Category Archives: Positivity

Setting SMART Goals for 2021

Setting positive goals can be challenging, because if you are going to spend the time setting goals, you also want them to achievable goals – and the SMART goals framework offers a way to increase your chances of success.

Set SMART Goals Image by gabrielle_cc from Pixabay

The acronym, SMART, stands for the elements that are combined to make this type of goal setting effective.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Using the SMART goal setting strategy, as described by Indeed, helps you avoid the risk of setting vague goals that are likely to fail.

What Exactly Are SMART Goals?

SMART objectives follow a simple framework, or process, of development. The word behind each letter of the acronym, SMART, gives a hint about what to do and what to consider when setting new goals.

Specific Goals

When you make goals specific, it gives you a target to aim for when planning ways to achieve your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, you wouldn’t make the goal ‘to lose weight’ – you would make the goal for a specific number of pounds to lose or a specific number of inches to trim off your waist.

This is because it’s easy to say you want to do something, but that’s too general. Saying you want to achieve a specific thing, such as losing twenty pounds or fifty pounds, gives you a firm goal.

Measurable Goals

Making a goal measurable means defining how you will know you have achieved your goal. Using the weight loss example again, if your goal is too broad, such as just to lose weight but no specific amount, you not only have no way of knowing when you’ve achieved it, you also have no way to measure it.

However, if you set a goal of losing ten pounds, and check your starting weight, then when the scale reads ten pounds lighter, you’ll know you have achieved your specific, and measurable, goal.

Achievable Goals

Setting attainable goals means you are more likely to succeed if you choose a goal that’s do-able. For example, you may want to lose a hundred pounds, and of course that’s do-able – under certain circumstances and time frames.

A more achievable goal, using the weight loss example, would be calculated using the amount of weight a doctor says you can safely lose per week, and dividing a hundred by that number. Then, you would check the calendar to see the soonest date you could safely expect to lose that amount of weight.

Relevant Goals

Setting relevant, clear goals means choosing goals that align with your beliefs and desired lifestyle. This means knowing yourself well enough to set goals that mean something to you and that you’re willing to work to achieve.

For example, if you’re considering something that takes years to achieve, such as earning a college degree, then you would set each smaller goal, or mini goal, based on what you need to do to get your college degree. Passing each course that’s required to get your degree would be one of your achievable, relevant mini goals.

Timely Goals

Putting time limits, or deadlines, on your goals is about motivating yourself and about helping you stay on track to succeed in achieving your goals. Make the time-based goals ambitious, to keep yourself energized and under a bit of pressure. This is where setting long-term goals that are broken up into short-term goals really comes into play.

Using the weight loss example again, if you want to lose a hundred pounds, that would be a long-term goal because you couldn’t do it safely in a short time period. But you could make it a goal to lose that in a year and then break the goal into increments of ten pounds a month or every two months, and each short term goal would also have a deadline.

4 Easy SMART Goal Setting Tips

  1. Be kind to yourself: One of my favorite goal setting tips is to be kind to yourself.
  2. Set goals that change your life: Realize that the goals you’re setting, if you set high enough goals, can change your life, or at the very least be part of rewriting your life story.
  3. Set both long-term and short-term goals: Don’t be afraid to set big goals, just be sure to break the big ones into achievable smaller goals.
  4. Build success into your life story: Each smaller goal you achieve builds success into your story, and each success increases the likelihood of succeeding in your biggest goals.

What Is My Goal in Life?

When you’re setting life goals, keep in mind that it’s really rare for anyone to have a single goal in life. Because human beings are complex and multi-faceted, it’s typical to have goals that speak to different parts of life. Some common types of goals that make up a person’s life goals are personal goals and professional goals.

  • Personal goals: Personal goals are the goals that
  • Professional goals: Professional goals are the goals that

Using the SMART process for setting goals can help you establish positive goals in life, and following it can help you succeed in achieving both long-term and short-term goals.

Examples of Short Term Goals

Short-term goals could be described as daily goals, weekly goals, or monthly goals. These mini goals are like stepping stones on a path that can lead to success in the achievement of your long-term goals.

