourself? I think not.

So – what would you say to your friend, feeling the exact same way about her body? Really think about it. And once you’re clear on how much kinder you’d be to your friend, tune-in, and start talking to yourself like you would a loved one because (to put it simply) you just can’t make positive changes when you’re constantly beating yourself up. 

Before anything, you’ve got to appreciate your body exactly as it is

Transitioning from a place of hate to a place of love towards your body is transformative. When you can appreciate all your body allows you to do, you start to respect your body in a way that allows you to make healthier choices.

You can want your body to change to become healthier. But the difference from before is that once in this place of gratitude, your intentions for your body are ones out of love, respect, and care –not hate, disgust, and disrespect. And that change is monumental in all of your daily choices. 

Your weight won’t make you happy

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve met thousands of unhappy thin people. Your weight doesn’t determine your happiness. Happiness is an inside job. It’s about self-love and acceptance. And it stems from choosing love and faith over fear, moving your body out of love, setting healthy boundaries, asking for what you need, cultivating supportive relationships, and choosing to honor your hunger and fullness.

As you go throughout your journey, remember the inner stuff is just as important as the outer stuff – it’s where lasting change occurs.

Small steps forward are success

In a world of huge dramatic weight losses, your choice of a salad for lunch instead of a burger may seem insignificant to you. But, it’s not. It makes you feel better, more vibrant, and alive. That’s the stuff that matters. And remember, this is real life – not the movies or television. So on a daily basis, remind yourself that all steps, even small steps, are important steps. They key is to just keep taking steps.

You’re going to have hard times and that’s okay

Just like any other journey, you’re going to have bad times. Times that have you feeling like you’re ready to throw in the towel, that you just can’t do this, and that none of your hard work matters. Just knowing that you (and everyone else) will have hard times is comforting. You are not alone.

The important thing is to use the lessons that you learn from these times as growth opportunities. We have pain and struggles so we can grow. Without pain, we’d stay where we are, which (if you ask me) isn’t really the point. Walk away knowing that no goal is win/lose, all goals are win/learn and grow with grace. 

Deprivation does no one any good

Diets don’t work. That’s why there’s a new one every other week. Ditch the diets (and deprivation) and start focusing on how certain foods make you feel. You’ll notice that real whole fresh foods make you feel happy, vibrant, and healthy.

And start tuning-in to your hunger. When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re full stop. When you begin to listen to your body and choose healthy foods, you’re body will naturally stop you when you’re done. You’ve just got to tune-in. 

Connect with your body doing something you love

Whether it’s through yoga, nature hikes, or group exercise classes, find an activity you enjoy that involves moving your body. Through movement we get out of our heads and connect with our physical being in a whole new empowering way. The super important part is that you’re moving your body doing something you love.

One of my clients once brilliantly told me, “If I had to tell my former self something, I’d ask her what she liked to do as a child. What activity brought her joy? Once I had the answer I’d go do (way) more of that. Movement is therapy for the soul, that is, if you like what you’re doing.”

 

Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coach with a Masters in Nutrition. Specializing in coaching, weight loss, and behavior change, Corinne has helped hundreds of women develop a healthy positive relationship with food, their body, and themselves. She helps women do this by showing them how to create a healthy lifestyle (they love) using a holistic approach. She believes lasting change starts from the inside out. Visit her at CorinneDobbas.com and see how to work with her here.

The post 7 Things to Remember When You’re Trying to Lose Weight appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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3 Magic Words to Overcome Overwhelm

Do you ever know what you need to do but have trouble getting started? There’s a good chance that there’s at least one thing that you habitually put off doing. For many, it’s exercising, cleaning, or starting their next big project. For myself, even though I love writing, I still find myself feeling wanting to procrastinate writing my next article, book, or social media post.

By looking at my own experience as well as those I’ve coached, I’ve found one common underlying feeling that sabotages people from moving forward – overwhelm.

Imagine having an entire house to clean. The thought of not even knowing where to begin can make it easy to just sit back and say "Screw it, I'll deal with this later." Even with small projects like writing an article, I’ll find myself overwhelmed, not so much by the amount of work, but with the worry of “What if it’s not good enough?”

