A Senior’s Guide to Downsizing in Retirement

Larger homes have their benefits, especially if you’re doing a lot of entertaining or holiday hosting in retirement. However, there are just as many advantages to downsizing into a smaller home as you age—including fewer bills, chores, and daily responsibilities. And while downsizing isn’t the right move for all seniors, these tips and resources will help you to prepare for the process if you believe you’re ready to downsize your home in retirement.

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Downsize Your Belongings

 As tough as it is, one of the first steps to downsizing your home is donating, tossing, and decluttering your personal belongings. These tips will help you to let go of clutter and cope with the emotional challenges of doing so.

  • Discover the benefits of decluttering and determine which items to keep or donate.
  • Donate unwanted books, vehicles, clothing, electronics, appliances, and furniture.
  • Make sure to manage any challenging emotions you experience when decluttering and downsizing.

List Your Home

Once you’ve decluttered your belongings, you’ll need to start getting your home ready to sell.

Buy a New Home

From buying a senior-friendly home to planning a safe and hassle-free move, these resources are here to help you every step of the way.

  • Learn everything there is to know about buying a home and applying for a mortgage.
  • Think about the age-friendly features you’ll want or need in your new home.
  • Prepare for the move into your new home.
  • Learn how you can prevent falls in your new home.
  • Install a pullout pantry and add slip-resistant flooring in your kitchen to make it senior friendly.
  • Install an under cabinet range hood to vent grease and smoke from your kitchen.

Downsizing isn’t always easy, but it’s oftentimes the right decision for seniors looking to save money on housing expenses and cut back on home and yard maintenance as they age. Before they know it, seniors will be reaping the many benefits of downsizing and living their Golden Years to the fullest!

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Disclaimer: This article provides some useful information and links on downizing your home in retirement. It does not provide any financial, business or health advice. If you need advice on managing your affairs in relation to moving or downsizing, please consult a relevant professional.

Achieve Your Goals by Hiring Professionals Outside Your Company

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Many entrepreneurs choose to hire independent professionals rather than full-time employees because the former provides several unique benefits to the business. This article from Keep The Fire Lit outlines some of these benefits and shares tips on hiring freelance sales and marketing professionals.

Why Hire Freelance Sales and Marketing Professionals?

Freelancers operate independently. They offer specific expertise, such as designing, writing, sales, and marketing. Freelancers take projects from different clients and set their own schedules. If you’re looking for sales and marketing professionals in Toronto, hiring them on a freelance basis offers several pros and cons.

According to Fora Financial, the pros of hiring freelance sales and marketing professionals include:

  • Minimal commitment. Hiring freelancers lets you access sales and marketing expertise without having to commit to the professionals long-term, as you would with full-time staff.
  • Flexible rates. You can agree on rates based on the specific projects or tasks the freelancers take on.
  • Large talent pool. The freelance market provides you with a large pool of highly talented and motivated sales and marketing professionals that you can deploy almost immediately.

The downsides of hiring freelance professionals include:

  • Limited control. Your oversight is limited because freelance professionals operate with significantly more autonomy than full-time employees.
  • Limited scope. Buscom notes that a freelance workforce is relatively difficult to scale because expanding the scope of a freelancer’s work involves renegotiating your contract with them.
  • Training and onboarding costs. Hiring freelance professionals often involves some up-front training and onboarding costs, which can add up if you frequently hire new freelancers.

Investing in certain off-the-shelf services can also help save your business time and money. For example, the right accounting software may offer all the benefits of an in-house accountant while saving you the cost of hiring one. Likewise, you can save money on the fees lawyers charge to incorporate a business by hiring a business formation service at a reduced rate.

Incorporating your business can help you save on taxes, limit your personal liability for business debts, and give you access to better ways of receiving payments from customers.

How to Hire Freelance Sales and Marketing Professionals

Freelancers vary widely in their expertise and rates. You want to hire freelance sales and marketing professionals who match your business’s needs and budget. Of course, you’ll need to be able to pay for your outsourcing needs, so seek out sources of funding. If you need to take out a loan, keep in mind that lenders will examine your finances closely, and if you have a young company, personal finances will be especially scrutinized. Among other criteria, lenders will consider your debt-to-income ratio to determine whether to issue a loan, so it’s good to know what yours is before approaching an institution.

There are different places to find talented freelancers.

  • Search on Google for the websites of smart, organized freelancers.
  • Hire sales and marketing professionals through LinkedIn after reviewing their profiles.
  • Look for sales and marketing professionals on freelance marketplaces such as UpWork.com and Freelancer.com.