  1. Daily goals: An example of a daily goal, still using the example of someone who wants to lose weight, could be staying under a calorie limit, drinking the required amount of water, or a specific amount of time spent exercising.
  2. Weekly goals: Applying the weight loss approach to weekly goals, an example could be lifting weights three times a week and doing yoga stretches or aerobic activity twice in a week’s time.
  3. Monthly goals: An example that applies weight loss to the setting of monthly goals could be the specific amount of weight you can reasonably and safely lose in a month.

Note that these are all goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based for a person whose goal is to lose weight. The process applies, however, to setting goals for anything in life, not just weight loss.

Examples of Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals are those that take a year to several years to achieve. Think of these long-term goals as being closer to a goal of life than your short-term goals are. But – set your long-term goals using the same framework. Be specific about what you want, and establish a framework that’s realistic and time-based for achieving it.

  1. One-year goals: One-year gals are long-term goals you can realistically achieve in a year. Using the weight loss example, losing a hundred pounds would be a one-year goal if you set up smaller goals of losing two pounds per week.
  2. Five-year goals: Five year goals are those that realistically take about five years to achieve. Using the college and professional life example, You could set a goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree and being one year into your professional career as a five-year goal.
  3. Ten-year goals: It’s okay to think big when setting your ten-year goals. Just really think about what you want and where you want to be at the end of ten years, and kind of work your way backward, thinking about the steps you need to take to get thee. Set plenty of achievable short-term goals and make sure to stay focused on achieving each short-term goal.

Setting goals for success is the first thing you need to do to if you want to reach a goal that’s big and significant. Have confidence in yourself, and be willing to focus and work to get where you want to be. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

By: Laure Justice

Thanks for visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude! Browse around the site to check out some of the other information on setting goals and rewriting your life story.

– Laure

First Day of 2021: Combining Goals

So, how did the first day of 2021 go for you? I hope it was a blessed and fulfilling day for you.

Road to 2021 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I didn’t get my 2021 goals written down yet, but I did go ahead and get started on them. In short, my goals for 2021, at least for the first couple months, is to do something positive for myself everyday, and to work on cleaning and organizing around the house.

Combining Goals

If you’re feeling like you’re ‘in deep’ and like there’s no way you can manage everything you want to achieve in 2021, look for places where you can combine goals, and get more than one thing done at once.

I’ll share my example from today to give you an idea what I mean:

One thing I did today that pulled double duty was steam cleaning the upholstered living room furniture. (My son helped and may even have done the harder parts.)

It pulled double duty because it turned out to be a lot of exercise, and because it made the room look better. Plus, the furniture has a bright, lemony fragrance now.

Look for the Positive in Simple Tasks

Don’t let yourself feel dragged down by the chores that make up your everyday routine. Things like cooking and cleaning are no fun if hate them, but if you can adjust your thinking to see them as a way to make life nicer for the people you love, and for yourself, then it’s possible to make chores much more enjoyable.

I’ll also share an example of this from my day:

I also made a fairly labor intensive evening meal, biscuits and gravy with home fries. (I know… there goes my extra exercise.) And, while the food was cooking, I worked on cleaning and organizing the kitchen, so it looked a bit better after I made dinner than it did before.

Instead of looking at making a labor intensive meal as a chore, I thought of it as an honor, because I was spending my time preparing a meal my sons enjoy, and that nourishes their bodies and their spirits. Sure, it was a little heavy on the starches, but it’s not something we have often.

Thanks for visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude. Browse around the site for more information about goal setting and positivity – and please stop back soon for updates.

– Laure

New Years Resolutions: 2021 Edition

Well, 2020 has been quite a year, and while it’s never good to wish your life away, it’s kind of nice seeing 2020 move into the rearview mirror; so as part of my goodbye to the year, I thought I would do a recap on my new year’s resolutions article from last year.

New Years Resolutions Party Dogs Image by markito from Pixabay

New Year’s Resolutions or Goals for the New Year?

In a way, New Year’s resolutions and goals for the new year are the same thing, but at the same time, they’re different because goal setting involves several steps that increase the likelihood of follow-through.

