FAILURES HELP US GROW
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE A CHALLENGE HEAD-ON
When I was in high school, one of my life goals was to become a country singer. It was something I wanted to do for a long time, and I dove headfirst into it. I had voice lessons regularly, and I joined every choir group I could possibly find — I even went into college as a music major. But in college, I realized that even though I had some talent, I didn’t have real superstar talent. Looking back on it now, I find it a little funny. But at the time, it was very disheartening. I realized that singing was an enjoyable hobby but not something that I could make a living out of. It made me take a hard look at my life and where I wanted to go, leaving me with two options to choose from: music and martial arts. I picked martial arts because I knew this is where my gifts and talents are, and I never looked back. With the new year starting up this month, I’ve found myself thinking about this moment, and many others in my life, where something I was working toward didn’t quite materialize. Being an entrepreneur, this is almost a common occurrence. In this past decade alone, there were many different business opportunities my husband and I looked into and jumped on. Some were very successful, and others weren’t. There were all sorts of reasons for this. Some plans didn’t take off the way we wanted, and others took a lot more time and effort than we could afford. A few times, we realized our goals didn’t quite line up the way we wanted. Throughout the 2010s, we may have formulated many plans that failed, but with each one of these efforts, Glenn and I learned so much about business and about ourselves. Through these experiences, we recognized which goals were the most important to us and started making plans to achieve them. Because of the “failures” we experienced, we knew which direction we wanted to move toward, and for that, I don’t regret any of our choices these past 10 years.
I believe you must take into account the lessons you learned from that experience and let it help you do better next time. While I’ve had many goals and plans fall through, including my pursuit of becoming a country singer, each one has helped me grow as a person. Pursuing a life as a singer helped me build the work ethic I have today. I know now how crucial it is to work hard, practice,
and be prepared in all aspects of life. It was also through my performances that I became
so comfortable being up in front of people. As a teacher, public speaking is something I need to do well and often, and
through the skills I learned as a singer, I can do just that.
As this month starts not only a brand-new year for us but also a brand-new decade, I want to encourage people to take a chance and try something new. At the same time, I would also suggest having a good backup plan. It’s always good to try something new, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that when you do start something, you think about the possibility of it not working out and create an exit strategy for yourself.
No matter what your goals for 2020 or the next decade might be, push past the “what-ifs” and give it a try.
Our “failures” are hard to think about — no one likes to fail — but it’s through our defeats that we learn. Even when it’s difficult,
– Amanda Olson
HOWTO SET A FAMILY MEDIA USE PLAN
CONSTRUCT A ‘MEDIA DIET’ Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world.
With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. SET A CURFEW Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen-time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. HAVE A CHAT Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. EXPLORING THE NEXT BEST THING GETTING INVOLVED WITH ACTIVITIES YOU LOVE Hobbies give people a chance to indulge in the activities they enjoy. The best part of these leisure activities is that you don’t have to stick to one thing, and you can switch frequently. Your hobbies will change as you grow and as your interests veer from one activity to the next. If you’ve found that your hobbies are in this shifting state, then January, National Hobby Month, is the perfect time to start exploring a new and exciting one. START WITH THE BASICS. Finding a new interest is all about what you enjoy. Take some time to think about an activity you relish but might not consider a hobby — there might be plenty of ways to turn it into one. If you’re someone who enjoys watching sports, try joining a team in your area. Or, if you love spending time with your dog, volunteer at a rescue organization to help other four-legged friends. By playing to your interests, you’ll find an activity you’ll love in no time. RESURRECT AN OLD HOBBY. Look back at what you liked doing as a kid. Was it painting, playing pretend, or writing fantastic stories? These are all things that can be revived into a fun hobby as an adult. Look for any local classes fitting
those interests that you can participate in regularly. You might be surprised to find that you still enjoy the activities you loved when you were younger. GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR. If you’re having a hard time coming up with something new to do, make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to try and do them. It never hurts to try, and by throwing yourself into each possibility, you’re giving yourself a chance to find that exciting new thing you’ll love. Keep an eye out to how you respond to each. If you realize you absolutely dislike the activity after you try it, then you’ve learned a little about yourself, and you don’t have to continue pursuing it.
