Blog Posts by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

  • Office romance gone sour? 6 ways to get over a work breakup

    Breaking up isn't on anybody's bucket list, but -- ready or not -- it happens. It's especially difficult when you have to see your ex at meetings, in the office hallways, and in the lunchroom or cafeteria.

    My friend Tamara dated a coworker for six months. He decided things weren't working out, and broke up with her (a month before Christmas, two months after she was diagnosed with a semi-serious health problem. b------ !).

    "It's heartbreaking to see him every single day at work," she says. "I can't avoid seeing him because we run a business together, and now I'm afraid our business relationship will be ruined too. How do I get over him when he's there all day long?"

    Here are my tips for Tamara -- and if you're in her boat, you might find something useful here...

    1. Decide if it's easier to find a new job than deal with the drama at work.
    It may not be easy to find a new job, but it may be better in the long run! It depends on how the relationship ended, how you and your ex are

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  • Want to write a book or blog post? 6 ways to write better

    We all have a story to tell -- and writing that story may be the most creative, interesting thing we ever do! Even if we write a book and it never gets published, we still reap massive rewards from the act of writing.

    But even if we're "only" writing for ourselves, or if we're writing blog posts that only our family members read, we want to write well. Good writing is easy to read and understand, and brings the reader alongside for the ride.

    These tips for improving your writing skills will help you write the best story, book, or blog post you can. These tips also apply to writing reports or emails at work, or even comments on Yahoo Shine articles!

    Six ways to improve your writing...

    1. Write honestly. It's difficult to reveal yourself in your writing, especially if you're sensitive to rejection or criticism, but authenticity hooks readers. "Readers appreciate writing that has personality and voice that seems like it was written by a fellow human," writes Patrick Walsh in 78

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  • 5 money resolutions couples should NEVER set

    'Tis the season to start thinking of your New Year's Resolutions! Maybe this is the year you get your finances in order once and for all...

    Have you heard of "The Money Couple"? Scott and Bethany Palmer are financial experts with tons of tricks up their sleeves -- all to do with managing love and money. In this article, they share five financial resolutions that a couple should never set.

    "When it comes to money, it's easy to set big goals, only to have them crumble under the weight of unrealistic expectations, a lack of planning, and poor financial communication," says The Money Couple. "That doesn't mean you shouldn't set financial goals for your family. Instead, it means being smart about the kind of goals you set and your plans for meeting them."

    According to these experts, here are five money resolutions you should never make with your honey…

    1. We will spend less money. Blanket statements like this always lead to frustration-one partner's "less" is another

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  • How to help loved ones who need money - without lending it!

    My sister is a terrific spender: she doesn't think twice about buying $200 jeans, $150 haircuts, and $25,000 vehicles. And it's not like she has the money -- she's in debt up to her perfectly plucked eyebrows.

    I'm the cheapskate saver in the family; my biggest luxury is getting my hair cut for $20 at Family Cuts. So when my sister needs to borrow money, I have it and I lend it...but only because she's paid me back every single time. We write down exactly how much she owes me and when she'll pay it back. It works.

    Are you the sister who saves, or the sister who spends? Are you dealing with loved ones who are struggling financially? Maybe these tips will help...

    1. Figure out if you're contributing to the problem. Sometimes we enable our loved ones by protecting them from the consequences of their actions, or continuing to lend them money even when we know they won't pay it back. This doesn't help them solve their money problems - it actually keeps them stuck! For instance, if you

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  • 6 signs your diet is dragging you down

    Do you feel blah, bored, or chronically tired? Does your skin look poor, pale, or prickly? Do you have trouble concentrating or making decisions?

    Don't blame your partner, kids, or job. It could be your diet.

    The old cliche -- "you are what you eat" -- means that you feel like what you eat, and you look like what you eat! Every morsel of food has a direct effect on your thoughts, feelings, and appearance. Sometimes you know right away how food affects you. For instance, as soon as I inhale my fourth mini-chocolate bar, I feel my blood sugar gearing up for its crazy spike dance.

    But there are other foods that affect my body without me even realizing it. If it's true for me, it's true for you too!

    So, here are six signs your diet is dragging you down under...

