Teaching and Learning Modern Foreign Languages in the United Kingdom – Limitations

IV. 1. Cultural and political limitations

“David Beckham’s decision to learn Spanish now he has signed to play for Real Madrid next season should help fire children’s interest in learning the language at school, a minister said today. The schools minister Stephen Twigg said Spain was England’s number one tourist destination and Spanish the second most important European language for business (…) He will be a very useful representative to young people about how it can be cool to learn Spanish.”

Even though the Government fails to promote languages using traditional political strategies, they certainly do think of alternative techniques, such as using one of their most eminent role models as a representative abroad, namely David Beckham, a professional football player. Pupils, and mostly boys, who are one of the target groups as far as raising achievement is concerned, are interested in football for the vast majority. Using a famous sport’s figure to give a positive idea of language is indeed a clever turn!

As the minister says, Spanish has recently gained an increased interest, as it is a very common holiday destination for many British people. However, France is still a traditional place to spend holidays, and the impact of this on linguistic skills is yet to be found.

The language that suffers the most from student disaffection is German, which many comprehensive schools do not offer any longer. School Z, for instance is phasing out the tuition of German, and only Years 9, 10 and 11 are still learning this language. Business companies have expressed their concern about German, as it is still placed in priority for business use. According to the Report of the Centre for Information on Language Teaching, published in November 2004, 46% of Britain’s non English speaking markets are in Germany, 45% are in France, 31% in Netherlands and 27% are in Spain. According to the same source, the top three languages causing barriers in efficient business trade are French, German and Spanish, which are the three main languages offered within British schools. Unfortunately, businesses then hire natives of the foreign language needed who are also fluent in English, to help them work with prospective European partners. The lack of proficiency shown by British people in Modern Foreign Languages is a hindrance to business, which to some extent is detrimental to the United Kingdom’s economy. There also seems to be some kind of stigma linked to languages.

“Learning other languages gives us insight into the people, cultures and traditions of other countries, and helps us to understand our own language and culture. Drawing on skills and expertise of those who speak community languages will promote citizenship and complement the Government’s broader work on the promotion of social cohesion” (Dfes: 2002: 12)

Although the United Kingdom has had a tradition of promoting their own culture around the world and has been involved in a huge number of other national communities, transmitting their ethos to the countries of the Empire and then the Commonwealth, the reciprocity of this cultural enrichment has appeared to be a complex process. Today, the United Kingdom is part of the European Union, but the number of Eurosceptics in the country is not decreasing. British newspapers, mainly the tabloids, participate in displaying a negative perception of the European Union. Many British people are unaware of the implications, the organisation, the institutions and the policies of the European Union. Ignorance leads to lack of interest, for the vast majority of the population. It is often claimed that Britons have few cultural links with Europe, and that they feel closer to the group of countries sometimes referred to as the ‘Anglosphere’. This community consists of English speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Canada and the United States. They share a common language and similar values, due to common historical links, that is to say most of these countries were once part of the British Empire. Moreover, although the British do not want to leave the European Union, recent polls have shown that the British population was against the introduction of the Euro and the European Constitution. As long as the United Kingdom does not feel that they genuinely belong to continental Europe, the poor attitude toward language learning is unlikely to change.

Mixed messages exist amongst the population in the United Kingdom concerning the perception of languages. Pupils in secondary schools do not show great enthusiasm for this school subject, as recent figures published in the Times Educational Supplement show: “in some cases dropout rates from GCSE language courses are extremely high – from 50% to 90%”(tes.co.uk). Pupils often do not see the point in learning a foreign language. English is spoken all around the world as a first, second or third language. Many countries use one language in their everyday life, but English is their official language. In holiday resorts, everything is made to accommodate tourists. Tour operators employ English speaking staff to avoid any difficulties for their customers.

However, a recent survey published by the Centre for Information on Language Teaching suggested that “over 75% of the general population think that a foreign language is important; and this figure increases to 90% amongst the 15 to 34 year olds”. If this figure is accurate, this means that pupils in Year 10 should, in their vast majority, choose a Modern Foreign Language as an option for their GCSE, which is not the case. At the beginning of Year 10, pupils are 15 years old. The Centre for Information on Language Teaching wants to promote languages in the United Kingdom, and the interpretation of these statistical figures appears to be very optimistic.

Modern Foreign Languages are not the easiest subject in the curriculum for pupils. When it is time for them to decide which option to select for their exams, they have the choice between art, drama, physical education, double manufacturing, cookery and textiles. In larger schools they might also have media, business studies, and as it is a requirement, Modern Foreign Languages are offered. Pupils cannot help but wonder in which subjects they will gain an A* to C, which is the pass rate. It is a very difficult choice to make for a 14 year old teenager.

Often, the attitude about languages that surrounds them is not very encouraging. It is a challenging and very academic subject. Pupils also do not get language support from families. For generations, their families did not have to learn a language. Or, they were not very good at it because of the failure in the educational system in teaching Modern Foreign Languages adequately when schools turned into comprehensive schools.

The way English has been taught for decades has not made it easy for pupils to access a foreign language. Before the Literacy Hour was introduced at Key Stage 2, pupils were no longer taught grammar. Therefore, their Literacy Level was often quite low. Although languages can help tremendously to improve Literacy skills, pupils often feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of new grammatical knowledge they have to acquire. In School X, pupils in Year 10 and 11 left primary school before the English Key Stage 2 Strategy and the Literacy hour were introduced, or they had only been taught under the newly enforced system for a year. When I started teaching them, they did not know what a verb or a subject was, whether in English or in a Foreign Language. They were unable to identify nouns in a sentence. I taught German to some classes and French to other groups, and producing accurate sentences was completely impossible for the pupils. They could not identify any of their errors.

The difference with the pupils who started secondary school in the past three years is very impressive and significant. The knowledge acquired in primary school facilitates their understanding in languages, and Modern Foreign Languages lessons consolidate the learning previously acquired. This is a very good example of the cross-curricular benefits that pupils can obtain from learning a language. This also shows that the initiative made by the Government to amend the way English was taught has had a beneficial impact in several ways, as it has improved pupils’ skills in English grammar and this proficiency has facilitated the learning of Modern Foreign Languages.

