How to Create a Vision Board to Help Achieve Your Goals

Goals Corkboard Word Concept with great terms such as high, future, smart, planning, yearly and more.

Goals Corkboard Word Concept with great terms such as high, future, smart, planning, yearly and more.

 

 

If you want to achieve a goal, visualization is vital. A 2004 study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health found that mental practices greatly contribute to greater physical gains. Visualization is nothing new to athletes, whose sports psychologists have recommended mental training for decades to boost athletic accomplishments, as reported by The New York Times.

Vision boards help you identify your goal, reinforce the steps you’re taking to stay on the path you want to be on and encourage you to focus on your goals, explains Make a Vision Board. If you’re looking to make positive changes and foster a more well-rounded life that includes a healthy mind, body and spirit, creating a vision board is an enjoyable exercise with lasting rewards. An inexpensive piece of poster board and some free photos might lead to a pay increase, a skinnier waist line or a less stressful life.

Decide Where You Want to Put Your Vision Board

Vision boards can be as simple as a piece of paper you draw pictures and words on, as variable as a white board that you can change the content on whenever you want or as complex as a 3-D diorama featuring model figures. Get creative with the format that works for you. This may be determined by the space where you want to put your board. If you have a small cubicle at work, hanging a poster where you can see it is ideal. If you have a room in the house you spend a lot of time in and have the space, go bigger.

Give It a Theme

Think about the theme you want to give your vision board and the timeline you want to achieve your goals in. Do you want to make a board for the new year that covers many facets of your life, or do you want to create two separate boards for two specific goals? Make sure every element of the board is easily visible and clear.

Once you have your focus and intentions, grab visual cues that remind you of your goals. If you want to lose weight, flip through a healthy recipes magazine like Cooking Light, and cut and glue pictures and phrases onto your board that resonate with your goals. If you want a more relaxed lifestyle, flip through a website like Shutterstock to find soothing images, such as ocean waves and green forests that you may print out or use as inspiration. If you’re more spiritually minded, write down meaningful quotes in colors you love. Add a picture of yourself to your board, so you can see yourself surrounded by your goals.

Decorate Your Board

Add some pizzazz with sparkle glue or glue-on sequins, or decorate it so that it’s pleasing to you and makes you excited to look at it on a daily basis. Your vision board is all about making you happier and more fulfilled, so add as many personal touches as you like without making it cluttered.

Use Your Vision Board

Now that you’ve got your masterpiece, it’s time to put it into action. Position it in a space where you can see it on a daily basis. If you find yourself forgetting to look at it after awhile, move it to a new spot to ignite new ideas about how to better achieve your goals. Keeping a vision board somewhere you can see it before bed allows your subconscious to further internalize your goals as you sleep.

Whenever you look at your vision board, take in all the elements before delving into each individual component. Studying the elements, repeating the mantras you’ve written and forming them into habits takes time and diligent attention. Think about your vision board as the textbook to an improved life: putting time and effort into learning your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. Stating your goals out loud is another way to reinforce them.

Change It Up

As you complete goals on your vision board, don’t be afraid to change up the board by adding new pictures on top of ones you feel you’ve grasped or no longer pertain to your life. As your life evolves, you may want to create new vision boards. For elements that may take a lifetime to truly integrate, keep those ideas on your new boards, but consider changing the message to keep it fresh.

Share With Others

Discuss your mental, physical and spiritual vision board goals with others, and ask those you share them with to help keep you committed and on track. Constructing vision boards in a group setting allows you to discuss goals and leaves you with enthusiasm to go after your dreams.

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Steps to Becoming Emotionally Sober After Suffering from Addiction

Recovering from addiction is most certainly a layered process. Simply abstaining from utilizing addictive substances is not necessarily going to be enough to keep you sober. This is why many medical professionals suggest receiving help from addiction treatment centers. They are facilities that provide a safe and secure place for those suffering from addiction to receive layered levels of treatment that can pinpoint both the physical and mental effects of being addicted.

Reflections Recovery Center, a treatment facility offering rehab for men, points out that abstinence is only the beginning to becoming completely sober. Through helping participants learn how to focus on making effective lifestyle changes and dealing with their problems in a more productive way, can lead these participants to have an easier time returning to a normal lifestyle without the need for substances.

What is Emotional Sobriety?

While most know what it means to be physically sober, not many know what it means to be emotionally sober. Though negative feelings are a part of life, becoming emotionally sober means that a person has the ability to feel their feelings (positive or negative) and cope with them in a more positive way.

