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How To Overcome Addiction: 5 Ways To Kick The Habit

Addiction - The Short Advice

The Nature of Addiction

Addiction feeds our need for instant gratification, providing short term gain, but often with negative long-term effects. It feels great when you’re doing it, so how can you know for sure whether you’re addicted, or you just like doing it? This is the very question that makes addiction both difficult to recognise, and accept. For a list of criteria specific to substance addiction, this article might be helpful in the recognising/accepting stage. Our 5 ways to beat addiction below assume that an addiction has already been recognised, and accepted. Remember, addiction can range from mild to severe, and does not have to be drug/alcohol related. Without further adieu…

1. List the Pros and Cons

Why are you addicted? Why do you want to break the addiction? Between these two questions, you should be able to list some of the positive and negative attributes of your addictive behaviours/activites. The first question asks what you have to gain from engaging in your addictive behaviour… After all, there must be something pretty great about it, otherwise it wouldn’t be addictive in the first place! The second question is encouraging you to consider why there is a need for change. Whilst it might feel good at the time, what are the longer-term issues that you’re creating for yourself, and possibly others? An analysis of your addiction, and some reflection on the effects, is a great starting point from which to build strategies to overcome it.

2. Replace the Pros

How can you replace the positive experience/emotions that your addiction provides in a way that is not damaging to your mental health/physical health? Consider your list of pros, and brainstorm ways that you could recreate those positive emotions/outcomes with an activity/course of action that is beneficial to your personal development as well. Take substance abuse as an example… In most cases, the feelings/emotions that many addictive substances make you feel are not new ones that are exclusive to that substance. However, the feelings are often quite intense, and minimal effort is required in order to experience them. And so, escapism and addiction is born. This brings us back around to the old saying, that nothing worth doing is ever easy. But often, the easy road is only easy for the first few kms…

3. Recognise the Triggers

Is there a particular situation or action that encourages you to engage in your addictive behaviour? Find out what it is, and be aware of it. You don’t necessarily have to avoid it as such, but it should help you to be more conscious of your decision-making process when relapse is beckoning. Understanding your triggers can also help you to decrease them. For example, if stress were a trigger, than you could put some thought into how you can better manage stress in your life to reduce the intensity and frequency of that trigger. You can have multiple triggers, or a trigger could be the combination of feelings/emotions/situations that drive your addictive behaviour. So, engage in some critical self-reflection and consider how you can limit your vulnerability.

4. Set a Goal

Set a goal that requires you to overcome your addiction in order to achieve your goal. The goal does not have to be centered around your addiction. For example, a heavy smoker may set a goal to run a marathon. Whilst this has nothing to do with smoking, it would be extremely difficult to achieve the required level of fitness to run a marathon with the lung capacity of a regular smoker. In doing this, it will highlight the effects of your addictive behaviour that are inhibiting you from leading the lifestyle you wish to lead. The smoker may turn back to nicotine in their hour of need, but they will pay for it later when their hands are on their knees in a coughing fit, after the first 500m. Nobody said it would be easy, but it’s a great way to keep yourself accountable.

5. Take Immediate Action

When will you choose to start fighting your addiction? Unfortunately, the most common answer is usually ‘tomorrow’. And it’s always the wrong answer. Thats your subconscious speaking, the part of you that doesn’t have to experience all of the negative effects. That part of you doesn’t want you to stop. That part of you is having the time of your life! So they’ll try to sell you on idea… “We’re too busy to stop now, let’s start on Monday”, or “NYE is around the corner, let’s make it our resolution”. Don’t get sucked in. This will only lead to more procrastinating and excuses. So, start right this very moment! Make the promise to yourself, and put a plan in place. How will you change for the better right now?

Final Note

There are a number of variables to consider when approaching addiction. It would be crazy to assume that one addiction could be overcome as simply as the next. Personality types, education, genetic disposition, resilience, environment etc… All of these factors have a role to play. Some addictions are far more severe than others, and some far less damaging than others. Whatever your vice, there is a way to overcome, you just have to be willing to put in some hard work.

As always, thanks for reading! Hopefully you’ll be able to apply these steps and overcome whatever it is that is holding you back from living the lifestyle you want to lead.