Lower achievers cannot always overcome these difficulties in Modern Foreign Languages. During the first few weeks I taught at school X, pupils had to be sent to detention systematically for not producing homework. The Head of Foreign Languages, who had about twenty years of experience in teaching, explained that generally pupils in the United Kingdom have a very negative attitude towards homework, and that if it was not clearly specified that there would be appropriate sanctions if a piece of homework was not produced, pupils would not complete the activity set. To try to counteract these difficulties, various techniques are used by schools. Most schools require that parents sign a home-school agreement which states the responsibility of parents and pupils for their learning. It is not only a teacher’s responsibility to make sure pupils produce the work expected, as parents are required to be as supportive as possible. This agreement also stresses parents’ responsibility for their child’s behaviour in lessons. The home-school agreement is designed to involve parents in their child’s education as much as possible. However, this agreement endorses the lack of motivation on the part of the pupils, and so homework is perceived as a sanction rather than a requisite for steady progress.

The National Curriculum for Languages, in its Programme of Study, highlights the importance of training pupils in becoming independent learners, as does the National Key Stage 3 Strategy. In spite of this, pupils in school Z, are provided with a homework timetable to help them in organising their working time. Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are given one piece of homework a fortnight for French when they are taught four lessons in two weeks. This homework should take up to thirty minutes to be completed. It seems that pupils are still not much challenged by this schedule of work.

IV. 2. Structural limitations

In the United Kingdom, a culture of competition and achievement is bred within society, but more specifically within schools. Pupils are encouraged to take part in sports fixtures, in drama production to represent the school in the area, or in talent shows.

This competitive spirit is also rendered in the numerous tests pupils take. Although the infamous “eleven plus” exam was officially suppressed with the birth of comprehensive schools in the 1960s, the current labour Government is considering introducing a new assessment at the end of Key Stage 2. This would have implications for Modern Foreign Languages to some extent. Although languages are not a compulsory feature yet in primary school, prior attainments are taken into account as soon as a child starts secondary school. The assessment that the Government wishes to set up implies that pupils leaving primary school with good results will be more likely to go on the rolls of schools that are on top of the list in the league table. Consequently, it can divide schools into categories, as was the case before the existence of comprehensive schools.

The figures analysed earlier show that the dropout rate in languages is already quite high, and it is even more so in schools which are towards the bottom of league table. “Allowing schoolchildren to drop languages at age 14 is reinforcing an existing class divide, warns a report from national education bodies. Schools with more pupils on free school meals are making languages optional. (…) In some, albeit isolated, cases dropout was extremely high. One school reported 40% of pupils in Year 11 not studying a language (last year’s option choices), rising to 90% for Year 10 (this year’s). This school also reported knock-on effects in Key Stage 3, with curriculum time being reduced for lower ability groups.” Indeed, the United Kingdom seems to move back towards an elitist educational system and this is not the only fact that leads to this conclusion.

Although legally the existence of an examination at the end of primary school should not be relevant to pupils’ enrolment in secondary school, selection still exists under cover of a different name. The Government appears to tolerate 10% of selection. In 1995, David Blunkett, made it extremely clear in his famous speech at the Labour party conference “read my lips: no selection”. Some grammar schools have high expectations of the potential candidates which will be part of their Year 7 pupils, and do not want to rely entirely on the assessments made by primary schools, and therefore have entry tests. Within the catchment area, they choose the local elite of children which will help them carry on to gain the excellent results at GCSE the school aims at, which are largely above national average results. Unfortunately, even some comprehensive schools use the same technique to hand-pick the best from the average pupils. This is known by British society and largely accepted, as many parents wish the best for their children.

However, in some less prosperous households in deprived areas, this competitive ethos is not found. Parents are more likely to lack a culture of self achievement and do not transmit these values to their children. Pupils are sent to comprehensive schools, where the expectations are lower, and it is in this kind of environment that the entitlement to languages at Key Stage 4 is at risk, as shown by the previous figures. To assess whether a school is within the boundaries of a less fortunate area, statisticians use the landmark of free school meals, which are only provided to families who live under the poverty threshold. Donald McLeod’s article on the TES website illustrates this concern: “In 2003, 70% of schools with more than 10% of pupils on free school meals had made languages optional, as opposed to 31% of the rest. Some 67% schools with half or fewer of their pupils gaining 5 A* to C’s at the GCSE had made languages optional, whereas only 38% of schools with higher attaining pupils had done so.”

Pupils in comprehensive schools are set targets in all their subjects. They are set end of year targets, end of Key Stage 3, and GCSE target grades. Besides, in school Z, the Modern Foreign Languages department sets targets for pupils’ levels of achievement for each half term.

Pupils after a few weeks in Year 7 take their CATS tests. The latter consists in a series of papers to assess their logic, Literacy and Numeracy skills. These tests are then used to provide predicted levels of achievement in Maths, English and Science. They are also used in some schools to set children in groups according to their ability, even in subjects like Modern Foreign Languages which are not directly related to these tests, although it seems to be assumed that a correlation can be drawn.

Then, in Year 9, they have SATS, in English, Maths and Science. Their performance is recorded but also used for further predicted grades and thanks to educational software provided by the Government like the ‘Autumn package’ or the ‘Panda package’, an estimate for their GCSE grades is made.

In Modern Foreign Languages, pupils sit end of year exams and end of unit tests in the four basic skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) every half term. This is a common assessment pattern used in many schools in the United Kingdom. “While the amount of time and money soaked up in the process is an absolute scandal, the effect on our children and their view of what education is about is even more of a worry. Repetitive coaching, training and practice, along with a regime of mocks, trial tests and non-statutory pilots have put children on a treadmill of non-stop scrutiny. They’re the most tested children in the developed world and, as a consequence, subjected to intolerable pressure – and we wring our hands when they seem to lose interest and motivation, leaving education earlier than their European counterparts.”(education.guardian.co.uk). Indeed, it is fair to wonder whether pupils still can enjoy their time at school for the mere pleasure of learning something new and different. According to the same article, there is no evidence that the number of exams improves pupils’ performances.

Besides, teachers have to deliver 21 hour long lessons a week and have four periods dedicated to planning. However, these periods can also be used by the school to cover lessons when colleagues are absent. The numerous assessments imply further time pressure for teachers into delivering the curriculum and to get pupils thoroughly prepared. It also generates a loss in the time dedicated to planning, as most of the non contact time is taken up by marking various assessments.

School management evaluates the instruction provided by teachers according to the results that pupils receive in the various tests. Teachers are themselves set targets by their line manager, who is usually their Head of Department. These can be related to pupils’ performances at examinations. In the United Kingdom, teachers are not civil servants and their capability is related to pupils’ achievement; all of this is directly linked to their opportunities to be promoted and to evolve professionally.

