With 2014 quickly drawing to a close, the final days of the year are often spent reflecting on the highs and lows of the past year, admonishing ourselves for where we fell short of our best laid plans, and then dusting ourselves off and committing to a new set of goals for the year ahead. But the sad truth is, in spite of our resolve to do better in 2015, many of us will again fail to keep those well-intentioned resolutions. We fail to recognize how to get what we want in love and life.
As much as we may want things to be different in our lives – more fulfilling relationships, better paying jobs, more fun, or a healthier body – we struggle to make the changes necessary to reach our goals.
So why is it so hard to stick to a plan and effect real change in our lives?
- We don’t really like change - Let’s be honest. Change is hard, often uncomfortable, and downright scary at times. As much as we might dislike where we are – stuck in a dead-end relationship, going to a job every day that we hate, or looking in the mirror and not liking what we see – it’s often easier to do nothing or continue doing what we’ve always done. Avoiding change means we don’t have to give up anything (or anyone), we don’t have to try something new, and we don’t have to venture into that scary place of the unknown.
- We get stuck in what I call rear-view mirror living - Haunted by the mistakes and losses of our past, we are unable to let go and move forward with our lives. We keep looking back, trying to figure out what went wrong or why things didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. We remain so focused on past hurts or disappointments that we are unable to envision, or even believe in, a different future. So we keep thinking about the guy that got away, rehashing what we should have done differently, or we shutdown altogether – locked in guilt, sadness, or anger over our past.
- We don’t like to fail - In fact, research on human behavior finds that we actually hate failing more than we enjoy winning. In our minds, the risk of not getting what we want looms larger than any possibility of being better off. Those “What if” fears of losing can actually prevent us from doing what’s needed to win. What if we change and then find ourselves worse off? Or, what if we end a relationship and don’t meet someone new? So we rationalize that it’s not worth the risk – we may not be happy, but at least we’re not alone.
- Old habits are hard to break - Inevitably, we’ll slip up or have a setback on the road to change. When we do, we’re great at talking ourselves out of sticking with our plan. Most of us are better at coming up with a list of reasons to quit than reasons to stay the course. We get lonely one night and call or text our ex and suddenly we’re sucked back in – telling ourselves we were never really good enough to attract someone better anyway.
Tips to Get What You Want in Love and Life
- Create a vision of the life you want - In order to effect real change, you have to figure out what it is you truly want and make a list of the reasons why it’s important to you. Paint a vision of that life that is so clear and strong that it blurs everything else. The goal is to make the rewards of getting all that you desire greater than the risk you associate with potential failure. Then every time you waiver, get discouraged, or suffer a setback, you can pull out your list and recommit to all the reasons why it’s worth staying the course. If love is the thing you desire, then make sure you checkout my book Is He a Keeper?: Savvy Gal Secrets to Spotting Mr. Wrong and Hooking Mr. Right. It will give you the advice, tips and step by step plans to effect real change in your love life.
- Embrace change with optimism – Sure it can be hard, uncomfortable, or scary. But, the biggest mistake you can make in life, and I know because I’ve been there, is to keep doing what you’ve always done – which may be nothing – and hope that the universe will somehow deliver to you a different outcome. While a little bit of divine intervention is always welcome, we have to be willing to do our part. Real change requires action on your part. When it comes to love, sometimes you have to go through the acute pain of a breakup in order to end the chronic pain of a doomed relationship. No pain; no gain!
- Create a written plan to get you where you want to be – Break it down into manageable steps that create small wins along the way. It takes time and determination to effect real change so don’t expect a miracle overnight or beat yourself up if you slip up. The key is to not get discouraged and quit.
- Don’t let your past dictate your future - What’s happened in the past is past; stop looking in the rear-view mirror. You’re starting fresh today from where you are now and charting a new course to the life you desire.
- Model someone you know who’s successful. Having a role model or mentor gives you a pattern to follow and helps you keep your eye on the prize. When you see them living the kind of life you desire, it can really inspire you to stay committed to your goals.
Commit to making 2015 your year of change. It’s all up to YOU!
- Choose the life you want to live; no one else can give you what you want
- The only person you can change is YOU
- You are the master of your own destiny; the status-quo is no longer an option
- Refuse to let fear of failure stop you or setbacks derail your resolve
I assure you that if you’re willing to commit to making even small, incremental changes towards the life you want and stick with them, you’ll be amazed at how much better and more in control of your life you will feel. You have the power to make 2105 your best year ever!
Ten key Dos and Don’ts of dating during the holidays from IsHeaKeeper.com
The holidays can be a great time to be single and part of the dating scene – spending quality time with friends, getting oohs and aahs over your favorite party dress, and even the prospect of sharing family traditions for the first time with someone special. But knowing how to survive the dating scene during the holidays can be tough.
With all the cheer can come a lot of stress and angst if you’re single and unattached or newly dating and trying to figure out how to best navigate all the demands and expectations of the season, like:
- What to say to your nosy aunt who is always asking personal questions about your love life, or lack thereof?