There’s one thing I’ve found that can instantly take away the feeling of overwhelm and get me to take action right away. When done properly, it’s virtually impossible to procrastinate.

This trick I've found is to ask the question, "Can I just...?" and then insert an action so easy that I'm guaranteed to be able to do it even if I have barely any willpower at all.

Let’s say I don’t feel like doing an hour-long workout. I can ask, “Can I just do the warmup?” If even that’s too overwhelming, I’ll ask, “Can I just do the first 30 seconds?” After that I’d ask, "Can I just do a little more? One more rep? One more exercise?" I can always stop once I’ve reached a point where I’ve felt like I’ve done all I can and still feel a sense of accomplishment.

On the surface, this may not sound like it would accomplish much. After all, what would thirty seconds of exercise matter for getting in shape? The key thing to understand is that we’re not after the tangible benefits of exercise; at least not at first. We’re after the intangible benefit of momentum.

Have you ever noticed how it’s usually only after you get started with something, that then the motivation to do it goes up? I may not feel like writing, exercising, or getting to work when I’m doing something else. Once I start doing any of those things though, my desire to keep going skyrockets.

Instead of trying to get motivation, try to get momentum. The motivation will naturally follow.

It’s also important to remember that overwhelm comes from seeing all the steps in the process all at once. If I’m thinking about the 37 things I have to do to complete my next book, I’m naturally going to put it off. If I only ask, “Can I just do the next thing on my list?” such as naming the next chapter, it suddenly becomes far easier for to get going and then to want to keep on going.

Remember, you can always do more than you set out to do originally. It's better to start small, hit your target goals every day, and occasionally go past them, so that you're always succeeding rather, than to have lofty targets that you only hit on occasion - if at all.

This method cannot fail so long as you break it down into something so easy it requires virtually no effort and time. Even if it takes months to build momentum, using these three magic words, “Can I just,” to find the smallest step you’re willing to take, is guaranteed to take you farther than doing nothing at all.

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Derek Doepker shows people how to create better habits in 5 minutes a day in his book The Healthy Habit Revolution. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling personal development book Why You’re Stuck and founder of the blog Excuse Proof Fitness. You can connect with him at http://facebook.com/derekdoepker

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7 Science-Backed Tips for Sticking to Your Fitness Resolutions This Year

These days you can’t throw a rock without hitting some new diet plan, app or gadget that promises to help you get in the best shape of your life with minimal effort.

But as much as we’d all love to pop a few pills or strap on a toning belt instead of eating less and exercising more, the fact of the matter is that getting and staying fit is hard work. Fortunately, though there are ways to make sure your efforts pay off in the long run.

Over the years researchers have uncovered a number of nifty tricks to help you get closer to your fitness goals without counting calories or following complicated exercise routines. So, if getting fit is one of your resolutions this year, here are ten more effective ways to make it happen.

Set bigger goals

When it comes to weight loss we’re often advised to set small “realistic” goals, with the reasoning that we may become discouraged and give up if we fail to reach them within the timeframe we set for ourselves.

However, a study carried out by researchers in the Netherlands found that people who set higher weight loss goals actually put more effort into reaching them and lost more weight within a two-month period than those who had set lower weight loss goals.

Of course, no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss and what works for one person may not be the best option for you. But if you’ve always set ‘doable’ fitness goals for yourself and just aren’t seeing the dramatic results you’d like, it might be time to set your sights higher.

Slow it down

Research shows that it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you feel full after eating. This is because the brain needs to receive signals from stretch receptors in the stomach, which are activated when it fills with food, and also from digestive hormones in the gastrointestinal tract.

This whole process takes some time, so if you shovel down an entire meal in under ten minutes you’re far more likely to overeat than if you take your time to savor the food and chew each mouthful slowly.

If you’ve finished your meal and still feel hungry, make a point of waiting a few minutes before going for a second helping, as your brain may simply need more time to register that you’ve eaten enough.

Use smaller plates

How much we eat actually has very little to do with how hungry we are, as evidenced by a Cornell study that used ‘bottomless bowls’ to determine whether visual cues influence how much we eat.

Half of the participants were served in bowls that were secretly refilled as they ate through a tube under the table, while the other half ate their soup from regular bowls. Those eating from the self-refilling bowls ended up eating 73% more soup, but surprisingly, they did not feel any fuller or believe they had eaten more than the participants who had used regular bowls.

