Wednesday, December 28, 2011


As 2012 approaches most of us are likely to create New Year's resolutions.  We do every year.  But how often are we successful with our resolutions? Most of us come out of the starting gate with lots of enthusiasm and commitment towards our said resolutions; unfortunately, as time goes by our enthusiasm and commitment begins to wane and our goals fall by the wayside.

The key to successful New Year's resolutions lies in their creation.  I will use weight loss as an example of a resolution in the section, as it is a common one; however, any resolution can be substituted here.  Firstly, make your goal achievable.  There is no sense in creating a resolution that's unrealistic.  If you never exercised a day in your life before and you resolve to go to the gym everyday in the New Year, you're not likely to succeed in the long run.  Better to create a smaller goal that fits in with your abilities, personality, schedule, etc.  Secondly, make your goal measurable.  Don't just tell yourself, "I want to lose weight."  Make your goal measurable by putting in an actual number. "I want to lose ten pounds." Thirdly, give yourself a timeline. "I want to lose ten pounds by July 4, 2012".  Again, remember to make your timetable realistic too.  Fourth, fill in the details of how you plan on accomplishing your goals.  Now that you have a sensible and realistic goal, ask yourself how will you get there. "I plan to lose ten pounds by July 4, 2012 by exercising and eating healthier," is not going to cut it.  You have to come up with a step by step plan to get there.  "I plan to lose ten pounds by July 4, 2012 by: I will go to XYZ Gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 7:00-8:00am beginning the first week in January; I will enroll/follow the XYZ diet by January 15, 2012; I will eliminate all empty calorie foods on weekdays, etc.  These are merely ideas, but you get the idea.  Do your research for what works best for you and then detail it for your resolution.

Finally, write it down!  Putting your goals in writing makes it tangible.  Place your written resolution somewhere you can see it daily.  This will keep your desired goal in the forefront of your thoughts and hopefully, more motivated to making it happen.  Brides, take note, that following these steps to creating successful resolutions will help you with your wedding planning goals too.  Realistic, measurable, time specific, and detailed goals helps you ensure your wedding planning is successful and on schedule.

A healthy, happy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year to you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gifts with Meaning

Shopping for the right gift for your significant other at Christmas or any time of the year is fun, but can also be challenging.  Sure, you have some ideas, you know what he likes and what he doesn't; but you want your gift to be special, to stand out and say I have put a lot of thought into this. There are two parts to figuring out what that special gift is: listening and meaning.

Listening to someone when they're speaking to you and really hearing what they say gives you a lot of insight into that person.  And that means paying attention to them even when they are simply talking about random things.  For example, it's December and your fiance hints around at wanting a new watch for the holidays. Easy enough.  But maybe back in the summer while listening to the radio he also mentioned how he always wished he could see a favorite musician live and as it happens you know (or you researched and discovered) that artist will be coming to town in the next couple months.  Paying attention to those cursory remarks gives you a second potential gift option.

Finding a gift that's meaningful sounds obvious. You want the gift to have special meaning, for the receiver.  You may love the symphony and think that a romantic evening listening to classical music will be a lovely and special gift. And it very well may be; however, before settling on your ideas think about your fiance's likes and preferences.  When it comes to gifts for him, put his likes first.  That may mean trading the symphony for a football game, but it shows that you want to make him happy even if you would rather be doing something else.   Of course, you shouldn't pick something you can't tolerate or feel good and comfortable about getting (i.e., the leg lamp from A Christmas Story comes to mind).

Put those two parts together-something you heard your significant other talk about and something you know he will find meaningful- and you've got a great gift idea.  Don't limit yourself to finding a meaningful gift for your fiance only. Giving meaningful gifts to family and friends alike shows you've been listening and that you want to do something special for them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Family Feuds

'Tis the season of holidays and for many of us, family gatherings.  And while the idea of coming together with our relatives to celebrate the holidays and special occasions sounds warm and inviting, it can also be stressful.  Whether we want to admit it or not, family get-togethers are not always pleasant.  Grudges, rehashing past experiences and uncomfortable conversations can lead you to counting down the minutes until everybody leaves.

So how can you manage all the emotions and feelings that come up when your family is visiting? While there is no clear cut answer to that question, since everybody's situation differs, it's helpful to remind yourself that though you may not be able to control other people's words and actions, you can control your own.  Staying in a place of peace and calm will help you maintain control of the events surrounding you.  Not allowing yourself to get drawn into family drama will reduce the likelihood of escalating negative emotions. Informing family members that you would prefer everybody focus on the positive things in life during this holiday season may set the stage for a better experience.  Of course, you are likely to have to make several such requests.  If family members persist in bringing your holiday spirits down with unwanted chatter, it might be worth it to try taking them aside and acknowledging the importance of what they would like to discuss.  Then let them know that you can give them your full attention to address the matter on such and such day after the holidays.

This holds true for brides as well.  Certainly at family gatherings, relatives will be giving you unsolicited advice about your wedding.  If  you'd rather not discuss all the wedding details and get into potential squabbles, tell them that the holiday is your day off  from wedding planning and that you are not engaging in any wedding talk, but would rather focus on family, friends, etc. (see the previous post).  Sticking to what you say is important as well.  Show others that you have the strength to stand up for what you've decided and  the will to maintain your positive and happy disposition throughout.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So Much To Do, So Little Time

As the holidays are fast approaching, many of us find ourselves asking, how are we going to get it all done.  All the more so, the bride.  In addition to planning your wedding, you no doubt have holiday shopping, baking, decorating, or other preparations to contend with as well.  Your obligations may have expanded a bit and you're wondering, which one is more important to focus on now.  I would suggest not to weigh the two equally.  In fact, sometimes it's better not to compare things at all.

Your wedding and spending time on the holidays are both important parts of life.  They are two very different experiences, and both that will eventually create memories of their own.  Knowing this, you can put aside any thoughts of "what's more important" and focus on the memories you'd like to create.  Holidays are a meaningful part of life and dedicating time to it and sharing with others in them will not only help you take a breather from all the wedding stuff, but will also remind you that you don't have to put your life on hold while preparing for the big day.  Each day is a new opportunity to create wonderful and meaningful memories with all of your loved ones and it's important not to let your growing list of things to do get in the way of that.  While you may decide there are some things that you can or cannot do, given your plans and time constraints, do pick at least one day during this time of year-whether it's Christmas eve or day, Chanukah, etc.- to have a wedding planning free day.  Be in the moment. Enjoy the holidays and cherish the memories.