Making Changes For 2018

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When the new year approaches, we all seem to step back and evaluate our lives in a much more detailed way. It is in December where we really think about who we are, who we’d like to be and how we will achieve it. Many of us will be enjoying Christmas eating and drinking with our families, hibernating in the house as a last celebration before starting a blank slate in 2018.

Deciding to start fresh and make lifestyle changes in the new year can be daunting, but it can also be a great way to leave our old ways behind and begin again- renewed and healthy.

The mistake many of us make from the off is to try and overhaul every single aspect of our lives in
one day. The issue with going cold turkey on your old habits is that we end up concentrating so much on the changes we make that we are unable to just enjoy the new year in all it’s glory. We end up focussing so much on what to eat and how many hours to exercise that we cannot turn these changes into habits and they fade away within the first few weeks of January.

Making changes in your life is hard. It requires focus, determination and a willingness to succeed. If one of these factors isn’t strong enough you won’t be able to make the changes you want in life.

That’s why instead of thinking big and changing your diet, exercise, habits and fashion sense all in one day, you need to start with small steps and work your way up to making every change you wish for. You will see that by doing this it is much easier to handle all the challenges that life brings and you will be a better person by the end of the year.

Here are some of the changes you can start thinking about making in the new year.

Appreciate what you already have

Before you start changing everything about yourself and the way you live: it is important to take a minute to think about the positives and be thankful for the way your life is right now. You might not have an instagrammable life every single day like some people: but there are things you do have that would make even those people jealous. Think of your family, the friends you surround yourself with and the person you love. These people choose to be around you just as you are at this moment. And then think about the other parts of your life. You may already have started trying new foods and exercises, and maybe you’ve swapped out the cigarettes for Vapor Vanity. Even if you haven’t reached your goals yet, you have laid that foundation and you have made the effort to change. Before you change anything else, be happy with what you have.

Don’t be afraid to express

If you see someone on the bus who has a lovely coat or dress: don’t be afraid to let them know. The idea of complimenting a stranger is an odd one to say the least, however you will be expressing your thoughts and also making someone else’s day better. Sometimes speaking your mind is the best way to make you more confident and can be a great way to keep your mental health in check. You’ve probably heard that one of the worst causes of stress related illnesses and anxiety is holding emotions in and not talking to people when you are struggling with things. This is the time you need to learn to open up, pay a compliment or express your concerns with a friend. You are not alone in this world and sharing your thoughts and feelings can turn you into a much more open person overall.

Love yourself

Yes, we know. Learning how to love ourselves is probably one of the most difficult things in the world. We tend to see the flaws in ourselves and judge ourselves much more harshly than anyone else would. This can damage our self esteem and make us feel inadequate very quickly. To love ourselves we need to stop focusing on the negatives and look at the positive things instead. Take a minute to look in the mirror each morning and spot 3 things you like about yourself. It could be the way your eyes compliment the shirt you are wearing, your smile, or even something bout the shape of your body. Get out of the habit of pointing out the bad, and point out the good instead. You will in turn step out of the house feeling much more confident and happy in your own skin.

Make time for the people who matter

You might be familiar with the following scene:

You come home from work and say hi t your family members or partner. Then you cook dinner for the family, ask each other about your day, wash up and sit in the living room on your phone catching up on social media.

Do you see the issue here? You might spend 10 minutes talking to your loved ones, but then the rest of the evening is spent with you all sitting in the same room on your phones or devices. Break this habit and instead turn your phones off, being out a board game in the evening and make some time to actually speak to your family and get to know them better. Take some time to reconnect with old friends and see if they are free for a coffee. Take the time you would normally spend on social media to call your family and ask them how they are. It will change your perspective and really allow you to see what is truly important in life.

Change your routine

One of the most difficult things we deal with is boredom. When you find that the days are melting into one because you do EXACTLY the same thing each day: you know that you are wasting the time you have on this earth. Humans only live for 70-80 years. Which might seem like a long time but in the grand scheme of things it’s a blink of an eye. What you make of your life will define the footprint you leave behind for the future. Rather than waste the days away doing the same thing over and over again: try something new. It could be that once a week you go to a yoga class or a sport class in the evening, or maybe you decide to travel for a month around Europe. Take some time in 2018 to try something new every month. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, just challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and experience life at its fullest. The result will be that you feel alive and invigorated.

Keep learning

We never stop learning new things. It could be something academic, something about the world or simply a story from a stranger. We learn new things every single day and it is these things which shape the kind of person we are and allow us to make the most informed life decisions we can.

