Creative Thinking

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Life Is Not About Finding Yourself… Life Is About Creating Yourself

How to Market Your New Craft or Hobby


If you have created a new craft or developed a new hobby and are comfortable enough in your skills or expertise, perhaps it is time to market your skills. While for most of us marketing ourselves is uncomfortable, there are many ways to make it enjoyable instead of nerve-wracking.

Marketing yourself does not mean that you have to hire a great big billboard with a picture of yourself smiling. Marketing can be something as simple as letting someone know that you can perform that skill or create that project.

Perhaps you are a party planner that specializes in centerpieces, or maybe you can play a musical instrument like nobody’s business. The whole reason you dived into your new craft or hobby is because of
your love of it. So do not be ashamed of your talent; share it with others. There are many ways that you can market yourself so that you can share that talent with everyone around you.

Offer Classes

If you are a crafty soul and specialize as in the example above in making exquisite centerpieces, why not teach a class or two? You never know – one or more of your students may decide that making it themselves is not coming out quite the way that they had hoped. They may wish to hire you for your expertise instead.

Local Newspapers

Many newspapers are looking for freelance writers to donate an article or two, especially when it comes to the how-to market. If you have a craft that you love, then it will be easy to write about it, and you do not need any formal writing training. Let the love of your craft shine through.

Ask the newspaper in return if you can post your business card and website at the bottom of the article. In this way, you get some free advertising and the newspaper gets a really great article on how to create a craft.

Start a Blog

If you do not have a blog about your craft, then starting one should be easy and fun. If you have to, take a blogging workshop and get started. The sooner you start to blog about what it is that you love, the more exposure you will get. In this way, you will have fun making new friends, meeting new people and networking all at the same time. It will not feel like marketing at all.

Fundraisers

Fundraisers are an excellent way to network while having fun and doing good at the same time. If you have a craft or a basket you would like to donate, leave your business card with your website on it and you will be surprised how doing something good will return to you twofold.

These are just a few simple ways to market your hobby or craft without you feeling like a used car salesman.

How to Find Your Passion with a Hobby

Just about every individual has a hobby or craft that they love to take part in; it’s just a matter of honing in on exactly what that is. Have you ever seen someone who is absolutely in love with his or her hobby and it seems to flow effortlessly to them? Well, don’t think for a minute that no planning, thinking, or trial and error went into that hobby.

If you have been thinking about finding a hobby or creating some new craft, there are a couple of ways to find that passion and make it all seem effortless and fun.

Do What You Love

While this may sound like common sense, doing what you love will almost always equate to success and fulfillment. Success is not just simply defined by how much money you make; it is also defined by doing what you love to do and never tiring of it.

We all have things we want to do on the creative side; however, have you ever noticed that the creative souls are the ones with the most self-sabotaging talk and negativity surrounding their passion? Just look at the old adage about the “starving artist.” However, it does not have to be that way.

Once you discover what you truly love and starting taking active steps toward pursuing that one thing, then the rest will fall into place that much easier.

So start by taking some time to self-explore.

* Examine what you love
* Try different angles and ways to explore what you love
* Try new things
* Be courageous, think outside the box, go where your heart leads

Find Your Passion

Once you have explored your creative side, journal how you feel when doing different types of crafts and hobbies. If you have always wanted to paint, but found it not as interesting as you thought it would be, don’t worry. Keep going until you find that one thing that ignites you over and over again.

If at First You Don’t Succeed

Once you find your passion and do what you love, don’t stop there. Continue on this path even if you meet with failure. Many famous authors and artists met with failure many times over before they found what worked for them.

It is vitally important that you don’t lose sight of your dream and that you don’t let the absence of immediate success daunt you. It is almost impossible to succeed without having failed a couple of times at first.

Before you know it, you will hit the mark as so many others have before you.

How to Set up a Routine for Your Craft Time

If you are a creative soul, then chances are that you resist routines and rituals like the plague. You would much rather fly by the sRockler.comeat of your pants than to set a schedule. Just the mere thought of setting a schedule can send shivers down your spine and give you the chills – almost like nails on a blackboard.

