Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—t...

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).
In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).
These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.
We did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable. Here are 13 of the best:

1. They Ask Questions 

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to listening as they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost.
A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.
13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People

2. They Put Away Their Phones

Nothing will turn someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all of your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.

3. They Are Genuine

Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel.
Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make them like you.

4. They Don’t Pass Judgment

If you want to be likeable you must be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.
Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.

5. They Don’t Seek Attention

People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what—or how many people—you know.
When you’re being given attention, such as when you’re being recognized for an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help you get there. This may sound cliché, but if it’s genuine, the fact that you pay attention to others and appreciate their help will show that you’re appreciative and humble—two adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.

6. They Are Consistent

Few things make you more unlikeable than when you’re all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom they’re dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn’t affect how you treat other people.

7. They Use Positive Body Language

Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.
It’s true that how you say something can be more important than what you say.

8. They Leave a Strong First Impression

Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one.

9. They Greet People by Name

Your name is an essential part of your identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain they use others’ names every time they see them. You shouldn’t use someone’s name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel validated when the person they’re speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation.
If you’re great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. When you meet someone, don’t be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right after you hear it. You’ll need to keep her name handy if you’re going to remember it the next time you see her.

10. They Smile

People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.
11. They Know When To Open Up
Be careful to avoid sharing personal problems and confessions too quickly, as this will get you labeled a complainer. Likeable people let the other person guide when it’s the right time for them to open up.
12. They Know Who To Touch (and They Touch Them)
When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.

13. They Balance Passion and Fun

People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to them yesterday or last week, which shows that you’re just as important to them as their work.

Bringing It All Together

Likeable people are invaluable and unique. They network with ease, promote harmony in the workplace, bring out the best in everyone around them, and generally seem to have the most fun. Add these skills to your repertoire and watch your likeability soar!

When I first made plans to go to college, I noticed an immediate difference in the way people talked to me. Every time the subject came up, ...

When I first made plans to go to college, I noticed an immediate difference in the way people talked to me. Every time the subject came up, people applauded my decision to go to school with encouraging comments:

“Once you have your degree, you’ll have no trouble finding a great job.” — “Employers will be eager to interview you.” — “By the time you graduate, you’ll have a career already waiting.”

Regardless of the words used to say it, the message was always the same: Having a college degree would make a remarkable difference in my future. Interestingly, this was an atrocious lie.

Of course, I didn’t know it at the time. I naively took their recommendations as truths, got on the college conveyor belt, and earned my degree. Armed with my ticket to easy street, I looked forward to having my pick from the large selection of employers who handed out jobs to recent college grads.

As I’m certain you’ve guessed, I never managed to meet up with those employers. In fact, many friends of mine had similar difficulties. Though we were all under the impression that our degrees would guarantee us great jobs with great salaries, nothing could have been further from the truth.

Following graduation, I submitted my resume, application, and cover letter to over 100 employers over the course of two months. I interviewed for nearly a dozen positions — but wasn’t offered a single job. Where did I end up working? For the organization I interned at — doing a job I could’ve been doing without my coveted degree.

My friends were in the same boat. They earned their degrees but ended up working jobs they could’ve been working right out of high school. One works as a food runner at a restaurant. Another deals cards at a casino. Yet another works as a laborer for his father’s masonry business. In every case, it was a simple matter of dollars and cents: Starting salaries in their specialized fields offered less than what they made at their previous jobs.

How did this happen? We believed that our degrees were supposed to help pave the way to a better future — but that’s not what happened for any of us. So what were we doing wrong?

We were failing to see our degree for what it actually is.

Consider what I’ve done with my degree since receiving it: I framed it and hung it on a wall. A few years later I moved, so I packed it into a box. It never met the wall at my new place, and remained stowed in my attic for another few years before I moved again. Currently, it’s hidden in a filing cabinet.

In other words, the degree is a piece of paper. It’s not some magical entity that grants the holder immediate and undeniable success. This claim is not to suggest that a college education is worthless, I’m only suggesting that a college degree is nothing more than a ticket to competeIt puts you in the running for a better future, but it provides no guarantees.

That was not what my friends and I thought we signed up for. We thought college would be the answer to our problems. Once we had our degrees, we would be coasting down easy street with fifty thousand dollar starting salaries at every turn. But when our graduation dates arrived, what we imagined would happen wasn’t anywhere near what actually happened.

