FOUR TIPS TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

FOUR TIPS TO ENSUREIt is the first week of January, 2015.  Did you make any resolutions? Here’s why I believe you should.

  1. Making resolutions forces you to reflect on your life and think about the one thing you should improve moving forward. If you consider how you conduct your life to be perfect, then you aren’t evolving. Staying even in a dynamic world is the same thing as sliding backwards.
  2. A resolution should be meaningful. A trite resolution, such as, “I will not eat Cheetos” is a non-resolution, because you can easily eat Doritos and accomplish nothing in the process. Make a resolution that makes a difference.
  3. Any resolution or goal should be measurable. For example, if your goal is to raise your income in a commission job, you should know your metrics. What is the average sale value? How many cold calls to make a sale? How many leads should you pursue per day/week/month? If your goal is to lose twenty-four pounds in the year (for noble reasons such as reducing your blood pressure) then you need to lose two pounds per month, or one-half pound per week. You can’t starve yourself and lose twenty-four pounds in the month of December.  Inspect what you expect.
  4. Reward yourself for attaining goals and resolutions. You deserve it. But close the loop at the end of the goal cycle as to why or why not you didn’t honor your resolution. Continuous improvement is self-awareness.

Dating for Life is also about continuous improvement. Continually ask yourself how you can better interact with people and you’ll be amazed at how your relationships with family, friends, colleagues, or even the love of your life will evolve for the better.

HOLIDATING PART THREE

holidatingthreeYour holiday dating is your platform for kicking off the New Year.  This will be my final blog for 2014, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your nice comments and input.  As you approach 2015, here are a few suggestions for your New Year’s resolutions:

  1. If you are single, stop looking for Mr. Right. You will find yourself only dating Mr. Wrong, with the net result being an unsuccessful date.  Remember, you can’t make love happen. No perfume/cologne or fancy words can induce love. Corny lines can repel it. But engaging with anyone on a date can set-up the right circumstances for a solid friendship and maybe love. As long as you follow the four keys to Dating for Life, you truly can’t have a bad date.
  2. If you are married, never alter what got you to the altar. Chivalry should never atrophy to the point where each day with your partner is mundane. Spice up your life and your romance by a series of little gestures. Love isn’t static, it’s dynamic.  Affection and consideration will keep your love spiraling upward; apathy brings it down. Make 2015 your biggest year ever for having fun with the one you love.
  3. It’s not about the how or who, but the why. “Who did this?” is the blame game. “How did this happen” is a logistical question.  Explore “Why is this happening” to solve any problems.  Almost all arguments are centered on either miscommunication or misinformation. Deeper problems stem from mis-considerations. Find out why you or your partner have a bump in the road. You’ll smooth it out must quicker by addressing why there is a problem and be accountable for your actions.  Remember, LOVE is patient, love is kind…
  4. Although LOVE is the greatest of all, FAITH and HOPE aren’t far behind. The greatest foundation to a relationship is FAITH (including Trust). Be trustworthy above all to preserve your integrity and you relationship. But HOPE (i.e. positive mental attitude, excitement, forward thinking etc.) is what carries you forward in life. Remember the past, but don’t hang on to it. Thorough enjoy the present, it’s a gift. But as you near 2015, think about the promise of the future and keep Dating for Life with your friends, family, colleagues, and maybe even your true love. You’ll be living in JOY, and you may find that 2015 will be your best year ever.  JOYFUL holidays to you all.

 

HOLIDATING PART TWO

HOLIDATING PART TWOWhat is the true meaning of Christmas?  Certainly it is the season for giving. But perhaps a more powerful meaning, it is the season forgiving. The greatest gift you can give is to forgive anyone and everyone. The birth of a babe in a manager signifies that we all enter this world free of sin and worry. Forgiving others gives them the chance to start over.  More importantly, it releases you from carrying any baggage. The only things you should carry over the holidays (or anytime) are presents. Hanging onto the past will prevent you from moving forward into the future, which is another reason to continuously be “in the present.” Family and friends can come together in this season of mirth by engaging in JOY, or by EN-JOYing themselves. It’s easy to ENJOY.  Dating for Life is all about giving and JOY.  Take someone, anyone, out on a date and make sure that you and your date are participating in something of mutual interest.  Then, simply be in the moment, go out and have a good time.  It’s that easy.  The Greek origin of dating is “to give.” This year give JOY and companionship to those whom are close to you and folks you need to forgive.  It’s the greatest gift you can give, which of course if LOVE.

 

HOLIDATING PART ONE

grinchWhy is it that some people succumb to the holiday blues? Often, folks who are lonely often avoid social interactions over the holidays, yet withdrawing can increase feelings of loneliness. They may see others spending time with family or friends and wonder, “Why can’t that be me?” The truth is, it can!

