Will I achieve my goal in the New Year?

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As another New Year approaches have you set yourself a goal that you desire to accomplish? Well like any other plan in life, goals need a strategy to achieve them. Without this they will remain dreams, out of reach and unattainable.

Share your goal with others so that they can encourage you and even give you tips on how to make it achievable. Many are lucky enough to have a close family circle or friends to help but for those who do not have this option set up a blog or a website. The Internet can be used as an interactive diary to share with thousands across the world. In the process, you make friends, share life experiences and learn from others. Sharing life goals publicly might not be everyone’s cup of tea but you can remain anonymous or target a limit to the number of people who can view your online posts.

Once on paper, do not forget to read and review your goal often. This will be like a daily reminder of what you hope to do especially if you have set yourself a time limit. Add photographs or articles that seem inspirational to you or are relevant to your goal. Tips from people who have achieved similar dreams can spur you on and instil in you the desire to do what seems impossible. Use positive quotations and sayings and read them often during the day to psyche you into an optimistic and self confident frame of mind.

Draw into it the things you need to do to make it possible and draw out of what you hope to achieve and how it will change your life for the better. Include into it as many notes and reminders as you want so that there is a daily interaction with it. The more you focus on it the more importance it will take in your life and the more the chances of making it happen. If you are a busy person work around your goal while you carry on with normal life, but spend a portion of the day in pursuing your dream.

Cut out negative feelings as they will stop you moving forward and replace them with positive and motivational thoughts and expressions. It is simply a case of re-educating your mind to believe in yourself to achieve whatever you have set out to do.

It is also worth remembering that most people have goals that are realistic and which can be achieved with some extra effort and time. A goal like climbing Mount Everest will require a special person who will have to train both body and mind to its limit to achieve it. This too can be done and there are people amongst us who have done it and have lived to tell the tale.

The main thing is not to be distracted but believe in what you want to do and when you start to believe in yourself so will others around you.

Remember that ‘a dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement…’. Bo Bennett

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Suffering from a cold? Here’s what to do!

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When you are suffering from a cold, the appetite is at a low and it is difficult to eat normal meals. There are some foods, though, that you should try and incorporate in your diet as they boost the body’s immune system and also provide the much-needed energy the body needs.

Soups: Rather than opting out for processed ready-made soups, it is worthwhile making yourself a broth full of antioxidant-rich vegetables like peppers, beans, carrots and tomatoes that are fresh and organic. Not only is this soothing and comforting but it also gives the body essential vitamins and minerals when it needs it the most. Some people swear by chicken soup when they have a cold, as it seems to provide the boost needed to get the body back on the road to recovery. Adding some onions and garlic to it will add to the anti- viral effect. Moreover, cooked chicken contains cysteine, an amino acid that helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

Fluids: When feeling unwell or suffering from a high temperature it helps to keep the body hydrated and cool by having fluids throughout the day. Rather than having sweet drinks, teas or coffees it is more beneficial to have at least eight glasses of fresh bottled water. This will also be especially beneficial if your doctor has prescribed you a dose of antibiotics. Alternate with diluted fruit or vegetable juices and if you just cannot do without tea, try green tea or vitamin c enriched herbal teas with honey instead. Having warm milky drinks last thing at night can provide the comfort some people need when feeling unwell but if you are lactose intolerant, soy milk can provide the same benefits including the much-needed calcium.

Vitamins & Minerals: By counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals in the body, antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C, E help the body fight off colds. They can be obtained from a number of food sources including fruits, which are tasty, easy to digest, do not require any cooking and are ideal to eat when feeling run down. Having a glass of fresh orange juice or drinking water with a dash of lemon juice gives you a good dose of vitamin c as do a handful of berries like strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Some minerals stand out from others when it comes to combating poor health and feelings of being run down. Magnesium, which is obtained from broccoli, cabbage, kale, lentils and brown rice, is especially helpful in soothing aching muscles, boosting the immune system and supporting the nervous system. Omega oil-rich fish oils can also help fight feelings of depression that arise when you are feeling unwell and zinc is well known for promoting healing in the body and strengthening the immune system. Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, walnuts, Brazil and pecan nuts are other foods you can nibble on to give you extra boost of immune power

Protein: When you are unwell, it is important to have some intake of protein because it helps to repair cells in the body and builds healthy muscle tissue. According to the recommendations of Christine Gerbstadt, MD who is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, foods like fish, lean meats, chicken and eggs provide the body with good forms of protein. For vegetarians, she recommends soy products, beans or protein supplement drinks. Proteins also provide the body with iron, which is necessary for building healthy red blood cells in the body, and having vitamin C with iron will ensure maximum absorption of it in the body.