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The Road To Success: How To Create Your First Goal Map

Goal Map The Short Advice

The Road to Success

The Road to Success is long and winding. Along the way, there are obstacles and challenges. Each providing a valuable lesson or experience to prepare us for what is yet to come. Planning is great, but it isn’t everything. Goal-setting is great too, but again, it’s still not enough to guarantee success. In fact, success is never guaranteed, it’s only promised. A promise you make to yourself. And being the delicate creatures that we are, promises are broken everyday. So, upon reflection, success is what happens when we keep our promises. But how do we keep our promises? Combining a number of strategies is generally a good place to start, in order to give ourselves the best chance. Our ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map does exactly that, and heres how…

Creating Your Goal Map

Goal-Setting – Long-Term Goals

What is it that you want to achieve, and why? Both questions are equally as important. The ‘what’ must be realistic, and achievable. The ‘why’ is the question of motivation. You should always be working towards a goal that benefits not only yourself, but also the people that you care about, and hopefully, the greater population is included in this. Consider the result of your success, and the positive, and possibly negative, impact that it will have on your life, and others involved. Now that you have a long-term goal in mind, you need to consider the steps necessary to achieve it.

Stepping Stones Towards Success – Short-Term Goals

Once you know what your long-term goal is, you need to create some short-term goals that will help you reach it. Consider the prerequisites that you will need to achieve before reaching your final goal. If you were a sprinter aiming to qualify for the next Olympics, your short term goals might be a series of PB’s and first places in local/national races. For a game developer, short term goals might include creating your first block-coding game, to completing assessment tasks with distinction, right up to achieving a recognised qualification. Whatever your discipline, there are steps you’ll need to take in order to progress along your goal map towards success.

Time-Based Goals – The SMART Method

The ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map encourages the use of twelve short-term goals, and one long-term goal, in order to create a time-based goal map. You might aim to reach your long-term goal at the end of the year, with your short term goals representing a significant monthly achievement. Of course, your ultimate goal will probably take a lot longer than one year to achieve, but the long-term goal you set for yourself might actually be a short-term goal of that larger, and far more difficult to attain goal. Also note, that each goal you set on your goal map will have it’s own timeframe to achieve. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t meet that deadline, but it’s a good indicator of how you’re progressing, and how you can improve. Check out our article on SMART Goals here for more information.

Systems for Success

The ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map also requires the use of daily and weekly activities. This poses two questions; What do you need to do regularly in order to achieve your short, and long-term goals? And, what are you prepared to do? If the answer to both of these questions isn’t the same, you’ve already hit a wall. The systems that we set ourselves should create the good habits that we need to develop in order to progress along the goal map. So, carefully consider what these things are. If you’re a budding musician, you might aim to practice for an hour each day. Every week you might study a new album. There’s room for 5 weekly activities, and 5 daily activities, so make sure you only list the things that you are prepared to do.

What If I Fail?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try again” – Your Grandma. And guess what? She was right. If you haven’t managed to achieve your goals in the time you’ve allowed yourself, it’s not the end of the world. The ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map is time-based to allow you to reflect on your performance, and consider the why/why not of your achievements. Things won’t always go as planned, and sometimes life gets in the way. Whilst this might slow us down from time to time, it doesn’t need to stop us in our tracks. The good news is that the systems you’ve developed, and the steps you’ve taken towards your long-term goal has brought you closer to it than ever. Progress.

Final Note

You’re not alone. The Short Advice community is with you every step of the way! We’ve researched and written an abundance of articles to help you with whatever challenges you might face… Set yourself some SMART Goals, build your resilience and mental toughness, power your way through the ‘Road to Success’ and earn your piece of sustainable happiness. Good luck! If there’s another topic you’d like to hear more about please feel free to drop us a line on our homepage. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to checkout our Road to Success Goal Map here.

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How Regular Exercise Instills These 4 Virtues

SashaLayton The Short Advice

About this article

This week, we’ve published a guest post for Sasha Yoga & Health, to share our understanding of the benefits of regular exercise with Sasha Layton’s wellbeing community. To read the full article, you can click here to navigate across to SashaLayton.com. Not convinced? Well, continuing reading below and you might be!

