— John 14:1
- 1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for coating
- 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper chicken pieces to taste, then roll in flour to coat. Place chicken pieces in skillet and fry on medium heat until one side is golden brown, then turn and brown other side until chicken is no longer pink inside and its juices run clear. Drain on paper towel and serve!
— Galatians 6:2
The toughest part about an exercise program is getting started. The best way to start exercises is to start slow and steady.
In order to change your lifestyle from sedentary to physically active, you need to have a workable plan.
Choose an exercise that you can practice easily all year round. Most people enjoy walking, swimming, jogging, and fitness videos. If you have a medical condition, be sure to consult your physician before you begin any type of vigorous activity.
Always begin your exercise slowly. Be sure to make it fun, not overly strenuous. Give yourself a chance to get used to the new activity. Allow yourself the necessary time to warm up before your exercise and as well, time to cool down afterwards. Five minutes for warm-ups and cool down times are often recommended. By doing warm-ups first, you will be less likely to injure yourself.
Aerobic exercises are a great way to remain healthy or even to lose or control your weight. Regular aerobic exercises help to prevent heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and cancers. They can improve your muscles and strenghten your bones, and improve your flexibility. Aerobics can also lower your blood pressure, and lessen depression. Aerobic exercises include bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, hiking,running, walking, aerobic dancing and many other activities.
Aerobics use the large muscles in the legs and buttocks to strengthen your heart and lungs. These are called cardiovascular exercises. Regular aerobic exercises makes your heart stronger.
Establish a reasonable schedule by allowing certain days to be off. It is good to exercise at least three times a week. A well thought out schedule will continue and be more productive on the long run. An example would be to exercise maybe every other day with two or three days off every week. Begin your exercise moderately at first with maybe only 30 minutes per day. Make time for several different activities. If you find that 30 minutes is too long of a time at once, break up your session into shorter intervals such as maybe two sessions of 15 minutes. Don’t stop exercising if your muscles hurt at the start; that’s normal and this will gradually decrease and disappear in time. If you experience any severe pain or swelling, make sure to stop.
Choose a convenient time of the day to exercise. When exercising, it’s best to wait a while after eating or to wait till the weather cools off if it is too warm.
Make sure to wear shoes that you can breathe in and that allow enough room for comfort, but yet properly support your feet.
Have a goal in mind and plan to achieve it gradually. A great way to track your success is to use a chart. You could maybe list the minutes you exercise each day.
To succeed, you must stick with your plan of exercise. Make time to reward yourself for each accomplishment. As you progress, you can increase your levels of exertion over time.
— Hebrews 13:16
Most people set goals, but very few will ever live to see them become reality. There are many reasons for goal setting failure, but the principle one is a lack of understanding how to set goals.
The fact is, when you set goals in the correct way you will…
Increase Your Productivity.
Because you set goals, and prioritize your day around them, you tend to get things done quicker and far more efficiently. You refuse to allow distractions get in your way. Frivolous activities fall to the side, and people who would otherwise be a drain on your time seem to fade in the rearview.
Have Powerful Self-Confidence.
The purpose you feel from going after the things you are most passionate about fuels a deep and natural feeling of well-being within you commonly known as scorching self-confidence. The elation you get from achieving the little goals along the way only serve to make you feel more confident in yourself and your abilities.
Develop Laser-Like Focus.
By knowing what you want, and exactly how you are going to get it, you are able to zero in on this task with laser-like focus. With this ability to truly concentrate on things, you are able to achieve faster, and at level of quality that will astound your peers and family.
Now that you understand the benefits of goal setting, let’s jump into the process of learning how to set goals in a way that will give you that highest chances of success. Adhere to these simple rules the next time you set goals—
Set Goals and Plan From Today.
When you set goals, it is great to think about where you want to end up tomorrow, but keep in mind that the most important step is the one you take today. What are you going to right now to make sure that you goals take shape? What is the first step going to be in your journey? When we set goals we are talking about the future, so it is easy to relegate acting on it until tomorrow or the day after. Don’t fall into this common mental trap. Set goals, and start living them immediately.
When You Set Goals, Allow Yourself Flexibility.
Why is this necessary? Simple, when we make our goals flexible and liquid, we allow ourselves the chance to adapt when things don’t go our way. When we set goals that are rigid, and we don’t achieve them, we tend to throw the whole process out the window. When the true culprit is that we didn’t give ourselves the chance to make some mistakes along the way.
Affix a Deadline.
When we give a goal an open-ended deadline, we are performing a form of procrastination. We are allowing ourselves to place the goal in the distant future, in the land of “somewhere” and “somehow.” We are leaving our goals to fate, and fate rarely has a way of giving us anything without us putting something in first.
Vary Your Plan of Attack.
When you set goals, you should be thinking about the different ways that you can achieve them. You want to be able to attack your goal from as many angles and directions as possible. This will do two things: First, you will have options if your original plan doesn’t work, and secondly, by varying your attack you will be consistently engaged. We get bored doing the same thing over and over again. For instance, if you had set goals regarding losing weight, you could try several different diet plans and numerous fitness regimens.
Monitor Your Goals.
