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Showing posts from November, 2017

Small-Business Saturday and what it means for you

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For years, we’ve been encouraged to think big and indeed there is an important place for that.  Sometimes solving a problem or making the world a better place (which is often one and the same thing), require large-scale thoughts and actions.  A lot of the time, however, it’s small-scale actions, which make the biggest difference, especially if they’re repeated time after time so that they have a chance to add up.  I think the same holds true of small businesses and that there’s a very simple reason for this.

Small businesses are invested in their communities.  If you think about it, the top decision-makers in major corporations are often far removed from their company’s customers, whereas the people who run smaller businesses tend to be much more available to their clientele.  This isn’t necessarily a matter of geography (although it can certainly play a role), these days there are a lot of small businesses which do most of their trade online.  It’s more about the degree of connection …

Hygge part 4 - gratitude, it's a matter of perspective

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I'm writing this right after Remembrance Sunday in the UK and right before Thanksgiving in the U.S. and right now the internet seems to be full of posts about gratitude or the lack thereof.  Articles and posts urging us to remember what other people have done for us and what benefits have come our way generally share cyberspace with articles and posts from people who are frustrated because they are taking on more responsibility than they necessarily feel comfortable with and yet are not feeling any sense of gratitude towards them.  Both sets of people have a point and there is a simple, but often overlooked way to address this, which is to make a point of showing gratitude to yourself first.
Here’s the nub of the matter.  You’ve probably heard the expression “the eyes are the mirror of the soul” or words to that effect?  Well, your body and in particular your face, especially your eyes, reflects how you feel about yourself and that influences how other people see you.  Think about …

Health, happiness and hygge for you, your loved ones and the planet

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So today is America Recycles Day (or at least it is if you’re reading this on the day it’s posted) and that set me thinking.  Recycling is good, but there is a reason it’s third on the list of sustainable options.  Reducing what we use in the first place and reusing resources as much as possible both have even less of an environmental footprint.  This then set me thinking about how I could actually take a major step forward in terms of environmental stability, minimalism and hygge, all of which mean a great deal to me - and save myself money.  I’m going to get to grips with household management.
Now, I’m going to put my hand up here and say that I have never been the type of person who enjoys housework in general.  Frankly, my standard approach has been to do what I need to do when I need to do it.  I do opt for environmentally-friendly cleaning products whenever possible, but I’m now becoming increasingly aware that many of them do carry an environmental footprint in the form of plast…

Hygge part 3 - the importance of slowing down and making time for pleasure, fun and relaxation

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If you pay any attention to adverts, you might have noticed how many of them relate to speed.  Of course, the chances are that you don’t pay a lot of attention to adverts because you already get more than enough random messages thrown your way and you don’t need any more.  
It’s probably fair to say that the beginning of the 21st century has been characterized by information overload and a degree of pressure to do far more in far less time.  In particular, the rise of mobile devices has led to the “always on” culture, where people feel they must be available and responsive at all times to (almost) all people, which in turn leads to people rushing around in circles if not physically (although that can be the case) at least mentally.  
Here’s the truth, you probably don’t need to be always available to everyone you know, not at home and not at work.  You may have some people who depend on you completely (like your children) but even then in many cases, you can set some boundaries (after t…

7 tips for positive, stress-free and budget-friendly Christmas shopping

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A part of me can’t actually believe that I’m writing this article just now.  It’s November first, but while, in general, I’m a big believer in keeping Christmas for December, I’m also a big believer in being organized and so I think the start of November is a reasonable time to start planning your Christmas shopping, particularly if you’re planning on buying online.  As a minimum, I think it’s a good time to start thinking about what you can afford and setting expectations for other people.  With that in mind, here are 7 tips to manage your Christmas shopping in a positive way, meaning you might even enjoy it and even if you don’t, you should be able to keep your sanity and your finances intact.
Start by deciding what you can afford
Your budget comes first and everything else after and, frankly, if you are in the situation where you can, literally, afford nothing for Christmas, then don’t buy anything especially for Christmas, you can still have a great day anyway and you’ll go into the…