Examples of New Year’s Resolutions

To shine some light on the difference, I thought I would drop a few common New Year’s Resolutions here before going deeper into the goal setting for the new year aspect.

  • Lose weight
  • Be more organized
  • Keep the house cleaner

These are all things that would benefit your lifestyle if you achieve them, if they’re issues for you, however, when stated as resolutions, they’re more like wishes – and wishes kind of float away in the wind like dandelion seeds when they aren’t backed by anything.

It can be more effective to think of your new year’s resolutions as long-term goals, and then back them up with goal-setting sessions that list the short-term goals you need to achieve in order to make the long term goals work.

Goal Setting Ideas for Weight Loss

It’s easy to know how much weight you want to lose, and it’s common sense to know the way to do it is to eat less and exercise more – however – it isn’t that easy. If it were that easy, everyone who wants to be thin would aleady be thin.

To use goal setting strategies to help you succeed in this type of resolution or long-term goal, think of specific things you can realistically do each day to get to where you want to be.

Set Smaller Realistic Goals

For example, exercise: You know you need to exercise, and say you’ve picked running or weight lifting as your chosen physical activity. If you jump right in and work out intensely for an hour or two at a time, you’re likely to quit the first day, or at least within the first week.

So, instead of choosing to work out intensely, consider what types of exercise you can realistically – and safely – do – such as walking for ten or twenty minutes a day with a goal of increasing the number of steps you take each week.

Commit Your Goals to Writing

Put these smaller goals in writing – add the details to your calendar or planner. I’ve often heard people say to tell your friends or family, so others can hold you to it. For me that doesn’t work, though writing them down does seem to help. I’ve found that the people who SAY they want to help are often the people who really don’t want to see success.

Set a Date to Revisit Goals

Make a date with yourself a few weeks out to revisit your goals and measure your success. If that date comes, and you aren’t where you wanted to be, refresh your goals, and move the dates out to achieve them. Then, start over or pick up from where you are.

Life is an ongoing process, so if you haven’t achieved the goals you set during your new year’s goal setting session, don’t be hard on yourself. Adjust, pat yourself on the back for anything you have achieved, and move forward.

In closing, I want to thank everyone who has visited intrinsic Vicissitude in 2020. It’s meant a lot to me to see all the visitors stopping by for a little boost of positivity. Please stop back often in 2021, and feel free to visit the Intrinsic Vicissitude Facebook page to join in the conversation and positivity.

Laure

The Ripple Effects of Kindness

The Ripple Effects of Kindness
By Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D

Ripple Effects of Kindness Image by 18121281 from Pixabay

It only takes a spark

to get a fire going,

and soon all those around

will warm up to its glowing…

That old song, called “Pass It On,” used to be a popular one to end campouts and church retreats. Everyone would gather in a circle in the dark with an unlit candle, and as they sang the song, one candle would be illuminated. Then that candle would be touched to the wick of another, and the person holding that candle would pivot to the next, and so on, until every candle was lit and the darkness was driven away.

It only took a spark.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of kindness in that way – how it spreads from person to person, with the potential to light up the world.

Over the last 30 years, I’ve been listening to people’s stories – the stories of their lives, and of what has caused them to be the way they are. Everyone has these stories of events from their past that caused them either unhappiness or happiness.

One thing I’ve learned in all this time is that we affect one another, and the way we treat others matters.

There’s no getting around the cruel fact that the actions of people we’re raised with matter. Some parents are loving, supportive, and kind, but then there are those who are cruel or even abusive. The words of such parents can have a lasting impact, with statements like “I wish you’d never been born,” or “You’ll never amount to anything.” This can become part of a playlist that their children return to again and again throughout their lives, because it’s incredibly difficult to change to a different soundtrack when one is so embedded into our subconscious.

Cruel words are sadly common, but physical or even sexual cruelty are also enacted upon children, and the memories of these actions, too, can reverberate for years.

You may know someone who had a very challenging childhood growing up, and if you do, you have likely seen the ripple effects of that early trauma. These people may leave their childhood and their families in the past, but as adults they may move on to instigating abuse in their own relationships, or they may numb themselves with drugs and alcohol.

