Take Charge of Your Life

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Are you in charge of your life or is life in charge of you? That can seem like a silly question but the truth is – many times we run around handling things, situations and people that are not on our planed list.  They are not even on the radar of what is important to us.  At the beginning of a new year, some people make “New Year’s Resolutions”- unfortunately by now, many people are beating themselves up for resolutions that have already been broken.  In this article we will take a look at one of the ways we can set ourselves up to succeed in the areas that are most important to us. 

Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?  It is also known as Pareto’s Principle.  It states that 20% of what we do produces 80% of the results.  Need a few examples?

20% of the area in our houses require 80% of the cleaning

20% of your clients or projects  require 80% of your time

or

80% of free time is spent on things that only provide 20% or less of desired results

It’s important to remind ourselves not to get bogged down on low-value activities that are not that important to us and instead stay focused on high-value 20%!

Our goals, faith, dreams, desires, morals, and families – those are the important things in the grand scheme of life.  While we are not always in a position to spend all of our time directly on the things that are the most important to us – we can consciously choose to give those important things, those high payoff items – decicated time.  What we must do is find the high payoff tasks and work on those first or at a minimum schedule time to ensure they get done.   

Tips for High Payoff Items

Set a time for completing the task.  Saying I will go on a date with my husband is not good enough.  Setting a date, time and making arrangements increases the chances that you will accomplish this high payoff item.

Set a deadline.  Is there something essential that needs repair or attention?  Is it causing a bottleneck in productivity?  Do you keep saying you will get to it yet you don’t?  Give yourself a deadline.  Either make that deadline or explore other options for getting the job done. 

Need an example?  Let’s say the garbage disposal is broken.  It’s causing a slow drain and smells in the kitchen. Your wife has been waiting for its repair but it is slowing her down.  Your might think – just scrape the food in the trash, and use the other sink – however there is more at play here.  Unless you do things the same way she does with the same frequency you may not understand the build of trash, the mess that must be cleaned from leaky bags the children helped empty or the dog ripped into.  If it’s important to your spouse –it needs to be important to you.  Keeping your word sends the messages – you are important to me, and you can count on me.

Divide and conquer.  Some tasks are so large they are easy to keep putting off.  Have you committed to a special project with your child? Break the project into smaller steps that require less time. Example- did you promise to redo a room or build something but the room is a wreck?  Tasks to be done together in smaller chunks of time might include designing the project, selecting colors, cleaning, organizing, etc.  You don’t have to dedicate a whole weekend (while you could) when you do it little by little. 

 

You don’t have to beat yourself up or give up on the things that are important to you.  Decide to focus on what’s important to you by giving those high payoff items the time they deserve!

 

Love and blessings,

 

Sadie

7 Tips For Dealing With Money In Marriage

By | Featured, Marriage, Money | One Comment

Tips for Dealing with Money In Marriage

Money- is one of those topics that can cause major issues in a relationship.  Many couples find themselves frequently arguing about money or avoiding the topic all together.   Although money isn’t everything, it is a necessity in most parts of the world.  Used properly, it can help solve a host of problems; used improperly it can cause a host of problems.  You and your husband or wife need to deal with your money.  This is true regardless to your income level.  Money issues in a marriage are one of the leading causes of divorce.  If the two of you are struggling in this area it is time to sort out your problems before they get any worse. Consider this a high priority. Here are some tips to help you deal with money issues:

1. Plan a time to have a financial discussion.  Select a time you both agree to that is free of distractions and low in stress.  Try not to select a time when one or both of you will be overly tired.  Be sure that throughout this process your write everything down.

2. Look at real numbers.  Don’t just talk in general.  Look at exactly how much income you have coming in.  Exactly what are your expenses?  How much do you owe in debt?  What are you spending habits? This can be an emotional experience.  Now is not the time to point fingers or make comments on what has happened. This is simply a fact finding mission.

