Most of us humans aren’t known for willpower. Over-indulgence is a way of life: food, social media, shopping, etc… All those things can be fun. Too much? Life-sucker.
“Self-discipline is an undervalued trait in a modern society that wants everything now,” said Dr. Robert Carter, co-author of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life. “It is, however, a skill that everyone can learn. Self-discipline is the skill that will allow you to reach any goal you set.”
Dr. Carter gives us these ways to develop self-discipline:
Be aware of your resistance. Resistance, Carter says, is the biggest obstacle to developing self-discipline, and it often comes in the form of discouraging internal self-talk such as, “I can’t do it” or “Why should I have to change?” “The next time you embark on a new project that causes resistance,” Carter says, “fight it by asserting or writing down your intended goal and the benefits it will bring.”
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll get to that goal-intending after watching Stranger Things 3 for the eighth time.
Plan for every outcome. Plans go awry when people let excuses get in the way. “An example is having a goal of running in the morning for 30 minutes, but you have bailouts such as it’s raining, cold, or you don’t feel like it,” Carter says. “Developing self-discipline is recognizing and planning for these self-created obstacles and actively choosing to work through them. So when you set a goal to achieve, have chart in place listing “Even ifs.” List the potential obstacles to achieving your goal and counter each one with a promise to yourself that you’ll achieve your goal even if these challenges arise.”
Crack Wise-dom: We prefer riding the stationary bike. More sitting is good. We just have to knock the pile of clothes off of it first. Oh! That’s where we put the latest issue of Health Magazine from 2015.
Prepare to give something up in order to gain. Carter suggests compiling a list of the pros and cons of sacrificing for a certain goal. “To reach your goal, Carter says, “you will more than likely have to impose certain limitations on yourself in order to gain something. These limitations could be less free time, socializing, money or television. The upside is that seeing the rewards of the sacrifice on the pros list will keep you motivated and disciplined.”
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll give up one of our seven “cheat days.” Feelin’ good already!
Reward yourself with self-compensation. “Rewards are an incredibly powerful tool for motivating yourself to reach your goals,” Carter says. “Consider them the carrot on the stick. Have a reward in place for when you achieve a goal or part of a goal, and make sure it’s appropriate.”
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll continue with plans for a mail order bride. #EverybodyNeedsLove
Break your goal down into manageable steps. “If you break your goal down into bite-sized steps,” Carter says, “you’re much more likely to stay disciplined enough to complete every sub-goal. Each step accomplished gives you an encouraging boost. Consider using SMART goals — specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timed. This makes the goal more definitive and puts the steps in tangible action.”
Crack Wise-dom: Bite-sized chocolate-covered Oreo minis are out?
Some people are crazy. And we don’t mean crazy like your ex. We mean cra-zy, as in why in the af aren’t you using your vacation days!?!?
A staggering 52% of Americans had unused vacay days last year.
If you can’t leave your homestead make at least a staycation your thang. WalletHub has the scoop on the best and worst cities for staycations.
The best city? Honolulu. Not shocking at all. Orlando is second, followed by Chicago. Here’s a tidbit-- Orlando has the most zoos and aquariums per square root population. All kinds of fun there.
What’s the worst city? Chula Vista, CA, followed by Oxnard, CA, and Yonkers, NY. All three of these places sound like armpits. Seriously. If an armpit had a universal sound, it would be the names of these cities.
Here’s where your city ranks when it comes to staying local for vacay:
Crack Wise-dom: We want to start a thing where you can buy a co-worker’s unused vacation days. Let’s say your co-worker, Hal is a complete suck-ass and thinks she’s so valuable that she can’t even fathom the thought of using all of her time off. You swoop in and realize: one—that vacations are necessary for good mental health; And two—Hal's an idiot. No one is valuable. So, you offer Hal $50 for one of her unused vacation days because your Uncle Larry is retiring and he’s traveling to Greece and wants you to join him for a visit. Everybody wins. Especially since Uncle Larry bought a one-way ticket and you never have to see him again. More winning!
Party, schmarty. Anybody can throw a party. But is your party the party? Oh, the pressure!
For us, a party is good food, good friends, lots of laughs, and maybe a themed decoration or two. No dress code. No frills. But, if you ever get a hankering for throwing a pro party, then take these tips from expert Jane Birdwell to heart. She has this company called Tablevogue, so she knows how to set a table and stuff. And—she believes anyone can throw a fab party. Take that, social media!
"Sometimes people aren't willing to entertain at home because Pinterest and other social platforms have raised expectations to such a high level," she adds. "I started Tablevogue because I want people to know anyone can pull off a lovely dinner party when they have a few basic foundational pieces and keep things really simple."
Preach it, Jane!
Feel the spirit of what Jane calls the “Dinner Party Revival” with these tips:
A beautiful table (or a few small ones). A beautiful table is not only the social centerpiece of any gathering—our physical cue to eat, drink, and be merry—it's the visual focal point for the room. Get the table right and everything else is easy.