We walked, shook some hands, accepted our degree, had our picture taken, and then looked around for the employers that were supposed to be handing out jobs — and they weren’t there. Though we were promised they’d be there, they weren’t. We were lied to — and the harsh truth stood before us:

The degree wasn’t the final answer, it was just one factor in a much larger equation. It was the starting line, not the finish line. Now that we had our ticket to compete, it was up to us to make something of it. The problem is, most of us didn’t understand that.

Some of us still don’t. I say this because of the new trend among my friends: Since they have found little success with their undergraduate degrees, many have decided to attend graduate school.  Again, I don’t mean to deny the value of education — I simply believe they’re falling into old habits:

They’re still in search of a piece of paper that can solve all of their problems. Although I’d love for them to prove me wrong, I fear that they are making a poor investment. I suspect that upon receiving their new degree, they will discover that they’re still not at the finish line — they’re just at a different starting line.

My point is that people often attribute too much value to the degree itself. Don’t expect it to do all the work for you — because it can’t and it won’t.

As for the true value of a college degree, it tells employers only one thing: Since finishing college is relatively difficult, then you must be relatively intelligent. So remember, a college degree is only a ticket to compete. Everything else is up to you.

Originally published on

Are you ready to start your own journey toward becoming fearless? Take a look at our top 10 tips for becoming fearless below! 1. Make ...

Are you ready to start your own journey toward becoming fearless? Take a look at our top 10 tips for becoming fearless below!

10 Tips For Becoming Fearless

1. Make time to nurture yourself.

Hard work is important, but don’t wear yourself out! You’ll feel more creative, productive and satisfied if you take some time for self-care. Whether you choose to meditate, practice yoga, go for a run, have a night out or drink a glass of wine on your couch, you need to spend time taking care of your body and mind. Make sure you have your head on straight, so you can wake up every day renewed, refreshed and ready to hustle! The more you take care of yourself, the more you’ll be able to take care of others.

2. Build a positive community.

Surround yourself with like-minded #bossbabes, both in real life and online. Build a community of people who will lift you up instead of tearing you down. With a group of supportive friends, you’ll have plenty of sources of ideas, inspiration and energy to help you thrive. Fill your world with positive, uplifting people, and don’t leave any room for the negative ones.

3. Have a positive impact.

Be aware of how you’re influencing people. Your network has their ears and eyes open, so always keep in mind the way you can impact the real world. Making others feel good is one of the best ways to boost your own happiness!

4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Don’t be afraid of vulnerability. Nothing worth having comes easy. Success takes hard work and perseverance. You’ll have to step outside your comfort zone, take risks and explore new possibilities to achieve your goals. You’ll have to get used to a bit of struggle. Embrace it and accept it as a step on the road to success. Your hard work and discomfort will eventually pay off!

5. Learn to say ‘yes’ to yourself.

Seize the opportunities that come your way. If you dismiss an idea because it seems too impossible or too risky, but you still can’t get it out of your head, try saying ‘yes’ instead. Don’t hold yourself back by playing it safe! Learn to take risks. As they say, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Keep yourself open to new ideas and opportunities. You never know what might happen!

6. Be authentic.

Always stay true to yourself. It’s not worth pursuing a goal if you lose sight of who you are along the way. So, be unapologetically you every step of the way on your journey to achieving your dreams.

7. Know your values.

What matters to you? Family? Security? Authenticity? Your values will influence your choices and decisions and help shape your personal brand. Do some soul-searching, and make a list of your values. Let those values guide you. Knowing your values and pursuing your true passions are vital to a happy life.

8. Set goals.

Always give yourself something to strive for. Journeys are ongoing—you’ll never truly reach the end, and that’s OK. When you achieve one goal, set another. Keep setting goals continuously, no matter how large or small. Knowing you have a goal to achieve will help you find the energy and motivation to keep hustling every day!

9. Don’t measure your success against the success of others.

We’re all our own biggest critics, but comparing yourself to someone else won’t get you anywhere. Another person’s success doesn’t make your own success less valid. Success looks different for everyone. Celebrate your triumphs! Always strive to be the best ‘you’ you can be, and encourage others to be their best selves, too.

10. Never give up.

Success takes more than creativity and talent—it takes hard work, perseverance and grit. There will be bumps in the road; the journey won’t always be easy. Don’t give up! Keep working, and your dreams will become realities.