3. Once you know the facts, discuss your thoughts and feelings.  DON’T POINT FINGERS OR CRITICIZE Each person should clearly state their goals for money.  Talk about your feelings of saving and spending.  Be completely honest with your spouse. If you love to shop – don’t pretend you don’t.  If not having a large savings cushion makes you anxious, don’t pretend it doesn’t

4. Review your account structures.  Openly discuss your views and check them according to your core belief system.  To whom does the money belong? Whose names are on all accounts?  Do you both have equal access to everything?  Do you both agree to the setup? How will things be handled in an emergency?

5. Decide on your goals.   Think long term and short term. Create giving, spending, savings, and debt reduction or investment plans.  How much will you give to help others? How much will you spend on necessities? How much will you spend on fun?  How much will you save?  How much will you spend on debt reduction or investments?

6. Recognize what you don’t know.  Don’t flounder in the dark- get help.  Seek out educational materials, workshops, and financial advisors.  There is always more to learn. 

7. Work out who is responsible for managing the money.  Who is responsible for paying the bills? Play to each other’s strengths and availability.   Some couples choose to set a specific time to pay the bills together.  A cautionary note:  unless there is some major reason why this would not be best – both people should know how to pay the bills and access the money.  If ever there is a time or reason that the usual person is unavailable or incapacitated – being in the dark about handling the finances is very dangerous.

Remember, this is not a one time discussion.  Your needs, income, desires, and expenses will likely change over time.  Remember to re-evaluate, check and adjust your plans and habits. 

 

With love and blessings,

Sadie

Is your marriage on your todo list? It should be!

By | Blog Articles, Family, Featured, Marriage | 2 Comments

relationships to do list

The age old advice of planning for tomorrow today also applies to your marriage and family relationships.   How many times have you heard quotes like:

"Fail to plan and you plan to fail."

"A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn't, and even brags about it. Proverbs 13:16"

"Success tomorrow begins today"

For some personalities creating and following a plan comes naturally and with ease. For other personalities it is more difficult to plan ahead or stick with a plan.  Regardless to where you fall personality wise, everything can be made better in the long run with a plan.  Your relationships are no different.  

I know your family relationships are important to you. Many of you have shared that your husbands, wives, and children are the reasons why you do everything you do. It's not their importance in question. The question for you to consider today is : "How have I planned to show my husband or wife or child that they are important to me tomorrow?" (Of course it's not to late to consider today)

You see, so much happens over the course of a day, a week, a month – that before you realize it – time has flown by and you may not have shown those that you love most how important they are.  It doesn't have to take long or cost a dime. Make sure you add your loved ones to your to do list today.  

5 Simple Ways To Show Your Loved Ones They Are Important

1. Schedule a little time everyday to spend with them.  Even 5 minutes just chatting about the day makes a big difference.  

2. Leave them quick little notes to find. Things like: You're the best!  I'm thankful you're mine. Or I love You!  

3. Do something helpful like pack a special snack, wash the dishes, or shovel snow from the car.  

4. When you spend time with them- give them your undivided attention.  

5. Evaluate yourself- if there is something that you need to change don't be afraid to apologize and commit to making it right.

 

Love and blessings,

 

Sadie 

Managing Stress – Does your Family Have A Plan?

By | Blog Articles, Enjoy Life, Family, Featured, Parenting | One Comment

 

Managing Stress – Does Your Family Have A Plan?

By Sadie Foster, MA

 

Lack of stress management has been linked to heart disease, decreased immune function, behavioral problems, difficulty sleeping, decreased school and or work performance, headaches, stomachaches and many other problems.  You’ve probably heard those things before – but did you realize those things are true for children, teens, and adults?  The skills and coping methods learned in youth, can stick throughout life even if they are not healthy. 

Let’s consider some of the facts.  A report released in November 2010 by the American Psychological Association found many disturbing facts.

While parents report similar sources of stress as the rest of the population (80 percent cite money, 72 percent cite work and 72 percent cite the economy as stressors), many also report that family responsibilities are a significant source of stress (73 percent).