- Should you buy him a gift or not, and if so, what kind?
- How to handle meeting family for the first time?
- Are the holidays for couples, and if so, am I expected to bring a date?
- Is it unreasonable to expect him to finally pop the question?
- Why is he suddenly making himself scarce now that the holidays are almost here?
I feel your pain! And please know that a lot of other gals and guys do too. With roughly 40% of the adult workforce declaring themselves as “single,” you have a lot of company.
10 DOs and DON’Ts to Survive the Dating Scene During the Holidays
So to help relieve some of the pressure, I’ve put together ten key Dos and Don’ts of dating during the holidays that address the top issues I hear from singles about this time of year. Checkout my list in the feature article I did for DigitalRomance here.
Most importantly, stay focused on the true meaning of the holiday season and don’t put undue pressure on yourself or your relationship. Remember to live smart and remain savvy in love.
P.S. Now is the time to jumpstart your love life in 2015, so treat yourself to an early Christmas present by purchasing a copy of my book Is He a Keeper: Savvy Gal Secrets to Spotting Mr. Wrong and Hooking Mr. Right on Amazon. Don’t have a Kindle? No problem! Amazon has free apps that let you read it on an iPad, Nook, or even on your computer.
Also, if you have any burning questions you would like me to address, as always you can send me a message here.
Do you ever feel like your love life is stuck in limbo – you don’t know if he’s the right guy or you wonder if he’s ever going to commit to your relationship? Are there days when you wish things could be different – especially your love life – but you don’t know what to do or the thought of making a change feels a bit scary? Maybe you’re hanging onto a guy you know isn’t “the one” but you’re afraid you could end up alone if you let go. Or, maybe you keep hanging with the same crowd – because it’s comfortable – but you never meet anyone worth dating. If any of the above rings true, you could be stuck in the waiting place – waiting for someone or something to change your life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It’s up to you to take charge of your life. To get out of a love life rut and beyond that limbo-like waiting place to the kind of love life you truly want is all about what YOU need to do and it requires two things:
- It requires a decision to make a change
- It requires acting on that decision
It requires a decision to change – Too often, the reason why you’re stuck in that waiting place is because you’re either unwilling to choose a course of action, or you’re hoping someone – a guy – will change or a new guy will come along and make everything better. But the problem with waiting on someone else to change is…you’re left waiting. If you want to find love with Mr. Right, you have to choose it. And choosing it often requires making those difficult decisions, like:
- Accepting that the relationship you have isn’t working
- Letting go of someone who doesn’t treat you right or isn’t right for you
- Giving up the old ways of meeting and hooking up with guys
- Putting your needs first and not living solely to please someone else
- Accepting that you may have to be alone for a while
- Willing to move past your fear and take a risk
Sure it’s hard to make the tough decisions and to change. But until you choose to NOT settle for less than the kind of love you truly want and decide to make the necessary changes to help you attract that love, you’ll most likely remain trapped in the waiting place. Life has a funny way of giving you what you expect, and if you choose to do nothing but wait, life gives you more waiting and more of the same old love life you’ve been getting. Remember:
The only person you can change is YOU and you won’t find Mr. Right hanging onto Mr. Wrong.
It requires acting on that decision – Deciding to choose and change is the first step, but acting on your decision is the only way to bring what you want into reality. There is an old saying that stupidity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to change something. You have to take that first step out of your comfort zone in order to have a shot at a different life.
And one of the best ways to help you take the first step is to lay out a plan. If letting go of a dead-end relationship is the thing you need to do, then lay out a plan to make it happen and enlist the support of a trusted friend. If you decide you need a new way to meet decent, like-minded men, then start with a list of some ways you can make that happen. In my book, Is He a Keeper?: Savvy Gal Secrets to Spotting Mr. Wrong and Hooking Mr. Right, I have a whole chapter that deals with how to “cut the line” on a losing relationship.
Here are a couple more tips to get you started:
- Start by making small, incremental changes. It’s often easier and less frightening.
- Start with a change in some other, unrelated area to give you a boost of confidence. It could be something as simple as inviting someone new at work to lunch or trying out a restaurant you’ve never gone to before.
Five Simple Change Ideas to Help You Get Out of Your Rut and Start Attracting Mr. Right
And, finally, here are 5 simple change ideas you can try to get you moving and out of your rut. You’ll find a lot more ideas in my book.
- Join a gym and start exercising a 2-3 times a week. It will give you a healthy shot of endorphins to boost your mood and energy which helps to fuel change.
- Volunteer for some local charity or charity event. You’ll meet new people and feel good about what you’re doing all at the same time.
- Take your dog to a doggy park or a park frequented by dog owners. Don’t have a dog? Borrow a friend’s. Dogs are great ice breakers.
- Do something that gets you around people of similar interests. Check out local “meet-up” groups that match your interests and attend one of their meetings.
