Category Archives: Change

Election Day 2020 (One Week Away) – 5 Safety Tips for Voting During a Pandemic

Election Day in the United States is exactly a week away and happens to fall not only during a pandemic but during a time where cases are starting to spike again across the country. Does this mean you should forfeit your opportunity to vote this year in order to stay safe? No way, I don’t think so! What this does mean is that extra safety precautions will be needed for in-person voting or you can choose another voting alternative this year. As much as I enjoy the process of going to a local voting booth to cast my vote, I decided to fill out my ballot and hand deliver it at a drop off box within my community. If you are nervous your vote might not be counted for, there are websites (this varies based on your state) that actually track your vote. In the state of New Jersey where I am from, I created an account and was able to see the exact date my vote was cast. If you do a google search, you should readily be able to find a ballot tracker based on the state you are from.

Now if you are going to still vote in-person, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind to prevent the likelihood of coming in contact with the virus.

Wear Your Mask at All Times – I feel as though this should go without saying but I cannot emphasize the importance of wearing a mask whenever you are in public or places where there are groups of people which includes the voting booths.

Bring A Pen Instead of Using Theirs – There will definitely not be a shortage of pens at the polls and they probably have a way to sanitize them between use but I still would advise bringing your own pen instead to prevent the potential spread of germs.

Clean Your Hands Frequently with Your Own Hand Sanitizer – Although the polls will most likely have plenty of hand sanitizers, I would still recommend being prepared and have your own handy. Of course the less contact your hands are to your surroundings, the better yet it is wise to be prepared to sanitize your hands any time you touch something.

Try to Go During Off Peak Hours – If possible, try to go during times the polls will have less people. If you are in a city, this might be tough to do as it will be inevitable that you will be stuck waiting on line; however, if there are times you can go in which there will be less crowds (usually in the middle of the day while most people are working), then plan to go during these times.

Avoid Socializing and Stay Social Distanced – As much as it is nice to chat with someone while you are in line or talk to someone you ran into who you know, this is not a good time to get too close to someone or to carry on a conversation. It is obviously not personal and people should be understanding given the circumstances.

5 Ways to Become a Morning Person If You Aren’t Already

Not everyone is a morning person and some people naturally work better in the evenings. For me personally, I like to start my day very early because it makes the days feel longer in which I can be much more productive. Over the summer months, I fell out of a routine of waking up early as I did not have as much structure but now I am back on track to being a morning person again. I will share a few habits that will help if you want to transition into becoming a morning person.

Start Setting the Alarm Earlier in Increments – If your goal is to start waking up at 6am everyday but you currently wake up at 9:30am, this can be a tough adjustment to do in a matter of days. Start off by setting the alarm at 8:30am for the next few days, then 7:30am, and work your way all the way down to your desired wake up time.

A Little Coffee Goes a Long Way – I was never a big coffee drinker until the start of 2020. I got into the habit of having a small amount of coffee in the mornings as a pre workout as I usually start my day at the gym before anything else. The energy boost is helpful in making my workouts more effective along with actually jump starting my morning. On certain days, I sometimes I have a little bit of coffee in the mid afternoon if I feel as though I could benefit from it.

Take a Nap if Needed – Not everyone is in a position with their work schedule to leisurely take a nap in the afternoon but if you can fit in a short nap at any point during the day, I do recommend it. I would say nothing over an hour or you might not be able to go to bed at an earlier time later that evening.

Start Getting Ready for Bed Much Earlier Than Bedtime – It is easy to get distracted at night so you may not physically get into bed as early as planned if you do not start getting ready soon enough. That is why I recommend getting ready for bed much sooner than your actual bedtime. This can include getting changed into sleepwear, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and doing whatever else your evening routine includes at a much earlier time.

Determine an Exact Bedtime and Actually Get Into Bed at That Time – If you have determined that you are going to go to bed at 10pm, make sure you actually get into bed at that time under no other circumstances. If it takes you some time to fall asleep at night, it might be a good idea to get into bed about 10-15 minutes sooner to ensure you fall asleep by your predetermined bedtime.

Most habits take some time to pick up so do not be discouraged if it takes you time to get into a good morning routine. It can take days or it can take weeks but if you work on staying consistent, you will find you can work towards becoming a morning person.

