motivation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11296/all en-US Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_notebook_thinking_73069659.jpg" alt="Woman creating reverse bucket list for money management" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having financial goals is a wonderful thing. And having lofty ones is even better, because it pushes you to see exactly what you can do &mdash; maybe even more than you'd ever thought possible with your money.</p> <p>But, some days, having goals is just plain frustrating. When you're always looking at where you haven't gotten to yet or what you haven't yet achieved, it's easy to feel like you'll never get there, or like you aren't good enough. You might begin to wonder what the point of these goals is, anyway.</p> <p>That's where the reverse bucket list comes in.</p> <h2>Make a Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>When it comes to your finances, a reverse bucket list is simply a list of things you've already accomplished financially, or a list of goals you've already met.</p> <p>My husband and I tried this recently. On our list, we put things like buying a house, getting away to Cancun last year, not taking on more debt despite several major expenses this year, and paying off my student loan.</p> <p>Some of these things &mdash; like buying a house &mdash; were things that we had made into goals. They were things we wanted to do, things we saved to do, and things we accomplished over time. Others weren't explicit goals, like not taking on more debt. But we added them because they felt like financial accomplishments to us.</p> <p>Take some time to make your list. Some items &mdash; like, for us, paying off the student loans &mdash; might be things that you accomplished years ago, so they may not be in the forefront of your mind. Give yourself a day or two to think over your list, coming back to add things when you remember them.</p> <h2>The Reverse Bucket List and Positivity</h2> <p>The first thing that we felt, when we looked over our final list, was an overwhelming sense of positivity. We have been discouraged lately. This year seems to have been one surprise attack after another when it comes to our money, and it's frustrating to work harder than ever only to see the balances go down.</p> <p>When we looked at our list, though, we started to feel better about ourselves and the way we're living. We are still people who can make good financial decisions, as evidenced by the number of things we've accomplished in that realm. In fact, it's those decisions that put us where we are now &mdash; without any new debt &mdash; even though life hasn't cooperated recently.</p> <p>Looking at our list has also made us feel more positive about continuing to pursue the financial goals we haven't met yet, even though we feel like our most recent progress has been negative. For each item on the list, we can remember the moment where it happened, where we felt proud and happy, and that motivates us to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.</p> <p>Making this list definitely raised our motivation levels and helped us look at our situation realistically. Setbacks happen. They aren't necessarily a commentary on us or our intelligence or our financial prowess. And now, we feel like moving forward again.</p> <h2>Understanding Your Finances Through the Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>Looking at our reverse bucket list also helped us find some patterns in our spending and saving that will help us as we move forward.</p> <p>For instance, the closer I get to a goal, the more likely I am to pursue it wholeheartedly. When we were just about able to pay off my student loans, I stopped buying everything that wasn't extra. I could see victory, I could taste it, and I wanted it!</p> <p>On the other hand, when I'm not anywhere near meeting any goals, I tend to spend a lot more haphazardly. If I feel like I will never get there, or I feel like we are just going to encounter another setback anyway, I figure I might as well buy what I want while I have the money in my hands.</p> <p>Moving forward, we are planning to structure our goals differently, making them tiered rather than all-or-nothing. That way, I can always feel like I'm just about to achieve something, so I won't be as tempted to spend in any given moment.</p> <h2>Find What Motivates You</h2> <p>When we thought about our list, we also noticed that we are highly motivated by travel. When we saved for travel, we were able to save quickly, simply because we both really love to get on a plane and see somewhere new.</p> <p>Now, when you have a mortgage and other student loans like we do, you can't just make all of your goals about traveling. But we realized that staggering our goals so that travel goals are included in every two or three things we save for would help us.</p> <p>For instance, when we pay off my husband's student loans, we are planning a trip to New Zealand. We know that we can take that trip as soon as these other goals are met. Even if it takes us several years, we will feel more motivated knowing that the travel goal is coming up, even if the gratification isn't immediate.</p> <p>A financial reverse bucket list won't solve all of your problems, but it certainly might make you feel better about your money situation and help you figure out how to structure your goals so they best suit you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-think-like-an-olympian-to-master-your-money">How to Think Like an Olympian to Master Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-the-real-world-my-best-advice-for-new-graduates">Welcome to the Real World - My Best Advice for New Graduates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips accomplishments advice goals inspiration motivation positive thinking psychology reverse bucket list Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1792247 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: Where to Find Cheap Training for a New Career http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_computer_stress_84635733.jpg" alt="Woman finding cheap training for a new career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is the another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>Yesterday, one of my friends asked: &quot;So, what are you working on?&quot; To which I responded: &quot;Um, you know, stuff. All sorts of things. I'm so busy. Uhhhhh, It's kind of boring to explain.&quot;</p> <p>For the past four weeks I've been grinding away at an increasingly long To Do list. It's always been like this. Or, to be accurate, I've always been like this. I always complete the majority of my projects during the last four months of the year. Perhaps it's because 24 years after graduation, I still feel like September is the start of a new year. Or perhaps it's the change of seasons&hellip; even though Los Angeles only has two seasons: vacation weather and unreasonably hot.</p> <p>Or, perhaps I accidentally schedule all my deadlines for every project for December 31st. Regardless of the motivation, my completion panic kicked into high gear one month early this year.</p> <p>I suspect it's the public shaming aspect of this writing exercise that has accelerated my inner clock. After all, it's September and I am still over $21,000 short of meeting my goal of saving $31,000 before the end of the year. If I want to make this goal, I will need to make or save an additional $5,280 <em>per month</em>. Uhn.</p> <p>To that end, I have been working every moneymaking angle available to me from the confines of my house. I am canning my award-winning fig jam in advance of Holiday Craft Fairs, I have applied to every job lead that has come my way (including one that would require me to wear an abaya everyday for a month &mdash; but since I look weirdly cute in a headscarf, this is actually not a bad thing), and I am selling everything I don't completely love on Craigslist and eBay.</p> <p>At the end of June, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">I got a really good job lead</a> from my sister. If I can become an expert at Adobe Illustrator and pass her company's skill test, she can hire me for a freelance job that would easily make up my budget shortfall.</p> <h2>Access Free Job Skill Training via the Library</h2> <p>Once I learned about the job opportunity, I jumped into action. I subscribed to Adobe Illustrator ($30 per month) believing that I would be illustrating everything by the end of the 30-day free trial period. &quot;I totally got this,&quot; I told myself. &quot;I'm going to spend the 4th of July watching 32 hours of Lynda.com tutorials that I can download for free using my Los Angeles Public Library card. Then I will give myself three weeks to cram for the skill test. My education cost will be zero and I can work full time starting in August.&quot;</p> <h2>Cramming Doesn't Work</h2> <p>I started watching the Lynda.com tutorials that same night. Two hours in I began to lose focus to the point that I had to stop and rewind the video several times because I kept spacing out. &quot;Ugh. What is wrong with me? Why am I struggling so hard to learn this?&quot; I asked my best friend. &quot;Well,&quot; she answered, &quot;there's a reason why most college classes are only two hours long. Your brain is actively learning, not binge watching Daredevil, you dummy.&quot;</p> <p>Oh.</p> <p>Now resigned to the fact that I cannot master Adobe Illustrator in one marathon study session, I've had to alter my schedule for total budget domination considerably. Not without a huge amount of denial, I have discovered that my brain can only absorb an hour of technical lecturing per day. So it was 32 days of watching tutorials, not three. I've also had to admit to myself that it's going to take a minimum of 100 hours of practice with the Pen Tool before I have any proficiency. So basically, my free self-education and accelerated learning plan now looks and costs the same as a semester-long class at my local community college, but without teacher office hours so I can actually get one-on-one assistance.</p> <p>What is possibly worse than acknowledging that I am not the quick study I thought I was? The realization that I am now losing paid work hours to unpaid study hours. In order not to backslide into more debt, I will have to get a better-paying job to supplement my job training for a better-paying job.</p> <p>Sigh. Lesson learned?</p> <h2>Progress So Far</h2> <p>My blood tests are fine. My teeth are fine. My boobs are fine. My OCD is&hellip;what it is. My savings this month? Not so much. My regularly scheduled doctors' appointments erased any savings from Mr. Spendypants this pay period as I'm on his health insurance. (Thanks Cutie).</p> <p>Between my new study schedule and my doctor appointments, I only managed to turn in $90 worth in writing work this pay period. Luckily, my bees came through for me and helped me sell $150 in bees and $293.76 in honey. Because I've been under house arrest, and Mr. Spendypants has been working 16 hours a day, we still managed to come out $533.76 ahead, even with all the medical expenses.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $22,040.17</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $12,153.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $21,113.49</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Job Creation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-buy-a-house-when-you-live-paycheck-to-paycheck">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Buy a House When You Live Paycheck to Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Career and Income budget challenge career skills deadlines debt job hunting job skills learning max wongs budget motivation Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Max Wong 1788919 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Surprising Benefits of Failure http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_happy_86075345.jpg" alt="Woman learning surprising benefits of failure" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves a success story, and the world is filled with them. But what about stories of failure? Can't they be as just as educational? Just as inspirational? Equally insightful? After all, a single big win is often built on several losses. It's a truth perfectly captured in the words of Japanese industrialist and automaker, Soichiro Honda, &quot;Success is 99% failure.&quot;</p> <p>Maybe it's time to look past the sound bites of success and examine the transformational power of <em>not succeeding</em>. Here are the seven surprising benefits of failure.