Tag Archives | balance

Did You Know That Healthy Relationships Have A Magic Number?


Did you know that healthy relationships have a magic number? This magic number I’m talking about is the 5:1 ratio of positive versus negative interactions that research has shown correlates to a happy, stable, positive relationship.

So the next time you’re tempted to criticize, blame, dismiss, or ignore…make sure you’ve already given lots of positive interaction…

Show affection

Be caring and considerate

Pay attention

Be a good listener

Express appreciation

Give praise and compliments

Forgive without blaming


How can you tell if the magic ratio in your relationship is unbalanced? Notice how you and the other person in the relationship interact with each other. For every negative interaction that takes place, are there several positive interactions?

It’s interesting to note that the relationship ratio is the most accurate predictor of divorce…it might also be the best predictor of how involved your children will be in your lives when they’re adults…so it’s worth paying attention to.

Do you have thoughts or suggestions for upping the positive ration in our relationships?

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Have You Ever Tried Eating For Balance and Stress?


Did you know the food you eat can affect you life and health balance? That was the topic of my morning meditation and it got me thinking. I try to eat for health - some days I have greater success than others – but I never considered eating for balance.

Eating for balance is more about…well, balancing the kind of foods you eat…not just protein, carbs, and fat, but including a variety of colors and tastes; Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent (from Ayurveda, but still a good description of flavors.) 

By choosing a variety of those different foods we automatically eat a variety of nutrients and a nice mixture of all of those healthy substances we’re always hearing about. And that helps to not only keep our health in balance, but our energy and mood as well.

Something to consider…

How do you feel when you eat fresh, healthy food?

Food may not be the first thing we think of when it comes to balance, but we have to eat anyway, so we might as well try to use that food to help us function better!



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Mini-Mission: 3 World Views – Which Is Yours?

Sun shower

Have you ever thought about how you see the world? I don’t mean visually…well, part of it may be visual, but what I’m really talking about is the perception you have of the world and how it operates. Your view of the reality of life.

You probably haven’t really considered it, because we tend to believe that the way we see the world is…the right way, maybe even the only way. But from what I’ve observed – I am as you can imagine a constant and curious observer of human behavior – there are three distinctly different ways people tend to view the world, and the people, situations and experiences in it.

3 Ways To See The world

Through yellow colored glasses (I like yellow better than the oft cited “rose”, because it sounds brighter,) which some would call a Pollyanna way of looking at life. I like to call this the sunshine perspective, because it can be a pleasant and sunny way to see the world. Life is good, things work out for the best, there’s always a silver lining…We either envy these people or want to strangle them…

Through gray colored glasses, which many would call a Negative Nancy view. I like to call this the rainy perspective…not necessarily cloudy, just rainy…a slight mist for some, downright stormy for others. Tend to look for pitfalls, notice imperfections, spot the bad apple, calling all worriers…It’s not necessarily a bad thing though…We may be quick to judge these people as bad, but truth is we need them for great planning, security, quality control, etc.

Through clear lenses, which I like to call a Balanced Betsy perspective. Some might call it pragmatic, or realistic, maybe even-handed, but it could also be non-reactive as well. I like to think of this as the equal opportunity, all season perspective…or maybe a “sun-shower” approach (yes it’s a real thing…go look it up.) There may be sun and rain and clouds and a rainbow, but these people probably notice them all, and perhaps more importantly give them all attention…

A very simple example is the sun shining in the window:

  • Sunnys will notice brightly shining sparkling sun.
  • Rainys will probably notice the streaks that are now visible on the window.
  • Sun-showers may revel in the warmth of the beautiful sun, but make a note to put clean the windows on this week’s chore list.

Another example is our tendency towards trust:

  • Sunnys believe people are basically trust worthy and are quicker to trust
  • Rainys tend to be more wary of trusting people, feeling they have to first prove their worthy of trust
  • Sun-showers believe many are people are worthy of trust, and many people aren’t. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but hold some things in reserve and watch for warning signs.

All are valid.

This week’s mission: Consider Your Word View

Answering honestly, which view most sounds like you?

*Hint: if you really want to be honest, you may have to ask a close friend or family member for their opinion – One who you trust to be completely truthful!

Then, the important question is: Are you content with that view of the world? Does it make you feel happy? Safe?

If you are okay with your worldview, fabulous, embrace it. There’s room for everybody.

But if you’re not, it’s time to think about making a shift in your thinking.

  1. Notice when you have a thought or judgment about a person or situation.
  2. Stop for just a second and question that immediate reactive thought. Where did it come from? Are you seeing things through a filter? Good or bad. Are you spending the situation to suit your view?
  3. Try on a different Thought. Maybe try making an argument for the opposite perspective. How does that feel? It may feel odd, a bit awkward, foreign even.

Try this process for a while, see if it becomes more comfortable. It may take a while to shift firmly ingrained patterns of thought, especially ones we’ve held since childhood.

But it is possible… With a little bit of determination, and practice!

Your thoughts? I’d love to know what you think! Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page! 

Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…

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A Better Life is Within Your Reach…The Mission Begins…

Let's Do This!What if someone told you that you could change the quality of your life just by making one small change each week. Would you do it? I mean who doesn’t want to have a better quality life – live better, work smarter, be happier and all that goes along with that.

Well, this year, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, along with hopefully many of my “reader friends,” (yes, that’s you.) We’re kicking off a yearlong series of weekly mini-missions, (we’re all busy after-all,) broken down into manageable chunks – smarter choices, actions, steps we can take improve the quality of our lives one week at a time. Practical. Do-able. (If you’re thinking you’re life is already pretty good, I challenge you to raise the bar!)

