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The Case for No New Resolutions

I’m not making a resolution this year. Some years I’m into it. Sometimes I feel like it’s a good opportunity to reflect and form new habits. This year is different. I just feel like I’m at max capacity. I’m not willing to add anything new because there is nothing I really truly want to subtract. So maybe I do have a resolution: accept and honor the real limits of time, energy, and focus. I’ve pushed myself to do a little more, and a little more, until… I’m at the limit of what one person can reasonably do. I think it’s a fine place to be: maintaining a delicate balance of doing a fulfilling amount of work without consistently over-doing it. I think it’s wise to know our true limits. We can only do so much in a day, week, or     . . . read more

Embracing Winter for a Happier, Healthier Season

Note from Hannah: This is a guest post by Darcy Forrest, who practices acupuncture and Chinese Medicine right here in Southern Maine.  Winter….. Most people from the Northeast hate it. It’s cold, baron, icy, and brown. Bringing out the trash becomes a slight form of torture, and the thought of getting out of the shower at 6am haunts you as you watch your last show on TV before bed. Then there is the shoveling, the scraping, the dog begging to go out when the thermometer reads 9 degrees…the numb toes, the dry skin, the icy hands, and the overstuffed winter coat that makes you feel like you’re stuck in bubble wrap. Ohhhhh, winter. Why do we loathe thee? I spent a few years in Tucson, Arizona, where the winter is not a winter, and snow literally means a city wide     . . . read more

Want Better Communication? Stop Pushing Buttons

I’m around little kids a lot these days. It’s amazing how early and thoroughly they learn to push our buttons. They know our weaknesses, and they aren’t afraid to use them. A very convincing cry, some irritating whining, or even a guilt trip. Man, they are good. I try to remember the motto posted in my daughter’s classroom at daycare: They’re two. Whatcha going to do? I give kids credit, they really don’t have a lot of power. They have to use what they can. They are resourceful, really. While it’s skilled for kids to at least try to push buttons to get what they want, the same is not true of adults. As adults, if we purposefully say something to another person just to get our way or get them to feel something negative, then that is unskilled communication.     . . . read more

What 56 Pull-Ups, Positive Psychology, and Mister Rogers Taught Me About Failure (and Happiness)

I looked up at the bar, but I knew I couldn’t do any more. I had reached muscle failure. I looked at my coach, feeling defeated, and said, “I’m done.” She looked at me warmly and said, “Okay.” As I caught my breath, I thought about how I didn’t make it through the whole workout. It was a failure, a disappointment. Then I looked up at the whiteboard, where the workout was written. I started counting up the pull-ups I had completed in the 20 minute workout. 56. Wait a second…when and how did doing 56 pull-ups become possible? And when the heck did it start to represent a failure? I started CrossFit about two years ago. I cared only about gaining energy and sleeping better so I could live my life more fully. But soon there were other perks. I     . . . read more

The Hidden Dangers of People-Pleasing

I know how this is going to sound. But I’m going to say it anyway. Be careful of being nice. The problem is that we do “nice” in ways that are actually detrimental. The misconceptions about how to be nice are the key issues. One of the main problems is that a lot of kind people believe it’s essential to please everyone. Now most of us are aware that being a people-pleaser is hard on the person doing the pleasing. There is the exhausting work of always saying yes, trying to read minds, and always doing what the other person wants. It’s sometimes hard to get nice people to change just based on this, “it’s not good for you” argument. So I go for two other cold, hard truths about people-pleasing. 1. When you spend energy pleasing everyone, you inevitably     . . . read more

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