7 Forgotten Family Bonding Tips

As the New Year gets into full swing, I came across an article in Inc. that is a nice reminder of times gone by.  And how to get back to them and reconnect. Make it a GREAT 2015!!

The modern age may demand your attention through handheld devices and smartphones, but your family needs your attention from, well, you. Don’t let your phone compete for family time and instead, exercise these simple, practical and very human tips to reconnect:

Turn off your phone. Compartmentalize your life to focus your attention on what you’re doing and enjoying at that moment. If it’s work time, then enjoy working. If it’s family time, then enjoy the family!

Eat dinner together. Dinnertime is a perfect way to share your successes with each other, regroup or just catch up. Make sure to ask kids specific questions about their day. And keep the TV off.

Read with your kids. Reading not only helps you connect with your kids, but also helps build their vocabulary, increase their curiosity about life, and gets them interested in reading. They will cherish it forever.

Attend kids’ concerts and games. Kids want to see your face in the crowd. You can share their wins and help them understand their losses. These shared experiences make for great conversations over many family dinners to come.

Exercise together. Shooting some hoops, taking a walk, or just throwing or kicking a ball together while you small talk will be great for your family relationships.

Do the morning or afternoon school run. This gives you a chance to encourage your kids to have a great day, ask them how their day went, and show how proud you are of them.

Don’t forget date night! Kids are important, but so is your partner. Going out for a special night at least once a week—just the two of you—is important for reconnecting. It also shows your kids how important you are to each other.

Source: Inc. and Vantage Production LLC

5 Year-End Tips To Jumpstart Your Goals

5 Year-end Tips to Jumpstart Your GoalsIn the hullabaloo of the holiday season, be sure to carve out some time to reflect on this past year, and set goals for the year ahead. These tips will help you re-energize and refocus for a successful start to 2015.
Get started by following these 5 tips:
1. Celebrate success. Reflect back on all that you have accomplished and celebrate it. Take 10 to 15 minutes and make a list, or a mental inventory of your achievements, big and small. When you look back, you’ll be amazed at how much you got done.
2. Build off a baseline. Use your accomplishments as a springboard for goal setting. For example, if you finally organized your database this year, then schedule automated marketing to your network next year.
3. Ask for advice. In business, getting feedback is a valuable tool for identifying professional growth areas. Reach out to clients, peers and local leadership who know you and your work. Ask for advice on ways you could improve.
4. Find a peer benchmark. Know a colleague who performs a task exceptionally well? Learn more about what strategies and tools he or she uses, and see if you can apply the same to your work processes.
5. Broadcast your goals. When you establish goals, share them with your colleagues. Then, invite them to check in with you periodically and hold you accountable for taking steps to achieve those goals.

Here’s to a prosperous New Year!

Source: ASCD Inservice and Vantage Production, LLC

A Personal Checklist for 2015


A Personal Checklist for 2015

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” -Aristotle

Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of “ Authentic Happiness,” says lasting happiness is not the result of good genes, good luck or economics. Rather, happiness comes from developing personal strengths, not weaknesses, and then working within those strengths to improve each aspect of your life. Follow this 5-step checklist to help you discover and develop your strengths, plan your personal development, and cut a path to achieving all your goals in 2015.

STEP 1: Discover Your Strengths

  • Click here to take Dr. Seligman’s “Authentic Happiness Inventory” questionnaire at the University of Pennsylvania’s website (about 25 minutes).
  • Identify your five highest scoring strengths.

STEP 2: Plan Your Goals

  • For goal setting to be effective you should set S.M.A.R.T. goals, which stands for:Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-framed. Click here to download Stanford University’s goal planning template and print one copy for each goal.
  • Make sure your goals focus on the strengths you’ve just identified.

STEP 3: Plan Your Timeline

  • Set completion dates for your goals and be realistic about your timelines, especially if you already have a full schedule.
  • Set review times to make sure you’re on schedule with completion dates. Take a few minutes once per week to identify if you undershot, achieved or surpassed your timeline for that week.

STEP 4: Identify Support

  • Identify books and educational materials that can help you improve on your strengths.
  • Identify people who can help keep you accountable for the goals you’ve chosen. Consider starting a mastermind group with friends or business contacts.

STEP 5: Put Your Strengths to Work

  • Find ways to incorporate your strengths into your day-to-day life; note those times when you are prevented from success by your weaknesses.
  • Keep a very short daily journal entry of your progress. Consider a secure online journal like Penzu, which sends an email to remind you to make an entry. Simply click reply and type your entry via email.

As you practice focusing on your strengths, your goals will naturally become easier to achieve over time. Here’s to a healthier and happier you in 2015!

Benchmark Colorado

Sources: University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Personal Development Toolbox, Platinum Plus, YOU Magazine