How Regular Exercise Instills Important Virtues

Whilst there are countless lessons to be learnt by engaging in regular exercise, we’ve picked four considerably important ones to discuss. Through the development of respect, self-esteem, discipline and resilience, one can begin to achieve balance. And a well-balanced life is a happy one. The lessons that we teach ourselves through exercise, hold us in good stead when facing the challenges of everyday life. They also help us work towards achieving our goals, whether financial, academic, physical or otherwise. So how can regular exercise help us to achieve a heightened understanding of life’s most important virtues? Lets start by discussing the most important one…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT ‘SASHA YOGA & HEALTH’.

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5 Essay Writing Tips To Relieve Your Study Stress

Essay writing tips The Short Advice

Study Stress

According to results from a recent survey, the majority of TAFE and university students in Australia between the ages of 17-25 are stressed/anxious. Workload, grades, future uncertainty, career prospects etc… A long list of pressure-factors that can create an unhealthy and unmanageable amount of stress for some students. With all of these pressures, approaching a 5000-word essay can be a difficult task. Sometimes one that seems so enormous that it’s hard to know where to start. So, before you go leaving your next paper to the last minute, ease your stress-levels with our 5 essay writing tips below.

Essay Writing Tips

Hopefully you haven’t landed at this page looking for tips on how to get an essay done in one night. If you have, skip straight to step 1 now – you don’t have time to read the intro! … Of course, no one essay is the same. Sometimes, there are different requirements to meet that can make an essay quite unique, or even difficult to research. Whatever the case, the following tips will likely still apply! Our 5 essay writing tips are essay-specific, rather than being tips on ‘how to get stuff done’. So, we’ll just leave this supplementary ‘time-management tip‘ here: Don’t leave it to the last minute!

1. Preparation

Do the reading, and do the research. If you want to produce a quality piece of writing, you can’t expect to be cutting corners. Lecturers will read your bluff, and take it as an insult to their intelligence. So be sure to complete the work that has been set throughout your course of study, and familiarise yourself with the content. Once you’ve done this, you’ll find the task of essay writing far less daunting. Ideas will flow, and you’ll actually be retaining some of the knowledge which is a plus! Good grades are usually a reflection of good preparation.

2. Drafting – Key Concepts

Brainstorm the key concepts of your essay topic. Put it all down on paper (or device) and break them into ‘tiers of importance/relevance’. Consider some of the most important concepts that you’ve covered so far in your course. Are they relevant to the essay topic? If so, how and where might they be of valuable? Also brainstorm any other supporting information that will help to meet the essay topic/question. What further research is required? Remember, you’re not looking for filler-material here, but rather specific, valuable and relevant content.

3. Drafting – The Blueprint

Now that you’ve got your key concepts listed and have a better understanding of research requirements, it’s time to structure your essay. You’ll need to consider the style of essay that you’re writing; persuasive, narrative, expository or descriptive. This stage of drafting will have you organising headings and subheadings, planning out paragraphs, and considering where particular information will sit within the text. Creating an ‘essay overview’ or blueprint will provide you with the blank template to populate with your key concepts, and researched information.

4. Elaborating

Now that you’ve got a plan in place, you can begin to develop your essay in detail. When taking this approach, you’ll often find that you need to shave some words off, rather than add filler content. So, always keep the topic in mind, and be as specific and relevant as possible. Link your arguments and facts back to the purpose of the essay, and you’ll end up developing a valuable resource of information. If you do fall short of your word count, you might consider if there are any key concepts that you’ve overlooked in the drafting stage.

5. Referencing Tools

You pretty much can’t write an article on essay writing tips without listing a reference generator… There are a number of great referencing tools online, although one very trusted resource is citethisforme.com. You can reference as you go, or keep a reference list while you research and then do it all at the end. If you’re using Google Chrome, they’ve also got a great extension that you can download for free that allows you to generate a cite for the website you’re currently browsing. If you can think of a better idea, we’d love to hear it!

Final Note

Hopefully you’ve found enough value in this article to implement these five strategies when approaching your next writing piece. For some other helpful information to get you through your studies, check out some of our other tips here: Productivity vs Procrastination, Tips to Increase Your Energy Levels, and our Top Ten Time Management Tips. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

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How To Be A Good Father: 5 Expert Examples

Good father The Short Advice

What Does it Take to be a Good Father?

