Sunday, November 16, 2014

“I decided to teach my mind a lesson . . . ” (a California surfer teaches us about goal setting)

Dateline Oceanside, California, where surfing instructor Mark Kaplan offers a bit of wisdom for the ages.  In a recent blog post, Kaplan instructs us that, in order to reach our goals, we must at some point “teach our mind a lesson.” Kaplan’s full post is at

Some of my favorite quotes from Kaplan’s piece:

·         “When I want to set a goal and commit to an action every day, I listen to my mind try to sabotage me with my observant mind and then proceed as planned.”

·         Maybe you want to run five miles to get fit. The first day you are ready to run, your mind says you are too tired. When I started running 4 miles a day, my mind would often urge me to stop and walk. I knew that if I ever stopped, I would always stop. The mind might fight success because it feels we are unworthy as the subconscious bubbles up."

·         “I was definitely tired at 80 [sets of wood stairs], but I was trying to show my mind, it didn’t know what it was talking about.”

·         “Trying to clean my diet with healthier foods is a real mind test.”

·         “After a while the mind becomes a friend. It helped me lose 45 pounds and protested when I wanted to eat a bad food.”

·         “The mind and will can vie for superiority until you have disciplined your mind to take a back seat.” (that’s actually his opening line)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trying to create an exercise program that sticks? First ask yourself these 11 questions

Author Gretchen Rubin (“The Happiness Project”), in an article published at, has put together 11 questions to help guide us when we’re creating an exercise program.  Rubin’s thinking is clear: if we want the program to stick, a bit of planning, and pre-thought, can go a long way. 

Here are Rubin's 11 questions:

1.       Are you a morning person or a night person?

2.       Would you like to spend more time in nature?

3.       Would you like more time in solitude; or more time with friends; or more time to meet new people?

4.       Are you motivated by competition?

5.       Do you enjoy loud music?

6.       Do you do better with some form of external accountability, or does that just annoy you?

7.       Would you like to challenge yourself with exercise (whether by learning a new skill or pushing yourself physically), or not?

8.       Do you like sports and games?

9.       Would you like more meditative time, or more time to watch TV, read newspapers, etc?

10.   Do you have a lot of control over your time?

11.   Are you sensitive to weather?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

7 Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself

Associate Editor Margarita Tartakovsky, in a blog written for Psych Central, has shared seven strategies for being kinder to ourselves.  The strategies are the work of author and educator Rosie Molinary and coach Mara Glatzel.  Here are the seven strategies (Tartakovsky's full article is at

     1. Give yourself the bare essentials (tend to your basic needs);

     2. Pay attention to your internal dialogue (and reframe it more positively);

     3. Feel your feelings (allow yourself to experience your emotions);

     4. Reframe challenges (instead of viewing challenges as failure, view them as information, which is neutral);

     5. Find solutions (when challenges present, focus on finding a solution);

     6. Lower your expectations (diminish the "shoulds"); and

     7. Start now (begin by tuning into your body).

Again, Tartakovsky's full article is at Enjoy.


Steve Ferber is author of “21 Rules to Live By,” available at Reviews at  Rule #1 is "Be Kind to Yourself."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Don't worry about that." (5 strategies for reducing excessive worry)

I don't know about you, but when someone tells me "don't worry about that," it rarely helps.   More often, it makes me feel worse (because I'm now wondering what's wrong with me . . . that I'm worrying so much). 

Suzanne Phillips, writing for, has written a powerful piece titled "Five Ways to Reduce Excessive Worry" (the link is below).  In brief, here's what she has to say:

·         There’s plenty to worry about (job security, flu epidemics, child safety, weather-related and health-related issues, et al).

·         Excessive worry is toxic, not productive.

·         Here are five strategies for reducing excessive worry:

o   Focus on “what is,” not “what if”;

o   Move from thought to action;

o   Connect with others;

o   Postpone worry; and

o   Set up a “worry time.”

Phillips’ complete article (it's worth a read) can be found at



Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Top 10 Insights, on leading a meaningful life

I thought you might enjoy this provocative piece from, titled "The Top 10 Insights from the 'Science of a Meaningful Life' in 2012." I'll list the 10 here . . . but as time permits, feel free to read this impressive article at

The Top 10 Insights (supported by research):

       1. There's a personal cost to callousness;

       2. High status brings low ethics;

       3. Happiness is about respect, not riches;

       4. Kindness is its own reward - even to toddlers;

       5. We can train ourselves to be more compassionate;

       6. Gratitude sustains relationships through tough times;

       7. Humans are quicker to cooperate than compete;

       8. There's a dark side to pursuing happiness;

       9. Parenthood actually does make most - but not all - people happier; and

     10. Kindness makes kids popular.