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Practical Wisdom For Life

7 Ways To Find A Healthy Spouse

One of the most important decisions a person will make in life is selecting a future spouse.  Unfortunately, numerous spouses just choose the wrong partner and the result is divorce.  I estimate that 80% to 85% of the time a divorce happens because one spouse is deeply flawed and demonstrates extreme unhealthy thinking and/or behaviors. 

No matter your age, if you are single, shown below are 7 ways to find that healthy spouse.

1.  Write down 15 qualities that you are seeking in a wholesome partner.

2.  Write down 5 intolerable flaws or deal breakers that you absolutely want to avoid in a future spouse.

3.  Avoid dating a person who needs “fixing.” “Fixes” rarely happen after the wedding day.

4.  Only date potential marriage partners. 

5.  Have your eyes wide open while dating, and then half closed after the wedding ceremony. 

6.  Date for at least 12 months or the four seasons so you fully know your potential spouse before getting engaged. 

7.  Recognize the flaws your future spouse possesses before marriage, will be to a greater degree after the wedding day. 

 This Week:  Write down 15 qualities and 5 intolerable flaws so you have your list when you begin the dating process.    

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MONDAY MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE

Similar to the wisdom of Proverbs, every Monday I will share a practical wisdom quote.  I pray the quote will make a difference in your personal life and relationships.  

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now!”  Denis Waitley

MONDAY MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE

Begin your week with positive ideas and thoughts. Similar to the wisdom of Proverbs, every Monday I will share a practical wisdom quote.  I pray the quote will make a difference in your personal life and relationships.   

“When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen.”  Stephen Covey

How To Evaluate 2018 and Improve In 2019

To improve one’s life, I believe that one of a person’s major goals is continual growth.  The best way to evaluate our efforts in 2018 is to ask three questions with various aspects of life. 

1. What did I achieve?

2. How did I do?

3. What did I do right? 

For example with my marriage, I could ask myself these three questions: “What did I achieve by enhancing emotional closeness with my wife?”  When I hurt or disappointed my wife, How did I do in the area of apologizing?”  Finally, What did I do right in terms of my daily communication with my wife to build up our relationship?” 

For improving 2019, ask three questions with various aspects of life. 

1. What do I need to keep doing?

2. What do I need to start doing

3. What do I need to stop doing

Again, using my marriage as an example and focusing on just emotional closeness. “What do I need to keep doing to strengthen our emotional closeness?” “What do I need to start doing to improve our emotional closeness?” Finally, “What do I need to stop doing that hurts our emotional closeness?”

 The following are aspects of life to consider:  Goals, Integrity, Attitude, Compassion, Mutual Respect, Enthusiasm, Faith in Christ, Personal Development, Marriage, Family, Parenting, Friendships, Health, Learning, Exercise, Organization of Home, Investments, Retirement, Recreation, Self-confidence, Work, Neighbors, Emotional Well-being, etc.

This Week:  Take the time to reflect and even write down your evaluation of 2018 along with your plan to improve your most important life areas in 2019.  Perhaps seek answers from family and friends to the 3 improvement questions.

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10 Steps To Achieving 3 Goals In 2019

New Year’s resolutions are dreams and wishes while goals are objective targets.  Achieving three goals in 2019 will be a significant achievement and make a positive difference in your life.  Shown below are 10 steps to achieving your 3 most important goals in 2019. 

1.         Evaluate all the major aspects of life: faith, family, marriage, parenting, health, fears to be overcome, friendships, income, career, financial planning, etc.  Then, select the 3 most important goals for making a difference in your life and the life of others. 

2.         It is absolutely essential to write down those 3 goals.  Yes, goals must be in writing otherwise they are only dreams.

3.         Be very specific and measurable with your goals.

4.         For each goal, write down the reasons that these goals will enhance your life and those around you. 

5.         Break each of the 3 goals into 5 small steps.

6.         Set a deadline for achieving each of the 5 steps.

7.         Write down the obstacles to be overcome in order to achieve your goals.

8.         Every night plan and write down how you will move toward accomplishing each goal the next day.

9.         Only share your 3 goals with those who will support and encourage you. 

10.       Perfectly visualize what it will feel like to achieve your 3 important goals.  

Before January 1st, intentionally write down your 3 most important goals for 2019. 

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12 Ways To Cope With The Holiday Blues  

Christmas can be a time of great joy.  However the holidays can also be a time of stress, sadness, and even depressing at times.  Some people may be experiencing financial difficulties, grieving the loss of a loved one, missing a military member, in the midst of a divorce, feeling lonely, going through family struggles, etc.  Battle the holiday blues through the 12 ways shown below.

1.         Pray daily.  Thank God for His many blessings, pray for those who are ill, pray for the leaders of our nation, pray for family and friends, and just simply have regular prayer for the needs of others. 

2.         Make sleep a priority.  Get plenty of sleep each night in order to have energy for each day.

3.         Eliminate all types of news.  Most of the time news focuses on various forms of negativity, creating feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, gloom, and doom.  Cut out the news for a certain period of time - one day, three days, or even a week or longer.

4.         Always have a lot of light.  Light combats the darkness of depression.  Increase the wattage of lights, open the curtains, etc. but do whatever it takes to be in the light.

5.         Take time to unwind. Being busy much of the time is not healthy.  Find quiet alone time for yourself and with those who mean the most to you.

6.         Respect your Christmas budget.  Overspending can be stressful and can quickly take the joy out of life.

7.         Write a thank you note.  Express written appreciation to someone who influenced you, helped you in the past, was an encouragement, an excellent role model, etc.

