Top 10 Lists
Below are the articles in the Top 10 Lists category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.
Top 10 Actions That Say “I Love You”
It takes more than words to communicate to a beloved that he or she is loved. Here are ten ways people can show they care.
The saying, “Words are cheap, action speaks,” is never more true than when applied to “I love you.” Whether spoken to a romantic partner, your children or other family members, if the actions aren’t there to back up the loving words, it all means nothing. Below are 10 of the best ways to say “I love you” in your actions. But there are thousands more. See how creative you can get in coming up with your own ideas.
1. Greet your loved ones with a big smile, a hug and a kiss.
2. Really listen to what your loved ones are saying; give them your undivided and undistracted attention.
3. Do simple (even random) acts of kindness, such as massaging shoulders or feet, cooking a favorite meal, running a bath.
Top 10 Addiction Clues
How can a person know if a loved one has an addiction? This article lists ten common signs.
Abuse of or addiction to alcohol or other substances is not always easy to spot. If many of the following clues are present, it could be that you are dealing with someone who needs help.
1. Minimizing. The common refrain is, “I can stop anytime I want.” Hiding the use of substances is also a major clue.
2. Belligerence and intimidation. Mean-spiritedness, intense sarcasm and/or regular belittling usually leads to people feeling as though they must “walk on eggshells” around the person.
3. Lying and promise-breaking. Both hallmarks of substance abuse or addiction, these include the oft-made (and broken) promise to “never do it again,” whatever “it” is.
Top 10 Barriers to Connection
Avoiding these ten behaviors can greatly improve relationships.
When people come to us with a problem, it’s easy to lapse into behaviors that—although usually well-meaning—serve to block us from hearing the other person’s experience. We’d be better off following the words of this inside-out saying: “Don’t just do something; stand there”…and try not to:
1. Counsel. Seek not to advise solutions (until asked) but listen and reflect back the person’s experience.
Sarah’s story exhibits several of the hallmarks of verbal abuse:
2. Defend. When you explain, justify or rationalize, you invalidate the other’s experience. You can create a time to offer your experience, but for now, just listen.
3. Shut down. This happens in parenting when we say things like: “Stop crying. It’s not that bad.” Children are more likely to stop crying when they feel they’ve been heard.
Top 10 Barriers to Self-Growth
Most of us want to grow as human beings, but sometimes we just get in our own way.
Change can be scary as we feel new things, entertain different thoughts, perhaps leave old ways behind. Here are 10 obstacles that can hinder self-growth.
1. Denial. It’s difficult to grow when you don’t see the need. Listen to the quiet voice inside and to what your loved ones are saying. Get the support you need to see the truth.
2. Seeing yourself as a victim. If you’re always one-down, you can’t become the empowered person you are meant to be.
3. Substance abuse. Whether you’re self-medicating or seeking escape, the problems just don’t go away without the willingness to face them.
Top 10 Best Email Habits
What’s the secret to success? The joke’s twist of the adage answers: 10 percent hard work, 90 percent ignoring email. Luckily, we don’t have to go that far.
Improving your email habits can drastically increase your productivity. Like any new approach, these take focus and practice. But after awhile, they will become habits that support you.
1. Check email only at scheduled times for a specified amount of time. Twice a day for 30-60 minutes works well for many. Unplug until the next scheduled time.
2. Unsubscribe relentlessly. Make sure you receive only the things you really want to—and do—read.
3. Reduce the amount of routed email (i.e., cc’d from coworkers) to only that which is essential.
4. “Slash and burn” on your first pass through your inbox. Use the second pass for replies and other follow-up actions.
Top 10 Considerations When Choosing Business Partners
What are the important considerations when deciding on a business partner?
Before allying with another, it’s important to understand what you want and need from a partner, and what you have to offer. Consider reputation, scope of services, compatibility of style and culture, commitment, financial capacity, skills and resources. Following are 10 questions that may be helpful in this process:
1. How might my company’s mission, ethics and values attract and be compatible with this business? In what areas might they conflict with those of the business?
2. How might an alliance with this business/department serve my primary customers and the community?
3. What benefits might this alliance provide to help my business/department further its mission?
Top 10 Creative Decision-Making Techniques
Ten out-of-the-box approaches for making decisions.
Most of us have our own way of making decisions. We may carefully consider the pros and cons, consult with experts, ask our mothers. Here are 10 more unusual methods to try. Which ones could you employ?
1. Flip a coin. Then notice your first reaction. If it lands on the “wrong” choice, you’ll feel disappointment.
2. Role-play. Let each person or thing represent a different aspect of the decision. What does each perspective have to say?
3. Meditate. When you quiet your mind, the answer may bubble up easily.
Top 10 Daily Practices of Loving Relationships
Here are ten everyday ways to help keep love alive.
Living with those you love—whether they be mates, children or older parents—brings intimacy and stresses that are different from other relationships. Here are 10 daily practices that help keep the love flowing and the relationships growing.
1. Share something from your day. Involve your loved ones in your life outside the home—or inside your heart.
2. Express gratitude. Show that you notice their daily contributions to the family and your life. Receiving a “thank you” for doing the dishes or taking out the trash feels soooo good!
3. Eat dinner together. Connecting with each other over food is an ancient human practice. It’s worth it to make time for this warming activity.
Top 10 Everyday Retreats
No exotic vacation on the horizon? Find ways in your own everyday life to retreat and renew.
