Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Want to Change Your Life in 2021? START with Your Environment

Chances are you’ve come up with some pretty elaborate plans to trick yourself into being more productive.

Have you considered the role your surroundings play in your everyday life? It turns out that one of the easiest ways to bring about change in our lives is actually to change our environments. This is one of the first areas I thought of when I first started E-Class Ventures all those years ago. As a youth I often tried to change my room (as much as I was allowed) to improve my mood with varying levels of success. It ranged from constantly rearranging (pre feng shui craze) to try the make the most of very limited space to painting in perhaps not the best color palette for an already cramped room. All of that to say environment impacts your mood, productivity and this overall wellness.

What if the layout of your bedroom or the distance from your desk to the kitchen was impacting your productivity and decision making? There’s plenty of room for each of us to improve. Here’s how and why making some changes to your environment works.

Your brain is efficient
Making decisions is draining. (Heard of “decision fatigue”? It’s real!) We can only make so many choices per day before we start to run out of steam and need a rest. But we’re faced with countless choices every time we wake up! Should I go back to sleep? Should I shower or brush my teeth first? What will I wear to work? Should I try out that new shortcut to the office? It can become stressful for your brain to struggle with a choice every time one of these little prompts presents itself. That’s why we rely on decision shortcuts called habits.

A habit is just a routine that you regularly perform. Most of the time we don’t even notice that we’re engaging in a habit because it’s second nature to us. And there’s a reason for that. It’s your brain saving energy by going on autopilot to perform an action without having to make a decision. That way you can use the bulk of your mental power on unique and important problems that might pop up during the day, not on thinking about when you should brush your teeth!

Trick yourself into making wise decisions
What does your brain’s love of shortcuts have to do with your environment? Let’s look at an example.

Your alarm clock is right next to your bed. It goes off every morning at 7:30am. It doesn’t take you long to figure out that you can smack the snooze button and go straight back to sleep with hardly any effort. Before long you’re hitting the snooze button every time the alarm goes off without even thinking about it. You’ve trained yourself to sleep in later by making your alarm easier to turn off. But what if your alarm was on the other side of your room? What if to silence it you had to stand up, walk over, and hit a button? That simple change could give you the jolt that you need to wake up and get your day started on time!

Take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself what kind of behavior it encourages. Is it more convenient for you to grab a soda from the fridge or fill up your water bottle? When you work at home, are you in the middle of distractions like the kids playing or too close to the TV? At work (aka as home for a lot of us since the pandemic), does your office layout lend itself to productivity or socializing with your co-workers?

It might take some legwork to get started, but try to arrange your life in a way that makes wise decisions easier. You might be surprised by the results!

What’s one thing you’ve done to change your environment this year that has had a positive effect on your life? How are you going to continue our improve upon that charge for 2021? Share it below.

Retirement and the Dreams of Children

First, we’re sorry that this didn’t post yesterday as planned.

Secondly, we’re sharing this post from Todd Garlington because he asks a number of good questions that we’d like to know our readers’ responses to after you take a look. So please talk back to us below in the comments or on our social media.

“I Want to Live Happily Ever After.” This sentiment is understandable in a child. Vulnerable and inexperienced, their growth relies on fantasy to some degree. But retirement services aren’t peddled to children.

Retirement and the Dreams of Children — Image(s)

Conquering the Dry Spell

Winter lumbers on in the northern hemisphere which typically means battling dry skin. (Unless you’re in Florida where as this is being typed I’m waging a war against turning on the AC to beat the 80°F temps we’ve been blessed with the past few days.)

First the definition – I guess I misspoke but then so do a number of us. Dry skin is actually a skin type. In another life when I maintained my cosmetology license we’re taught that there are four skin types: dry, normal, oily and combination. If you have truly dry skin, you have it year round thanks to genetics and may have to deal with flakiness and itchiness. Then there’s dehydrated skin which feels tight, looks dull and is due to changes in the weather, other environmental factors and diet.¹ So what do you do whether you have dry or dehydrated skin?

Moisturize, both inside and out.

Can we take an aside and talk about how gorgeous this girl’s skin is? #goals You didn’t know? Check out her Instagram!

Sometimes we forget that skin is our biggest organ, living cells that need to be fed and watered. While there is no limit to the number of moisturizing products on the market for you to choose from, are you remembering to drink enough water? If not, we’re inviting our readers to participate in this water challenge starting January 11th.

