As humans, we’re sometimes very hard on ourselves – and this is especially true when narcissistic abuse is or has been an issue in your life. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, our beliefs can sometimes be very damaging to our self-esteem. Unfortunately, these negative talking points in our head sometimes keep us stuck in a rut.
A great psychologist, Albert Ellis, had many tokens of wisdom to pass around. One of his ideas centralized around these negative thoughts, which he often referred to as irrational beliefs.
Discover how you can stop this vicious circle and turn your self-talk into words that support and encourage you, instead.
The first step to stopping negative self-talk is figuring out what is triggering these negative beliefs in the first place.
Albert Ellis called these so-called triggers “activating events.” These can be everyday occurrences that happen to us or around us. Anything from having your boss or supervisor yell at you and take away your project to experiencing a run-in collision with a deer on a country road can be an activating event.
Are you in conflict with another? Did something not go your way?
Further, triggers can also be incredibly personal to you and unique to your life. These are sometimes referred to as “red flags.” Red flags are issues that pertain to you alone, such as your weight, family and close relationships, integrity, and anything else that you deem sacred.
When these issues get raised, they immediately set off an alarm within you.
Identify Irrational Beliefs
These irrational beliefs are the real culprits behind why we get upset or angry at the triggers we’ve just experienced, according to Albert Ellis. It’s not the trigger itself, but the beliefs that cause the negative self-talk.
Ellis claimed that these irrational beliefs are responsible for our emotional states, also known as the consequences of our beliefs. In this way, by identifying and then changing these beliefs, we can experience fewer emotional consequences.
For example, let’s look at this process:
You just learned that you got turned down for a promotion at work.
Getting turned down for the promotion is the activating event or trigger.
The underlying thoughts or irrational beliefs you might be having include, “I’m never going to advance my career,” “My boss hates me,” or even “My boss is never fair to me.”
These beliefs or thoughts can lead to emotional consequences of sadness and depression.
Dispute Irrational Beliefs
The idea behind identifying these negative, irrational beliefs is so you can do something to change them.
You can change them by challenging these beliefs. This is a process of examining the truth and reality and seeing that it is different from your belief.
In the prior example of getting turned down for a promotion, a series of questions can be asked to help you sort through reality from these irrational beliefs. You want to challenge yourself by asking questions that are almost the opposite of your identified beliefs.
Some of these challenge questions may be:
What is the truth in this situation?
Do I have evidence to support that my current beliefs are true?
In the example above: Are there times when my boss has been fair?
Is it true that I’ll never advance in my career, or is this just a minor setback?
These questions can help you identify the truth from what you may erroneously believe or negatively think about a situation.
If you can identify the truth, this can lead you to think differently and avoid suffering the emotional consequences of the trigger in the first place.
Follow this process whenever you notice thoughts that are unkind to you. Change your beliefs and you’ll find your self-talk becoming words of encouragement, instead.
The old adage “slow and steady wins the race” is actually sometimes true. The tortoise in the story of the tortoise and the hare won the race not because he was the smartest, smallest, or even wittiest. Rather, he won the race due to his laser-focus on the end result: the goal line.
Even though plateaus, setbacks, and relapses are completely normal when it comes to life-changing goals, there are many things you can do to keep the fire inside during the journey.
Try these strategies to maintain your momentum and motivation:
Take action daily. This is the single best step you can take in order to further your momentum. Taking action ensures that you’re making progress, no matter how small. Even if you don’t know exactly what action you’ll be taking, just do something, anything, to further yourself.
For example, If you want to lose weight, it’s important to burn more calories than you take in each day. If you want to grow your business, review business growth materials.
Find motivational nuggets. Take a few minutes each day to read something inspiring, whether it’s motivational quotes or affirmations to keep your confidence going.
Motivational quotes that inspire you can help transcend your mindset away from the daily grind and onto things that are bigger than yourself!
Check your progress. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re not moving forward, review your goal that you’re trying to accomplish. Write down your goals and check in on your progress each day.
Think positively about how close you are to the goalpost rather than how far you are from it.
Talk to another. Find another person who has already achieved goals similar to the ones you’re working on.
If you’re goal is to get physically fit, for example, find a bodybuilder, runner, athlete or other like-minded individual whose been in your shoes.
Extract all the wisdom, advice and helpful tidbits that you can from their story.
Plan your week. Scheduling time to work on things related to your goals is critical. We use schedules for everything else in our lives, so there’s no reason that time devoted to working on personal goals cannot be included as well.
