Yearly Archive: 2018

Time Management for Actors

Being self-employed like the creative people and the actors requires a lot of time management skills. Too much of free time often makes them tension-free whereas a tightly packed schedule makes them stressful and tired. It is a great challenge for the actors to manage their time and to utilize them wisely. The life of an actor is packed with auditions, classes, and rehearsals. So, their day job and their home job often become overwhelming.

After some time, they might feel that they don’t have enough hours in the day to spend a few moments of relaxation. But there are ways in which the time can be managed to get the maximum out of it. Some of the techniques that are discussed below really have the ability to stretch time and give them extra space in their day to do things they like. An actor or a creative person can then only bloom in their performance and show their best.

1. Plan for your day the night before

Managing time as an actorThis rule is quite popular in most of the time management books and articles. Before you go to bed try to make a list of all the things you have to do the day after. This is a healthy habit as that is directly in line with the goals you are reaching for. This practice of yours will act as an alarm call after you wake up in the morning. In fact, planning all your works a night before will actually give you a better sleep.

2. Try to prioritize your most difficult work first

It is often found that most people are reluctant to do the difficult work at first.  But if the difficult tasks are done at the very beginning of the day, it gives great mental relaxation. By putting this practice into the effort, one can plan and manage their whole day to get optimum use out of it. There are some interesting apps like Ink+volt and Download these apps for a better result.

3. Do something more interesting other than acting

Variations are necessary for life. Life becomes monotonous if you tend to follow the same routine every day. To add color and freshness don’t stick to one profession or hobby. A simple change in your day to day life will help you to add a great variation in life. You are an actor, that doesn’t mean that you have to dedicate and focus all your time in taking classes, collaborating with other actors, reading scripts, perfecting a monologue, or redefining a dance combination. You must also cut some time for your family and friends and more importantly for yourself.

Some sorts of physical activities like yoga, walking, and running can reenergize you again. Not only physical relaxation, but mental relaxation is also needed for an actor. So, you can meditate, tune in to your favorite songs, and even spend some time answering your emails or talking to your friends. Learn more about how meditation can help your acting career.

4. Make a list of “must-do,” “want-to-do,” and “should do”

Group all your activities according to the “must-do,” “want-to-do,” and “should-do” category. Put things in the “want-to-do” category which you have never done before but wish to do if you have time. Include the things you are unwilling to do, but you have to do, in the category of “should do,” and the most important activities in your “must-to-do” category. Prioritize your must-to-do category first. But also keep time for the rest two groups.

5. Stay fit by taking better care of yourself

A healthy body and mind is a nature’s gift. And this is equally true for an actor. It is seen that many actors rely on energy drinks and caffeinated beverages. Though they are not very dangerous but avoid the use of a too much artificial substance to regain your energy. Instead, nourish your body and mind with healthy food. Eat right, take rest, go for meditation, read the books you like, and always be positive. Try not to overburden your mind and body with too much load and stress.

Multitasking might be the key to keep up with an acting career6. Divide your huge tasks into smaller chunks

Learn to combine some of your tasks as this is one of the better ways to manage your time. For instance, try to make all the phone calls during a fixed period of the day. If you cannot respond to a phone call, then make a habit of leaving a voice message to that person so that you can call him/her at your own preferable time. This will make you more organized and help you to manage your time in a better way. Keep some must-to-do tasks every day this will lead you in the direction of your goals. For example, these 15 minutes rituals could vocalize, meditation, sit-ups, work on voice over a copy or studying a dialect.

7. Always keep your patience and be positive

Be ready to face any challenge. If something comes up suddenly and forces you to change your pre-planned schedule, be positive and keep your patience. Simply choose a new time for this new task and face the challenge strongly. Join professional method acting classes to upskill yourself. Find more information at and pick the suitable acting course to enhance your core skills and get better at it.

8. Always put your acting career first

Most of the professionals including the actors tend to spend the first hour of their workday in checking emails. This practice is very harmful as it always takes more time than you plan for. So, it is better to start your morning by doing some yoga or meditation. Practice this routine for a few days and watch the surprising result that you get. As Facebook is a great time eater so, avoid to log in to Facebook at the beginning of the day.