Even if they avoid physical abuse of themselves (through substances) or others (through violence), people who were raised in an atmosphere of unkindness may themselves resort to being unkind to the people in their lives – the people they love. What we see in these situations is a cycle of pain that moves from one generation to the next.

Something that has surprised me over the years is that I have known people who went through incredibly difficult childhoods, and they have turned out beautifully. We might look at this outcome as being seemingly miraculous. How did they do it? How did they end the cycle of pain?

This is a topic I have explored with close attention for decades, and what I have found is that love makes its mark in people’s lives. When people who have had challenging upbringings turn out helpful, loving, and kind, I believe we are seeing ripples of a loving presence that made its mark on their lives, perhaps outside of the home.

I really believe that no matter how challenging our young lives were, someone probably loved us unconditionally. Someone showed us unconditional kindness, even in the darkest of hours. It could be anyone. Are they angels? Are they beings that were sent to help us? Whatever they are, they’re with all of us, and the spark of their lovingkindness passes on and on.

I’ve never found anyone who didn’t have someone in their lives who showed them some kindness, some love, even when it seemed like everyone else in their lives was cruel to them.

Here’s what I know about kindness: It has a ripple effect. The love of a single kind, angelic presence can issue from them in wave after wave after wave, washing over and through us and continuing on to touch those in our path. For some, even with the horrible things that are happening in their lives, they are able to take this kindness and turn it into something beautiful.

All of us have opportunities in our lives to be kind to others – to say something encouraging, to treat them in a friendly way, to show expressions of kindness toward them – and when we do this, we create a ripple of kindness that radiates in two directions: outward and inward.

The kindness that radiates outward toward others can help them to improve their lives by giving them hope, by helping them through difficult times, or by putting a smile on their face. We often do not know the effects of our kindness on others, but we can be sure that it makes a difference. It could be that someone goes home with a happier heart, and thus is more likely to share kindness with loved ones – perhaps with children.

And beyond eliciting a simple smile, our stopping and making time for kindness to others might pull them out of dark despair. It might help them when we don’t realize that they’re having a hard time. It could even spare a precious life from being ended through suicide. We don’t know how far our ripples extend, but I believe they can go very far sometimes, and just by the mindset of love and care, we can help others to live an improved life.

Kindness is a source of hope for the hopeless. It opens the door to positive possibilities. When others are being kind to us and they really don’t have to be, we take that in. We say, “Oh, maybe there is love, and maybe I can let that love in and even love myself.” Even if we feel that we do not deserve kindness, we understand that someone else feels differently about us and our value and worth. Kindness loosens our bonds to let that love in, and as a result, we may begin to show compassion toward our own stoutly beating heart.

The ripple effects of kindness affect the people we come in contact with and the people they encounter after they leave us, and there is every reason to expect that the beat goes on and on and on. “It only takes a spark,” as the song says. The more kindness we show, the more the world around us will become a much more beautiful place. There is so much negativity and darkness in our world, but our kindness can be a light.

I remember once going on a tour of a cave. There is a moment in most such tours where the guide turns out the lights, and there is no dark like that. It is a fact of physics that light can’t bend; it can travel only in a straight line. Once we’re in a cave like that, we’ve moved through narrow passages and around corners and up and down slopes, and there was no way for a ray of light to follow us there. That would be physically impossible.

If someone in the tour group happened to have a watch with a glowing dial or a lighted digital display, what a difference that would make! That light, imperceptible in the light of day, would be so bright in a dark cave because it’s the only source of light to be found. Kindness is like this. When we’re in our darkest places, the spark of the simplest friendly gesture can illuminate our lives and guide us on our way.

When the lights finally do come on in this part of the standard cave tour, what an experience that is. It is almost blinding. Maybe this would be considered low light under normal circumstances; maybe there’s hardly any light at all. But kindness shines when people are in despair or struggling, and we can help people navigate by our example.

For the people in our daily lives – our friends and our family members – we have an opportunity throughout the day to share our kindness with them. Where we might come home to them and tease them, kid them, or make fun of them, we can instead choose a loving word that can encourage and lift them. This is something we can do throughout the day, wherever we are.