IV.3. Limited resources

In the United Kingdom, comprehensive schools are mainly funded by grants provided the Local Education Authorities which themselves are subsidised by the Government. The way budgets are dispatched between schools depends largely on the system in place for allocating money, which varies according to the Local Education Authorities. Some factors which are taken into account are the number of pupils on roll in the school, the size of the Sixth Form, and the achievement of the school in terms of exam results.

In Local Education Authority A, the main parameter which determines the financial resources offered is the number of pupils following the post 16 curriculum. School Z is within the administration of this Authority. There are about 180 pupils in their Sixth Form. The money available does not enable the Head Teacher to improve the school according to his development plans. The Modern Foreign Languages has had the opportunity of acquiring new resources even if the department exam results are far below the national results; in 2005, only 9% of the pupils gained a grade A* to C in their GCSE exams. However, the budget is dispatched in order to make progress in the areas which need it the most. Although other departments also need to expand their resources, Modern Foreign Languages appeared to be a priority. The Head Teacher’s decision shows a deep interest for this area, which can only be praised considering the latest governmental choices, which relegate languages to an inferior position within the curriculum as it has become a mere entitlement. By making this decision of allocating an increased budget to Modern Foreign Languages, the Head Teacher of school Z makes a statement about his views on the subject. Additionally, the school tries to obtain additional funding by making a bid to gain a specialist status in engineering.

Schools in the United Kingdom have the opportunity to be granted further financial support by becoming specialist schools in varied fields such as sports, art, technology, information technology, business, or languages. Specialist languages schools, whilst making their bid, develop their department in order to show the existing resources and competences, and then, once the status is approved, they can expand the specific area, but also manage to bring general improvements to the school. For instance, Specialist Language School W managed to hire three Modern Foreign Languages assistants and each member of the department was provided with a laptop computer. The classrooms which had been recently refurbished were equipped with delta projectors, and a computer suite was built to fit their needs in Information and Communication Technology.

Their status, however, implies that Languages are compulsory for all pupils at Key Stage 4, and that pupils learn two languages at Key Stage 3. The department consists of eleven members of staff, and offers French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Latin. Two new positions have been created since they successfully made their bid two years ago. Their achievement target for GCSE Modern Foreign Languages is 80% of pupils obtaining an A* to C grade. The school is located in a rather affluent area and the local community is extremely supportive.

In the Times Educational Supplement, 11 March 2005 issue, the efforts made by the Government to multiply the number of Specialist Languages are put forward: “Mr Twigg will announce today that the Government will spend £30m on increasing the number of specialist languages schools to 400 over the next five years. They will receive an extra £30,000 each year to help them to work with other schools. Schools with languages as their first or second specialism will get an additional £30 per pupil”.

It appears that the way schools are subsidised is directly linked with the potential developments of each school, and that unfortunately in some cases, it is increasingly difficult for a school to escape from the vicious circle of the impossibility to expand further. Schools suffer from lack of money, test results do not improve, which places the school at the bottom of the league table, and therefore the school is not attractive to prospective pupils, which implies that the school does not benefit from additional help because the number of pupils on roll in the sixth form does not increase.

Staffing is another issue that undermines Modern Foreign Languages departments. Indeed, there are not enough languages teachers in the United Kingdom at the present time, and the current numbers of pupils taking up languages in post 16 education does not show any sign a potential growth. Universities face numerous closures of languages faculties due to very few applicants. As an incentive, the Government offers the students starting a Post Graduate Certificate of Education a £6,000 grant. And the loans of these students are written off. After Newly Qualified Teachers complete successfully their first year, and obtain their full teaching status, they benefit from a ‘Golden Hello’, which is a £ 4,000 allowance.

In Northern England, schools are so short staffed in Modern Foreign Languages that further incentives have been thought of to attract new staff. In April 2005, the French   magazine  Marianne published an article explaining that Hull University offered to train Modern Foreign Languages teachers in three and a half months and give them a 5700 EUR allowance to do so. As part of their training they spend a few weeks in France. One cannot help but wonder about the quality of the training received in such a short time frame, and whether the knowledge of the newly qualified teachers will be adequate enough to enable them to be efficient classroom practitioners.

Stephen Twigg, school standards minister, announced in 2005 plans to work towards the deficit in languages teaching staff, which now also need to be trained for primary school teaching, as it is part of the Government’s new strategies for Languages. “More than £100 million is to be rushed into schools to help primary children learn foreign languages and halt the subject’s worrying decline in secondaries” (TES, 2005: 1). On the other hand, as the numbers of pupils learning a language at Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 5 has been on a steady decline since the implementation of the Government initiative to change languages to an entitlement, that is to say an option for GCSE rather than a foundation subject, the number of members of staff Modern Foreign Languages departments has decreased.

Source by Cynthia Frey

Gadgets And Their Importance In Our Life

Gadgets are electronically simplified applications that make work easy. They play a significant role in the common man’s life and we have grown so used to it that it becomes very difficult for us to think of daily life chores in the absence of gadgets. Ranging from a washing machine, a chimney or an electric hub, the churner or simply the television set; gadgets have invaded each and every part of our life and have proved themselves to be useful.

Gadgets and their importance

1. Gadgets increase our efficiency. Before the invention of the telephone or the more recent e-mails, sending messages and letters would take days to reach its destination. The soft wares used for application in the internet and the telecommunication are nothing but technical gadgets. These gadgets actually have increased human productivity in terms of work and made the world a better place to live in.

2. A gadget brings joy to the family. With the advent of web-cam and other video accessories, staying away from family and friends is no longer painful. These gadgets can make distant things come near and makes human accessibility very easy.

3. Gadgets make things compact- Take the example of a Swiss Army knife. It can be used as a spoon, knife, twizzer, bottle opener, fork etc. In a single gadget a user can get the function of more than one product.

4. They help in saving space. Initially in the early years of telecommunication the wired handsets could be positioned at a prescribed position only for connectivity. With advent in technology, mobiles were invented that allowed users the freedom to access calls when moving around. With a blackberry one can also avail internet facilities when moving around.

5. Gadgets are fun! iPods, music systems, video games, DVD and most important of all the popular idiot box of ours-“TV” need no introduction as to how enjoyable have they made our lives. These technical gadgets have the power to make us smile by having access to our emotions and needs. They are instruments that can ward off the feelings of loneliness. They are so fun that it actually becomes very essential to integrate them with our lives.

So, gadgets not only make our lives easier but also save our money and precious time. Buying a single gadget will give us the functions of many. This makes gadgets cheap and affordable. It can therefore be concluded that gadgets are not only important because they make our lives easy but also because we can play with them.