When looking for sales and marketing professionals, check for the following:

  • Ability to maintain meaningful relationships with key customers
  • Strong corporate communication skills
  • Experience selling products similar to yours
  • Proficiency in using digital tools for sales or marketing
  • A good culture fit for your company

Additionally, check their stats and client referrals to make sure they have a strong history of excellent performance.

Hire the Best Talent

Freelance sales and marketing professionals can be a great addition to your workforce. With the right hiring strategy, you can find freelancers who meet or even exceed your expectations.

Disclaimer

This article does not provide legal, financial or hiring advice. If you need advice, please consult a relevant professional in your jurisdiction.

4 Ways to Start Feeling Confident and Ready to Take on the World

Feeling self-confident is key to success in any area of life. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to take on new challenges and achieve your goals. Sadly, 85% of people worldwide struggle with low self-esteem. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry! You can do plenty of things to start feeling more confident. Here are four of them.

1. Try Power Posing

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You don’t need superpowers to reap the benefits of the power pose. The power pose, or superhero stance, is a simple body language trick that can make you feel more confident and ready to take on the world. All you need to do is stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on your hips, and chin up. As little as two minutes in a power pose can increase confidence and reduce stress.

When you stand in a power pose, it signals your brain to release testosterone or the power hormone. Testosterone makes you feel more self-confident and dominant. It also reduces the stress hormone cortisol. So, not only do you feel better, but you also look better.

Start practising power posing right now, and see how it can change the way you feel about yourself and the world around you.

2. Set Goals

If you feel overwhelmed, try starting small. Set a goal that’s attainable and manageable. For example, making your bed can be a great first step. It’s a simple goal, but it can make you feel good about yourself when you accomplish it. Research has shown that completing small goals, such as making your bed, leads to a greater sense of self-efficacy and improved moods.

 

3. Consider a Career Change

Finally, if you’re feeling stuck and unfulfilled in your current career, it may be time for a fresh start. A career change can be daunting, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to explore new possibilities. If you’re ready to take the plunge, start by exploring different career paths.

Alternatively, start a business or side hustle that aligns with your passions and goals. This can be a great way to gain some confidence and feel empowered in your career. If you choose to start a business, do your research, and create a solid business plan. The business plan acts as your roadmap and helps you stay on track.

A winning business plan needs to include the following:

  • A clear description of your business and its products or services
  • Your business goals and objectives
  • A detailed outline of your company structure
  • A marketing plan defining your target market and how you plan to reach it
  • Financial projections and funding requirements

This helps you navigate the early stages of starting a company and increase your chances of success. If you’re feeling lost and uncertain about your career, you can always seek out professional guidance.

4. Stay Confident When Things Get Tough

Confidence is a state of mind, and it can be cultivated. Follow these tips, and start feeling more confident today. If you’re looking for more ways to build confidence, check out these blog posts on Motivation for Success.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be taken as providing financial or legal advice. If you intend building a business, take professional advice relevant to the jurisdiction you are in.

Journaling – A Powerful Introspection Tool

https://www.motivation4success.net/Nowadays, life is pretty demanding for most of us. From our daily Sisyphean tasks to the moment we lie down to sleep, we wade through a lot of ads, billboards, TV, radio, environmental noise, and stresses of life; we are bombarded with so many unnecessary stimuli that we barely have time to hear, let alone sort out our own inner thoughts. Our minds, at the end of the day, are pretty much jumbled up and tangled in many tight loops. And so we go through life like hamsters on a wheel.

Most of us do not have the least idea of how to get to know ourselves, to examine our own thought processes, and know what is really happening in our minds. We really need to delve deep inside our psyche so as to get to know ourselves better. As Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, succinctly puts it, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In simple terms, do not go through life like a zombie; get some time for introspection. It is such a pity that most of us live like this and have never had an original thought in our lifetime: we seem to live a life of inherited thoughts and ideas.

Believe it or not, experts claim that on average the human brain processes between 60,000 to 80,000 separate thoughts per day. That means on average, our minds can compute a minimum of 2500 thoughts per hour (or 41 thoughts per minute) working on a 24 hour basis. Of course most of these are pretty much useless and banal musings not worth any further explorations. But we may also lose some gems as we cruise through life. This is where introspection and mindfulness come in. Once you are able to distinguish between the chaff and the gold, you are one step further up the enlightenment ladder, and journaling can help you climb up those rungs.

