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30 Challenges for 30 Days

 30 Challenges for 30 Days

30 Challenges for 30 Days

It is been said that it takes about 30 days to form a habit. The ones that are good for you require cultivation and determination. The starting phase is the hardest, especially if you want to change an old habit into a new one. This is why giving yourself a challenge for a minimum of 30 days is a great way to improve all facets of your life. Yes, it is a gift. So, take a moment to think ‘Who do I want to be in 5 years?’ What kind of habits would you like to have? You better start now if you want your new habits to influence your lifestyle and consequently your life! Check out this TED talk first to get inspired:

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1183

Now pick one or more challenges and stick with them! Keep a log, challenge your friends and stay inspired! Be cautioned, picking too many challenges at the same time can easily result in a failure of all of them.

#1 Write a I-Like-This-About-You note/text/email each day for someone (Easy)

This is the perfect way to let someone else know you care. We are so often focused on the bad stuff that we forget to mention the good. You surely will make people’s day, 30 days in a row!

#2 Talk to one stranger each day (Hard)

This is a great one to cure approaching anxiety. Have you ever resisted the temptation to talk to someone because you were afraid and said to yourself that you actually don’t want to talk to her/him anyway? Not anymore! After 30 strangers you will understand people are just people and there’s nothing weird in speaking to someone you don’t know.

#3 Take one picture each day (Hard)

This one gets harder nearing the end of the challenge because at one point you will run out of the easy shots. This one is great to combine with other challenges, a great way to make a photo diary!

#4 Re-evaluate one long-held belief each day(Intermediate)

Questioning your own beliefs is a great way to rid yourself of bullshit while continually adapting to new knowledge you’ve taken on since putting old beliefs together.

#5 Take a 30 minute walk each day (Easy)

Walking is healthy, relaxing and inspiring. And it is both easy and free! A great exercise while walking is to observe other people and think about what the differences and similarities are between you and them. This will definitely increase your empathy and your observing skills! A great book on this subject is Manwatching.

#6 Take a moment each day to practice self compassion and self-love (Hard)

Do you love yourself? Do you beat yourself up after you make mistakes? You can test your own level of self compassion here. Chances are you don’t score very high. This is because our society sets standards that are almost impossible to achieve. And so we form a habit of thinking we are not good enough, not worthy enough. There is also a kind of stigma on self-love, it is often confused with either being arrogant or it being a weakness. Both are wrong. It is a skill that can be trained so you will develop the emotional skillset to accept parts of yourself which you might not like very much, you learn to stop fighting against frustration and start accepting it as an integral part of life itself. Self love and self acceptance are also crucial to loving and accepting others around you. Exercises to increase self compassion can be found here and check out the love yourself challenge here.

#7 Try a new recipe each day (Intermediate)

If you want to learn how to cook you need to practice, practice, practice. Forcing yourself to try a new recipe each day is a great way to learn of more techniques and ingredients. It also makes it easier to drop bad food habits you might have and turn them into healthy ones!

#8 Refrain from alcohol and other drugs for 30 days in a row! (Depends)

Do you have a social circle where there hasn’t been a sober night out for years? Can you try to have fun without ingesting chemicals to alter your doors of perception? This is a great challenge to learn how to stand up for yourself against peer pressure.

#9 Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (Hard)

Ever wanted to write a book? Do it. Do it in 30 days. Check out the official site here.

#10 Learn how to draw a human face in 30 days(Intermediate)

There are many ‘how to’ youtube videos on drawing and if you ever wanted to learn how to draw, stop making excuses. Set yourself a challenge and be amazed what you can achieve in 30 days!

#11 Watch a documentary each day (Easy)

Always wanted to know everything about a certain topic? You are in luck, it’s the digital era! There are more documentaries online you can possible watch in a lifetime. YouTube, Google Video, TruthTheory.org and TopDocumentaryFilms.com are some of the great sources. Here is a list of HEthens best documentaries!

#12 Read a chapter each day (Easy)

We all know we should be reading more often but somehow we are glued to the same computer screen you are staring at right now. Clicking buttons. The solution is to take some time each day to read one chapter. Just one. Easy right? Do it somewhere cozy or outside. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, turn on some ambient music. Check out these links on what books to read. Clickhere and here.