 

Results from the survey suggest that parents feel that they are under a great deal of stress (nearly one-third report feeling this way) and understand the importance of managing it (69 percent say managing stress is important). However, only one-third (32 percent) believe they are doing an excellent or very good job of managing their stress.

While the majority of parents don’t think their children are strongly affected by their stress, children report otherwise.

 

Nearly three-quarters (69 percent) of parents say that their stress has only a slight or no impact on their children, yet 91 percent of children report they know their parent is stressed because they observe a multitude of behaviors, such as yelling, arguing and complaining. 

 

The study went on to find that children, tweens, and teens are all affected greatly by the stress their parents experience as well as the stress from their own lives. 

As a parent, it is crucial to learn to recognize and reduce stress as well as teach the children in the household to do the same.

Your family stress management plan should include

    Defining stress with examples

    Understanding the impact stress can have

    Recognizing what things can cause stress in your lives

    How to find solutions to problems that cause stress

    Where to go for help

    How to develop healthy habits

Decide to make and use a stress management plan for you and your family and enjoy today!

 

Love and Blessings,

 

Sadie

Relationships And The Power Of Your Words

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Relationships And The Power Of Your Words



 

By: Sadie Foster, MA

 



 

Think back, with me for just a second.  Think of all the people that you love, the people that you feel the most alive around, the ones you enjoy being with.  How do they treat you?  What do they say to you?  What do you say to them?



 

Words have so much power that you may not realize how much they really have. Have you taken stock of how much power you have and how you are using it?  Let’s take a look at this story.



 

"He began his life with all the classic handicaps and disadvantages. His mother was a dominating woman who found it difficult to love anyone. She gave him no affection, no training and no discipline during his early years.



 

 



 

"When he was 13, a school psychologist commented that he probably didn't even know the meaning of the word "love." During adolescence the girls would have nothing to do with him and he fought with the boys.



 

 



 

"After failing at every pursuit, including a stint in the United States Marine Corps he married a Russian girl, but she also began to hold him in contempt. She could outfight him, and she learned to bully him. Finally, she forced him to leave.



 

 



 

"After days of loneliness, he went home, fell on his knees and literally begged her to take him back. He wept at her feet, but she laughed at him and made fun of his sexual impotency in front of a friend. Finally, he pleaded no more.



 

 



 

No one wanted him.



 

 



 

No one had ever wanted him. He was perhaps the most rejected man of his time.



 

 



 

"The next day, he was a strangely different man. He arose, went to the garage, and took down a rifle he had hidden there. He carried it with him to his newly acquired job at a book-storage building. And from a window on the sixth floor of that building, shortly after noon, November 22, 1963, he sent two shells crashing into the head of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.



 

 



 

"Lee Harvey Oswald, the rejected, unlovable failure, killed the man who, more than any other person on earth — embodied all the success, beauty, wealth, and family affection which Oswald lacked. In firing that rifle, he utilized the one skill he had learned in his entire, miserable lifetime.*



 

 



 

Not that pain and suffering justifies harming another person, or excuses his actions but what a life!  I realize there is all kind of controversy around the assassination of JFK, so please don’t get lost in that.  This could be about anyone. For the sake of learning, let’s consider the story to be true.



 

 



 

How many of our children, regardless to their disadvantages are starving for love, affection, and discipline? How many children do you think only hear negative talk? How many could it be said of, have never had anyone teach them the meaning of love? If you are around children in any capacity – you have the huge opportunity to bless them and speak joy into their lives simply by speaking kind words.



 

 



 

What about the wife in this story?  I don’t know what life must have been like for her.  Maybe he was mean and difficult to live with – I truly have no idea.  From this vignette we do know how she treated her husband.  She fought him, she bullied him, and she rejected him. She laughed at him when he was down, made fun of him, and embarrassed him in front of others.  What a life!  How do you treat the man in your life? It is often said that people love you for how they feel when they are with you.  How do you imagine your words make your husband feel?

