Archive for December, 2015

24 Moves to Sculpt Abs of Steel This Holiday Without a Gym

If you’re traveling this holiday, finding a gym for a short amount of time can be difficult… Which is why this video from is perfect for your travels! Fitness expert Kristin McGee, shows us the perfect ways to melt the fat away from all the delicious meals this season brings and you can do them with or without a gym!  



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3 Ways to Lose the Expectations and Just ENJOY the Holiday

If having a large number of guest at your house, each one waiting on your perfectly cooked meal, judging your christmas spirit by your decorations around the house makes you a little anxious, then this article is perfect for you! If you have even a sliver of control freak in you then you’re probably focusing on the anxiety the holidays bring and the solution isn’t about giving up control, but forming a plan that works for you, says Michelle Carlstrom, senior director of Johns Hopkins University’s Office of Work, Life and Engagement.

“I would never say [to someone focused on perfection] to let go of control entirely, because having control is often what makes perfectionists feel calm,” Carlstrom tells The Huffington Post. “But there are so many moving pieces in the holiday marathon that you cannot have control over, you have to understand what you can manage and what you can’t.”


Don’t overdo it.

In order to manage holiday stress, it’s important to have a plan in place — but be wary of going overboard. The challenge of putting up the perfect decorations or committing to too many holiday parties can trigger a perfectionist to break down, says Dr. Scott Bea, clinical psychologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Avoidance behavior, he says, is common when perfectionists try to picture each task. “Perfectionists have a hard time starting something if they need a perfect outcome,” Bea told The Huffington Post. “If they can’t visualize the perfect end result, they’ll often start avoiding it altogether. Then things start to pile up and tasks mount.”

Establishing boundaries and only taking on a reasonable amount of work is the best way to tackle these tasks head on. “Holidays have so much to do with planning but not overcommitting — being able to say no without guilt is important,” Carlstrom said.


Prioritize and delegate each task and event.

When it comes to a full holiday calendar, Carlstrom says those who have a tendency toward perfectionism need to set boundaries and prioritize. “Whatever it is that you do, put your plan in place by thinking about what’s most important to you,” she says. “Is it socializing and holiday events? Is it family time? If you pick out the most important thing to you during the holiday season and how you work that in, you can remain in control of those parameters you set for yourself.”

Delegating responsibilities — whether it’s someone to help with the cooking or with setting up the party — can also help perfectionists let go without losing a sense of control. “Planning for what you’re going to do and not do helps establish boundaries,” she says. “Often times [perfectionists] manage too many commitments, but this way you still feel like you do maintain some control.”


Think about the reaction you want to have — then forget the idea entirely.

If finding the ideal gift for your partner, family or friends feels like some sort of test, it can be a sign of perfectionism. Bea suggests mentally identifying what the consequences would be if things don’t end up perfect — chances are, they aren’t so bad. “You can’t screw up giving a gift, if it’s an occasion or a material gift, if it’s coming from your heart you can’t possibly make a mistake,” he said.

According to Carlstrom, it’s important to remember that the perfect present — and the reaction to the thought behind that gift — likely isn’t going to make or break your relationship. “You can control your intentions as you look for a gift, but you can never control someone’s response to a gift,” she says.

The same goes for family dynamics. According to Carlstrom, the potential for conflict or negative reactions from loved ones often creates more pressure. The best way to manage those stressors is to face them head on and go into it with an understanding that you’re not alone. “We have in our minds that during the holidays we need to have the perfect family experience — but all of us have dysfunctions,” she says. “Managing relationships is difficult, especially with people you might only see a few times a year.”

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Why Entrepreneurs Are, Well… Entrepreneurs

You know that saying, “If you don’t chase your dreams, someone else will hire you to chase theirs”? Well which side of this quote are you on? If you aren’t on the hiring side, maybe you’re tired of being micromanaged and underpaid because your worth isn’t recognized? If so, get inspired by just of the few perks of being an entrepreneur:

You have the ability to build something of value.