#13 Study a topic you’d like to master each day (Hard)

Always wanted to know everything about Animal Behaviour? Psychology? Physics? Philosophy? Educate yourself without school! Pick a topic, plan at least a lecture or an assignment each day and become a genius on your passion! Click here to find out what is possible and how to do it.

#14 Walk/Drive/Run a new route to work/school each day (Easy)

This is a great challenge to keep alert, discover new places, get a better understanding of your city and to have more fun while doing one of the mundane daily tasks of life.

#15 Read a new article on HE each (Easy)

A great way to keep inspired, to come up with new ideas and to motivate yourself to make the best out of life!

#16 Media-fast for 30 days (Intermediate)

Don’t watch any television and stop following the news. Limit yourself to reading a maximum of 5 blogs this whole month. Log out of Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon. Stop the information overload and try living simple. You¥ll be amazed how much free time you have left!

#17 Pick one bad habit you already have and ditch it for 30 days (Hard)

Are you a smoker? Do you like to see the negative side of things? Do you practice self-hate? Do you eat fast food? Do you play too many video games? Quit them for 30 days, and pick another challenge instead!

#18 Inspire yourself each day (Easy)

Studies have shown that people who are inspired are happier, nicer, productive and will not stray away from their chosen path if life gets difficult. So print a quote and tape it to the mirror. Have an inspirational video as your starting page. Use an inspirational mantra for meditation. Get a principle to live by. In short, get your dose of inspiration each day!

#19 Take a cold shower each day (Intermediate)

Cold showers are great for uplifting ones mood, cure stress related diseases, to strengthens ones immune system and to make your skin beautiful. You can read the reports of some HEthens that have been trying it for some time over here!

#20 Think of an accomplishment you’d like to achieve for each year of the next 30 years, a year each day.(Hard)

This is great existential shock therapy. You can’t answer these questions without facing your life as it is right now and how it is likely to unfold. This one also gets harder progressively. It’s a great way to reflect!

#21 Practice a random skill everyday (Easy)

There are many available ¥How To¥s¥ on YouTube and other video sites. Pen tricks, hand stands, parkour, dances, cooking tricks. Broaden your arsenal!

#22 Take the stairs every chance you get (Easy)

Somehow escalators seem ridiculous to me, and in some cases elevators too. It always reminds me a bit of all the fat people in Wall-E. Too lazy to do anything. So take the stairs every chance you get for 30 days. It is healthy, it doesn¥t look silly and it will add up over a lifetime 🙂

#23 Wake up early each day (Intermediate)

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom. – Aristotle

Check out how to become an early riser.

#24 Keep a journal (Intermediate)

Great for memory, reflection and especially awesome to look back to in the future and remember the good old times when you did these challenges!

#25 Don’t lie for 30 days (Hard)

This is quite the challenge. Stop deceiving yourself and others, speak from the heart. This one goes great with cultivating right intentions, because if you master that, there won’t be any need for lying!

#26 Combine challenges (Easy)

Take a photo of yourself reading a different book at a different location. Take 10,000 steps on a new route to meet a stranger and ask for a recipe to try out. Do all challenges, a different one each day. Wake up early to make time to meditate, practice self compassion and yoga. Finish it off with a cold shower!

#27 Doing something that scares you every day (Hard)

Fear is the one thing keeping you from being the best version of yourself. The only way to overcome your fears is to face them head on!

#28 Don’t complain for an entire day (Hard)

This one will likely take more than a few days to work up to achieving. Even if you’re a highly positive person, it’s difficult not to utter one negative sentence for a 24-hour span. Don’t be down on yourself if you can’t make it past an hour — as with everything this takes practice! This one is also great practice for becoming conscious of your thoughts.

#29 Meditate each day (Intermediate)

Read this to learn why you should meditate, learn awesome variations on meditation here and discuss this challenge here. The best moments are just after waking up and just before sleep!

#30 Practice (at least) one completely selfless act each day (Easy)

Go out of your way to help someone else out who may or may not deserve your kindness. Take out your neighbor’s trash. Give a $5 to a homeless person. Do something that takes real effort on your part while brightening the day of the receiver.

About 

Modern mystic, pro-active skeptic, esoteric connoisseur. Interested in the sciences in general and consciousness in particular.