Healthy Carbs: Carbohydrates provide the body with the energy it needs to carry out its everyday duties so when feeling run down it is vital to give the body this much needed energy source. Eating foods like potatoes and brown bread, fibre rich breakfast cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables are some healthy sources of carbohydrates. The key is not to go for carbohydrates made with highly refined sugar like biscuits and cakes and to keep an eye on the quantity consumed so as not to add unnecessary calories.

 

 

 

 

Get up and take that break!

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Before you know it, the day has gone by and you are still sitting on your desk glued to the computer screen. Taking a break is essential when working from home especially because there are no work colleagues around to remind you of it. From a health and safety perspective, the body should have frequent breaks to release tension that builds up from sitting in one position. Here are some tips to prompt you to take that vital break.

You can end up with cramps in your neck and develop back pain if you remain seated in one position. Another health problem is repetitive strain injury (RSI) that affects the arm or wrist due to repetitive typing movements on the keyboard and mouse. Set an alarm or a reminder on your mobile phone or get break reminder software installed on your computer to remind you when it is time to have a break.

Get up frequently to make a drink so that the limbs move and get the blood circulation going.

Do stretching exercises to relieve and prevent muscle fatigue. These will not only keep your muscles supple but also enhance the immune system. Exercising also gives a mental boost by releasing endorphins or happy hormones and you can go back to your work feeling refreshed and energised.

Move away from the desk and listen to some classical or relaxation music to soothe the mind. Having a short nap is another way of giving your body and mind a break. Moreover, the eyes also get a chance to relax away from the computer screen so put on a soothing eye mask and give your eyes that much-needed break.

Walk down to the local shops or take the dog for a walk. Cleaning the work area is another way of clearing the clutter around that can affect the mind and affect the way you work.

Why not get in touch with a friend or family member and catch up with what they have been doing while getting a break.

Whichever way you decide to give yourself a break the main thing is that you are deliberately allocating some moments of your day to your well-being and not letting work take over your life.

So what is missing in Christmas?

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I was lucky to grow up amongst different nationalities as it gave me the opportunity to share in their celebrations and get an insight into their cultural backgrounds. While all the other cultures have a religious nucleus around which the celebrations revolve, I find this element distinctly missing from the Christmas of today.

A month before Christmas, the shops put up their Christmas lights, Santa Claus figures appear in the windows and department stores overflow with expensive gadgets to tempt the both young and the old. Food shelves in supermarkets are filled with Christmas puddings and mince pies. In fact, everything from wrapping papers and clothing to jewellery has some element of Christmas festivity attached to it. It all adds a colourful aspect to Christmas, but I don’t think anyone seems to remember the reason why Christmas is being celebrated as it is hardly even mentioned!

It is only schoolchildren participating in nativity plays who touch on the historical or religious reasons underlying Christmas. How much time do we adults take to pray or ponder over the teachings of Christ? There must be some Christians who spend time at their local Church during Christmas but for the majority of people the materialistic and commercial aspect of Christmas takes priority. I dread to think what each family must be spending at Christmas on decorations, trees, presents and clothes each year. As children are getting more streetwise, parents need to improve on gifts each year to keep up with the latest trends in fashion and gadgetry.

The religious significance of any festival or celebration should not be forgotten so that future generations can learn and carry on with these traditions. It is said that most Churches lie empty these days as no one wants to go there anymore. Maybe Christmas time is when festivities should be arranged in churches for people to participate in and make it a fun time to end the year with. Families should cook meals and bring them to church to share amongst people who are homeless and starving during this time. This will keep the Christmas spirit of giving and sharing alive. Instead of drinking themselves silly, time should be taken by adults to arrange competitions, fun events and group gatherings where the youth can participate with the older members of society.

It is just a thought, but I cannot imagine what Jesus would make of Christmas celebrations in Western countries today. In these times of recession, there should be a reality check as the only people benefiting from Christmas are the credit card and store card companies who are exploiting people through the highest interest rates ever. Maybe it is time to get rid of the extravagance and open the door to simplicity, spirituality, charity and family bonding, some of the intrinsic values that would make the end of each passing year meaningful and special. 