Beyond the financial benefits, owning your own business gives you the ability to create something that adds value to your community. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

You not only have the ability to help others, but you also can create jobs and give people a chance to learn and grow.

You have the ability to grow exponentially.

Climbing the corporate ladder is incredibly slow. Think about all the hoops you have to jump through just to get a raise or promotion.

Now, imagine you could give yourself a raise or promotion.

When you own your own business, there is no ceiling to how much you can make. It’s literally up to how hard you work. It’s no wonder three out of four millionaires in America are entrepreneurs.

You have all the control.

One of the biggest issues I had with getting a “real” job was being managed. It made me incredibly anxious knowing someone was constantly looking over my shoulder, critiquing my work and telling me what to do and when to do it.

As an entrepreneur, you set the rules.

Feel like sleeping in? Do it. Want to work on a passion project? Go ahead.

The control and freedom entrepreneurship gives you is what most of us work our entire lives for.

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5 Actions To Take For a Better Nights Sleep

Considering you spend about ⅓ of your life asleep, you might as well learn how to master the perfect night’s sleep. This can also be easier said than done as stress, work, kids, etc. can interrupt our intention of a good night’s sleep… so take note of the 5 exercises that can bring you back to your intention Zzz…

Howdy Horse Stance

The horse stance is a Qigong exercise where you stand, feet a bit wider than shoulder width, soften your knees, and drop your tailbone down until your butt is parallel to the ground. Next, reach your hands above your head as you inhale, then slowly lower your hands to your stomach as you exhale. The aim of this exercise is to connect your body’s energy (chi) with the earth, and to center your mind. Repeat the arms movement and inhale/exhale ten times, and your mind should be clear and relaxed.

Control Your Breath

A hectic lifestyle means your mind and body are constantly on the go. Before you go to bed, though, it is helpful to slow everything down. One of the best methods is to practice some breathing exercises. The simplest: sit cross-legged (or in any position that’s comfortable) on a soft surface like a yoga mat, inhale deeply for 5 to 7 seconds, hold the breath for an equal amount of time, then exhale for as long as you can. By the time you’ve finished repeating this for 10 rounds, you should feel a lot calmer, and hopefully, a lot sleepier.

Massage Your Feet

Your feet are the main point of contact with the earth, and over the course of a day, they can take a heck of a beating. Rubbing them not only relaxes those tiny, overused little muscles, but also slows your nervous system and stimulates your internal organs, explains Angi McClure, a licensed massage therapist, fitness instructor, and founder of MYMA Movement. McClure says to especially focus on an acupuncture point in the center of the foot, just below the knuckles, where, when pressure is applied, will calm you down like nothing else.

Feel Your Forearms

Whether it’s typing all day at a computer, carrying heavy bags, or lifting weights in the gym, your forearms are constantly being used throughout the day. “They tend to hold a lot of tension, and [massaging them] can resonate not only in the neck, but also emotionally in the head,” says McClure.


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5 Apps to Eliminate the Stress of Holiday Shopping

Don’t you wish there was a little elf that could help you holiday shop, and take all your stress away that comes with the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping? Well, I don’t know of any Elves for sale unfortunately, but below are the next 5 best apps to help you breeze through your shopping with joy:

Santa’s Bag

“Revolutionize your Christmas shopping experience with Santa’s Bag for iOS. Import recipients, set budgets, plan gifts, create wishlists and shopping lists, track progress, share – and so much more. Each step is carefully designed to make sure you don’t forget anyone or anything. Christmas shopping has never been easier or more fun!”

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Get it for iOS.


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“Never overpay again – RedLaser helps you find the best prices, coupons, and dealsfor all your favorite products and stores, online and locally.”

Get it for iOS, Android and Windows.


“Wunderlist is a simple to-do list and task manager app that helps you get stuff done. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to capture, share and complete your to-dos. Wunderlist instantly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can access your to-dos from anywhere.”