Take some time today to either talk to someone new or read an article about something you’ve never learnt about. We spend our lives taking in information and the more we learn, the more we can grow as a person. See from someone else’s perspective and you may be surprised and what you learn about yourself in the process. You may even find that a new person has just the right advice for an issue you are facing in your life or business.

Never grow up

It seems weird when we think back to being a child, wishing that we were adult. Once we get into adulthood we will often change our view and wish we were children all over again. Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Take some time at the weekend to do something you used to do when you were a kid. It could be painting with your fingers, playing football in the garden or even making friendship bracelets. It might seem like a weird thing to do but it can take your stress away for a moment as you mentally rewind the clock to your childhood days. Sometimes we need to be fun and do silly things we don’t have to feel like we must sit in silence and read the newspaper every evening. Do what you love to do and don’t worry what anyone else may think about it. You are your own person and you deserve to have a little fun. And if it snows in the week leading up to Christmas, don’t just tut and worry about how icy it will be in a few days: get out there and have a snowball fight! Love your life and have some fun in 2018!

Styling A Bedroom Fit For Any Season

The bedroom is the most important room in the house. The reason? Because sleep is the most important thing you can do every single day! It helps us to heal, and it helps us to remember all the best bits of each day. When you’re styling your bedroom, you definitely want to be promoting good quality sleep. That doesn’t mean the space can’t look good at the same time!

Bed

If you’re in the room to sleep, then you want an exquisite bed. Four-poster might seem a little extravagant, but there is a lot to be said for a modern twist on this classic. You can pick any color of wood that you like and choose intricately turned posts for that touch of elegance. You might even dress the posts with sashes or voiles.

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Supported sleeping can bring more comfort. Photo Credit

Nothing says comfort like a high-quality mattress. While it might not make up any part of the decor or styling, it is perhaps the single most important item in the room. Some mattresses, like memory foam mattresses, hold the body in a comfortable position all night long. You can find out more at Mattresslife.com about how this works. Innerspring and latex mattresses aren’t as popular, but that doesn’t mean one of these won’t serve you well. Read up on the comfort levels you might be able to achieve with each type of mattress.

Dressing the bed itself is easy. Simply choose your pallet color for the room and find a bedspread that offers this color in abundance. Alternatively, pick a pure white, and dress the bed space with cushions and throws in your accent color. The bedroom is one of the easiest rooms to dress up, down, or differently for every season.

Drapes And Curtains

Drapes or curtains are essential for the bedroom. They offer maximum privacy so you can dress, undress, and enjoy being in bed without anyone on the street seeing you. But curtains can do much more than that. Firstly, they can add a big, bold splash of color to help you style the room in your favorite tone. Secondly, they can shut out all daylight. This is especially useful if you have to work shifts.

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Simple and elegant for any season. Photo Credit

Bedside Cabinets

Part of the style of your room will be determined by the cabinets you choose. You might choose something contemporary like a mirrored chest of drawers. This helps lighten and brighten the room. Or you might choose something in an antique wood, complete with turned legs and brass drawer handles. Don’t forget you can dress the top of the cabinets too. You might add a runner in your accent color. Maybe there will be a few reading books? Why not add a vase of beautiful flowers too?

Flooring

Hardwood floors in the bedroom might be the stuff of dreams for many of us. Of course, there are plenty of affordable alternatives that can emulate the look of the real thing. It’s worth considering something wood-like in the bedroom. After all, in the summer, things can get much hotter. If you want a room for all seasons, consider a hardwood floor over a carpet. These tend to be easier to keep clean and reduce allergens too.

Of course, carpeting is soft and luxurious under a pair of bare feet. It’s warmer for the winter, and it can even be nice just to sit down or lay down on the floor when you’re having a lazy afternoon. Underlay is essential for that extra squishy sensation. Pick a thicker pile for softness. Alternatively, go with the hardwood or tile. Then you can add soft rugs as required. They’re easy to swap out when you’re ready for a color change too. Patterns or plain?

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Find a style with a color to accent. Photo Credit

Closets

Freestanding closets or wardrobes are ideal when you need a little extra storage. They can be produced from any wood you like. Deep grains or fine grains? The choice is yours. Then, of course, the depth of stain might make a difference too. Built-in closets can be altered to suit your tastes. Simply change the door handle, or swap the doors out altogether. You can paint them, add decals, or even cover them in fabric to achieve the look you want.