How to Prevent Your Adult Children from Living at Home Forever

Little did I realize when I was old enough to make the statement, “Kids today…” what I was actually referring to was adult kids today. In today’s generation, young adults live at home for a much extended period than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, there are some advantages to staying at home that include saving money, seeing your family on a daily basis, and security. When one comes from a financially secure family, there is no need to worry about if there is going to be food on the table or if the mortgage/rent along with other living expenses are going to be paid on time. All sounds well and good but allowing adult children to stay home without much of a deadline or expiration date aka expectation for them to leave, this is actually hindering them from becoming an independent adult and allowing them to create their own security for themselves. As parents, one of the greatest gifts that can be provided for their children is to teach them how to stand on their own two feet as opposed to giving everything or doing everything for them which puts them in the adult children category. So how exactly can you encourage young adults to want to grow up and move out already?

Plant the Seed When They Are Young – It is extremely important to start with a strong foundation from the very start of their childhood. In order to do this, you need to set high expectations for your children, especially as they become young adults. If they understand what their expectations are along with ways in which they can meet their expectations, chances are they will automatically rise to the occasion without much of a push needed.

Teach Them Life Skills – This is absolutely crucial in their own personal self development that will carry them throughout life. If you take the time to teach basic life skills like how to manage money effectively, do basic things autonomously, and to be independent, then once they are old enough to live on their own, they will have all the tools in the tool belt (in this case, life skills) to make it happen and quite successfully too might I add.

Stop Doing Everything for Them – Parents tend to want to do everything for their children. If you continue to do things such as their laundry, cooking all their meals, and much more, then why would there ever be an incentive to leave this scenario? By continuing to do everything, this also could potentially promote laziness, which is never an attractive quality.

Give Extra Responsibilities – If they are not motivated to move out on their own, then there should be extra responsibilities around the house or to benefit the family more. This can be a combination of having them contribute financially in some way along with added chores such as having them do the grocery shopping, clean the bathrooms, cook meals for the family, etc. At least this way, they are contributing in some way, learning how to become more responsible, and hopefully by assigning too much to them, this will serve as a huge incentive for them to start the process of looking for places to live.

Guide Them Every Step of the Way – Over time, it can be a very touchy subject to bring up the idea of moving out and often become the elephant in the room. Rather than shaming them or placing an ultimatum, it is wise to guide them in the direction of moving out. This can be done by assisting them in looking for listings for a place to rent/buy, find ways to help them save money, offer to help in any way once they begin the moving process, and much more. It can be a scary transition for certain people to move out for the first time so any way you can ease them will be much appreciated.

Although it might be too late to take back their childhood in terms of how you raised your kids, that does not mean it is ever too late to make some changes for their future. It might be much more difficult but it can definitely be done if you take the time to focus on promoting them to grow up and be independent adults. It might take many baby steps to get to the end goal of having an adult child move out but ultimately it will lead to the greater good along with elevating their self confidence and self worth.

5 Insightful Quotes to Live by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court Justice and women’s right activist known as the “Notorious RBG,” I thought it would be best to share some of her famous quotes which capture the essence of who she was along with ones I believe can add value to people’s lives including my own.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”

“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”

“You can’t have it all, all at once. Who—man or woman—has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.”

“If you are going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, you have a skill—very much like a plumber. But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself… something that makes life a little better for people less fortunate than you.”

5 Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Life Starting Today

Over the years, I have taken the time to really appreciate the quality of life which for me means having more time to myself for leisure activities, an active social life, and of course much needed alone time to feel fully recharged. I strongly believe in hard work but it is just as important to be able to enjoy life–whatever that means to you.

Take Care of Yourself by Adapting a Healthier Lifestyle – I always preach about developing healthy habits which can include eating higher quality foods and paying attention to portion control. It is okay to indulge but again, it is all about keeping everything within moderation. Besides a good diet, taking the time to exercise each day is also very important for increasing your longevity and overall well being.

Make Time for Vacations and Day Trips – People who work a lot often times do not take the time to actually plan a real vacation. I would suggest thinking about new places you want to explore and putting the money aside for it including the flight, accommodations, and entertainment money. Besides planning at least one big vacation, it is also good to plan long weekends and local day trips. Life experiences like travel are incredibly rewarding so be sure to make the time for it.

Stay Organized in All Areas of Your Life – Organization is such an important life skill but one that sometimes gets overlooked, especially when you are super busy. This can first start within your home and your surroundings by making a conscious effort to keep these areas neat and clutter free. If that means getting rid of items that are not practical, then take the time to do so. Aside from your living space, it is also a good habit to keep a planner or to do lists to keep your actual life organized or at least provide some structure. This will help you improve the quality of your life by allowing you to gain more control of how you spend your time each day.

Sleep More – Take Naps If Needed – When you work full time and have what it feels like ten million responsibilities each day, it is very easy to cut back on the amount of sleep you are getting each night. If this applies to you, I would suggest finding spare time in your day where you can take a power nap or by getting in the habit of going to bed earlier or sleeping in a little if you have a schedule that can allow for that.