- Change up your style with a new haircut, a different shade of lipstick, or ditch the jeans for a skirt or dress. When you feel good about yourself, it raises your energy level and that higher frequency vibration field acts like a magnet to attract others to you.
I know from personal experience that change can be hard. Even when you’re unhappy, it is often easier to stay in a place where you know what to expect vs. venturing into the unknown. But true happiness can only come if you let go of what’s holding you captive, embrace your fears, and choose to change. Finding Mr. Right isn’t an accident; it’s a choice you make.
Until next time, live smart and be savvy in love!
It’s a proven fact that men and women alike are hard-wired to flirt with each other. Likewise, we’re programmed to recognize and respond to the subtle and not so subtle signs of flirtatious behavior. Whether it’s the way a woman will tilt her head and twirl or flip her hair, or the way a man stands with his chest puffed out, we are “trained” to pick up on the signals and use them as an invitation to engage in conversation and/or physical contact. It’s the biological mating game everyone is playing to attract the opposite sex – better known as the Art of the Flirt.
But, for some of you women, the idea of flirting makes you uncomfortable. You’re convinced that flirting just isn’t something you know how to do. In your mind, it’s an attraction technique better left to the outgoing or the beautiful people – neither of which you’d use to describe yourself. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, you’ve probably flirted and not even realized it. How do I know? Because, you have two great assets that are perfect for flirting and so easy to use even a child could do it. As a matter of fact, children do! Ever hear of peek-a-boo!
The Art of the Flirt – Your Two Best Assets
What are these flirt-ready assets? They are your eyes and your smile. It’s that simple and they’ll work for you every time.
Making eye contact is one of the most effective ways to get a guy’s attention. When you make and hold eye contact, you’ve sent the signal that you truly see him and for a guy – because he needs very little encouragement – that’s all it takes to register in his brain as an invitation to approach.
Then, when you have him locked in a gaze, you smile – a nice, friendly grin. Even a shy, coy smile will work. A simple smile conveys so much. It radiates warmth, friendliness, and even confidence which together cement the invitation to approach in the mind of a man.
So you don’t have to be the pretty, life-of-the-party “flirty girl” to use the art of the flirt to attract a guy. Just use your two best assets as I’ve described and have some fun. You’re sure to get some attention from the opposite sex.
But remember, because flirting comes so naturally, it can also be easily misinterpreted. Have you ever experienced “friendly flirting” or thought a friend might be flirting with you? Check out my recent article for DigitalRomance.com entitled: What Does It Mean When “Friends Flirt” and How Should You Handle It?
With so much attention on the Ray Rice sexual assault scandal dominating the news and social media almost daily, it’s a good time to talk about the facts surrounding domestic violence and what you need to learn about how to spot a potential abuser.
The statistics on domestic violence are both staggering and frightening. According to the American Psychological Association:
- 1 in 3 women has experienced physical violence and/or stalking.
- On average, every day, more than 3 women are murdered by a husband or boyfriend.
- 1 in 5 high school students has been physically and/or sexually abused.
And according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), boys who grow up seeing domestic violence are twice as likely to become abusers.
How to Spot a Potential Abuser
An abusive relationship doesn’t necessarily start with physical abuse. It’s more often the result of escalating behavior that can start with verbal or emotional abuse, such as name-calling, verbal threats, or put-downs designed to control a woman and strip her of self-esteem. Then, when a woman stays or fails to recognize the warning signs, her abuser’s actions often escalate to physical violence over time. And the longer a woman remains in an abusive relationship, the greater the risk of fatal injury. But, what may come as a surprise is the fact that women are at greatest risk of a fatal injury when they finally decide to try to leave their abuser.
While an abuser may not start out being physically violent, there are always warning signs to look for. The sooner you can spot the signs of a potential abuser, the more likely you can avoid physical abuse and the threat of fatal injury.
Here are 7 warning signs to look for, but you can get a more comprehensive list in my book Is He a Keeper?: Savvy Gal Secrets to Spotting Mr. Wrong and Hooking Mr. Right available on Amazon.
- He hits, pushes, slaps or throws something at you.
- He is verbally abusive – calls you names, puts you down or threatens you.
- He tries to keep tabs on your activities.
- He exhibits extreme mood swings or has almost two personalities.
- You are afraid of him or what he might do.
- He makes unwarranted accusations—accusing you of flirting or being unfaithful.
- He controls what you do and who you see.
What Women Need to Understand and Remember
- Real love doesn’t hurt. Men don’t abuse out of love. They abuse out of anger and a need to dominate or control.
- You are not to blame for your man’s violent behavior. There are no excuses for getting physical with a woman.
- If it happens once, it will happen again. No matter how remorseful he appears or how vehemently he promises to never do it again, if you stay there will be a next time.
- The longer you stay, the greater the risk of bodily injury and even death. So before you leave a potentially violent abuser it is wise to seek help and have a plan. Below are resources you can contact to get help with your situation.
(NCADV) National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233)