Well, once you have honed in on what type of hobby or craft you are passionately in love with and have
found unique and creative ways to make it come to life, it really is time to set a routine. However, there are ways to set a routine that will not squash your artistic side.

Pick a Set Time

Picking a set time every day when you are devoted to your craft or hobby is crucial to your success, whether it is making wreaths or writing stories. If you leave it to chance, chances are that you will fall off the wagon.

Being dedicated to your set time unless there is an extraordinary set of circumstances could affect whether or not you will continue.

Choosing a Specific Day

If it is simply not possible to choose a set time, then choosing a set day may be a better alternative for you. Perhaps you can allocate two hours of your weekend to creating more crafts, trying out a new craft, or writing a chapter.

If you can only allocate one particular day, be sure to set aside a certain amount of time as well. For eWe offer discount price on american flags, and flag display cases, All Hand Made by Veteransxample, every Sunday morning for 90 minutes and stick to it. Let your family know that this is important to you and it makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

Chances are they will prefer a happy and satisfied you over a grumpy and unfulfilled version.

Stay Committed

It is important that once you have your set date and time to dedicate to your craft that you stay committed. Without commitment, nothing is possible. If you have to, set a reminder on your cell phone; write it down on your calendar.

One of the best tips for staying committed is to have a trusted friend or family member hold you accountable to doing what you say you will. If you commit, for example, to creating three new crafts per weekend, then declare it to a friend and have them call to check up on your progress.

You will be so surprised at how knowing that someone is going to call you on a promise will motivate you in a positive manner.

Dedicate a Space

It is so important to dedicate a space all your own to your craft or hobby. This avoids losing and misplacing things and allows creativity to flow more smoothly. In this space, you are free to create without running around looking for materials or seeking peace and quiet.

Stuck Inside? Get a Head Start on Your Summer Saving Plan

Stuck Inside? Get a Head Start on Your Summer Saving Plan
When the worst of winter hits and you are stuck indoors, daydreams turn to warmer months and your summer plans. While you’re daydreaming anyway, you might as well put your imagination to use and get a head start on your summer savings plan.

Why Wait?

There is really no use in waiting until summer hits before you have a plan together. In fact, the sooner you start, the more likely you are to successfully save up enough for your summer plans.

Savings Now Means More Fun Then

If you can put your mind and your spending to work for you now, you are more likely to have enough savings put back to use towards your summer plans.

There are many ways you can save money now to put towards your summer fun budget:

More indoor fun – Whether you have a big family or it is just you, you can save money by finding fun and enriching indoor activities. For example instead of going to the movies, stay in with a rental and your own popcorn. You might enjoy the movie more on your own comfortable sofa without the worry of noisy movie-goers and overpriced snacks.

Affordable meals – Wintertime is a great time for hearty, warm, and filling meals that are also inexpensive. Homemade soups and hot casseroles are not only comfort food, but they are also very affordable, especially when compared with the cost of going out to eat.

Energy savings – You can save a surprising amount of money with some simple insulation around your windows, curtains, and clean vents. Also, keeping your thermostat programmed to just a couple degrees lower is barely noticeable and puts money back in your pocket.

Health savings – To avoid costly physician’s visits and prescriptions, save money by staying healthy. Eat healthy, exercise daily, and fortify your immune system with antioxidants and vitamins like C and D.

Take the Time to Research

While you are stuck inside daydreaming, put your mind to work actually researching potential vacation spots. The time you spend researching can help you find great deals and money-saving packages. Not only that, but booking your vacation and certain activities ahead of time can often save you extra money as well.

Build a Strong Budget

As you are researching, plan out a budget for everything you need and want during your planned vacation. Build a budget that includes all accommodations including where and how long you will stay, travel costs, meal planning, and extra spending money. It also wouldn’t hurt to include some emergency funds in the event that something goes wrong or you need more money quickly.

Write It Out

Make a spreadsheet and write out everything, making changes along the way. Writing everything out will help you build a stronger budget and avoid missing anything important. Seeing the visible proof of your upcoming fun can also bring a smile to your face when the winter weather is pulling you down.

With the right planning, you can put together a strong and successful summer vacation plan. Using the extra time you have stuck indoors this winter gives you the perfect opportunity to put it all together.