Crack Wise-dom: Do we have to use a tablecloth, or will a bed sheet work? Multi-purpose rules!
It's fine if you don't have a big fancy house or even a dining room. Many people are ditching the formal dining room in favor of, say, a home office—and plenty of others just choose to live in smaller spaces.
Crack Wise-dom: What if we don’t have plates? Hand sandwiches, everyone!
Some yummy food (homemade or store-bought!). You don't need to spend hours preparing a home-cooked meal to have a great party and create a memorable experience for your guests (unless you just want to!). When you have a beautiful table, you can get away with store-bought food.
Crack Wise-dom: It’s a Ramen throwdown, then!
A group of good friends. Don't give in to the pressure to invite everyone you know to your gathering. Invite only the people you truly want to attend (no inviting people out of guilt or obligation). Whether that means you end up with four guests or fourteen, you're guaranteed to have a great time when you can genuinely enjoy all your guests. Finally, don't invite a full group of strangers; make sure at least a few of your guests have met before.
Crack Wise-dom: Only people we know can sit on our toilet seat. Bottom line.
A great playlist. You can create a fun and festive party atmosphere with some great background music. Feature a playlist of varied musical styles, like jazz, rock, reggae, and folk. If the group is roughly the same age, add some "nostalgia" selections.
Crack Wise-dom: No country. No jazz. No folk. Unless you want violence.
A relaxed atmosphere. It's normal for guests to be nervous when they arrive at your house—especially if they're the first on the scene. Set them at ease by giving them a task—maybe ask them to chop up veggies or even run to the store for an extra bag of ice. You might even ask them to help you do a quick clean-up when dinner is over.
Crack Wise-dom: Awesome. We need someone to get these stains out…
Ever feel gnawing guilt that you’re an un-environmentally-friendly swine? We, neither. But if you ever want to be more down with the environment, you might want to check this out:
The CasusGrill: Instant Biodegradable Grill from The Grommet.
It’s actually pretty amazing. The cardboard frame, bamboo grates, and lava stone lining quickly assemble and heat up in about five minutes and stay hot for an hour. When you’re done creating your masterpiece meal, toss the grill into the campfire or trashcan and sleep good knowing it will naturally decompose.
You’re only throwing away $14.95 per grill.
We like the one-off for camping. But when it comes to the homestead gathering, bring on the Weber.
While we’re on a roll with all things “America’s Birthday”, let’s get out the measuring tape and see who’s bigger… when it comes to patriotism.
WalletHub has determined through blood, sweat and research— 2019’s Most Patriotic States in America.
We love themetrics WalletHub manages to use for all its research. This time around, they took the 50 states and used 13 key indicators, including average number of military enlistees to share of adults who voted in 2016, and more.
New Hampshire is the most patriotic state, followed by Wyoming and Vermont. Who would’ve guessed that?
Here’s a cool stat to relish (like hotdog relish... HA HA HA!): Alaska has the most veterans per 1,000 civilian adults, 127, which is 2.4 times more than in New York, the state with the fewest at 54.
See how shamefully unpatriotic your state might be, here:
Depending on where your state has fallen, you may need to step-up your patriotic game. Do what you must. Change your state’s destiny. Just don’t do anything stupid or illegal. But if you do something that is, indeed, stupid—please get it on video. Please.
Soon, we shall gather ‘round to celebrate the birth of our nation. Some will have an epic picnic with a game of cornhole that will go down in history. Others will spend the day running around in red, white, and blue bathing suits. Some will injure themselves with fireworks.
Perhaps you want to spread your wings and fly off to another part of the country to see how they do the 4th. Well, lookie here. Our buds at WalletHub have just the information you need to make a good party decision.
If you’re gonna road-trip it. Then the Big Apple is the top place to celebrate, followed by L.A. and San Diego. The rankings in their 2019's Best & Worst Places for 4th of July Celebrations were determined based on how well the 100 largest cities in the U.S. balanced holiday cost and fun plus 20 other key metrics.
See how 4th of July awesome your city is:
Here are some other fun facts you can use to dazzle your pals:
150 Million: Number of hot dogs eaten each 4th of July.
$1.6+ Billion: Amount we plan to spend on 4th of July beer and wine.
47+ Million: Number of people who travel 50+ miles from home for the 4th of July.
Happy Birthday, America! You don’t look a day over 100…
Butterflies and nervous laughter. Sparkle in the eyes and awkward convo. Ah, yes. The beginnings of new love. So fun and carefree and perfect.
Then comes marriage and building a life. But then one day the two of you find yourselves without commonality. No sparks. No witty convo.
Relationships are work. Every day. Work. Here are some tips from authors and experts Tod Jacobs and Peter Lynn on how to get your marriage back on track.
We have some tips, too. We're experts, you know! We don't what that is, exactly...
Take a second and think back to your first date. Odds are you spent hours on google searching for the perfect restaurant, found a way to leave work early in order to get ready and showed up in-style.
Gradually, those dates - and the exciting preparation for them - took a back seat. It’s an unfortunate reality, but the natural grind of life and routine in relationships can weigh heavy on our ability to be fresh and exciting. But it’s not too late!