Lastly, stop looking at your to-do list with an overwhelming sense. Remember, any forward motion you make is a step towards your progress. Your goal should not be to succeed 1oo percent of the time, but it should be to succeed more often than failing and recovering quickly after your failure.

By applying these techniques, you will find that your acting career will smoothly march forward with a golden future ahead.

Wedding Don’ts When You’re on a Budget

Weddings are getting costlier these days with many ideas coming in, and event planners finding ways to sneak in suggestions that can add up to your total bill. There are so many design ideas to choose from, and while the choice is up to you, you can also get swayed by the attractive, beautiful designs you find online.

Couples often have misunderstandings over wedding budgetWhen you are on a budget, though, squeezing in these little add-ons can be challenging. For one, you cannot merely say “Yes” to whatever your planner says. You must think through whether you need something or not, even if that means having to talk to your planner the next day. Do not get swayed by promotions or gimmicks that make you think you needed something when it wasn’t planned all along. For example, you can go with a simple and affordable white screen over a LED board, the latter costing hundreds of dollars to rent. While a planner will usually say that you need a LED board for your video presentations, you can choose to say “No” when you know you are short of budget.

Aside from staying within your budget, another must-do for weddings is for the couple to be involved in the planning process. Do not merely let the planner do everything for you. This day is your wedding, not anyone else’s. Therefore, you must make sure that you are not allowing another person do the job for you, and then pay for the ill feelings later on. Even if you are busy at work, you must decide on which color you want for your theme, what decorations you want to be placed around the area, or what songs you want the best wedding band in New Jersey to include in their playlist. You want to attend a wedding that reflects your personality as a couple, so make sure you are part of the curation process.

Even with all these reminders, many couples still stumble upon mistakes that are written again and again on wedding don’ts lists. So, to further emphasize these don’ts to you, here are some of them:

Getting consensus of both parties in wedding planning is crucial1. Not deciding as a couple

In many weddings, it is the would-be bride who is calling the shots. It is terrible for many reasons because, for one, it is you and your partner who is getting married; not just you. So, it is just right to make decisions together as a couple. By making it a team effort, you get to infuse your personalities along with you and your partner enjoying the planning stage. And when the event arrives, you and your partner get to enjoy the party, too, since the theme is something that you both like. Even with busy schedules, make time to plan your wedding together. And if only one of you is calling the shots, you may end up with changes that also cost money.

2. Not knowing what you want

The top thing that can save you a lot of money is knowing what you want for your wedding. If you are unsure and you allow the planner, your friend, or relative to choose for you, then you have seemingly unending options that you and your partner may not like. Also, when everyone else is excited with the preparations, you may end up with a growing bill that can go beyond your planned budget. So, stick with what you want, and work your wedding plans around that.

These are the wedding don’ts that you must avoid when you are on a budget. Know what you want, decide as a couple, and stick to your planned budget.

Expand Your Fitness Capacity with Conscious Breathing

Would you like to take your physical fitness to the next level?

Perhaps you feel as if you’ve hit a plateau with your current exercise routine and you’re at a loss about how to move beyond where you are now. You’d like to increase the weight you can lift, the number of sit ups you can do or the pace of your run.

Maybe you are struggling to get started with fitness, but you’d like to. It may seem that every time you try to walk or use an exercise machine at the gym, it’s just too difficult and frustrating.

Breathing may be the key.

I know that when I’m walking on a treadmill or using a weight machine, I am not often thinking about how I am breathing.

My focus is usually on the amount of incline and resistance I have set for myself on the treadmill, the number of calories that I’m burning and the amount of weight I can move with my arms or legs.

The fact of the matter is, breathing in a conscious way can actually increase your fitness capacity. You can find yourself with more energy, focus and an ability to perform at a higher level than before.

And it’s all because conscious breathing helps your body more effectively spread enriching oxygen to more of you.

Breathing Basics
We breathe in and we breathe out. In between these two deceptively simple actions, a lot happens!