We’ve studied some expert opinions and views on fatherhood from some of Australia’s favourite dads. Being awarded ‘Father of the Year’ would be no easy feat, and so these exceptional fathers must have done a few things right. There is no one answer, but rather insightful pieces of ‘dadvice’ from these five experts. So, in celebration of Father’s Day in Australia this weekend, let’s have a look at what it takes to be a good father from some of the best in the country…

Paul Roos

Father of two boys (now adults) and AFL coaching legend, Paul Roos, was awarded the Father of the Year Award in 2008. Leading young men at home and again in professional sport, Roos believes that dads have an “enormous amount” of responsibility to act as role models for their sons. Where some people would react with violence, fathers should demonstrate how to properly react. He also notes that too many parents are afraid to say ‘no’ nowadays. Allowing kids to do whatever they please is no way to raise balanced young individuals.

Steve Biddulph

“Fathers show boys how to be good men” says Father of the Year 2000 and parenting activist Steve Biddulph. He also notes the important role that a good father plays for young women, “Girls who are close to their dads get involved with boys later, and show better judgement when choosing partners”. The underlying message of Biddulph’s ‘dadvice’ is to take an active fatherhood role. Spend more time, pay more attention and make your child feel valued. He encourages fathers to be “warm-hearted” and “involved with day-to-day care”.

Ron Delezio

His ability to “rise above the challenges” made Ron Delezio more than just a good father. He was awarded Father of the Year in 2006. After his daughter’s life-threatening injuries, he worked to raise funds for other burns victims, and had an important message to share about family… Don’t take your family for granted. Delezio also noted how the “love and dedication” he observed from other parents with hospitalised children helped to save their lives. He responded to adversity with resilience, dedication and love, and undoubtedly empowered his family to do the same.

Ben Roberts-Smith

2013 Father of the Year Ben Roberts-Smith, has played a fatherly role to his entire country, as well as twin girls. A Victoria Cross recipient for bravery, Roberts-Smith made a special note of the “sacrifice” of fathers who have served. Described also as a ‘normal dad who is devoted to his children’ the VC recipient’s message of sacrifice translates to non-military fathers too… A good father prioritises the needs of his children above the needs of himself. The sacrifices that good parents make everyday should not be overlooked. It’s an important way to show children that they are valued.

Ken Done

Australian artist and optimist, Ken Done won Father of the Year in 1989. Reflecting on the wisdom imparted to him by his male role models, Done recalls the saying “look to this day“. Sound advice from a known optimist and fantastic role model. He also speaks very highly of the women in his life. He notes that a very important part of being a man is to understand both masculinity and femininity. Both men and women have the ability to be strong and sensitive. So, perhaps the big message for fathers out of this is not to suppress their sensitive side, as tradition would have us believe.

Final Note

Raising a family can be difficult, and being a good father means something different to everyone. But, perhaps the strongest message that all of the aforementioned super-dads had to share, was about being a good role model. Children will learn how to behave by watching their parents. So, before acting, consider if this is how you would want your children to behave. But even with the best intentions, we’re not always going to get it right. We’re faced with tough decisions everyday, no matter what our role. The important point to remember is that it is okay to make mistakes. Like anything, fatherhood should be a continual process of learning. Be open-minded and adapt when you have to. Recognise your mistakes, and make sure you employ better systems to avoid them next time.

As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear why your father is so fantastic in the comments section below!

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The Winter Blues: 5 Ways To Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Simply put, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder brought on by the changing of seasons. In the colder months, it’s commonly referred to as the Winter Blues. Whatever you call it, both terms refer to feelings of depression and a lack of energy. So, is this really a disorder? Or are we again trying to diagnose ordinary life? You be the judge. Regardless of your stance, it can be agreed that what we are talking about are patterns of behaviour, and emotional states which are affected by our environment. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies to help counter these feelings. Below, we’ve listed our 5 strategies to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder for good!

1. Exercise Goals

Should we hibernate throughout the Winter, like big brown bears? It seems to be how many people choose to deal with the cold… However, it doesn’t seem to be contributing to our health and happiness a great deal. So instead, try setting yourself an exercise goal to improve your wellbeing. This study suggests that goals relating to personal development and improvement can create sustainable happiness. Set a specific exercise goal, give yourself a time-frame to reach it, put the required systems in place to achieve it, and get SMART.