The belief is that when someone is suffering from addiction, it is because they are using a substance or behavior as a means to mask their feelings or avoid having to deal with them. By learning how to have these feelings but deal with them in a more effective way, it essentially helps the addict to refrain from using various substances or participating in certain behaviors when certain feelings arise.

Why is Emotional Sobriety is Necessary?

Addiction not only takes a toll on a person’s body but on their mental state of being. In fact, for many individuals, addiction and mental illness tend to go hand in hand. Someone suffering from depression has a more likely chance of abusing substances. For reasons like these, it is important to minimize the root of the problem so that the addiction then becomes a lot easier to overcome. If you simply deal with the physical effects of addiction but do not resolve the underlying cause, it defeats the purpose as an individual will continue to carry out the bad habit that got them there in the first place.

What Are the Characteristics of a Emotionally Sober Person?

With the right level of support and continued efforts towards making lifestyle changes, one should be able to overcome their emotional hindrances with time. Below are some signs that a person is emotionally sober:

  • They do not have a hard time living in the present moment (meaning they’re not always looking to the past).
  • They have a more positive outlook on life
  • They are not easily overwhelmed by stress or other extreme emotions
  • They have an easier time developing positive relationships with people
  • They no longer act on any desire that might be lingering to use a substance or behave recklessly to avoid dealing with life or emotions that sometimes come with life.

How Can I Develop Emotional Sobriety?

If you’re not quite at the point where you can handle life, emotions, and relationships in a positive or more effective manner, don’t be discouraged. Addiction is a serious illness to overcome and just as physical sobriety took time, so will emotional sobriety. Here are some suggestions on how you can get started on your road to complete sobriety.

Realize that things will not happen overnight. Don’t give up on your effort to become emotionally sober because the progress is not happening as instantly as you’d imagined. Though success is what you want, keep in mind that there is the possibility of a few setbacks and roadblocks along the way.

Write it down. When dealing with your emotions or events that happen throughout the course of a day writing them down can help you immensely. Keeping a diary or journal allows you to get your emotions out on paper which can keep you from wanting to act on them. It also gives you a reference from which to see how much you’ve progressed.

Practice meditation. Never underestimate the healing powers of meditation. Meditation is a great way to get in tune with yourself and your feelings. A few minutes per day can be a great way to channel positive energy and to release any negative tension you might be feeling.

Attend therapy sessions. Continued therapy is a must if you’re going to become mentally sober. Working with a highly trained therapist can help you to pinpoint emotional triggers and learn an improved way to deal with it. Your therapist also understands the road to recovery and can provide an unbiased ear when you just need to vent.

Becoming emotionally sober is a quest that can take days, months, or even years to tackle. The main idea is to continue striving for that level of sobriety as you learn to deal with life. Take it day at a time and face each challenge and fear head on. In time, you will learn to overcome your fears, channel your energies, and effectively cope with whatever circumstances may come your way. Remember, as you continue your road to recovery, working with a highly trained therapist is ideal to put things into perspective.

 

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Overcome the Struggles that Weigh You Down

Throughout life, challenges present themselves in various forms. For some, it is a constant battle with weight that leads to chronic health issues. For others, it is not making enough income to support your monthly bills. While both wear on you, the good news is that with perseverance, you can overcome and achieve success. The way to win the battle is to approach it with optimism. Forget the negatives and focus on how you can change things. After all, it is within your power.

For instance, if your situation is related to credit matters, avoid viewing what you owe as a lump sum. This will leave you shaking your head and may provoke you to throw in the towel. Rather, methodically dissect your finances into categories. Lists do work and it is time for you to evaluate where your money goes. Write down all of your monthly bills including your mortgage, rent, car payments, utilities and credit cards then move on to the others expenses such as food, gas and so on. A visual image of all your expenses will open your eyes to what you are really dealing with.

If your credit score is still intact, you can borrow against your home or if you rent, you can take out an unsecured loan to consolidate the debt. This will eliminate all the small payments that add up and give you a single monthly payment to deal with. If you’re in dire straits and your credit score has taken a hit, you still have options to get back to the black on your monthly budget. It’s just going to require you to step up to the plate and either borrow from a family member to consolidate or, if that’s not possible, take on a second job. While you will have to work more than you may want to, it will only take as long as you need to eliminate the debt.