First of all, journaling, as a key to introspection, helps us organize our thoughts, follow that single thread, and untangle the jumbled mess in our minds. When you write down things in your mind, you concentrate on a specific thought, you wade into that chaotic mess in order to find that golden needle in a proverbial haystack. From that chaos, you select that one lucid thought that reveals who you really are at the core. Putting things down in a coherent way helps you still the mind and reach through the murk and tumult to the calmness within. This helps with mindfulness, a way to deeper enlightenment.

How then do you go about it first? The easiest way is to follow this advice; learn to be quiet.

To emphasize the importance of calm and quiet time alone, Blaise Pascal, the philosopher, coined a phrase about humankind’s miseries arising from avoiding aloneness (see the graphic below). The roadblock to introspective journaling that most meet is that they are afraid of being alone with their thoughts. We seek to drown our own thoughts and ideas in useless conversations or with inebriating substances, rather than taking them and examining them closely to see where they might lead.http://www.motivation4success.net/

What we ought to do is sit still and write anything that comes to mind in a journal or on a sheet of paper or even an exercise book. It might seem scary at first or straight out stupid, but once you start, you will find it easy. The words will just roll out on their own. Most of the time you will be surprised by how much depth lies beneath those turbulent tides. Don’t be afraid of it, some of the things might be dark but that only proves that you are no longer in the shallows.

You will find out also that when you journal things you feel or think, most times it is cathartic just by itself (that is, it gives you relief, especially if you have experienced strong emotions). Don’t stop writing because you have had a bad day. You should write in your journal especially when you have gone through a stormy period. It helps you analyze your emotional makeup, your passions, desires, and inclinations in life. In the end, everything about yourself will come together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The various notes you write will be the ultimate map to self-awareness.

Deep introspection is easy to attain. All you need is time and the strength to face yourself in the mirror. Your true intentions and motives might scare you for a while but in order to understand yourself, you need to scrutinize yourself. So why not seek those few minutes alone, sacrificing just a little time to unwind and journey within the realms of your mind far from the madness of life? As the habit of journaling and mapping your inner landscapes takes root, you will find out that you will understand yourself better. Not only that, but you will also understand others a little more. This leads to better more fruitful, honest relationships.

Identify The Things That Get In The Way Of Your Life

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http://www.motivation4success.net/Have you ever felt like things are not going right in your life and everything is working against you? This happens to a lot of people who are in pursuit of a better life. So much gets into the way of our careers, relationships, dreams, and social life among other things and we just cannot seem to find peace and happiness. The best thing to do when you find yourself in such a situation would be to work on identifying things that are getting in the way of your life. How will this help? You may ask.

The truth is that life does not just get to a standstill for no apparent reason. If you look all around you, the answers will always be there. Knowing what is standing in your way is the most important step to clearing the path and taking ownership of your life. As you identify the obstacles, you get an idea where exactly you need to start fixing up. However, it may not be as easy as it sounds if you are not committed to taking all the necessary steps. You will need to ask yourself a few questions and answer them earnestly.

The most important thing to remember is that no one owes you a perfect relationship or perfect life. Therefore, whatever your discoveries may be, you will have to be the one to work on finding a solution and take the lead in the journey towards the life you want. Below are the questions you need to ask yourself and what you will need to do to identify the things that get in the way of your life;

  • Are you sabotaging yourself?

This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Do not leave the devil in you relaxed and in peace to find him elsewhere. This is one thing most people try to avoid and the truth they do not want to face. But, unless you are ready to look deep inside you and search for your weaknesses or what you are not doing right, you are most likely to struggle with the same issues until you are ready to face the truth and change. How are you conducting yourself? What are your habits and are they aligned with your goals and purpose? Do you know who you are and where you are going? Are you doing what is necessary for you to be where you think you should be? Are you being too hard on yourself? Is fear or lack of confidence stopping you from moving forward? Are you an overspender? If you have asked yourself these questions, done quality self-introspection, and have found no fault, you can then continue to look elsewhere.

  • Are Your Strategies Working?

http://www.motivation4success.net/Sometimes the only thing that stands in your way can be your chosen way of doing things. It is possible that when you sat down to do your planning it looked like you had the best strategy but the implementation stage is proving otherwise. Find the weaknesses in your strategies and make some changes. Look for help if the activity is proving too difficult for you and you are running out of ideas.

  • Is It Goal Setting?

Setting goals is not as simple as just having an idea and writing it out. It is a skill. Understand what goal setting really is and ensure that you set achievable goals that are accompanied by winning strategies. Also, try and align your goals and your beliefs. It is okay to dream big and start where you are and with what you have. They say Rome was not built in one day and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. Pushing yourself too hard can make you doubt yourself and the feasibility of your dreams and goals.

  • Are You Misunderstood?