To go on a retreat usually conjures up images of remote, sometimes exotic, locations for anywhere from a weekend to a month. When we can’t afford the time away, or the cost, we can still derive some of the benefit by finding ways in our everyday lives to retreat and renew. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Abstain from speaking. Silence leads to inwardness, even in the midst of family life.
2. Fast for a day or three. Fasting reminds us of the bounty of food available to us. It also lets the body rest from the busy-ness of digesting.
3. Spend a day in the garden. Or the container pots. Or a community garden. Anything to get your hands in the earth.
4. Go for a hike. Even an hour of one-on-one time with Mother Nature can reap huge relaxation dividends.
Top 10 Fears That Keep Us From What We Want
Fear is an important survival technique that kept humans from getting eaten by bigger animals and that prevents people from jumping off cliffs. But what about those fears that purport to keep people safe, but actually keep them stuck?
Fear often stands between us and our ability to make decisions, take actions, ask for what we want—even to know what we really want. It is the gatekeeper of our comfort zone. But as poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.” Below are 10 fears that commonly get in our way.
1. Fear of being judged. Needing approval from family or peers can keep us from going after dreams and goals.
2. Fear of rejection. Rejection just means that someone else has a different opinion.
3. Fear of emotional pain. Rather than incapacitate us, painful feelings can sharpen our sense of joy and gratitude.
4. Fear of embarrassment. Making mistakes publicly is awful only when we let ourselves feel ashamed.
Top 10 Fears That Ruin Relationships
Fear is often present in relationships, but it doesn’t have to sabotage the relationship. This article helps one recognize fears and be more able to work with them.
Loving someone is risky business, so it’s natural that fear is present in relationships. But when fear operates in our life in a way that hurts us or hurts others—through aggression or withdrawal—it becomes a problem. Recognizing these fears and how they affect our life can help us make the necessary changes to get the love we want.
1. Fear of losing freedom. Tied down, trapped, cornered, stuck—this "claustrophobia" points to mistaken beliefs about what relationships are supposed to be. The ability to say No in a loving and respectful way, and to set clear and fair boundaries, is an essential ingredient of a healthy relationship.
2. Fear of conflict. Let's face it—love can be messy. But it doesn't have to be destructive. Constructive communication skills can be learned. When handled with caring and respectful communication, conflicts can become vital building blocks of deeper trust and intimacy.
Top 10 Ideas for Journaling
Ten ideas for tapping our inner wisdom through journaling.
You know more than you think you do. Inside of all of us is a unique wisdom that can inform our choices and enhance our experience of life. One potent way to access this wisdom is through journaling. Here are 10 ideas to help you mine for gold with a pen.
1. Free write. Write as fast as you can—whatever comes to your mind—without regard to spelling, punctuation, etc. This “brain dump” helps you clear your mind and prepare for the day.
2. Write about your childhood. Write specific memories and notice any trends that occur or insights you have about your present life.
3. Free associate. One word sparks another and so on. Watching where your mind takes you can help you get “underneath” issues you may be dealing with.
Top 10 Myths About Owning Your Own Business
Owning one’s own business is the secret to success. Perhaps, but not necessarily....
Owning a business can be great, as long as you go in with your eyes open. Here are common misconceptions:
1. I’ll be my own boss. Your customers become your boss, and can hire and fire you like any corporate superior.
2. I’ll have more free time. You’ll likely work more hours until your business is ready to thrive without you.
3. It’s just me…I don’t need a business plan. Every business needs one. Without it, you’ll just drift like a leaf in the wind.
Top 10 Myths About Public Speaking
A speaker memorizes the speech, uses a lectern, and doesn’t worry about the introduction. Isn’t that right? No?
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to speak publicly and have a smooth, successful, enjoyable experience. For that to happen, though, you may need to debunk a few of these common myths about public speaking.
1. You must memorize your speech. Yes, practice your speech repeatedly, but it’s more effective to memorize concepts than words.
2. Introductions aren’t that important. Because they prepare the audience for your message, introductions should be carefully written—by you!
3. A powerful speaker uses a lectern. Ditch this barrier between you and your audience. Step out and connect!
Top 10 Powerful Questions to Ask
Strong work relationships, high morale and improved performance are all byproducts of good questions. Here are ten to get one started.
This potent communication tool can help you discover important information about your work, yourself, your associates, your customers—and create insights that otherwise might have remained hidden.
Asking questions without leading, prompting or interrupting shows that you’re really listening. It encourages us to suspend assumptions, which helps prevent miscommunication, unrealistic expectations, stress, damaged relationships and unfulfilled responsibilities. Below are just a few questions that can have powerful effects on your work and life. Just be sure to LISTEN to the answers.
1. What is it that you’d like to see accomplished and how do you see it happening?
2. What’s the most important priority to you with this and why?
3. Can you help me understand that a little better?
4. If I could change one thing in my life/business that would have the greatest impact, what would it be?
Top 10 Powerful Writing Tips
Article offers ten ways to improve your writing’s effectiveness.
More is not always better. Here are 10 tips to help your writing be concise, focused and powerful.
1. Get clear and focused before you start. Muddy thinking leads to muddy writing.
2. Know your audience. Put yourself in their shoes…what do they need (do you want them to get) from your article or report?
3. What’s the point? Don’t bury this. Make sure your readers understand why it’s important to read your piece.
NEW! Top 10 Practices that Support Talk Therapy
How to supplement and receive full benefit from those hours of therapy.