First, air enters the nose or mouth. Dust and pollutants are filtered out as air travels through the nose and down the trachea (also called the windpipe).

Next, the air– which has been continually filtered along the way– reaches the lung sacs called alveoli.

It is within the lungs and the alveoli that gas exchanges happen. Oxygen gets moved into the blood stream where it can travel throughout your body enriching and enlivening all organs, tissue and other parts.

Carbon dioxide (and other waste gases) is passed back into the alveoli where it can be expelled as you exhale.

The more consciously you breathe, the more easily oxygen travels throughout your body, the more toxic waste gases are released on the exhale and the more potent you are in whatever you are doing.

How to Use Conscious Breathing to Improve Your Fitness
Start out by noticing the way that you typically breathe while you exercise.

If you have taken a yoga or pilates class, you are probably aware of the differences between breathing from your chest and from your abdomen, i.e. diaphragmatic breathing.

Especially in the practice of pilates, deep breathing and breathing patterns are integral to the exercise movements. Deep inhales allow tense and tight muscles to release and equally deep exhalations activate core, stabilizing muscles.

From where does your breath come in general and when you exercise?

You can get a better idea of this if you place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Now, with ease, inhale. Which of your hands moved the most?

If you found that the hand placed on your chest seemed to float up with your inhalation higher than the one on your abdomen, you are chest breathing and you are not alone! This is very common.

When you breathe consciously, you become aware of the way that you tend to breathe. Information is power, after all.

You can practice altering your breathing to allow as much oxygen to flow to all of you as possible. The keywords here are: soften and open. Slow, deep breaths (through the nose if possible) that originate from the diaphragm are the goal– even when you are exercising.

There are specific breathing techniques that can be used when an exercise requires the abdominal muscles to tighten. There are also breath patterns and strategies you can use to better support weight lifting and other exercises.

In general, however, it is important to keep the belly soft to support optimal lung capacity (the lower lungs are where most blood circulates) and the diaphragmatic breath.

You can soften your abdomen by slowly expanding your belly out as you inhale and then slowly letting it come back toward your spine as you exhale.

Guide your attention to your abdomen and your breath. Allow the breath to do the softening and notice as you feel more open and your breath drops down into your abdomen.

You can do this while you run, do a push-up and especially as you are warming up preparing to exercise.

Even (and especially) those with asthma or other respiratory disorders can practice conscious breathing while exercising and in their day to day living and can vastly benefit from it.

Of course, please consult with your health care practitioner if you have questions or concerns before attempting these suggestions.

3 Reasons Why Your Personal Growth Can Make or Break Your Love Relationship or Marriage

Ellen feels as if her life is in pieces. Her relationship with her husband Rob is usually strained and distant. Her work is dull and doesn’t pay much. And her friends aren’t all that much fun to be around– when she actually makes the time to go out with them.

Even though Ellen knows it’s past time for her to make some improvements to her life, she can’t even think about how to begin. It seems that if she chooses to work on herself, her marriage will suffer. But if she focuses in on her marriage, what happens to her own personal growth?

Believe it or not, the improvements that you make on a personal and individual level can exponentially improve your love relationship or marriage.

The beauty of it is that your personal growth can soar along with positive changes that you make in your relationship too.

It’s all inter-connected…mostly because both of these relationships involve you.

You and you, as well as you and your partner.

Even if this isn’t news to you, it’s likely that some of the time you forget this important point.

Too often, people get overwhelmed. They see too many habits and dynamics that they’d like to work on in their lives, but they feel like they have to choose.

The quandary can seem to be: “It’s me or my relationship.”

How wonderful to be reminded that you truly don’t have to choose.

Here’s why some people feel torn…

Let’s say that Ellen has decided to take a self-empowerment class. She is hesitant to tell Rob because she guesses that he’ll react negatively– and he does. Rob tells her that he’s concerned about the money and the time that she’ll be away from home. This cramps his style because it means that he has to be home alone with their young children one evening a week for the duration of the class.

Inside, Rob is also worried about what being more “self-empowered” will mean for Ellen. Will she be angry all of the time? Will she make more demands of him? Will she eventually leave him?

