Love: Bridging the Extrovert-Introvert Gap

We all need love.

But we don’t all express it in the same way.

Even people who share the same love language can find themselves misunderstood—because of temperament differences. An introvert’s need for solitude may be mistaken for a lack of caring. And extroverts need for connection may be mistaken as a selfish need for attention.

What causes such misunderstandings? The fact that introverts and extroverts come into the relationship with different needs and expectations. Which leads to problems.

Problems that could be solved with a little mutual understanding. Continue reading

A Simple Strategy for Staying Ahead of Clutter

fight clutter by donating one item a day

Clutter happens.

Because we accumulate stuff.

Lots of it. Scarves, hobby supplies, paperclips, empty ice cream tubs, DVDs, holiday decorations…

And if we don’t get rid of some along the way, it will eventually become a problem.

In an ideal world, we would regularly take a day and go through the house culling all the stuff we no longer need. But let’s face it, most of us aren’t willing to face  a major declutter project very often.

Shouldn’t there be an easier way to fight the encroaching clutter? Continue reading

One Simple but Powerful Strategy for Achieving Change

Why is it so difficult to change for the better?

If we’re honest, we all have areas in our lives that we’d like to improve: Eat healthier, exercise more, kick a bad habit, keep up with the latest news in our profession …

And yet, despite the mountain of information on setting goals, making better habits, and developing willpower, we struggle to make progress. Because we humans don’t like to change. Continue reading

21 Ways to Avoid Reaching Your Goals in 2017

avoid reaching your goals

Why climb the mountain of success when you can remain in the valley of failure?

  1. Listen to the voices—the ones in your head that whisper, “You can’t do it” or “You’re a failure” or “You’re wasting your time.”
  2. Keep busy with mundane tasks, household chores, and paperwork.
  3. Focus on the big, hairy, audacious end goal. It’s ambitious. It’s scary big. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. What were you thinking?
  4. Fantasize on how wonderful it will be when you reach that audacious goal.
  5. Roadblocks? No one told me there would be roadblocks.
  6. Always keep in mind your past failures. By reminding you of how hard this is, they will push you to do better.
  7. Never start something new until you know every step you must take to reach success.
  8. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could change every area of your life for the better? All at once. Right now?
  9. Worrying over actions plans just bogs you down, so forget them and just keep moving along whatever path seems best—ooh, look! A squirrel.
  10. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t make a mistake. When in doubt, always play it safe.
  11. Search the internet for the most awesome, ultra-efficient methods to achieve your goal. Compile the top ideas. Make spreadsheets to compare them. Read the books. Become an expert in all theories relating to this goal.
  12. Who needs new methods when you can think positive thoughts? Sure you’ve tried the plan before and failed, but this time it’ll be different. This time that old plan is going to succeed.
  13. Strengthen your willpower by forcing yourself to tackle your goal when you are tired, hungry, upset, or sick.
  14. Further strengthen your willpower by filling your house, car, and office with items that tempt you towards the dark side. Prove you are tougher than that Boston Cream donut or that bag of BBQ potato chips.
  15. Accountability is for sissies.
  16. Never admit you need help. Or guidance. Or encouragement.
  17. Devote time to detailed planning of your daily schedule—Use markers to color-code each task, enter a dozen bullet points for each task on your schedule app and then figure out how to how to automatically combine five different schedule apps to utilize the strongest features of each.
  18. You tried. You blew it. See? You knew it was a hopeless goal, anyway. Why bother climbing back on the horse when you’re just going to fall again? Maybe your genetics aren’t suited for this type of goal.
  19. Priorities? No one said anything about changing my priorities.
  20. Don’t waste time celebrating the little milestones you achieve along the way. The big goal is all that matters.
  21. When the cat decides to take a nap on the computer, it’s a sign. You should immediately quit working and take a nap yourself.

Confessions of a Crotchety, Left-Brained Introvert

Photo Credit: Nguyen Vu Hung (vuhung) Flickr via Compfight cc

 

I recently acquired a book entitled Cat Confessions, which features cat photos along with purported confessions of their naughty deeds: stowing away in luggage, getting fur all over a dark suit, etc.

After chuckling over the book, I was inspired to come up with a few confessions of my own. (Sorry, I don’t have funny photos to go with them; the cat refused to pose.)

So here goes … Continue reading

What Will You Learn This Year?

keep learning or start dying

I hope that one of your resolutions this year is to learn something new. I hope that you never lose curiosity for the world around us, and that you intentionally seek opportunities to experience new things, attempt new skills, and visit new places (physically or virtually).

In other words, I hope you are a lifelong learner. Continue reading

Sweat the Small Stuff: Five Ways Small Actions Matter

Small stuff matters

The beginning of a new year is usually a time to look ahead, dream big dreams, and make audacious goals. Social media encourages us to join this trend with sayings like:

Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.

And

Have goals so big, you feel uncomfortable telling small minded people.

Inspiring stuff. The problem with big goals is that we begin to think that our everyday actions aren’t important. Who cares about one small step when we’re focused on huge goals? How can our insignificant efforts make any difference?

But small stuff matters.

A lot. Continue reading

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

looking back helps us make new goals

The end of 2016 is upon us. The last few days of December are a good time to look back over the year, assess what worked and what didn’t, and make some plans for the year to come. As you reflect over the past twelve months I hope you will consider the following questions: Continue reading

Why the Winter Solstice Makes Me Grumpy

environmental factors affect learning

Do short days and long nights make you feel blue?

Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year. For those living in my latitude, that means we will experience just over 9 hours of daylight and almost 15 hours of darkness.

For the record, I am not a fan of that much darkness. While I do not officially suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I am affected by the relative lack of sunlight. Whether I like it or not, the amount of sunlight outside makes a difference to my moods. I am simply not as cheerful and peppy on dark, overcast days. In fact, on really dreary days I sometimes turn on all the lights in the house in an attempt to improve my mood. (It does help.) Continue reading

Taming Christmas Stress

Feeling stressed?

Whatever our unique temperaments, family dynamics, and life situations, we all face stress this time of year. Some of us stress over buying gifts or baking cookies for the neighbors. Others face difficult relatives, an unexpected illness, or a holiday without a loved one.

Here are some tips to help you recude stess and enjoy the holidays. Continue reading