Have you ever wonder how fun it is to be a voice artist?  Do you think you got what it takes to do voice overs? I believe that everybody ha...

Have you ever wonder how fun it is to be a voice artist?  Do you think you got what it takes to do voice overs? I believe that everybody has a talent or a skill that is developed over the years. If you think that you have a very good talking voice, If you people often tell you how nice your voice is,  And if you feel like Voice acting and voice over jobs would fit you. Then, here’s another way to make money online.
Now, Before I proceed I just want to emphasize that people who made a career out of their voices. Didn’t always start as a professional, I know someone who started as a wedding and events host before he decided to give his voice a try in this field. People who sing well have the potential to be a voice actor. But, to make you feel better, There are a lot of voice actors that aren’t great singers.  Sometimes, all it takes is passion and willingness to learn more of course.

Do I have what it takes?

This is something that you could easily answer on your own.  Do your friends tell you that you have a very nice voice over the phone? Your family always tell you that you can make a fortune out of your voice? Can you easily imitate different voices of actors? As well as their different accents? Did you enjoy acting classes or joined theater club at school? Answering yes to all these questions means you have the potential. But, like what I mentioned above if you have a good talking voice you definitely have a chance. Voice acting can be developed. With practice and patience, you never know what the future is in store for you. You can also take voice classes if you’re more serious about it.

What are the sample gigs?

This is the fun part. You can choose from a variety of gigs. Like voices for cartoons, English dubbed movies, Children’s audio books. Narrative documents, Voice overs for commercials and so much more. There are times that a client would want a specific kind of voice for the job. For example, The client wants a young female voice to read his document. If that’s you then good. You don’t audition on gigs that aren’t calling for your voice. Unless you can imitate the voice they want. Now that’s voice acting.

So how to get started?

1. Get the proper equipment.

Especially if you want to take this work seriously. You can’t just rely on your typical headphones. And don’t need to get the most expensive ones. Grab the basics and then upgrade after you landed some jobs.
A. Computer with music editing software/ Voice recording software.
B. Microphone- a good microphone is needed to have great quality recording,
C. Headphones- Companies send materials when you’re chosen for a job. Headphones are need not only to hear those materials but also you need to hear yourself.
D. Mic stand and pop filters – It’s tiring to hold your microphone the whole time. Just imagine holding it while recording. artists shouldn’t hold their microphone Unless you’re singing live on stage. The mic needs a fixed position, thus, making the recording sound even. Pop filters are the ones that we often see in front of the mic. They help reduce too much “S” and “P” sounds. It transmits the sound evenly. If I have to buy all these equipment. This will be on the top of my list.

2. Sound proofing your room.

 Yes. The sounds around you are recorded too. So better sound proof your room and don’t let the chirping birds get in your way. And if you got Benjamins better set up an acoustic room. You can check out more of acoustic treatment here

3. Getting that job.

As a beginner, you have to start at the bottom, of course. You have to get those gigs coming at you. But how? Make sure to send your demos to companies and while waiting, create accounts with the following freelancing companies so you can build your profile then you can work your way up. This is also a good way to complete your portfolio.

1. Freelancer– Sign up and get ready to send some of your sample recordings to a bunch of lists here.

2. Upwork Just like freelancer, You just need to create an account and build up your profile and apply to as many projects you like. You can check their list here.

3. Fiverr This is one of the best sites for people who have talents and skills or just about anything they could offer to the world. You could offer your voice over services here for $5. Every service offers here starts with $5 then you can work your way up once you’re established.

You can also take voice over/ acting lessons to hone your skills. Unless you sounded like Liam Neeson already. You can check the following:

1. Voices

2. Edge studio

4. Creativoices

5. Philippine center for voice acting

Don’t be afraid to audition, apply, send sample recordings to different companies and projects. Everybody started as a noob and developed their skills and made a career out of their voices. An average rate of voice over actor is $20 to $200/ hour. Just check out how this woman quit her job and earn $9k just by doing voice over.

As you all know osteoporosis is a topic that is very near and dear to our hearts. Since we successfully reversed Mira’s osteoporosis 10 year...