Ellen and Rob have created a scenario in which neither of them can grow and neither of them can flourish.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Personal growth can and does have beneficial effects on love relationships and marriages.

Here are just a few examples…

*Self esteem translates into greater mutual respect.
What do most couples want from one another? Well, there are a lot of things. Among the complaints that many people make about their partners, one is that they don’t feel respected.

Guess what?

In the majority of relationships, not only is there weak communication of respect between the two people, but there is also lagging self-respect within each individual.

Notice that I said “weak communication of respect.” This is because no matter how much your mate might respect you, it’s impossible to hear his or her expressions of that respect when you don’t believe it about yourself.

You have to feel it about yourself in order to hear it from your partner. Conversely, you need to feel secure about your own self worth to not feel threatened or less than your mate.

In both cases, the stronger and healthier your own self esteem, the more aware you both will be of the respect that is felt for one another.

*When your partner isn’t your everything, you two are freer to be more to one another.
In her book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the virtual epidemic of dissatisfied married people in the U.S.

By comparing approaches to marriage in the U.S. with those of other cultures– particularly those in developing nations– Gilbert comes to the conclusion that women in the U.S. expect their husbands to be everything for them.

Lover, co-parent, best friend, emotional support, financial support, etc.: the expectations that American women have of their husbands (or long-term boyfriends) is huge when compared with the more limited expectations that women in other cultures have of their men.

I agree with Gilbert that not all heterosexual relationships in the U.S. involve such all-encompassing expectations. The constraints on women (and men) in some developing countries is not preferable to the relative freedoms that women in the U.S enjoy– particularly when it comes to marriage.

The point here is that when a woman or man expects his or her partner to be EVERYTHING, disappointment is sure to follow. Nobody can be your everything.

Make consistently connecting with your mate a priority. At the same time, be willing to reach out to friends, extended family, your spiritual community, your book club or your soccer team to fulfill particular needs.

This actually allows you to come to your partner already feeling filled up and more available to share in the joy and love that you have for one another.

*When you keep discovering yourself, there’s always something exciting to discover in your partner.
There’s a commonly held belief that after a period of time, a couple will settle in together and the passion and spark will die down– or die out completely.

Many people assume this to be true and they come to terms with this being a reality for them.

The real truth is this…

The spark between you and your partner may change and fluctuate over time, but it does not have to dwindle or die. You can keep the passion hot between you and your mate by staying open to your own personal growth.

Think about how exciting it can be when you happen upon a book, interest, technique or way of living that really resonates for you. It can feel as if the world is turned on its head, in a great way!

This new growth within you is a discovery– perhaps it feels like a new you has been born. Even if your partner has no interest whatsoever in this thing that has grabbed your attention, he or she can benefit.

If you can set aside any attachment you might have to your partner joining in with you and believing that this new thing is as great as you do, the spark will spread to your relationship.

Focus in on the feelings of renewed passion and excitement. Let those feelings carry over into your conversations, walks, chore-time, lovemaking and just hanging out moments with your partner.

Celebrate the spark that now glows in your eyes and see the spark in your partner’s eyes.

Using Breath as a Focus

What is your focus?

What is the main focus in your life? Is it finding a job, or keeping the one you’ve got, just to pay the rent every month? Or is it always searching for that special someone who can make you happy?

Society has evolved a way of believing, that keeps us always limited to the physical plane. Stuart Wilde, noted author of The Winds of Change, among other revolutionary books, tells us of what he terms ‘the tribe’. We all belong to a tribe, so to speak– group of peers that we can relate to in some way or other.

We may be Methodist, Italian, a wood-worker, a member of the Smith family, a woman, and so on. And each group we belong to dictates, to a certain extent, what we will think, what we will wear, where we are to live, how we make a living, and so forth. It will try to keep us in a tidy little box.

Whenever we may have a new, never thought of idea, the ‘tribe’ will not allow us to follow through with it. It keeps us close to what is known. The tribe is threatened by anything unknown. It keeps everything stable and secure. A thought outside of the box could ruin the whole paradigm of the tribe. The very existence of the tribe would be threatened if things changed too much or too fast.