The researchers explain that the amount of food on a plate or in a bowl provides us with a visual cue that influences how much we consume.

When you have a larger plate, you’ll not only load on more food, but also feel the need to keep eating until you’ve cleared your plate. So using smaller plates and bowls can help you cut down on the amount of calories you consume without even missing them.

Change what you see

Since visual cues are so powerful, what you see around you will have a big impact on the choices you make. If you have a jar of candy sitting on your desk, the temptation to snack on it will be far greater than if it was shut away in a cupboard. Similarly, if you have fruits and vegetables in plain sight, you’ll be more likely to snack on them instead of junk food.

A Today News experiment led by Cornell researcher Brian Wansink showed that the order in which food is served also influences your food choices.

Two groups of people were invited to enjoy a free buffet, and although the food was the same for both groups, it was arranged in a different order. When the fruit and salad had been laid out at the beginning of the buffet rather than at the end, people served themselves more of the healthy food.

So even if you don’t cut certain foods completely from your diet, starting your meals with a healthier item like a salad or piece of fruit will help you make better choices overall.

Work harder and less frequently

If you find it hard to set aside time to exercise every day, you may be pleased to learn that brief periods of strenuous exercise just twice a week can be very effective too.

Researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario developed a high intensity interval training program that required participants to exercise at about 90% of their heart for one minute followed by one minute of easy recovery. This process was repeated 10 times, bringing the total exercise time to 20 minutes.

After several weeks of following this program for two days each week, the volunteers showed significant improvements in their health and fitness. So if you’re willing to work harder when you do have time to exercise, you may not need to devote as much time to it as you think.

Implement immediate consequences

Although there are long term consequences for unhealthy eating or a lack of exercise, we tend to pay more attention to actions that have immediate consequences. Skipping your work out or having a hot dog for lunch won’t have any immediate repercussions, so it’s easier to ignore the fact that you’re breaking your resolve to eat better or exercise more.

With this in mind, implementing some sort of penalty for bad behavior will make you more likely to stick to your commitments. A Stanford study shows that commitment contracts can help people stick to their commitments in situations where there are upfront costs, but the benefits are delayed.

For instance, a contract that requires you to pay X amount of money to a friend if you skip your scheduled work out will make it more costly to do so and will increase your likelihood of sticking with the fitness program you’ve chosen.

The researchers also note that longer contracts (of more than 8 weeks) tend to be more effective, because it takes some time to get past the initial experience of displeasure and recognize the longer term benefits.

Reward yourself

In the same way that we’re more likely to pay attention to the short term consequences of our actions, we’re also more likely to feel motivated to do something if the payoff is immediate. Obviously, one work out or day of ‘clean eating’ isn’t going to pay off immediately, but you can find other ways to reward yourself for good behavior.

According to research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, incentives are very effective in encouraging the development of good habits, and in one study, people who were paid to go to the gym doubled their attendance rate.

While it might be hard to find someone who will pay you to work out or eat right, you can “pay” yourself in other ways. For example, after a good work out session you could allow yourself some downtime to watch an episode of your favorite TV series or get a massage.

After a while, your brain will begin to recognize the workout itself as the reward and you won’t even need these little incentives. But while you’re still forming good habits, rewarding yourself can help you stay on track.

Marianne Stenger is a writer with Open Colleges. She covers career development, workplace productivity and self-improvement. You can connect with her on Twitter and Google+, or find her latest articles here. 

The post 7 Science-Backed Tips for Sticking to Your Fitness Resolutions This Year appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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Define the Prepper Movement With A Call Action

Back in the day, I was considered somewhat of an activist.  Although normally quiet, unassuming, and nerd-like, I fought for the end of political tyranny, power to the people, and women’s rights in the workplace.  I was a small voice in a big sea of voices, but, to this day, would like to believe I have made a difference.

Now, years later, in my own quiet away, I have proudly labeled myself as both a “Prepper” and a member of the Prepper Movement. 