Take some time in this new year and discover an activity you can put your passion into. You never know where it may lead!
REGAIN A SENSE OF PEACE
EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT!
Everyone else is doing it! This is usually not something a parent likes to hear, but at this time of year, it is a good time to encourage your children to try something new because “everyone else is doing it.” It’s one of the biggest times of year to start new things, so when you join a gym, club, team, or martial arts class, there will be lots of new people starting at the same time, making it so much easier than going it alone.
BY REDUCING YOUR STRESS AND ANXIETY
Anxiety is a big influence in our lives, and it’s never a pleasant thing to experience. Luckily, many ways of combating stress help us relax — one activity being martial arts. The physical component of martial arts might, at first, not seem like an opportunity to release stress and relax, but that is precisely what it does. MAKE A HABIT OF LETTING GO. The movement, concentration, and discipline required for martial arts help train the body and the mind. A large part of this training is self-control in the focus needed to execute each form. Being engrossed in practice and training pushes anxiety out of your mind, giving you a sense of relief you might not even be aware of experiencing. By forgetting your worries, even for a brief time, you give yourself the break you need to later think about them with a fresh mind. The more you do this, the more you build the habit of brushing away the smaller problems in life to focus on the much larger ones. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. To help maintain focus and calm, people who practice martial arts also practice their breathing. No matter if you’re in tai chi, jiujitsu, or taekwondo, breathing is key. When we do focus on our breath, it calms us and increases our concentration. Through the constant motion of inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, you’re giving your mind and body a chance to relax and a sense of peace. PRACTICE PATIENCE IN EVERYTHING. It’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t get something right the first time, and in martial arts, this can happen quite a lot. Very few people can correctly execute a new form right the first time. It takes practice and diligence to get it down. When people practice patience in martial arts, it helps them be patient in other aspects of life outside of those lessons. Stress is a burden we can all do without, and with a few martial arts lessons, you can fight back. Call Olson’s Martial Arts Academy today at 423-926-9161 to learn about the benefits of martial arts.
Remember, if you have any questions, please reach out to AMANDA@ASKMASTERMOM.COM.
SIMPLE PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar, optional
1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.
Inspired by The New York Times
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SUCCEEDING THROUGH DEFEAT
TIPS TO ESTABLISH A FAMILY MEDIA USE PLAN COMING TOGETHER LIKE PIECES OF A PUZZLE
RELAXING THROUGH MARTIAL ARTS
SIMPLE PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH
NATURALWAYS TO EASE SINUS CONGESTION
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR STUFFY NOSES DON’T LET CONGESTION GET THE BEST OF YOU Nasal congestion can have many different causes, including allergies, colds, or the flu, but the symptoms are often very similar: sinus pressure, headaches, and a stuffed-up nose. This is the result of membranes in your nasal passage becoming irritated and your body responding by producing mucus to try and flush out the irritants. irrigator, always use sterile, distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled. MAINTAIN MOISTURE Humidifiers add moisture into the air,
creating a more humid environment, and can be especially helpful if you have a forced-air heating system. Try using a humidifier or vaporizer when you sleep. You may also find a warm compress helps ease congestion: Soak a washcloth in warm water mixed with a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil (consult the oil distributor for the exact ratio), then place the washcloth over your nose and cheeks for several minutes. Drinking plenty of water and sleeping upright at night can also help ease further congestion. While over-the-counter decongestants can temporarily help ease congestion, they are not intended for long-term use and may further dry out the nasal passage. Adding and maintaining moisture is the best way to prevent or ease sinus congestion. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor.
Unfortunately, that response also causes nasal congestion. This is intensified by winter weather when dry air and heaters can further dry out your already irritated nasal passage. So, what is the best way to ease nasal congestion and sinus pressure? Try these at-home remedies that focus on moistening your nasal passage. FLUSH YOUR NASAL PASSAGE Use a saline nasal spray or a nasal irrigator, like a neti pot, to flush and moisturize your nasal passage. These devices flush out allergens and keep your nasal passage moist, easing congestion and preventing further buildup. When using a neti pot or other nasal
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