Being part of the human tribe, keeps us all working very hard just to make a living. Television and printed media have produced marketing techniques through commercials, as well as, through regular programming and news reports that keep our minds directed at purchasing. All we strive for all day long is to purchase that which the tribe has determined necessary.

Driven to succeed

We have now become so driven to succeed in material wealth and external relationships, that we seem to find no time for our spiritual growth.

One way to connect and grow with our spiritual self is through the breath.

The breath is vital to your life. The Creator gave this glorious gift to you on your birth day. Cherish it. Use it to the best of your ability. Fill your lungs with the love and joy of the universe.

Breath is used to relax the body and mind, to take us to a high state of peace, and create experiences in our lives.

Conspirators in the breath of life

It is our God given talent to be able to create our experiences. Whether we know it or not, our mind is constantly creating for us what we think. If we recognize our oneness with God, and the connectedness we have with that God Spirit, we can realize that we, and God are co- creators or ‘conspirators’ in the breath of life.

Conspirators? What an odd choice of words. Let me guide you through a spirit given understanding that I have received.

Genesis 2:7 ‘And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’

Conspire: a Latin word meaning ‘to blow together; harmonizing; to breathe; to make an agreement or act in harmony.’

Knowing this, we realize that we create just the same as God has created. Maybe it’s on a smaller scale, because we are only ‘infants’ in the creation process. (We need much more practice in conscious creation.) Realizing that we are able to create is the first step in visualizing our own reality.

Every time we take a breath, we are creating our world around us. You must look at and appreciate your life experiences, because if you don’t, you are just denying your own existence—your own creation!

Every time there is a problem or challenge in life, we have an opportunity to change it. Honestly, it can be as simple as changing your mind.

Although that seems too simplistic, it really is quite powerful. After recognizing the challenge, we have a moment, when we breathe, to change our energy.

Taking time to breathe

Let’s say that your spouse comes into the house, after a bad day at work. You managed to get home from your job about five minutes before. Your loved one does not seem so loving, coming into the house with a headache and complaining that dinner isn’t ready yet.

What do you do? Your day wasn’t any easier. Do you jump in to the moment, arguing your defense? Or do you take a moment to breathe, re-focus your energy and create a better environment?

There is always a chance to change–to make a different choice. By taking a breath, it gives the mind a moment to refresh.

This concept can be used in many other levels in your life. You can create harmony and peaceful vibrations. There could be no limit to the manifestations available. Use it for deepening meditation, increasing intuition, creating healing environments, and with global peace efforts.

The breath can be a key element to society’s spiritual evolution, especially if used in groups of like-minded people. This is the tool to new beginnings—a new start in the new millennium.

Skin Types and Why You Should Know Yours

Taking good care of your skin is not an easy job. It may seem like our skin is meant for cosmetic purpose only but I’d like to tell you that it surely isn’t just about that. In definition, skin is the soft outer layer that covers our entire body. Do you know what the largest organ is in your body? If you have thought that it could be your lungs or something else other than your skin, you’d have just to accept the unpopular truth. As an organ, our skin plays a significant role in our lives and in our body other than being a tempting device to exuberate beauty. It also protects us from the smallest elements such as microbes, it regulates our body temperatures, and it also provides the lovely sensation of touch.

women are obsessed in improving their skinThe best way for us to be able to maintain a healthy skin is through knowing what we need and familiarize with the Peach & Lily K Beauty skin care routine. Take a look at some of these skin types and try to determine which one yours is.

Oily Skin

I think this one is more popular in terms of skin types. You might have already probably noticed if your face gets oily quickly and easily. The T-zone, for example, is the part that starts with a horizontal line in your forehead and goes down to your nose. If these areas in your face become shiny, greasy, and oily in no time, even if you didn’t put anything, then you have oily skin.

Sensitive Skin

Just by reading the first word, you’ve probably already determined that people who have this skin type surely has it the worst. It is quite difficult to find the right product for those who are of this skin type because using something too strong would already cause a risky irritation. If this happens to you often, especially if you’ve used a lot of products already and it seems like it itches and turns red most of the time, then you’re sensitive. You have to be a lot way more careful than usual because if you use something too strong and with the wrong chemicals in it, reversing adverse effects is difficult and may be close to impossible.