Lighting

We spend most of our time in the bedroom with our eyes closed, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your lighting choices. A chandelier would bring a touch of luxury to any bedroom. There are many different styles to choose from. You might select something contemporary that provides plenty of shape and structure to the room. Maybe a backlit false wall would offer a nice effect? You could then choose any color light you liked for a soft haze around your panel.

Dressing Table

What bedroom is complete without an elegant dressing table. You might be trying to achieve an eclectic look for the bedroom. This means the bedside cabinets, closets and dressing table would be different shapes, styles and colors. Of course, if you want them all to match, you don’t necessarily have to order them from the same store. Simply pick a color theme to connect them. You can achieve this easily with runners. Perhaps you would prefer to paint them all?

The position of your dressing table is really important. You need it to be situated close to the power points. It would be a good idea to have it in a window, so you have plenty of natural light to fall on your face. Add a gorgeous tilting mirror, and you’re ready to do your hair and makeup every morning. Add a clipped holder for your hair drier, and a dainty pot for your cosmetic brushes. Perfect.

Bedrooms rarely change from season to season, although the bedding and quilt weight might be altered. Fortunately, bedroom colors are really easy to change in a hurry! Can you style your bedroom for every season?

The Best Games For Christmas 2017

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It’s only 2 weeks until Christmas is upon us, and everyone is probably getting into a bit of a mad scramble trying to have everything ready for the big celebrations. Christmas is one of the best times of the year for spending time with the people you love and having fun with your friends.

One of the most popular types of gifts you can get at this time of year is games. Everyone loves a good game during the festive season- but the type of games we are going to talk about today are video games. There are a huge ton of games which are released each year for different ages and consoles- and we’ve narrow it down to give you some of the best ideas for the gamer in your life this year.

Final Fantasy XV

Be the hero of your own adventure in Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire – a game where you can build your kingdom from the ground up, craft and collect items to improve your weapons, feed your men and complete missions for civilians. You will then be tasked with defending the kingdom from evil forces and taking down a whole host of baddies. It’s the perfect game for an adventurer.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

Lego games have become a favourite with every age over the past 10 years. Many of you will remember the star wars game and indiana jones which really set lego apart from the rest and catapulted them into video game fame. If you or a family member loves superheroes- this game features the biggest names in the Marvel universe plus some of the less known characters from the original comic books. You’ll be able to fly around, swim, kick butt and have fun fighting the bad guys as a team.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

One of the most anticipated remakes of the year: activision has graced us with the remastered version of crash bandicoot with the original PS1 games brought into the modern day. If your family loved this game when it was out originally then this is the ideal gift for them this christmas.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario kart is one of those games which can either bring the whole family together or create fast enemies. It is addictive, fun and can turn even the most mellow family member into a competitive monster. Have fun on Christmas day after dinner playing this with the whole family. You might have a few arguments but that’s no different to any normal christmas.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Pokemon is still going, and the games bring with them whole new universes and loads of new faces each time. If you have a family member who loves Pokemon, let them enjoy playing with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon throughout the christmas period.

Call Of Duty: WWII

Call of duty is one of those franchises which you either love or you hate. In recent years the quality of these games have gone down slightly- however many have said that this new installment brings Call of Duty back to the standards it had when it began back in the day. If you have an army-mad family member, this historically set game will be ideal for them.

FIFA 18

If you have a family member who loves a good game of football, FIFA 18 is the best place to go. You not only have the teams to manage and tournaments to play: there is also a career mode where you play a young footballer finding his way in the world and working his way up to the top.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s creed is one of the most cleverly made games of all time. The franchise is huge and the games proved so popular that they even turned it into a film last year. However, this game in particular is set to be one of the best in the series. You’ll be in ancient Egypt with what we presume is the first assassin.

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Fans of the series have hailed this one of the best games of all time. So if you know someone who loves these types of games, this is one not to miss.

Horizon Zero Dawn

With stunning graphics and a deep story line: this game is one of the most interesting new additions in the last year to the gaming world. If you know someone who loves the wild and hunting for food in games- then this is the best option for you.

Don’t Let A Drug Addiction Ruin Your Life!

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Hundreds of thousands of people suffer drug addictions at any one time. There is somewhat of an epidemic at the moment in the US and many other countries around the world. The issue is that many addicts struggle to admit their problems and seek help. That means their bodies and minds deteriorate, and those people never make a recovery. If you have issues with a drug addiction at the moment, this article should point you in the right direction and ensure you start walking down the correct path. The last thing you want to do is ruin your life, and so it’s vital that you pay attention to the advice on this page.