As you all know osteoporosis is a topic that is very near and dear to our hearts. Since we successfully reversed Mira’s osteoporosis 10 years ago, we have been working extremely hard to share our knowledge about this devastating health condition and its link to micronutrient deficiency with people around the world. October 12 through the 20th in Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week, culminating with World Osteoporosis day on October 20th. In honor of this World holiday, and in the hopes that this information helps those suffering from osteoporosis/osteopenia we want to share with you 7 Micronutrient Miracle Tips to Help You Build Stronger Bones.

Remember, even if you don’t currently have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your bones are at risk if you do not provide them with the essential micronutrients they need to stay strong. If you know someone who suffers from osteoporosis or osteopenia please share this information with him or her – you can be part of the solution.

1. Send Sugar Packing.

Sugar is one of the biggest roadblocks on your path to micronutrient sufficiency because it can deplete your body’s micronutrients as well as block the micronutrients you do ingest from being absorbed. While sugar’s sweet flavor may be appetizing, its depletion of the bone builders calcium and magnesium (as well as chromium and copper) is not.
When your body ingests sugar, your calcium and magnesium levels can become diminished. And guess what scientists discovered happens when those levels fall short? You crave sugar! That is why one bite leads to another and then another. 

And with every bite, your levels of calcium and magnesium are further reduced, increasing your desire for more sugar. Your internal “cravings monster” calls out louder and louder, and there are only two ways to quiet him. First, you can continue on the path to deficiency and obesity by eating more and more sugar (with every bite making it more likely you will get osteoporosis and other deficiency diseases). Or you can send the cravings monster packing by becoming sufficient in calcium and magnesium and kicking those sugar cravings to the curb for good.

2. Whack the Wheat.

Wheat contains lectins, which are a plant’s natural self-defense mechanism. While lectins are good for plants, they are not good for humans to eat. Their stickiness causes them to bind to your intestinal tract, and because we require a clear intestinal tract to properly absorb vitamins and minerals, lectins have been shown to reduce micronutrient absorption and should be avoided.

Additionally, wheat also contains something called phytic acid. Phytic acid works similarly to fiber, in that it binds to substances in our intestinal tracts. However, unlike fiber, which lowers cholesterol by binding to cholesterol-like compounds in the digestive tract, phytic acid reduces micro nutrient absorption by binding to vitamin B3 (niacin), calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Additionally, phytic acid accelerates the metabolism of vitamin D. Rickets, caused by a vitamin D deficiency, as well as osteoporosis is common in populations with high phytic acids intake.

3. Don’t play the Cardio Queen.

Remember, the more time you spend sweating in the gym, the more micro- nutrients your body uses and needs to recover. Most of the clients who come to us with bone issues like osteoporosis or osteopenia tell us that they spend a lot of time doing long cardiovascular workouts at the gym. All this time, they had no idea they were actually starving their bones of the very micronutrients that they needed to be healthy.

That is why we recommend doing a short interval program, like our ZMT (Zero Movement Training). This creates an environment where you are not sacrificing large amounts of micronutrients with excessively long & strenuous workouts, while getting the following health benefits in just 20 short minutes:

You will improve your cardiovascular (aerobic) capacity. A 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting found that just 2 weeks of high-intensity interval training, like ZMT, improved participants’ aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. Aerobic capacity refers to the functional capacity of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. More simply put, the higher the aerobic capacity, the greater the level of aerobic fitness, and the better shape your heart will be in. Talk about quick improvements!

You will increase calorie burn and fat metabolization. ZMT makes you a fat-burning machine—even long after your brief workout is over. There is a 2-hour period following a workout that is referred to in the world of exercise science as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). It is the period when the body works to restore itself to preworkout levels. And this uses a lot of energy (i.e., calories). 

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, when individuals participate in intense interval training, such as with ZMT, the EPOC lasts longer than after normal workouts; research by the organization suggests that you can burn up to 15 percent more calories overall. So while you’re watching your favorite television show or reading your new book, you are still burning calories because you exercised smarter—not longer.

You will decrease fat production. Not only will you be burning more fat with ZMT than with long, drawn-out cardio programs, but your body will also be simultaneously turning off its fat-producing mechanism. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology reported that subjects with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes who followed a 16-week intense interval program, like ZMT, had a 100 percent greater decrease in fatty acid synthase (a fat-producing enzyme), proving you can blunt your fat production while burning more fat.