Therapy can be a vital part of your healing. To get even more benefit from your therapy experience, consider adding one or all of these 10 practices to your life:
1. Physical self-care. A diet rich in protein, whole grains and vegetables and low in processed sugars will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you can be more clear in your thinking and more present in therapy. Also, exercising has been proven effective at relieving mild to moderate depression, which can be a barrier to confronting challenging issues.
2. Meditation. Sitting peacefully with our thoughts increases our capacity for insight and self-awareness—a real asset in therapy.
3. Support groups. Groups convey many benefits, including providing continuity between therapy sessions and greater clarity of your issues. They’re also about taking action and getting help, two key aspects of healing.
Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking a Leadership Role
How well do I know myself? How do I handle failure? These questions and more can help clarify if a person is ready to move into a position of leadership.
1. How well do I know myself? The most effective leaders are in touch with who they are and how they feel—especially during the important transition time into a new position.
2. How flexible am I? Moving into a leadership role can be a huge stretch…how can you avoid “pulling” something?
3. How do I handle failure? Good leaders fail frequently. Rather than viewing failure as a shame and a negative, it’s best to see it as a valuable learning tool.
4. How’s my work/life balance? Being out of balance in either direction makes for less potent leading.
Top 10 Routine Maintenance Points
Not just for cars—one’s mind and heart needs maintenance, too.
We do routine maintenance checks on our cars to keep them running well, and regular physicals to check up on our bodies. It’s also a good idea to perform routine check-ins with our minds and hearts to see if we’re keeping on track with what we want to do and create with our lives. Here are ten areas of inquiry.
1. Am I asking for what I need? Do I act as my own advocate?
2. Am I taking good care of myself? Check in with the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life.
3. Is there something I need to do that I haven’t done? What’s in the way?
Top 10 Signs of Strength
Master these ten signs of strength and improve your relationships with others—and yourself.
Flash the Morse Code signal SOS and help is sure to come your way. Master these 10 signs of strength (SOS) and the help may be in the form of improved relationships, greater joy and connection with yourself, better self care and enhanced communication. All in all, quite a life raft!
1. Respond instead of react. When we react, we give away our personal power.
2. Identify and learn from your judgments. Judgments are often a reflection of our own inner needs and values.
3. Reach out when you need it. Asking for help is not a weakness.
4. Keep your word—especially to yourself. Beautiful palaces are built on this foundation of integrity.
Top 10 Sources of Stress
Many people would find it surprising—and enlightening—to realize that stress is more often caused by internal pressure and anxiety than by external circumstances.
Ask people why they’re stressed, and they’re likely to say that it’s these infernal deadlines or too much work and too little staff, or perhaps the ¬family’s overpacked schedules. And while these can certainly add to a ¬pressure-cooker atmosphere, they’re not really the greatest cause. At fault more than anything is the tremendous internal pressure and anxiety that we create for ourselves through the following:
1. Self-criticism. Tame your inner critic, focus on your strengths and forgive yourself.
2. Perfectionism. Do your best, but let the elusive “perfect” go.
3. Worry. Faith and action are the best antidote to worry, especially about situations we cannot control.
Top 10 Steps to Achieve SMART Goals
Making SMART goals is a great beginning. Then one has to accomplish them.
Making a SMART goal—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound—is just the first step in making your goal a reality. It’s what you do after that can make or break your objective. Below are 10 essential steps to achieving your SMART goals.
1. Make sure your goal passes the SMART test. To the letter.
2. Align your goals with your values. Without values alignment, you are likely to struggle—if not fail—to implement them.
3. Share your goals with three to five key people to become more accountable. Don’t sabotage yourself: choose people who are and positive.
Top 10 Techniques for Working with Dreams
Ten tips for tapping the power of dreams.
Like guests to a party, dreams have to be invited, and then treated well. Here are 10 ways to begin:
1. Before going to sleep, state your intention to remember your dreams. Like priming the pump, this may take a while, but soon your dreams will flow.
2. Try to wake before your alarm goes off. Nothing erases a dream faster than being startled awake.
3. When you wake from a dream, lie still. Translate the images into words before opening your eyes.
Top 10 Things to Be Grateful For
A person may feel grateful for her health, safety, and loved ones. But what about the less obvious things that are all around?
What do we take for granted? What moves us? What would fill our hearts daily if we would just notice it?
1. The senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste—daily miracles each of them.
2. The plant world. From the productivity of a late-summer tomato plant to the delicate unfurling of a fern, nature’s exuberance and tenderness is something to behold.
3. Opportunity. Our steady companion, opportunity is always ready to take us down a path yet unknown. (Hint: We have to say “Yes!”)
4. Beauty. What do your eyes feast on? What splendor makes your soul rejoice? It is all around us every day. How often do you stop to drink it in?
Top 10 Things to Say to Your Partner
These ten statements can help maintain intimacy and improve communication.
What do you want for dinner? and Did you take out the trash? may be two of the most frequently made comments, one partner to another, but in order to maintain intimate and loving communication in their relationship, couples may need to become more intentional in the messages they give one another. Try these.
1. Thank you for… People need to be acknowledged and appreciated for what they do. Not just for the things they’re asked to do, but just because.
2. Would you please… Expecting your partner to read your mind is expecting the impossible. Say what you want and need. Be specific.
3. How do you feel about… Asking, then listening to your partner’s response, withholding judgment or any need to try to change the feelings.
Top 10 Things to Say to Yourself
People say things to themselves they wouldn't even think of saying to another person. What if, instead, people treated themselves as they would treat a best friend, someone they loved dearly?
1. What do you feel?
Asking ourselves what we feel can help put names to, and identify emotions. Listening for the response and being honest with ourselves is like taking our emotional temperature.