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How Boomers Can Get Fit in 2012

How Boomers Can Get Fit in 2012

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  • Gym Membership:

“The Boomer” is a column written for adults nearing retirement age and those already in their “golden years.” It will also promote reader interaction by posting e-mail responses and answering reader questions. E-mail your questions or topic ideas to thefoxboomer@gmail.com.

We do it every year: make grand new year’s resolutions that we work hard on through January, and then by summer, we can barely remember what we even pledged to do in the new year. Then, before we know it, it’s Dec. 31 and we are welcoming in a new year.

Getting fit and losing weight is a popular resolution, especially among the boomer generation. Studies show folks over 50 are the fastest-growing segment of the fitness population, and fitness centers are looking to get cash in by doing everything they can to attract this generation.

Physical activity plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle that us boomers crave.

I reached out to Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and fitness industry veteran, to discuss tips for keeping your body and brain active this year. Here is what he had to say:

Boomer: How can boomers assess their current fitness level before starting a new workout regime?

Milner: The recommendation used to be that if you were older than 50 and looking to start working out then you should see the doctor for a check-up before starting a regime. Now, unless you have a health issue that would require medical clearance like high blood pressure or heart disease, the recommendation is to just start moving.

The first thing I recommend to boomers looking to be more active is to find something they really like to do. If someone told you to go run on a treadmill to get healthy and you find that boring, you’re likely to stop. Ask yourself: do you like to do things in groups or by yourself? What is your fitness level? There are five different levels of functioning individuals: elite, fit, independent, frail and bedridden.

The elite athlete is someone still in their 60s and can run a marathon and they don’t need a whole lot of guidance because they have been doing it for a long time. A fit individual works out two to three times a week and is relatively fit with some aches and pains, but certainly works through it. Then there is the independent individual, which is most of the population. They have low fitness reserves, lack strength and cardiovascular capacity, but they don’t have physical issues preventing them from working out. You then have the frail segment—these people tend to be in rehab or assisted-living communities because they are not strong anymore. That is where my dad is right now. He is on the verge of moving from frail dependent and being able to walk with a walker to now being bedridden. This segment is truly the people that need the most help. The fit and the elite have been doing this for a long time and they know what they are doing, but it is that large frail segment that is probably in the sweet spot for the nation to change the way people age.

To assess your level fitness, conduct a strength assessment to find out what are you capable of lifting and your one repetition maximum. Once you have that number, set a goal of doing 60 to 70% of that. For instance, if I can lift one repetition of 100 pounds once, I would look at doing maybe 65 to 70 pounds to start–one set of 10 reps. Some people may only be able to do it five and that’s OK, just build up from there. Start where you can and build up to your goal and beyond. If you are struggling to lift a weight, it is probably too heavy. If you are getting way out of breath when working out, stop and listen to your body

Boomer: What is the biggest challenge baby boomers have in getting physically fit today?

Milner: Motivation. Energy is one of the reasons why older people don’t exercise, but it is also one of the major drivers for why they want to exercise. It’s a catch-22: 69% of adults over the age of 50 exercise to gain energy, but the lack of energy is one of the top 20 reasons why older people don’t exercise. Boomers need to realize that in order to gain the energy to do the things you want and to exercise the way you want, you need to break through that lack of energy.

To help combat a lack of energy, look at your diet and work schedule. Check to see if any of your prescriptions have fatigue as a side effect. You have to break through that so you can start living a more vibrant energetic lifestyle.

Boomer. Studies show that if you are active in your senior years you will live longer and improve mental health as well as physical health. Any mental health tips for our boomer readers?

Milner: My first tip for improving mental health is to move. Physical activity—whether it is gardening, walking, or running, can help prevent depression and cognitive issues. Meditation is also a mental health tip for baby boomers, and we’ve seen a growth in meditation, yoga and Pilates. When yoga and Pilates became mainstream they really correlated with baby boomers aged 40 – 45, and has remained part of the growth pattern over the last 15 to 20 years as these boomers age.

If you are taking a walk, connect with yourself and all of your surroundings. Anything that can engage the mind so that it is taken somewhere and helps you connect with yourself is beneficial.

There are many different products on the market that help improve cognitive health—including chain stores like Marbles that sells products all geared toward brain health. There is a wide variety of services being delivered, but the challenge is that many of these are not scientifically proven. According to the National Institute in Aging, there is nothing right now that has been shown to actually impact things like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Learning another language is a great thing for your cognitive abilities.

