problem solving

7 New Year's Resolutions To Stop Making + What To Do Instead

How often have your new year's resolutions failed? For a majority of individuals, the answer is most if not all. Often the problem has to do with the type of resolution you set and whether it is truly achievable. Unfortunately, many set unrealistic goals and once they "fall off the wagon" feel they failed.  This article discusses the most common resolutions and how to go about setting yourself up for success.


Every January 1, millions of people make New Year's resolutions. Chances are, they won't stick around for too long. Why?

Because most resolutions are unrealistic, or even unreasonable. Here are seven outdated fitness and nutrition resolutions that are destined — and deserve — to fail, along with smarter options to make sure you follow through and succeed.

Silver Lining: Life’s disappointments offer great lessons to kids.

What do you do when your child is disappointed? How do you manage those moments so they become a learning opportunity. In this article I was interviewed on how to help your children learn and grow when they don't succeed. 

No one – including Supermom – can prevent kids from experiencing setbacks in life. Your daughter may miss the class field trip because she caught a nasty cold. Or she may come home crying when her science-fair project earns a less-than-hoped-for grade. Kids’ disappointments are no fun for parents to witness. But kids learn to lift themselves up when they get knocked down. Marriage and family therapist Christina Steinorth, M.A., author of “Cue Cards for Life” (Hunter House, 2013), says parents can help kids learn to bounce back from adversities by taking a teaching role. During tough times, aim to build your child’s coping skills and reinforce the value of persistence. Here’s how. 

5 Things No One Ever Told You About Raising a Toddler (but You Need to Know)

Ever wonder why the terrible 2s are so terrible? This article goes into 5 reasons why toddlers are different and why it is important to nurture those differences. by  

Sometimes parenting books feel like they're a dime a dozen — a handful cross my desk each week promising to provide the definitive method for raising sweet, well-adjusted tots — spoiler alert: few actually do. But when I learned that Dr. Tovah Klein, a mother of three and the director of the Barnard College Center For Toddler Development in NYC who has been observing toddlers for over 20 years, would be speaking at my son's preschool PTA meeting, I made sure I was seated in the front row to hear her philosophy and learnings firsthand. Dr. Klein's recently released How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today For Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success ($19, originally $25) was already generating buzz, and after hearing her in person, I understand why.

Based on the philosophy that toddlers are not miniadults, that they're individuals fueled by a desire to know was just the beginning. In just 45 minutes Dr. Klein took us deep into the magical world of the toddler years and got to the root of many of our biggest frustrations with our tots. I learned a few fascinating philosophies about young kids that have already helped me better understand my child. I highly suggest you pick up a copy, but in the interim, here are a handful of teasers you'll find in the book.

1: Toddlers Have No Sense of Time

2: To Them, the World Is All About Power and Control

3: Happiness Doesn't Come From Trying to Make Them Happy

4: They Need to Stumble and Fall

5: The Qualities That Drive Us Nuts Now Are the Ones We'll Want Later

To read the descriptions and how to cope click on the Link to article below.

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The Silver Lining in Tough Times

Do you use emotion words to help your child identify how something makes them feel? I was quoted on the benefits of encouraging your child to label their feelings. Life’s disappointments offer great lessons to kids. by Heidi Smith Luedtke

No one – including Supermom – can prevent kids from experiencing setbacks in life. Your daughter may miss the class field trip because she caught a nasty cold. Or she may come home crying when her science-fair project earns a less-than-hoped-for grade. Kids’ disappointments are no fun for parents to witness. But kids learn to lift themselves up when they get knocked down. Marriage and family therapist Christina Steinorth, M.A., author of “Cue Cards for Life” (Hunter House, 2013), says parents can help kids learn to bounce back from adversities by taking a teaching role. During tough times, aim to build your child’s coping skills and reinforce the value of persistence. Here’s how. Acknowledge Emotions Family and art therapist Erica Curtis, MFT, of Santa Monica, Calif., says kids’ setbacks may feel intensely personal to parents. “Parents need to clarify their own feelings about the situation,” she says. “A parent may be more disappointed – or may assume the child is more disappointed – than the child actually is.” Research shows we are biologically wired to catch others’ emotions through a process called emotional contagion. Mirroring 9/a S ilver Lining ;AaD_69a;@/U Life’s disappointments offer great lessons to kids. by Heidi Smith Luedtke others’ feelings promotes and preserves social connections by allowing us to feel empathy. But there is a downside: It’s easy to forget whose feelings you’re feeling. When that happens, you may overreact or respond ways that amplify your child’s distress instead of helping him regroup. It’s important to get an accurate read of your child’s feelings about what happened. Sometimes kids share intense bad feelings with parents, then move on quickly. Other times, kids may feel truly and utterly devastated. Pay close attention to your child’s words, body language, and behavior. All of these things provide insight into kids’ feelings and give clues about how effectively they are coping. Accept your child’s emotional reaction, even if it seems overblown. “Parents need to be able to tolerate kids’ bad feelings,” Curtis says, even if they are uncomfortable. Take a deep breath and remind yourself parenting is hard. If needed, step back and tend to your own emotions first, so you can give generous comfort and support to your child. Build Coping Skills Start by giving your child a safe place to share his experiences. “The most important thing a parent can do is to listen actively,” Curtis says. “That means nodding, paraphrasing back what you’ve heard, and asking questions instead of offering solutions.”

