We all have difficult days and unfulfilled dreams and sometimes need a place of comfort. We have joyful days and want someone to celebrate with us, but if we’re not paying attention, significant moments can be overlooked.
So turn off the television, log off social media, pocket the mobile phone, and if you can’t mute the phone and ignore it, then leave it in the car when you go out to eat. Be present — not just with your ears, but your eyes, as well. Pay attention. Don’t interrupt. Say, “Tell me more or help me understand,” and just listen.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A two-year Cornell University study found that tracking the results of daily weight checks on a chart helped people lose weight and keep it off.
Sometimes I forget but I try to weigh myself every day. I keep a log on a Google Sheet. It is a daily reminder of whether I’ve been good or bad. Bad behavior is not hard to recognize. Too many restaurant meals, too much animal protein, ice cream, pizza, beer, etc. Good behavior is harder but achievable. Grilled chicken on mixed greens, choosing the smaller burrito rather than the giant version, more plant based meals, less beer.
Periodic weigh-in’s work. It’s part of the routine ever since losing over 200 pounds. Boom.
“Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They are attached to people.”
I sometimes teach classes on writing, during which I tell my students every single thing I know about the craft and habit. This takes approximately 45 minutes. I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.
Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.
This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity—cell phone, email, text, Twitter—steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement. That multitasking can argue a wasted life. That a close friendship is worth more than material success.
Read this article and you’ll encounter a well reasoned rant with lots of links for further reading enjoyment. My personal journey includes a significant weight loss experience in my early 20’s. Over the years I’ve gained back some of the 200 plus pounds lost. Over the years I’ve also gotten lazy with my dietary habits. Too many calories and an aging metabolism is not a combination for staying trim. So I got serious (again) and have dropped 12 pounds the past three months. I’ve always known what to do but failed to do what needed to be done.
And so it goes. Change. Adapt. Repeat.
Eating yogurt can reduce the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by 28 percent, compared with consuming none, according to a study published today by Diabetologia. Higher consumption of low-fat fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and some cheeses, also lowered the relative risk of diabetes by 24 percent overall, the study showed.
I’ve started eating yogurt every day.
Your best bet is to have a system for acquiring new and complementary skills over your lifetime while always looking for better opportunities. It’s analogous to diversifying your investments.