I have often counseled couples were struggling in their relationship. The main thing I try to impart to them is the importance of a tender word. I encourage them to say something friendly to them throughout each day to give each other hope and help them to feel love. We experience love through kindness, in romantic relationships, but also in our daily lives. For example, in the workplace, if we are a supervisor with employees who report to us, we can correct them, but for every correction, we should give them dozens of words of encouragement, too.

Sometimes people choose to be unkind to us. When this happens, a good choice can be to walk away and put distance between ourselves and the ugliness. Another alternative? We can be kind back to the person who has chosen to treat us cruelly. We are never required to be giving to those who take from us, emotionally or otherwise, but it is an option we might want to try, and a potent one. Unlikely as it seems, kindness is one of the most important forces in the universe.

I mentioned that kindness can radiate outwards toward others, but it can also radiate inwards towards ourselves. When this happens, we open ourselves up to happiness.

The truth is, happiness is only possible through kindness. We are not going to find happiness in our hearts if we treat others with unkindness, because kindness is part of the journey toward happiness. We honestly do need to be kind toward others if we want to find peace in our lives.

Those people who are kind are much more likely to be happy in life. They don’t have to look in the mirror and say, “I’m a cruel, unkind person.” Instead they can say that even if people are treating them unkindly, they can be kind toward others.

It is really important that we understand the value of maintaining boundaries when we are dealing with cruel and sadistic people. Everyone needs kindness in their lives, but those who would choose to abuse you do not need their kindness to come from you. If someone is being cruel to you in your life right now, you should recognize that you have the right to get up and walk away – and if someone is being physically or sexually abusive, you must find a way to exit that situation the moment you can do so safely. There are resources to help, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233).

Beyond abuse, many of us find that the world is not a kind place, but even when we see others out to cause misery and unhappiness, we can choose to be that watch dial in the cave, or that circle of candles, lit one wick to the next until night starts to look like day. When we take the many opportunities we have to be kind throughout the day, we can feel the ripple effects of kindness inside of us, radiating through self-love.

There are many parts to living a happy life, but one of the main ones is kindness. I doubt you or I will ever meet a truly happy person who is unkind, because a person who is unkind will never find happiness. The ripple effects would be so damaging to themselves and to others in their lives.

You are reading this because you desire a life filled with happiness. Maybe we all want such a life, but you have taken steps to embrace happiness and to welcome it into your life. I have been talking about happiness for quite a long time, with individual, with groups, and with listeners and readers in various formats. I am always promoting the value of meditation – of finding that still, small voice inside of us, of getting in sync with nature, of slowing down our frenzied lives. I suggest making time for pleasure and counting our blessings. But one of the most important means to becoming happy is kindness. It’s the one component of a happy life that has no substitute and that must be our set point if we are to know the bliss we seek.

All of us are here in this human existence so that we can be happy and at peace. We can create happiness in ourselves by one means more than any other: by being kind. And because kindness ripples outward, we can make the world a better place if we work towards cultivating kindness in others.

Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is host and producer of the Happiness Podcast, with over 8 million downloads. He is the author of 13 books, TV show host, Psychology Today blogger, and corporate trainer, has been studying the actions it takes to reach the highest levels of human achievement for decades, and he wants to share what he knows with you.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr._Robert_Puff,_Ph.D/2821573
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Why You Should Pursue Your Dreams Now

Have you ever waited for the right time to say something, only to see the opportunity to speak up slip past? Or, have you thought of a great concept for a business but decided to wait for the right time to DO it – only to see someone else start a business and start living YOUR dream?

Clouds Passing image copyright @IntrinsicVicissitude

It’s really common to wait for the ‘right’ time to do something and later realize you missed your chance. It’s normal to want everything to be perfect when you go for a dream, the thing is, perfect is rarely part of the human experience, and when you wait for perfect, you miss your chance.

Another Opportunity Is Coming

If you missed a chance to ‘go for it’ on previous idea or even a relationship, know that other opportunities are coming your way. You just have to be ready to see them, and ready to act when the time arrives.