2. Sunshine

If seasonal affective disorder in the Winter can be attributed to a lack of sunshine, then it only makes sense to seek it out when you can! Get outside during your lunch break and soak up some rays whenever the opportunity presents. According to studies, it’s all about our body’s ability to produce serotonin, the ‘happy‘ chemical. It seems our brain can produce more serotonin on bright, sunny days. So don’t hide indoors all Winter, get outside and give yourself the best chance at producing mood-lifting serotonin by seeking out the sunshine!

3. Find Your Winter Activity

Winter isn’t all bad everybody! There are lots of great Winter activities that you can find to keep you motivated. Like snow sports – so much fun! Or winter hiking, considerably less-expensive. There’s also nothing wrong with enjoying the sound of rain pouring outside while you stay in and watch movies all night long. You could even take up a new hobby, like woodworking! Point is, whatever you’re into, try to look at the positive aspects of Winter, even if you consider yourself more of a Summer person. You’ll find it far easier to enjoy yourself during the colder months if you choose to make it work.

4. Can the Comfort Food

Don’t over do it this Winter. It’s pretty easy to throw a few chocolate blocks back while you’re indoors doing a whole lot of nothing. So, make a conscious effort to maintain a sustainable, healthy diet all year round. You don’t have to be so unbelievably strict that the chocolate in your pantry turns a bit cloudy. Just be a little more in tune with your food choices. It really depends on your health and fitness goals of course. So perhaps consider these next time you’re tasked with a recon mission to the fridge on movie night.

5. Respect the Balance

Unfortunately, the universe is not here to serve you. And the weather doesn’t particularly care how you feel about it either. It’s going to turn whether you like it or not. So, respect the balance. There is no happy without sad, no light without dark, no Summer without Winter. Each positive’s seemingly negative counter-part presents opportunities to build and earn your own little piece of sustainable happiness. This is also the birth place of resilience and mental toughness. Don’t drop your head, embrace the changes and turn them into positives by implementing the strategies mentioned above. The good times are just around the corner…

Final Note

Don’t let seasonal affective disorder wreak havoc on your mental and physical wellbeing this Winter. Take an active role to ensure the sustainability of your happiness year-round, and combat these environmental factors by putting a plan in place. Don’t hit the pause button on your life just because the Winter Blues are knocking at your door. Get outside, get active, eat properly, find something fun to do, and respect the opportunities you’ve been given! A simple and drug-free method is never a bad place to start… As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear what Winter activity you partake in to combat the Winter Blues! Let us know in the comments section below. Good luck!

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5 Great Songs You’ve Never Heard With Powerful Words

Powerful Words Guitars The Short Advice

Powerful Words in Music

If you listen carefully, some of your favourite tunes might also have important messages to share with you. Music can teach us about life, history, society, philosophy etc… But unfortunately, being a fantastic song with powerful words is not the prerequisite for mainstream radio-play. So, below we’ve listed 5 songs of vastly different genres (and eras) that you’ve probably never heard before. Each song has some brilliant life-advice to take-away, which we’ve broken down for you in some detail. We’ve also included links to each song in our headings, so be sure to listen with an open mind…

End of the Movie by CAKE

Powerful Words: “… But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie.”

CAKE lyrics are often quite cryptic, and include wacky metaphors that can sometimes make it difficult to understand the underlying meaning. Which is always a lot of fun! But this track however, gives it to you pretty straight… The song is about a person who never gives up. Someone that is resilient and mentally tough. Regardless of how bad the circumstances, they are always willing to see things through to the end, no matter how bitter it may be. If you haven’t already done so, check out the linked video on YouTube and read some of the comments… This song may have genuinely helped save a life.

Man of the World by Fleetwood Mac

Powerful Words: “… And how I wish I was in love.”

The story of fame and fortune. The life of a travelling rockstar that so many long for. And yet still, the individual described in this song is lacking… In this case, the love of a good woman is what he truly desires. Perhaps the pressure of finding a relationship has begun to mount. It’s a classic case of ‘the grass is always greener’. The lesson? Value your relationships with the people you care about. They are more important, and more rewarding than any level of fame and fortune could ever be. Appreciate what you have, instead of wishing for what you don’t have.

What it’s Like by Everlast

Powerful Words: “… God forbid you ever have to walk a mile in his shoes, ’cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues.”

