Read these 25 Goals and Priorities Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Single Parent tips and hundreds of other topics.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.: “So often our minds are racing forward to ‘what's next.' We get caught in our worries and our plans. We spend less time ''living' than we do anticipating. Or, on the flip side, we spend a great deal of energy regretting the past. We review mistakes, feel badly, hold on to grudges and mentally review days gone by. Being more present-moment-oriented means making today the most important day of your life. It's the recognition that yesterday is over, tomorrow is a dream but today is a ‘present.' This doesn't suggest that yesterday wasn't important or that tomorrow isn't critical, only that today is the day we have some control over. It means that we have the capacity to make today the best day it can be.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.: “Many people feel that if they can't make an enormous positive, tangible impact, that their efforts aren't worth anything. This is unfortunate because every single positive effort and action, however small, makes a world of difference. Can you imagine what would happen to our world--and our future as human being—if every single one of us made the decision to just a bit more gentle, more kind, and more generous”
Let's face it, raising kids is hard work even in two parent households. It is even harder when you are a single parent and work full-time. It is too easy to make your kids the focal point of your life and for you to spend every waking hour trying to provide for them and meet their needs. Unfortunately, this leaves little time for you and any dreams you might have. If you really desire to have a mate and become a two-parent household again, you need to also focus on yourself. Take time out to work on you, refining and polishing areas in your life that may be a little rough. Take time to grow and develop emotionally so you will be prepared when Mr. or Mrs. Right comes along. Allow yourself a night out occasionally for social functions with friends or attend singles gatherings to give you an opportunity to meet other people. Keep things in proper perspective. You are more than somebody's mother.
Have everyone in the family keep a "thanks journal". This does not have to be something that you share, but on the other hand, sharing with your family members what you are thankful for can really make an emotional difference. Another way to do this, is to make time during your family meals to share what you are thankful for that day.
Do not waste time regretting failures or feeling guilty about things you are not doing. Focus on the things you are doing and keep a positive attitude. Look forward not backwards. Remember what happened to Lot's wife when she look back--she became a pillar of salt. Seek forgiveness for past mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. Set goals for yourself and move toward them, such as a better job, living arrangements, better relationships, etc.
Set goals for yourself that you would like to accomplish. Then decide the steps you need to take to accomplish that goal. If your goal is a better job, then you may need to get some additional training or schooling to qualify for a promotion or another job. Talk about your goals with your children and enlist their cooperation in reaching your goals. If you need to take training or educational classes, help them understand that this is what you must do to reach your goal. They will be more tolerant of your absence or your time spent studying if they know what your goal is and that this arrangement is only temporary so you will have a better life.
If you talk about integrity with your child and do not practice it, it will actually undermine her sense of integrity. Practice what you preach. If you tell your child no shouting, then try your best to follow your own mandate, and do not shout. Keeping promises is also a part of integrity. She always remembers if you keep a promise, and if you do not deliver.
(Innoculating Against Depression by Richard Louv Senior Editor)
Love, security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life. Your child needs to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments. Mistakes and/or defeats should be expected and accepted. Confidence grows in a home that is full of unconditional love and affection.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.: “We're either making some sort of contribution to humanity by living an ethical, spiritual life, doing the best we can to raise loving kids, engaging in worthwhile projects or contributing in some way to the betterment of the world. Or, perhaps without even knowing it, we're contributing to the aggression, greed and other problems of the world with our actions, lack of action, or the way we are living our lives. By making the conscious decision to be part of the solution, whatever that may mean, we are making a statement to ourselves that, when we leave this world, the world will be a slightly better place because of us. This is a comforting decision. When we know we are doing our best to do our part, we free our minds from worry and fear. It gives us confidence and strength, and without a doubt, it keep us from sweating the future.”
Don't send your children to church, take them. Children learn by example, so make sure you set the right example for them. If you find church boring and you aren't able to see any value in it, perhaps you are not attending the right church. Start visiting other churches to find one that will feed your spirit. Ask friends, neighbors, or co-workers for recommendations. You may want to consider a church that has a Singles ministry. Get involved in your church and encourage your children to get involved. You'll all be a lot happier when that emptiness inside in your spirit is properly nourished.
Winning is not as important as being involved and enjoying the activity. One of the most important questions to ask your child is "Did you have fun?" not "Did you win?" In our goal-oriented society, we often only acknowledge success and winning. This attitude can be discouraging and frustrating to children who are learning and experimenting with new activities. It is more important for children to participate and enjoy themselves.