For instance, if your child reports, “I wanted our team to be called the ‘Crushers’ but the other guys didn’t listen,” mirror his feelings by responding, “It sounds like you really wanted the team to choose the name you suggested.” This shows you are listening and validates your child’s point of view. As your child describes the situation in greater detail, “encourage her to identify and label her feelings,” says Brooklyn, NY, clinical psychologist and mom Nerina Garcia-Arcement, Ph.D. Labeling emotions gives kids a sense of control and composure and decreases the chance they’ll act out in harmful ways to express their feelings. A child who says, “I feel angry because my best friend blabbed my secret to everyone else,” is ready to explore potential responses. One who just cries and moans, “It’s awful,” is not. As your child explains what happened, prompt him to identify potential reasons for the setback. For instance, you might ask, “What do you think got in the way of you running a faster race?” Rather than letting him focus on one or two obvious reasons, encourage your child to come up with more. There is usually a range of factors, both personal and situational, that may have affected an unhappy outcome. Explore each reason with your child to identify ways he could do things differently next time. This helps your child move from feeling bad to doing better. For instance, noting he felt tired

before the race started might lead your son to come up with ideas about eating a snack before the track meet or going to bed earlier. Specific action steps empower kids to bounce back on their own terms. Encourage your child to write down her intended actions, so she’ll remember the plan. This also reinforces her commitment to change. Offer your support by asking what you can do to facilitate your child’s goals. “Parents have to commit to making changes along with the child,” says Garcia-Arcement. If your child says she needs more practice to make first chair in the clarinet section, you may need to tweak the routine to find more practice time or designate practice space in your home. Bottom line: Do what you can to create a supportive environment. Pay It Forward After the pain has passed, talk with your child about what she learned. Focus on knowledge gained and skills developed. Perhaps your child learned how to speak up for herself. Or maybe she built project-planning skills – such as goal setting and task scheduling – that she can apply to other endeavors. If your child can’t articulate what she learned, share your own observations. And don’t forget to tell her you’re proud of her improvement. Kids need to know parents notice. When the next setback happens, remind your child how he handled previous situations and encourage him to apply past learning to present challenges. Be a confidant and a sounding board. Help your child find his own way forward. Then step back and watch him grow through adversity. Responding to disappointment with confidence, grit and good humor is the key to being a happy, successful person.

Every Setback Has a Silver Lining 1. When kids don’t get what they want, they learn to distinguish wants from needs. 2. When kids lose a treasured object, they learn to take responsibility for their belongings. 3. When kids lose a game or competition, they learn to celebrate others’ success. 4. When kids don’t live up to their own expectations, they learn the importance of second chances and self-compassion. 5. When kids are left out or pushed aside, they learn the power of acceptance and inclusion. 6. When kids miss opportunities due to dawdling, they tune in to their surroundings more attentively. 7. When kids feel upset because parents limit their screen time and sugary snacks, they learn healthy choices aren’t always the most fun. 8. When kids build something, then see it destroyed, they learn that revision is part of the creative process. 9. When kids fail an assignment or exam, they learn achievement isn’t easy or automatic. Everyone doesn’t get a trophy every time. 10. When kids disappoint their parents, they learn love is bigger, stronger, and more enduring than any misbehavior. And that’s the best lesson of all.

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How to Use Social Jujitsu To Snag New Business

How do you grow your client base? I was recently quoted in an article on expanding your business with confidence.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jujitsu philosophy in the workplace Some executive leaders are born with it; other develop it. “Social Jujitsu” is the charisma that draws people and potential clients to you like a magnet. In the martial arts world, at its base the Japanese martial art of Jiujitsu is a method of defeating an opponent without a weapon. "Ju" is usually translated as "gentle, supple, flexible, pliable." And "Jitsu" is translated to mean "art" or "technique." Some experts say you can use the philosophy of jujitsu in the business world as the way to woo and win over colleagues and new business. But as with any art form, you have to develop and master the techniques.