This track has some very powerful and confronting lyrics. It explores some quite extreme hardships, in order to make the listener consider how they might feel if they had to face those difficult situations. The moral of the story here, is to not condemn another person until you’ve walked in their shoes. A valuable lesson that should be remembered every single day. You might pass judgement, and make assumptions based on the information you have, and the things that you see. But the reason behind it all is something you’ll never know unless you’ve been there.

Tremendous Damage by Big Boi

Powerful Words: “… But like the Wright brothers, you gotta crash and burn before you take flight…”

Big Boi gives us an insight into his life, and the trials and tribulations he’s faced. Through it all, he’s come out the other end strong and confident. The lyrics encourage the development of resilience and mental toughness, reinforced with the line “I suffered tremendous damage, got me tougher than a (use your imagination)”. The powerful words listed below the track title above encourage the listener not to fear failure, but rather view it as a necessary step towards success. Great advice Big Boi.

Who’s Gonna Save My Soul by Gnarls Barkley

Powerful Words: “This is a shame that someone else’s song, was totally and completely depended on.”

A brilliant look into the mind of the heartbroken. This track demonstrates how somebody who is extremely emotional can be so overwhelmed that they have an inability to consider feelings other than their own. The sort of emotional whirlwind in which we’ve all been caught before. It encourages the listener to reflect on their own emotional experiences, and consider how their emotions affected their ability to rationalise a situation. The other powerful message in this track, is ‘don’t rely solely on others for your happiness‘. A relationship should be a source of happiness, not the source of happiness. ***Definitely checkout the film clip WARNING: Graphic Content.

Final Note

Music can help us to understand and interpret our emotions and thoughts. Artists share their experiences with listeners, so that they might relate. Even the darkest of songs can be a source of motivation, just knowing that someone else has felt the way you’ve felt. That negative emotions are normal, and that they can be overcome. We hope the above list of songs will help you to find the powerful words hidden in your favourite tracks, so that they may motivate you to continue earning happiness. As always, thanks very much for reading, and we’d love to hear about some of your favourite lyrics in the comments section below.

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How To Be A Good Friend: 5 Friendship Tips

Friendship The Short Advice

Great Minds Think Alike

First, we are drawn to people with similar interests. Maybe music, or sport, or work. But the roots of a true friendship are the values and principles that are shared between friends. These are things that you can’t fake, and they’re unwavering. The development of a friendship like this will last for decades. And time will inevitably create opportunities to solidify friendships, and to test them too. But before any of that, the best way to find like-minded and loyal friends is to be yourself. This is our first and perhaps most important tip…

The 5 Friendship Tips

Make, and keep, great friends with these five friendship tips:

1. Be Yourself

Exhibit the behaviours that you look for in a friend, but only if they are natural to you. If you find it tiresome being a great friend, then you might also find it difficult keeping a great friend. Consider what values and principles are important to you, and what you believe constitutes a ‘good person’. If you can be all of those things, you might also be able to find them in a friendship. If you feel as though your friends have let you down in the past, it’s not necessarily your poor judgement. But it could be. So, critical-self reflection is never a bad idea. If the person you are hasn’t produced good results in the past, change might be needed.

2. Effectively Manage Conflict

Like any relationship, the ability to deal with conflict is very important. It can end a friendship, or strengthen one. Either way, conflict has an important role to play. Too often, friends are worried that voicing their concerns might adversely affect their friendship. But if you are afraid that a difference in opinion might see you go your seperate ways, then you’re probably not compatible as friends in the first place. So, talk it out. Listen. Agree. Disagree. Agree to disagree. AND never be too stubborn to admit when you’re wrong. A good friendship is more important than your pride.

3. Make Time

As mentioned above, it’s a two-way street. If you’re someone that is always there for your friends, you’re likely to attract people that will always be there for you too. Selflessness and thoughtfulness are two very important ingredients of a life-long bond, so do not underestimate them. It’s in the little things that friends do for one-another, but also the times when friends are most in need of support. Prioritise your friends during their hour of need, and they’ll remember. It’s not an insurance policy just incase you need the same level of support one day. It’s because you care.

4. Reflect on Your Friendship Skills

Critical self-reflection is something that cannot be overlooked. It’s an important part of the happiness puzzle, as it allows us to evolve into better versions of ourselves (sort of like Pokémon). If you’re someone that tends to go missing for weeks on-end and still expect to keep great friendships, you’ll need to be aware of it. You can’t just be a good friend when you feel like it, so what can you do to counter that absence? This is why awareness is key. Without it, you can’t fix the problem. On the other hand, what things make you a great friend? Do more of it!