Sometimes we struggle to build relationships with others, find certain jobs, or be accepted in various social spaces simply because people misunderstand us. Sometimes there is little to nothing that we can do to change what people think of us. However, we can try and find ways to portray ourselves or act in a way that allows us to play our part. For example, where people think you are of a certain class that disqualifies them from interacting or involving you in activities, you can take it upon yourself to participate in the activities without being asked or simply show interest through inquiring about those particular activities.

  • Is Someone Else Sabotaging You?

It is possible to ‘earn’ yourself some enemies through good works or past mistakes. However, you need to be careful before you make and act on such assumptions to avoid ruining your relationships with people. If you know that a certain person is sabotaging you, find a mature way of handling it, or avoid crossing paths with him or her. We always have various options that some people cannot reach. The worst thing that you can do when you know that someone is trying to oppose you is making the person your enemy and spending time and energy on fixing them or revenging. It will only add weight to your burdens.

  • Now Journal What You Have Learnt

What have you learnt from this exercise? Anything? Did you just read the text? Did it mean anything to you? What thoughts went through your head as you read each section? Did any of it apply to you? What could you do about it? If you can do something, when will you start? How will you start? Do you need any help with this? If so, who could provide it?

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Journaling

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Growing up, many of us were encouraged to keep a journal or a diary. We might not have been aware of the benefits it came with but we did it all the same. Writing your thoughts in your little book of secrets seemed so mysterious and exciting until we grew out of it. With the everyday jostle and a busy schedule, sometimes it becomes hard for one to consider writing in a journal. Just like how we become so pumped up at the beginning of the year, we see the need to document our resolutions and how the previous year went, it should continue like that throughout the year. The reason why many of our resolutions are never realized is how we choose not to make a habit of journaling.

One might be wondering why they should keep a journal as it might seem trivial. There are many benefits to keeping a journal, it has been seen to be a great way of reducing stress and anxiety in turn improving a person`s mood. People who keep journals have better mental health and even physical health as the immune system is boosted. It helps you to organize, clarify, and articulate your thoughts. You develop better self-knowledge and problem-solving skills. It even aids with creativity and innovation as you get time to brainstorm on ideas, enhancing the curiosity to learn new things.

Keeping a journal sounds easy, l mean what could go wrong with just writing your thoughts in a book? Plenty of us at some point picked up a book and started journaling maybe for a couple of days and probably just lost interest in the process. It takes a lot of willpower and organization for one to be able to be consistent about keeping a journal. Below are some amazing tips to help you keep going once you start, all the while enjoying the process as well as getting the most out of it.

Always have your journal with you

Your journal shouldn’t be a book for special occasions or just one you use when you want to write something special.  Dump all your thoughts into it. By always being with your journal you give yourself more chances to write in it. You get to scribble down ideas and decisions you might need to get back to. Inspiration can strike anytime. And if you have a journal that you can also color in, it allows you to have something to do that is both therapeutic and relaxing. A coloring journal allows you to plan out your week or further ahead, while also having fun coloring.

Make lists

It is not always easy to make detailed entries in your journal especially when you always have a busy schedule or when you are someone who doesn’t really like writing. A bullet journal will work just perfectly for you. Write lists instead,

  • things you like,
  • what excited you today.
  • Interesting quotes you come across
  • bucket lists.

You don’t have to narrate your whole day.

Create a layout that works for you

Write in a way that makes the experience enjoyable, one that allows you to go back at some time and still understand what you were writing about. If you list your goals, things you want to work on, let them be clear also with a specified time frame that allows you to go back to them and track your progress. Include how you plan to achieve the desired goal in well-articulated steps.

Don’t be hung up on perfection

Many times we end up losing the zeal to write because we will be obsessing about doing it the right way. There is no right way to do it. Embrace your thoughts and go wherever they take you, it is alright to be spontaneous. Your handwriting doesn’t have to be perfect, that idea doesn’t have to make sense entirely before you can scribble it down. If you find it difficult to write anything down unless it’s “perfect”, then before you start, write at the top, “no one else has to see this”or  “practice  pages  only”  or  something  else  that  will  encourage  you  to write,  rather  than  edit  yourself  before  starting  to write.http://www.motivation4success.net/

Don’t overthink it…

Write it down no matter how ridiculously big or how small the idea might be. Write about what scares you; your long-term goals, the short-term ones and be sure to always document your wins and celebrate them no matter how small they might be. Keep your journal entries short and easy to follow up on. Use diagrams  or mind maps or speech bubbles or drawings of scrolls or whatever you want to record a few words and make them stand out.