</p> <h2>1. Failure Teaches Lessons</h2> <p>Failure can be an efficient (if sometimes harsh) teacher. In our careers, in our financial lives, and in our frugal living goals, learning what not to do is just as important as learning what to do. And the personal bankruptcy laws in the United States embody the positive potential of failure by allowing individuals the room to right themselves, to learn from their mistakes, and move on.</p> <h2>2. Failure Keeps Us Hungry and Humble</h2> <p>The biggest enemy of long-term success is complacency. History is littered with stories of once great nations, cultures, and companies that banked on the notion that a successful past guarantees a successful future. But failure has a way of motivating us &mdash; of keeping us hungry and also humble. People who know from experience that fortunes can be lost, that competitors never sleep, that downsizing happens, and that every market boom can go bust tend to be more highly driven and much more intentional.</p> <h2>3. Failure Helps Us Overcome Fear</h2> <p>What is it that we're most afraid of when we don't take full advantage of sound investments? Or when we put off saving for retirement for decades? When we stay stuck in a job we hate, year after year? I'd argue that we're most afraid of failing. But here's the curious thing about failure: Once you've faced it, it becomes the enemy you know. That familiarity can help you move on with the confidence that a stumble or fall won't be the end of your story.</p> <h2>4. Failure Recommits Us to Our Goals</h2> <p>Personal setbacks can be clarifying. Several years ago, a close friend of mine amassed a whopping amount of consumer debt. Though he'd always considered himself fairly frugal and financially savvy, he'd let a few little slip-ups become a big downward slide and was nearly bankrupt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-attitudes-that-breed-financial-failure?ref=seealso">6 Attitudes That Breed Financial Failure</a>)</p> <p>As his closest confidant, I had a front-row seat to my friend's yearlong financial meltdown. But instead of giving up, he committed to a life of debt-free living with a renewed of sense of purpose. He paid off the card balances with laserlike focus and hasn't slipped up since.</p> <h2>5. Failure Inspires Creative Solutions</h2> <p>In 2007, my cushy and fairly lucrative contract position with a top tech firm came to an abrupt end. The situation forced me to re-evaluate what I wanted the future of my career to look like. I knew I wanted to keep working remotely, retain some level of employment autonomy, and (hopefully) avoid a severe pay cut. Over the next few years, I built a small, but thriving independent business &mdash; a business that likely would have never been launched had that contracting position continued without interruption. Though I certainly couldn't see it at the time, that job loss forced me to put something new &mdash; and ultimately, more rewarding &mdash; in motion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach?ref=seealso">11 Famous Failures That Led to Success</a>).</p> <h2>6. Failure Strengthens Our Support System</h2> <p>The old poetic line, &quot;Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone,&quot; may not be entirely accurate. When we fail, we send out flares (often without realizing it) to those who matter most: friends, family, and close colleagues who can offer assistance or simply lend a sympathetic ear. The process strengthens our support system and builds a network of resources to help us succeed next time.</p> <h2>7. Failure Makes Us More Valuable Mentors</h2> <p>The most qualified teachers are those who have been through it all and know how to weather it all. A large part of effective mentorship is helping anticipate and avoid pitfalls, stay focused, and respond to challenges with creativity and optimism.</p> <p><em>Have you benefited from failure? What's the most surprising or important lesson it taught you? Share your story!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach">11 Famous Failures That Led to Success (And the Lessons They Teach)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt">Success Secrets You Should Have Learned in High School — But Didn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-outliers-by-malcolm-gladwell">Book Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-employee-perks-are-good-for-business">5 Ways Employee Perks Are Good for Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Life Hacks benefits courage epic fail fail failure motivation obstacles success surprising benefits Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1745835 at http://www.wisebread.com Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_break_sign_000068533353.jpg" alt="The productivity secret that will change the way you work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a person who makes a living doing freelance and contract work from home, there are two questions I tend to get about my job. The first is whether I work in pajamas. (The answer is no.) The second is how I manage to get any work done at all.</p> <p>&quot;If I worked at home, I don't think I'd get <em>any </em>work done,&quot; people often tell me. &quot;How do you manage to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">stay productive</a> for eight hours a day on your own?&quot;</p> <p>The simple answer? I don't.</p> <p>And, according to research about productivity in the workplace, you probably aren't productive for eight straight hours either, whether you're working at a laptop at your kitchen table or sitting in an office or cubicle. In fact, some research suggests that many office workers are productive for <a href="http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/news/only-three-hours-of-productivity-a-day/103618.article">as little as three hours</a> per eight-hour work day.</p> <p>Here are five tips on how to get the most work done in the least amount of time so that you can head home early &mdash; or at least right on time.</p> <h2>1. Recognize Your Window of Productivity</h2> <p>When I sit down at my desk, I typically jump right into working. Then, after a while, my mind starts to wander. In the past, this really frustrated me. I need to be working! In fact, periods of inattention are pretty normal &mdash; necessary, even.</p> <p>Research by Draugiem Group, a social networking company, suggests that the average person can only maintain concentration and productivity for about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3035605/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-exact-amount-of-time-you-should-work-every-day">52 minutes at a time</a>. However, while many people try to push through this window, the most productive workers actually do something quite different: They take a 17-minute break during which they do something completely unrelated to work. They leave their desks. They take a walk. They chat with co-workers. They read a book. They take a nap.</p> <p>That might sound lazy, but research suggests that our brains &mdash; much like our bodies &mdash; need to rest following hard work. And, just like doing too much exercise without rest will eventually cause the body to break down, running your brain at full speed tends to lead to burnout. That's because our brains are designed to cycle between two types of activity: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/hit-the-reset-button-in-your-brain.html?_r=0">focused attention, and wandering or daydreaming</a>. And, it is in this latter phase of attention that our brains not only rest, but collate and process the things we've just been working on. It's why inspiration tends to strike when we're doing the most mundane things. It's while at rest that our brains have a chance to make new connections.</p> <p>So, the first step to becoming more productive is to get a sense of how long you can work before your mind starts to wander. Is it 30 minutes? 50 minutes? An hour? Once you figure that out, you can start breaking your work day into blocks of about that size, followed by short, restful breaks.</p> <h2>2. Be Realistic About Your Goals</h2> <p>No one's going to pat you on the back or give you a promotion for writing a single page of a huge report. Nevertheless, this is exactly the kind of goal that'll help you finish a project in the most efficient, effective way possible. Why? Because it's simple, it's achievable, and it's motivating.</p> <p>In fact, according to Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile, small, daily progress is the <a href="http://progressprinciple.com/books/single/the_progress_principle">most powerful workplace motivator</a> there is. So, rather than setting goals that are days or weeks in the making, set smaller goals that you can achieve each day. By completing a small, tangible goal each day, you will build momentum that'll help keep you on track. Plus, you'll be chipping away at bigger objectives in the most productive way possible.</p> <h2>3. Break Work Into Blocks</h2> <p>Now that you have some key goals, break your work into tasks that'll fit into 52-minute (or thereabouts) blocks. Start each work day by thinking about what you can complete within your productive window(s). Can you empty your email inbox? Finish a section of that spreadsheet? Write a specific portion of that big report? Whatever it is, prioritize your tasks and designate a block of your day for each thing you want to work on. Even with frequent breaks, your brain's mental capacity will wane as the day goes on, so you may also want schedule the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning</p> <h2>4. Spend Less Time on the Job</h2> <p>Depending on where you work, working less may not possible, but research suggests that it's ideal. Workaholics might <em>think</em> they're accomplishing more, but the research doesn't bear that out. In fact, it suggests we should all go home at 5:00 pm and get a life.</p> <p>We've known since way back that super-long work weeks deliver diminishing &mdash; and even negative &mdash; returns. In the early 1900s, Ford Motor Company determined that the optimum work hours for worker productivity amounted to no more than 40 hours per week. They even found that while adding an additional 20 hours per week boosted productivity initially, that increase only lasted for about a month, at which point the increase turned negative. More recent studies have found that the sweet spot for employment productivity is <a href="http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_files/pubdocs/2002/07/en/1/ef0207en.pdf">30 hours per week</a>. Other studies have found that after 50 hours, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/12/working-hours">output remained the same</a>. In other words, people tend to get the same amount of work done, whether they spend 50 hours or 70 hours on the job each week.</p> <p>Depending on where you work, you may not be able to cut your work days short, but you may be able to avoid being sucked into a culture that promotes staying at the office well into the night. Going home on time isn't a sign of laziness. It's smart idea, and one that'll help you deliver more and better work when you are on the clock.</p> <h2>5. Work Hard, Play Hard</h2> <p>Being more productive isn't about working longer or even harder. In fact, it's all about giving yourself a break. So if you find yourself unable to resist a few cat videos during the day, or you spend a little too long chatting with a coworker at lunch, it doesn't mean you're wasting time. As it turns out, that space between periods of work is where the real productivity happens.</p> <p><em>What techniques do you use to increase your productivity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">7 Surprising Benefits of Failure</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity attention span motivation taking breaks working Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Tara Struyk 1493871 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Motivation Tips With Big Results http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-motivation-tips-with-big-results <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-motivation-tips-with-big-results" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/motivated_woman_fitness_000031153704.jpg" alt="Woman using motivation tips that lead to big results" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on motivation tips that really work, ways to make a workout schedule that works, and ways to protect yourself from the Starbucks app attacks.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/10-motivation-tips-yield-big-results/">10 Motivation Tips that Yield Big Results</a> &mdash; Having a good time with friends and family can help you recharge when you feel tired and unmotivated. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/05/5-ways-make-workout-schedule-works.html">5 Ways to Make a Workout Schedule that WORKS</a> &mdash; Use an exercise program as a road map for getting in shape. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/3-ways-protect-yourself-from-starbucks-app-attacks/">4 Ways to Protect Yourself From Starbucks App Attacks</a> &mdash; If you use the Starbucks app to pay for your coffee, make sure to use a strong password and change it often. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/avoid-freelance-job-boards/">How to Find Well-Paying Freelance Gigs by Avoiding Job Boards</a> &mdash; It's time-consuming to search job boards, and there's no guarantee you'll find a job that's a good fit for you. You're more likely to find meaningful gigs that you'll enjoy if you reach out to your collegues and friends. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2015/05/13/how-to-set-yourself-up-for-financial-success-in-your-twenties.html">How to Set Yourself Up for Financial Success in Your Twenties</a> &mdash; You aren't limited to low-paying jobs while you're young. Look for opportunities to increase your pay sooner; the more money you earn, the quicker you'll reach your financial goals! [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Change-Your-Life-34745789">Mind-Bogglingly Easy Ways to Improve Your Life in 5 Minutes</a> &mdash; Take a few minutes to clear your desk and optimize your work space. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0514/Getting-married-How-to-have-the-money-conversation">Getting married? How to have the money conversation.</a> &mdash; Start by going over each person's finances &mdash; you don't have to pore over the details, but at least have a basic understanding of it so you can identify potential trouble spots and develop better financial habits as a couple. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablog.org/2015/05/5-places-to-donate-prom-dresses-for-reuse">5 Places To Donate Prom Dresses For Reuse</a> &mdash; Becca's Closet has chapters all over the country where you can donate a prom dress or pick one up to wear. [Sustainablog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontmesswithtaxes.com/2015/05/10-tips-for-dealing-with-irs-tax-notices.html">Don't ignore that IRS letter and nine other tax notice tips</a> &mdash; Read the IRS notices carefully. They usually contain important information, like if you need to give them more info, or if the IRS made any changes to your filing. [Don't Mess With Taxes]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/confidence-secrets-3-easy-steps-to-help-kids-stand-up-for-themselves">Confidence Secrets: 3 Easy Steps to Help Kids Stand Up for Themselves</a> &mdash; Use the power pose when someone is trying to put you down: keep your eyes up, shoulders back, and head held high. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-motivation-tips-with-big-results">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips motivation Mon, 18 May 2015 19:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1424471 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired-businesswoman-office-Dollarphotoclub_64335712.jpg" alt="tired businesswoman" title="tired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I see you. Yeah, you. The one sitting in your cubicle, frustrated because the job you wanted, the job you killed yourself to get, is driving you crazy right now.</p> <p>And I see you, too. The one working hard at a job you don't really like. Maybe you need to pay the bills, or you need the benefits, or you know it's a stepping stone to something better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-fight-burnout?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Fight Burnout</a>)</p> <p>No matter the reason behind your flagging motivation, you can get out of that funk. You can push through that wall. You can get yourself back on track. Even better, you can blow the track out of the water. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. See Your Goals</h2> <p>Most jobs have goals built-in, but even if you don't, you can at least outline some goals for performance, projects completed, and so on with your boss. (If you don't currently have any goals at work, by all means, sit down and produce some.)</p> <p>The thing is, having goals isn't, in and of itself, enough to keep you motivated. Like a high-performance athlete, you need to envision yourself meeting your goals. Include all the details of what it will be like to succeed in order to better understand the concrete steps you should take to get there. This visualization will also put you in a positive frame of mind and increase your motivation to succeed.</p> <p>For instance, imagine what it would be like to make your current project a huge success. Think about how your team would celebrate, what it would be like to get your boss's commendation, and how you'd talk about the success to others.</p> <p>All of this imagining helps you stay positive and work with sustained energy towards your goal.</p> <h2>2. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>In addition to having goals for the year or for a long-term project, make short-term goals for yourself, too, and reward yourself every time you meet them. Your brain is wired to respond positively to regular successes and rewards. Every time you succeed, it releases dopamine, which is tied to happiness and motivation.</p> <p>Break your long-term goals down into short-term ones by figuring out what's next. What is the very next thing that needs to be done to help you reach that long-term goal? When you determine that, you have your short-term goal. And when you meet that goal, give yourself a small reward. Over time, your brain will become wired for success.</p> <h2>3. Make It Fun</h2> <p>It's not hard to understand why doing fun things is more motivating than engaging in boring tasks, but making work fun can be quite a task. Usually, the jobs you're not motivated to do are the ones that are boring, repetitive, or just plain difficult.</p> <p>Try thinking of ways to make the hard parts more enjoyable, such as doing the most tedious parts of your job alongside a friend or coworker. You don't have to work on the same thing and you don't have to talk, but having another person around might make the whole thing more enjoyable.</p> <p>Focus on making work a place you enjoy in general. Then, ask yourself some questions about how to make the hard parts more fun, and you could see your motivation will soar.</p> <h2>4. Remember Your Reasons</h2> <p>If you're looking outside of yourself for motivation, sometimes there's none to be found. Instead, look inside yourself for the reasons why you want to do the job at hand.</p> <p>Internal motivation can come from many different places. Maybe you want to do well at work so that you can get a promotion. Maybe you need to do well to support your family or to care for someone close to you. And maybe you simply value doing the job well, even if it's not a job you adore.</p> <p>When you know your reasons for doing the job, your motivation comes from inside yourself. No one can touch that. They can't take it away from you, no matter how bad things get.</p> <h2>5. Only Control What You Can</h2> <p>Whether you're working with a team or by yourself, every job comes with circumstances that are outside of your control. Instead, think concretely about what you can control, and put all of your energy into controlling those&nbsp;areas. So, go ahead &mdash; put your heart and soul into making the best presentation you can, but understand that your clients still may not like it (and that this may have more to do with what they had for breakfast than with the presentation itself!).</p> <p>Putting boundaries around your energy and where you'll invest it can boost your motivation, because you won't be exhausted from running around like a headless chicken &mdash; nor will you feel beholden to every Jack or Jill's opinion.</p> <h2>6. Design a Plan B</h2> <p>Motivation plummets when you feel like you've failed &mdash; especially when it happens at work. Instead of viewing projects that aren't successful as failures, though, see them as simply one option that didn't work. And every time you find a way that doesn't work, you're one step closer to finding a way that does.</p> <p>Failing doesn't mean that you don't have a good idea. Even if you fail many times, it doesn't mean that what you're working on is a flop. If something crashes and burns, just check that way of doing things off your list and try another.</p> <p>When you see life through these glasses, you'll find yourself more motivated. Looking at things this way allows you to stop taking failure personally, to continue to believe in your ideas, and to work really, really hard to make things come together the next time.</p> <p>Finding motivation on the job is more about your mindset than anything else. When you change the way you think about your duties, you'll change the way you approach them; and you'll find yourself happier and more motivated at work.</p> <p><em>How do you stay motivated on the job? What works for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity burnout motivation work Fri, 06 Mar 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1320888 at http://www.wisebread.com Want to Be Happier? Work These 7 Magic Words into Your Vocabulary http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-happier-work-these-7-magic-words-into-your-vocabulary <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/want-to-be-happier-work-these-7-magic-words-into-your-vocabulary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-businessman-56518316-small.jpg" alt="happy businessman" title="happy businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a sad but true fact: Only one in three <a href="http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/mid/1508/ArticleId/1200/Default.aspx">Americans say they are very happy</a>.</p> <p>With a <a href="http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2014/">tough job market,</a> a <a href="http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/05/21/how-to-ask-and-get-raise-deserve/">hard time getting raises</a>, and a <a href="http://time.com/8740/federal-reserve-debt-bankrate-consumers-credit-card/">high level of debt</a>, many of us are getting hit with a triple whammy. This means that you need to take action and start working on improving your own happiness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to become happier is by simply starting to use these four words and phrases more often.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Yes&quot;</h2> <p>In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0025YKDJC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0025YKDJC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CL2L3B33RKY6KXP6">Yes Man</a>, Jim Carrey plays Carl, a guy who challenges himself to say &quot;yes&quot; to everything for a year. From the start, this commitment ends up filling Carl's entire day with activities. It seems that he is so busy that he doesn't have time to be sad.</p> <p>Studies confirm this theory. (Yes! Actual scientific studies confirm the validity of a Jim Carrey movie.) Richard Weisman, a British psychologist and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0099443244/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0099443244&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2MHPBTNRRRVGECXV">The Luck Factor</a>, believes that lucky people create, notice, and act on the chance opportunities in their lives by saying &quot;yes&quot; more often. Saying &quot;yes&quot; more often creates a fuller agenda, a fuller agenda keeps you busy, and being <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/christopher.hsee/vita/Papers/IdlenessAversion.pdf">busier you makes you happier</a>.</p> <p>Of course, there are three important caveats to saying yes more often.</p> <ol> <li>Don't say yes to everything. Dangerous vices that can lead to addiction or activities that can put you in harm's way are generally not a good idea. Use your common sense.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be busy but don't feel rushed. Become part of the group of happier Americans, the ones that are not overwhelmly busy. Having too much free time leads to boredom, so the key to happiness is to be productive at a comfortable pace.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Choose friends and relatives over tasks. Say &quot;yes&quot; to spending time with Uncle Paul rather than working overtime on that project. Turns out having a <a href="http://www.trncmagasinet.se/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/valuing_social_relationships_15.04.pdf">better social life can be worth as much as an additional $130,000 per year</a>. A man who has friends is indeed a rich man, and a happy one, too.