Turn Cell Phone Notifications Off – It is really hard to imagine life without a cell phone nowadays. As much as it has improved the quality of our lives by allowing us to easily stay connected with others, have information at our finger tips, and apps for just about anything, there also comes a time it is healthy to turn the notifications off. If you are with other company, trying to be productive, working, or in a situation where you do not need to be attached to your phone, it is okay to put it aside and not check it for a few hours. You would be amazed how much quality time you can add back to your everyday life just by putting your cell phone down every so often.

This is just a short list of suggestions for improving the quality of your life that have really worked for me in recent years and are good things to apply if you do not already. All it takes is some added mindfulness and taking small steps to make these daily changes that will make an impact over time.

Achieve Your Goals with Exceptional Habits

I think before achieving any sort of goal, everything does originate within the mind. What do you think about? What are you looking to achieve? More importantly, how badly do you want these things? I am a big believer of taking the time to write your goals down on paper so it is more tangible and you can look at them on a regular basis to remind yourself of these goals.

However, let’s be real–staring at your goals each day is a good initial step to get the manifestation process going and making them a reality but you’re going to have to do much more to achieve them. The next component requires being proactive and taking action with the necessary stepping stones to make it happen. This is where many people fail reaching their end goal due to a lack of patience, giving up too easily when the going gets tough, and the fear of failing–along with other limitations (aka excuses).

So how can you really manifest your deepest dreams and desires? It is crucial to focus more on your habits even more than the end goal because your habits will allow you to get on the path that you want to be on. For example, often times you see new people at the gym in the beginning of a new year only to find that they completely drop off within a matter of weeks or even a month. Their main goal could be to lose weight in which taking action by obtaining a gym membership was definitely a step in the right direction. However, if the person was not getting the results they wanted, they might end up quitting too soon in which they gave up on a positive habit which could easily deter them from their end goal of losing weight. This is absolutely why you need to focus on your habits and developing good ones by knowing that over time, these habits will lead you to achieving your goals. You might have days where your habits are not as good as others but that is where you need to consistently focus on developing them and adapting them in your every day life.

How Tough Love Actually Instills Confidence in Children in the Long Run

Often times when people think of the concept of tough love, it can have a very negative connotation. Especially when raising children today, people put such a high emphasis on caring about how a child is feeling all the time and guarding those feelings. I think this is healthy and this is necessary for their emotional well being but at the same time, tough love also needs to be implemented for the greater good of the child.

What is tough love exactly? Tough love is the ability to say no, give consequences, apply discipline, and hold someone accountable for their actions.

It may sound counterintuitive that being tough on a child will build their confidence because aren’t their precious little souls going to be crushed if they do not get what they want and if life doesn’t go their way? In that immediate moment and the short term, yes the child is going to be upset and most likely react unfavorably. However, life isn’t fair all the time right? Why do adults create a false sense of reality for children that they can do whatever they want and get away with it? This is not how the real world works and for this reason a good dose of discipline should be enforced even if that means it is going to cause pain, emotional discomfort, and perhaps negatively affect their self esteem at that given moment. But guess what, they get over it. They cope, they adapt, and they move on with a life lesson. It ultimately builds their strength, character, and confidence.

People mistakenly seem to think that over validating a child will build their confidence. I do not agree with that approach unless a child earned a reason to be validated. Simply telling a child they are good at everything or shaping their mentality that they can do no wrong has the opposite effect by creating a sense of entitlement, laziness, and yet again, a false reality because no one is truly exceptional at everything. Sure they might be feeling good (maybe a little too good) about themselves but it will only last for the short term. If children are wrongfully taught they are “the best” at all times, it is a really rude awakening once they are out in the real world and realize they are not so perfect after all. They actually have to apply themselves and compete for things like everyone else in this world. Ouch–confidence shattered.

At the end of the day, it is okay to point out when a child is not good at something and to put them down with constructive criticism. Why? It provides them a sense of self awareness, a much needed reality check, and [hopefully] motivation for self improvement. They strive to get better at whatever it is that they are not good at or proactively find the things they naturally are good at. They work harder towards achieving excellence rather than falsely believing they are excellent for no real reason.

Tough love will hurt at times and it might also not feel good to make someone feel bad, especially a child because they are very impressionable and might not have the capacity to manage their feelings very well. However, you need to trust that you are actually building them up in the long run even if that means there are times that you are bringing them down. They become more aware of their weaknesses and limitations which provides them room to grow into stronger and more confident individuals.

