TCOY Lessons From My Favorite Bloggers (Nov10)

Earlier this month I mentioned gratitude and my realization that the previous month's lessons centered around happiness/gratitude. Well, the TCOY Lessons this month are focused on thinking outward and specifically on expressing happiness outwardly by connecting with others. In fact, Emma at Graceful Balance asked, "Will you?" and to that I reply "Yes I will!"

I find it so amazing how you begin to see and think about what you need when you need it. Quite timely too for this month when America is thinking about the act of giving thanks.

Why Relationships Matter (found via Graceful Balance)

From Pick The Brain, we have:
Asking For Help
Laughter Is The Best Aphrodisiac
You Are Not Alone!
The Pillars of a Solid Friendship

And from Simple Marriage, please enjoy:
Me vs. We
Importance of Laughter in Marriage
How to Rekindle the Spark in Marriage
The Biggest Marriage Killer

Rachel at Small Notebook says "I think that’s a temptation for a lot of people not to think about money management because you don’t want your life to be about the money. But here’s the kicker: When you don’t give thoughts to money management, then your life becomes all about the money."

Trent at The Simple Dollar shared his family's philosophy on what a child's allowance is for as well as some wise perspective about "impulse control:

Breaking free of such impulses can have a very large and dramatic effect on your finances. It becomes easier to budget and plan ahead. You suddenly have more resources each month with which you can save, pay off debts, or invest for the future. Best of all, you find that you value the things that you do buy a lot more than you used to...Impulse control is an essential tool for personal finance success.
On Get Rich Slowly, staff writer Sierra Black says:
"If I can’t get better at predicting what I’ll spend, I need another strategy to solve my end-of-month budget crunch...I realized the answer had been staring at me for months....I need to budget for my mistakes.
Not only does that ease the pressure to be perfect with my spending a bit, but it gives me a short-term incentive to be extra careful...Having to protect a pool of bonus money that might or might not go towards an extra debt payment at the end of the month is the kind of money hack that will keep me more engaged day-to-day."
(My budget has an "Unplanned" category that has 2% of monthly expenses alloted to it...even though I save for known possible expenses, surprises happen!)

Also on Get Rich Slowly, Donna Freedman shared Christmas Gifts That Make A Difference.

Diet & Exercise:
Trent at The Simple Dollar shared his favorite dirt-cheap meals and celebrated turning kitchen waste into something sublime.

Pick The Brain makes the plea to dump your artificial lover and offers up several motivations for weight loss.

Clearly Composed (aka Emma) at Graceful Balance provided us with the ABC's of balanced eating and balanced fitness, as well as a nutrition spotlight on balanced eating at the holidays.

Jo-Lynne's Links and Shout Outs contained timely info during the cold weather season: 5 foods everyone should eat more often for optimal health and avoiding the flu.

Self Improvement:
Trent shared essential skills you didn't learn in college and an amazingly simple but effective idea for making a change feel normal.

Lysa shares advice on saying the hard things and "a little mental perspective I need to have when things bump into my happy".

And, as usual, the writers at Pick The Brain gave us a variety of self improvement ideas from morning 'til night:

"The key to living a happy, healthy, productive life full of vigor and confidence is feeling purpose, passion and genuine joy for the way you spend your days...when you know your actions truly make a difference, joy and productivity follow as naturally as sunset after sunrise." Believe it? Want it? Here are 8 ideas to evaporate your indifference once and for all.

Waking up early is so difficult because many of us use Strategy #1 (moving away) instead of Strategy #2 (moving toward).

Simple but effective ways to rock your mornings and make the day just flow.

7 Amazing Life Lessons From Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You can naturally change you state and improve you mood, the trick is recognizing it’s in your power to do so. Once you’ve gotten over that hurdle – and for many it is a massive hurdle indeed – you will be on your way to living your life with confidence and being truly happy (even when things aren’t going your way)."

When high demand means low motivation, pick up your tortoise and run with it!

During all of our awake hours, finding time for yourself is possible on a regular basis.

"Remember, the reason you have trouble saying no is because you have a genuinely helpful heart and empathy for others. These are gifts you can channel into many positive things IF you make sure you are giving yourself the self care, rest and relaxation you need to be the best person you can be." (a VERY good post to read as we head into the busy Holiday season)

In a Mixed Tape style, here is even more inspiration by Various Artists (authors):
Shake It Up * Plan To Give * Focus & Attention * No To You Is Yes To Me * Surviving Holidays * Staying Grateful

Stephen wisely says, "looking at your circumstances as information instead of something negative is a very powerful and peaceful way to look at life" and that "most of what we resist accomplishes little more than making us miserable and sometimes amplifies the problem rather than diminishing it."

The benefits of touch, a reminder that attitude is a choice (including 6 ways to stay positive and an awesome trick that can make you feel good are all to be found at Pick The Brain.

And, lastly, Lysa's thoughts on compliments and criticisms:
Don’t let people’s compliments go to your head and don’t let their criticisms go to your heart...To the depth we do either of these things, is to the depth we’ll be ruled by what other people think of us. And boy is it dangerous to build the stability of our identity on the fickle opinions of others...Filter the opinions of others through the reality that just because they think it, doesn’t make it true. Be brave enough to see negative feedback as a possible call to action but not a definition of your identity. And while you enjoy the positive feedback refuse to get bloated by it.
House & Family:
Rachel said, "I've been cleaning my home all wrong".

Trent's take-away message after watching a minivan commercial: Good parenting means teaching them not only how to behave, but how to be responsible and sensible with their money and time.

Robin's heartfelt realization of her first last.

About Suzanne:
One of the best insights Trent has ever shared was in relation to his own life; read this and see if you identify any similarities with your own life. I know I did and it's just as powerful reading it today as it was then...though I'm now on the other side and can feel thankful I'm not that old me any longer. (linked to in Making It All Work - Getting Control: Capturing)

Life Clutter:
"There are innumerable reasons people are plagued by clutter. Most reasons, however, fall into one of three categories: external, behavioral and internal." Learn more about the roots of clutter and your specific clutter catgegory on Unclutterer.

Pick The Brain outlined some simple ways to streamline your environment. What has worked well for me, personally, was tip #6: Work with your natural instincts.

TCOY on the outside:
In this Late-breaking Lovely Link, Sal from Already Pretty shared "The Beauty Calibrator" by Mike Gerbino. Self-image, and specifically how "breaking your self-esteem is an industry", is a hot-button issue for me.

In an Other sort of way, we'll end this month with some laughs found on Pensieve.

Until next time...Take Care Of You!

Photo Credit: Iron Design

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