</li> </ol> <h2>2. &quot;Will I&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>If you are going to be busier, you need to be more efficient at getting the job done.</p> <p>The popular catchphrase &quot;I think I can&quot; from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0448463598/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0448463598&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Q62QS3X2VBYVAJTG">The Little Engine that Could</a> has taught us from a young age that self-motivation is a key to success. However, it appears that the Little Engine might have gone about it wrong.</p> <p>Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested the <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/4/499.short">effects of &quot;I will&quot; and &quot;Will I&quot; on self motivation</a>. The test subjects were far more motivated to complete a task when using the phrase &quot;Will I,&quot; which is a question instead of a self affirmation.</p> <p>According to the researchers, by asking yourself questions about a specific task, such as &quot;Will I lose weight?&quot;, you are more likely to build your own motivation to complete the task. This means that <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LQEYTC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004LQEYTC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X7LLDH7KUU5SGM4E">Bob the Builder's</a> &quot;Can we fix it?&quot; is a better model for self-motivation than the Engine's &quot;I think I can.&quot;</p> <h2>3. &quot;Laughter,&quot; &quot;Happiness,&quot; &quot;Love,&quot; and &quot;Happy&quot;</h2> <p>What do these words have in common?</p> <p>They are the top four of the most frequently words in the English language that <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0029484#s2">exhibit the most bias towards positivity</a>. Basically, the words that make you happier.</p> <p>Researchers poured through Twitter, the Google Books Project, The New York Times, and a ton of music lyrics in search of the most frequently used words. Then, study participants rated each one of these 10,200 words individually, producing a list of the <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0029484.s009">50 most positive words</a>.</p> <p>Based on these findings, the researchers suggest three key actions to take. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-simple-ways-to-change-up-your-routine-and-love-your-day?ref=seealso">25 Simple Ways to Change Up Your Routine and Love Your Day</a>)</p> <ol> <li>Incorporate the top four positive words into your life as much as possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find songs that make use of the 50 most positive words and create a happy playlist to boost your routine. For example, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-pFAFsTFTI">The Beatles' All You Need is Love</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM">Pharrell's &quot;Happy&quot;</a> and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDksOhAhqaM">Al Green</a><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqqAnjY2Rmo">'s &quot;Love and Happiness</a>.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Avoid using the <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0029484.s010">50 most negative words in the English language</a>.</li> </ol> <h2>4. &quot;You're Right&quot;</h2> <ul> <li>Do you ever feel like nobody gives your the proper credit for what you do?</li> <li>Do you think that people are giving you too many &quot;buts&quot;?</li> <li>Do you wish to have more conversations instead of confrontations?</li> </ul> <p>Then start saying &quot;you're right&quot; to your relatives, friends, and co-workers more often.</p> <p><a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10902-011-9289-z">Showing gratitude can cause a chain reaction</a>. Some call it karma, others &quot;paying it forward.&quot; It all boils down to this: If you expect the world to tell that you're right more often, you need to start recognizing when others are.</p> <p>Start today. It will take some time, but it'll be completely worth it. When you hear that first &quot;you're right&quot; from a relative, friend, or co-worker, you'll get a wonderful, warm, fuzzy feeling of joy.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite things to say to make you happy? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-happier-work-these-7-magic-words-into-your-vocabulary">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-fortune-become-your-own-hero">How to Make Your Fortune: Become Your Own Hero</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-willpower-and-be-more-successful">10 Ways to Increase Your Willpower and Be More Successful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development goals happiness joy magic words motivation Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1215195 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Dark-Side Motivations to Start Saving http://www.wisebread.com/8-dark-side-motivations-to-start-saving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-dark-side-motivations-to-start-saving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-couple-flirting-480187847-small.jpg" alt="business couple flirting" title="business couple flirting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From ruling the galaxy to getting out of debt, embracing the dark side can be a powerful tool. Sure, the motivations may be impure, but if it's monetary results you're after, maybe that's okay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt?ref=seealso">10 Dark Side Motivations to Getting Out of Debt</a>)</p> <p>So embrace your demons and get ready to stockpile some cash with these eight ways you can use the darker side of your nature as a driving force to save more money.</p> <h2>1. To Impress Someone</h2> <p>Whether it's a potential new partner, or just someone you really want to one-up, having a nice wad of cash in the bank can be a great way to get noticed. You can't just casually drop &quot;hey, I've got $30k in my savings account&quot; into conversation, though. You'll need to find more underhand ways to do it. You could check your balance, get a receipt, and just happen to leave it in a place someone else could see it. Or, you could ask about investment opportunities for your enormous rainy day fund. This works well at those high school reunions.</p> <h2>2. To Get Laid Off</h2> <p>Most people don't want to get fired. These days, jobs are tough to get in many industries, and just as tough to keep. Why on earth would anyone want to get laid off, or fired?</p> <p>Well, some people do have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide">reasons for wanting to leave a job</a>. They may genuinely hate it, but leaving is not as lucrative as being kicked out, with many companies offering handsome severance packages. If this is your plan, you need to have some savings as a safety net. When the time comes, you can use it as buffer until you find work. A word of warning though: be sure to check the redundancy policy of the job you plan to &quot;leave.&quot; Some companies are making cuts everywhere, and that includes termination benefits.</p> <h2>3. To Get Revenge</h2> <p>It may be a dish best served cold, but it can also be an expensive one. If you really want to hit someone where it hurts, you are going to have to put down some cash to make it happen. Revenge can be as simple as a college prank, or as complicated as the plot from a movie. It could be something that takes five minutes to plan or several months. Depending on the level of vengeance you're aiming for, you may need to put away a large sum of money to finance your cunning plan.</p> <h2>4. To Spy on Someone</h2> <p>Cheating spouse? Co-worker embezzling money? Neighbor's dog using your lawn as a toilet? Whatever your reason, you'll need a nice sum of money if you want to get hard evidence. This could involve hiring a private investigator, setting up a substantial hidden camera system, and even wearing recording devices (check the legality of this in your state first). However you plan to spy, you'll need to bankroll your operation. Start saving now &mdash; some of these people will only accept cold, hard cash.</p> <h2>5. To Get Plastic Surgery</h2> <p>Some would say that improving yourself is very worthwhile, and I tend to agree. Are breast implants, tummy tucks, and lip injections really that bad? Well, it all depends. If you're saving for those and letting your kids go hungry, then yes, that's bad. If everyone is taken care of, and this is something you'd rather do than buy a new car or go on vacation, then more power to you.</p> <h2>6. To Annoy Your Neighbor</h2> <p>Have you ever watched a show about battling neighbors? It happens often, and it can go from the silly to the downright bizarre. Case in point &mdash; the Bank of Manhattan and the Chrysler building. Both wanted to be taller than the Woolworth back in 1929. It looked like the Bank of Manhattan won the battle, but the war went to the Chrysler building a few months later, when a spire was secretly assembled on its roof. From building bigger fences, to painting houses brighter colors, suburban neighbors have also battled for years. If you want to get into it, you'll need the money to compete.</p> <h2>7. To Get Divorced</h2> <p>Maybe you're in a relationship that is just barely hanging on for life. You may be tied to the other person financially, and cannot separate until you have the money to do so. This is where saving money comes in, but you will have to be careful how you do it. You cannot just squirrel away money from your partner, and not declare it. But if you do it legally, and with full disclosure, saving money now is the best way to ensure you can finally start down the road to unwedded bliss. As Louis CK has so rightly said, don't commiserate with people going through this; no good marriage ended in divorce.</p> <h2>8. To Do Nothing</h2> <p>Some people have a dream that is neither productive, nor inspiring. They simply want to save enough money so that they don't have to work again. Or do anything else remotely connected to work, if truth be told. There's a famous quote from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space">Office Space</a> that sums it up, uttered by the protagonist Peter Gibbons, when asked what he'd do with a million dollars: &quot;I would relax&hellip; I would sit on my ass all day&hellip; I would do nothing.&quot;</p> <p>Of course, his friend Lawrence counters that with, &quot;Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin; he's broke, don't do sh*t.&quot; Sorry, Lawrence, you do need money. A lot of money. Doing nothing may not cost a lot, but you still need to eat, pay bills, and live a somewhat comfortable existence. Start saving.</p> <p><em>So, those are eight dark side motivations, but what are yours? What dark things inspire you to save money? Let us know in comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dark-side-motivations-to-start-saving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt">10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">The Most Valuable Thing Debt Takes From You Isn&#039;t Money — It&#039;s This</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt-free-living-is-attainable-if-you-want-it-you-can-have-it">Debt-Free Living IS Attainable: If You Want It, You Can Have It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-better-without-spending-more">5 Ways to Live Better Without Spending More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management debt goals motivation saving Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1209316 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Simple Ways to Get Motivated for Your Workout http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-get-motivated-for-your-workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-simple-ways-to-get-motivated-for-your-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-workout-508857633-small.jpg" alt="couple workout" title="couple workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying motivated is at least half the battle when it comes to keeping active. Without the brain in the game, it's hard for the body to follow suit. Thankfully, you can get a jolt of motivation with just a few simple tips, and <em>without</em> an expensive personal trainer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself?ref=seealso">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a>)</p> <p>So get on your grind with these workout tips that don't cost a dime.