Why do singles without any “significant other” stop dating around the holidays? Typical answers are “it’s awkward.”  The truth is, it can be IF your concept of dating is “finding the one.” Incidentally, the same holds true just before Valentine’s Day.

The word, “dating” is derived from the Greek term didonal, which means “to give.”

Christmas and Hanukkah are times for giving, not taking. Rethink what it means to date. Stop looking for “the one.” Take people out who are friends, colleagues, friends and family and show them a good time, whether it be a walk in the park or a fancy event. Even more importantly, reach out to people in need in ways that help you engage with the world. This could mean donating money to street people; giving Starbucks cards to service workers in your life; volunteering at a shelter.  Ironically, the more you give, the more you will receive. Joy is not a something for hermits; it can only be shared. Even the Grinch came to that realization before it was too late!

And, in going out with joy, focus on having a good time utilizing the principles of Dating for Life. Who knows, you may bolster a new friendship or even meet someone to spend a lifetime with.

FIFTY WAYS TO PLEASE YOUR LOVER—PART TEN

“And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right

There must be fifty ways to please your lover”

I admit it. Paul Simon’s song was written about infidelity.  However my twist would therefore have to be about fidelity. Any great relationship is built on trust and loyalty, but Dating for Life can preserve the zest even for the best relationships.

46)  Romance is very underrated. Remember to say “I love you” each and every day. When it comes to affection, err on the side of abundance.

47)  Chivalry should never die. Acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are always appreciated. It’s not about doing what you were asked to do; it’s about doing the unexpected in unexpectedly nice ways.

48)  Never alter what gets you to the altar. That zest for going out will atrophy if you don’t exercise it.

49)  Go to bed at peace and wake up happy. You live your life, and your significant other lives his or hers. It’s how you dovetail in between that matters.

50)  Frankly, there are infinite ways to please your lover. Love is infinite, so the possibilities are endless if you are open to Dating for Life.

FIFTY WAYS TO PLEASE YOUR LOVER—PART NINE

partnine“She said, “Why don’t we both just sleep on it tonight

I believe in the morning you’ll begin to see the light.

And then she kissed me, and I realized she probably was right…”

Never go to bed angry, the age-old axiom, but it’s easier said than done. Do you argue throughout the night? No. Do you suddenly shut down a frenzy and calmly say, “We’ll continue this discussion in the morning?” No way. But what do you do? Here are some suggestions on how to wrap you your day blissfully:

41)  Never begin a serious discussion at the end of the day. If you are wise enough to know that the topic will be heated, you may not want to bring it up over dinner, if the debate/conversation could last for hours.

42)  Agree to discuss segments of the entire issue. Broad topics such as a major job change and relocation, investing in a new home, or raising a child require broad discussions. You shouldn’t gloss over the entire subject and compress it into a one-hour discussion, so why not segment the discussion almost in outline form?  Agree to stay on point for each meeting.

43)  Despite the potential for high emotions, stay on point. If additional considerations arise in the conversation, then agree to have another discussion time for those specific considerations, but stay on point.

44)  Enter each discussion with a clean slate. Don’t bring dirty laundry into the meeting or an attitude of stirring the waters. The goal is to solve problems, not to create them.

45)  Feel good about small agreements and mutually beneficial concessions. Life is imperfect. If you and your partner can find common ground on fifty percent of your singular subject of discussion (in an on-going series of conversations to solve a major issue such as child rearing) then you have a victory for the day.  Celebrate it in some way and go to bed content. There’s a reason why you have your children say their prayers of thanks before bedtime. Why don’t you? Before your slip into slumber, whisper in your partner’s ear and express gratitude that you worked well together as partners in Dating for Life.

FIFTY WAYS TO PLEASE YOUR LOVER—PART EIGHT

parteight“I said, I appreciate that and would you please explain about the fifty ways”…”

As a partner, how effective are you in communicating what your needs are? You know the age-old retort on what happens when you assume—no need to write it here, for I just did.  More importantly, a good partner should lovingly communicate what situational approach would work well. For example, “Honey, what would really make me happy would be if you were to…” works much better than, “Look, it frustrates me when you repeatedly forget to…” Even worse, “If you know anything about me then you would know that…” We are all humans, and by design screw up. Perfection isn’t about being perfect; it’s about trying to be perfect. The best partners express love by articulating to the significant other the things that will help keep the relationship blissful.  Here are a few ideas to ponder:

36)  Not everything is of critical importance to you. Pick the top three, and sit down with your lover, with no distractions, and articulate how you want to be pleased. Never communicate something important “on the fly.”

37)  If you want to be accurate, then it’s okay to write down your points. However, it’s not okay to write memos or leave notes regarding how you want to be treated. Never text or e-mail feelings. Close relationships require close inter-personal two-way communication, or they can’t be close.

38)  Setting is everything. A man wouldn’t ask a woman to marry him without preplanning for the setting. Why would you open your heart about how you wanted something to change in the way a relationship was being handled in an impersonal way?