Admit that you have an addiction

The first step towards recovery involves admitting that you have an addiction to drugs. That is difficult for some people because they feel embarrassed and worry about the reaction they’ll get from their loved ones. However, there is no point ignoring the situation any longer. If you have an addiction; it’s time to talk about the problem and start walking down the path to recovery. In most instances, the people you talk to about your habit might seem shocked or concerned. That is a positive thing because it means those individuals care about you, and they want to help you beat this illness. Try to have long conversations and discuss your intake of drugs in-depth with the people closest to you.

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Ask your family and friends for support

Once you admit to having a problem, it’s time to ask your friends and family members for support. The people in your life can help in many different ways, and so you just need to talk through various options before creating a plan. It’s always sensible to tell your loved ones never to lend you money – even when you beg for it. If people hand over cash whenever you ask, they are enabling your addiction and encouraging you to purchase drugs. You might also ask if it’s okay for you to call your friends or family whenever you start to struggle. Let them know that you might have to dial their number in the middle of the night sometimes. Having a robust support network is essential if you want to recover.

Visit your doctor and explain the situation

There are a couple of reasons why you need to visit your doctor and explain that you’re addicted to drugs. Firstly, medical professionals might want to perform some tests to check your health. That is especially the case if you inject drugs using needles. Heroin addicts who do that will often contract infections like hepatitis or HIV. So, it’s vital that you allow the doctor to test your blood. Also, you can ask about different treatment options available to you. Experts from the Summit Behavioral Health drug rehab say spending time in a dedicated facility sometimes works well. At the very least, that should limit your access to the drugs that cause you so much distress.

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Determine the cause of your addiction

Understanding the cause of your addiction is an essential step if you want to recover in the fastest time possible. Some people let things spiral out of control when they get pain medication for a genuine complaint. They struggle to get off the tablets and then end up turning to illegal drugs when the doctor won’t provide any more prescriptions. Lots of other people take drugs to deal with past trauma in their lives. Maybe you had an unhappy childhood or something similar? When you know the reason you take drugs, it becomes much easier to spot warning signs and replace the addiction with something positive.

Consider talking therapies

For whatever reason, many addicts find it difficult to talk about their issues with close friends and family. If that applies to you; be sure to ask your doctor about talking therapies. Either that or you can search online for psychologies and counselors you can contact. Sitting with a specially-trained stranger and discussing your problems can often help you to gain a new perspective on the situation. People in that profession also know about lots of mental exercises and techniques you could try to stop those cravings. In most instances, you won’t have to worry about the cost if you have medical insurance. However, there are some free clinics around the country where experts volunteer without asking for payment. You can research those online.

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Change your life

You will probably discover that your life routine is the cause of your addictions. Perhaps you work a job that you hate, or you’re in a less-than-healthy relationship? Well, you are the only person in the world who can take decisive action and turn things around. Changing your life for the better should help you to focus on positive things rather than all the harmful elements you encounter. Try moving to the countryside if you live in the city. Relocate to a different country if you need to get away. The possibilities are endless, and so you just need to identify the best steps to take based on your circumstances. You might consider:

  • Getting a new job
  • Leaving your relationship
  • Moving to a new location
  • Starting a new hobby
  • Booking an exotic holiday
  • Starting a business
  • Going back to university

If you take the advice from this article and learn from it; it’s possible that you could find yourself addiction-free within only a few months. Just bear in mind that some drugs like heroin and alcohol create a physical dependency. So, you should always speak to your doctor before going cold turkey because you could make the situation worse. There are substitute drugs like methadone that you can use to ease the cravings and ensure you don’t have a mental breakdown as the drugs leave your bloodstream. Once you’re clean from the drugs; you just have to enrich your life and keep yourself occupied. That is the best way to ensure you don’t get tempted again in the future.

Ways To Better Manage Your Business

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The hardest part of making your business successful isn’t pulling in sales but managing all aspects of operations so that everything stays in one piece. If you were entrepreneurial enough to create a business with an innovative product or service to sell to the market then you’re likely already skilled (or becoming more skilled) at bringing in profits, but that isn’t enough to keep your company successful.

You need to think about your future plans for the company in terms of growth, how to invest your finances to ensure continued success, new projects that consumers want, keeping employees on track, and so much more. It’s difficult to keep on top of everything as the boss because being an innovative leader isn’t enough. You also need to be a smart and sensible leader. Here are some ways in which you can achieve that goal through better management of your business.