</p> <h2>1. Set (Realistic) Goals</h2> <p>Working out with no goal in mind is a recipe for motivation disaster. Maybe you want to start by walking the recommended <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-walk-more">10,000 steps a day</a>. Perhaps you'd like engage in a strength training routine three days a week. What about losing those last 10 pounds? Or maybe you want to complete one of those crazy monster runs up a mountain. Whatever it is, make your goal measurable and realistic. And write it down or sign up for the event&hellip; now.</p> <h2>2. Be Incremental</h2> <p>Thing is, sometimes goals &mdash; even attainable ones &mdash; can seem like gigantic beasts. Getting there doesn't have to be so overwhelming, however. Break down your larger goal into smaller pieces. Attack each piece day by day. For example, if you'd like to run your first 5K, you can look up (many) plans online that give you daily workouts. Likewise, if you're looking to lose a few pounds, you can do daily or weekly weigh-ins to track your progress. If it helps, write down your workouts on a calendar and cross them off as you move along. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-track-your-diet-and-fitness-for-free?ref=seealso">8 Ways To Track Your Diet and Fitness For Free</a>)</p> <h2>3. Get Support</h2> <p>Friends and family can certainly make finding motivation much easier. Plan to head to the gym to do weights with your buddy or meet up with a coworker for a brisk walk at lunch. You'll be having so much fun that it won't feel like working out at all. And even friends who don't live so near can help &mdash; keep in close contact via social media to stoke the fires from afar. Even a quick &quot;you're going to smash your workout today!&quot; message can do wonders.</p> <h2>4. Visualize</h2> <p>If you're on a site like Pinterest, you post powerful quotes and other visual reminders on a virtual motivation board. You can also find free workout ideas this way &mdash; here's <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/chapter3blog/running-fitness/">my motivation board</a> for a jumping off point. Take this idea analog by cutting out photos and sayings from magazines, newspapers, and anywhere else you find a healthy dose of positivity.</p> <h2>5. Make It Convenient</h2> <p>Give yourself a boost by making the challenge much less challenging: exercise at home! Getting to the gym is sometimes the hardest part for me, so sneaking in sweat sessions in my living room helps on particularly difficult days. These <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">at-home exercises</a> will give you a gym-quality workout for free. And here are five ways to turn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-your-walk-into-a-real-workout">your neighborhood walk</a> into a real workout.</p> <h2>6. Forge Ahead</h2> <p>If you have a bad day, don't fret. Instead, keep your eyes ahead of you. Nothing squashes motivation more than a negative attitude. Keep yours in check by valuing the hard work you've already done toward your goals. We all have off days, get sick, or feel tired. Remember that rest is okay and &mdash; actually &mdash; quite good for the body. If you have a strenuous workout planned and don't feel up to it, exchange it for something lighter. Or at very minimum, take a 10 minute walk or jog to see if that doesn't get you feeling better. Movement begets movement.</p> <h2>7. Reap Rewards</h2> <p>Last, but certainly not least, reward yourself each step of the way. I have a friend who recently started running. Her reward? Pretty running clothing &mdash; and it's worked to get her from &quot;just finishing&quot; her first 5K to whittling her time down to 27 minutes in just six short months. And she looks good crossing that finish line with all her bright, colorful gear. Better yet, you can give to yourself on the cheap, here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">20 free and fun ways to reward yourself</a> for a job well done. You deserve it!</p> <p><em>How do you keep your motivation stoked for working out?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-get-motivated-for-your-workout">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-exercise-tools-for-a-killer-workout">10 Cheap Exercise Tools for a Killer Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture">7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty confidence fitness motivation workout Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1199893 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/quitting-job-182298092-small.jpg" alt="quit job" title="quit job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We usually like to take the high ground when motivating ourselves. When it comes to getting out of debt, common reasons include &quot;I want to put more money into a college savings fund&quot; or &quot;it will lower my insurance premiums.&quot; And yes, they're good reasons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-harmful-money-beliefs-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">6 Harmful Money Beliefs That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <p>But what if, for a second, we don't go the way of the good-hearted Luke Skywalker, and instead follow the path of his evil father? What if we use motivations that come from &quot;the dark side?&quot;</p> <p>Here are 10 dark-side motivations you could use to get out of debt. Feel the power of the force.</p> <h2>1. Beat the Joneses</h2> <p>Forget keeping up with the neighbors or co-workers who always seem to be doing better than you. It's time to beat them at their own game. Scrimp, save, cut back, and do whatever you can to get rid of that debt you have. Once you're debt-free, start throwing that in their face. The average indebted American has almost <a href="http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson9/">$16,000 in credit card debt</a>. If your neighbors are driving around in fancy cars, and always wearing new threads, they're probably in that camp. How good will it feel to casually tell them you have ZERO credit card debt. That's right. None. Zip. Nada. Watch their squirming faces and enjoy.</p> <h2>2. Better Still, Move Away From Them!</h2> <p>It's all well and good one-upping your neighbors, but why not just get out of dodge and save enough money to buy a bigger, better house in a more exclusive neighborhood? By getting out of debt, you'll get a better credit score, have money to put into savings, and will be able to move into the home you've always wanted. Won't it be nice to wave goodbye to that one neighbor you really cannot stand?</p> <h2>3. Splurge On Something Insanely Selfish</h2> <p>Yes, we know the reasons people want to get out of debt. Paying off those credit cards every month sucks, especially when your money is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal">paying off the interest first</a>. What if you put a goal in front of you that is a complete waste of money, for most people anyway? Maybe you've always wanted the original costume Michael Keaton wore in Batman. Or perhaps it's a half-eaten cheeseburger that Elvis left behind. Whatever your insane splurge is, don't let other people tell you it's not something worth getting out of debt for. It is. If it is the reason you're debt-free, it really is. Of course, don't go back into debt buying it!</p> <h2>4. Quit Your Crappy Job Earlier</h2> <p>Think about it. The sooner you get out of debt, the sooner you can start saving. And that also means saving for retirement. The more you put into your 401(k), the quicker it will accumulate. Before you know it, you've shaved five, or even ten, years off your retirement date. If that's not a reason to get out of debt, what is?! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-retire-early?ref=seealso">14 Ways to Retire Early</a>)</p> <h2>5. Pig Out</h2> <p>How about some gluttony? Usually, getting out of debt is something that requires some major sacrifices. You may really be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">eating ramen</a> for a few months, or if you're a Brit, the good old beans on toast. Why not give yourself a massive feast as a goal? Once you get out of debt, treat yourself to a meal fit for three kings. Order your favorite everything, have it delivered, eat it in the bathtub watching your favorite movie while drinking a one-gallon vanilla shake. It's only once, and to be honest, your stomach won't be able to handle the size or richness of the food you'll be throwing back. But who cares!</p> <h2>6. Destroy Something</h2> <p>Legally, of course. But think about this one; is there something you really hate that you want to get rid of? It can be small, like the clock in your mother-in-law's house that plays the sounds of different birds chirping, every single hour. Maybe it's an eyesore in the neighborhood. Whatever it is, promise yourself that when you get out of debt, you'll find a way to buy it&hellip; so that you can send it to a grisly end. Think this is silly? I talked to seven people in the office today; every single one had something in mind when I brought it up.</p> <p>What would you buy, only to put it on the chopping block?</p> <h2>7. Get Revenge</h2> <p>They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, it may be a while until you get out of debt, so your dish of vengeance could be quite cold indeed. But don't let that stop you from using it as grim motivation.</p> <p>Is there someone who wronged you? Someone who made (or is currently making) your life miserable? What could you do to them when you get out of debt? It could be a cheap and harmless prank, or it could be something more inventive and costly. Check out <a href="https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=revenge+prank">YouTube here</a> for a few ideas. Just don't go breaking any laws, okay?</p> <h2>8. Publish a Tell-All Book</h2> <p>Tired of all those haters who hate on you? Really wish you had the money to put all the dirt you have on them into a book? Well, it can happen. It doesn't take a big deal with a publisher: you can publish your own book on sites like <a href="http://www.lulu.com/">Lulu</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=revenge+prank">Blurb</a>. So, focus on getting out of debt, and spend those nights you're not going out writing everything down. When you hit your debt-free goals, use some of the money you're now saving to run off a few copies of the book and distribute it to those most deserving.</p> <h2>9. Invent Something Horrible</h2> <p>There's a device out there called &quot;the <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/b278/">Annoyatron</a>.&quot; Its sole purpose is to drive people absolutely nuts by emitting a random beep no one can trace. It's evil. Like Darth Vader meets the Joker evil. We are all capable of such creative mischief. Once you're out of debt, you can devote a little time and money into making your very own. And who knows, if it's popular it could make you a ton of money too!</p> <h2>10. Replace All Your Hand-Me-Downs</h2> <p>Right now, you may be calling them &quot;family keepsakes&quot; or &quot;precious memories.&quot; To be fair, some of them are. But some of them, like the old sofa with the weird smell, or the painting that scares you every time you pass it, are not so much keepsakes as heartaches. You're only keeping them around because you can't afford to replace them. Once you're out of debt, you can give them away, donate them, burn them, dump them, or give them back to the original owner &mdash; and replace them without something you actually like. And can now afford.</p> <p><em>So, this was clearly a list of more crazy, dark ideas, but how would you add to it? What dark motivation can you think of to help you (or anyone else) get out of debt?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dark-side-motivations-to-start-saving">8 Dark-Side Motivations to Start Saving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-journal-part-i-fast-money-in-the-09">Recession Journal Part I: &#039;Fast&#039; Money in the &#039;09</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-financial-habits-just-bad">Are Your Financial Habits Just Bad?