Every Problem Has A Solution

More than One Way to Skin a Cat: Adventures in Creative Thinking

How many times have you caught yourself saying that there could be no other solution to a problem – and that that problem leads to a dead end? How many times have you felt stumped knowing that the problem laying before you is one you cannot solve. No leads.  No options.  No solutions.

Did it feel like you had exhausted all possible options and yet are still before the mountain – large, unconquerable, and impregnable? When encountering such enormous problems, you may feel like you’re hammering against a steel mountain. The pressure of having to solve such a problem may be overwhelming.

But rejoice! There might be some hope yet!

With some creative problem-solving techniques you may be able to look at your problem in a different light. And that light might just be the end of the tunnel that leads to possible solutions.

First of all, in the light of creative problem-solving, you must be open-minded to the fact that there may be more than just one solution to the problem. And, you must be open to the fact that there may be solutions to problems you thought were unsolvable.

Now, with this optimistic mindset, we can try to be a little bit more creative in solving our problems.

Number one; maybe the reason we cannot solve our problems is that we have not really taken a hard look at what the problem is. Here, trying to understanding the problem and having a concrete understanding of its workings is integral solving the problem. If you know how it works, what the problem is, then you have a better foundation towards solving the problem.

Not trying to make the simple statement of what problem is. Try to identify the participating entities and what their relationships with one another are. Take note of the things you stand to gain any stand to lose from the current problem. Now you have a simple statement of what the problem is.

Number two; try to take note of all of the constraints and assumptions you have the words of problem. Sometimes it is these assumptions that obstruct our view of possible solutions. You have to identify which assumptions are valid, in which assumptions need to be addressed.

Number three; try to solve the problem by parts. Solve it going from general view towards the more detailed parts of the problem. This is called the top-down approach. Write down the question, and then come up with a one-sentence solution to that from them. The solution should be a general statement of what will solve the problem. From here you can develop the solution further, and increase its complexity little by little.

Number four; although it helps to have critical thinking aboard as you solve a problem, you must also keep a creative, analytical voice at the back of your head. When someone comes up with a prospective solution, tried to think how you could make that solution work. Try to be creative. At the same time, look for chinks in the armor of that solution.

Number five; it pays to remember that there may be more than just one solution being developed at one time. Try to keep track of all the solutions and their developments. Remember, there may be more than just one solution to the problem.

Number six; remember that old adage,” two heads are better than one.” That one is truer than it sounds. Always be open to new ideas. You can only benefit from listening to all the ideas each person has. This is especially true when the person you’re talking to has had experience solving problems similar to yours.

You don’t have to be a gung-ho, solo hero to solve the problem. If you can organize collective thought on the subject, it would be much better.

Number seven; be patient. As long as you persevere, there is always a chance that a solution will present itself. Remember that no one was able to create an invention the first time around.

Creative thinking exercises can also help you in your quest be a more creative problems solver.

Here is one example.

Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at that word then write the first two words that come to your mind. This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you see a problem you think you can not solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.

Top Three Ways to Save Money This Winter

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Whether you are saving up for a fun trip when the warmer seasons return, planning for a home renovation project, or just want to save a few bucks, winter offers many opportunities for saving money. In fact, with just three simple tips, you can put more money back into your pocket.

1. Stay Healthy

Getting sick costs money that most people aren’t prepared to spend, and if you’re careful you won’t have to. Between doctor visit co-pays, medications, and time off from work, catching a cold is uncomfortable in more ways than one. You can save money by taking extra good care of yourself and staying healthy.

Bundle Up

Keep warm and dry this winter by protecting yourself against the elements. You won’t avoid germs and viruses with a coat, but you can keep your body and immune system strong so you can fight off potential illnesses.

Wash Your Hands

To help yourself stay germ-free and avoid illness, wash your hands often. The simple act of washing your hands, Dr. Williamsespecially before you eat, after you use the restroom, and after coming in contact with multiple people, will help keep you healthy.

Immune Boosts

Never underestimate the power of eating healthy and getting some exercise every day. Simply living healthy boosts your immune system to prevent illnesses. If you are worried your diet isn’t healthy enough, or for just a little extra support, supplement with immune-boosting vitamins and herbs.