Revisit that first date spark and the depth of love and commitment will climb back!
Here are the rules:
- Make the date
- Keep it consistent but not routine
- Try to get out -- If you can’t go out, stay in - but change the lighting and music and add a bottle of wine
- And always look your best!
Crack Wise-dom: Dudes, don’t wear your sweats with the hole in the crotch. Save that for later. Meow.
Chances are when you first started dating, you’d wait to take your phone back out at the end of the night and find 5 missed calls and 20 unanswered texts. But now a call can’t wait and our thumbs are glued to the next text. Somehow, our phones and computers have become a second (or first…) spouse to many of us. What's the fix?
It all comes down to bracketing out time. If we set aside time dedicated to our spouse, then it requires our full attention. Would you text anyone or even think about taking a phone call in front of your boss? Of course not! So why is that acceptable with the most important person in your life? The answer: It’s not.
Technology can play an amazing role in the service of our relationships, but it can also cause subtle destruction.
Here’s the rule: the time spent together should be without distraction. In other words, when you set aside time to relate to your spouse, do not relate with your phone.
Crack Wise-dom: Put the phone down. Or you’ll end up storing it in your hind end. Capice?
We strive to be creative in our careers, strive to reinvent ourselves in the workspace in order to earn our keep and make our boss justify our salary.
On the other hand, once we get to marriage, our creativity “A” game seems to drift away. We tend to think that marriage is not a “job,” but in truth the responsibilities we have to our spouse are endless. With the recognition that I am responsible for this person, that this person deserves my best, my drive for creativity and performance shoots up.
Think outside the box.
Buy something special.
Go somewhere different.
Explore yourselves and explore the world. Coming up with creative solutions to build your marriage keeps the energy high, the moments fresh, and will show your spouse how important the relationship is to you.
Crack Wise-dom: Meet you at the no-tell motel. Bring the bed bug spray. Holla!
Which would you choose: love or money?
The love of money may be the root of all evil, but the latest survey from MyBankTracker.com says: show me the money.
The problem is debt. Forty-five percent of respondents said they’d go an entire year without any physical affection from their significant other—including happy-fun-time—to get out of debt. And of that 45%-- 58% were women.
It gets even better. Fifteen percent of people said they’d walk naked through Times Square once a day for a year to get out of debt. Nineteen percent said they’d swim in a pool of sharks for 30 minutes to drop the negative numbers.
If the mortgage is considered debt, we’d swim with sharks to get out of that 30-year commitment.
It seems all sexy and naughty—sending nude pics of yourself to someone—until your naughty bits pics get hacked. But(t) if you must send, send safely.
Zohar Pinhasi is the founder and CEO of Monster Cloud, a leader in ransomware removal and managed cyber security services backed by former FBI Deputy Director John Pistole.
Here’s how to safely sext:
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when possible. Plenty of good options, and some are free.
Always use a secure wireless network - NEVER PUBLIC, EVEN IF IT'S PASSWORD PROTECTED!
Consider your own cloud to store photos rather than using Apple iCloud (which has been breached in the past), Google, etc. You can get your own private cloud with a product like MyCloud.
Send using end-to-end encryption. Lots of messaging apps offer this, including WhatsApp. That way nobody, including people at WhatsApp (or whatever messaging service you're using) can see the message. The only person who can view the photo is the person to whom you're sending the photo.
Consider encrypted email service. Proton Mail, for example, is free to use and offers encryption if you're sending material via email.
Continue with the all the "produce" shots: “melons”, “fruit bowls”, etc…
P.S. Just double-check the number you're sending your crotch-shots to. Grandma doesn't need the trauma...
Are you’re plowing forward to the main course, or do you enjoy an appetizer, salad, and some wine first?
Oh, if we were only talking about food—but we’re not. Well, some eating may be involved…
Adam & Eve, and we don’t mean the Biblical figures, surveyed 1,000 adults about the importance of foreplay.
Over 76% of the respondents (76% of males and 77% of females) said foreplay was a very important part of the sex act, while 19% (21% of the males and 18% of the females) said it was slightly important. Only 4% of those polled (3% of the males and 5% of the females) said foreplay was not important at all (These folks probably enjoy a frozen meal directly from the freezer).
"For most people, foreplay is the appetizer or opening act to the main event," says Dr. Jenni Skyler, resident sexologist at Adam & Eve.
And the optimal pre-game time is between 15 and 20 minutes. That’s half an episode of “Stranger Things”…
"Depending on the situation, stage of relationship and individual preferences, foreplay can range from kissing to massage to toy use," says Skyler.
And we’re quite certain Adam & Eve has some items to assist in your one-on-one time.
P.S. Isn’t there a Boston song entitled "Foreplay/Long Time"? Totally has nothing to do with this story, but perhaps we should change the lyrics to fit:
It’s been such a long time
I think I should be goin’ (down), yeah
And time doesn’t wait for me (because I have a boner now)
Sail on, on a distant highway (named 69)…