Reward yourself. Small rewards have been shown to motivate everyone from kids to older adults. Rewards act as a positive reinforcement, and even affirmation of a job well done.
When we’re being rewarded, we tend to continue pressing on towards our goals.
These are just a few of the things that we can do on a regular basis to keep motivation and ensure that we’re continually making progress.
The key word is “progress.” If we’re taking some action or doing even just one thing on a daily basis that furthers us along in our goals, we’ll feel better about ourselves and be able to keep that momentum.
Other things that we can do on a regular basis to keep momentum and motivation alive is to write in a journal, listen to inspiring talks, join a support group related to our goals, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation on our life’s purpose, or even posting daily reminders.
The more alive that we can make our goals, the more inspired and motivated we’ll be to take action and achieve them.
While it’s very customizable, and you’re certainly welcome to change things around,
In this article, I will walk you through the setup for a traditional bullet journal as first introduced by Ryder Carroll from BulletJournal.com. Use it as a starting point, get comfortable with the basic system and then change it from there.
You’ll need a notebook, a pen, and a little bit of time to get started. The type of notebook you use is up to you. The traditional style is grid or dotted paper, but I find even ruled or blank pages work just fine.
Okay, once you’ve got all that together, you’ll want to know how to set it up. Here is a really fast overview.
The first page of your bullet journal will include your key. This will record the shorthand you use for your bullet entries.
Here is my Bullet Journal key – and if you scroll down below it, you’ll see the more traditional one. That’s what I love about this system – it’s so very flexible. It’s part of why it works for me!
Here’s the traditional codes used. Feel free to add to it, or modify it as needed.
ᐧ (Dot) Task
X Completed Task
> Migrated Task
⬤ Completed Appointment
⟴ Migrated Appointment
Your next two to four pages will be set aside for indexing. This will allow you to quickly find any collection, or get to a particular month. Title each page as an index page and move on to the next section.
The Future Log
With the original bullet journal setup this is a two page spread that records the coming 6 months. Many bullet journalers find it helpful to use a more traditional yearly calendar instead. This is a great place to record birthdays, anniversaries, or block out vacation time. Add or note the page number and record your future log in your index.
Start each month with a monthly log. Here you’ll record appointments and due dates. You can use a grid layout, or use one line for each day of the month. While this isn’t where you’ll track most of your tasks, the monthly log will come in handy for those times when you have a dentist appointment or your daughter is invited to a friend’s birthday party.
The daily log is where you’ll spend most of your time in the journal. Start a new section each day and record anything important for the day. Make your list of tasks and cross them off as you get them finished. Make notes of anything important you need to remember throughout the day as well as appointments as they pop up. Everything gets logged in the daily log for speed and ease. From there you can move it as needed to the monthly or future log, or migrate it to a different day.
At the end of your day, or first thing the next morning it’s time to review your tasks and cross out and migrate anything that isn’t checked off. For example, if you didn’t get around to doing laundry today, draw an arrow through it and add the task to today’s daily task list. If you noted an appointment that came up yesterday, move it to your monthly list and draw an arrow through it in yesterday’s list. If something no longer applies then cross it out. Your goal is to deal with each entry from your daily list by completing it, migrating it, or crossing it out.
The final part of the puzzle is collections. These are basically thematic lists you make that aren’t date related. A perfect example is a list of books you want to read. Start the list on the next blank page. Title it and start jotting down the books you want to read. Make a note of the page you’re on and add this collection to your index page. Now when you want to add a new book title to this list, or reference it to see what you want to read, you can easily find it via the index.
A bullet journal is a great way to stay productive at work, at home, or in school. Just about anyone can benefit from bullet journaling from college students to busy working moms. If you feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done you want to accomplish, use a bullet journal to help you plan and prioritize
As you make out your daily tasks lists, you have to think about what you should be working on. This makes you plan ahead and think things through instead of sitting at your desk doing busy work. A little bit of planning can help you make progress that much faster and it will boost your overall productivity. If you find daily to-do lists helpful, give bullet journaling a try as a way to get even more productive faster.
Some people find it helpful to make out their next day’s task list at the end of the day. Others prefer to make out their list first thing in the morning, while they are drinking coffee and getting ready for the day. Both are valid approaches. Give both a try and see what works for you.
Once you have your daily tasks recorded, you’ll be motivated to work on checking them off. This will greatly increase your productivity in several different ways. The first is that you know exactly what you should be working on. You won’t waste time figuring out what your next step is, or sit there and watch cat videos instead of doing something productive.