5. Be Honest

The answer to the question “do I look fat in this?” isn’t always “no”. Bad example? Well, the point is that good friendships require honesty on all fronts. Friends are often the first point of call for advice on careers, relationships, investments, family and other important life-topics. Trying to protect your friends’ feelings now, will only hurt them later. So tell them straight. Be tactful when you need to be, but don’t paint the picture that they want to see, over the top of the one they need to see. People respect and appreciate honesty. So, don’t be afraid to say the hard things that need to be said. You’ll be doing your friend a disservice if you do anything else.

Final Note

The fantastic thing about friendships is that every single one is unique. Because every single one of us is unique. But that fact also presents challenges… There is no one-size fits all solution to every problem that a friendship might experience. However, our five friendship tips are a good place to start! If you’ve got anything you’d like to add please feel free to do so in the comments section below. Or perhaps you’re experiencing a difficult situation and would like to bounce an idea off of a friendly stranger? Head over to our homepage and give us the short story, and we’ll give you the short advice ;). As always, thanks for reading.

 

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4 Ways To Successfully Achieve Your Wellness Goals

Sasha Wellness The Short Advice

About the Author

Sasha Layton is the founder of Sasha Yoga & Health, an experienced yoga & mindfulness meditation facilitator, and a certified Holistic Wellness Coach. She works with private and corporate clients all over Australia, and specialises in mindset and mindfulness. She believes that through education & knowledge, self awareness, and understanding the power of mindset, anybody can live a happy healthy life.

Steps to Achieving Your Wellness Goals

In a society where we are time poor, yet have more resources than we care to shake a stick at, being in a state of overwhelm is extremely common. Does this sound familiar? Reaching for that chocolate bar or fifth coffee by 3pm? Missing your third gym session this week because you got held back at work? Too tired to catch-up with that friend you haven’t seen in months? Or worse still, too tired to play with your children after work? I get it, there always seems to be so much to do yet so little time…and our health & wellness seem to take a backburner. Yet what if I told you that it has a great deal with what you VALUE and your attitude to wellness, that is key to whether you will achieve your goals or not? Read on…

1. Eat Healthier

It can be very tempting to eat crap when it’s surrounding you, so an overhaul of your cupboard and fridge to get rid of all the processed nutrient-lacking foods is the first step to eating healthier. Stocking up on fresh fruit & veggies, REAL food (i.e. not from a can, plastic packet or box), getting back into the kitchen, and learning how to cook, are the 2nd and 3rd steps. Not sure where to start? Booking some sessions with a certified Wellness Coach can help put you in the right direction. They can guide you on where and what to shop for, simple and quick nutritious recipes, and how to make it work for your lifestyle.

2. Move More

If you’re struggling to get to the gym or make that class you keep booking into, it’s time to ask yourself a couple of questions…and answer them honestly: 1) when am I most likely to exercise? 2) do I really enjoy this form of movement I’m currently doing?

If you answered no to the second question, ask yourself “what do I really enjoy?” There is no right or wrong time to exercise, because we’re all bio-individuals. Sure your best mate might enjoy getting up at 5am to attend their favourite yoga or HIIT class, but be honest with yourself on whether that’s really for you too? Finding the right time of day, what you really enjoy, and also what fits in with your schedule, is key to sustaining your daily movement habits.

3. Journal Your Thoughts

This could be via a food diary to keep track of your eating habits (particularly great if you get a lot of cravings), a movement log to track how much (or little) you’re exercising and at what times, or just a simple notebook where you write down thoughts, feelings and happenings that come up on a daily basis. By doing this, it will not only be helping you to brain dump, but also gives you greater insight into habits and patterns that may be holding you back. I personally love a pretty notebook and pen to physically write, but if you’re more an ‘online’ kind of person, check out this cool site http://750words.com where you can journal PLUS it tracks and gives you stats on your state of mind. It’s also password approved so completely private and no chance of anyone finding out your deepest darkest thoughts.

