Real Life Solutions

Subscribe

Archive for December, 2009

Work Life Balance: Help for Busy Moms

December 30, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

As a mom you probably go through times in your life when you think you can’t possibly manage work and taking proper care of your family.  In fact, there are probably times when you feel you’re not doing a good job at one or the other or maybe even both. Don’t despair!  There is help for you whether you work from home or outside of the home, your family is large or small or you have other commitments like volunteer work.

Time Management - Knowing where and how you spend your time is key to balancing your life. Start by keeping a calendar of all your activities.  You can do this online, on a paper calendar or in a journal.  Track everything from showering, exercise, meal preparation, driving time, and so on.  You will probably see areas where you can cut some time out by doing certain activities while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or riding in the car.  There are lots of useful ways to spend idle time and you can figure those out as you fill out your calendar or journal.

Set Priorities - As women we often have a hard time saying “no” because it is in our nature to help others and want to be useful. However, you must know when to say “no” to those activities that don’t help you reach your family, personal or business goals.  And even if the activity does in some way help you reach your goals, you will need to prioritize the activity according to its value or importance.

Don’t be Afraid to ask for Help - Another trap women tend to fall into is the “I can do it all” syndrome.  For some reason society has taught women that they have to be “Super Mom” otherwise you’ll be seen as lazy or a bad mother.  That is a lie! When you are feeling overwhelmed by work, family and kids, have a friend, relative or neighbor give you a hand by helping you clean your house, or taking the kids away for a couple of hours while you get some work done.  Whatever the situation may be, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

These are just a few of the suggestions you’ll find in my report, Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work and Family. The “Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work and Family” report shows you how you can find a balance between work and family, without letting any of those balls you are juggling fall on the floor.  This report gives you real life solutions, and the best part is that you can get started right now.

Not only are there tips for everyday life, but inside The “Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work and Family” contains valuable insight for work at home moms and moms who work outside of the home.

In addition, I also show you how to get started and then keep the momentum! So don’t wait another second.  Stop doing the juggling act and get your life in balance now with the Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work and Family report.

Looking for tips to get your life in balance now. Get ‘em right now… 24/7! The Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work and Family report is available for easy and instant download to your computer.

Also grab a free Personal Life coaching consultation at http://www.reallifecoaching.net/free-consultation/

Easy Steps to a Clutter Free Home

December 28, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

When you first move into your home it seems like you have so much space. As the years pass, you might find yourself becoming a pack rat. What are you going to do with all the stuff you have accumulated? Perhaps it’s time to weed out the unnecessary items and organize your home.

Home organization is a step-by-step process.

It will take more than a day or even a week to get everything to a manageable level, but once you do staying organized is an easier task. If you have a family, enlist their help. They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life.

1. Start with the high traffic areas.  The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house. Everything gets dropped on a counter or the couch in these two places. Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.

2. Use storage containers.  Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional. Instead of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your décor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage.

3. Divide items into categories. You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part. Everything that you find can go into a pile: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE. Items that will stay in that room are to keep. Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away. Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Veteran’s association or Goodwill. Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Remove everything from drawers and cabinets. This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around. If you line things up on the counter, someone else can help by putting the items in some type of order.

5. Make use of all of your available space.  In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling. That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container. Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal or grits. In the bedroom, shoes and winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser.

6. Label your containers.  Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers. Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed. Labeling also makes for easy identification if you decide to sell or give away a container of books or something. You won’t have to open each container to locate them.

Organizing your entire house takes time. But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization. 

Visit Finally Organized – Finally Free  for an amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips.

Get Out Of Debt In 2010

December 26, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Goals 2 Comments →

Achieve your New Year’s resolution and get out of debt

(ARA) – New Year’s resolutions for 2010: Lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, get out of debt….

Year in and year out, getting out of debt consistently ranks among New Year’s top 10 resolutions. If your household is like many American households struggling with the recession, or worse, unemployment, getting out of debt will be close to the top of your list again for 2010. Unfortunately, like other tough habits to break, it can be difficult to get out of debt after developing spending habits that have heavily relied on borrowing from credit cards and home equity loans.

While some households can slowly work their way out of debt, others that have been affected by a recent job loss may have no choice. If you’re among the more than 70 percent of American workers who are living paycheck to paycheck or must immediately cut expenses due to sudden unemployment, here are seven tips from FindLaw.com, one of the world’s leading online sources for legal information, on how you can get your new year off to a great start by reducing and eliminating your debt.

* Write down your goal. Give power and energy to your goal to get out of debt by writing it down on a piece of paper and taping it to your refrigerator. Be clear. Write down how much you’re in debt, your goal date for being debt-free and your determination to cut expenses and stop needless spending. In addition, write down what you dream of achieving – buying your own home, or paying for a child’s college education – to give you and your family added purpose as to why it’s so important to get out of debt now.

* Get help now. Some households need expert help to get out of debt and create new spending and saving behaviors. Seek the assistance of a debt management or credit counselor, available through many social service agencies. Try visiting the United Way at www.liveunited.org. If you are at risk of going into foreclosure, call (888) 995-HOPE for a toll-free foreclosure prevention hotline sponsored by NeighborWorks America and the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. Beware of any debt management companies that demand payment up front for their services, which is a telltale sign of a scam.

