Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘personal development / personal growth / personality development / self improvement’

Goal Setting and Long Life

A target - the symbol for goal setting

I was officially introduced to goal setting for the first time in my life when I was 18. I was doing a course at university, and goal setting was a very small component in it. I never realized how significantly it would impact the rest of my life.

Research published in Psychological Science says that setting goals, at any age, can add years to your life. I like to think of it in the opposite way as well: goals add life to your years. The study followed 6,000 people aged 20 to 75 for 14 years. The researchers where looking at three components:

1. If participants were goal oriented
2. If participants had more positive or negative relationships
3. If participants had more positive or negative feelings

Throughout the study, 569 participants died (about 9%). The researchers found that those who still lived had more goals and better relationships than those who died. The most surprising thing about the study was that it found that this was true for young participants as much as the elderly. Having goals led to better outcomes. Goals were an advantage for people who worked as well as for those who were retired. So goals get added to the formula for long life.

Save Your Marriage: The King and His Servants

Crown

Being in a marriage or a close relationship is the secret to a long life. But it requires effort. If you want to save your marriage, it helps to learn about communication.

On our wedding days and during our honeymoon periods, we tend to be very accepting and flexible. Communication flows, even if we say nothing at all. It is the life that begins later, which tests the strength of our relationship. Slowly, day after day, the conversations, experiences together, arguments and stress create holes in our communication.

This can lead to the destruction of the relationship. In a happy relationship, time is a healer. In an unhappy relationship, time is a prison.

Some researchers claim they can listen to a married couple’s conversation and predict the success of their relationship about 90% of the time. 90%! That is a lot! With the couples that come to do my relationship coaching program, I can often tell from the way they talk to each other or about each other if their relationship is still as sweet as honey or whether they are feeling the bitter taste of separation.

This post is part 22 of 22 in the series Save Your Marriage

The Power of One Second

Time lost cannot be regained

Life is a series of seconds that lead us in different directions. A slightly different choice can lead us towards a totally different life. One second is all it takes to make a change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. This one second will never come by again. If we let it pass by, it will be lost forever.

If you want to know the power one second can have on life, think of the second the sperm connected with the egg that created you. One second earlier or one second later, could allow a different sperm to win the lottery of life and be the difference between you and another child.

If you are a parent, you know that every child of yours is a unique creation. The one and only option out of millions of possible kids.

Moving House Made Easy: Spring Cleaning

Moving van arriving

Moving house has been a big part of my life. I have already moved 25 times, sometimes to another country on the other side of the world.

My first move was when I was 15. I do not remember anything since my mom and dad were in charge of moving. In the following 2 years, we moved again twice, to a rented apartment and then to a house, in which I lived for another 5 years.

From the 4th house to the 25th, in which I live today, I moved as a grownup. Some of the moves were as a student and in others I was already a parent. During one move, I was pregnant. Some house moving was to a different countries and even continent. I guess you can say I am a very experienced mover.

Many people ask me “What’s your moving secret? How did move so many times, and so successfully?” The answer is this:

This post is part 1 of 7 in the series Moving House Made Easy

Discrimination: Speak Up!

Girl with anti discrimination sign: I was born this way

Discrimination is an important issue that we as humans need to tackle. I even have my own discrimination story. When I was young, I was discriminated against a lot.

I was discriminated against for not being a good student, for my ethnicity, for my social status. I was discriminated against for things I had control over and things I had no control over (like my parents’ income, my height). I was also discriminated against by my own family. My mom discriminated against me for being a girl (and not a boy) and for being sick while everyone else was healthy. Even my siblings excluded me for not being able to sing like them.

Back then, I felt very sad and miserable about it. I think I was very confused. It was hard for me to comprehend people’s discrimination towards things I had no control over. Now, over 35 years later, I am glad I experienced that discrimination.

Do you know why?

Choosing Parenting Classes

Family hug

Many parents think children will learn everything they need to know about life by going to school. Unfortunately (or fortunately), parents themselves play an important part in helping kids develop in a healthy way. That is why I have been running parenting classes for many years.

I believe that by working with parents and giving them skills to help their own kids, we can help children all around the world. Even the best teachers and coaches in the world are not as good as Mom and Dad and parenting classes make even better moms and dads.

Over the years, I asked parents why they decided to come to my parenting classes. I wanted to know what they were thinking, what triggered their search for parenting classes and what their criteria was for picking a service.

The answers I received were interesting, and even a little surprising. Here are just some of them.

Work Stress is Expensive

How to manage workplace stress infographic

Recently, I went to a networking breakfast. It was after some talk by the Australian Government about efficiency at work. They seem to have invested a lot of money in technology to improve efficiency. Unfortunately, they do not seem to feel there is a need to invest in people more than machines.

Let me tell you, this breakfast meeting made me stressed. Unemployment is stressful for people and creating machines to do the jobs of human beings is going to have some negative consequences. I realized that the hope that less and less people will need help managing their feelings though therapy and coaching is disappearing.

I do not know if you know this but in Australia, the number of people who take “sick leave” (or as they call it, a “sicky”) is quite extreme. I have to admit that this really surprised me because as yet, I have never in my life missed work because of sickness.

How to Feel Good: Take Time Off

Ronit and her mother

During a recent presentation, someone asked me to share some tips on how to feel good. In the first post of the series How to Feel Good, I shared the science of endorphins – the feel good hormones. In the second, I covered the science of smiling. In this post, I suggest another great way to feel good – taking time off.

Last year, I took time off from everything (home, work, kids and Gal) and went overseas to spend some time with my family. It was a wonderful reminder for me about why we have take time off to recharge out emotional batteries.

Taking time off from daily life can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. It helps us regenerate and start fresh. Sleep is the body’s natural way of giving us time off. It “forces” us to rest so we can function. Did you know that without sleep, we would die? If you want to torture someone, you do not need to hurt them. Just deprive them of sleep for 2-3 night. Just ask any mom!

This post is part 3 of 4 in the series How to Feel Good

Save Your Marriage: 10 Rules for Civilized Dialogue

Couple arguing

Your ability to talk with your partner determines the level of the connection you have with each other. To save your marriage, you should be able to have a civilized dialogue.

When Gal and I were a young couple, we said we knew we would grow old together because we could talk for hours. We could talk about anything or nothing for hours and we loved every minute of it.

If you have been with the same partner for many years, you might think you know everything about them, but you probably don’t.

Why? Because people change. We change our thoughts and behaviors, and as hard as it is to believe, we even change the way we perceive our past.

Here are some rules that can strengthen and deepen your relationship and save your marriage…

This post is part 20 of 22 in the series Save Your Marriage

Preparing for Mother’s Day

Heart filled with words about moms - great for Mother

Every year, when Mother’s Day approaches, I think of my role as a mother. It may not be easy to be a mom but it is highly rewarding. Many moms come to see me in my coaching practice. A lot of them experience many parenting struggles. Not all of them were ready to be a parent. This makes me wonder, how do we expect people to do something we do not prepare them for?!

The only preparation we get for being a parent is from our parents. This comes long before we even think of having children, and we need to keep these memories for over 20 to 25 years in order to use them with our own children. I think the saying “we are only as good as the quality of our teachers” is suitable here. Much like in school, you know your subjects well if your teacher was awesome. In the school of life, you know how to parent if your parents were awesome. Unfortunately, we cannot choose our teachers, not in school or in life.

Ronit Baras

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