Researchers say that couples who spend time alone together at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to report “being happy” in their marriages. And get this: They’re also 3.5 times more “sexually satisfied” than couples who don’t make time for each other. So take a hint from happy couples and grab dinner or hit the gym with your sweetie at least once a week.


I love the outcome of “spring cleaning”. There’s nothing like order and method to calm my nerves. But the details of getting that outcome can be arduous. Emailing Lauren and scheduling the date gave me immediate peace, and when the day came I was ready. She arrived and right away we started separating and labeling items into categories, deeming them necessary, useful, donation-worthy, or garbage. (Can I tell you the utter relief I feel when she confirms a piece of trash is indeed trash, and that there’s no need to for guilt when I toss it in to the can?!)
The big question that Brinkmann addresses in “Stand Firm” is speed. The pace of life is accelerating, he says. We succumb to fleeting trends in food, fashion, and health. Technology has eroded the boundary between work and private life; we are expected to be constantly on call, to do more, “do it better and do it for longer, with scant regard for the content or the meaning of what we are doing.” Like Storr, Brinkmann condemns self-improvement as both a symptom and a tool of a relentless economy. But where Storr sees a health crisis, Brinkmann sees a spiritual one. His rhetoric is that of a prophet counselling against false idols. “In our secular world, we no longer see eternal paradise as a carrot at the end of the stick of life, but try to cram as much as possible into our relatively short time on the planet instead,” he writes. “If you stand still while everyone else is moving forwards, you fall behind. Doing so these days is tantamount to going backwards.”
Was I too aggressive? Too chatty? He was soft spoken, but held up his side of the conversation. Maybe I was overbearing. Did I share too much about my past? I didn’t think so. Alex asked about my daughter’s dad, and I answered honestly but simply that we’d tried to make it work; we’d married twice. Alex shared too. We both disclosed a little about former flames.
Think about it in your past. Maybe you received promotion you were hoping for or you landed a dream job. For a short period, you were happy. But it was fleeting. Happiness doesn’t last forever when it comes to monetary gains, and it’s not the full picture. While money does give you access to “things,” there’s a reason why the saying “The best things in life are free,” exists.
Just ask my ex-boyfriend from 15 years ago, who got fed up with my unkempt ways. He was former Navy and I couldn’t keep up, no matter how many times he stressed the significance of folded socks or scolded me for walking outside barefoot and tracking dirt into the living room. One morning, home from my new job on nightshift after graduating nursing school, I tripped over a package sitting in the doorway. It was a bag of cleaning supplies; Windex, Lysol, dish soap etc. I got the hint, and he got the boot. Soon he was living in his own apartment, free to scrub and fold to his military heart’s content.

The SHRED Power Cleanse If you have two weeks to commit, this program by Dr. Ian a great one to consider. Why? Because it's filled with whole, nutritious, fiber-rich foods, a common sense approach to eating and an exercise program that is based on smart science. It is not designed to be a weight loss program, but you're likely to lose weight while you're on it. And during the program, you learn healthy lifestyle habits (like planning ahead and journaling) that you can use for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. 
Sure, you don't know what you'll be in the mood for later, and will you even be hungry? Yes, probably. After all, increased snacking is one reason behind the rise in calorie intake over the past few decades, according to a 2011 study in PLOS ONE. "When you leave your office to go find something, that's when bad choices are made," says Schapiro. "That's when a hot pretzel, bag of candy, or donut can look very appealing." Make sure your desk (or fridge) is stocked with an emergency stash of snacks, like Greek yogurt, individual packs of nuts, dried fruit, and nitrate-free jerky.
They embraced the pioneering spirit that made America great and used technology, ingenuity, and a utopian worldview in a futuristic era “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” But their lives weren’t perfect. They still struggled with the same character defects of all humans, and much like the viewers who tuned in each week, they seemed to always be teetering on the brink of war with their arch-rival, the Klingons. Ironically, after only 79 episodes, they were canceled one month before America’s pioneering spirit and advanced technology helped Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. However, when the show hit syndication in 1970 it quickly developed a rabid fan base and became a cult classic, laying the foundation for movies, animated series, and spin-offs that would so capture the imagination that in 1976 NASA eventually named its first space shuttle Enterprise.