Become more of who you are

The worse thing is to pretend to be someone you aren´t. So don´t fake it. “You don't develop a winning personality. You have one. Don't try to be someone you're not. The trick is letting it out,” says Mike Schultz, president and founder of RAIN, who is also a second degree black belt in Seirenkai Jujitsu. Adds Shari Goldsmith of Shari- Life Coach for Women, “Be you; true-to-you-authenticity is attractive. People can spot dishonesty a mile away.” The basics matter

Don´t throw common courtesy out of the window. Be polite and engaging. “Smile, offer a firm but not death grip handshake and open body language. Light touch is an HR no-no, but it's connecting,” Schultz points out. Do your homework

All clients appreciate knowing you have taken the time to study their company and their needs. They will be more attracted to you and what you are offering. “Know that you are offering your client something they need. Be aware of how you perceive your product or services. You are not simply asking for something from them but potentially solving a problem they have. Inquire about what they want to improve in their lives or business and explain how you can help them,” says Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Nerina Garcia-Arcement, Clinical Assistant Professor at Dept. of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine and of the Williamsburg Therapy and Wellness.

Be all ears

Merely rattling off a sales pitch is an empty gesture. Listen to what is being said to you, what is being asked of you. “Listen more than you talk, but don't make it all listening,” says Schultz.

Apply the personal touch

You don´t need to tell a complete stranger or a potential client your life story, but sprinkle in personal bits into your conversation. “Don't be afraid to talk about personal things,” advises Schultz. “When you let your personality and personal life shine through, it can be very comforting to people who care about the same things. You have to find mutual areas of connection to build rapport.” Goldsmith agrees. “People want to do business with people that they like and trust. Focus on letting others see the real you and be consistently kind and honest,” she adds.

And, when you share, seek out information about your client. “Don't see people as just potential clients, see them as individuals you can get to know on a personal basis. Be friendly, look for potential connections and common interests.  This will help everyone feel more comfortable. For example, you both might have small children or enjoy the same sport,” stresses Dr. Garcia-Arcement. “Once you know your clients on a more personal level, this aids in breaking the ice at the next meeting. Inquire about their family, their favorite sport or recent trip. This will help everyone feel like they are doing business with a friend instead of a stranger.”

Throw out bias and discriminatory tendences

Never make assumptions. Not only is it a good rule in life but business as well. “Treat everyone the same, no matter what their station in life. You never know where your future business is going to come from. Don't judge,” says Goldsmith. Dare to be different

Being cookie cutter is boring. You want people to be excited about doing business with you, about having you around. “Be unique--know what makes you different and play it up,” says Goldsmith.

Do unto others..

The “me” generation has come and gone. When possible, help someone on a project. “Help others succeed. Focus on helping others succeed at their goals, and it will come back to you,” says Goldsmith. Confidence is dynamic

If you're timid about or unsure of yourself, your product/services, then how can you expect a customer to be eager to do business with you? “Feel confident in your product or service. Know why the product is worth selling. If you know the virtues of the product or services, it will show in your sales pitch,” advises Dr. Garcia-Arcement.

On call As a small business owner, you´re always on call. You have to be ready to tell someone about your product at a moment´s notice—and with passion. People tend to respond to this approach just because of the sheer enthusiasm. “Prepare the proverbial elevator speech. This speech is best if you don't have a lot of time and want to get the client's attention. What would you say about the product you are selling if you only had a few moments with a client? If you have that prepared and memorized, it will reduce your anxiety the next time you approach a client,” says Dr.  Garcia-Arcement.

Martial arts mindset

Martial arts philosophies can easily be applied to business and business situations. “As far as jujitsu, the best conversation and connection application is a concept called kuzushi. Kuzushi literally means unbalancing, and it's applied as a redirecting of energy from one direction gently but specifically to another,” explains Schultz, author of the bestseller Rainmaking Conversations. “If you know where you want to go in a conversation, you can gently move it down to that path from wherever it's going. But do it subtly. For example, if you want to talk about an exciting project you're working on, don't just start talking..Just ask the other person, 'What's the most exciting thing you're working on.' They'll share, and then they'll ask you. At the same time, they're thinking 'what a great conversationalist,' and you got them to do what you wanted without forcing it.”

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