    1. Pale, unhealthy skin tone. The food you eat directly affects your skin tone. If you're eating right, your skin will be pink and healthy. If you're not eating the right foods, your skin will be dull, flaky, or scaly. The right

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  • How to pay off your debt when you earn peanuts

    It's one thing to pay off your student loan or credit card debt when you're a lawyer or doctor earning over $100,000 a year -- but it's a whole different ballgame when you make $30,000, with bonuses! I was one of those crazy starry-eyed kids who racked up thousands of dollars in college debt. I earned almost useless psychology and literature degrees that don't translate to big bucks (or even medium-sized ones).

    So, how did I pay off my massive student loans debt? Not by earning 100K a year, that's for sure. Here are a few tips that worked for me; they're less financial (you won't get the "carry cash, don't use credit cards" advice here) -- and more psychological. And maybe a little spiritual, too.

    1. Find your tribe -- tell three supportive people. Ask one person to be your accountability partner -- to keep reminding you of your goals and intentions. Ask the second person to be your cheerleader, to be proud of you no matter what. Ask the third person to keep your life and

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  • How Not to Blow Your Diet on Thanksgiving

    Yum -- how can you resist Thanksgiving eats and treats? Luckily, you don't have to blo your diet this weekend -- you can eat healthy and enjoy your turkey with all the trimmings.

    The first way to stay true to your diet is to figure out your diet pitfalls...

    "With men, there's a preference toward comfort food that's a little more healthy, like meat, pasta and potatoes," says food psychologist and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. "Women choose things like chips, cookies, chocolate and cake."

    If you know your diet downfalls, you're more likely to eat healthy. For instance, if you're a meat and potatos person, find ways to control your portion sizes. If you're a dessert nut, learn how to indulge without overeating.

    And, here are a few tips for not gaining 10 pounds over the Thanksgiving weekend...

    Eat foods full of water and fiber before eating Thanksgiving dinner. This one of the best tips for keeping your heart healthy and your weigh low.

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  • Debt Cures - 10 Ways to Pay Off Your Credit Cards Quickly

    Are you drowning in credit card debt? These "debt cures" will help you pay off your bills fast -- and help you get ready for holiday spending sprees! These tips are also effective for paying off medical care costs, mortgage loan payments, and student loans -- and help you manage debt better. And the better you manage your debt, the less financial stress you'll feel.

    Before the tips, a quip:

    "Credit buying is much like being drunk," says Joyce Brothers. "The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift...the hangover comes the day after."

    The hangover is never good - whether it's from spending or overindulging in anything. For more tips on getting out of debt, click on Debt Cures: "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau. And, here are ten tips for dealing with credit card bills, mortgage loan payments, medical care costs, and other types of debt...

    1. Understand assets and debts.
    Tally your income and expenses. Detail ongoing, fixed monthly expenses such as

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  • 5 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart

    There are many ways to heal a broken heart -- and different things work for different people! Some jump right back into dating and relationships, while others need to retreat and "lick their wounds" for awhile.

    And, some people get stuck in the past for years.

    No matter which way you heal, there are certain things you can do to ensure you're coping in healthy ways.

    These five ways to heal a broken heart can help you move on, whether you're letting go of an addictive love relationship or an estranged family member.

    1. Accept the role you played in your relationship. You affected your relationship somehow -- for better or worse! Accepting who you were and what you did isn't about feeling guilty or superior; it's about accepting the worst and best parts of yourself. If you can gain insight into how you affected your relationship and the break up, you increase your chances of having a healthy relationship in the future.

    2. Accept your lack of control in the break up.
    This may sound

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  • How to Get a Life You Like

    Don't like your life? Fine - you can get a life you like, and it'll be better than the one you dream of! These tips for improving your life range from making more meaningful connections to avoiding life leeches.

    "Getting a life is hard to define," writes Robert Pagliarini in The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose. "You know you have a life when you are happy and fulfilled. The 'how' of happiness is one of the most sought-after questions…and nobody knows the answers."

    One of the reasons nobody knows the answers to what makes life happy and meaningful is that "a happy life" means different things to different people. The trick is finding what makes your life meaningful and happy…and the even trickier trick is finding the courage, strength, and motivation to do what makes you happy.

    I've been reading and re-reading Pagliarini's The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose for about a month now, and I love it. It's

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