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Define the Prepper Movement With A Call Action by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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Welcoming all my new suctomers to Internet of Mind

Welcoming all my new suctomers to Internet of Mind | lisakline01 | Scoop.it
Welcoming all my new clients to Internet of Mind - my healthy living and weightloss program! #health http://bit.ly/1wBb4V6
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Is Hypnosis Fake/Real

Is Hypnosis Fake or Real? - Google Answers: I'm not discussing about hypnotherapy I'm talking about: http://bit.ly/1x8kEQW
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Clients do not usually select the best products

Clients do not usually select the best products | lisakline01 | Scoop.it
Buyers do not usually select the best product. They select the one they have most confidence in http://bit.ly/1tHTTk6
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Extremelly affordable online store to buy DTC tools

We found this very affordable amazon store to buy unique tools - http://amzn.to/1sJtjS1
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Conflicted: The Survival Card Game + Giveaway

When you read dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction do you give some consideration to how you would react in a similar situation?  I’ll tell you what. The more I read, the more I assimilate various survival strategies and begin to formulate my own survival game plan.  This is all good and forces me to continue to read serious survival fiction as opposed to the latest John Grisham thriller.

The problem, as I see it, is that reading a book and thinking about strategies is a singular pastime. 

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Conflicted: The Survival Card Game + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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Survival Basics: Be Prepared For Pet Emergencies

When it comes to our four legged friends, being prepared goes beyond having the proper pet supplies in our bug-out bags and in-home emergency kits.  There is also the component of pet healthcare and the need to recognize and then act quickly and decisively during a pet emergency.

In my opinion, this is a topic that is not addressed often enough in the preparedness community.  The truth is that while it is easy to use a proactive approach with our own healthcare, most of us are at a bit of a loss when it comes to our pets.

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Survival Basics: Be Prepared For Pet Emergencies by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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The Survival Buzz #151

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Most of this week was spent working at my J.O.B. (only part time these days), although I did take a little time out to work on my Preparedness Planner a bit.  It sure feels good to get organized!  Speaking of getting organized, the month of January is a great month to find deals on storage tubs.  I picked up a couple of huge, 18-gallon HOMZ storage tubs for $3.99 each at the local Ace Hardware.

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The Survival Buzz #151 by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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BDS Book Festival 7: 5 Acres & A Dream – The Book + Giveaway

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.  Leigh Tate, the blogger at the popular homesteading site, 5 Acres and a Dream, has written a book about the challenges she and her husband have faced while pursing their dream.

Her book, 5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead, is unlike any homesteading book I have ever read!  In it, Leigh shares her dream of self-sufficiency and her homesteading aspirations along with the disappointments, successes, and failures that happened along the way. 

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BDS Book Festival 7: 5 Acres & A Dream – The Book + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage

During a recent book giveaway, the question asked was “What piece of prepping gear is at the top of your bucket list?”  Needless to say, I was more than a little bit surprised to find that the top response was water storage, water filters, and water purification equipment.

While having the gear is nice, anyone interested in preparedness also needs to have a basic understanding of the concepts behind water and water storage.  Where to find, store, purify, and filter water are all questions that need to be asked, answered, and periodically reviewed.

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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The Ultimate Guide To Meditation

Meditation. What is it? We’ve all heard of it. Maybe you've tried it a few times, or if you're truly dedicated to it, you do it every day. Meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself, as it has the potential to transform your life.

The first thing we need to do is clear up some common misconceptions. It is not strictly a "Buddhist" or "Hindu" religious activity, although those religions incorporate meditation into their beliefs. In fact, every major religion incorporates some form of meditation in their teachings. If you don't like the name "meditation," just go with "quieting the mind" or “mindfulness.”

Scientific studies have shown that dozens of positive effects come from meditation. Over 3000 studies in the last few years have shown that meditation improves happiness levels, decreases stress, lowers blood pressure, increases attention span, relieves depression, etc. If you click here, you will be able to see dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate the incredible benefits of meditation.

There are powerful inner aspects to meditation. A key realization that you will come to as a result of meditation is that you are not your thoughts. You are the awareness behind your thoughts, the "watcher" that notices them.

There are many different ways to meditate. You can should sit cross legged with your eyes open, you can sit in a chair with your eyes closed, lie down, etc. You should meditate in whatever way you want as long as you're relaxed and not going to fall asleep during the practice.