It’ll Take Too Long… Not an Excuse!

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard saying things about not going back to college because they’re tool old and it’ll take too long. The thing is, time is going to pass all the same. Same goes for starting a business. Making it a success is going to take a lot of time.

However, that time is going to pass all the same. Would you rather get to the end and look back with pride, or look back and wish you had tried. You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.

What if you try and you don’t succeed? You can try again or start something new. Each failure is a lesson you can use a foundation to build success, it’s not an end unless you CHOOSE for it to be an end.

When the Idea Is Great but the Time Isn’t Perfect

Instead of focusing on what isn’t perfect, for example if you have a business idea and don’t have the money to start it in a big way… look for other ways.

Would it be great to open a big manufacturing facility to produce your ‘widgets’? Sure! Is it necessary to start big? Nope!

Hewlitt-Packard started in a garage. McDonald’s started with one small restaurant. The point isn’t always perfection or starting in the way you want to start. It’s starting or not starting. Period.

Start From Where You Are

The best advice you can get is to start from where you are. This is especially true for business ideas, but you can apply it to anything.

For example, if you have a great idea for fashion designs. Make a pattern and make one and put it for sale in an online auction or a social media group.

The pattern can be until it’s just right. You can use the money from the one you sell to buy materials to make two. Sell those two and reinvest that money.

It isn’t a fast way to start, but it’s a better than what you’re going to feel if you see someone else making tons of money after THEY develop the idea you had.

Bad Vibes: What Else Is There to Say?

I watched a video this morning that explained how people vibrate at different levels and when you interact with someone who vibrates differently than you do it creates ‘bad vibes’. Boy, oh boy, have I ever been feeling that lately.


Bad Vibes Can Drain Your Energy

The longer explanation was about how human beings – and everything – is made up of atoms and how we’re protein-based and all atoms and protein give off vibrations – and that each cell in your body is basically a miniature battery.

So, when we encounter someone whose vibration conflicts with our own vibration, it creates this kind of cross-wave that’s basically a bad vibe that drains your energy – just like energy drains from a battery.

The video also explained how some things block vibrations, and while it didn’t quite say how to block bad vibes that drain your energy, I would like to offer a few of my own ideas on the topic.

Affirmations and Symbols of Faith to Ward Off Bad Vibes

I suggest keeping a note book with a few simple affirmations written in it. Write simple, positive messages that remind you to breathe and that support your own sense of positive energy.

Quotations that inspire you are also great to use for affirmations.

You can also choose a symbol of your faith to display where you’re spending or a healing gemstone ring that makes you feel positive.

Get Away From Toxic Messages By Turning Off Social Media for a While

We’ve all been there… trying to communicate with someone who drains your energy.

Sometimes you can’t easily get away, but if it’s coming through your social media accounts, all you really have to do is log out for a while.

Get your energy back up by doing something away from the toxicity for a while – and it’s a recurring theme – maybe you need to consider cutting some ties with the toxic people who are draining the life out of you – but that’s your call.

Whatever you do, though, do it safely and with kindness, because you don’t want to become the toxicity – if you’re feeling white-hot anger and wishing some jerk would just kick the bucket – calm down before acting – it’s better for YOU that way.

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3 Powerful Healing Gemstones for Your Home

Gemstones have long been associated with protection and healing. Some of the strongest of those are also commonly available.

Gemstones can help align and stimulate or calm energies in rooms and in bodies, protect from psychic attacks, either by themselves or in combination with other healing gemstones.

Amethyst

Amethyst balances and helps align energies, as well as raising lower energies to higher ones, helps protect against psychic attack, and aids in meditation. It provides a balance between the physical and spiritual worlds. It is known to enhance mental function. It is best cleansed under cool or cold running water, even if it comes from a tap. (Make sure the points are facing down.)

Moonstone

Moonstone is a stone of feminine energy, helping women especially to regain and maintain their energy and power balances. Combined with the above stone, it helps with emotional wisdom. It brings serenity and helps release negative energies. The clearer and more colorful the stone is, the more healing energy it has. Cleanse it in moonlight, either on the night of the new or the full moon for a fresh or more potent energy, depending on the phase.