It wasn’t just the vastness of the garage project that bothered me. It wasn’t the act of moving items from one shelf to another or dismantling boxes that made the task so daunting. My garage had become pathological and taking it on has been a major source of anxiety for me. The garage had witnessed and survived too many breakups and held the leftovers of too many losses. Last winter’s ski poles, the star-covered journal my daughter never wrote in, fabric scraps from a decade-old Halloween costume, an unidentifiable metal contraption I think belonged to the camper I once shared with an ex. Perhaps you can relate to that feeling. Procrastination was the safe choice; just toss Dad’s leftover oxygen meter in a random box and shut the door. I sometimes treat health problems or family conflict the same way. I shut the door on the issues, but they gather dust and multiply until I find the tenacity to tackle them. Forgetting doesn’t eliminate the problem. The boxes just grow heavier and the emotional burden does too. Each decision meant a look at the past, and it takes energy and fortitude to endure this. Filtering through my clutter feels like sorting through my soul. Eventually, I was going to run out of room: in my storage space, and in my psyche. I needed “clean the garage” wiped from my to do list, before the summer ended.
A body cleanse or detox diet that involves cutting out junk foods and increasing your intake of nutritious whole foods along with a few powerful detox foods can be an easy way to help your body detox and hit the reset button. Best of all, unlike on other detox diets, this kind of natural cleanse won’t drain your energy levels or leave you feeling worn down. Instead, it can boost energy, restore motivation and help you feel your best.
“In a consumerist society, we are not meant to buy one pair of jeans and then be satisfied,” Cederström and Spicer write, and the same, they think, is true of self-improvement. We are being sold on the need to upgrade all parts of ourselves, all at once, including parts that we did not previously know needed upgrading. (This may explain Yoni eggs, stone vaginal inserts that purport to strengthen women’s pelvic-floor muscles and take away “negative energy.” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Web site, Goop, offers them in both jade and rose quartz.) There is a great deal of money to be made by those who diagnose and treat our fears of inadequacy; Cederström and Spicer estimate that the self-improvement industry takes in ten billion dollars a year. (They report that they each spent more than ten thousand dollars, not to mention thousands of hours, on their own quests.) The good life may have sufficed for Plato and Aristotle, but it is no longer enough. “We are under pressure to show that we know how to lead the perfect life,” Cederström and Spicer write.
For the last fifteen years, I have been writing tailored diets for my clients, both online and in person, and the majority of my weight-loss clients have been women who have come to me after trying almost everything — thermogenics, diet pills, grapefruit diets, ketogenic diets, skipping meals, and so on. To cut a long story short, the main theme that runs throughout all of these women's lives is that most aren't eating enough. Period. Is Cutting Calories and Exercising…
While Americans fall short on fruits and veggies, we’re overdoing it on sugar, consuming close to 20 teaspoons a day. Health authorities suggest capping added sugars at 6 teaspoons (equivalent to about 25 g) a day for women and 9 teaspoons (or about 36 g) for men. Challenge yourself to cut back on added sugar from sweetened yogurts, cereals and granola bars, as well as the usual suspects (soda, cookies, ice cream, cookies and other baked goods). You’ll appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit so much more when you cut unnecessary added sweeteners from your diet.

In 1518, Cortez sailed from Spain with 11 ships carrying 500 soldiers and 100 sailors. The goal was to conquer the Aztecs of Mexico. But when they landed on the Mexican coast in 1519, the indigenous people far outnumbered Cortez and his crew. Fear set in for many and some of the men developed a secret plot to retreat to Cuba. It was safer there and they could wait for reinforcements.

“When I need to give my diet a reboot, I focus on having two nourishing, planned snacks per day, like a pear and pecans, or grape tomatoes and string cheese, or berries and yogurt. And I put the snacks on a plate, sit down and enjoy them.” This part is especially key. When you graze or snack mindlessly, you don’t register those foods as well as when you plate them. No plate? No problem! Use a paper towel, napkin, cup or whatever is available to you to help you eat more mindfully.


My garage was beyond do-it-myself help. It was going to require a professional. Just the thought of standing on the cold cement floor amidst the mayhem was enough to cause heart palpitations. Luckily, I know a stellar resource – Lauren at Casual Uncluttering. I’d found her awhile back through thumbtack.com, which was suggested to me by a coworker when I was looking for a handyman. I didn’t even know professional organizers existed until then.
In 1960, it was a technological impossibility for man to travel into outer space. However, within 10 years, the first man stepped out onto the surface of the moon. The miraculous process of converting that dream into reality began when one voice challenged the scientific community to do whatever was necessary to see to it that America “places a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” That challenge awakened the spirit of a nation by planting the seed of possible future achievement into the fertile soil of imagination.

But Lauren’s qualifications go much further than utilitarian tools and sensible words of advice. She has a special magic that alleviates pressure and pain that can come with these jobs. Her compassionate, yet no-nonsense demeanor settles my nerves and fills me with confidence. The garage I had deemed untouchable became manageable as we moved through it together.
Open the windows of your mind to new ideas and a fresh perspective on living a happier, better, easier life. Change takes action. There's no silver bullet, no magic pill. But if you'll open your mind to some different ways of doing things, if you'll try some new habits, if you'll work your mind muscles and your organizational skills in a different way, you'll find that you'll create the life that you truly want, not just the one that you end up with. One important step is to enjoy the person you are. If you don't like yourself, find out why, and start working on becoming a person you do enjoy and that others will enjoy too. Find inspirational quotes and post them to remind you of a positive state of mind. Or make a list of all the positive benefits of a renewed point-of-view. In relationships, acting more friendly toward people you encounter each day would potentially gain you new friends, make you more attractive to others, and draw positive people into your circle of friends. In your career surround yourself with positive people, especially those who can open your eyes to new opportunities related to your expertise. Or add a new expertise or skill; take a class or workshop.
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