Normal Skin

People with this type of skin won’t have any evident characteristics like the other skin types. After they would wash their faces, it would feel fresh and clean without them being irritated or having any itching and redness. Being oily is also not that evident compared with those who are oily skinned. I guess we can say that people with this kind of skin type are the luckiest.

moisturizers are good for dry skinDry Skin

Does your skin feel flaky and just straight out dry? From what we’ve observed, dry skinned folks are the opposite of those who are oily skinned. After washing your face, you might feel like your skin is tight but somehow, even after putting on a facial product, your face remains unnourished. This kind of skin type is also prone to wrinkles and irritation, but luckily, they don’t experience redness. A good moisturizer is an absolute need.


Did you get confused along the way when you tried to figure out what your skin type is? If your skin seems to be showing characteristics of two different types, then you mostly have a combination of an oily-dry skin. Isn’t that like a cliché? This kind of skin type seems to change depending on the weather. It is also possible that your T-zone on the face becomes oily but other parts of your face seem flaky. Ouch. This is caused by different sized pores all over your face and therefore, giving you the dry and oily. Remember that the best solution to this is a good cleansing and exfoliating cream just to make sure that your pores aren’t clogged.


7 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss

Today, there are thousands and thousands of diet books out on the market; all promising to help you lose weight if you follow their program specifics. Whether you count your calories, cut out fats, drink a meal replacement, eat only high protein foods or choose to fast, none of these weight loss plans target the real issue, changing your relationship to food. It is not to say that these programs don’t work. In fact some individuals are extremely successful on these programs.

The vast majority, while experiencing some initial weight loss, find that all, if not more, of their weight returning once they go back to their “normal” eating habits.

Eating like a thin person is simple if you know their secrets. Once you begin eating this way, the pounds will easily and naturally be shed from your body. Eating like a thin person is not about starving yourself (anorexia nervosa), nor it about binging and purging (bulimia). The answer can be found by examining your beliefs, your habits and your attachments to food. This is not to say that there may not be an underlying metabolic disorder contributing to weight problems.

In the majority of instances, however, issues surrounding our attitude towards ourselves and the food we eat are the main contributors to gaining and retaining excess weight. If you took a moment and think about a “thin” person you know, evaluating their eating habits, how many times have you seen them only eat 1 slice of pizza or even turn it down completely, leave food on their plates or pick at their food “like a bird”. These individuals typically have healthy beliefs and habits about food and food consumption. They eat when then are hungry and stop when they are full.  Foods don’t have a hold on them. They don’t worry about when they are going to get their next meal, nor are they afraid to feel and experience hunger (the experience of being hungry).

If you currently have weight concerns and would like to become thin permanently, naturally, here are 7 straightforward steps you can follow to help you make some changes in yourself and your relationship to food.

Eat only when your body is hungry.
Listen to your body. It will give you clues, which will tell you when you are hungry and when you are not. If you are thinking about eating, take a moment to tune in to your internal barometer and check to see if you are actually hungry. Checking in is effortless to do. First, put your hand on your stomach and close your eyes. Then, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Finally, be open to receiving the answer.

Over the years, have you trained yourself to eat for a variety of inappropriate reasons such as: it is 12 o’clock, so time for lunch, or I paid for it, so I should eat all of it, or it’s impolite to refuse food. Some of us eat because we are bored or because we don’t have anything else to do. Sometimes we have trained ourselves to eat because we are angry, frustrated, insecure, nervous, anxious, guilty, overwhelmed or depressed. Whatever your reasons, in order to lose and maintain weight loss permanently, it is important to eat only when your body is letting you know when it is hungry, and stopping when you are satisfied, but not necessarily full.

Eat only when you are sitting, relaxed and not distracted.
This point and the next one go hand in hand. If the TV or radio is on, or you are sitting in front of your computer working while you eat, you will not have to opportunity to truly enjoy your food. You will instead go on autopilot and the internal signals that tell us that we are full may not be triggered.