You will increase production of human growth hormone. Human growth hormone (HGH) is produced by the pituitary gland—a pea-size structure at the base of the brain—to fuel childhood growth and help maintain bone, muscle, and organs throughout your life. The higher your levels of HGH, the healthier and stronger you will be. However, once you hit the age of 30, you enter what’s called somatopause, at which point your levels of HGH begin to plummet. This dramatic decline drives the aging process, and it causes things like decreased muscle and bone mass. Intense interval training, like ZMT, turns back the clock by stimulating your production of HGH by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout.

Your joints, bones, and muscles will be spared. Marathon runs on the treadmill cause mayhem for your knees and joints. These longer bouts of cardio also cause the body to utilize muscle as fuel, and when you want to lose weight, muscle is key to your metabolism. ZMT allows your body to spare the hard-earned muscle you will gain from weight training, while ensuring that your weight loss is fat loss.

4. Timing and Type are everything.

Timing: We are still talking about exercise here! To reduce calcium loss from your bones during exercise, make sure to take your calcium-containing multivitamin (the AM nutreince contains all
 600 milligrams of calcium) 30 minutes before your workout.
Type: Yep—still on exercise. We want you to do weight lifting using our One Set to Failure (1STF) Protocol. Your bones will thank you. Often, when your bones start hurting or you hear, as Mira did, that you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, you stop lifting weights because you worry that you’re too frail. However, this is the opposite of what you should be doing. Aging brings about natural muscle and bone mass loss, and whether you’re already losing bone mass or simply want to avoid any loss in the future, lifting weights can help. 

Your bones react to lifting weights much like your muscles do. When you lift, the muscles adapt to the stress by becoming bigger and stronger. Your bones also perceive stress, and because of this, your body will respond by building bone. Therefore, we want you to think about your weight training as both muscle building and bone building.

5. Take out toxins

Both BPA and phthalates are synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. BPA can be found in reusable drink containers, toilet paper, DVDs, cell phones, eyeglass lenses, and automobile parts. In the grocery store, you are most likely to come in contact with it in its polycarbonate plastic form in water bottles and in its epoxy form in the linings of food cans. It is even in the thermal paper used for cash register receipts. Phthalates can be found in food packaging, plastic wraps, pesticides, many children’s toys, PVC pipes, air fresheners, laundry products, personal care products, and even in medical supplies. Each year about 6 billion pounds of BPA and 18 billion pounds of phthalate esters are created worldwide—that’s a lot of problematic pound-producing plastics!

Studies reveal that women with high levels of phthalates are likely to go through menopause earlier, and have estrogen disruption, which can then have an unhealthy effect on bone formation. Make sure to be keenly aware of eliminating all endocrine disruptors including phthalates, BPA, fragrances and pesticides.

6. Supplement smart.

Multivitamins: Most supplements do not contain beneficial quantities of the bone building nutrients (calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D3 & K2). Make sure to read labels carefully. Take a well-formulated multivitamin, like our multivitamin nutreince, each and every day. Our multivitamin was designed to treat Mira’s advanced osteoporosis. It includes all three forms of vitamin K (vitamin K1, and both forms of vitamin K2 (MK-4 & MK-7)), and beneficial quantities of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D3. Additionally, nutreince contains all eight forms of vitamin E, which is very important because new research suggests that delta-tocotrienol can completely prevent the erosion of the bone surface and was also effective in increasing bone formation and preventing bone reabsorption.

Protein: Taking your Micronutrient Miracle Triple Threat Shakes twice a day is especially important for bone health. Studies have shown that supplementing elderly patients and postmenopausal women with protein causes increases in bone density, improved clinical symptoms in patients, and reduced bone loss. 

Additionally, each scoop of IN.POWER whey or plant protein contains beneficial quantities of L-lysine, an essential amino acid that aids in calcium absorption and improves connective tissue strength. It is also critical for optimal growth and bone formation and may be particularly helpful at preventing osteoporosis in at-risk menopausal women. Taking two Triple Threat Shakes daily will also aid in lean muscle tissue growth, which is critical for balance and bone support in those with weakened bones. Try to take one Triple Threat daily as a pudding, as the extra collagen from the gelatin (in the pudding recipe) supports bone health.