Source by Kavin Lee

Easy Self-Hypnosis – The Unwinding Clock

Teaching this simple, portable focusing and amplifying Self-Hypnosis technique to my clients over the course of more than 20 years of my Hypnotherapy practice has helped them reinforce their desired positive changes.

There are two levels to the Unwinding Clock Self-Hypnosis Technique: giving the mind something to do on one level to distract it, and while it is visually looking off in one direction, you apply the auto-suggestion (mantra, slogan, or affirmation) through another channel, in the side door of your mind, so to speak.

Just like a person with insomnia might imagine sheep jumping endlessly over the rail to distract their mind from what’s keeping them awake, you are going to imagine as your visual image the large face of a clock, right up close to your face, almost touching your nose.

You don’t have to remember the actual exact face of a specific clock. You’ve seen enough clocks so many times in your life to know where the numbers are located; they make it easier to keep your attention oriented in your inner space with your eyes closed.

In a quiet environment, where you won’t be disturbed for several minutes, the first step is to close your eyes and roll them up into your head, and work on imagining the number 12 with your mind’s eye at the 12 o’clock high position directly above you.

Simply rolling your eyes up into your head is considered to be the fastest way to induce hypnosis and is like hitting the brain’s reset button; that’s where your eyes go when you go unconscious.

So with your eyes rolled up, you are imagining what the number 12 looks like. It doesn’t have to be perfectly clear; some people find that saying the number in the mind with the inner voice can be helpful.

And since numbers don’t exist in nature, we know by visualizing the number 12, then we’ve engaged the part of your mind that deals with recalling symbols and concepts.

So only once you imagine the number, that’s when you repeat your auto-suggestion quietly to yourself, also with your inner voice.

Then you move your eyes counter-clock-wise to the 11 o’clock high position, and look for the number 11. Once you get a hit on the number 11, again, you repeat the same auto-suggestion.

Then on to the number 10, repeating the same auto-suggestion, then 9, same auto-suggestion, and so forth, all the way around to 1 o’clock, having repeated the auto-suggestion at least twelve times and moved your eyes all the way around in your head, which is good “eye yoga”.

When you are able to get all the way around in one take, you open your eyes and go on with your day.

Sounds easy… but you are going to find your mind likes to take a hike between or at certain numbers, at various points along the circle, which differs depending upon the person.

Those are like the exit points or “leaks” in your attention field.

The aim here is to achieve unity and generate willpower through reinforcement of your goal or new behavior, and the clock face symbolizes a “circle of containment” of that desired new level of being.

When you are in REM sleep, and your eyes are darting back and forth during your dream state, that is how the brain visually processes information from one side to the other.

With the Unwinding Clock Technique you can make your goal stick by being intentional and methodical with that process, and at the same time, help to improve your focus and concentration, and strengthen your ocular muscles which is useful for preserving eyesight.

So when you realize your mind has wandered off, you bring your attention back to the last number or position of the eyes where you left off, or if you can’t recall then back to the beginning, and continue around the clock until you get all the way around to one o’clock in one go.

(Just as a reminder, you are using the same auto-suggestion on each number, not twelve different suggestions, and working on getting around the clock all at once in the least amount of time, not around twelve times, that is.)

It works like advertising for yourself.

And as you know advertising is usually thrown at our eyeballs during transition moments in our day, when the critical mind tends to relax, like as one TV show transitions to the next, advertisers load up the ads. Or ads appear at “transitional” bus stops, in the bus and on the bus as the bus passes by, or in the free   magazines  that are sent to my office for clients to flip through waiting in the transitional waiting room…

You think those companies would be spending all that money on advertising and marketing if it didn’t work?

So too, in the transition moments of your day that’s a great time to use Self-Hypnosis to self-advertise, like in the morning, when you’re in bed awake just before you have to get up, here’s an excuse to stay in bed a few minutes longer, get in one attempt then.

Next around mid-day, lunch time, as the morning transitions into the afternoon, or you’re transitioning into or out of your lunch break, and you have a few minutes when and where you won’t be disturbed, make a second attempt then.

And then when you are back in bed at night, transitioning to dreamland, make a third attempt. If your mind wanders away, and off you go to sleep, no big deal, you just take up the technique again the next morning.

Or, if you are having difficulties getting to sleep, or getting back to sleep if you wake up too early, you can use the technique to get to sleep by going around and around the clock without stopping, using the eyes and the auto-suggestion, until your mind does wander off and you fall asleep.

Since it takes about 21-30 days to learn a new part in a play, expect to use the reinforcement technique three times a day for at least one month for the best results. By then you should reach a tipping point as your new behavior becomes a new habit.

At that point, you can set the technique aside, have it in the wings if you feel some slippage, or you can adapt your auto-suggestion to address some other aspect of your personal growth and continue using this simple Self-Hypnosis technique with the basic frame work of the Unwinding Clock.

Source by Ken Steinmetz

Plain Speaking – 4 Secrets For Getting Your Book Purchased

What can be more infuriating to a potential purchaser of a non-fiction book than chapter headings which give no clue as to their contents? After all, if someone is looking in the non-fiction section of a book store, it implies they want facts, not a fancy and “clever” table of contents! Here are 4 sure-fire ways to make your text grab the reader’s attention:

1. Make sure the text on the front and back covers is compelling. It should state plainly and simply what the book is about. For example: “Buy this book, and learn how to master the craft of teaching in 15 lessons”.

2. Why should anyone buy the book from YOU? Don’t waste limited space on the back cover telling the potential reader about your 3 cats – unless it’s a book about cats, of course! Write something like: “The author has been a practising teacher for 13 years, and writes regularly for the Teaching Times.”

3. Organise the table of contents so that the chapters fall into easily-identifiable sections. For example: “Section 1: Before you face your first class; Section 2: The first year” and so on.

4. Make sure that the chapter headings actually MEAN something. You may think it’s great to have chapters like “All that glitters” and “Every cloud has a silver lining”, but I’ have news for you: nobody else is impressed! When people are browsing they want to know right away what they will get for their money if they buy the book. They don’t have time to look at each chapter to find out what it’s about. The chapter headings should tell them everything they need to know. For example, have chapters like: “Chapter 3: Maintaining order in your classroom; Chapter 4: Where to find excellent resources for your lessons”, and so on.

You have just a few seconds to impress a potential buyer. Don’t waste them!

Source by Terry Freedman

Social Media, Propaganda, and Mass Hypnosis

Over the course of 2 decades of my Hypnotherapy practice I have hypnotized hundreds of people, helping them make positive changes to lead better quality lives.