The same holds true if you walk while you eat. Many times, this food isn’t mentally registered as a meal, and your body doesn’t signal back letting you know you are full. Eating when you are upset, uptight or tense can cause the same problems. Enjoy and acknowledge the foods you are eating. You will find more pleasure and enjoyment in them if you do.

Eat slowly, paying attention to what you are eating.
Pay attention to the foods you are eating, savoring every bite. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to send the message of satisfaction to the brain. By slowing down while you eat, you will be giving yourself the opportunity to take pleasure in each bit and mouthful of food you consume. In the end, you will find that you are eating less because you are feeling content sooner. In addition, the act of chewing increases the release of digestive enzymes in the mouth, which help your bodies digest the foods you eat better.

If you are not enjoying it, don’t eat it. Many times when we are running on autopilot we eat, just to eat. When this is the case, how many times have your found yourself eating foods aren’t satisfying, that you don’t really want or that just don’t taste good? If you do, take a moment to stop, close your eyes and ask yourself, “Do I really want this?”

If the answer you get back is “No”, then put it down, throw it away or give it to a friend who might really want it. Why eat something that you are not loving!

Also, to help yourself along with this step, make an effort to eliminate foods that may tempt you. Throw away the bag of Oreos that are sitting in the cupboard, leave the Hagan Daas or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the supermarket’s frozen food case, buying smaller or individualized servings of tempting delights to help you control the amount you eat. If you enjoy going out to eat, perhaps sharing a meal with a friend or taking half or your meal home with you and have it for lunch the next day will help.

Stop before you are full.
This is another key point. If you consistently eat until you are full you are interfering with the delicate balance we are trying to achieve. It is important to allow the stomach to fully empty before you consume more food. It is only when your stomach is empty that you will honestly know that you are in reality hungry. In fact, think about how good it would feel to give yourself permission to be hungry for a little while. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. If you eat until you are satisfied, but not full, using your internal food barometer to identify when your body has had enough to eat, you will be taking yet another step to permanent weight loss.

Leave a little bit of food on your plate.
For many people this is a really hard step to follow. As children, we are often time told to clean our plates, regardless of if we are hungry or not. This simple step begins to help you identify some of the beliefs you have with relationship to food. This is especially true in addressing any guilt you may experience. It will also provided you with a chance to learn how to say “No thank you” to food.

Stocking Your Pantry Frugally

Groceries tend to be the area of the budget that can always get out of hand. It makes sense. Given a choice between the family “starving” and going over budget, people are always going to rationalize going over budget. Fortunately, there are steps anyone can take to gain control of this money monster.

Walmart prices often are the cheapestStart Every Month With a Plan

One of the biggest budget busters when it comes to food are the last minute runs to the grocery store.

There will always be fresh items, such as milk and bread, that need to be purchased weekly, but these items should be part of the plan. What needs to be eliminated is the daily look at the pantry to decide what additional ingredients will be needed for tonight’s dinner or that dash into the store to find something quick, convenient and likely expensive. At the beginning of the month, write out a dinner menu.

Since most families tend to repeat meals frequently, this list may need very little change from one month to the next; but, writing it out will provide the opportunity to decide if new meals can replace some of the more costly repeats. Convert the menu to a grocery list, adding breakfast and lunch items also. When done, compare the list to the current items in the pantry to avoid overbuying. The first trip to the store each month will result in purchasing all the non-perishables for the month and the fresh items for the first week.

Figure Out who has the Lowest Prices

Many people run from store to store for the sales, trading grocery savings for additional gas expenses; but, at the end of the day, where was the best place to purchase the items that were not advertised? Traditional grocery stores are usually not the most cost-effective place to shop, using advertised loss leaders to get customers in the store while overcharging for related items. Look into discount food stores, such as Aldi, or mass merchandisers, such as Walmart, for doing at least the initial monthly shopping.

Wal-mart price matches competitors’ ads and accepts coupons. If the least expensive store is too inconveniently located to do weekly grocery runs, figure out which of the more convenient stores consistently has the best prices and get their discount card if they have one.