 

2. Have Fun without Overspending

Recreation is another money drainer, but there is plenty to do during the winter that costs very little or nothing.

Inside Fun

When it comes to family time, you can’t go wrong with movie rentals and board games. Not only are you spending more time together, but it costs very little.

Outside Fun

Take advantage of the snowy weather when you can. Bundle up and head outdoors for some good old-fashioned fun like sledding and snowball fights. Time will fly, you will all be laughing, and when it’s time to come in you can warm up with a hot cup of delicious cocoa.

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3. Go Green and Save Energy

Winter is a prime time to consider how much money you could save on energy costs.

Window Treatments

To save money on heating, as well as to keep your home toasty warm, pay some attention to your windows. Invest a few dollars in simple insulation films, and hang curtains to keep the warmth in and the cold out.

Insulate

Insulate not only your windows, but also around air vents and especially around your attic space. A huge percentage of energy loss occurs through your attic and roof.

Watch That Thermostat

Keeping your thermostat just a couple degrees cooler in the winter can save you a bunch of money on heating costs. Upgrading to a programmable thermostat will help you keep an eye on keeping a comfortable temperature in your home without having to adjust it.

With these three basic tips, you can save money this winter. You can put the extra cash towards a little extra holiday fun, or build up your savings for when you really need it.

Contact me for a Free Retirement Coaching Consultation Ty@JustBeinHarmony.com

Race to Black Friday

Smart Traveling for Senior Citizens

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One of the real joys of retirement and enjoying your senior years may come in the form of travel. Travel is broadening and many senior citizens save for a lifetime to enjoy a lifestyle of travel once they are retired. The image of becoming a world traveler in their senior years is one of those dreams that kept them going when life was tough in their working years so they certainly deserve to hit the road and enjoy the fruit of a lifetime of work.

If this is the kind of retirement fun that you have in mind, it pays to plan ahead so you travel smart. Being prepared for a long trip makes sense for anybody but if these trips you will be taking are to be the dream trips you want them to be, you don’t want to see those vacations turn into travel nightmares.

A big part of smart traveling is knowing well in advance what you are going to need on the trip. But it may be even more important to know what you are NOT going to need. By packing light, you make the chore of pulling large pieces of luggage through the airport less difficult. And if you are going to be staying in several places on the trip, packing light means less repacking as well.

It will take some experience as to what works for you in a travel situation to know how to pack. You may wish to build a special travel wardrobe of garments that wear well under stress, don’t wrinkle and can be rinsed out and used again one the road thus extending their usefulness and cutting down on excess clothing. Another way you can cut down on the bulk en route is to not take very much with you that can be bought when you get there. By not taking a lot of toiletries, you cut down on the problems with airport security and the chance of toiletries leaking in your bags.

Smart traveling foMyDayRegistry: Own a Day. Make it Yours.r senior citizens also means having your prescriptions all up to date and well documented. You should get good copies of all prescription drugs, eyeglass prescriptions and other documents that you may need to get refills on the road should you lose or run through your medicines. Alert your local pharmacy so if they need to consult with a pharmacy where you are going, that phone call won’t catch them by surprise. And file copies of all of your travel documents with a loved one so even if you lose everything, you can still get your documents sent to you or by email or fax. These kinds of precautions eliminate panic in the event of a problem while traveling.

Similarly make sure your itinerary and copies of your passport and credit card numbers are kept in secure places and on file with a loved one. Go through your wallet and think about each card and important document you have and how you would handle having those cards canceled and replaced should you lose your wallet or purse. By keeping those important numbers where you can get to them quickly, you can move fast to cancel credit cards and get replacements virtually immediately from your hotel should you get robbed or lose your valuables while traveling.

By thinking ahead like this and staging in your mind every possible problem and planning how to respond, you eliminate the chance that your trip could be stopped and your fun brought to an end because of a difficulty. Then when things do go wrong, you just shift to plan A-B-C or D and you are right back in business.