4. Get Accountability

Whether it be a friend, family member, partner, your FitBit app, or a Wellness Coach, using one (or many!) of these avenues is a sure fire way to keep you accountable to the goals you set. If it’s with a friend or loved one, you could even hold a monthly competition with each other so you have something to work towards and keep you inspired. If an exercise app, you can set daily or weekly goals which will remind you with notifications.

Final Note…

Being healthier doesn’t need to be difficult, it’s just about finding what works best for YOU, what inspires you, and understanding what it is in life that you really value. When you get to know yourself in this way, it really gives you the power to make the right choices.

Thanks you for taking the time to read my guest post for The Short Advice. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about my Wellness Coaching services, please get in touch or write in the comments section below, where I’ll be more than happy to reply.

Don’t forget to check out Sasha Yoga & Health here.

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself To Others

Don't Compare Yourself to Others The Short Advice

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

… Especially on social media! There are a number of obvious reasons why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, and these are just a few. Well, four, if you want to get technical. The big message to take away from this article however, is not how many reasons there are… It’s do not gauge your happiness on the perceived happiness of others. Happiness is something to be earned. So, the next time you find yourself setting unrealistic expectations after marvelling at the magical lives of Instagrammers, remember these four reasons:

1. Success isn’t a Conversation

We’re not saying you can’t share your success stories and achievements with others, but there is a right way and a wrong way. Some people will even tell you all about how successful they are, even when they’re not successful at all. But don’t get upset at them. This is a success strategy that they’ve been taught by our society’s most influential people, like reality tv stars. Shameless self-promotion might help these people sometimes, but it’s not how true success is bred. It also doesn’t tend to help the people who have to put up with it. Promoting something of value rather, is a much better strategy. If you explore how you can enrich lives, rather than enrich your pocket, you’re probably a better chance of achieving both goals. So, don’t get down on yourself if your best friend tells you that they’re earning X, and you’re still earning Y. Because it’s not a competition, and they’re probably not earning X anyway!

2. Social Media Professional Liars

Don’t compare yourself to others that don’t even exist in the real world! If everyone on Instagram were a successful entrepreneur, then there would be more Ferraris on the road than Toyotas. This is simply not the case. There are however more liars on social media than there are Toyotas on the road. We’re not sure what it all means, but one thing is for certain… Don’t believe everything you read, see or hear, especially on social media. Lying has proved a viable business model for many social media ‘influencers’. It might even be a way to make some money, but it certainly won’t earn you respect. If you measure your value in the world based on all of the brilliant things these people are doing on social media than you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The reality that we live in is very different to the reality that we see on social media. Learn how to make the distinction between the two, and you’ll live happily ever after…

3. Helpful Internet Bloggers Are Wrong

This is a very negative outlook. There are an abundance of brilliant and helpful blogs out there, of course. But, many blog websites would have you believe that achieving success in just about any field is fast and easy. Nothing worth attaining is fast and easy. Understand this. There are lots of successful people who make it look easy. But generally, that’s because of how hard they work when nobody is looking at all. Lets look at blogging, for example. Hours, and hours of work must be put in before you can expect anybody to take you seriously. You need to build credibility, and trust. Build a network and a community. This quite often takes years to do. And yet, every pop-up ad you’ve ever seen is offering you a 6-figure income working online from anywhere in the world. Even though we know it’s too good to be true, part of us wants to believe it’s that easy. It’s not, there are no shortcuts. So whatever you do, enjoy it now, and keep working towards achieving your goals.

4. Unsuccessful People Can Look Successful

So many people are brilliant at looking successful. They drive nice cars, live in nice places, and holiday at exotic destinations. But when they’re not doing the work required behind the scenes, sometimes they file for bankruptcy too. This would definitely have to be on the list of ‘less-enjoyable’ activities in which these flamboyant self-proclaimed success stories partake… Now, we’ve all heard the saying ‘perception is reality’. And yes, if you want the part, you do need to look the part. But once you’ve got the part, there is work that must be done. If you’re not willing to put in, and you opt to live outside of your means, you will lose the part. So, don’t envy what others have, be grateful for the things you’ve earned, and continue to earn more (if it pleases you).

Final Note

You can research what works for successful people in your field, but don’t compare yourself to others. You are what you do, not what you say. So, stop listening to what everyone else has to say about themselves, and start doing the things that will put you back on the road to success. As always, thanks for reading and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.