* Call your creditors. Don’t wait for your creditors to call you. Call them to negotiate a new payment plan that you can realistically handle, including lower interest rates on your credit cards. It’s not uncommon for many Americans who are deeply in debt to be strapped with interest rates as high as 30 percent. Don’t be afraid to ask a creditor to settle a debt for a lower amount than what you currently owe.

* Cut back to the essentials. Cut your expenses to the essentials – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Stop eating out. Cut out the afternoon candy bar and soda pop and start drinking more water. Stop buying lottery tickets. Start taking the bus or the train to work or, better yet, start biking or walking to and from work. Drop cable and your cell phone.

* Don’t skip these expenses. Depending upon the laws in your state, there may be some expenses that you must incur, such as auto and medical insurance, student loan payments, child support payments, license fees and, of course, paying local taxes as well as state and federal income taxes, according to FindLaw.com. Skip any of these expenses and you may wind up with much bigger legal headaches.

* Go automatic. Have your employer automatically deposit your paycheck into your bank account. But don’t stop there. Arrange for the most essential bill payments – mortgage, electricity, heat and water – to be automatically withdrawn from your checking account. If you have a mortgage, escrow property taxes to ensure that they’re automatically paid.

* Make more money. At some point, you might realize that you can’t cut any more expenses to make enough headway on your goal of getting out of debt. You might need to make more money by either taking on another job or selling some of your household items. If you take on a second job, look for an opportunity to work for a retailer that offers benefits to part-time workers such as discounts on merchandise and health care benefits. For more information about getting out of debt and avoiding bankruptcy, visitwww.findlaw.com.

Visit Real Life Solutions, your resource for articles and information on managing your business and personal finances, saving money and living debt free. From Grocery Money Saving Tips to Saving for a College education, you will find many resources for your personal finances here financial resources here.

Shop Online and Keep Your Sanity

December 09, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Stress Management No Comments →

Christmas is right around the corner. Have you thought about holiday gift shopping yet? Whether you have a ton of people or just a few on your list, you’ll want to get that off your plate as soon as possible. This year, try shopping online.

Some are wary of shopping online. It could be because it is new to them or because they aren’t computer savvy. However, with the ease of navigation on many websites, even a child could find what they are looking for.

Shopping online is safe for those who have that issue. The important thing to remember is to be aware of what constitutes safety and not to deviate from it. Here are a few things to look for:

* Find security certificates on the site and be sure they are up-to-date
* Look for a closed lock symbol on checkout pages where you supply financial information
* Enter your personal and financial information each time instead of storing it in the browser
* Delete cookies after you finish your shopping for that day
* Implement the highest security that you have for Internet browsing

When you know what to do to keep from being taken for a ride, the Internet becomes a fun way to shop for items that you want to give at Christmas. Here are a few reasons why it is less stressful to shop in cyberspace than leaving your home.

* No traffic jams
* No long lines outside the store
* Greater product availability
* You can shop anytime you have a few spare minutes
* You can have items delivered anywhere you need to

If you have an Internet connection, you can shop for Christmas presents online. In the stores, they only carry a certain number of items. It is how they drum up demand. Online, your supplier may have a warehouse full of that same item just waiting to ship.

What do you do when you go to the store and they are sold out? Online, product availability can be checked weeks and months before Christmas. You can buy early to avoid the rush. Also, some product colors and styles are only available online so your gift will be more unique.

Have you ever stood in the line at the post office the week before Christmas? It’s worse than the retail stores. Online, you can fill in a billing address and a shipping address. They don’t have to be the same. Send your gifts automatically to family far away without ever darkening the door of the post office.

What are your plans for Christmas shopping this year? See if you can do the majority of your shopping online. Now, you can go to the mall for a stroll and an ice cream instead of scouring the stores for hard-to-find gifts.

Natural Winter Mood Boosters

December 07, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Just for Fun 1 Comment →

No one knows the exact number of people dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) on a regular basis each year, but some reports state it may be as much as 20%. Whether you’re actually suffering from SAD or merely have a case of the winter blues, you may be looking for natural winter mood boosters you can use. You may want to try some of these ideas to improve your mood during the colder months and see if they help you.

The brain uses neurotransmitters to allow brain cells to communicate with one another. An imbalance in neurotransmitters can produce symptoms of depression, obesity, carbohydrate cravings, migraine headaches, and anxiety. If you can build up the neurotransmitters such as melatonin or serotonin, you can effectively improve your mood during the winter months.

One way to increase serotonin is to take St. John’s Wort which has been used for centuries to treat depression, melancholy, or hysteria. Build up serotonin levels in your brain and you may notice a marked improvement in your sleep patterns, sex drive, and body temperature. St. John’s Wort, a natural winter mood booster, is used in some countries rather than prescribing Prozac or other anti-depressants.