Contact me for a Free Retirement Coaching Consultation Ty@JustBeinHarmony.com

Race to Black Friday

Giving Your Time Away

Race to Black Friday

One of the joys of retirement is that you are into a time of life when making a buck and worrying about using your time “profitably” is less of an issue. But it’s not entirely accurate that all senior citizens want to retire to spend the day rocking on the back porch and taking long naps. Human beings are by nature workers and doers and that need to be productive and be a part of something bigger than yourself doesn’t go away the day you stop working for a living.

This is why volunteering is such a great way for senior citizens to use the time and talents they have to benefit others. And more and more, nonprofit and community service organizations are finding a rich GigaGolf Custom Clubsresource of free and enthusiastic talent in the ranks of senior citizens. For the senior citizen, the chance to volunteer for a cause gives them a chance to feel important and useful. It provides human contact outside of their age group which is often a frustration for seniors. While seniors love being with those of their own generation, it’s just as important for them to be with people the age of their kids, young people, teenagers and children regularly. In addition volunteering gives seniors a chance to invest themselves in something they believe strongly in and do so with a greater depth of commitment than they ever could before they were retired.

The opportunities for volunteering in the community are so diverse that you can literally find a volunteering opportunity to fit any retirement situation and any temperament type or area of interest. Here are a few great volunteering ideas just to start the list.

  • If you have had a life of commitment to your church, there is always a need for volunteers to work with ongoing projects there. Many churches operate libraries, youth and family centers and schools who thrive on volunteers to keep reaching out to the community with these services.
  • If you love the outdoors, the parks service may be able to use you to help with upkeep projects on city lands. You can also help coordinate charity events such as fun runs and marathons which will get you plenty of fresh air and do good for others along the way.
  • The arts often use volunteers and you get to participate in great artistic programs. Opportunities like ushering at plays or music events at the local theater, serving at the admittance desk or conducting tours at the museum or helping to build sets for the local theater group can be great fun for an outgoing senior citizen.
  • For a senior citizen who is home bound or introverted, work can be found stuffing envelopes, doing internet research or making phone calls for charitable causes that can be done right from the comfort and safety of their living room.
  • For the retired senior who is good with tools and loaded with knowledge and talent about construction, habitat for humanity is an outstanding and ongoing program that will use those skills to the fullest. Missions programs from local churches also find great work for talented seniors who want to help the less fortunate.

These are just the tip of the ice burg of the great ways senior citizens can volunteer. Seniors are great volunteers because they are full of life and energy but at the same time patient and skilled at managing projects because of a lifetime of achievement. This is why volunteering is a perfect match for the needs for seniors to get out and engage life. And they make a real difference in important causes along the way.

Contact me for a Free Retirement Coaching Consultation Ty@JustBeinHarmony.com

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Fun Is Different Now

Udemy Generic 160x600Even as senior citizens, you can probably remember being a child when the most important thing in the world was having fun. Well there are some remarkable similarities between your life as a senior citizen and those carefree days of childhood. For one thing, when you were a child, you didn’t work for a living, you felt secure that you had what you need. Hopefully in your senior years, you too are able to retire with the knowledge that you did a good job preparing for retirement so you have some carefree days to enjoy now too.

Another similarity that your kids may have pointed out to you is that, like it was when you were a child, you occasionally do things that are not allowed to do. But now it seems to be our kids telling us what is ok for us to do or not do. But every so often, you have to throw caution to the wind and go ahead and party late into the night, go parasailing or go to a punk concert. And even though it isn’t good for you and you will probably get a lecture for it in the morning, you had a great time taking the chance.

But fun is different now that you are a senior citizen than it was when you was a child. Now there is nothing better perhaps than spending a day trying to improve your golf game. A long rainy afternoon with a good book is just the thing for a senior citizen and it will be a day of fun you will remember for a long time because this is what it means to be retired. Some other ways to have fun as a senior citizen that are notably different from childhood or even when you was a working adult might include…

  • A day sorting yarn for a big knitting project or laying out the fabric to make artistic quilts to sell for a charitable cause can also be a day of girl talk, giggling and gossip that seems almost like the sleepover scene from Grease as much as it is a gathering of mature women enjoying the afternoon together.
  • Getting together with the boys and going out to help build a shed at your son’s farm gives you the chance to play with tools, mess around with building materials and remember what great fun it is to just build something.
    A bus tour to Branson or some other exciting nearby attraction takes on a whole new sense of adventure when it’s big day when they change the lunch menu at the cafeteria downstairs.
  • Going to a high school football game used to seem like a nuisance when you had to attend to watch your boy play third string center or your daughter cheer and hope she doesn’t break her collarbone. But now when you get to go, even if you don’t know a soul on either team, being in that exciting setting is the kind of good clean fun you look forward to for weeks and think back on for months.