 

Improve the energy around you – Simple Feng Shui Tips

The words Feng and Shui (pronounced Fung-Shway) literally mean wind and water. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese wisdom based on the understanding that there is natural energy or Chi around us that can be used to promote good health and productivity. Some simple Feng Shui principles can be used to improve the energy around you so that you can work to the best of your abilities.
If you work in an area that has a dark colour scheme or has dull lighting it can be oppressive and restrict the flow of the positive energy around you. Keep your rooms bright and pleasant to invite in creativity and enable a harmonious energy flow. There should also be sufficient ventilation around to lift your spirit and create the right mood and atmosphere in the room.

The energy or Chi around should have a smooth uninterrupted flow as it enters your house or office. Keep the path towards this region clear to allow good energy to flow towards it. Unnecessary clutter or obstructive things in its path restrict the smoothness of this natural energy flow and affect your functioning and productivity. If the path from the main entrance is not straight, hang a wind chime at the entrance to create a sound and attract Chi towards it.

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Leaving an area unclean and unkempt signifies tiredness, boredom and affects the energy of the whole house or office area. The clearer the thinking the happier and more productive you become so get rid of this ‘stuck in a rut’ situation by decluttering regularly. The flow of clean energy will attract new opportunities and allow more productive channels to open up to you.
Rather than focusing on one area, look at the surrounding areas for sharp objects that are causing the Chi’s flow to be detracted. Have curvy furniture in your office instead and ensure everything is easily accessible so that there is an easy, harmonious motion while working. The atmosphere of your working environment should be calm and peaceful rather than noisy as that causes anxiety to the mind.
A water feature or an aquarium is calming and an important feature when practicing feng shui. Make sure it is not placed behind your work desk but in front of you or by your side. The desk should also face the main entrance of the office for easy flow of energy. If this is not possible place a mirror behind your desk so that you can see the front entrance clearly.

Keep plants like bamboo or a cactus near windows to ward off bad luck. Do not have plants around you which are dying of neglect. This is not conducive to a harmonious and productive environment. Having pictures of nature like mountains, waterfalls and lakes also promote good Chi by making you feel calm and relaxed.

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Use Feng Shui in coordination with yoga, prayer and meditation to channel your energies into positive and productive directions. Related fields like flower therapies, Chinese medicine and acupuncture also help towards leading a more productive, happier and relaxed life.

Windsor Town in Berkshire, U.K. A unique shopping experience

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With the majestic Windsor Castle dominating most parts of the town centre, Windsor Town provides a truly unique shopping experience. The town exhibits an interesting blend of modern life co-existing with its historical past, the latter continuing to play its part to this day. The Royal Standard flies over the Round Tower of Windsor when Queen Elizabeth II is in residence and there is always a chance to see the Changing of the Guard with the accompanying band as they march from the High Street into the Castle.

Watching all the shopping activities is the majestic bronze statue of Queen Victoria, built in 1887 by Sir Edgar Boehm for the queen’s Golden Jubilee. Streams of tourists flow in and out of the castle especially during the summer months as all the shopping areas are within walking distance.

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Opposite the Castle is Peascod Street, one of the main pedestrianised shopping areas of Windsor. As you walk down Peascod Street you come to another shopping area called King Edwards shopping centre. Here you find numerous shopping outlets and eating places and a multi-storey parking area which is handy as parking can be a nightmare in Windsor.

From King Edwards Shopping centre, you can walk down to the Windsor Royal Station, which is home to many fashionable stores like French Connection, Zara and Jaeger and cafes like Carluccios and Cafe Nero amongst some famous names.

High Street Scenes

From here you can walk to the Windsor and Eton Riverside station from where travel to all parts of Britain and Europe is accessible.

Windsor & Eton Riverside Station

A large number of souvenir, china, and gift shops line the High street to cater for the numerous tourists that visit Windsor throughout the year.

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There is easy access to banking facilities on the High street and a library is located near the main shopping centre.

For theatregoers, there is the Theatre Royal directly opposite the castle, which gives you a taste of new productions before reaching London’s West End.

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You can also watch movies, listen to live music and participate in exhibitions and workshops at the Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture, which is open all day and in the evenings. 

Close to the town centre is The Windsor Leisure centre that overlooks the River Thames. It provides a range of activities for all the family with a swimming pool, beauty centre, and gymnasium.

Overall, shopping in Windsor is a unique experience and when you have finished shopping, you can take a trip inside the Castle grounds to see the state apartments or walk up to the Great Park for some stunning rural views with glimpses of deer amongst the forest trees and woodland.

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Alternatively, you can sit beside the River Thames and feed the ducks and the swans or take a boat trip to London to enjoy the scenic views of all the different areas the river winds through.

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