2. What do you need?
A need is different from a want. Whereas a want states a desire, a need is usually a statement about nurturing. Pay attention to your needs, they're about caring for yourself.
3. Good job
Congratulate yourself on a job well done whether it's mowing the lawn, writing a poem or cleaning the bathroom. Give yourself a verbal pat on the back.
Top 10 Things We Can Control
A wise person once said, “Focus on the ninety percent of life that is under our control and don’t fret about the rest.”
While we cannot control the weather, death or another’s thoughts, much as we might like to, we would do well to pay attention to the areas in our life that we can actually do something about.
1. Our actions. We alone are responsible for what we do.
2. Our words. Spoken or written, the words we choose impact our lives and the lives of others.
3. Our beliefs. If we believe that others should take care of our needs, then we will be frustrated when they don’t. We can change our beliefs.
4. Our values. What’s important to us is our call. No one else can tell us what to value.
Top 10 Tips for Great Idea Generation
Generating great ideas can be a challenge. Here are ten ways to get the juices flowing.
Great ideas can mean the difference between mediocrity and huge success, between boredom and passion. Whether you want to streamline a process, write a best-selling headline or start a killer business, consider the following tips:
1. Stimulate creativity. What helps take your mind in different directions? A day off? Chasing your 2-year-old? Dancing? A mastermind group?
2. Notice what’s not working. The heart of a problem is rich with possibility for creative solutions.
3. Get your pen moving. This writers’ trick works in all kinds of scenarios to generate great ideas. Just start writing.
Top 10 Tips for Managing Financial Anxiety
Anxiety can be the motivator of positive action, which, in turn, reduces anxiety.
Although uncomfortable, anxiety can motivate positive action. And by taking that action, our anxiety lessens. Here are a few proactive strategies and other tips.
1. Acknowledge your role. If you made a questionable financial choice, face it, understand why you made the choice, and then let it go.
2. Take action. Confront your situation and take appropriate steps, whether that’s negotiating with creditors or seeking other sources of income.
Top 10 Tips for Moving Through Depression
Connection, physicality, even singing; here are ten ways to lighten the dark.
The crushing blackness of depression can seem insurmountable when you’re in it. But there are things you can do to help lighten the darkness and even project a feeling of well-being and joy.
1. Stay connected with others. Isolating yourself doesn’t protect loved ones nor help you. Just being around others in silence is better than hiding away.
2. Set priorities and do what you can. Acknowledge (even celebrate) the completion of even little things.
3. Do physical work. Chop wood or scrub the bathtub or prune trees. Physical effort helps to shift emotional blockages and numbness.
Top 10 Tips for Talking With Your Children
It has never been more critical for parents to talk with their children about difficult and often disturbing issues. Here are ten tips to help parents begin the dialogue.
Certainly we knew there’d come the time for the “big talk,” but who knew we’d be struggling with how to talk to our children about drugs and AIDS and gay relationships, guns and violence at school, and kids who kill other kids.
Our world has grown more complex and the media, including the Internet, has swung wide the doors to information and misinformation. Talking with our children about difficult and often disturbing issues has never been more critical.
Following are some tips that may help.
1. It’s never too soon to start. Kids are hearing about issues at an earlier age.
2. Don’t wait for them to ask. Just because they haven’t asked about something doesn’t mean they don’t want or need information.
3. Tackle subjects even if you’re uncomfortable. Set aside your own feelings and initiate dialogue.
Top 10 “Top 10” Lists to Create
Top 10 lists are everywhere, fulfilling the desire for bite-sized, digestible morsels of learning or humor. Here, then, is an opportunity to create ten of one’s own.
Top 10 lists give us tips on housework or investment practices, satire on current events or political issues, and ideas for consideration on personal growth.
With this Top 10, however, you are the writer. Use these Top 10 lists (and any others you may create) to remind yourself of what’s good and shining about you and your life. Use them to become more aware of what you know and what you can do to affect your world. Use them to reconnect with your dreams, to remember what you want deep inside. Enjoy!
1. Top 10 Things I Love About My Life.
2. Top 10 Ways I Positively Affect Those Around Me.
3. Top 10 Things That Are Uniquely “Me.”
4. Top 10 Things I’d Like to Do Before I Die.
Top 10 Warning Signs of Stress
These ten symptoms are signs that stress is taking its toll.
For all its bad reputation, stress isn’t necessarily a negative thing. It’s a response from your body to changes in your life. “Good” things can cause stress as frequently as “bad.” The stress created by getting that new job or the arrival of a baby can take its toll just as much as losing someone you care about or getting laid off from work.
Following are ten warning signs of stress. Simple stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, relaxation or exercise may be able to reduce these symptoms.
1. Fatigue or exhaustion that is interfering with daily activities.
2. Sleeplessness or bouts of insomnia caused by a list of concerns and worries.
NEW! Top 10 Ways Anxiety Presents Itself
Anxiety is common, but when it interferes with normal life functions, it’s a problem that needs support. Article lists ways anxiety shows up and offers tips on how to lessen it.
Common symptoms of anxiety include racing heartbeat, rapid breathing and butterflies in your stomach. However, anxiety can present itself in numerous other ways. Here are 10, along with some tips for reducing anxiety and stress.
1. Constant worries/dread. You feel anxious nearly all the time, although you may not know why.
2. Impaired thinking. You have difficulty forming thoughts, concentrating, remembering or learning new things.
3. Fatigue. Anxiety increases the production of stress hormones, which can leave you feeling exhausted. Adequate nutrition, hydration and sleep can boost energy.