The daily list of tasks will also make you push just a little harder to make sure everything gets done before you call it a day. Try it and see how much more you can get done in a day with a daily list in your bullet journal.
The Bullet Journal Is A Great Record To Help You Reflect
Last but not least, the bullet journal is a great record of what you’ve been doing on a daily basis. Set aside a little time to look through your notes at the end of the week or the month. Reflect on what’s working and what isn’t. Where do you need to work harder, what can you stop doing. Use the record your bullet journal gives you to improve your processes and tasks. It will make you better at your job, in school, and at home. Use it as a personal and professional improvement tool.
It’s a rare family that’s not on a food budget. The family food shopper searches for any way possible to cut back on the amount of money spent on food. One of those is using coupons. Personally, I love the flexibility and convenience (also a time saver) of the AmazonFresh program.
Conservatively speaking, there are millions of coupons circulating every day that could cut your food budget by 30 to 50% – even more if you’re willing to turn couponing into a passion.
Even the casual coupon clipper can become quite successful overnight and with more work and dedication become a super saver shopper. You have to be patient, flexible and perhaps give up your favorite brand, but it can be done and you can save a lot of money.
Remember, coupons are designed to sell a certain product and get you in the store but if the item is not one you need and use, then saving money on that item is a moot point.
Food coupons can be found anywhere. The Sunday newspaper is usually the best source but also look on line, at public libraries and at coupon swap boxes at the store itself. Some stores issue coupons at checkout for use on your next trip. Be sure and note expiration dates and if a cash value is offered. Don’t let them expire and go to waste.
Organize before you shop. Keep coupons sorted by food type in an easy to search through container and match coupons with needs on your grocery list. Some coupons have mail in rebates. Beware of this and follow up.
Sign up for a store loyalty card that usually offers coupons plus bonus points that are cumulative each time you shop. Using a store’s own credit card can lead to double points and free item coupons.
When you combine regular coupons with sale prices, you’re becoming a super saver. If a coupon item is not on sale and it’s not an urgent buy wait until it’s on sale. Be on the lookout for sale and bonus points tags.
Compare ads. It may pay you to drive to more than one store if it’s an item you need, have a coupon and it’s not available anywhere else. But, before you burn up extra gas, ask if the store honors its competitor’s coupons. Many will do this just to keep you in the store. You can call ahead to save a trip.
Don’t be susceptible to the 2 for a dollar marketing tool unless it’s to your advantage with a coupon. If you need two of the item go ahead and buy them; but save by buying only one if that’s what you need. For example, the sign may read: 15 limes for a dollar. Unless you’re a big lime user, some could go bad before you use them.
There was a time when some shoppers felt using coupons was not appreciated by the grocer and hesitated to use them. They didn’t want to hold up the line while the checker scanned coupons.
It’s a faster and easier method now with computers. Some of these strategies may not be right for you. It takes practice and patience, trial and error. If stretching your food dollar is your goal, there are few better ways than using coupons!
A fibromyalgia diagnosis might be a scary medical term for you to hear especially if you don’t know what it is and don’t know anyone who has the condition. The first step to do is to relax. Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. There are others who successfully deal with this condition and there are many support groups available both online and off that can help you learn about your condition.
Decide right away that you’re going to become an expert about the condition. After all, it’s your body and you’re the best one in charge to fight back and keep yourself as healthy as you possibly can.
Your first step should be to assemble the best medical or holistic care for your condition. You may need to be seen by more than one professional. Some patients routinely see a chiropractor, their physician, and a doctor who specializes in rheumatoid care.
Usually these are doctors proficient in internal medicine. Because the medical profession is still learning about how fibromyalgia affects the body, if you have a doctor who simply wants to medicate you without trying to find the best treatment for you, then consider finding a new doctor. You need one who stays up to date on the latest treatment information about the condition.
You may need to educate your family on what a fibromyalgia diagnosis means to them. It may require some lifestyle changes for you in order to keep your health on an even keel. You may have to rest more frequently, do less around the house or even find a career that’s not as taxing to you physically.
A dietician may be beneficial to you as you learn what you need to add (or subtract) from your eating habits. Some patients have seen improvement in learning how to manage their level of pain by going to physical therapy.
Talk to your doctor to determine if finding a physical therapist would aid in handling your fibromyalgia. Because of the pain linked with this condition, many patients want to resist any type of exercise but keeping a healthy body weight will help to keep more stress from being added to your muscles and joints.