Just as the fun is different now as senior citizens, so are the toys. Now, enjoying an afternoon stuffing envelopes for the church is as much a fun as a game of playing checkers as long as you can do it with your friends and yak and share stores as you work. Now, going to a military base to look at their archives is more than just mildly interesting. It’s a trip through your own past and if you can enjoy that with others who fought for their country as you did, each of those guns and pieces of equipment in those display cases bring with them treasured memories that will have you and your senior friends swapping war stories for days after.

Yes we have fun differently now than the young people do. But anyone who thinks for a minute that senior citizens never have fun are as far off from the truth as they can be. Because you have laid down the cares of career and raising children, you can really relax and let the fun of each day sneak up on you. By putting yourself in the mindset, that life is still a great adventure, just about anything you do can become a source of joy and fun. But even though fun is different now, life is still worth living because it is tremendously fun.

Contact me for a Free Retirement Coaching Consultation Ty@JustBeinHarmony.com

Race to Black Friday

Take Some Risks

Race to Black Friday
There is a classic image of a senior citizen driving with their turn signals continuously on and poking along 20 miles under the speed limit on the highway. A popular comedian once quipped that if he was 80 years old, he would “drive like hell” since, after all, why not take some risks at 80?

It’s true that as we move into our senior years, we do become a bit cautious in how we conduct our affairs. Now, if you have health difficulties that a fall or a serious illness could prove life threatening, those precautions are called for. In defiance of that comedian’s remarks, our lives are precious and just because we are closer to the final years of our lives doesn’t mean we want to see our lives end too soon and miss Rockler.comout of a minute of this time on earth and time with our children and grandchildren.

But one aspect of that joke has some food for thought as we think about our lifestyle as senior citizens. There may be some good reasons to get out there and take some risks in life and to enjoy the thrill that a little danger can bring. Recently the elder President George Bush went skydiving even though he was well into his senior years. His life of achievement showed that President Bush was not afraid of a challenge. And by getting out there and doing something fun and that may have been a dream of his, he showed that our senior years are not all about rocking chairs and naps. It’s also a time to live out our dreams.

Some risks, like skydiving, can be done with the guidance of skilled professionals to help reduce the actual dangers. But the illustration of what President Bush did emphasizes one rational for to “go for it” and take some risks in our retirement years. For one thing, it’s a tremendous inspiration to younger people when they see their elders exhibiting courage and a willingness to get out of their comfort zone. Many times your own children may be the ones who need that kind of inspiration that they too should live life courageously and not let fear stop them from enjoying every moment.

Another great reason to take a risk is that it may be a great way to bond with family. Not long ago, I had the chance to go white water rafting with my grandson. Now I am not an adventurer and not in physical shape to do anything athletic. But this was a moment where I could establish a bond with my grandson by going into a great adventure with him and coming out of it with great stories. Because I am writing this article for you shows that I made it. There were a few heart stopping moments but I wouldn’t trade those moments with him for the world. You too may be presented with a chance to make a memory with a loved one by taking a risk. And it’s worth going for it, in a reasonable fashion, to capture that memory and build that bond as well.

Some risks you might take don’t involve physical danger. Maybe you need to finally take the plunge and get up at the local open mic night and deliver that stand up comedy routine you have been polishing up with the family. They say there is nothing more terrifying as facing a crowd and trying to make them laugh. But when you hear their laughter and their applause, that will be a dream come true for the amateur comic in you.

So consider taking a few risks as you plan your activities in your busy retirement schedule. The rush of adrenaline will put some spring in your step and give your heart rate a workout. But it will also add some fun and adventure to your life. And that is something we all can use.

Contact me for a Free Retirement Coaching Consultation Ty@JustBeinHarmony.com