Top 10 Ways to Be Accountable
Keeping commitments that we make only to ourselves can be challenging. Here are ten ways to begin.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to weasel out of a commitment that we make only to ourselves. Sometimes all it takes is a promise to someone else to spur us to live up to our commitments. Here are the Top 10 ways to hold yourself accountable.
1. Ask a friend or loved one to support your efforts.
2. Have an accountability partner. Perhaps someone you see at trainings, or a work buddy.
3. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based). Then measure your results against them.
4. Reward yourself. Make it really fun or pleasurable to achieve what you commit to!
Top 10 Ways to Build and Keep A Positive Attitude
The benefits of a positive attitude are well-known. Now, how can we create one?
Attitude can affect how we feel and how others respond to us. A positive attitude can impact our physical health and emotional well-being, make hard things easier and easy things more fun. This is not to say that a positive attitude is a magic potion that will ward off any problems, but an optimistic outlook helps people work through the rough times with a belief in themselves and trust in the ultimate good. Try these ten suggestions for building and maintaining a positive attitude.
1. Associate with positive people.
2. Take some action every day toward accomplishing a goal.
3. Look for what’s right instead of what’s wrong.
Top 10 Ways to Chase the Winter Blues
Gray, rainy or snowy days and high heating bills can sink a mood. Here are ten ways to lift one’s spirits.
Winter blues color the mood of those in the higher latitudes most often, but even residents of milder climes can experience a touch of after-the-holidays seasonal heaviness. Symptoms may include feeling a little sad, experiencing a lack of energy, boredom, and maybe some loneliness.
Following are ten ways to relieve those winter blues.
1. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
2. Keep a regular sleep schedule.
3. Pamper yourself—massage, beauty salon, spa. Paint your toenails.
Top 10 Ways to Cope with an Increased Workload
Good habits are essential in times of stress created by an increased workload.
As businesses lay off workers and cut costs, those remaining usually face an increased workload. Stress is almost a given. Here are some ways to cope with all that extra work. The habits will serve you whether the economy is weak or strong.
1. Let go of perfection. It could not serve you less at this time. Good enough is good.
2. Identify time-wasters. Once you’re clear what they are, start reducing them.
3. Plan everything. It will help keep you sane, centered and on track.
Top 10 Ways to Cope with Change
They say nothing is certain but change. Whether that thought fills a person with excitement or dread, these suggestions offer opportunities to thrive.
All change carries with it the risk of the unknown and the unexpected. Some find this exciting and welcome the challenge. Others go down the path of change reluctantly, dragging their heels all the way. But, as many a poet or songwriter has written, the only thing that’s permanent is change. Here are 10 ways to help you deal with it.
1. Understand your response to change. Do you tend to leap before you look or to imagine the worst?
2. Take responsibility for your reaction to change. You may not be able to control the events, but you can control your reaction to them.
3. Keep other changes to a minimum. Coming to terms with major changes is physically and emotionally taxing. Conserve your energy.
Top 10 Ways to Deepen Intimacy
True intimacy with another is not a given nor is it an impossible dream. Here are ten ways to create it.
The poet Rilke once advised a friend that a good marriage does not create “a quick community of spirit by tearing down and destroying all boundaries,” but rather appoints the other “guardian of his solitude.” Rilke’s comments, applicable to all committed partnerships, point to the mutual respect and clear-eyed seeing that form the basis for genuine intimacy. Here are 10 ways to attain it.
1. Bring up difficult subjects.
2. Listen with openness to feedback.
3. Attempt to elicit a fuller range of feelings during discussions and disagreements.
Top 10 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
We all know what it’s like to drag ourselves through the day when we have slept poorly the night before. Here are 10 good sleep habits to make.
Seldom does time pass more slowly than when insomnia hits. And the next day at work can go just as slowly—and just as poorly—in your sleep-deprived state! Following are suggestions that might help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
1. Structure your sleep. Try to go to bed and arise at the same times every day.
2. Create a soothing bedtime routine. Watching the news or reading your e-mail are not good sleep inducers.
3. Create a suitable environment. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool, and your feet warm.
Top 10 Ways to Get the Job
There’s more to getting the job you want than having the best résumé. Here are ten strategies that work.
In his book Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters, Jay Conrad Levinson suggests that getting the job you want is not a matter of luck, connections or the best résumé. “At the core of every job search lies one individual who will determine your success: You.” Here are some tips for creating your own job-hunting success.
1. Tune up your attitude. Keep your focus on how you can add value to the organization. Self-assess to get clear on what you want and what you have to offer.
2. Research. This is critical! Research the industry and companies. Know the needs and goals.
3. Target your networking. Don’t wait for others to refer your name; make the introduction yourself after speaking to current and past employees or industry colleagues.
4. Prepare for your interview. Anticipate questions, prepare your responses. Keep the focus on how your skills and experience will solve problems.
Top 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Therapy
Ten ways to take charge of one’s own healing and growth.
Getting the most out of your therapy sessions starts with showing up! Below are additional ways to be proactive in your own growth and development.
1. Know your objectives. How do you want to feel? How will you know you’re improving and growing, or when you’re ready to stop?
2. Write your history. Come to your first session with the history of: your life, any problems, relationships, substance use, hopes, dreams, etc. You’ll be able to focus on the therapy faster.
3. Be honest. Yes, with your therapist. But most importantly, with yourself.
Top 10 Ways to Get Through Tense Family Gatherings
Family gatherings may not always be fun, but they don’t have to be disasters.