Omega-3s: EPA and DHA from animal-derived omega-3s help to maintain or increase bone mass; enhance calcium absorption, retention, and bone deposits; and improve bone strength. Additionally, a deficiency in omega-3s can lead to severe bone loss and osteoporosis. We recommend looking at our Origin Omega supplement, it delivers 1520 mg of EPA and DHA per daily serving and separates the EPA and DHA into AM and PM doses to optimize absorption and utilization.

7. Take K-ontrol with K.

This vitamin is K-iller for your bones (in a good way). If it’s not already, Vitamin K needs to be in your arsenal of supplements for sure. And not just vitamin K1, you need to make sure you are getting vitamin K2 as well. (Make sure to check your supplements). Vitamin K is all too often omitted from multivitamin formulations, but it is essential for bone strength and heart health. It is important for a supplement to include both K1 and K2 and it is, even more, superior, and rare, if it includes both forms of vitamin K2 (MK-4 and MK-7). Vitamin K1 plays a role in blood clotting, while K2 is a more important inducer of bone mineralization in human osteoblasts (bone-building cells). Vitamin K2 has been proven in studies to be as effective as prescription drugs in reducing the incidence of bone fractures. Additionally, because K2 directs calcium out of the arteries and into the bones, where it is needed, K2 is essential for the prevention of coronary heart disease.

Wow, there sure is a lot to learn about bone health. And these 7 tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg. You can find out more and learn how to put together a lifestyle that will help you create strong bones for the rest of your life in our book The Micronutrient Miracle. We even have a complete bone building protocol right in the book. Let’s face it, our bones are the foundation of our body, and honestly, it’s never too early to start thinking about bone health. This month take a look at your habits and see if you can’t make a few changes that will improve your bone health – take it from us, the future you will thank you.

For the past few months, I’ve noticed an old and familiar habit slowly creep back into my life: impulsiveness. Specifically, impulsive spend...

For the past few months, I’ve noticed an old and familiar habit slowly creep back into my life: impulsiveness. Specifically, impulsive spending. It started shortly after I finally found and bought a couch. That was an intentional purchase paid for with money I had set aside for it. But from there, I’ve made a few spending decisions that weren’t very well thought out. I booked a one-way flight and agreed to go on a road trip with someone I had never met before. I bought a rug that I do love but didn’t necessarily need. I picked up my first-ever deck of tarot cards. I bought a piece of wood and convinced myself I would turn it into a shelf or side table. A few books have been added to my shelves. And I’ve been craving more.

Why I’m Doing a 30-Day Shopping Ban

None of this has broken the bank, so to speak. I haven’t gone into any debt and I’m not stressed about money (though I am running on a leaner budget, since choosing to quit freelancing). So I don’t feel bad or guilty or any shame about the money I’ve spent. I do, however, feel like it’s out of alignment with who I am. In fact, that’s something I’ve been feeling in many areas of my life.

Looking around my apartment right now, I can tell something isn’t right with me personally. My bookshelves, which are normally organized with everything in its place, are now full of stuff. At a quick glance, I don’t know what half of it is, but I’m sure there’s mail I’ve ignored and sticky notes I’ve misplaced. I can see notebooks and pads of paper I had started writing ideas in hiding under more books and random inanimate objects. Next to the shelves is a stack of books I had planned to donate but is still collecting dust. In my bedroom, my dresser is also disorganized and I know my wardrobe could stand to be pared down a bit. And by the front door, there are no less than four reusable bags full of recycling I have been too lazy to take downstairs.

On top of this physical mess in my home, my digital life looks even worse. Two weeks ago, I stopped ignoring my inbox and accepted the fact that I had more than 200 emails to reply to. Before you ask, yes, they required genuine and thoughtful replies. I’m a veteran when it comes to ocrossing the easy tasks off a list (including replying to short emails), which makes me feel like I’m still being productive or making progress – but it can get me nowhere and fast. In this case, while I had stayed on top of the weekly duties for my blog and Rockstar Finance, there were emails from mid-May I still hadn’t replied to. Mid-May. All of these things are physical representations of how messy life has been since the dogs passed.

With the trauma and loss that’s occurred this year, it makes sense that I’ve been seeking a little instant gratification here and there – and that includes only tackling the easy tasks, in order to trick myself into feeling like I’m still getting things done. But it’s also gotten me back to a place where I’m feeling overwhelmed and a little lost. I’ve lost touch with my personal goals and don’t know exactly what I’m working towards anymore, which makes it a lot easier to waste money on things I might not need or make decisions that are out of character for me. When I find myself here, I know the best thing I can do is hit pause and check in with myself – and one of the ways I like to do that is with a shopping ban.