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Get it for iOS and Android.


“Giftster is a free, private, web and mobile gift registry that connects family and close friends. Set it up once and use it for a lifetime. The perfect combination of wish list, gift registry, family events calendar, and news feed, think of Giftster as a social platform just for you and the people you care about most.”

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Get it for iOS and Android.


“Pounce is a revolutionary shopping app that lets you take a photo of any item you like and immediately see similar items from a variety of stores. Tap ‘Buy Now’ for a seamless, one-stop purchase. Your purchase is processed and shipped directly by the retailer.”

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Get it for iOS and Android.




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3 Mental Shifts That Could Make You a Millionaire

Sometimes the goal of becoming a millionaire or beyond seems way out of reach and maybe even impossible… But that’s just it – It’s time to shift your way of thinking, and vision your goal within reach, because it IS possible. Take notes from Tucker Hughes, 22 year old millionaire and Director of Hughes Marino’s Orange County Office, and see how you too can shift your thinking and fast track yourself to millionaire status:


Age is just a number.

Embrace your youth wholeheartedly. If you spin your age as an asset, which can be done in a variety of ways, it can be an extremely powerful differentiator. The moment you begin to give yourself an excuse for not being successful is the moment of almost certain failure.

If you believe you can really make it then you will make it. Besides, there is nothing people want to see more than a hard-working, intelligent and dedicated young professional who succeeds. Create a snowball of momentum that makes people want to be a part of your life.


Reinvest in yourself.

The safest investment I’ve ever made is in my future. Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously. You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.

I also believe that it is critically important to spoil yourself to a healthy extreme in order to reward your hard work and avoid burnout. Consider splurging on memorable experiences and luxuries that will enhance your lifestyle. I get a weekly massage like clockwork, and it is one of the best productivity hacks I employ.


Think big. Be big.

The science behind goal setting and its remarkable ability to accelerate success is infallible. If you don’t already have your one-, five- and 10-year goals written out and visible to you on a daily basis, do so right now. I read mine the second I wake up every single morning. Now ask yourself, what would have to happen to accomplish your 10-year goals in just one year?

The inherent power in maintaining consistency with your acknowledged goals can work both positively and negatively, and is cause for concern if you anchor yourself to a slower timeline of achievement. Be mindful and diligent in charting an optimal path that pushes you to your limit.

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The Culprit That’s Sleep Depriving The World

One would assume that our overbearing obsession with Netflix before we fall asleep or the invisible super glue that binds our hands with our smartphones would be the culprit of a sleepless night; but a new study found the devious theft of the majority of people’s sleep around the world are stressful thoughts about money and work.


“With the help of research firm KJT Group, Philips conducted a survey titled “Sleep: A Global Perspective” to help gain insight into the main sleep disturbances affecting people worldwide. They found that worrisome thoughts about work and economic or financial issues are the top two stressors keeping people awake at night. Speaking with almost 8,000 people across 10 countries, the research team gathered information regarding participants’ sleep times, wake times, daily routines, sleeping environments and perceptions of their work-life balance to determine the greatest obstacles in the way of developing healthier sleep habits.

There is no question whether people believe sleep is important. Ninety-six percent of respondents said sleep is valuable to them, and sleep proved the most valuable of the 12 measured factors influencing a person’s overall health and well-being. However, money and financial SECURITY ranked a close second, and 28 percent said economic and financial stress was their most common sleep disrupter, followed by work stress at 25 percent.

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“Our report indicates how psychological factors can impact sleep, and how those factors can change depending on the times in which we live,” Mark Aloia, Ph.D., the senior director of global clinical research for Philips, said in a statement. “Combating stress is critical to a good night’s sleep, but the toughest part for people is often just getting motivated to make changes.”


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Happy People Do This Before Getting Out of Bed… Do You?

