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Be the Best That You Can Be! Learn to Set Goals in LifeTopix

Goals are the best way to set yourself up for success. To achieve goals, you must establish a plan and create steps to help you get there. It’s necessary to build specific and measurable goals, make yourself accountable and visualize your progress to motivate yourself to keep going. Thankfully, the LifeTopix app provides an effortless way to set goals and build a plan to turn your dreams into reality.

LifeTopix is an extraordinary all-in-one app for organizing work and life. It is smart, simple and powerful. Parents, real estate agents, freelancers, contractors, business owners, students, teachers and others use the LifeTopix app every day to manage their busy lives. 100,000 users and growing!

Watch the Video to Learn How to Set Goals

Watch this video to learn how to create goals with the LifeTopix app and how to follow a plan to achieve those goals.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety – 3 Things That Work For Me

Over the years, probably brought on by being a startup junkie and always having poured myself unreservedly into work my entire professional life, I’ve developed several bad habits or things that are harmful to health, and perhaps also to relationships.

On the one hand, there is this insatiable passion and seemingly endless energy to take on challenges, get stuff done, being an engine that is always on. Sadly, on the other hand, there is fatigue, irritability, loss of focus, and low quality sleep. Undeniably, according to both ancient wisdom and modern medical know-how, the latter set of things affect one’s health dangerously. And with equal importance, the closest relationships are exposed to occasional bouts of irritability and other forms of negative energy. Broadly speaking, there is a general feeling of stress and anxiety as a result.

Three things I have either changed or started recently are personally helping me a lot without taking away from my productivity, and seem to be helping cut out the bad set of things.

RelaxPool

1. Turn off all audible alerts and lock-screen notifications on devices. (Except calendar reminders and text messages.)

This was a surprisingly welcome change. Sounds simple, but do you really need to be suddenly interrupted from your flow or zone, with a ding and a lock screen message that “Your Facebook friend so-and-so just joined Pinterest.” – and other irrelevant, unnecessary crap? I started going into my iPhone’s Notifications setup each time anything came up (Mail app alerts, Google alerts, Facebook, Twitter, CNBC alerts, and perhaps 10 others), and turning them off. I left Calendar and text message alerts on as I control the reminders I put on my calendar items, and also I am not a defocussed incessant texter – especially when I work, so most texts I get are important. On the same note, during work hours, I only make myself visible to the group of people I am working with on messaging apps. I still check my email and look at my agenda frequently, but on my own schedule, when I am in-between focussed tasks – kind of like waking up in sync with natural sleep cycles. Which leads me to my second thing – sleep.

2. Sleep well. Instead of an alarm clock, use an app like Sleep Cycle.

I started using this about a couple of months ago instead of using a regular alarm. It is ingeniously simple. You turn it on, put it next to your pillow facing down. It tracks your sleep cycles, duration and quality by tracking motion (whatever it detects from your tossing and turning, etc.), and perhaps from movement noise since it asks for access to the microphone. You can configure a window of time to wake up in, and it detects a stage when you are either awake or your sleep is in the waking part of the cycle during that time window, and wakes you up. Also, it measures your sleep quality and gives you a score and a graph of sleep level over time – that way you can correlate various pre-sleep activities with quality of sleep – for example, does sipping some tart cherry juice an hour before going to bed actually help with sleep, does deep breathing right before sleep give you some golden deep sleep cycles, etc. As my friend Chip had said 20 years ago: you should measure things that you care about. Inducing positive energy and a calm disengagement via pre-sleep deep breathing, and cutting out sources of negative energy seem to help in my case – which takes me to the third point.