You might be wondering why or how a shopping ban could help. I did one for two years, so you would think I had learned all the lessons from the experience that I possibly could by now. But even though I only completed that experiment in July 2016, a lot has changed since then. I’ve celebrated two birthdays. I’ve travelled alone and moved to a new city. I’ve experienced a few major losses. I’ve made new friends. I wrote a book and started some other new projects. And in the past few months, I’ve started going to therapy which has changed my life and also turned it upside down at the same time. A lot has happened since last summer. A lot has changed. I am a different person and, for that reason, I think I have some different goals and values.

That is where the shopping ban comes in. When I did my extended ban, there were multiple parts to it, all of which helped me figure out who I was and what I really wanted. First, I hit pause on my spending. Then I decluttered and took inventory of what I kept. I tidied up my home and my digital life. I did some goals + values exercises. And I finished feeling like the best version of myself, because I finally felt like I knew myself.

I’m missing that feeling. My first shopping ban was not about depriving myself. It helped me switch from feeling like I was merely surviving (both in the financial sense and physical sense) to feeling empowered. It helped me figure out who I was and what I really wanted, and put me back in the control seat of my life. And yes, it also helped me change a few habits and learn some mindfulness techniques, which I think we could all use a refresher on from time-to-time. However, more than anything, it got me to a place where I finally felt like I was in alignment. The current state of my home and my life proves that I’m not there right now, so that is my main goal – but there will be a lot of little goals/tasks to work on along the way.

Here are my intentions for this month’s slow living experiment.

Experiment #7: Slow Consumption!? Sure, let’s go with that. ;)

complete a 30-day shopping ban (August 3rd – September 1st)
do a small declutter/purge + take inventory of some of my stuff
organize my digital life (inbox, blog post drafts folder, files/folders, pictures, etc.)
do some values + goal-setting exercises
get back into alignment with myself :)
For this shopping ban, the rules will be the same as always: I can buy groceries, gas for my car and anything I run out of that I need. But honestly, I think I have everything in my home I could possibly need for the next month. I’ll keep you posted on that, of course.

I’ve already started working on my digital clutter. First, I replied to every single one of the emails in my inbox. It took three full work days (about 25 hours) but I’m done and already feel so much better. Oddly enough, I’m genuinely looking forward to cleaning up my phone and desktop files soon.

But the next thing I have to do is this declutter/purge (and finally take out all the recycling). On Saturday, I’m leaving Squamish and won’t be back until the first week of September, so it’s now or never – and like most writers, I always work better on a deadline! So that’s what I’ll be doing this week.

Like I said before, the overall action required of a shopping ban is to simply hit pause and check in with yourself. It’s a timeout from consuming so we can figure out what we actually want in our lives. That’s it.

Do you want to do this 30-day shopping ban with me? Or do you feel like you need to do even one of the exercises? Let me know and I’ll make sure we have some productive conversations about it this month. :)

Since embracing minimalism and a simpler life, one of the commitments I’ve made here is to not add to the noise that exists online. I try to...

Since embracing minimalism and a simpler life, one of the commitments I’ve made here is to not add to the noise that exists online. I try to only publish posts when I have something I need to stay or something I think I can help you with. I don’t want to add to the list of things that could distract you. I want what I share to make you think – and hopefully, help you make more mindful decisions.

It’s easy to do this when I’m inspired by so many friends in the minimalism / simple living space. A few of you have told me you’re looking for new blogs to read. Since I’m on the road for another week, I thought I’d share a list of my favorites. Some you’ll know, some might be new to you. And if I’m missing any, please feel free to share links to your favorite simple living blogs in the comments. Happy reading, friends!