According to the world health organization, by the year 2020, the second leading cause of premature death and disability will be depression. I expect that over the next 10 years we will see more services like “life balance classes” to become more prevalent. These classes will help you get your life back in balance so that you are not stressed or depressed or becoming socially isolated.

Boomer: With the growth of the baby boomer generation there has been an explosion in health clubs and fitness facilities geared toward fitness and health. What do you see happening with this industry in the future?

Milner: I call it wellness everywhere. When I first started 30 years ago it was all about fitness, and you had about four options. You would either go to a YMCA, a park and recreation center (which had a tiny universal in a dark lit room with black rubber mats), or you would go to what was referred to back then as a “grunt gym” or you would go to a spa to get fit. Now, we have Whole Foods looking at a wellness initiative, Walgreens has come out and said they want to own wellness and you have your corporate wellness. There is a project in Riverside, Calif., called March Life Campus and it is a community being built around wellness. There is another large wellness community being built in Henderson, Ne., that is calling itself the first major health city. Everywhere you look now, you see wellness

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Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/01/26/how-boomers-can-get-fit-in-2012/#ixzz23qxjkjWq

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Personal Goals: Energize Your Career in the Year of the Tiger

Personal Goals: Energize Your Career in the Year of the Tiger

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What are your personal goals for the Year of the Tiger? Are you looking to energizeyour lackluster career this year? In many parts of the world, people will be celebrating the Lunar New Year (some may refer to it as Chinese New Year). This year, the celebration will be on February 14, yes, on Valentine’s Day itself. In some of these cultures, many people like to check their fortunes in accordance to the zodiac year believing that certain zodiac signs will do better than others in certain years.

Personally, I take a more pragmatic approach. My suggestion to you, if your goals include doing better at work, you can emulate the finer qualities of the tiger. If you can do that you will automatically energize your career for 2010.

So what are some of the tiger qualities you can use in helping you energize your career?

1. Patience
The tiger is a very patient animal. It waits for the perfect timing before making a move. In your case, it means having the patience to see your work through. Perfect timing comes when you complete a project on time. It doesn’t mean being lazy, waiting for things to happen and then calling it – waiting for perfect timing.

Be patient and take deliberate actions. These actions must contribute to your career objectives. Do not waste your energy on things that do not help you meet your goals. For example, do not indulge in gossiping andprocrastination.

2. Focused
Be focused in your endeavor. Ever seen a tiger hunt in your favorite documentary channel? Noticed how focused the tiger is when he starts chasing for its prey? That’s how focused you should be when you pursue your personal goals. Do not be distracted just because you have a weakdiscipline. In fact, especially if you feel you have a weak discipline, all the more you should add this quality into your goal setting worksheet for the year.

Determine your goals for the year. What are they? Is it a pay raise? Is it a promotion? Or is it to increase and better some of the skills you are weak in? Regardless, make sure you define the things you want to achieve, and then focus on it.
3. Deliberate Actions
I covered this briefly earlier. Once you focus on your personal goals; take deliberate actions in order to achieve it. Every action must contribute to you achieving your goals. The tiger does not waste unnecessary energy in its pursuit of its prey. Every move is calculated and planned even when it seems so instinctual. You should be like that too. Have a plan on how you plan to achieve your personal goals and how you can energize your career.

Start building a plan if you do not have one. Now! Take action. Nothing happens until you act upon your plans. Dreams come true when we act upon them. Goals are achieved when we put words into actions. Your personal goals are within reach if you take deliberate actions.

4. Determined and Strong
The tiger is a very determined animal. Once it sets its sights on a prey you can bet it will go all out to get it. Being determined is a very important quality in order for you to see your plans through. Nothing comes easy and when faced with challenges, you will need hardened determination to overcome it.

Be strong emotionally and physically too. Learn to control your emotions; the tiger keeps its cool when pursuing the toughest prey. It knows letting emotions control him will only mean distraction from the bigger objective. You should be like this too in pursuing your goals.

You can make the Year of the Tiger a great year for you. Emulate the finer qualities of the tiger in your personal goals and you will see your career energized!
Resource Box/SIG line:

Long Yun Siang or Long, as he is popularly known runs http://career-success-for-newbies.com with his wife Dorena as their way of paying it forward. Their website – based on their real life experience – provides tips, tools and advise for newbies pursuing career success. 

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