3. Add positive energy (many choices). Cut out negative energy (namely TV news channels, and social media complainers).

Points 1 and 2 take zero time investment and give heavy positive returns. So that’s golden for the ROI (return-on-investment) fanatics. Point three is also a net positive – consuming about 30-60 minutes of time every day for adding positive energy (meditation / deep-breathing / quiet-time / simple yoga / reading / praying / reflecting / being grateful – look up Positive Psychology when you have a minute), but freeing up much more than that by subtracting sources of negative energy that steal time both directly and indirectly, and negatively affect every aspect of life. I am talking primarily about TV “news” folk, political talking-heads and other assorted villains – kings and queens of ignorance on TV and the internet constantly furthering their narrow agendas by stepping on your gentle minds. They come from the right and the left – ignore them, and instead look straight at what you value – there’s much better stuff there. The negative energy sources are plentiful in our social circles, in person, and more so on social media since it’s a much larger set. Cut. Them. Out. Hide them from your feeds, unfollow them, walk-away, change the topic, do whatever it takes to cleanly disengage. There are always tons of important things that require immense energy, constructive debate, championing ideas, defending values, and much effort without all the shallow and shrill things stealing our precious time. Any issue that is important to you can be engaged with constructively without subscribing to a buffet-line of fast-food class negative sentiments. That frees up more time to embrace positive things. Things you admire. Things you learn from. Things that leave you positive. Spend time with people that enrich you, and take a vacation every now and then!

What are some of your favorite positive energy sources? What kinds of negative energy sources have you successfully cut out? Please share.

Eight Surefire Ways to Sabotage Your Goals

Do you feel like you’ve haven’t achieved the successes you set out to accomplish? Do you believe you haven’t lived up to your fullest potential? You’re not alone. Many people feel this way. If you want to accomplish more, you can get there by spending some time planning your goals and building an action plan to reach those goals. Setting goals is an effective process that can get you on the road to success. Don’t know where to start? Follow this quick presentation below to learn a little about setting and achieving goals.

5 Reasons You Should Track Your Nutrition

There’s many reasons to track your nutrition and maintain a food log. Are you working out, but not seeing changes? Do you suspect food allergies or a gluten intolerance? Do you suspect emotional eating? Do you have health issues, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure? Whatever your reasons, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding foods that are detrimental to your health will help you live a happier, healthier life.

Keeping track of food consNutrition Tracking Photo - LifeTopixumption will help you see the number of calories that you’re consuming each day, and it will also tell you if you’re eating enough vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are essential to a healthy diet. Keeping track of solid fats, oils, and desserts will help you determine if you’re eating too many of these foods.

There are several websites and apps that can help you keep track. Review our quick tutorial at the end of this post to learn how you can track nutrition based on guidelines from ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Poor Eating Habits Can Lead to Health Risks

According to an NCHS brief from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, January 2012, more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. Also, the number of overweight children in the U.S. is growing, with 1 out of 3 children now considered overweight or obese. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more, you may be considered overweight or obese. Visit the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website [ Assessing BMI ] for more information about BMI. Not maintaining a healthy weight puts you at risk for many conditions — such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Understanding Your Relationship With Food

Food is used for several reasons — not just to satisfy hunger. At times, there might be psychological reasons, instead of physical reasons that lead to over-consumption. Food is used during celebrations such as birthday parties or weddings. Relationships, locations, and moods can affect your eating and drinking habits. For example, if you’ve had a stressful day at work, you might indulge in an extra glass of wine, or if you’re at the movies you feel obligated to eat the buttered popcorn. Keeping a diary of your food will help you identify the triggers that lead to poor eating habits.

Finding Your Allergy Triggers

Keeping track of foods that trigger your allergies can be a valuable tool. Some allergies are extreme and are obvious, but others may require some further investigation. When you keep track, you can correlate symptoms such as wheezing, nasal congestion, rashes, and nausea with the foods or drinks that you consume. Of course, if you suffer from allergies, any changes in your diet should be discussed with an allergist.

Improving Body Image

Your body image is how you feel about your physical self. If there are things that you want to change about your body (i.e., you’re not within the accepted BMI recommendations), you can put together a plan in conjunction with a nutritionist or a general practitioner to reach those goals. Make sure those goals are realistic for your body type. Tracking your progress and reaching these goals can boost your self-esteem and your body image.

Combating Unfair Perceptions of Obesity

In a study conducted by the University of Alabama, the perception of people who are obese is very different from those who are thin. For example, in the study those who were overweight and resting were associated with laziness, while their thin counterparts were described as resting. For more information about the study, see Science Daily.

How Technology Can Help

There are several tools that you can use to track exercise, weight, and nutrition. At LightArrow, we’ve created LifeTopix, which enables you to track everything in your life — all in one place. It is very flexible — allowing you to build nutrition tracking that’s tailored to your specific needs. Take a look at the following tutorial to learn more.

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