Organize your finances

Money keeps the wheel of business turning. As mentioned in the introduction, however, making profits isn’t enough. You’re doing something well right now and that’s great but you need to think about things in the long-term. The market never stands still. What works well today may not work well tomorrow. If you want to keep making money then you need to invest your profits into improving your business so that it can grow to meet increased demand. Shying away from spending your company’s money on improvements is riskier because you run the risk of getting left behind and losing your current traction. Of course, you need to learn how to budget so as to organize your business’ expenditures. You need to be sure that you make smart investments and never spend beyond your company’s means.

Still, if you’re really struggling to get your business’ financial affairs in order then it can’t hurt to get some help. You could hire a professional to dish out advice but that’s a cost that’ll add another financial burden to the list. And understanding how to look after your money might not be the problem; putting your knowledge to the test and actually organizing your business’ accounts might be the real problem. You could do some research into the best robo-advisors on the market as these automatic digital platforms can use algorithms to assess your company’s financial data and offer smart advice. Technology can even help to automatically invest for you. The point is that you might be intelligent enough to understand smart financial methods but not have the time to oversee and assess every last piece of data by yourself.

Support your workforce
At the end of the day, your business won’t run smoothly if your employees aren’t organized. You might have a clear and focused mindset when it comes to running your company but that isn’t enough if your workers are on different pages when it comes to projects and the general objectives of your business. It’s important to hold frequent meetings so as to ensure that the whole team knows what is expected of them and where they fit into the business’ overall plan.

You should also aim to reduce the time employees spend on menial tasks because this will mean they can focus on the work that really matters to the company. As mentioned earlier, automated software is the way to go when it comes to administrative processes. Why waste a human being’s time on something a computer can do? You might even want to look into a virtual receptionist or a virtual call center so that customer service can be handled off-site.

Why Your Garden’s Health Is Good For Your Health

Most of us are aware that being outdoors is healthy for us. The fresh air, the sounds and views of nature, and the opportunity to move about more freely contribute to good health. Of course, it is possible to take all of this a step further. After all, your own garden or yard is part of that healthy environment. Are you taking care of yours so it can help take care of you?

The Active Gardener

Your garden can help you increase your core muscle strength and mobility. Tending a well-stocked garden takes a lot of physical work. You might find yourself digging, forking, and edging. Maybe you like the idea of mowing and trimming bushes, hedges and shrubs? Then, of course, is all the potting, planting, and pruning. It’s busy but enormously rewarding. Imagine having freshly cut flowers directly from your own garden as often as you like? Best of all, you’re keeping active, fit and healthy.

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Imagine what you could create while getting fitter and healthier. Image source

The Stress Relief

A good garden can offer relief from stress every day. Start with the scents and aromas. Lavender is well known for aiding relaxation. But the floral bouquets from a flower garden can all offer stress relief. They encourage you to inhale deeply. Breathing techniques are a good way to reduce anxiety. Then, of course, you have all the visual beauty to admire. Flower beds and pots full of color can be enormously enjoyable. They’ll put a smile on your face in the toughest of times.

Imagine the view from your home office. What if you could shape and color that view to bring beauty and life to your working day? Even working from home can be stressful sometimes. A few moments staring out of the window when you have a magnificent view can be the perfect release you need.

The Environment

Of course, you don’t have to stay indoors when you work from home. You can sit in the garden and enjoy a wonderfully natural home office instead. Sit on the grass, or enjoy the added benefits of an alfresco dining set. All you need is a beautiful lawn and a little shade so you can stay outside for longer. Good lawns do need Pro Irrigation types of sprinkler systems to be adequately watered. This does mean that there might be moisture on the lawn at certain times of the day, though. Make sure you’ve set the timer for your irrigation correctly, or you might damage your laptop!

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Color, aroma, and shape. Image source

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere quiet, you might even enjoy the sound of the birds twittering nearby. A well-stocked garden full of shrubs and flowers will attract insects and birds. This might make your garden a wildlife haven. You can enjoy watching them come and go. You might even enjoy attracting them to the garden by considering your planting choices and providing feeders. Working this close to nature can be enormously beneficial to your health.

Your outside spaces are the perfect places to nurture if you also want to nurture your own health. Take care of the trees, grass, shrubs and plants in your garden. Then enjoy sharing it with birds and wildlife.

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