From my perspective, what I witness happening in the televised and social media soup today is the opposite of Hypnotherapy and is deeply disturbing.

The public should be aware that the manner in which propaganda and yellow journalism is deployed can have a hypnotic effect on people, especially the most vulnerable, children.

This last presidential election, fake news, “click-bait”, and Daesh can serve to raise our collective consciousness about the dangers of mass hypnosis spread through media as it has recently in regrettable, repugnant, and horrifying ways.

Propaganda, false or misleading information used to manipulate the public’s perceptions and beliefs, specifically designed to produce an emotional response instead of a rational one, distorts the truth, and often panders to human weakness by demonizing a political opponent.

Given enough time and repetition, propaganda’s hypnotic effect can amplify feelings of insecurity, hatred, racism, and fear… or an inhumane sense of empowerment that leads a person to commit crime or don a suicide vest.

Fear puts a person into a more suggestible state, and exposure to toxic propaganda is how vulnerable, desperate, and misguided people can be incited to harm others.

In my view, propaganda is hate speech, not free speech. Facts are facts. If you’re spreading lies or omitting the truth, that’s propaganda.

When you think of hypnosis, most people think that it only happens with your eyes closed… but that is certainly not the case.

There are basically two types hypnotic states, occurring separately or in succession:

  • a deep, “fixed-gaze” type, with eyes opened or closed, which is great for conditioning, learning, and reinforcing, like when listening to music or a self-hypnosis recording,
  • and a “pseudo-REM sleep-lucid dreaming” type with eyes always closed during an interactive guided hypnotherapy session in which a person might have a corrective emotional experience.

Now picture masses of people with fixed gazes… staring at the Telly or watching video clips on their smartphones, immersed in their echo chambers, soaking up biased, toxic, fake news, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, and you can understand my concern.

People can be made to believe just about anything.

It’s time to call yellow journalism and televised political propaganda what it really is: mass hypnosis.

It is my belief that propaganda spread through media harms the public by inducing false memory syndrome.

In my opinion, spreading propaganda, the hypnotic use of media to promote a political agenda, should be banned.

Even at the check out counter.

We need to direct our collective dopamine receptors toward being rewarded with “likes” for saving the planet, not destroying it!

Let’s all put country before party again, and stop the political propaganda. Stop the lying.

It is a human right to know the truth. That’s why we have Science.

Source by Ken Steinmetz

Cigarette Smoking – A Cause of Your Child’s Asthma

It is true that we all care for our children. We can do virtually anything to keep them hale and hearty. They are our bundles of joy and we are happy if they are. If this is so, why our men and some women do not comprehend the effects of passive smoking on them? Well, may be we are not aware about it. Rather, we do not tend to comprehend unless our children suffer from some or the other problem due to our smoking. Do you know that a nasty asthma spell that made you and your child sleepless whole night can be due to your smoking?

Here are some hard facts about effects of passive smoking on children:

(1) Children are in growing stage and they have faster breathing rates than adults. This makes them more vulnerable to cigarette smoke because they inhale more smoke.

(2) Research shows that children growing in smoky houses develop respiratory and other allergies more (almost twice) than those growing in smokeless atmosphere. Even the rates of hospitalization are more in these children.

(3) Children who smoke passively are seen to have more behavioral problems than others.

(4) The mental development in such children is also seen to be subnormal in some cases.

(5) If the child already has mild to moderate asthma, he or she is likely to get more frequent attacks in smoky homes. Also the symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough, wheezes, etc are much severe in these children.

(6) Some studies revealed that the learning abilities are pretty much compromised in children growing in smoky homes, though the exact cause could not be traced. Mathematics, reasoning abilities, logic, and reading are seen to be affected more.

(7) These children showed conflictive tendencies while dealing with their peers and school teachers. A confused type of behavior was also reported.

(8) When both parents smoke, the child is seen to be absent from school more often due to respiratory illnesses than those children who have habit-less parents.

(9) Even children who are not born with asthma are more likely to develop it even before second birthday.

(10) Secondary smoking means more colds, coughs, and sore throats.

(11) Even some children need ear draining due to accumulated wax due to passive smoking.

(12) These children have higher risk of developing lung cancer in adult life than children who do not smoke passively.

(13) Low birth weight babies are born to parents who smoke. Obviously this is the reason of many future maladies right through childhood and adulthood.

(14) If mother is a smoker, the baby has twice more risk of dying a cot death than the baby whose mother doesn’t smoke.

(15) Recovery time is much longer in children from any illnesses who are passive smokers.

Well, from the above facts, don’t you think that the babies are amazingly fortunate whose parents do not smoke? Yes, you are right to think that. All the men’s health and fitness and women’s health and fitness magazines shout about the negative impacts of passive smoking on our children. If still you do not stop smoking, it indicates you do not love your children!

Source by Sam Loyal

Choose The Perfect Jeans For This Spring

Although jeans are a year-round part of our casual wardrobe, nothing beats the feeling of having a new pair as soon as we got rid of winter’s cold. And with a pair of light wash denim jeans, you can never go wrong. Spring is the perfect season to make the transition to more colorful, lighter clothes. If you have a great body to show off, a pair of jeans is the right choice. Read the following article if you do not know exactly what jeans to wear this spring.

If you haven’t read some fashion magazines recently, then you have probably the latest trends and fashion-stylists ‘suggestions for this spring. In nine out of ten cases, the words on every designer and stylist lips are: skinny jeans. Yes, you heard it, ladies, this year is the year of the skinny jeans. When you’re not going to fancy meetings or dinners, where a sophisticated look is desired, skinny jeans should be the alternative. A casual tee and simple slides or sandals, paired with jeans is the right match. It’s a 3 minute outfit that will give you a fresh, playful look. Tuck your tee into your jeans, just to highlight your wasp-waist that you are proud of.

The need for lighter, heat-deflecting clothes is accentuated in spring. Lighter denim jeans, besides being a bit more comfortable, due to their thinner and flexible texture, have the right colors and textures to give you a chill and comfortable feeling. And you can wear them with light-colored blouses and t-shirt to match them.

Skinny jeans are so fashionable and so easy to customize and it leaves room for our imagination. A pair of high-waisted denim jeans, combined with a navy blue blouse or a stripped t-shirt, a French beret and a pair of glasses would give you a really chic look and youthful apparel. Skinny jeans also go well with a pair of high-heels, allowing you to make a bold, but stylish statement.