39)  If you have carefully expressed how you want to be treated differently to your partner, and the message hasn’t been fully received, don’t become the aggressor and pounce on your partner for “not getting it.” Passive aggressive doesn’t work in any situation, especially one involving love.

40)  Love isn’t precise, nor are feelings. Much of what your partner hears depends on what he or she is listening for. Chances are your partner may only initially understand half of the gist of your intent. Consider that a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but stone by stone, as is your relationship. However, with poor communication, you can tear something apart much faster. Work on smaller victories to build the ultimate one which is Dating for Life.

FIFTY WAYS TO PLEASE YOUR LOVER—PART SIX

part6“Furthermore I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued…”

Ask many couples that have celebrated their golden anniversary how they kept their marriage vibrant, and the will tell you that they never stopped dating.  Sometimes they will say that they make each other laugh. Respect is a big value too, but I would suggest that the art of communication is the thread holding all of these wonderful attributes together. Here are five tips on ways to please your lover through the art of communication:

26)  Good communication begins with attentive listening. You can never reply accurately to anyone if you didn’t hear them correctly from the start.

27)  Learn to “hear between the lines.” Sometimes it’s not what is being said, but what is not being said. But clarify what you think to be true. Never assume what you are interpreting to be true. Clarify.

28)  Always speak honestly, with no underlying agenda.  Manipulation never works in the end. Neither does “Womanipulation.”

29)  Any good communication is the spoken word because it is interactive. Face-to-face is always best because all reactions can be gauged. SKYPE or FACETIME is a near second. Telephone communication is a poor third, but certainly infinitely better than e-mails, which are one-way communication. Texting is a horrible form of communication except for relaying facts, locations, confirming appointments etc.

30)  After a meaningful exchange, whether happy, sad, pragmatic, romantic etc, it is always good to end a conversation with a wrap up that confirms both party’s understanding and possible follow-up plan. Good communication is the thread that ties together any two people: siblings, parent/child, friends, colleagues or soul mates.  It is also the foundation for  Dating for Life.

FIFTY WAYS TO PLEASE YOUR LOVER—PART FIVE

part5“It’s really not my habit to intrude…”

The first line, second verse of Paul Simon’s great song sends a message. Strong partners let each other stand on their own. Offer help when asked or it isn’t received as anything but imposing.  Dating for Life is about enjoying each day in the great date with life. Whether you are on a first date or entering your 25th year of marriage, here are some ways to be a partner without imposing. Here are the fifth five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your ANY relationship.

21)   Never date someone with the idea that you are eventually going to change him or her. It won’t work. You should think more how you can adapt to make the relationship work, assuming we are talking about harmless quirks and not mean-spirited behavior.

22)  To pry is to exhibit mistrust. You don’t build a bond in any relationship by second-guessing your colleague, date, or life-long partner.

23)  Care from afar. Be there to lend support, but don’t orchestrate someone else’s life.  This also applies to raising children. The child becomes strong with the establishing of core values and guidance, but not through the Tiger Mom syndrome.

24)  The best relationship is when two people have their own lives, but dove-tail continuously throughout the day via mutual interests, i.e. children, hobbies, home management, even work. You can’t ever live someone else’s life and have a life of your own. Be yourself by self-actualizing and you become a strong, better partner.

25)  Movies and television shows portray intruders as home invaders and psychopaths. Ironically, one opposite word to “intrude” is “please.”  Keep this in mind when you pursue a relationship that is Dating for Life.

FIFTY WAYS TO PLEASE YOUR LOVER—PART FOUR

fiftyways“I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free…”

The third line of Paul Simon’s great song sometimes is telling. How does one help another?  Dating for Life is about enjoying the day, and enjoying the date. Whether you are on a first date or entering your 25th year of marriage, here are some ways to help your partner for the day (and date) be free. Here are the fourth five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your ANY relationship.

16)  Being supportive rather than critical.  Most partners want to be heard rather than helped.  Be a good listener and ask what you can do to help rather than first offering help.

17)  How do you start your day with a significant other?  Do you wish your partner a wonderful day and tell them how much you appreciate him or her, or do you just say, “See you later” or even worse, “good-bye.”

18)  How to you communicate with your partner through the day?  Do you send functional e-mails or texts only (or not at all) or do you send some form of correspondence that is uplifting and supportive?

19)  When you first get back together, after a prior date, or after a being apart for just a day, do you express happiness to see the other or do you use your partner to unload about your problems of the day?

20)     When it’s time to say good-night, and this means either at the door of your date’s home, or side-by-side on the pillow, do you express gratitude?  Here’s a hint:  ALWAYS tell your date (and partner) that you had a nice date at the end of the evening. You’ll be amazed how well this works to ending any day on a supportive, positive note.  You’ll find that you definitely help your partner in his or her “struggle to be free.”  Freedom is empowerment. Be supportive!