Journal consistently

Make it a culture, it might not necessarily be every day but to make the habit stick it is advisable to write daily and even push it with a specific time you find flexible. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time you give yourself – five minutes daily to write up a few thoughts. You can even choose to write during a specific activity during your day, if you take a bus to work or to school you can even make the bus ride a time for reflection and writing daily. Set reminders if you are one to forget.

Eliminate distractions while journaling

To be in sync with your mind and to able to tap into the creative realm your mind should be free of distractions. Find a serene spot that is relaxing which makes it easier for you to focus. If music calms you down, play some to shut out all other distractions. Or maybe color in and focus on the coloring. It is surprising what useful ideas suddenly start appearing!

No need to make it too serious!

Journaling should be fun. If you love color and glitter, if you are into pictures include some in it. It does not have to be strictly writing. Spice it up to keep it interesting in line with your preferences. Sketch a drawing if you want to.

If you have not yet started the journaling journey, anytime is the right time to do it. Don’t wait for the beginning of the month or the year, start now. Grab a book and get on it, you will not regret it!

 

 

 

 

 

Gain Clarity By Keeping A Journal

http://www.motivation4success.net/Thoughts come and they go, the same goes for wonderful ideas capable of changing the course of your life for good. I could liken them to the rain, in due season it falls but if we aren’t witty enough to build dams to retain it then it goes deep into the earth wasted. The sun as well with its magnificent shine and the heat it comes with consistently rises and sets but only those with solar systems can harvest its power. Without the proper infrastructure and organization, it would be impossible to take a day just to go and admire nature’s beauty in animals at the zoo or game park.

All these are natural phenomena that follow a certain pattern engraved in their being; but without human effort to make the best out of them, their full potential cannot be known. See a man leading a confused life, making unwise decisions, and perhaps blaming one person or the next thing for his disadvantaged fate? There is disorder even in his thinking. Disorganized thinking leads to actions and words of the same nature and the opposite is true. There is something about keeping a record of one’s thoughts and plans that helps eliminate grey areas of doubt in their path. This is because naturally when you set out to keep a journal, as opposed to a diary which is often a chronological list of events, you are inclined to note down only important things and so the more you write them down the more you focus your mind on those.

 

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  1. Journaling empowers you to gain clarity about where you are.

Sure, you may read your diary years later and laugh at some of your folly and immature thinking one day but if you want a fair assessment of where you stand today, start writing down your experiences, your reflections, and your takeaway from these in a JOURNAL. It’s a busy world we live in and without sufficient time taken to analyze ourselves, we gradually lose touch and just blend in with everything else happening around us. Give yourself a kind reminder of who you are and what you represent, your values, your pains, your joys, regularly to make sure you aren’t just existing. A business cannot know how well it is doing and how much improvement it needs without thorough bookkeeping. You also, unless you keep your personal account books cannot be sure of where you stand and what you need to improve to lead a more profitable life.

  1. You need to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Going through a picture album with all my photos from babyhood to childhood through teenagerhood gave me an interesting perspective recently. I realized how much I had been ‘mutating’ over the years without even realizing it! It is the same feeling when you read your journals or diaries written in past seasons. You can only look and be grateful for the character growth and otherwise. Sometimes when we are hard-pressed by current challenges, we only need to look over our shoulders and see where we have come from. Reminiscing how we won over the Goliaths of that time gives us the courage to face the present ones. Keep journaling so that you may not forget to be patient and always hopeful in every circumstance.

 

  1. Journaling removes the mist around your future.

This is by far the most important part of all this: using the power of writing things down to paint a clear picture of the future you want.  The mind can be a dangerous place to keep important information because it may not keep it all ready for reference at anytime. We may forget. Or time and circumstances change our notions of what we want to be and do. With our imaginations, we see what could be but when we write it down, we cement our imagination thereby increasing the chances of us living to see the dream. Without clearly defined goals written down, one can only hope to stumble upon a favorable future.

Something else very interesting happens when you take the step of keeping a record of your life. You may not be a skilled writer but somehow your level of excellence in writing advances when you set your mind to do it. This then spills over to even the way you execute your plans. It as if your mind hears the message, “We are organized and we are taking ourselves seriously” and so it passes it on to every fiber of your being.

After adopting the winning habit of writing you will find it useful to organize the journals themselves because if they look like trash it’s only a matter of time before you toss them out. Neatly written and well-organized work will make you want to read and keep it. Imagine that day in the future when you will want to tell your story to inspire others, your written work will be most valuable then so keep at it, and don’t forget to insert dates and even times in your journals.