Being given a fibromyalgia diagnosis means that in order to learn how to handle the demands on your body you’re going to have to make some changes. Listen to your body and learn what makes the condition worse for you and what seems to make the strain or pain not as severe.
Your body needs more sleep so make sure that you get the rest that you need in order to function. Since some people with fibromyalgia have to deal with insomnia and a lack of sleep can worsen symptoms, seek a doctor’s help right away if you start having bouts of sleeplessness.
The shopping season is officially in full swing and some of the best gifts that you can give are electronics. Most people love getting something in this category and you can find such a wide range of items – including accessories.
You can find something for everyone on your shopping list all at the same time. Electronics are the category of gift that is popular, often because of the technological advances made each and every year – so people want the latest, greatest gadget.
This makes a great gift for those you’re shopping for who enjoy watching sports or movies. This is an OLED TV and that stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. The difference between this kind of television and an LED one is that the OLED uses organic molecules.
The pixels in the TV are self-illuminating rather than like LCD ones which use LED for the backlight. Both ULTRA and OLED TVs are the hottest items among televisions and at the top of peoples’ wish list and with the Sony, you get both that in one.
The popularity stems from the fact that it gives one of the best picture images you can buy. But LED TVS are still popular, especially if they’re a smart TV like the TCL 55P607 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV.
For those on your list who already have a decent television, you’ll want to look at accessories. Or you’ll want to bundle these with the purchase of a newer TV. Projectors are one of the hottest selling items in electronics.
You can find gaming projectors, ones for use with home theaters, portable ones, some for business or education, and more. Projectors can be used by people who like to share photos or for use playing games, for people who enjoy showing films and more.
You can give these projectors as gifts to teachers, to gamers, for business colleagues or for family and friends. One of the hottest right now is the iCODIS G1 Mini Projector, which is so small it can fit in your pocket and it works with your smart phone.
Projector screens make great gifts for people who like a better viewing experience or for those who like to entertain – like getting together with friends to watch a movie or the latest game.
One of the accessories that you want to get for those you plan to buy electronics for could be a Blu-Ray or a DVD player. These are perfect gifts for people who enjoy watching things that you can’t get on cable or Netflix.
A hot category in electronics is home audio and theater. These gadgets have changed the way the way families get their entertainment. Now, you can stream music and entertainment faster than ever and for a much lower price than when home theaters first hit the market.
Home audio is hot because it can make listeners feel like they’re in the middle of the concert or in the center of the scene. Many of the home audio and theater systems that you can get will have a couple of different choices when it comes to speakers.
You can get them with surround sound or with the front speakers. The difference is found in the amount of speakers that you get as well as sound quality. Surround sound is more like the theater speaker experience than front speakers are.
This is the perfect gift for any of the music lovers that you know who like to listen to radio stations and enjoy wireless streaming. What people like about this system is that you can use it with the Bluetooth to control the system.
You can enrich the home theater and audio experience by adding one of the many sound bars. These can have an optical or analog connection and they can also have a wireless subwoofer.
With speakers, you’ll want to look at the kinds. You can get ones that will fit on a bookshelf and those are good for people who live in apartments or maybe a college dorm.
You can get the floor-standing kind or the ones that mount in a ceiling or in the wall. For those who are new to home theaters, you’ll want to buy the ones on your list with the whole system that includes speakers rather than giving them something like a sound bar or separate speakers since they’ll need to build their system from scratch.
They can upgrade speakers and other accessories later as they become more familiar with the technology and what they prefer. Headphones are one of the hottest items you can buy in home audio and theater and it’s high on everyone’s wish list – because not only are these used for movies and gaming, but they’re also used for music and things like streaming content.
You can also find MP digitals or SLR cameras. Each camera will vary in features like the wide range of zoom they’ll offer. Cameras and the related accessories make the perfect gifts for almost anyone.
Kids and college students love the nod to the past with the instant film style cameras while moms love the digital cameras. Men usually prefer the video cameras or the cameras that are made to fit with drones.
They love the idea of being able to play and shoot. Look for ones that say photography drones to match the camera. They also like the sports and action cameras. If you’re planning to give a camera as a gift for someone who loves photography or they’d like to pursue it as a serious endeavor, you really do need to go top of the line and look for something in the Nikon brand that’s suggested by most professionals.
But keep in mind that these cameras aren’t exactly budget friendly for some people – and many of them have hefty price tags of $1,000 to $3,000 or more. This will be in the FX series.