Besides St. John’s Wort, you may also want to consider taking Gingko Biloba or Ginseng. Both of these are said to improve both mood and symptoms of depression. You may be able to find these herbs, along with St. John’s Wort, at discount stores or dollar stores, but you may want to visit a health food store to determine which the best choice is for you.

Another natural way to boost your mood during the winter months is to get outside as much as possible. Natural daylight is one way to increase the production of serotonin. Of course, with the weather being colder, you may have to bundle up and brave the cold to get the extra sunlight, but your brain and your mood will thank you.

Increase your intake of vitamin B6, a precursor to creating serotonin, which is found in fish, lentils, potatoes, spinach, carrots, and sunflower seeds. L-tryptophan, another amino acid precursor, is also great for boosting moods. You can find L-tryptophan in foods such as baked potatoes with their skins on, roasted pumpkin seeds, and kelp.

Despite the fact you may not feel like doing much, exercise is also a good natural winter mood booster. If you take up skiing, snow-shoeing, or some other sport which will get you outside, you’ll receive the benefit of the natural sunlight as well as exercise to help you feel better. Of course, any type of exercise will make you feel better, so if you can’t exercise outside, doing exercises indoors will suffice.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of winter blues or SAD, you may want to give one or more of these natural winter mood boosters a try. You may find using these ideas can help you look forward to the winter months rather than dreading them.

The Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder Explained

December 03, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living 1 Comment →

It’s not unusual for people to feel a little down at one point or another, but some are consistently depressed when the summer ends and shorter days begin. Is this depression due to circumstances or do they have SAD? Having the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) explained will help determine if their problem is simply a down day or something more serious.

A type of depression, SAD is often characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness as well as losing interest in normal activities. The symptoms increase as the year progresses from sunny, longer days to those which are colder and shorter.

Symptoms generally include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Sleepiness or fatigue – This is common among people suffering from SAD; in fact, they may desire to sleep ten or more hours per day during the winter. Unfortunately, most people experiencing SAD don’t feel rested no matter how much they sleep.

* Concentration problems – Since SAD is a form of depression, those with this disorder often experience difficulty with concentration, quality of memory, and the ability to speak. It is quite common for people with SAD to have problems remembering names, dates, and appointments.

* Irritability and anger – Also common in those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder is having fits of anger. One recent study found 40% of the people with SAD had anger episodes which were deemed inappropriate compared with only 29% of people without SAD. They also have these bouts of anger nineteen or more times per month.

* Lack of interest in sex – People suffering from depression of any kind, especially SAD, can lose interest in healthy sexual relationships during the period when their other symptoms are prominent. During the spring and summer, their interest in sex returns.

* Increased appetite – Many people with general depression will stop eating; however, some people with SAD often experience an increase in appetite. 65% of those having SAD state they’re actually hungrier during the darker months. This increase in appetite may be due to lower levels of serotonin which controls appetite and mood.

* Carbohydrate cravings – When SAD sufferers do eat more during colder months, they most likely crave carbohydrates such as pasta and bread. Some doctors think the desire for carbs is caused by the increase of tryptophan which then increases the serotonin levels. They may be using carbs in place of medicine to increase their moods but will result in gaining weight during the winter months.

* Withdrawal from normal activities – Depression sufferers often feel like secluding themselves, but this is particularly true for those with SAD.

These symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder may vary in severity in each person. Visiting a physician will enable them to correctly diagnose and recommend treatment if you are found to have SAD.

Tips on Saving Money during the Holidays

December 01, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

With the hype that holidays usually bring, people always have the tendency to buy more and spend more without taking into account the consequences that their actions can bring.

Hence, it does not necessarily mean that because it is the holidays you have all the reason in this world to buy whatever you want and spend how much you want. Some people contend that it’s just once a year, so better give what you have.

The problem is that giving something just for the spirit of the holidays does not mean you have to spend gold. You can still give something that will be deeply appreciated without having to spend more money.

Here’s how:

1. Make a budget and stick to it

The problem with most people is that they find making a budget relatively easy but sticking to it is doubly hard. So what’s the point of making a budget when you do not know how to conform to what you have stated in there?

Making and using your budget should always go hand in hand. Therefore, when you make your budget this holiday season, it is best that you follow the things that are written in it so that you would be able to save more money.

2. Live within your means

Of course, everybody would want to give gifts because that is what the holiday season calls for. However, it does not necessarily mean that you have to spend more than what you can afford.

The trick to saving more money is to always live within your means. Spending more than what you can afford will definitely bring more problems than you can afford to solve.

3. Personalize it!

As they say, it is the thought that counts. Hence, there are no better ways to show how much you have thought of those people this holiday season than making personalized gifts.

4. Shop and compare

It really pays to shop around and doubly better when you compare prices. You will never know which items are better priced than the others are when you do not compare their values.

The point here is that you should not be confined to one shopping portal. Try to look for other items, usually in thrift stores and consignment shops, where you can find the best items at a lower price.

Indeed, shopping for the holidays can be fun, but you don’t have to be spendthrift. Nowadays, you really just have to be practical.