Read More »from What area of your life needs the most help?
On Real-Life Makeover we want to help you achieve the healthiest, happiest life possible. This means eating right and exercising, as well as having fun and improving your outlook. But managing all aspects of your life at one time can feel like cooking on all four burners while a cake's in the oven, the toaster's on, and the blender is whirring itself into a frenzy. As soon as one pot reaches a simmer, another one demands you turn up the heat, and then the toast pops up. When you've got too much cooking (and who doesn't?), sometimes the best course of action is to focus most of your attention on the one area that needs the most help. In other words, if you could drop the frenzied balancing act, what would you focus on?
Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
Read More »from What area of your life needs the most help?
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Mar 9, 2010 5:28 PM EST
It can be hard to appreciate how great your life is when you're consumed with feelings of self-doubt. And really, in this day and age, who doesn't have some insecurities sometimes? Our culture loves perfection in all its forms. Whether the pressure to be perfect is explicit or implicit, and whether we've internalized the messages or not, there is plenty of chatter to lead us to believe our homes, bodies, emotional selves, families, and career should all be perfect. Here's how to tune out the perfectionist crazy talk and start getting real.Read More »from How to get over your perfectionism and start getting real
You're not perfect. Thank goodness.
Perfection is manufactured. It comes to us through Photoshopped pictures, edited movies, and images agreed on by committees, boards, and market research. Real life is messy, exciting, and vibrant. Perfection, on the other hand, is inert, predictable, and, well, boring. Let's embrace the idea that imperfection can be charming, like Lauren Hutton's gap-toothed smile and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Write yourself a
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Mon, Mar 8, 2010 4:55 PM EST
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ---Abraham Lincoln One of the most fundamental ways you can make over your life isn't to lose 10 pounds or conquer your closet clutter, it's to change your perspective into something more positive. While unhappy people, to paraphrase Tolstoy, might be dysfunctional in 10,000 different ways, upbeat folks have some habits in common. Crib from their notes to bring more joy into any day (yes, even a Monday).
Studies show that relationships are vital to a positive outlook in life. And it makes sense --- engaging with others reminds you that no matter how crappy your day or foul your mood, you're not alone. A superficial interaction like chatting with the mail carrier can make you feel like you belong to a community, but intimate relationships are what keeps us going even when times get tough. Send a text to a college friend telling her you're thinking about her, or call your spouse just to say "I love you."
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Work + Money – Fri, Mar 5, 2010 3:43 PM EST
In our efforts to eat healthy, failing to plan may indeed be planning to fail. Because who hasn't forgotten to think about what's for dinner and then, in a fit of hunger, found herself hitting the speed-dial for Szechuan Garden? That's why these printable weekly meal planners on Etsy are so great. They come in three pretty color ways, and allow you to print out the breakfast, lunch and dinner plan for every day of the week. Did I mention there's a Spanish language version, too? Buen apetito!
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Thu, Mar 4, 2010 3:31 AM EST
We live in an age of self-awareness. We know the reasons why we overeat or sabotage our own success. I, for one, am tormented by my closet clutter. On a daily basis I think about the tops that are unflattering and dream about a streamlined wardrobe with fewer items that are each beloved. And yet everyday I don't touch the closet mess with a ten foot pole. At this point, not only is my closet filled with junk, but that mess is now encroaching on my psychic space. So how do you go from knowledge to action? That's the hump that can be hardest to get over. Here, some ideas on putting our awareness into action.Read More »from From knowledge to action: how to stop dwelling and start doing
What's stopping you? Sometimes what keeps us from doing the thing that we know is best for ourselves, say, stopping after that first bowl of ice cream, is a deep desire to self-sabotage. Maybe we think we're not worthy of being fit and healthy or any of the things we associate with physical greatness: drawing attention to ourselves, attracting suitors, even achieving our goals. If
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Wed, Mar 3, 2010 5:08 PM EST
Read More »from Make over your cardio workout so it's easy on the knees
Sometime in the past several weeks, either while while running at the gym, skiing on a frozen lake, or just walking weirdly, I managed to hurt my knee. Not being able to exercise in the usual ways has been devastating, but it turns out that female athletes are between two and eight times more likely to injure their ACL knee ligaments than men. Studies have found that hormones associated with a women's menstrual cycle may affect the laxity of the knee joint. For those as addicted to the mood-boosting effects of exercise as I am, here are some ways to exercise that aren't as tough on the knees as pounding the pavement.
Even though you're not going anywhere, there's something transporting about riding a stationary bike. You can put on your favorite music, close your eyes, and just pedal in time to the music. Make sure your seat is high enough so that your knees are not bent beyond a 90-degree angle, and your knee should be slightly bent when your leg is fully extended
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Mon, Mar 1, 2010 10:12 PM EST
Okay, so your phone isn't going to magically transform you into a model of good health and spirits, but it can provide the tools you need to make a change. You still have to make the time and effort, but with streamlined, user-friendly interfaces, these technologies can make your journey a little bit easier. Here are some of the most beloved iPhone apps to improve your quality of life.
Get more life-improving ideas on Real-Life Makeover:
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, Mar 1, 2010 4:33 PM EST
I love me an expert with a best-selling book to back up their claims, but sometimes I want to know how the regular folk do it. You know, the woman with four kids who always looks French lady chic or your girlfriend who squeezes more productivity out of a 24-hour period than you can eke out of a week. For matters of time management, I turned to real-life expert Kimberly Rae Miller. In addition to one full-time gig and two part-time jobs, Kim also runs two blogs, The Kim Challenge and Forkful of News. Here's how she makes her nutty schedule work.What are your top 3 tips on how to get so much done in one 24 hour period?
- Schedule around your style: I'm a morning person in regard to brain-function. I hate waking up early, but I'm cognitively sharper in the early hours, so I wake up at 5am Monday-Friday to put in three hours of work on freelance writing projects before I head to the office. As much as I prefer to workout in the morning, I know that I don't really need too much
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Fri, Feb 26, 2010 4:32 PM EST
Read More »from How to deal with negative people and still stay upbeat
"Hell," wrote Jean Paul Sartre, "is other people." Be that as it may, living in the real world requires us to peacefully exist with all types, including Ms. Debbie Downer and Mr. Doom and Gloom. Whether the negativity is coming from your spouse, your co-worker, or your best friend, here are some ways to rise above.
Remember that it's a process. Like anything, your response to negativity isn't going to instantly change. Unfortunately, there's not a switch we can flip to make ourselves less susceptible to bad vibes. But by staying engaged with proactive solutions, our dealing-with-negativity muscles will grow stronger over time.
Place limits. When a co-worker corners you and wants to mouth off about the boss, many of us have a natural desire to be empathic. Empathize with the gripes of your colleague too much, though, and you could feel yourself dragged down by complaints that aren't even yours. Listen to your co-worker and be polite, but be firm; remind them that you're busy and only
Playtime is getting short shrift, and while children might be the ones most obviously suffering the consequences through slashed recess, obesity, and a slavish attention to resume-building activities, adults need to whoop it up, too. Studies show that a break from work can lead you to take fewer sick days and be more productive and inventive when you're back at your desk. But long weekends and bona fide vacations are like a Nessie spotting for most of us -- incredibly elusive and possibly just a myth. Even still, scientists insist that, much like exercise and drinking all those glasses of water a day, we need to find a way to make fun happen. And really, I can think of worse prescriptions than, "Go play!"Read More »from Seriously, are you having enough fun?
The National Institute of Play takes play as serious business, calling good old-fashioned fun vital to our health and relationships: "A life or a culture devoid of or deficient in play exists as a heightened major public health risk factor. The prevalence of depression, stress related