Now that you have set goals, created a plan of action, and have taken the first step in achieving them, here comes the hard part—following through with them. An easy way to do this is to monitor and evaluate your goals. Keeping track of your progress will give you a chance to see where you are doing well, and where you aren’t and be able to adjust accordingly.
— John 15:12
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 3 cups white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 3/4 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
- Cream together the butter and sugar for 20 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour, lemon extract and fold in the 7UP soft drink.
- Pour into a well-greased 12 cup Bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 60 to 75 minutes.
— Luke 6:38
Everyone comes up against difficult people, demanding situations, and disappointing circumstances in every area of life; work, marriage, and friendship. We can’t avoid it. But we can learn some few basic skills that can make working with them less stressful.
Dealing with difficult people takes some understanding on our part and a willingness to assume some risk as well.
It takes time to train difficult people that their difficult behavior may work with everyone else, but not with you. However, with a few basic strategies and easy-to –use principles, your effort will be rewarded with better relationships, a reputation that says you are not easily aroused.
Keep in mind the following points:
- The difficult people behavior is habitual and affects most people with whom they come in contact. So “Do not take their behavior personally”
- Anger is sometimes a valid response.
- Recognize that a criticism of your work is not a criticism of you, so don’t let it damage your self-esteem.
- It is useless to ask the difficult person to stop doing what they’re doing publicly, but you can employ more confrontational tactics.
- Learn to take care of yourself as you don’t want to get sucked into their behaviors.
- You can’t change difficult people, but you can learn to deal with them.
The idea in dealing with difficult people is to first look at your role in the situation and then to try the following strategies:
1) When discussing problems with difficult people, keep it short and direct. It minimizes a stressful situation for both of you. Don’t argue with them as it’s a waste of time. When you do speak, be sure your tone is non-emotional and non-confrontational.
2) Generally speaking, it is good to practice starting conversations that create goodwill. Ask people about the things they like – family, hobbies, TV programs and work in general. This is a very good idea to disarm them, get them talking and make them feel more comfortable.
If you are dealing with silent people who ignore you and seek safety by refusing to respond, then there should be another response. Silent people get away with not talking because most people are uncomfortable with silence. Get them to talk by asking open-ended questions that can’t be answered with just a yes or no, then wait at least one full minute and don’t try to fill the space with words to ease your own discomfort.
3) “Oftentimes, indirect language works because it focuses on the work rather than the person. Instead of saying, ‘You need to get it to me,’ you can say, “Reports must be prepared” That way, people are less likely to feel that they are under attack.
4) Learn to admit when you’re wrong. Make apologies to all you have harmed. It can be as simple as saying “I’m sorry for what I’ve done”, “I made a mistake”, or “I could be wrong”. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.
5) Confront problems professionally and with confidence. As a matter of fact, when you get into a tough point, don’t raise your voice, as dealing with difficult people in a calm and permissive way will most likely keep the emotional level and force the person to listen to you.
6) Keep in mind that “how you communicate with others has much to do with how people respond to you”. Difficult people are difficult because their desires are being met through their difficult behavior. Difficult people are often fully aware they are being difficult. They continue because there is a reward in the end result.
You have to analyze what you have been doing in the past that rewards or encourage the difficult person’s behavior. Then, stop rewarding them.
7) Knowledge is power and it’s to our advantage to develop and practice effective conflict management practices that facilitate discussion. Read related books, attend workshops, listen to tapes or CDs. Learn how to establish an immediate rapport through a smile or eye contact. Develop as many skills as you can. This way you gain credibility, and your efforts will soften those opposing you. Effective communication is critical.
8) Build your self-confidence. Self-confident people are not as concerned with what other people think about them. They will not instinctively let the difficult person have their way in hopes of being liked. Additionally, people with high self-esteem are less likely to respond to the difficult person by being a difficult person.
If the difficult person tries to verbally bully you, just say, “I don’t allow people to treat me this way.” Then slowly and calmly walk away. So be confident and look your bully in the eye. Don’t forget to breathe (most people tend to forget to breathe when under stress). Speak in a calm and clear voice while asserting yourself by naming the behavior you don’t like and state what is expected instead.
Sometimes you may find yourself forced to take unpredictable actions to get their attention: drop a book, stand up, firmly call them by name, and get them to sit down. Be ready for friendly overtures as soon as they view you as worthy of respect.
9) If you can’t see the problem from the difficult person’s point of view, ask them. While this may not work with some, it’s usually a good idea in the case of closer relationships. The trick is, in arguments, you need to have patience with the other person, and self-restraint with yourself.
Some difficult people are experts at taking potshots and making sneak attacks in subtle indirect ways. Respond to those snipers with a question like “Are you’re making fun of me?” Although a sniper usually replies to such question with denial, but it will reduce the chance for similar attacks in the future.
10) Remain open to other people’s opinions, viewpoints, and ideas. Share yours, as well. Find something to appreciate and comment on in a clever way. Too often, we focus on what people are doing wrong. Try to catch them doing something right and comment on it. It makes people feel less under attack.
Dealing with difficult people takes persistence and practice, so don’t get discouraged. Although these strategies won’t change the difficult people, they will break their ability to interfere with your daily activities. “Most important, you’ll feel more confident and you’ll start to enjoy your life.”