When meditating, there are very few rules. The goal is to quiet the constantly chattering mind and simply be at peace, allowing yourself to be in the present moment. That's it. It sounds simple, but as we all know, what’s simple is not necessarily easy.

Once you start meditating, your mind will begin to wander. You will think of what you need to do later on that day, something that happened earlier, etc. This will happen often in the beginning of your practice. A common experience is getting frustrated at yourself for thinking so much, which is unhelpful. Accept that many thoughts will cross your mind during meditation and just let them float by.

Visualization can be really helpful during meditation. I like to visualize a pool of water, and when a thought comes by, the pool of water ripples outwards until the pool is still again. Try whatever works for you. Some people imagine a clear blue sky, and when a thought appears, they see it as a cloud that quickly disintegrates.

For beginners, listening to guided meditations is very helpful. Eventually, you will be able to just be at peace, without many thoughts entering your mind. This allows you to go deeper and deeper into your meditation, giving you a profound sense of relaxation and happiness. Remember, this takes much practice, and you need to fully accept wherever you're at in your journey.

You have to make meditation a priority in your life; otherwise it simply won't become a habit. While meditating every once in a while is good, it won't make much of a difference in your life unless you commit to it and do it daily.

Starting off, you don't need to commit a lot of time to meditation. To just get the habit started, start off with five or ten minutes daily. It helps if you can incorporate this into your morning or nightly routines so that it can become a habit more easily.

The habit of meditation is not something that you will necessarily notice immediate improvements from. Patience is key here. It takes a couple months of daily practice to noticeably shift your awareness and increase the level of presence and peace you have in your daily life. I can assure you that it is completely worth the time spent, and anyone who’s been meditating for months would agree.

I’ve personally had some amazing experiences while meditating. Many times, indescribable positive emotions flow through me. Flashes of insight and unique ideas come to me. Each time I meditate, I can go for longer and longer periods of time without having any thoughts come up. I promise that you can get to this point and much farther if you commit to a daily practice.

Whenever I talk to people who have been meditating for years, I notice that they are all very calm, and fully present. They seem at peace with themselves and the world. They rarely, if ever, worry about things. These people seem to realize that worrying is mentally creating a possible negative future that doesn't have any basis in the present moment. These people usually don't have much of an ego, as they have realized that the ego is just another mental concept.

I started meditating sporadically a few years ago, when I was in high school. I had read about the benefits, and wanted to see for myself. I meditated whenever I could remember to do so, and when I did, thoughts would flood my mind and I was never at peace. I gave up on it for the time being, until I read that the only way for me to receive real benefits from meditation was if I did it daily. I started to do just that, and made meditation a large priority in my life. I have not looked back since. I’m now noticing many positive results in my life, and I have no doubt in my mind that meditation will continue to improve my life more and more as time goes on. In your meditation practice, remember this quotation by spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti, "Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end."

Since I’m so passionate about how meditation can change anyone’s life, I decided to spread meditation to as many people as possible. I wanted everyone to get a chance to experience the benefits for themselves. I created a meditation service that sends you the world’s best meditation videos for only $5 a month. Check it out at Daily Meditation!

Lars King is passionate about creating businesses that help people perform at their best, whether it's to get you motivated all year long or start meditating. You can reach him on twitter at @larstheking.

The post The Ultimate Guide To Meditation appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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Get Organized with the Preparedness Planner + Giveaway

Let’s take an informal poll.  How many of you have tons of preps?  How many of you know you have a lot of stuff, but have no clue how much you have, how much you want, and where it is located?

In the past, I have tried to keep track of my own preps both with an excel spreadsheet and using software and apps sent to me for review.  With all of the time I have spent attempting to get organized, my preps are still in disarray and none of the apps made it to the website for review purposes.

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Get Organized with the Preparedness Planner + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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3 Steps to Improve More by Learning Less

What a world we live in. The information age, as it’s being called, provides us with exactly that: information. For bettor or for worse, any question we have, any answer we require, or any ailment we’re trying to cure, is at our fingertips.

I mentioned that all this information could be for worse, but how is that so? How can more data and facts be a bad thing? Ah, well, with more information comes more opinions, and with more opinions comes a more convoluted message of…well, anything.

When we leverage this information to focus on self improvement, we are often thrown into sensory overload. There are so many books, articles, events, speakers, and armchair therapists, that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. With this in mind, it’s much better to improve more by learning less.