But odds are good that you might want to give a tripod to someone who’s a camera enthusiast. Most people who love photography enjoy camera lenses and you can find a variety of these and most of them are budget friendly.
You can also get some great gifts like smart phone holders and mounts. These make a phone easily accessible while allowing the driver to keep his or her hands free. It’s the perfect gift for someone who travels a lot, has a busy lifestyle and is often in the car, commuters, and teen drivers.
Dash cameras are a great gift idea for any driver. Not only can these handy devices record the local or long distance drive, but they also will record in the event of a car wreck so that you’ll be protected from other drivers who might try to say that the accident isn’t their fault when it is.
If you’re looking to give someone the gift of peace of mind, you can get them a GPS tracker, which is handy for a multitude of reasons. It can be used to keep track of young drivers, but it can also help recover the vehicle if an authorized driver or thief takes it.
One gift that fits almost everyone is a mobile WI-FI hotspot device. This helps people not only stay connected, but it can be used as a safety feature as well when someone is traveling in an area where they can’t get coverage.
Young drivers should always have access to either cell phones or other devices, so they can reach a family member or friend in the event of an emergency. They can’t do that if their cell phone goes dead.
You can give them the gift of a USB car charger for this purpose. Another gift that you can give is the gift of a radar detector. This can help save the receiver the high cost of a ticket as well as getting points taken off his license.
Of course, there are some items that are the most popular and on everyone’s Christmas list. There are two items topping the list this year and they’re GPS systems and subwoofer packages.
The good thing about a GPS system is that it’s a great gift for any driver, especially for new drivers or for drivers who do a lot of traveling. The Garmin DriveSmart 60 NA LMT GPS Navigator System is one of the best in GPS gadgets as well as one of the most reliable when it comes to directions.
You can find others in the same line but make sure you get the one that offers lifetime maps. Speakers for cars are another hot item on everyone’s list, but not just any speakers.
These can perform simple all the way up to complex commands. When it comes to technology, you’ll find that there’s a good portion of the demographic that prefer laptops over desktops.
However, desktops are still just as popular but you don’t hear about them as often as you do laptops. Desktops are particularly popular and high on the wish list among those who are older.
But they’re also still hugely popular among gamers. Many people who work from home prefer desktops in addition to laptops. So they’ll want both. Tablets are also very popular.
One of these is the All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa. This one is high on the wish list for everything it has to offer, but also because of Alexa. With that, people can not only ask questions, but they can instruct the device to play music or do tasks like check to see what the weather is like.
You’ll want to do the person on your list a huge favor if you do buy that tablet or any other. Make sure that you also get one of the many cases that the person can use to protect the device.
This one is very popular and loaded with features like plenty of ram. What users love about it is the 360 degree hinge and the touchscreen. Both of those make it high on college students’ wish lists. They like the versatility of it plus it’s pretty sturdy.
With desktops, the kind that you’ll want to get matters according to the main purpose of use. So if you were buying a desktop for someone who was really into gaming, especially ones like live action virtual reality, then you’d look for a desktop that was known for VR play.
Many of those types of desktops can also be used for purposes like graphic design or different types of computer art. You can also get an all-in-one which are great space savers.
These computers can have the larger screens – including the popular and trendy curved ones. They offer a lot of power, storage and function in touch screens – including the 4K models.
Cell Phones and Accessories
Cell phones can do so much more today than they used to be able to do. It used to be that they were good for making phone calls or using them to set calendar reminders or alarms, but that was about it.
Now, a good cell phone with a decent operating system can do what a tablet can do and then some. Anyone can use a cell phone. Many people on your list might want to upgrade, but can’t necessarily afford to do that.
A cell phone would make a great gift for teens, college kids, moms, dads, and friends. When you’re looking at them, though, you have to pay attention to whether or not they’re locked or unlocked.
You want to get an unlocked phone if possible. If you get one that’s locked, it means that it can only be used with a certain carrier. So if you buy it for someone and they can’t use it with their carrier, then they’ll either have to switch cell phone providers or return the gift.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Unlocked 64GB continues to be a top seller for its high customer approval thanks to its performance. With cell phones, there are plenty of accessories to go along with them.
Some of these are considered extras while some of them are must haves like screen protectors. You don’t want to buy an expensive phone for someone only to turn around have them drop it and shatter the screen.
While you can’t use this one for the PLUS version of the phone, it’s well known as one of the toughest cases that you can buy. When you’re buying cases, many them will already come with the screen as well – but you can buy these separately in the event a phone was dropped and the protective screen broke.