You Need to Be A Catch Before You Can Catch the Best Fish

I was having a conversation with someone who needed some advice about dating and was not having much luck with it. I think the dating world can be a tough place to be in, I understand that but if you find that you are consistently unlucky in terms of finding matches or people who want to date you, then a different approach is needed. The main focus should be on yourself and what makes you a desirable person. I think often times many people set very high standards for the type of person they want to be with and can be very picky in terms of who they want to date. That is great to know what you are looking for and setting the bar; however, are you also setting the bar that high for yourself? If the question is no, then how can one expect to attract the best matches or any match to begin with?

I come across this quite often when people tell me that they cannot really meet someone and it is very obvious the reason. The harsh reality is this: The person does not have much to offer. There could be one or many contributing factors that lead me to that conclusion such as a lack of self care, unhealthy habits, no clear career path, money problems, lack of self love, etc. In order to be ready for the dating world, wouldn’t one want to be able to offer their best version of themselves to the world? The first step is to become that best version of self because in the process of doing so, I can guarantee that you will automatically without putting any effort into impressing someone else attract someone who would want to pursue you. That essentially is how the law of attraction works. You put in the right positive energy (in this case, investing in yourself) and you attract that positive energy back your way.

At the end of the day, you need to be a catch before you can catch the best fish. 😉 This does not just apply to dating, this can apply to anything such as landing a job or receiving a promotion. You really need to focus on being a catch first and everything else will follow. You will be able to catch the best fish and by this I mean opportunities simply by putting in the work necessary to be best version of yourself. You also have to really want this for yourself before you focus on wanting to be with someone else. That should always be your first priority.

Stuck in the Past? – A Guide to Detaching and Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize (Your Future)

Many people get caught up in their past, whether it be what they miss most or ways their life could have played out differently. Although I am all about reminiscing about the good times and revisiting memories, there comes a time you need to refocus on your current reality: The present moment and planning for your future. The past can shape your life’s path but do not let it control your mind or stop you from progressing forward. Remember, it is in the past for a reason! That ship has sailed away and is ready for the next destination! 😉

So how do you let go of the past? What are healthy ways to detach and keep things moving in the right direction?

Create a Bucket List – If you do not have one already or you have some in your mind, actually take the time to write down what you want to accomplish, places you want to go, experiences you have yet to experience, and/or whatever it is that you want to do! Some you might be able to obtain more easily while others could take many years but the value behind this is giving yourself something to look forward to for your future! It is exciting to think about and knowing you are currently on the journey to manifesting all these great things.

Focus on Self Improvement – I think that working on ourselves is a mission we should carry out throughout our lifetimes. As we age, we might physically and mentally feel like our youth is slipping away but this does not mean that our lives have to be going downhill, heck it should be getting better. We need to find ways to make improvements and upgrades in our lives by setting higher bars and goals to achieve. There might be instances where we face bad times or unfortunate life circumstances but we have to stay committed to getting things back on on track and making gradual improvements.

Take the Time to Reflect – Everything in life happens for a reason. It could have been for the greater good of tomorrow and/or to serve as a life’s lesson. The past cannot be erased and I would never encourage someone to erase it from their minds in its entirety or to suppress the emotions attached to your past but to take the time to reflect on these thoughts and feelings. You can reflect by asking yourself these questions: What did you learn from this past experience? How can you become a better person from it? You can answer these questions by talking to someone you trust who will genuinely listen to you or maybe self reflect by writing in a journal. I think it is healthy to reflect on the past individually or even with others but to then leave it where it belongs–in the past. This takes mental effort and patience but by practicing mindfulness, it is quite achievable.

I want to end by saying, “The best is yet to come.” Frank Sinatra might have sang about it but there is much truth to this if you choose to actually believe in it. There are many things you can look forward to but it all starts with you. The greatest thing you can do as I stated in the title is to keep your eye on the prize which is your future. Take the necessary planning steps needed and get excited for what is in store for you to the point where you are not even thinking about your past anymore. (Out of sight, out of mind right?)

Denzel Washington Said it Best – “Fall Forward”

I came across this video randomly on YouTube about a month ago and thought it was worth sharing. It was from a commencement speech Denzel Washington gave back in 2011. It is incredibly inspiring and he made many valid points that I agree with one hundred percent.

My favorite line from his speech is this: “If you don’t fail, you are not even trying.” I plan to elaborate in a future post on this idea but basically you need to embrace failing and step out of your comfort zone if you ever want to achieve greatness.

Please take the time to watch this, you will not regret it! It will give you a motivational boost without a doubt. It gives me chills listening to it, especially when listening to the part when he talks about an older woman who approached him at his mother’s beauty shop with a spiritual prophecy. (You got to listen to the video now to find out what she said and how it manifested and came true for Denzel Washington).

“If I’m going to fall, I don’t want to fall back on anything, I want to fall forward.”
– Denzel Washington