Good morning, sunshine! Nobody wakes up in the morning with the intent of having a bad day, but with life, comes various obstacles that can affect our happiness. Luckily, there are some very simple steps that can be taken each morning to improve our state of mind and elevate our intent of accomplishment for the day to come:


  • Express Gratitude

Every new day leads to a new way to say “thank you” for being alive. Everything we experience and are capable of experiencing on this blue marble in this universal arena is something to be grateful for. Contemplate the fact that something rather than nothing exists and that within that something we exist and experience such an amazing reality.


  • Set Your Intentions for the Day


Treat your thoughts as if they were spells of magic, replicating in the real world from the garden of your mind.Most of us have to get up for work on a regular basis which leads to going through the motions of getting out of bed, getting ready and going to work. Before we do any of that we can affirm, either in the form of saying aloud or writing down, what we intend for the day or wish to get done.


  • Take Five Long Deep Breaths In and Out

Breath is incredibly powerful and can take us into transcendental states of consciousness where we become masters of our inner fire. All too often we baseline to shallow breathing which may sustain our lives but will not optimize them.

  • Smile For No Reason –  Just Flex The Muscle

Smiling has been shown to reduce stress, reduce blood pressure and boost the immune system which is all the more reason to do it after leaving Dreamland. Smile and get elevated.


  • Forgive Yourself for Yesterdays Mistakes

Let’s not add any unnecessary suffering to our lives. Look at your shadows, acknowledge their transient nature and let them go.


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[video] This Girl Breaks the Internet by a Simple Compliment

For some reason, compliments can be hard to give and awkward to accept, so all too often we forego the opportunity to make someone’s day by a simple gesture…  Shea Glover, a high school senior,decided she was going to break that barrier and tell several people they were beautiful and film it. The results are astounding and, yet again, beautiful.

Below the video she wrote:

“I conducted an independent project, which evidently turned into a social experiment halfway through, regarding beauty at my performing arts high school in Chicago. I want to clarify that my intentions were not to get a reaction out of people. I was simply filming beauty and this is the result. Here it is.”

4 Peices of Money Advice From a Financial Planner Himself

Let’s be honest, we are all looking for ways to be smarter with our money, and whether we admit to it or not, we could all use a few professional tips. Whether you have heard these tips before or not, it is a great refresher to go back and analyze your money practices to double check that you’re setting yourself up for success in the future.  View the tips below from, Alan Moore, M.S., CFP fee-only financial planner, and co-founder of the XY Planning Network.

1) Pay yourself first.

This is a really important concept. When you get a paycheck, you save a portion of that money before you even pay your bills. You make this automatic, and you can set up automatic payments either through HR or bank drafts. Money is automatically being saved for all of your various financial goals — and that’s what it means to pay yourself first.


2) Track your spending.

I’m not a big fan of traditional budgeting, but tracking your spending is huge because it gives you insight into where the money’s going. If, at the end of the month, you can’t say where all of your money is going, then you can’t know how you can make adjustments.

© alexskopje

© alexskopje

My advice is pick up a free app like Or you can use the envelope method — or you can just use an Excel spreadsheet and keep up with all your receipts. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you’re tracking your spending by some system. Know where your money is going, because that’s how you’re going to take control of your spending in the long run.


3) Avoid debt at all costs.

I get very tired of hearing this conversation around good debt, bad debt; whether or not the debt is tax deductible and you should take out a mortgage simply because you can deduct on your taxes. All of that is absolute crap! It is not true. That is used to sell you on taking on debt.

You can live your life with no debt. You will be happier and you’ll be financially healthier than anyone that you know taking on debt.


4) Live for today, but also save for tomorrow.

As financial planners, we tend to focus on tomorrow. We’re always talking about retirement and what’s coming in the future, but I think it’s really important that we also focus on today and what’s at hand.

Take the opportunity to enjoy your life. Take the vacations and have the experiences of the time with family and do the things that make you truly happy. You can balance this with the priority of putting some money away, too, so that one day you’ll have enough money to reach financial independence.


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