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6 Steps to Achieve Anything on Your Bucket List

Lean in closer, as I would like to introduce you to something that’s a good friend to millions of people from around the globe. The List. Also referred to as The “Stuff I Want to Do Before I Die.” A life list. Most call it a bucket list. What’s on The List? The short answer is: whatever your heart desires. Want to be trilingual? Published in an international magazine? Jump from the side of a cliff? Fly a plane? Shake the President of Canada’s hand? Visit every continent on the planet? Visit outer-space? Eat local for 6 months? Own your own business? Sing jazz in a club or do stand-up comedy? Graduate from law school? Adopt a child? Be debt-free? The best part of the bucket list is that it’s completely up to you. It’s unique to each person. People all over the world use the bucket list as a…

Soul Force: Remembering the Words and Wisdom of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a respected civil rights leader who espoused non-violence as a means to overcome oppression and create a just society. On the third Monday of every January, Americans honor King’s life and work. In 2017, “MLK Day” occurs on January 16th. If you haven’t read any of the King speeches or sermons since you were in grade school, now would be a great time to revisit the words of this stunningly educated, profoundly ethical and deeply wise man. His ideas are as useful and relevant to our present moment as they were in the 1960s. For example, these passages on rampant un- and under-employment from King’s 1968 “The Other America” speech seem almost ripped from today’s news: But these statistics only take under consideration individuals who were once in the labor market, or individuals who go to employment offices to seek employment. But they do…

5 Tips for Improving Work Life Balance

A good work ethic is not only important, it’s vital. Always doing your best and having a positive, proactive attitude will take you far in the workplace, and nothing reinforces a healthy sense of self-worth like a job well done. But with smartphones facilitating around-the-clock accessibility, office hours are starting to extend well past the traditional nine to five, and finding work-life balance is becoming more difficult. While putting in extra hours here and there is inevitable, devoting too much time to work can lead to exhaustion, reduced productivity and compromised job performance. It can also lead to feelings of resentment and neglect on the parts of our families and those closest to us. These five tips can help you strike a balance between your work and your personal life – no matter how busy you are! Prioritize There are only so many hours in a day. To ensure you…

5 Super Tips to Achieving New Year’s Resolutions Success

Ah, the excitement of a brand new year is upon us. You can feel and almost taste the change in the air. With a New Year comes the opportunity to once again select some of those all-important New Year’s resolutions. About every other person will make at least one resolution this next year, but how many of them will succeed? Studies show that roughly 77 percent of people can stick with their resolutions for the first week. The first week is all. But by weeks three and four, the numbers have dropped to 64 percent. They continue to fall even further by weeks five and six.  In fact, only 50 percent are still working towards their New Year’s resolutions at the three-month mark and just 46 percent at six months. So what’s the bright side you might ask? People who can stick with their resolutions by the six-month mark are 10…

Of Pickles and Peppermint Pigs

American Christmas and New Year celebrations are filled to bursting with traditions that have originated in other countries and olden times – decorated evergreen trees, nativity scenes, stockings stuffed with small gifts and yule logs burning bright. But interestingly, two weird holiday traditions in America – albeit derived from European forbears – seem to be unique to America. These traditions are evolutions of previous traditions in their new environment: Christmas Pickles and Peppermint Pigs. Does Your Family Do the Christmas Pickle? Back in late 1800’s the American Christmas consumer craze was just starting to hit its stride. German workshops in particular were producing beautiful holiday decorations of all kinds and exporting them to the United States. Blown glass ornaments, including fruits and vegetables, were imported by A.F.W. Woolworth. In many families, these beautiful and fragile items became something akin to heirlooms, passed down along with Christmas traditions, recipes and songs.…

Wedding Planning for Less

Wedding season is upon us, along with the endless list of expenses that most weddings entail. But before you let financial stress put a damper on your big day, remember that you can still have a dream wedding for a fraction of what most weddings cost. These eight pointers will help you and your family avoid excess spending without compromising on quality. Pick Your Date Strategically Most people get married in the summertime so that friends and relatives with children can attend. But if you book your wedding during the off-season – i.e., November through March – you can save a considerable amount of money. Here’s another tip: Consider a Friday or a Sunday for the wedding, as opposed to a Saturday. The majority of weddings happen on Saturdays, which makes them more expensive. Trim the Guest List It may sound like a cop-out, but the fewer people you invite, the…

Financial Literacy for Prospective College Students

shutterstock_165246950It’s never too early for a high school student to learn financial literacy. In just 4 short years they graduate, so prepare them now for the financial responsibility they will carry during their time in college.
Although they are well aware of the steep price of higher education, it’s difficult to fathom the weight of student loans and easy to put off worrying about them until graduation.
Many college freshman — new to managing their lives on their own — make mistakes simply because they were unaware of how to budget efficiently and how quickly school supplies and dining out can add up.
Start discussing family finances, personal budgeting, and appropriate credit card use now so they are familiar with these basics from the start.

Keep your Heart Happy and Healthy

shutterstock_125235452Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., making your level of risk a big concern for life insurance providers. This risk grows even larger when combined with smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercise.
These are all factors that life insurance providers take into account when considering someone for a policy, so, do yourself and your finances a favor and take care of yourself before your health becomes an issue.
Below are 5 things you can do to help keep your heart healthy:
1. Laugh – Stress causes muscle tension, increasing blood pressure and heart rate, both of which can lead to bigger health problems like heart disease. In addition, people tend to turn to unhealthy habits, like overeating and smoking, when anxious.

The Benefits of L.O.V.E. on Valentine’s Day

02-14-2014 LOVEWhether you’re in a relationship or single, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful occasion to express L.O.V.E.
An act of love does not have to be a grand romantic gesture; it can be simple.
Do a favor for a friend, hold the door for a stranger, or leave your server an extra large tip. Small acts of kindness that take
little effort can touch someone else’s day in a very positive way — and maybe they’ll even pay it forward.
Try making this Valentine’s Day, and every day after that, more about true L.O.V.E.:

A Short Guide To Life Insurance For Smokers

smoking a cigaretteIt’s widely known that smoking is bad for your health — and your wallet. The government puts heavy taxes on cartons of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco in order to discourage people from partaking in the potentially lethal habit.
Smoking is linked to a number of health problems and shorter lifespan, so it should come as no surprise that insurance rates are higher for smokers than for non-smokers.
Insurance companies take a bigger risk in insuring smokers since they are more likely to make a premature claim on their policy for critical illness and even early death.