With matters that involve being overweight, the same approach works. The only difference here is that you are going to have to list the times and amounts of food you eat daily. Once you see that you have developed a pattern of unhealthy and excessive snacking on paper, you can begin to find your weak times and patterns of self-destruction. For example, if 3:00 p.m. is your downfall time, create a satisfying and healthy snack that fills you up until dinner. This one step alone will pay off big. From there, move to reducing the plate size. As silly as this may sound to you, it works. Here, the visual plays an important role. When you see a full plate in front of you, you immediately feel as if you are eating enough and not dieting. Reducing the plate size reduces the intake without you ever feeling as if you are giving up on quantity.

Whether you struggle with weight or finances, the outcome can be a positive one with a focus on how to fix the problem versus giving up on the situation. Unlike mental illness, these areas are within your control and with perseverance and dedication, you can achieve success and reward yourself with lasting benefits.

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Savvy Ways to Save on Insurance Costs

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that, as of 2013, 61 percent of adults said the main reason they don’t have health insurance is because the cost is either too high, or they lost their jobs. Meanwhile, the personal finance site NerdWallet did a survey on auto insurance and found people overpaid by an average of $368. But paying for insurance isn’t a concrete formula. It can be negotiated, lowered and sometimes turned into a tax-deductible advantage. Slashing your bills from homeowners insurance to car insurance takes time and research, but can save you thousands a year. Here are some of the lesser known ways to score a deal on your insurance costs.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Take a look at a compilation of the average homeowner’s insurance premiums from Value Penguin. Florida ranks at the top of the list at an average of $1,991 a year while Wisconsin’s is only $610 annually. Fortunately there are ways to lower your premiums without skimping on coverage. Investigate strategic renovations that help protect your home while simultaneously giving it an upgrade. For example, a new roof can reduce your premium by as much as 20 percent.

The security of your home and neighborhood can also impact your homeowner’s insurance price tag. Some policies offer lower rates if you live in a gated community. Typically gated and secured areas have fewer incidents of vandalism and theft. According to Realtor.com, installing deadbolts and security cameras can sometimes lead to a homeowner’s insurance deduction. To save even more than just your monthly insurance bill, install a system from Lorex and purchase it outright instead of paying a monthly subscription fee.

Health Insurance

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that workers spend an average of $951 a year for out-of-pocket health insurance costs. Meanwhile, average health premiums for a family exceeded $16,800. Keep health insurance within reach while keeping your family healthy. To lower your costs, combine a high-deductible policy with a tax-deductible health savings account (HSA). This tip can lower your monthly insurance bill while saving and earning interest toward medical needs. You can also take your HSA with you even if you switch health insurance providers.

Consider shopping around for a cheaper policy with a higher deductible to immediately lower your health insurance bill. Next, shop around for your medical needs instead of picking the biggest hospital in town.

Car Insurance

Ask your car insurance provider if they will cut your rates when signing up for automatic payments. Offer to pay your premium yearly instead of quarterly or monthly in exchange for a discount. Next, look into lowering your car insurance, and all of your other policies, by researching multi-line policies. Purchasing your homeowners insurance with your car insurance can trim your monthly bills and put more money in your pocket.

There’s another way to completely eliminate your auto insurance. If you live in an urban area, ditch one or both of your vehicles and rely on Zipcar, Uber, public transportation or your bike! This way you only pay when you use a car or bus and can drop auto insurance altogether.

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Why Blood Sugar Control Benefits the Heart

When there’s talk about high blood sugar level, concerns are usually associated with diabetes. But did you know there’s a strong link between heart disease and blood sugar level as well?

Heart disease symptoms may not be present in diabetes patients, but diabetes, when managed poorly, is already causing hardening of the arteries, and damaging the blood vessels, which contributes to heart damage.

According to a study cited by WebMD, individuals whose blood sugar level was high enough to meet the criteria of being diabetic had a 50 percent greater possibility of death within a month than individuals whose blood sugar level was in the “normal” range. Individuals with raised blood sugar level also had a high risk of death from cardiovascular disease, even if the blood sugar readings were only slightly above the normal range.

Another study found that females with diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease compared with women of similar age who aren’t diabetic. Also, cardiovascular disease followed by stroke or heart attack is the main cause of death in males and females with diabetes.

How to manage cardiovascular factors and blood sugar?

Regular exercise, meditation along with reducing the consumption of smoking and alcohol are some measures that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. As for managing blood glucose levels, Dexcom’s blood glucose meter and other monitoring devices can be used to gain insight on average glucose levels and hypoglycemia risk. This high-quality data can help you assess the quality of your glycemic control so you can take appropriate steps to bring down blood glucose levels.