Garnet

Garnet has been considered a ward against evil since ancient times, and supports energy flow throughout the body. It helps remove negative energy and replace it with positive energy. It also helps calm chaotic situations. It assists with love relationships, either helping deepen existing ones or helping to find new ones. To cleanse the stone, submerge in sea salt water or dry sea salt overnight, or place under cool or cold running water, even from a tap, points down.

Healing gemstones make beautiful, useful decorations for your home, calming the environment. Caring for them is easy, and the benefits are many.

Do Binaural Beats to Improve Focus Work?

The past few weeks, I’ve been really struggling with focus, and the amount of work I’ve been able to produce has really suffered. I decided to try listening to some music with binaural beats to improve focus, and I wanted to pop in here and share a bit about it. (Music that’s got a beat but isn’t much to dance to… though a night out dancing to regular music has benefits, too.) After all, being productive is one huge thing that affects my sense of positivity and how I feel about – well – everything.

image

Where I Found Free Music With Binaural Beats to Improve Focus

Since this is my first experiment with this technique, I wanted to explore some free options, and I found some on YouTube. I don’t have enough experience with this yet to recommend any specific binaural beats soundtracks or videos, but I will say I found the music and experience of listening to Super Intelligence: Memory Music, Improve Focus and Concentration With Binaural Beats Focus Music by Greenred Productions while working made me feel more at peace – which was in itself a very nice thing after a crazy-hectic few weeks.

Music With Binaural Beats as Part of a Meditation Session

I also listened to music with binaural beats as part of a couple meditation sessions, and I found these far more relaxing than my usual meditation sessions. I also found I was more deeply relaxed for several hours after the meditation sessions than normal.

What Binaural Beats Haven’t Help Me With Yet

So far, the jury is still out for me on whether binaural beats can help improve my focus and productivity, though I suspect with patience and continued use I may see a change for the positive. As of now, I haven’t noticed any real improvement in those areas. Where I have noticed improvements are in the depth of relaxation I’m able to achieve and the depth of meditation I’ve been able to achieve with these relaxing tones playing in the background while I work and meditate.

What the Experts Say About Binaural Beat Therapy

Binaural beat therapy might sound like a lot of silliness or like some new fad, but a bit of research reveals its long history and its effectiveness at treating some patients.

Binaural Beats were first discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, and it “has been used in clinical settings to research hearing and sleep cycles, to induce various brain wave states, and treat anxiety,” according to Psychology Today.

Almost ten years ago, around 2010, it was popular to say that kids listening to binaural beats were i-dosing – or that binaural beats music was a digital drug for teens – which was really not proven to be the case – but I wanted to include a mention of it here in case you remember reading about i-dosing from back then.

My Questions for You About Binaural Beats

I’m curious to hear if anyone reading this has tried listening to music with binaural beats to increase focus and productivity (and if it worked or not.)

I’m also curious – if it worked – did it work the first time or did it take multiple tries to notice a difference?

I’m thinking about picking up this CD of pure binaural beats on eBay, to make a personal self-guided meditation for myself, so if you’re interested in trying it for yourself, pop over to eBay and take a look.

The Benefits of Enjoying a Night Out

The rigors of everyday life can get pretty tiresome, and when a traditional vacation getaway isn’t an option, a night out on the town, relaxing and having fun can leave you refreshed and ready to get back to your everyday routine.

Benefits of a Night Out image courtesy of Pixabay

Why You Should Go Ahead and Enjoy a Night Out

There’s no denying that the time you spend doing normal things and taking care of everyday life is important and is time well spent, but it can take its toll after a while if you don’t get a break.

Everyone needs balance to be a happy, healthy person, and time out of the house, having a good time is a big part of achieving a healthy work-life balance.

“The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.” – Steven Covey

There are a lot of benefits of family time, including the strong emotional bonds it creates and better behavior in children. However, when you focus only on family time – or work – and don’t make some time for yourself to do things you enjoy, you can end up tired and angry and just plain frazzled.