 



 

In honor of our wedding anniversary, I will leave you with ten loving words to consider sharing with those you love. 



 

 



 

1.   I appreciate you.



 

2.   I love your smile.



 

3.   I love spending time with you.



 

4.   There is no place I would rather be, than right here with you.



 

5.   I love the feel of your touch.



 

6.   You are important to me.



 

7.   I believe in you.



 

8.   You’re the best.



 

9.   You’re my king.



 

10. I Love you



 

 



 

Speak truth and life into your relationships.  Decide to enjoy your family, enjoy your marriage, and enjoy your life.



 

 



 

Love and blessings,



 

 



 

Sadie

 

 

 

Sadie Foster specializes in taking the mystery out of enjoying health, family relationships and life. Her systems teach the skills most  people were never taught, to overcome challenges and get extra-ordinary results quickly.  Making it simple to enjoy health, enjoy your marriage, enjoy children, and enjoy your life with actionable step by step yet flexible processes.  She has been serving families through counseling and nutritional psychology for the last 14 years. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 

* James Dobson’s, Hide or Seek [1974]

Your Attitude And Behavior – Predicting Divorce

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Your Attitude And Behavior – Predicting Divorce

By: Sadie Foster, MA

Did you know that there were certain attitudes that were predictive of divorce?  If you knew there were things that you could avoid would you avoid them?   Over the course of two decades, a psychologist at the University of Washington studied more than 2000 married couples.  Dr. John Gottman, discovered specific patterns that with an accuracy rate of 94% could predict which marriages will succeed and which will likely fail.  He calls them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.   These behaviors and attitudes are serious and need to be addressed for the health and well being of marriage.  Let’s take a closer look.

Criticism

In a disagreement, is it important to you to determine who is at fault?  Do you make statements such as “you always_________” or “you never_________”?

This attitude and interaction style is that of criticism.  It involves attacking your spouses’ personality or character.   The typical purpose for the attack is to make one’s self right and the spouse wrong. This argument is full of generalizations and often comparison to other people.   

Contempt

Do you frequently call your spouse out of their name, mock them, use negative body language like rolling of your eyes or use hostile sarcasm?

This attack is on your spouse’s sense of who they are.  It is a form of abuse.  The intent is to harm them – to “mess with their mind”, to insult and hurt them deeply.

Defensiveness

Do you find yourself focusing on what you have to say with considering your partners? Are you likely to make excuses or blame everything and everyone else but yourself for your actions? 

The attitude of defensivness is one that prevents intimacy and communication on many levels.  It’s when one feels that they are a victim that must protect themes and prevent an attack.  Something as simple as eating the last of something becomes a big issue.  It is important to that person to explain that only ate it because the other person didn’t do what they were supposed to do  – buy more as soon as it ran out, or some other reason.  An argument is likely to be filled with statements like “that’s not true you are the one who…. Or “ I wouldn’t have if only you….”. 

Stonewalling

This attitude and behavior pattern involves checking out or withdrawing from the relationship to avoid conflict.  It’s the cold shoulder, the silent treatment, acting as if they don’t care.    The other partner often says things like talk to me – don’t shut down.  They are constantly requesting of the one that is stonewalling to tell them what is wrong.  The stonewaller may remove themselves mentally or physically from the relationship.  Sometimes the other partner gets to the point where they give up trying to talk about it because they feel there is no use. 

Can you identify any of these patterns or behaviors in your marriage?  Want to learn more about enjoying your marriage and family life? Join us on Facebook.  Decide today to make a change.