For instance, if the data points towards high blood glucose levels, you can lower the intake of high-glycemic foods such as cereals and bread. The data can also be used to see which foods increase your blood sugar and vice versa. Diet modifications along with an active lifestyle is the key to reducing chronic diabetes and heart-disease risks.

Why diabetics have a greater risk of heart disease?

High blood sugar is now regarded as a strong risk factor for heart disease. Individuals suffering from this condition have increased susceptibility to damaged blood vessels because of the inadequate control of blood glucose levels on the tissues over a long period, or due to cell damage caused by diabetes.

Obesity is also a reason. Having poor blood glucose control and a sedentary lifestyle can increase chances of abnormalities in blood lipid profile (increase in bad cholesterol and decrease in good cholesterol) and blood pressure (in the high range). Diabetic patients may also suffer from some inflammation in their arterial lining, which contributes to blood vessel modifications causing cardiovascular disease.

While this is a growing concern, the answer to what is the best solution for diabetics to lower their cardiovascular risks remains a matter of debate. The promising outcome is the advice to aggressively control high cholesterol and hypertension. Controlling and monitoring blood-glucose will further reduce the risk of heart disease.

Research conducted on diabetic vets revealed a significant reduction in the measure of strokes, heart failure, heart attacks and circulation-related amputations among the individuals who were maintaining blood sugar levels for 5.5 years on average. The most encouraging part is most of the benefits can be achieved via modest, rather than high, drops in blood sugar levels.

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Free Health Screenings at Sam’s Club

Women often cite time as a key barrier in getting themselves to the doctor. Many women today are just so busy taking care of their family, friends, and careers that they unintentionally deprioritize taking care of their own health. With this in mind, Sam’s Club is offering free health screenings to both members and the public on Saturday, October 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as a convenient way for women to get a wide range of tests.

 

These screenings can easily be worked into regular weekend errands and are available at all Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (612 locations nationwide). They are valued at $150 and include tests for:

 

  • Blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Glucose
  • Body mass index
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Living with Diabetes: Getting Started with Fitness

Ask any healthcare provider and they will tell you that exercise is an important part of staying healthy with diabetes. Physical activity has several benefits including lowering blood sugar levels, reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke, and improving your overall wellness. But not everyone is excited about the prospect of exercise—especially if you are new to exercise or are just returning to a more active lifestyle.

The good news is that getting started is easier than you may think.  The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Adults with type 1 diabetes can follow the same recommendation as long as they are careful to balance their insulin doses with the amount of activity performed to prevent high or low blood sugar levels.

Here are some ways you can get started on a fitness routine:

–Keep safety in mind. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.  Make sure your heart is healthy and can tolerate activity—if you are approved, work out with confidence.

Track your blood sugar levels carefully. Until you know how exercise may affect your blood sugar levels, watch them closely. Sugars may swing high or low for up to 24 hours after activity and it’s important to respond to them promptly. Using an insulin pump is a great way to have insulin available at all times.  If you haven’t looked at pumps in a while, they have gotten significantly smaller and easier to use in recent years, including touch screen options like the t:slim and t:flex Insulin Pumps. Alternatively, low blood sugar should be treated with a quick acting source of glucose.

–Take it easy. No one is recommending that you start with an aggressive, high-intensity workout. You may want to start with a few things as simple as stretching and trying to stand more during the day. When you’re ready, you can start walking. Take a stroll past your neighbor’s house or down the block and back. This is a good start. Move at a pace that’s right for you.

–Try a pedometer.  It can be very encouraging to see your progress and set fitness goals. Try to choose a number of steps you want to take each day and then work toward that goal. On days you haven’t reached it, take a few extra minutes to get out and move.

–Wear your medical ID. If you exercise alone or with other people who may not be aware of your diabetes (like in a gym) make sure to wear your medical ID necklace or tag and keep a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help.

–Keep an eye on your feet. Remember that diabetes can affect the health of your feet and slow healing if they are injured. Make sure to check the inside of your shoes before you put them on. Feel for any sharp edges, rocks or foreign objects that might be inside. Make sure your shoes fit well and wear socks that pull moisture away from your skin (not cotton).  You should also check your feet for any signs of bruising, blisters or injury after a workout and report any problems to your doctor.

Even with diabetes, you can get out and get moving with the right precautions. If you are still unsure about where to start, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to recommend activities that are right for you and your specific healthcare needs.

 

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