Let’s face it. Family gatherings are not always roses and cotton candy. For some families, they’re masked balls with everyone straining to maintain a façade of harmony. For others, they’re Wild West shootouts. Try some of these tips.
1. Make a pro-and-con list. Clear your head, find a calm moment and decide whether it is best for you to go.
2. Consider smaller portions. Plan to visit only for appetizers or dessert.
3. Educate yourself. Seek information on the issues or dynamics that tend to come up in your family.
4. Dig deeper. How do you contribute to the tension? Can you adjust your understanding of other points of view?
Top 10 Ways to Handle Adversity
We’ve all experienced difficult times in our work or home lives, often through events and circumstances outside our control. But like great trees, humans grow stronger when exposed to powerful winds. Here are 10 suggestions for dealing with the hard times when they happen.
1. Take responsibility. Assume an “I can do something” attitude rather than pointing fingers. If nothing else, you can control your own response to the situation.
2. Limit the focus. Don’t let the problem become all encompassing. When you compartmentalize the difficulty, you can focus on a workable solution.
3. Be optimistic. The ultimate belief in life as positive, even with hard-times and troubles, will result in positive behaviors and positive actions.
Top 10 Ways to Handle Difficult Conversations
A conversation gone wrong can have unfortunate consequences, but it is possible to handle difficult conversations with skill. Here are ten ways to begin.
The fallout from conversations gone wrong is not pretty: trust and intimacy suffer, while resentment and misunderstanding build. But it is possible to improve the way we handle our most difficult personal conversations. Our relationships need to nourish us, not deplete us. Consider the following:
1. Set an agenda. Lay out the problem to be discussed, indicate that you want to hear the other person’s perspective and to speak your own, and that you’d like problem-solving to follow that.
2. Listen first. Until people feel heard and safe, they won’t have the mind-space to hear you.
3. Cultivate an attitude of discovery and curiosity. The authors of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most found that people typically spend only about 10% of a difficult conversation on inquiry and 90% on advocating a position. A better balance leads to a better outcome.
Top 10 Ways to Have a Great Day
Along about the advent of the happy face, people started saying to one another, “Have a nice day.” And nice is, well, nice. But what about having a Great Day?
A Great Day is one of those days where things go so right, when we accomplish something that makes us feel really good about ourselves, and we connect with people in meaningful ways. A day we experience joy.
Of course, not every day can be a great day, but the following 10 tips can transform what might be an ordinary day into something that verges on great.
1. Start off with a plan. Ask yourself what one thing you can do that will build toward creating a great day.
2. Be mindful. Throughout the day be present in all that you do.
3. Spend time with those you love. If you can’t be together in person, call or write a letter or email. Connect.
Top 10 Ways to Have Productive Business Meetings
Business meetings: stressful, a waste of time, nothing ever changes or gets done. They don’t have to be that way.
Like a football team’s huddle, meetings should be held to bring players together, assign individual responsibility and energize the participants—all as quickly as possible. And yet a common complaint is that too many meetings are stressful and a waste of time. Below are some guidelines for successful meetings.
1. Define the purpose of the meeting. Without a clear purpose, achieving results is almost impossible.
2. Make an agenda. Be sure to focus meetings on key issues that require a meeting. As with anything else, poor planning produces poor performance.
3. Rigorously stick to your agenda. Allow discussion only on agenda items.
4. Begin and end on time. Doing so shows that you value the participants’ time and builds trust.
NEW! Top 10 Ways to Have the Best Holidays Ever
Tips for creating ease and magic throughout the holidays.
The holiday season will soon be upon us. And with it will come the hope that this one will be truly magical. However, many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns. Here are 10 ways to turn that dynamic around and create the magic.
1. Give yourself a break. Perfection—even perfect happiness—just isn’t possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money—and stick to it. It really is the thought that counts.
2. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, you might find yourself getting swept along by others’ desires. Even if you compromise later, get clear first.
Top 10 Ways to Heal Through Creativity
Ten expressive approaches to healing.
When working through issues or recovering from trauma, it’s helpful to engage your heart and unconscious mind. Here are some creative pursuits for assisting the healing process.
1. Visual art. Painting, sculpting, drawing…all can give shape to the images in your unconscious.
2. Drama. Dialogue with inner characters to discover their motives. Role-play to gain insight into the stories of your life. Create new outcomes to empower your new, emerging self.
3. Collage. This is especially helpful for creating the vision of who and how you want to be.
Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Environment
Ten tips for enhancing one’s surroundings.
Our surroundings play an important role in how we feel and, consequently, how we behave in all realms of our life. Here are 10 ways to make your environment support the best you.
1. De-clutter. Do whatever it takes to bring order to your space. Clutter is the enemy of clarity and relaxation.
2. Add flowers/plants. Living things help clean the air and clear the brain. Be sure to keep them fresh!
3. Keep relationships clear. Unresolved conflict with relatives or workmates can poison the best spaces.
Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Work Environment
Ten tips for enhancing one’s surroundings at work.
Our surroundings play an important role in how we feel and, consequently, how we perform. Here are 10 ways to make your work environment support your best work.
1. De-clutter. Do whatever it takes to bring order to your workspace. Clutter is the #1 enemy of productivity.
2. Add flowers/plants. Living things help clean the air and clear the brain. Keep them within eyesight…and keep them fresh!
3. Focus on relationships. Unresolved conflict with workmates can poison even the best workspace.
Top 10 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
Keeping New Year’s Resolutions is a challenge for most everyone. Here are 10 strategies that can help.