Buy a kitchen or egg timer and every evening try to give your child undivided attention for about 20 to 25 minutes. Set the timer and let him know that this is his time and that when the buzzer goes off, you are going to do something else. Let the answering machine pick up any phone calls and allow no distractions.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.:” We can make loving, successful, wise choices today that will become our future tomorrow…It makes sense that if you can make today the best it can be, if you can be attentive and sensitive to what's happening now, make wise and appropriate decisions today—then, tomorrow will be fine. So if you don't want to sweat the future, one of the keys is to create a wonderful today, starting with this very moment.”
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.: “Feelings are contagious—happy, sad, anxious, angry, whatever….I'm not suggesting you 'fake it' when you're not feeling happy. Yet there is something very powerful about the intent to spread happiness. It goes a long way toward promoting peace, goodwill, and a more positive future for all of us. Imagine how many people you come into contact with in any given day. Now, multiply that number by the thousands of day you will (hopefully) be alive! The numbers are staggering—and so is your potential to promote a more positive future. So, starting today, begin to spread happiness to everyone you meet. You'll be a lot happier, and so will everyone else!”
Children should be taught to set goals for themselves of what they want their future to hold. Encourage them to set some goals of things they would like to do or accomplish. Give them time to think about some goals and write them down. Then discuss steps they can take to accomplish their goals. This will help them understand how important goals are and the steps necessary to attain them. If their goal is to be the star player on the soccer or basketball team, then they will see how hard they must practice and train to become that star. If they set goals for themselves and work toward attaining them, they will have purpose and direction in life, and will be more supportive of you in the attainment of your goals.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.: “If you look around, you'll notice that the happiest people, those who worry and ‘sweat' the least, are constantly rejoicing at what they have and what's right about life. Because they are in the habit of seeing life in this way, they are hopeful and optimistic about the future. Unhappy people, on the other hand, seem to be constantly complaining about what's lacking and what's wrong with life…. the more attention we give something, the more it expands. In other words, when you focus on something that irritates you, you'll find more and more things to be irritated about. On the other hand, when you focus on the beauty of life and on that which is good, you'll tend to see plenty of that as well.” Focus on the good things and be grateful for them rather than drain your energy by looking at negative situations.
Take time to bond with your children after your evening meal. While you clean the kitchen and get things ready for tomorrow, they can finish their homework. Then comes that special time for your children. With younger children, sit on the floor and play with them, color, sing silly songs, or whatever makes them feel happy and special. With older children you can play a game or take an evening walk and have a good heart-to-heart talk if they want. Make this time special for them and let them know you will always be there for them.
Humans are made up of three components: your physical body, your soul (mind, will, and emotions), and your spirit (who you are on the inside). We usually do a good job of tending to the physical needs by feeding it (sometimes too well), and also our soul which develops based on what you feed it. It it has a steady diet of self-improvement and motivational ideas, you may find it healthy and well. However, if you feed it with a constant diet of soap operas, romance novels, or porno, you may find it sadly anemic and never satisfying. What goes into your soul, also comes out into your spirit. In the computer world there is an acronym called, GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. If you put garbage into a computer, garbage is what you are going to get out. Our minds work the same way. Make a choice to put good food into your mind, not junk and you will be much healthier mentally.
Be sure the goals you set for your children are realistic and maintainable. In order words don't insist your child make all A's in school if your child does not have that capability. Instead you might let your child know you want them to strive for A's and B's, but realize that in some subjects a C may be all they can obtain. Teach them to always do their best and aim high. Reward and praise your child for good work. Recognize when a child is giving their best and be careful not to compare your child to an older sibling or someone else's brighter child. You want to encourage, not discourage.
Try to make a few quality moments for your children every day when you come home. Sit on their bed or on the couch and talk with them about their day. This will show them that you love them and that you care about them. After a few minutes, all of you can then head toward the kitchen to prepare the evening meal together where they can finish talking and sharing about their day. You will spend some valuable moments bonding with them and you'll get some help in the kitchen!
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff article by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.: “There is something so beautiful and magical about individuals and organizations who do well financially but, at the same time, do good for others. More than simply sharing in their success, giving back becomes an integral part of their daily lives. Giving becomes its own reward. The tides are shifting. More and more people are realizing that life is much more than profit alone. Indeed, success means so much more when it is defined not only in terms of the ‘bottom line,' but also in terms of open arms and giving back. So go ahead and be successful….keep in mind that we are part of a world community, we're all in this together. When you hurt someone else, it's like hurting yourself. Likewise, when you're kind, ethical and generous, it's as if you're being kind to yourself as well.”
Not only do we need strong healthy bodies and minds, we need strong spiritual bodies. Don't neglect feeding your child's spirit. Raise your children in church and keep them there. Attending church services should not be an option. You don't let them choose whether or not they attend school, so why should they have a choice on attending church. If they don't enjoy going to church, then help them find a church they can enjoy attending. Helping a child develop spiritually will reap tremendous rewards and help them avoid a lot of pitfalls.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|