Want to do a little extra? Ash has recently started drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning to help clear her skin. Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon into hot water and sip away.

So you’ve moisturized the inside by drinking more water, but don’t forget to continue using your fave moisturizer. Click here for six other tips to care for your winter skin.² What are your winter skincare secrets? Share below & on our social media.

¹"The difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin", Naturally with Shaklee, https://go.shaklee.com/the-difference-between-dry-skin-and-dehydrated-skin/?j=359193&sfmc_sub=10451068&l=33_HTML&u=26471819&mid=100009.$207&jb=109&utm_source=mktg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20201212_cnl_winterbeauty&utm_content.=image_dryskin&utm_kxconfid=sw793c3ln
²"8 tips for winter skincare", Naturally with Shaklee, https://go.shaklee.com/8-tips-winter-skincare/?j=359193&sfmc_sub=10451068&l=33_HTML&u=26471817&mid=100009207&jb=109&utm_source=mktg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20201212_cnl_winterbeauty&utm_content=image_8tips&utm_kxconfid=sw793c3ln

Slim Chicks SHOULD Workout 2

Ms. ME here on a #WomensWellnessWednesday and I’m revisiting a post originally written back in 2013 on one of our previous platforms. Seems like at the start of each year people make plans to start taking their physical fitness more seriously. Why do you think you start seeing more gym ads in December?

Vote below to tell us what you think of that hashtag.

So why did I feel the need to revisit this post. Because here we are eight years later and I still, prior to the corona-tine (Covid-19 quarantine), heard the same annoying, comments:

“You are so slim. You don’t need to workout.”

“What are you working out for as skinny as you are?”

“You must not eat. That’s why you don’t gain any weight.”

That last comment was made by one of my current associates who should I guess it is wasn’t for distancing due to Covid-19 would recall that I do eat ALOT, and might even be able to recognize how my weight does fluctuate up and down. But sadly the other comments often come from women older than me and also noticeably larger than me. I don’t say this to insult but only to point out that maybe it never dawned on them that the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could be applicable in the area of weight and size maintenance.

All of the currently slim women out there, please don’t wait until your weight becomes a problem to get active. On some level I’m talking to myself also as I have been ignoring my daily reminders to exercise lately. In another post I mentioned that I will start later this month because I have some things going on, one of which is making sure you all have new posts on a consistent basis.

But back to the point…

Do you realize how much harder it is to get a 190 pound load moving as opposed to a 120 pound one? This just goes back to science class, you know, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. The same applies to an object, in this case your body, being in motion.

This doesn’t mean that you need to start some intense 2 hour daily workout plan tomorrow. It’s difficult enough to get motivated these days with everything that 2020 threw at us. If you’re struggling to get motivated, click here for some suggestions.

Literally, most mornings I get up, stretch and do a couple of good ol’ jump ‘n’ jacks. It’s mostly about creating the habit of working out now. Having that habit increases your chance of maintaining a healthy weight (whatever that is for you) and decreases the likelihood of you becoming an overweight older woman sending negative vibes to a younger woman trying to take care of herself .

What exercises do you like to maintain your physical wellness?

*The actions recommended in this post are the author's personal thoughts and not to be viewed as medical or professional recommendations.

How Financially Literate are you?

As one year transitions into another, we always see a sudden rush to get or start getting your financial house in order. A lot of bulleted or numbered lists come out of things to do without necessarily explaining why you need to do it. Maybe the assumption is that you already know which begs the question if you did know, wouldn’t your finances already be in order?

The reality is that many people who live in the US are not financially literate or put another way they don’t fully understand the language of money. That lack of understanding is what leads to having a financial mess on your hands. Let’s be clear though – IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT!

Nowhere in the education system in this country is financial literacy CONSISTENTLY taught. That one glaring absence leads to almost half of the population not knowing things that are key to keeping your bank accounts and overall finances in the black.

https://howmoneyworks.com/marieedwards/challenge

Think we’re kidding? Take the quiz on the website above and then post your score in the comments below if you’re brave. Are you financially literate?

If you get a score that you feel is too low to post, here’s how you change it. Register for this free course happening January 6th at 8 PM EST and increase your financial literacy in record time!