Did you have trouble keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? You’re not alone. Most people who make resolutions fail to keep them. Here are ten ways to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions—or any changes in your life.
1. Make resolutions you care about. Be certain the change you want to make really matters to you, and that it’s not just something you think you “should” do.
2. Be specific and concrete. Not “I want to lose weight” but “I want to lose five pounds by March 15.” State your goals in measurable and attainable terms.
3. Make the time. If you want to exercise three times a week, write the dates and times in your calendar.
4. Easy does it. Start slowly. Don’t expect to run a marathon by February if you can’t make six miles now.
NEW! Top 10 Ways to Light a Fire Under Your Career
Good habits and effective behaviors that will recharge your career.
Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the melting snow, blooming flowers and birds serenading their siren song of...
Just like a home needs to be cleared to free up space and energy, so, too, does every successful career need a good spring cleaning to make room for the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
So if you want to make your career red-hot, these 10 approaches can clear the space and create the spark.
Top 10 Ways to Lighten Up at Work
A lighthearted approach aids career advancement, reduces turnover and absenteeism, and enhances productivity and work performance.
Too often, the workplace is an entirely too serious place. And yet study after study shows that a lighthearted approach aids career advancement, reduces turnover and absenteeism, and enhances productivity and work performance. Here are just a few ways to inject brightness into your day and/or your workplace.
1. Smile. Doing so actually short-circuits rising anger and stress, and can trigger gentler, more humorous views of a situation.
2. Dress up. Wear a goofy hat while at your computer, or keep a pair of red Wizard of Oz shoes to slip on when the stress is getting thick.
3. Keep a playlist of funny songs on your computer; indulge as necessary to clear mental detritus.
4. Take a break. Keep puzzles, ring toss and other diversions in the break room.
Top 10 Ways to Love Fearlessly
Approach love with the courage of a warrior and watch your relationships soar.
Let’s face it: love is messy. With its magnified highs and lows, love is unpredictable and never what we expect—so much so that we might be tempted to cower in fear. But if we approach love with the courage of a warrior, we can have relationships of heroic proportions. Here are 10 ways:
1. Be yourself. If we want to be loved for who we truly are, why put on an act?
2. Don’t believe your stories. Our interpretation of events and feelings is, in fact, just one possibility for what is actually true. Focus on what IS to get closer to the truth.
3. Stop looking for perfection. More than likely, what we call “high standards” is a mask for our own feelings of inadequacy.
Top 10 Ways to Lower Stress
From the ongoing stress that comes from living in our high-impact culture to those life events that knock us for a loop, the impact of stress accumulates. Here are ten ways to return to balance.
Recognizing our stress “hot spots” is a critical first step to reducing stress. The following are daily ways to help you maintain balance or get back to well-being following a particularly stressful period.
1. Do something physical. Exercise, walk, play a game, dance, weed/garden.
2. Breathe. Deeply. Especially when you find yourself irritable or angry.
3. Retreat. Find a place—your bedroom, a park bench, your car—where you can be quiet and restful. Go there when you need to.
NEW! Top 10 Ways to Plan to Thrive During the Holidays
Ten ways to make the holidays enjoyable and as stress-free as possible.
For many, the holidays that come in late fall are something you feel relieved just to survive. But if you start NOW to look at what you want, you may actually be able to thrive during the holidays. Here are some suggestions:
1. Plan ahead. Don't be at the mercy of the season. Decide what YOU want your holiday experience to look like, and make necessary arrangements now.
2. Make gifts this year. It'll help you not over-spend, and handmade gifts are almost always more appreciated.
3. Set a financial budget. Start shopping sales now to get better prices. This includes for the supplies you'll need for your handmade gifts.
Top 10 Ways to Practice Acceptance
Ways to practice self-acceptance and deepen your understanding of yourself
Self-acceptance is an action; it is something we do, not just something we feel. Try these 10 ways to practice acceptance.
1. Your body. Stand naked before a full-length mirror and notice your feelings. If you never would do something like that, notice and accept that, too.
2. Difficult emotions. When anger, fear or jealousy arises, focus on it. Breathe into it and notice how the feelings begin to subside.
Top 10 Ways to Raise Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is an inside job anyone can do. Here are ten ways to begin.
Self-esteem is not a gift bestowed by those outside of us or something that can be taken from us by others. It’s an inside job. Rather than wait passively for good self-esteem to happen, we need to take action. Daily or weekly is best.
1. Make a list. What’s good about you? What’s wonderful? Hang your list near your bed so that you see it when you awaken and when you go to sleep.
2. Forgive yourself. Acknowledge a mistake, but let go of self-recrimination. Recognize that you, too, are human and “allowed” to fail.
3. Do one thing you’ve been putting off. It’s amazing how clearing clutter (literal or figurative) can clear a space for better self-esteem.
Top 10 Ways to Set Clear Expectations
Too often, managers seem to lead through mental telepathy. Rather than set and communicate clear expectations, they assume their employees know what to do and how to do it. The results are hesitation, indecision, and uncertainty while teamwork, initiative and productivity go out the window.
Properly setting expectations for employees or team members is a critical dimension in quality workplaces, according to a huge study of managers undertaken in the 1990s by The Gallup Organization. Below are some tips on setting clear expectations that will set standards for excellence and results.
1. Start with a vision of what you want the end result to look like. Not just what you want done, but the results you want to achieve when the project is completed.