8.         Watch a comedy.  The holidays have enough drama so avoid “downer” shows.  Take time to watch a comedy television program or movie, a feel-good Christmas film, etc.

9.         Remember to Exercise and Eat healthy.  The blues can lead to not eating, overeating, and emotional paralysis to do nothing but sit or stay in bed.  Have a well-balanced diet and eat three meals a day.  Exercise for ten minutes three to four times per week. 

10.       Sing Christmas songs out loud.  It is literally true that we are happy when we sing.  So we can actually sing aloud to become happy. 

11.       Associate with positive people.  Like attracts like. If you hang around critical, negative, or complaining individuals, you will sponge up those emotions and develop that attitude.  Hence, you want to associate with encouraging, positive, optimistic, and upbeat people to combat the blues. 

12.       Give meaningful gifts.  The very best gifts are absolutely not financial!  When we give even small gifts to others we lift our mood. Give significant yet simple gifts like: your time, praise, a smile, a hug, a listening ear, a loving touch, etc. 

 This Week:  Begin implementing one or two ideas to cope with the holiday blues. 

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10 Life Principles To Help With Holiday Stress

1.         Life is NOT fair.  Almost daily something unfair happens to us.  The holidays are no different so expect unfair things to occur during this holiday season.

 2.         Avoid either-or/good-or-bad thinking.  Today is not going to be a good day or a bad day.  Good things will happen and not so good things.  Likewise, this holiday season will have positive occurrences and not so positive happenings.

 3.         Money never brings happiness.  Understand that money, or the lack of it, will not determine your holiday happiness.  Memories and not material things is what you will remember from this Christmas.

 4.         Don’t expect perfection from life.  Perfection is the enemy of good.  Hope for a good Christmas not a perfect one. 

 5.         You can’t change family or friends.  This holiday season accept the fact that your family and friends will be the same as always so take them for who they are and go with the flow.

 6.         Avoid absolute thinking like “always” and “never.”  Thinking we have “always” done it this way or we “never” did that before during the holiday season will only create stress.  Openness and flexibility will lead to a happier holiday season. 

 7.         Don’t have binocular vision.  Avoid focusing on just negative occurrences with the holidays so they don’t become bigger than they really are.  Look at all the positives to have a more realistic outlook on the holidays. 

 8.         Avoid labeling people and experiences.  Others will have differing opinions and behaviors.  Nonetheless, you can still enjoy them and not let that diminish your holiday happiness. Focus on the good qualities of family and friends.

 9.         Think percentages in life.  Every day is somewhere between 90%(A-) to 60%(D-).  Daily, this holiday season will also have a range.  Expect this holiday season to average about a C+ to B-.  Anything more is very satisfying, anything less is then not too disappointing. 

 10.       Avoid mind-reading.  You can never know what another person is thinking.  Look at the facts not your feelings when assessing how family and friends are enjoying the holidays. 

 This Week:  Begin implementing one or two life principles to help with holiday stress. 

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12 Ideas to Help Handle Holiday Stress

1.         Spend time with God.   Set goals to read the Bible, pray, have Christmas devotions, and attend worship services

2.         Be realistic with your expectations.  Ask yourself, “Am I trying to have the perfect Christmas?” A good Christmas is still a good celebration. 

3.         Make time for the things you value.  Focus your time and energy on family closeness, church celebrations, and community activities. 

4.         Exercise is a great way to relieve holiday stress.  A simple, daily 10 minute walk will help fight off stress.

5.         Maintain a sense of humor.  Take a laugh break, share a joke or funny story with someone but do take time to laugh.

6.         Spread out the holiday season.  All festivities don’t have to be crammed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, perhaps have a January gathering.

7.         Put the holiday season into perspective.  How important will this holiday season be in 5 years?

8.         Don’t overschedule yourself.  Keep your “superwoman/superman” instincts in check. 

9.         Look at the holiday season one day at a time.  Worrying just wastes precious energy.  Instead, plan ahead but just focus on accomplishing 2 or 3 tasks each day.

10.        Say “no” without guilt.  Allow yourself the right to say “no” to the things that frustrate you and concentrate on people and activities you enjoy. 

11.        Ask for help when you need it.  Delegate responsibilities to other family members, hire a house-cleaning service, have a neighborhood youngster shovel your sidewalk and driveway, etc.

12.        Always look for the good or positive aspects when things don’t turn out exactly as you had hoped or planned.

This Week:  Begin implementing one or two ideas to handle holiday stress. 

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How To Find The Right Marriage Partner

I posted a YouTube video, "How To Find The Right Marriage Partner." My YouTube channel is "Pastor Dr Randy."  Will you please both subscribe to my YouTube Channel and share my videos on Facebook?  I really appreciate your help and kindness! Description of Video:  "One of the most important decisions that a person will make is selecting a marriage partner.  Hence, it is absolutely essential to make an intelligent decision, not an emotional one.  Gain insights into being objective when choosing a spouse for life."

Be “Intelligent” and Respect Others’ Opinions  

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life. My definition of an “intelligent” individual is someone who attempts to understand an opposing opinion without being disrespectful. Definitely, a healthy, “intelligent” individual believesdisagreeing is fine, but disrespecting is NEVER okay.” 

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and that is truly best demonstrated when we respect a differing perspective without being antagonistic.  Hence, we are always free to disagree but never free to disrespect others. 

One common denominator for all satisfying, happy relationships is MUTUAL RESPECT.  Gratifying marriages almost always have two “intelligent” spouses!

TODAY:  Be “Intelligent” by always being respectful and kindly seeking to understand anyone who may disagree with your values or has an alternate viewpoint.   

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