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies">The 7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt-repayment-is-not-an-expense">Debt repayment is not an expense</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management debt debt elimination motivation spending Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1166030 at http://www.wisebread.com Ambitious People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/ambitious-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ambitious-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-kitchen-163249876-small_0.jpg" alt="couple kitchen" title="couple kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's the self-starters and go-getters among us who always seem to stay neck-and-neck with their dreams rather than chasing them from behind. What gives them a leg-up is their ambition. And while ambition can't be bought, there are material tools available to help us develop our initiative and drive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals?ref=seealso">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a>)</p> <p>Here's our list of 10 things ambitious people have at the ready to keep them on task and focused.</p> <h2>1. Motivational Literature</h2> <p>For instant motivation, get your hands on a reputable lifestyle design guide. There's wonderful literature out there dedicated to architecting the kind of life that will help you meet your goals, be they related to career, family, faith, fun, or personal finance. Check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307465357/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307465357&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FVAFKA5QJRNKVYC6">The 4-Hour Workweek</a> by Timothy Ferriss, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399536108/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399536108&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EXC7RR5CUA3HPIWL">The Art of Non-Conformity</a> by Chris Guillebeau or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0142000280/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0142000280&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RCZUSRP6YOVRAO5C">Getting Things Done</a> by David Allen.</p> <h2>2. A Goal List</h2> <p>Successful people know that dreams remain dreams until they set them as goals. One way to forge the transition is to <a href="http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm">create a big, bold, unfiltered list of your goals</a>. Once you've identified <em>all</em> the things you want to accomplish, you'll be better poised to script a roadmap that details what you need to do to get there. Then all you've got to do it stick with it.</p> <p>Reflect on your goal list often &mdash; and don't be afraid to give it a rewrite. Our goals are fluid, so don't waste time chasing yesterday's dream.</p> <h2>3. An Alarm Clock That Can Really Scream</h2> <p>To achieve your goals, you're going to have to hustle. That means maximizing the amount of time you have available to chip away at the roadblocks diverting you from your passions. <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/successful-people-who-wake-up-really-early-2013-12?op=1">Early starts are key</a>. Do not succumb to the snooze button. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person?ref=seealso">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a>)</p> <p>Square CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly rises each day at 5:30 a.m. for a six-mile jog before he dives into his work. Virgin America CEO David Cush starts the day at 4:15 a.m. with a round of email blasts and business calls. Apple CEO Tim Cook is up at 4:30 a.m. The takeaway is this: Rise before the sun and you'll be in good company.</p> <h2>4. Healthy Meal Options</h2> <p>You need fuel to perform your best. And it makes a big difference whether that fuel consists of soda and sugary cereals or fruit, greens, and lean meats. Vitamin B (found in soybeans and eggs), protein (found in nuts and dried fruit), and hydrating beverages (water is king) are all <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/10-energy-foods">great sources of natural energy</a>.</p> <p>And <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-easy-breakfasts-for-people-on-the-go">don't skimp on breakfast</a>. People who eat a balanced meal in the morning tend to be more energized than those who don't.</p> <h2>5. A Busy Social Calendar</h2> <p>Ambitious people structure their time so as to create opportunity for fortuitous encounters. Every meal, every happy hour, and every pick-up soccer game at the neighborhood park is an opportunity to network, thereby boosting your chances of meeting that perfect stranger who can help you secure seed money or introduce you to your next big client.</p> <p>You truly never know who might be able to help you on your mission to meet your goals. And you never know where you'll meet them. So maximize your chances. Reach out to people whose social media profiles interest you online and ask them to meet for a cup of coffee. Ask for introductions. Get yourself on the list for exclusive events. And always follow up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs?ref=seealso">Your 31 Hidden Networks</a>)</p> <h2>6. Mobile Devices</h2> <p>Email is one the biggest time sucks of our generation. And since time is money, it's important to be able to send and answer those emails on-the-go in real time. Successful, ambitious people keep a smartphone or tablet at the ready so they can send off emails while they're waiting in line for coffee at Starbucks.</p> <p>But there's an important caveat here: Silence and pocket your phone or tablet during important meetings and networking events. Studies show that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/12/26/why-successful-people-never-bring-smartphones-into-meetings/">gadget use during business affairs causes others to believe you lack power</a>.</p> <h2>7. Newspapers, Magazines, Books, and Bookmarked Blogs</h2> <p>Reading, no matter the format or genre, stimulates the mind, reduces stress, enhances memory, strengthens vocabulary, and improves focus and concentration. So it should be no surprise that <a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-benefits-reading-why-you-should-read-everyday.html">high-achieving people make time to read</a> poetry or absorb the latest news about the ever-changing world around them &mdash; be it before bed, over lunch, or first thing in the morning.</p> <h2>8. A Notebook</h2> <p>Eminem, Peyton Manning, and Oprah all keep a journal. And if you want to join the ranks of these high achievers, so should you. When we pen our thoughts and feelings we <a href="http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2013/07/strokes-of-genius/">help the brain process and expunge negativity</a>, opening up more room for positivity and creative energy that helps us push through setbacks and upsets so we can conquer our goals.</p> <h2>9. A Budget</h2> <p>Every day we make small financial decisions that determine our current and future quality of life. Yet many of us make these judgement calls without much forward-thinking. But ambitious people are conscious that whether they buy or bring their lunch to work over the course of the next month influences things like how many years they'll be saddled with student debt. So they create a budget for their personal expenses &mdash; and they stick to it.</p> <p>Sites like <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> and <a href="https://www.budgetsimple.com/#s=g&amp;m=o&amp;c=(qticpke)&amp;t=np&amp;o=-und&amp;i=1654488025.1404773908">Budget Simple</a> can help you craft a budget from scratch. Plus they're free and easy to use.</p> <h2>10. A Yoga Mat</h2> <p>When you've got a high-intensity daily schedule, the mind is going to need a break or you'll run the risk of burnout. One way of giving the mind a breather is to meditate. Rupert Murdoch, Arianna Huffington, and billionaire hedge fund owner Ray Dalio all practice daily meditation to relax, develop patience, restore focus, and improve work performance. If you're brand new to the ancient practice, try taking a yoga class to begin learning how to calm the mind.</p> <p><em>Are you missing any of these accoutrements of the ambitious? Any more we should add to this list? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ambitious-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-fortune-become-your-own-hero">How to Make Your Fortune: Become Your Own Hero</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-willpower-and-be-more-successful">10 Ways to Increase Your Willpower and Be More Successful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/independent-people-have-these-7-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Independent People Have These 7 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips ambition goals motivation stuff to have Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:36:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1160256 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/exercise-462021117-small.jpg" alt="exercise" title="exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are lots of websites and apps out there that will help you track your eating and log your miles. However, these programs are typically the most useful for those individuals who have a great internal drive or commitment to healthy living. Or at very least, the motivation to remember to log in and stick to the plan. What about the rest of us who need a little (or a big) push? (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-track-your-diet-and-fitness-for-free?ref=related">8 Ways to Track Your Diet and Fitness for Free</a>)</p> <p>Well, there are several unique apps out there that provide just that. You can enjoy anything from monetary compensation for a job well done to support for your favorite cause as the fruit of all your efforts. So, if your current health app isn't doing it for you, be sure to check out this list for some fresh ideas that have the power to propel your routine into another dimension.</p> <h2>1. PACT</h2> <p>With <a href="http://www.gym-pact.com/">PACT</a>, users make weekly healthy living goals and track their progress all for cash stakes. Those users who eat well and exercise frequently reap cash rewards paid by those members who don't meet their goals. Yes &mdash; you can lose money, which is certainly motivating to a penny pincher like me.</p> <p>Sign on to make veggie pacts, gym pacts, food log pacts, and more. Rewards generally range between $0.30 to $5 per week.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free with exception of how much money you commit to meeting your goals.</p> <h2>2. Healthy Wage</h2> <p>If you'd like to up the stakes, try <a href="https://www.healthywage.com/">Healthy Wage</a>. Users simply log in, get a verified weigh-in, and then wager to win big cash prizes for pounds lost in the timeframe allotted. Payouts come in the form of Amazon credit or PayPal balance. Plus, you can engage in a solo journey or sign up as a team.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free with the exception of what you wager monthly.</p> <h2>3. DietBet</h2> <p>The money pot grows as more players join up with <a href="http://www.dietbetter.com/">DietBet</a>. Over $6,761,605 has been paid out since the site's inception. That's some major cash! You can start a new game of your own or join an existing challenge to start. And the site claims that over 90% of DietBetters indeed lose weight through their extra incentive &mdash; some upwards of $1,000.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free besides bets.</p> <h2>4. Nexercise</h2> <p><strong>Notes: Nexercise has rebranded as Sworkit and no longer offers rewards.</strong></p> <p>The folks at <a href="http://www.nexercise.com">Nexercise</a> believe that &quot;healthy living is a mindset that's 99% mental.&quot; I wholeheartedly agree. And what's better to entice the mind than positive reinforcement (a payout)?</p> <p>Users support one another and track activities to earn points by working out and eating well. Points can then be cashed in for credit at Amazon, CVS, and many other merchants.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <h2>5. Charity Miles</h2> <p>If you'd like to do some good with all your exercise, check out <a href="http://www.charitymiles.org/">Charity Miles</a>. Bikers earn 10 cents a mile and walkers and runners earn 25 cents a mile. Charities include Habitat for Humanity, Stand Up To Cancer, RED, Every Mother Counts, Pencils of Promise, Feeding America, Wounded Warrior Project, The Nature Conservancy, and more. Money is earned up to the group's initial $1,000,000 sponsorship pool.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <p><em>How do you stay motivated to keep up with your diet or fitness routine? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-burn-almost-1000-extra-calories-per-day">10 Easy Ways to Burn Almost 1000 Extra Calories Per Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-doing-these-4-exercises-your-workouts-are-worth-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 4 Exercises, Your Workouts Are Worth Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Personal Development apps diets fitness fitness trackers motivation Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1157260 at http://www.wisebread.com You're Blocking Your Own Success — Here's How to Stop http://www.wisebread.com/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/climb-4270162-small.jpg" alt="man" title="man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Much has been written about the concept of success&hellip; <em>oodles</em>, in fact, all claiming to deliver the proverbial key that will help you get from here to there.</p> <p>Proper planning is apparently crucial for example, as is unyielding determination. Setting goals that are measurable is also said to be important, as it allows you to monitor your progress and celebrate your milestones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-your-weaknesses-and-build-on-your-strengths-to-find-success?ref=seealso">Build on Your Strengths to Succeed</a>)</p> <p>And all of this is good, sound advice; so good, in fact, that I've given it myself on more than one occasion. But sometimes, even the best laid plans and the most dedicated dispositions have trouble standing up to the obstacles we ourselves create.</p> <p>You heard me&hellip; sometimes, what keeps you from success is <em>you</em> &mdash; your beliefs, your fears, your inability to &quot;go with the flow.&quot;</p> <p>So, here's how to stop standing in your own way.</p> <h2>Let Go of Expectations</h2> <p>When we decided we wanted to move out of the city, we spent months looking for just the right house. The one we wanted &mdash; <em>the one we thought was perfect</em> &mdash; sat on three acres just twenty minutes outside of town.</p> <p>We submitted an offer, the seller accepted, and we thought we had found our new home.</p> <p>The Universe it seems didn't agree, because we encountered one obstacle after another. The roof would have to be replaced, the septic hadn't been properly installed, and, if you can believe it, our refrigerator was too big for the allotted space in the kitchen.</p> <p>And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Physical repairs aside, our mortgage company suddenly got cold feet. They wanted more inspections. They didn't like the zoning. Our previously approved application now needed more employment history and bank statements.</p> <p>We pushed and pushed to make the deal work but for every problem we solved, two more popped up in its place until we finally had to admit defeat. It was, I believed at the time, one of my biggest disappointments, <em>ever</em>.</p> <p>Until the next day, that is, when we found the house we're living in now.</p> <p>The roof and plumbing were all good, our refrigerator fit just fine, and we even had more land. Interestingly, there were no obstacles to buying this house, no delays, no roadblocks to our success. We submitted an offer and closed within 30 days.</p> <p>And I've been &quot;home&quot; ever since.</p> <p>The point is, we spend quite a bit of time deciding what we want, right down to the last detail. But sometimes, we need to let all those requirements go. Having such a rigid definition of success means that we're attached to a specific outcome. And if there's one constant in the Universe, it's that life is full of surprises. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defining-what-financial-success-means-to-you?ref=seealso">What Financial Success Means to You</a>)</p> <p>So, while you're working diligently toward a particular goal by following your detailed plan of action, you risk missing a whole host of other opportunities that might actually be better than what you had in mind.</p> <p>Does this mean that you can't dream of a bigger salary or a flashy, red car or that perfect house in the country?</p> <p>Absolutely not&hellip; but don't be so quick to dismiss it as a failure when things don't go as planned. Instead, take a step back and get a more objective point of view. You might find something new and wonderful waiting around the corner.</p> <h2>Let Go of Entitlement</h2> <p>And while we're talking about things we want, let's go one step further and talk about the things we're owed. Why? Because we're preoccupied with those things and it's keeping us from becoming all that we can be.</p> <p>We went to college, therefore we should have a job. We worked hard, therefore we should get a raise. We tried our best, therefore our best should be good enough to get whatever it is we covet.</p> <p>But sometimes, it isn't. We don't always win, and we won't always get what we want. The sooner we can come to grips with that fact, the sooner we can start to move forward.</p> <p>Entitlement breeds anger. It fosters jealousy, contempt, and distrust. When we feel entitled, we also generally feel betrayed because we didn't get what was somehow rightfully ours. <em>We got screwed</em>&hellip; and someone, somewhere is to blame.</p> <p>The result is the world as we see it now: people obsessed with an endless game of &quot;mine&quot; and paranoid about who might be plotting to usurp them. We'll quickly join forces with others we believe share our desire to protect those entitlements, but only insofar as their right to something doesn't interfere with our own.</p> <p>In fact, if it comes down to a question of whose entitlement takes precedence, you can bet that the other guy is going to lose, and we become so consumed by what <em>should be ours</em>, that we lose sight of what <em>could be ours</em>.</p> <p>Bottom line: You'll never have what you want if your life is built around what you don't.</p> <h2>Let Go of the Need for Approval</h2> <p>When I left high school, I did so with the belief that I needed to go out and find a job that would pay well and offer me opportunities for advancement.</p> <p>I had this belief because that's what my mom did and that's what my counselors told me to do, and according to all my well-meaning relatives ready to offer advice, <em>that's what I was supposed to do</em>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt?ref=seealso">Success Secrets You Should&rsquo;ve Learned in High School</a>)</p> <p>And back then, I was all about gaining the approval of others.</p> <p>As a result, I went into respectable fields like insurance and banking. I wore power suits every day, so others would take me seriously, and I had myself convinced that I'd find the happiness I was looking for once I had climbed that corporate ladder.</p> <p>The funny thing is, my happiness wasn't on that ladder. I'm much happier now that I've permanently thrown away the pantyhose and started following a path that's more <em>me</em>, instead of doing what everyone else said I should do.</p> <p>And you should try doing the same.</p> <p>You have a choice. You've always had a choice. It's OK <em>not</em> to fit in. It's OK to follow your own path and see where it leads rather than arranging your life to fit someone else's concept of success.</p> <p>Figure that out, and you'll find the adventure you're looking for. Figure that out, and you'll find happiness.</p> <h2>Let Go of the Past</h2> <p>Author Steve Maraboli once wrote, &quot;Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny,&quot; and yet, as true as that is, letting go of the past is often one of the hardest things to do.</p> <p>As a result, we come with a lot of baggage. All those skeletons in our closet, all those preconceived beliefs about how the world works and what we can expect from the future. That's the baggage we've accumulated over the years, and we're determined to carry it around with us, no matter how much it weighs us down.</p> <p>The past holds all of our regrets, the things we didn't do and wish we had, the things we did do and wish we hadn't. It reminds us of our limitations, our shortcomings, and all the opportunities that we allowed to pass us by.</p> <p>Of course, clinging to this pool of disappointments only serves to limit us further, by reinforcing the idea that we &quot;can't&quot; do something or that we're doomed to &quot;bad luck,&quot; but we tote it around anyway because somewhere deep down inside, we're hoping to one day atone for those sins and perhaps even get a do-over. Eventually, however, we begin to build our reality around all of that baggage and it becomes our self-fulfilling prophecy. We can't because we believe we can't, and we believe we can't because we never have.</p> <p>So, break the cycle.</p> <p>Start by reminding yourself that the past does not define you or your future. You get to choose how you want to apply those lessons from the past to your current life and move on.</p> <p>My favorite mantra &mdash; <em>it is what it is</em> &mdash; works perfectly here. You can't change what happened, but you can decide what you take from the experience and more importantly, how you want to go forward. Getting to this place of acceptance allows you to weigh the pros and cons, determine your best course of action, and get on with your life. That alone will make you feel loads better.</p> <p>Perhaps that's the real mark of winning: acceptance. Taking the bad with the good, the happy as well as the sad and accepting it for what it is &mdash; <em>life</em>. It isn't perfect and it's not always easy. But it's yours.</p> <p>And you can choose to make it whatever you want it to be.</p> <h2>Let Go of Fear</h2> <p>Much of my life as a freelance writer is spent creating copy for other people. I write blogs and ebooks, sales pages and emails, web copy, marketing copy, and everything else in between. I've created entire courses for my clients &mdash; from scratch &mdash; and then marketed them with great success, making my clients a nice chunk of change in the process.</p> <p>You'd think then, wouldn't you, that I could do the same for me.</p> <p>But funny story&hellip; when I try to create my own products and services, all my creative juices just magically disappear. Oh, I have tons of ideas, complete with outlines and marketing plans, but they sit in my office, incomplete and collecting dust.</p> <p>And as much as I want to see them come to life, I have this sinking feeling that's where they'll stay.</p> <p>Why don't I finish one of those babies and retire as a self-made entrepreneur? Simple. I'm afraid.</p> <p>When I'm writing for someone else, when I'm brainstorming and marketing and analyzing, I have all the confidence in the world. I know my stuff, and I know that I know it.</p> <p>But when I try to branch out on my own, something strange happens. That unwavering confidence fades and is replaced with a whole host of nagging little voices telling me to revise, rethink, and regroup.</p> <p>I'm afraid of failing &mdash; and I'm afraid of succeeding. I'm afraid that people won't like what I write or someone will prove my idea wrong or, I don't know, that I'll make too much money and I won't know how to handle the taxes.</p> <p>Crazy, right?</p> <p>Which is why we need to let it go. Fear serves no purpose. It pins us down, it holds us back, but not because there's danger nearby. That kind of fear at least, would be useful, forcing us to proceed with caution lest we fall prey to something unfortunate or unsavory. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear?ref=seealso">Techniques to Conquer Any Fear</a>)</p> <p>But this kind of fear is different. This is the fear that keeps you from asking for a promotion. It stops you from speaking your mind, standing up against injustice, and saying hello to that cute guy or girl that lives down the hall.</p> <p>This kind of fear doesn't keep you safe. No, this kind of fear causes you to act irrationally, miss opportunities, and settle for something less than the life you want to live.</p> <p>This fear would have you believe that you don't deserve success, that you're not good enough, smart enough, strong enough to win, and that you'll never be anything more than you are now.</p> <p>But don't you believe it. You do, you are, and you will.</p> <h2>Let Go of Negative Thinking</h2> <p>Now, despite all that fear I'm lugging around, I'm also an eternal optimist, and it is that trait that allows me to keep trying to create that first million-dollar idea.</p> <p>Yes, I'm well aware that my fear may yet win out, and I might never achieve the goals that I've set. The minute I stop believing is the minute those possibilities disappear.</p> <p>In other words, what you think &mdash; <em>how you think</em> &mdash; has much to do with your success.</p> <p>Between feeling afraid of what might happen and feeling angry about what should have happened but didn't, there's a lot of negative thinking floating around out there, and it's quite likely that it's keeping you from where you want to go.