Love and blessings,

Sadie


  

Your Family Life vs Your Priorties

By | Blog Articles, Enjoy Life, Family, Featured, Marriage, Parenting | 6 Comments

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Your Family Life vs Your Priorities

by: Sadie Foster, MA

 

I once heard a great story about a dad, his electronic planner, and his child.  This dad carefully explained how important his planner was to his young child after it was almost destroyed by accident. He went into great detail about how it how it held the names, how to get in touch with, and special times to meet with very important people.   He shared how things that he had to do and important things he never wanted to forget where all stored in that tiny little tool.  His child responded with I’m sorry daddy –I understand why it is so important to you. Can you show me where I am in it?  Imagine his shock and the feeling that washed over him when he realized his beloved child, one of the main reasons he worked so hard – would not find their name in the tool.  Imagine how that child felt.

If we spend the most time, most money, and most energy on the things that matter most to us – what are you habits saying?  Now I’ve heard the argument before – that’s not true!  I HAVE to work – I HAVE obligations that I MUST tend to.  True – income must come from somewhere to provide for our loved ones, yet there is a lack of balance in our society.  How many times have you heard yourself say I can’t today or I don’t have time or maybe another time?  Does “another time” ever come?  Is it way later if it shows up? 

It is true that many of the things we are obligated to do have major consequences should we choose not to do them.  We might lose a job, miss a deal, get a ticket, or be the cause of something not going well.  Most people don’t realize that not making time spent with our love ones a priority also has major consequences.   Typically these consequences are more subtle, easy to blame on something else and build over time.  Ever wonder how a child grows up and the parents don’t know them? How couples wake up one day and realize they don’t really know their spouses anymore and they are not sure if they like the person they see? How respect is lost?  It has been proven that lack of priory, lack of time spent, and lack of communication are major contributors to relationship break down.  When a relationship and the people in it are treated as a major priority – its members can face and defeat challenges that come their way.   Decide today to evaluate your priorities – does the way you spend your time, your money and your loyalty match what is most important to you?

 

Date Night and Tire Pressure – Date Night is Not Optional

By | Blog Articles, Featured, Marriage | 9 Comments

[display_podcast] In the hectic race of everyday life,  work, preparing for school, cooking, packing lunches, activities, playgroups, lessons, homework, friends, church, civic events, family functions, ball games,  yard work, housework etc.  – it is easy to see  how many couples feel that they don’t have time to date. But skipping regular date nights is like not monitoring the tire pressure in your vehicle. It’s a potential recipe for disaster.

Tire pressure – a crash course

The brakes and tires are two of the most important safety features of a vehicle.   What happens if the tire pressure is incorrect? Things like braking, turning corners, and staying stable can be affected.  It could even lead to an accident caused by tire failure!

How might incorrect tire pressure feel to you?  You might feel things like an uncomfortable ride filled with bouncing, bumps, skipped music, difficulty stopping, and decreased fuel efficiency. 

Monitoring and adjusting your tire pressure weekly can help prevent these problems before they start. (Many mechanics recommend a spot check at gas fill ups and a measure once a month)

So what does all of this have to do with date night?  I’m glad you asked – EVERYTHING!

Quality time and new experiences are essential to a healthy relationship.  Without them – you will experience “bumps in the road” and potential disaster.   Now I know what some of you are thinking – Sadie, I haven’t checked my tires and I’m doing fine.  Tire pressure, like relationships, is a funny thing – You might be fine for awhile but then the air will seep out.  It is also affected by temperature and road conditions.  (I realize many of us skip putting air in our tires – many times the service worker who changes your oil does this for you)

Studies show that dating (setting aside special time to engage in mutually pleasurable activities) is a key to maintaining romantic and loving feelings in a marriage.  Do you want to keep or bring back those feelings?

 Here’s a prescription from your family life coach: DON’T SKIP YOUR WEEKLY DATE NIGHT!

Stay tuned for easy tips and ideas for date night from my date night recipe book. (If you’d like to be a date night recipe tester tell me in the comments below)  In the meantime – check your tires and plan your next date night today.  Oh and my husband and I are having an in home spa date night this week.  Do you have questions about date night? Do you have regular date nights? What was the best date you ever had? Tell me in the comments below.

Love & Blessings,

Sadie