Whether you opt for a night out alone, with your significant other, or a group of your best friends is (obviously) up to you – but making time for yourself and your friends is good for your psyche and for your health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Suggestions of Things to Do on a Night Out in Scranton

If you’re in the Scranton area, why not plan a night out in Scranton, and enjoy the benefits of relaxing for an evening getaway?

The  Scranton PA nightlife scene includes a variety of entertaining and relaxing things to do, including:

  • Music lovers in The Electric City can enjoy concerts at indoor or outdoor venues.
  • Live performances also include things like poetry readings and plays.
  • The dinner and bar scene offers tasty things to eat and drink while chatting with friends or meeting new people.
  • Bowling (regular or cosmic) is a fun option if you enjoy active outings that let you burn a few calories while enjoying a night out.
  • Playing mini golf is another fun, active way to spend  a night out in the Scranton area.

Why not plan your next night out on the town now – it gives you something to look forward to, plus you may think of something you want to add to your itinerary in order to make the evening even more fun.

Thanks for visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude, comments are always welcome both here and on the Intrinsic Vicissitude Facebook page.

Why You Can Feel Great About Preparing Your Dog’s Food From Scratch

When I adopted my little J-dog, I expected him to be a sweet little cuddler, and of course, he is. What I didn’t expect was his skin allergies making him and everyone else uncomfortable. Luckily, his skin cleared up when I started preparing his dog food from scratch.

Advantages of Preparing Your Own Dog Food

Intrinsic Vicissitude is honored to partner with Dog Product Picker to bring you this post about helping your dog stay healthy with high quality food.

Why Home Made Dog Food Is Better for a Dog’s Skin (at Least Sometimes)

Using J-dog as an example, he has a grain allergy and if he starts eating grain-based dog food, he gets itchy and starts to lose his fur. I could pick up grain-free dog food at the store, but it often upsets his tummy, leading to “other” unpleasant problems – plus it gets pricey to get the really good brands.

The benefits of preparing your own dog food – for owners of dogs that have  allergies and skin problems – are that you get to feel good about helping your pet stay healthy, and you end up with lower vet bills as your pet grows healthier.

(Be sure to discuss anything regarding changing your pet’s diet with your vet before doing it – just to be safe – he or she may recommend a brand that you’re comfortable with.)

Now, I have to admit, this might be harder to maintain for a larger dog. Even with a small pooch, it can be a lot of extra planning. If I forget to plan ahead and get ingredients for his food, I have a backup supply of grain-free food to put in his feeder that I store in the freezer to keep fresh so he never has to go hungry.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food Recipe

I try to keep my recipes simple and not change things up too much in order to avoid giving J-dog an upset stomach. I do occasionally switch meat and carb sources, depending on what I can find on sale.

Ingredients for Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food

This recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of chicken and carbohydrates, but you can mix it up according to your vet’s recommendations – or experiment to come up with something your dog likes.

  • Raw cubed chicken (1-cup)
  • Raw cubed sweet potato (1-cup)
  • (Optional) Peas or diced carrots (1/8-cup)

Directions for Preparing Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food

I like to prepare this almost like a stir fry, though it also turns out nice if it’s steamed.

  • If stir-frying, spray a light layer of cooking oil in the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Put everything in the pan or steamer at the same time, and cook over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Let the food cook until the chicken is cooked through and sweet potato cubes get soft.
    • (It might seem a little bland to you, but  a lot of spices aren’t good for dogs, and bland is typically better for the canine digestive system.)
  • Let the food cool before serving it to your dog.
  • I like to cook up  a large batch ahead of time, so I don’t have to prepare a special meal for the dog every day.
    • (I don’t mind spoiling him a little because he gives us an immeasurable amount of love, but there are limits to how many extra meals I want to cook each week, you know what I mean?)

Since I put my little J-dog on a grain-free diet and started cooking the vast majority of his meals, he seems happier, healthier, (fuzzier) and he’s even put on some weight so I’ve had to shop for new dog care products, mainly a pretty new collar for his tags and a car seat harness for him to wear when we go out in the car.

If you have any questions or comments about my dog food recipe or this post, comments are welcome, and it would be great if you join the conversation on Facebook if you want to do that.