Men should also opt for denim this spring. Blue slim stretch fit jeans, paired with a motorcycle leather jacket will give anyone a very tough, masculine look. Darker blue denim jeans are also an excellent choice when paired with jackets. Light blue or uniform blue jeans, with rolled up cuffs are more suitable for a casual look. And for a vintage look, jeans with gradual frontal fading are exactly what you need.

Source by Gurgu Ciprian

Why is Good Employee Communication So Important During an Economic Downturn?

Maintain staff productivity

No news is definitely not good news from an employee communications perspective. October 2008 research from Weber Shandwick showed that 71% of people felt that their company should be communicating more about current economic problems. Unfortunately, the uncertainty caused by lack of internal communications can cause staff to be less productive. In fact, Workforce Week reported in October 08 that 48 percent of staff said that the economic uncertainty has caused them to be less productive at work.

Maintain operational effectiveness

Uncertainty due to a lack of effective internal communication can cause high performing employees to jump ship. Low morale within remaining staff can impact customer interactions and damage brand identity. Uncertainty can also damage a company’s culture. Competition for internal resources can increase between (and inside of) departments. Focus can shift onto projects that ‘look good’ but don’t really contribute towards real business objectives. Good employee communications can enable you to retain your best employees, protect your company culture and maintain the strength of your brand. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it costs at least one-third of a new hire’s annual salary to replace them. There are also associated opportunity costs such as lower productivity during re-training to consider. It is much more cost-effective to retain good staff and profitable customers than to replace them.

Retain revenues in a shrinking market

If demand for your organization’s products or services is reducing, in order to keep revenues healthy, it becomes even more important to drive organizational performance to increase your share of a shrinking market. In a competitive marketplace, organizations need to be agile, to reduce process inefficiencies and to increase effectiveness across the business. Effective employee communications plays a critical role in achieving these goals with an investment that’s small compared to value gained. Good employee communication is a competitive advantage.

Employee communication tips during an economic downturn:

Don’t cut employee communications

When budgets are tight and the future looks uncertain a knee-jerk reaction can be to pull back to the bare essentials and not try anything new. Organizations may be tempted to cut costs in areas such as Internal Communications at a time when effective employee communications are even more essential. The Return On Investment (ROI) of effective employee communications can be huge. Watson Wyatt’s 2007/2008 Communication ROI Study showed that: “Effective employee communication is a leading indicator of financial performance…a significant improvement in communication effectiveness is associated with a 15.7 percent increase in market value”. Firms that communicate effectively are also four times as likely to report high levels of employee engagement as firms that communicate less effectively. Good employee communications can also help create an advantage that competitors aren’t likely to have. Involve your Internal Communications team in strategic planning sessions. They will be able to make proactive recommendations on items that have a communication component along with suggested employee communications strategies. Internal communications breakdown can be a major source of inefficiency. As can inaccurate, slow-moving, or non-existent information and mixed messages. Breakdowns cause people and processes to under perform. A good internal communications team can help to identify and eliminate the root cause of communications breakdowns.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips:

Engaging. Use engaging employee communications channels. Overt tools such as Desktop Alerts can be used to achieve maximum cut through for important and/or urgent messages and updates. Digital Signage on screensavers provides a more passive and visual way to raise awareness of key themes. Web 2.0 channels allow you to quickly and easily set up secure online blogs, discussion forums and interactive helpdesks with little budget or IT resource.

Measurable. Ensure the channels you use provide full reporting on message cut-though and readership. This can be particularly important for HR communications during uncertain times.

Track performance. Use staff surveys and polls as a way to assess what’s working, measure attitudes and levels of understanding as well as tracking trends.

Targeted. Use channels that allows messages to be customized and targeted to specific staff groups.

Repetition. Use a range of different ways to communicate and repeat key themes so that messages do not become ‘wall paper’.

Reduce information overload. Use a staff Emag to aggregate ‘news and admin’ updates in order to reduce email overload and the impact it has on productivity.

Drive performance. Use staff quizzes to gather cost savings or efficiency initiatives, reinforce messages and new behaviors.

Build community. Use staff electronic   magazines  to allow staff to tell their own stories in their own words. Social media channels should be authenticated to employees computers to allow staff to securely participate in online discussion forums and blogs.

Be visible, honest and open “By stepping up and communicating more with their employees, company leaders will enhance their company’s standing, consolidate their position of trust in challenging times and head off any inaccurate rumors or fears.” Harris Diamond, CEO of Weber Shandwick Be willing to communicate before you have all the answers. Employees need communication ‘right now’ to remove uncertainty that may be hindering their productivity. Not communicating with employees does not mean that they are not communicating. It means that you have lost control over any positive messaging and the chances are excellent that your employees are painting a far worse picture than is actually occurring. Tell employees what you know, what you don’t know, and when you will provide further information. Explain the steps the organization is taking to identify issues and resolve problems. Don’t make promises you may not be able to keep. Be open and transparent with performance data. Candor helps gain public support for necessary actions that may follow. Employees rarely feel worse after having positive contact with a genuine, candid leader. A CEO / senior managers blog can act as an ongoing ‘town hall meeting’ that makes senior managers more accessible to staff. Staff can ask questions and seek clarification in a format that is similar to open dialogue.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips:

An RSVP Desktop Alert is an ideal channel for maximising employee attendance of face to face briefing sessions. Such desktop alerts can provide available date, time and venues options and automatically populate the employee’s outlook calendar with the selected appointment. Reporting tools make it easy to see which staff are attending which sessions. You can plan room sizes, catering etc and close off specific date/time options as rooms become filled. Video: Credibility, conviction and passion are best conveyed by visual cues. When face to face is not possible, staff can benefit from seeing engaged and informed senior leaders through video. Consider delivering video messages with a pop up alert notification. Recurrence and/or click through options can be specified to ensure maximum visibility and ROI for video messages. Use Web 2.0 channels that have been specifically built for internal employee communications. Ensure they are easy to use meaning and little IT resource, training or budget is required to implement them.

Be timely Coordinate your internal and external messages and be timely. Employees should hear company news from the company first. Nothing is worse to an employee’s moral than hearing about changes to their organization from media sources or family and friends before they have been informed by their employer. Keep track of when employees last heard from you and schedule when you’ll send updates, regardless of developments.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips: Pre-schedule messages: Pre-schedule messages to coincide with market or media releases. Formats like desktop alerts and scrolling news feeds achieve high message cut-through. Scrolling news feeds: If you use RSS feeds in your press releases/newsroom or website, set up an employee scrolling news ticker so staff automatically receive the news releases the second they become public. This is especially important for publicly listed companies as this can be a good way to make sure you keep employees in the loop as much as possible. Use a channel that that doesn’t require staff to take the time to opt in to important RSS feeds. Alternatively, if you want to personalize announcements to staff, you can also easily create an internal news ticker and schedule it to appear at an appropriate time.