Here’s the thing: I bet quite a few of us know what we need/want to do to have the lives we envision. We’ve heard the experts, read the tips, seen the studies, bought the books even, but we already have so much going on…and there’s just so much information and advice out there. It’s just too much…too much to take on.

The more we learn about goal achievement and change, the more we discover that our greatest odds of success are achieved when we make small incremental changes in our lives and build, build, build.

The problem is that for many of us that path to growth, (personal or professional,) seems too slow. I don’t know about you, but I can be very impatient, I want change NOW. But, that said, I think you and I are both smart enough to recognize that it’s wiser to use the strategy that works…even if it takes longer, than to find ourselves in the same place week after week, year after year…because significant change takes too much time and energy.

Let’s bite the bullet and get it done…week by week, bit by bit, we can make those small changes that are standing in the path of a Better Life…a Better You…and a Better Me.

Over the course of this year we’ll tackle things like –  Health and Wellness( Fitness, Energy, Stress,) Money Management,( Earning, Saving, Financial Stewardship,) Developing the Potential of Your Mind,(Attitude, Shifting your Mindset, Expanding your Knowledge and Skills,) Cultivating more Positive and Meaningful Relationships, (Deeper Connections, Better Communication, Expanding your Social and Professional Networks,) Organization and Time Utilization (Focus, Organization, Action, Planning, Being Productive, Follow-thru,) Fulfilling Worklife, ( Success, Rewarding Career, Balance,) Responsible Living (Environment, Community, Contribution,) and Life Juice, (Joy, Happiness, Passion, Creativity, Fun, Gratitude, Meaning and Purpose.)

You don’t have to tackle them all of course. Pick and choose…take what you need…try what you like, but as with anything in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. (I’ll be doing it right along with you and I can’t wait to compare notes…)

*Speaking of notes…Got ideas, problem areas or requests for what you’d like to see in upcoming weekly missions, feel free to drop me a line or post on our Facebook page. (Just joining us…Find all of the Better Life Mini-Missions here…)

Now, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite authors, Danielle LaPorte…

Life’s Too Short, Let’s Do This

Mission #1:  Rest…Sleep…Zzzs… Let’s figure it out once and for all.

There’s a reason this appears on nearly every list of goals, resolutions, things to do, habits…because it’s the foundation of everything else we do in life…and most of us are still doing a terrible job of it.

It’s not just about getting more sleep (we’ve heard that before,) it’s about knowing the best sleep solution for us personally. The problem may very well be that we don’t really know how much sleep we need, or what sleep pattern works best for us, let alone how to get it.

This week take the time and effort to figure it out. Don’t make any other changes. Just experiment with how much sleep works best – make it a priority just for this week. The good news…not everyone needs the often-recommended 8 hours, many do just fine on less, and some actually need more. Moreover, it might not even be the amount of sleep; it might just be the pattern or timing.

Tactics to Try:

Go to bed 30 minutes early – you’d be surprised at what a difference it can make.

Squeeze in a 20-minute nap during lunch.

Shift your sleep pattern – For example, instead of going to bed at 11:30 and getting up at 6, try going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 5:00. You might be able to get more done in the early AM anyway.

Trouble falling asleep? Try some wind down tactics – do some yoga, stretching, meditate, read a boring book, whatever calms your mind.

You know the drill…avoid caffeine, alcohol, news, electronics, and work close to bedtime…

There are many over the counter sleep aids that might help – natural and pharmaceutical. This may be a temporary solution, especially if you’re going thru a stressful time.

If you’re truly suffering from insomnia or chronic poor quality sleep, this is the time to make an appointment to see your doctor. Prescription sleep aids should be a last resort…but that said…you have to sleep. And a sleep study may uncover an underlying issue.

Sleep really does affect everything from attitude to weight to productivity to brain function.

We are just now discovering that sleep deprivation actually shortens our life span!

Just experiment. You may actually not need to change your sleep habits as much as you think.

This will not be easy for me…and it may not be so easy for you. My days are filled and I imagine yours are as well…and when I do get down time, I really want to decompress and read (my favored leisure activity,) but in all honesty, I need the sleep more.

So let’s give a try…you and me…

What are your sleep issues? Obstacles? Do you know how much sleep you need? Can you remember a time when you felt well rested?

Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

(Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…)

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Slow Down! You May be Missing Something Important

English: Slow Road.

Image via Wikipedia

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” Eddie Cantor

Slow down! You may be missing something important…your life.

I originally wrote this post in Deceember 2011, but as a I re-read my own words, I realized that I needed to read them again and perhaps so do you…

This time of year it’s more important than ever to slow down and enjoy your life. Unfortunately for most of us this is also the busiest time of year; shopping, wrapping, socializing and we still have to keep up with our work obligations and family responsibilities. It doesn’t leave much time for holiday cheer, let alone, time to take in the scenery.

Unless we make a conscious decision to do so. You can make excuses all day long. In the end the choice is yours. As a “busyholic in recovery” I can tell you that I get it. I understand the avalanche of tasks, the never-ending demands, and the bottomless inbox. I get it. I really do. But to what end? Where are you going and why?

I can tell you where I am going!

I am going to sit and enjoy one more Christmas concert and actually listen to the children singing and playing their hearts out instead of lamenting over the chores that are waiting for me at home and what I could have gotten done if I didn’t have to attend.

I am going to sit and play Othello and Battleship with my son in front of the fire instead of making one more trip to the mall for that “perfect” present.

I am going to cuddle and rock my smoochable grandbaby instead of trekking back up to my office late at night for one more work session.

I am going to drink coffee with my husband and watch the snowflakes fall instead of checking my email on a Sunday morning.

Now, it’s your turn…How can you slow down and enjoy your life more?

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