2. Discuss how you define “excellent performance.” Paint a complete picture. Refer to your performance review form. Don’t assume.
3. Keep your focus on the desired outcomes, not on describing each and every step to follow. Your goal is to guide, not control. Letting individuals find their own route toward productive outcomes enc
Top 10 Ways to Sidestep Holiday Stress
The Holidays and stress seem to go together like egg and nog. But does it have to be that way?
From the rising of the moon on Halloween eve until the setting of the sun on Super Bowl Sunday, the holidays create more opportunities for anxiety to get a foothold than a tile roof makes for Santa’s reindeer. Here are ten ideas to help you keep your own steady footing during the upcoming season.
1. Take good care of your self. Eat healthfully, get plenty of rest, exercise.
2. Make lists and set aside specific times to accomplish certain tasks. Prioritize. Consider scratching a few items off your list.
3. Ask for help. It’s more fun to do things together — from decorating the house to wrapping presents.
4. Make a budget and stick to it. No matter what. If you use your credit cards during the holidays then spend the rest of the year paying them off, try not charging anything this year.
Top 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life
These days a chorus of thousands has taken up Henry David Thoreau’s advice to “Simplify, simplify.” And for good reason.
Few among us would deny our lives are too complicated and filled with too much stress. Simplicity is about eliminating clutter – from your mind, your home, your relationships and your lifestyle. Following are ten ways to begin.
1. Get a clear idea of what you want your life to look like. This picture will help you discover what you must eliminate.
2. Let go of projects, roles or self-imposed obligations that take up time and keep you away from what you really want.
3. Say No to what you don’t want in your life. Say Yes to what you do want.
4. Schedule “break” days for yourself where you don’t do anything but what you really want. Don’t cancel them.
Top 10 Ways to Start (and Maintain) a Good New Year
How can a person start having a good year? Isn’t that easier said than done? These ten tips show how to begin.
The best way to have a good year is by living life on a daily basis, letting the good days accumulate, one by one. And it doesn’t have to be New Year’s to resolve to have a good year. Start anytime. Today, for instance.
1. Take time, slow down. Be present in your life and mindful of the present.
2. Care for your body, eat well, exercise, treat yourself to loving, nurturing self-care.
3. Spend quality time with family and friends. Communicate, keep in touch. Say I love you. Tell people you appreciate them.
4. Take time throughout the day to renew yourself. Take a walk, read a poem or a good book, listen to music (really listen); bring beauty into your life. On a monthly basis, take a whole day for yourself — play, treat yourself to something you want to do; retreat from your daily life. Mark these special days on your calendar (in ink) so you’ll be certain to take them.
Top 10 Ways to Stay with Today
Ten ways to maintain presence in one’s life.
“Most of the time, we are lost in the past or carried away by the future,” says Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and poet. Staying in today will bring a more peaceful, joy-filled life. Try these ten ways.
1. Be present in the present. Pay attention to the details: Notice the food you eat, the sun on your back, the quality of the light, literally stop to smell the roses.
2. Make a list of what you want to accomplish today. List only the portion of a major project that can be completed today. Include pleasures as well as tasks.
3. Concentrate on the task at hand, not the outcome. Give it your best, knowing there is no perfect.
Top 10 Ways to Support Your Team
A leader’s job is to ensure that the highest level goals of the organization are realized. Here are ten ways to accomplish that.
As long as you are committed to the success of the group, you are leading. Below are 10 ways to support your “team,” whether that is a formalized project team or an informal grouping of employees.
1. Set direction; don’t give directions. Trying to tell everyone what to do is micromanaging, not leading.
2. Ask yourself the question: “Is what I’m doing helping the group to ¬succeed?” Ask the group, too. If the answer is no, stop!
3. Remind the group why it exists. A team’s charter can sometimes get lost.
NEW! Top 10 Ways to Take a Break
Strategies for successfully taking a break from work—and increasing your value.
If you're one of those people who don't take all the time off you need, you're not alone.
In 2006 Expedia reported that 36% of people polled don't plan on using all their paid vacation days, and 37% never take more than a week off at a time. The Globe and Mail reports that in Japan a whopping 92% of workers never use their full 15 days of holidays.
Why Do We Need Breaks?
Taking breaks allows you to:
• Avoid burnout
• Find a fresh perspective
• Create space to generate new ideas
• Give yourself a pat on the back with a reward
• Improve your mental health
Top 10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself at Work
Self-care at work increases effectiveness and productivity. So how can a person begin?
Self-care is not an “emergency response plan” to be activated when stress becomes overwhelming. When we consistently take care of ourselves and our energy, we are noticeably more effective and more productive—and usually in fewer hours. Put these tips into practice, and see what good business sense they make.
1. Create a nurturing work environment, with healthy air and lighting, supportive décor, ample water, high-protein snacks, etc.
2. Keep writer’s hours, even if you’re not a writer. Reserve blocks of focused time that are yours with no, repeat NO, interruptions.
.3. Start each week and each day with planning. Doing so increases productivity and success, and eases anxiety and stress.
Top 10 Year-End Review Questions
The end of the year is not just a time to prepare for the next year. It’s also a great time to take stock of this one.
As the year speeds to its end, we begin to mentally prepare for next year. But don’t forget to take time to assess your personal and professional challenges and accomplishments THIS year. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. What have I accomplished this year? Be specific. Write it all down. Schedule some time to celebrate this!
2. What have I learned this year? What skills did you pick up? What emotional lessons?
3. What got in my way? This is where your work will be next year. Be honest if it was your own self that got in the way.