Manage Rumors Manage rumors. Get information out early and explain that you will provide regular updates, rather than letting rumors proliferate whilst you wait. In the absence of alternative information, staff may accept available rumors as “the truth” (if the rumors weren’t true they would have said so) causing you to lose your best people first. Some organizations set up an online discussion forum specifically as a ‘rumor mill’ where staff can anonymously post anything they have heard. Executives may not want to sanction a rumor mill. However, rumors exist regardless of the channel and a discussion forum provides an opportunity to correct them quickly. Limit potential damage from managers’ informal conversations that are overheard and serve only to undermine other communications efforts or create rumors. Use secure channels for electronic ‘manager only’ communications. “Today, whatever you say inside of a company will end up on a blog, So you have a choice as a company – you can either be proactive and take the offensive and say, ‘Here’s what’s going on,’ or you can let someone else write the story for you.” Rusty Rueff, a former HR executive at PepsiCo.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips:

Web 2.0 channels: set up secure online forums that are authenticated to individual employee’s computers. Ensure that the level of access, moderation and anonymity can be easily specified for each forum and/or specific staff groups. Set up automated desktop alerts to notify specified moderators that new posts require moderation or an answer which can help ensure responsiveness.

Involve managers in delivering messages

Employees prefer communicating with their immediate manager than with any other level of management. This is especially relevant during times of uncertainty. So use your team. Make sure they know how and what to communicate, and that no one is a bystander. It is also helpful to get a wider communications support team in place – not just the core communications or management team, but a wider network of champions, supporters and coordinators. What will the company look like if it’s successful? This vision needs to be expressed at a high level and then translated down to individual departments and staff in terms of what it means to them. Line managers and supervisors are a great resource for providing this context. Measure and manage the effectiveness of line manager communication with employees. What gets measured gets done.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips:

Staff surveys and employee polls can help you measure the effectiveness of managers as communicators. A short poll to assess how well each employee understands key messages can be related back to individual managers to provide a measure of the manager’s communications effectiveness. What gets measured usually gets focus and priority. Blogs: Get with it and get key managers to blog about the current economic situation and related initiatives. Encourage staff to ask questions and seek clarification. Staff blogs will help staff realize that managers are human too and they are doing all they can to minimize the impact upon the organization. Interactive secure helpdesks. Set up secure web 2.0 channels as staff helpdesks. Managers can meet online to discuss strategies, share ideas and to plan. This is especially useful when managers are in different locations. Schedule and target messages so that, when appropriate, mangers can be targeted with updates, via a desktop alert or scrolling news ticker ahead of their teams. This allows them plan how they will react and provide further context when their team are subsequently updated, and to prepare answers to possible questions from staff.

Provide 2 way communications channels

Provide opportunities for two-way communication. Invite employees’ questions, concerns and suggestions. Welcome all kinds of feedback including negative comments…sometimes people simply need a place to vent frustrations before they emotionally move on. Acknowledge emotions and probe deeper to understand the real issues. Use face to face meetings for sensitive issues and allow plenty of time to hear responses and answer questions. Staff may think of additional questions later on, therefore channels should be in place to address these subsequent questions. Web 2.0 tools can provide an opportunity for a genuine conversation as an alternative to ongoing face to face meetings. Other alternatives such as opinion polls and suggestion boxes can also be put in place.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips:

Staff opinion polls allow you to ask for information on specific issues. Even though it is not face to face, they can be used effectively to keep information channels open. Online staff discussion forums can provide a virtual meeting where people can share their ideas, opinions, and if necessary, let off steam. Staff Discussion Forums allow people to post ideas anonymously. This is a good option for finding out what staff really think. In case this all sounds too risky, use a highly secure platform that provides a range of moderation options to allow you to keep a close eye on the conversations. Targeting options will also mean that you can set up specific secure forums targeted to specific groups (meaning that negative feeling doesn’t have to ‘infect’ the whole organization).

Focus on outcomes and drive performance

Don’t overly focus on cost cutting and productivity messages. These messages are clearly important but it is also necessary to help staff stay positive by inspiring them, highlighting genuine good news stories and keeping focus on future opportunities rather than just the current pain. Show your strengths. Reinforce the core competencies and values that make your organization successful. Talk about how they will help the organization thrive in the future. Maintain a positive focus on achieving performance targets. Don’t let negative views of the economy be an excuse for failure to meet targets.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips:

Use a staff electronic  magazine  format that makes it easy for anyone in your organization to contribute news items. Include articles showing how employees are modeling new values or implementing new strategies Screensavers as digital signage: Use screensavers as a communications channel to paint a picture of the future, promote top performers, show visual representations of achievement against target, carry motivational images etc. Countdown clocks on screensavers can also be a great motivational tool to create a sense of urgency when the end of the financial year is in sight. Scrolling news tickers: A daily news ticker for targeted employee’s computers carrying the latest sales, production or performance figures. Staff Quizzes: Use staff quizzes to increase capability and motivate staff (injected with some humorous options and with a prize incentive). Web 2.0 channels: Provide an interactive online helpdesk to allow staff to ask questions about any aspect of the business or their role. Nominated moderators can provide support in an evolving, tag-able and searchable repository of knowledge.

Engage Staff in reducing inefficiencies

Involve staff and solicit their ideas for cost reduction and efficiency campaigns. Enlisting the help of employees to cut costs lets them know that ‘we are all in this together’. Once a few success stories are found, highlight them in staff communications channels (printed  magazines , newsletters, E-Mags, etc). Tell stories about what departments or individuals are doing to reduce cost or increase efficiencies. Offer rewards or a personal thank you for good ideas and initiatives.

Internal Communications Channels – Tips: Staff Surveys: push staff surveys and opinion polls directly to employee computer screens. Use this format to get staff to submit cost savings and efficiency ideas. The level of persistence for uncompleted surveys can be specified thereby ensuring maximum staff participation. Often the ideas and suggestions received can have a dramatic and positive impact on the business. Online staff forums: use a platform which allow secure discussions to be set up for targeted groups of employees. Discussion forums of this nature can be an excellent way to gather business improvement ideas and suggestions Staff e-mags: Select an easy to use format that allows any member of staff to submit articles. Encourage staff to submit short updates about what they or their department are doing to reduce cost and/or inefficiencies.