</p> <p>In his book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401923127/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1401923127&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">The Biology of Belief</a>,&quot; cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton writes at length about the profound effects that thought has on our physical being. According to Dr. Lipton, it is not DNA that controls our body; instead, our DNA is controlled by signals <em>outside the cell</em>, including the energy that emanates from our thoughts.</p> <p>&quot;There is no doubt that human beings have a great capacity for sticking to false beliefs with a great passion and tenacity,&quot; he writes. And if that passion for false beliefs can affect our DNA at a cellular level, then what do you suppose it can do to your ability to succeed?</p> <p>So, shake the voice that says &quot;you can't&quot; and prove it wrong. You may not always get what you want. You might stumble, fall and fail more often than not, but you can always try again.</p> <p>And again. And again. Because giving up is worse than facing all your fears.</p> <p><em>Now, it's your turn to fess up. What's holding you back? What do you need to let go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories">3 Unbelievable Visualization Board Success Stories</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development fear motivation optimism productivity Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:36:17 +0000 Kate Luther 1135854 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop-1326804-small.jpg" alt="woman working" title="woman working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Motivation is the better part of getting things done. You can be the most organized person in the world and keep all the lists that you want, but if you can't motivate yourself, you're not going to get anything done. The reverse is also true. Increase your ability to motivate yourself, and you're going to get a metric tonne of things done, from the small tasks that crop up every day to the big ones that make you a superstar on the job and around the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-move-from-being-busy-to-actually-getting-things-done?ref=seealso">Go From Busy to Getting Things Done</a>)</p> <p>So if all you need is some motivation, where do you find it?</p> <h2>1. Talk to Yourself in the Second Person</h2> <p>For anyone who wasn't that great at grammar, that means calling yourself &quot;you.&quot; Researchers at the University of Michigan found this to be a powerful means of motivation. Rather than telling yourself &quot;I need to&quot; do something, <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/106/2/304/">tell yourself &quot;You can do&quot; something</a>. This was true across groups, helping even people with a lot of stress and anxiety about their tasks to get things done.</p> <h2>2. Learn to Love the Unpleasant Parts</h2> <p>One thing that just about anyone who has ever done resistance training will tell you is that you need to learn to <em>love the burn</em> or you're going to give up. The pain of getting tasks complete is, in a certain sense, inevitable. What's not is the suffering. If you embrace feelings such as stress and pressure, you're going to be able to turn them into advantages. Start looking forward to them, the way that a bodybuilder looks forward to the ache that comes from a tough workout. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise?ref=seealso">Fitness for People Who Hate Exercise</a>)</p> <h2>3. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>It doesn't have to be anything big. It might be a trip to the water cooler, a cup of coffee, or a couple minutes messing around on Facebook. Little bribes, however, can help you to close the gap between what you &quot;should get around to&quot; and what's actually done. Use these little rewards to help you get through the day, while using bigger rewards (treating yourself to a decadent dessert, for example) to get the more Herculean tasks done. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now?ref=seealso">21 Frugal Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>4. Break Down Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Tasks</h2> <p>Often, people with severe depression have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. So what do their therapists have them do? Try to imagine pulling off the covers. From there, put one foot on the ground. Then another. It's a truism that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. So too do the hardest and most unpleasant tasks start with very simple steps. If you can't motivate yourself to clean out the garage and put everything on eBay, motivate yourself to walk down to the garage and take it from there.</p> <h2>5. Do Something Else</h2> <p>Maybe you can't even get down to the garage. OK. Instead of just sitting there watching TV avoiding what you know you should be doing, do something else. Clean the kitchen, pick up the dry cleaning, make yourself a pot of tea. When it comes to getting motivated, inertia is the enemy. Get moving, and you'll find it easier to transition from one task to another. Sit around and you're just going to continue to sit around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits?ref=seealso">How to Break Bad Habits</a>)</p> <h2>6. Take a Break</h2> <p>Ever been sitting at your desk at work, in the middle of doing a particularly arduous task? You're getting little bits and pieces done, but for the most part, it's just not happening. You're spending more time trying to motivate yourself than actually getting stuff done. The solution? Walk away. Take five. Don't stare into space. Don't mess around on Facebook. Stand up, walk away, take a break. Come back to the problem with a fresh set of eyes.</p> <p>The <em>ur</em> trick? To make all of these as automatic as finding reasons to not get anything done. Make motivation automatic. You'll be glad you did when there's more stuff crossed out than not on your &quot;to-do&quot; list.</p> <p><em>How do you stay motivated in the face of unpleasant tasks? Motivate yourself to share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop">You&#039;re Blocking Your Own Success — Here&#039;s How to Stop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity motivation productivity Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:24:35 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1133232 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is the Best Music to Listen to If You Want to Be Productive http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/music-459417755.jpg" alt="listening to music" title="listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I prefer to work in silence. I don't want any background noise, including music, loud talking, or a TV on. In the working world, I'm probably in the minority. Music can help workers relax, get excited about their work, and drown out distractions such as traffic noise or talkative office workers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise?ref=seealso">How to Block Out Noise</a>)</p> <p>I've worked in newsrooms that buzz with discussions, and that can be invigorating and provides motivation to keep writing or editing. But music can work much better for some people, helping with focus and improving mental tasks and mental development. What parent hasn't played Mozart for their baby, hoping it would make them smarter, even though the theory has been overblown?</p> <p>While some people argue that listening to any type of <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/listen-and-learn-music-for-the-brain-20140206-32382.html">music will improve performance</a>, there are some views that certain types of music will help with specific types of work. Here are a few. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>Classical Music Makes You Smarter, Sleepier, and Healthier</h2> <p>A 2005 study at the University of San Diego found that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15296685">classical music lowers blood pressure</a>. It can also put you to sleep, researchers have found, which can't be a good thing at work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">Staying Focused at Work</a>)</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281386/?tool=pubmed#ref1">Mozart effect</a> may be the most-cited study on the connection between Mozart's music and improving IQ.</p> <p>Karan Singh, a teacher of Indian classical music in New Jersey, says that in 30 years of playing music, he's found the best <a href="http://swartarang.webs.com/">music to play at work is string music</a>, recorded on middle octave and played softly.</p> <p>&quot;Intelligent improvisations in the compositions will trigger the best creativity in the workers,&quot; Singh says. &quot;It will generate tolerance and calmness. I have noticed that even when I teach music to students coming from different walks of life.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Music plays an effective role in subduing the so-called emotional balance,&quot; he says. &quot;For optimum results, select light instrumental music since it will not have verbal words which will attract the attention of your mind particularly. Listen to the music in low volume or medium volume for optimum influence. People listening to soft music will be totally relaxed.&quot;</p> <h2>Feel-Good Music Gets You Going</h2> <p>This genre can vary widely, depending on your tastes. Jazz, soft rock, oldies, and '80s music can &quot;provide a <a href="http://junearcher.wordpress.com/">feel-good vibe to get you going</a> and help you sustain you throughout the day,&quot; says June Archer, a musician and recording consultant.</p> <p>Archer points to laundromats that play oldies music to help customers get their clothes washed, dried, and out the door quicker. Such songs include &quot;The Dock of the Bay&quot; by Otis Redding, &quot;Up On the Roof&quot; by The Drifters, and &quot;Chain of Fools&quot; by Aretha Franklin.</p> <p>&quot;The oldies provide a tone of feel-good music that stimulates a sense of urgency to feel better, and in return makes productivity go up,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>An Upbeat Tempo Helps You Feel ... Upbeat</h2> <p>Like &quot;Car Wash&quot; and other songs that get you to dance, music with a heavy beat may be productive for any type of work if done in short bursts. Play a few songs, get reinvigorated, and then return to work without music.</p> <p><a href="http://www.musicmakersnh.com/trisha-craig.asp">Trisha Craig</a>, director of Music Makers, a music lesson business based in New Hampshire, says that music with a heavy beat can help more with manual labor, but it can also help office workers if played for a bit to improve their mood. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-improve-a-bad-mood?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Mood</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Listening to music with a heavy beat, regardless of genre, will elevate the mood while taking focus away from intellectual activities,&quot; Craig says. &quot;The same music, however, might increase production for physical work, exercise, or manual labor.&quot;</p> <p>The best way to increase productivity for indoor activities is to listen to something to first elevate the mood and heart rate, then do the work in silence or with white noise to cancel out extraneous sounds.</p> <p>&quot;As energy wanes, take another music break, get recharged, then work in silence again,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>Ambient Music Is Still Engaging</h2> <p>Elevator music, music at your dentist's office, or telephone &quot;hold&quot; music are examples of ambient music that are played in the background that you might not notice or think about. It will keep your brain engaged without you realizing it.</p> <p>A great example is &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002PZVH0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002PZVH0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Music for Airports</a>&quot; by Brian Eno. I've never even noticed music playing at airports, but if this was playing, I expect it would allow me to more calmly get to my flight's gate.</p> <p>There's also &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSV3jRMiRRE">chillout music</a>&quot; to give dance club patrons a break to relax that could help just as much with work.</p> <p>Whatever type of music you prefer, it's worth listening to more at work if it helps you be more productive. Time for me to take a dance break.</p> <p><em>Do you listen to music while you work? Sing about it in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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