Self improvement: Uncovering personal values

The key to lasting self improvement is to uncover the core values and principles that govern your life, not to follow the latest improvement fad. This way, as you move through life, you’ll be able to navigate your way to personal success based on those values and principles.

Much like an ocean, all the self improvement tips and tricks, although helpful, are like ripples on the surface. It’s our personal values rooted deep in the depths of our psychological ocean that are ultimately used for self improvement. When we uncover a new value or principle through life experiences, we are literally self improving. We then use that newfound core value to propel our lives forward, further uncovering more values, and therefore, further improving ourselves.

By focusing on personal values and principles, you start a cycle of self improvement that never stops.

Personal growth: Back to basics

Self improvement and personal growth is an ongoing process, and one that can’t be rushed. Even though a lot of people are looking for a magic bullet or quick fix, it’s literally the process of self improvement that causes us to grow in the first place. To grow as a person is to be process oriented, and to do that, it’s important to get back to basics.

Once we begin to uncover and focus on our core values, personal growth is simply a matter of following those values. This way, we’re oriented toward the process of finding what resonates with our core self.

By getting back to basics, we’re reminded that true self improvement happens when we take our life’s principles, and test them with experiences. If your experiences resonate with your values, you know that you’re headed the right direction. If they conflict with your values, you’re telling yourself that you either need to adjust your course, or reevaluate your governing principles.

Personal growth is as easy as that.

Self Discovery: Learn, and then forget

Although achieving lasting self improvement is as simple as uncovering our personal values and getting back to basics, there’s an important linchpin that holds the entire paradigm together: experience.

The only way we can improve ourselves is if we put ourselves out there and try to learn from the world firsthand. This way, we can build on our experiences and get a good understanding of our core values and where we’re headed. Think of an experience as a stress test for your governing values. Pass or fail, you grow.

But, with all the self improvement information out there, it’s hard not to get inundated and give up. Because of this, it’s important to learn as much as you can…and then forget it all.

Well, not all, but definitely everything that doesn’t resonate with you. The truth is that a majority of information out there won’t resonate with you; it’s when we lose sight of this and try to account for everything that we actually stunt our personal growth. But, paradoxically, the only way we can uncover our values and get back to basics, is to go out and experience it all.

With that in mind, keep what you enjoy and discard the rest. Forget all the tips, tricks, and fads, and follow your core values and principles. This way, you’ll be on a path to self improvement that you paved, and not on a path someone paved for you.

——

Evan Tarver is a business development specialist with dynamic experience in the technology industry. He believes that people should be doing what they love, loving what they do, and getting paid for it all!

The key to true happiness is continuous self improvement. Connect with him to read his weekly articles on self improvement through professional excellence and receive your free e-book: 52 Quotes to the Life You Love!

The post 3 Steps to Improve More by Learning Less appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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Internet-of-the-Mind.com just posted a new Weekend summary. very helpful!

Online posting activities for the week at Internet-of-the-mind.com
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Car Escape Tool

Car Escape Tool | lisakline01 | Scoop.it
This could save your life if youare ever trapped in your truck. Get one for yourself and everyone you like. http://bit.ly/1tGv7z0
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the best Emergency Radio

Stay in touch with the best emergency radio. http://bit.ly/1tOkw6X #radio #emergencyradio This emergency radio system includes a four-bulb, ultra-bright LED Flashlight on 1 end and a flashing yellow emergency light on the other. When the flashing light is activated, a LOUD siren blares at the push of a button with quick attention-getting sound. These compact stereos can make the difference between death and life on hiking trips when trapped, injured and lost
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This tutorial teaches the effective use of brainwave entrainment to reprogram the subconscious mind - http://bit.ly/1x3LlWQ

This tutorial teaches the effective use of brainwave entrainment to reprogram the subconscious mind - http://bit.ly/1x3LlWQ | lisakline01 | Scoop.it
The BrainWave Rythyms, volumes 1 and 2 are available listen online as you download to your computer or IPhone. Earbuds and headphones are recommended for most of the audios on Internet-of-the-Mind.com, sometimes they are required to get the intended benefit as with the brainwave entrainment tracks.
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