Source by Sarah Perry

Can You Burn Fat With Only Supplements?

The supplements which help you burn fat actually suppress your appetite making you want to eat less and thereby to lose weight faster. They also induce more energy that keeps you going in a long and intense workout which helps to burn fat. For any of the supplements to work you need to have a strict schedule for exercises and a proper diet program. In order to fight weight you need to burn more calories than you consume and this can be achieved only through proper diet combined with physical activity.

Water retention is caused in the body because of excess sodium content in the body along with fat. For men it is mostly in the abdomen area, and the hips, thighs and buttocks are affected for the women. This excess body fat is mostly the result of exceeding caloric intake, eating odd at hours and lack of exercise. The best way to burn fat is to reduce sodium intake, reduce calories and reduce fat. The best and healthy way to fight fat is through diet and exercise.

Different techniques work for different people with different body types. Modifying your diet is the easiest way to burn fat. Substituting high calorie carbonated drinks and fruit juices with water can help you bring down the calorie intake significantly. Without physical activity the body’s metabolic system goes into a shutdown mode. Excess calories get stored up as unwanted fat in the body when there is no exercise to the body. The unused surplus calories is the body fat. The only way to speed up the metabolism which helps to burn fat is through exercise. Eating 4 to 5 small meals per day also helps to increase the metabolism rate. For a person with a dominant endomorph body type it is impossible to burn fat without any physical activity.

Programs offered by P90X (Power 90 Extreme) include rotations or emphases, classic, and lean and doubles that an individual can opt for based on their personal goals and requirements. It is best to read the user P90X reviews of the workout before choosing a program to burn fat. The P90X workout programs include strength training, plyometrics, yoga, cardio and stretching. They use a method of cross training that emphasizes on muscle confusion where they change the methods of the workout schedules by the order of exercises, and new steps and movements in the exercises.

Source by Josh F Myers

Do You Know Where You Are Going? (Start Setting Outcomes)

Have you ever asked yourself that question? I hope you did and if you didn’t; then here is your chance, because today we are going to talk about goal setting with a twist. Because the word goal does not have such a positive value for me, I’m supplementing it with outcome. Outcome has a whole new ring to it and I like it.

I would like to share my process with you around the subject, so if this is a challenge for you, you can learn from my experience instead of having to go through it yourself. However if you like to learn the hard way, the choice is yours.

Let me give you a heads up when it comes to my relationship to setting outcomes. Setting outcomes used to be a challenge for me. Just hearing the words “Setting Goals” would make the hair on my back stand up. No worries, I don’t have a lot of them. (The hair I mean.) The concept of writing things down in a linear fashion just didn’t appeal to me one bit. I had a lot of resistance towards it. So I simply didn’t do it.

But what I came to realize is, every time I wanted something in my life I would think about it and in time it would end up becoming a reality. Years later, I started reading all kinds of materials about how to get what you want in your life and a lot of these materials were talking about writing things down and how much more powerful that was than just thinking about stuff.

By then I understood that if there is resistance there is learning and I started to look into it. What I came to find out is this: I was trying to apply a technique without being connected to myself. Creating a list out of just intellectual wants is very different than creating something that comes out of being connected to yourself and connected to the bigger picture of your life. In order to do that, I needed to spend some time just with myself. (And that is a challenge for a lot of women entrepreneurs. Sitting still is not one of the top favorite business techniques.)

This was a big revelation for me. So the question now was: How was I going to make this work in the way that was fun, easy, creative, and resonated with who I was?

After trying a lot of different things this is the formula I came up with:

  1. Get clear on what you want.
    I know for a fact that when I’m not clear with what I want, things end up stumbling in my life. Here is the first rule of thumb: Get clarity with yourself. Pick one or two outcomes that are most important to you. Too many outcomes at one time will most likely de-focus you.
  2. Write it down.
    Despite my resistance, I have to say writing your outcomes down makes it more concrete, more tangible, and clearer. Figure out the best way for you to write things down. Some people say “make your outcomes as tangible as you can to the last detail” and some say “your outcomes can be more general.” What works best for me is somewhere in the middle. Different things work for different people. Try both ways and see what happens with each.
  3. Create a visual image of your outcome.
    This step really makes it work for me, because I’m a visual person. Create a collage of your desired outcome and put it somewhere you can see it constantly. This way, visual images can get imprinted in your subconscious mind and you are more likely to manifest it into reality. Just pull out your old magazines and cut out images and words that speak to you in relationship to your goal. Glue it together on a piece of paper and voila! You have created a visual anchor for yourself. This is a very powerful tool that greatly speeds things up if you use it in combination with writing. Remember your brain sees pictures before it sees the words. Utilize it for yourself!
  4. Create a game plan.
    Now it’s time to look at what are the steps to take to make your outcome happen. Having a game plan in easy steps pulls it all together, so you can take action. Action is what gets things moving. If you just sit there and do nothing, hoping for the best, not much is going to happen. Trust me I tried. This is what I suggest: Get your butt off the couch. As you are taking the steps pay attention to what they feel like. Don’t just do things because you think they are right. Do them when they feel right and you’ll be able to see a big difference in your results.
  5. Find a support buddy.
    Since staying consistent with one’s action on a daily basis can be challenging and our motivation can only carry us so far, this is a way to take care of that. I know it has been challenging for me. You don’t have to do it alone! Get someone in a circle of your friends who wants to work on something in their life and you can support each other and keep each other accountable. This way you are more likely to stay on track and not procrastinate. If you can’t find a friend, nowadays there are plenty of places on the net where you can find someone who is looking to have a support buddy and do it that way.
  6. Watch for the clues in your life.
    This is the exciting part! Here is where you pay attention and look for a thread that holds the pieces of your puzzle together. In plain English, you are watching for signs that will show you that you are on the right track. It will be little things that start to manifest. For example: Say your outcome is to publish a book. You go to an event and you happen to meet a publisher. That is a great sign you are on the right track. You couldn’t plan this better if you tried. Pay attention to how the universe speaks to you and you will get much further than just making lists.
  7. Celebrate your successes.
    This is as important as the rest of the steps. Why? Because in our over-productive society we have a tendency to just keep going from one thing to the next without acknowledging what we have accomplished. Or better yet, we belittle what we have done. By celebrating our successes (however big or small) we create space for greater things to happen in our life, and at the same time it is a way to honor ourselves and our journey.

Now you try! Let me know how it goes. Here is to your success!

Enjoy and whatever you do, don’t forget to have fun!

Source by Erika Gombosova