10 Simple Living Blogs and Podcasts That Will Inspire You to Make Mindful Decisions

10 Simple Living Blogs and Podcasts That Will Inspire You to Make Mindful Decisions
  1. Be More With Less – Courtney is most well-known for Project 333 – the capsule wardrobe challenge she created a few years ago. However, the reason I love following her work is that her message always comes back to exactly that: love. From the blog posts she writes to the quotes she shares, Courtney reminds us how simplifying our lives is an act of love and opens us up to more of it.
  2. Becoming Minimalist – You probably don’t need an introduction to Joshua’s work. He’s been writing and speaking about how owning less can help us pursue more of our passions for eight years. The two reasons I love following his work are because: (1) he’s not afraid to tackle the topic of personal finance, and (2) he’s incredibly generous with his time and audience. I’m grateful to know him.
  3. Break the Twitch – Anthony is another good friend of mine. He writes, speaks, and makes videos about minimalism and intentional living. Our stories are similar, in that we both recognized we were spending too much money on stuff we didn’t need (out of habit) and both did major declutter. He writes a lot about changing habits, in general. Ask yourself if you ever take the false first step and go from there.
  4. Design for Mankind – I didn’t start reading Erin’s blog until after I finished her book, Chasing Slow, earlier this year. Erin writes about slowing down and living a more purposeful life with her family. The thing I love most about her blog is her “small step” series: short posts with simple actions that can hopefully help you leap into a better life.
  5. No Sidebar – Brian is a minimalist designer, and the name “no sidebar” is perfect for what he shares on the site: blog posts that inspire you to design a simple life. What I appreciate most about No Sidebar is that it’s a team effort. I’ve discovered some incredible people who write about simplifying their homes, their lives (both offline and online), their work and their mindsets. 
  6. Raptitude – I first connected with David in 2014 when a friend sent me this post. His blog has been my favorite ever since, and if you’ve missed every reference I’ve made to it, here’s a reminder to check it out immediately. David is known for conducting experiments that test ideas and potentially change his habits. He’s inquisitive and insightful and inspires me to be mindful of myself and my actions.
  7. Rowdy Kittens – Tammy and I finally met in-person when I was on my big road trip last summer and we became instant friends. She’s probably most well-known for having lived in a tiny house for four years. But what I appreciate most about Tammy is her commitment to sharing pictures of her morning view and inspiring everyday adventures. She also exudes gratitude, which is contagious.
  8. Simply + Fiercely – I can’t quite remember when or how Jennifer and I first connected, but that’s part of the fun of “meeting” people online. What I can tell you is that I feel like she is one of the most genuine people I’ve “met”. Jennifer writes about how to build a life you love through simple and intentional living. It starts with listening to your heart, doing more of what you love and letting go of the rest. <3
  9. The Art of Simple – Tsh is probably another blogger who needs no introduction. Her podcast is actually the first one I ever listened to in this space and that, coupled with her blog, has inspired me with my book, work, home life, and travel. I also just finished reading her book, At Home in the World and would list it as one of the best I’ve read all year (and one of the most descriptive travel memoirs I’ve ever read).
  10. The Slow Home Podcast – Last but certainly not least, Brooke’s podcast is my all-time favorite. While I continue to find myself subscribing and unsubscribing from others, here is one I will never miss an episode of. She hooked me with her willingness to be open and honest and inspires me by walking the talk. What I appreciate most is her ability to let go of things (including projects) that don’t serve her, opening herself up to more of what does. ALSO: The interviews she did with Kevin Janks re: meditation changed my life, and I am loving the meditation series she’s been sharing for the past few weeks.
For more great articles, bookmark Simplicity Voices. It’s like the Rockstar Finance of the simple living space and was created by Claire from Want Less. I also enjoy reading articles on MindfulTiny Buddha and Zen Habits.

Ever wanted to turn your creative dream into a business reality?  1. We just came across this post from The Crown Fox on  the four season...

Ever wanted to turn your creative dream into a business reality? 
1. We just came across this post from The Crown Fox on the four seasons of your business. We’ve had the opportunity to work in many different areas under the ‘creative business’ umbrella since college and can definitely relate to these seasons. We’d add a season for the lull though, too–it happens to all of us.
2. Completely agree with Creative Founders’ 5 reasons to build your business community. When you start a business, you’re so engulfed in this new creative territory that making biz friends isn’t exactly on your mind. But connecting with like-minded individuals can be very fulfilling, not to mention good for business!
3. For those of you just starting out, Ashlyn Writes tackles mastering the pitch for your creative business. This might help with making those connections mentioned in #2!
4. Lastly, we loved this post from Think Creative Collective on getting paid to be creative–it’s so accurate. Having a creative talent is just one part of the equation, you also have to learn a lot about business if you want to market that skill!
Any new business owners following along? If you share any #weeklyresources on your blog, be sure to send us the link!