What you can't claim as working from home tax deductions

Working from home can bring with it many benefits, from productivity growth to flexibility improvements if you know how to do it.

Here are some simple tips to help you to be more productive while working remotely.

Act like you are going to the office.

When working from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Get up early, make (or go get) coffee, and wear nice clothes. This will get you in the your usual working mindset.

Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch – spaces that are associated with leisure time – dedicate a specific room or surface in your hIf you’re struggling to come up with a reasonable work schedule for yourself, start with the solitary tasks in the morning. Save phone calls, meetings, and other collaborative work for when you’ve officially “woken up.”ome to work.

When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day.

Of course, you might be working from home but still have “company”. Make sure any roommates, siblings, parents, spouses, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.

Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. To counteract your social networks’ ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts and log out of every account.

Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. To counteract your social networks’ ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts and log out of every account.

It can be so easy to get distracted that you avoid breaks altogether. Don’t let the guilt of working in the building you sleep in prevent you from taking five to relax. Rather than just opening YouTube, however, use your breaks to get away from your desk.

You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption. Working from home can also feel like being at a casino – you can get so caught up in your activity, in a relaxing environment, that you lose complete track of time.

Avoid over working

The boundaries between our work and personal life are blurring. Prevent yourself from working longer hours.


From 1 March – 30 June (and pending reassessment beyond) the ATO is allowing an across-the-board 80 cents per hour claim for your running expenses. When working from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee, and wear nice clothes. This will get you in the your usual working mindset. 


How to Help Minimize Your Blog’s Environmental Impact

It’s something we don’t always think about, but using power has an effect on the environment, as does nearly everything we do. From the paper we use to the equipment we buy, what we consume and what the companies we shop from do with the things we trade in or recycle matters.

So when it comes to blogging, we have to think about the impact it has on the environment. Starting a website that is “green’ has to do with a lot more than just choosing and purchasing a domain name. It has to do with how your site is hosted, where servers get their energy from, and even how and where you blog.

Here are some effective methods to help minimize your blog’s environmental impact.

Check Out Your Host

Not all hosts are created equal. First of all, there are two different types of hosting, and each comes with its own environmental cost. The first is shared hosting, which is the most common and environmentally friendly type, at least on the surface. This is when your website shares server space with other websites. As long as you don’t have a huge amount of traffic, it will serve your needs, while reducing the amount of power you generate, saving environmental pollution from the production of non-renewable energy.

The other kind of hosting is dedicated hosting, which means your site has its own server. This, of course, takes more energy than sharing a server with others, but if you have a lot of traffic to your site and want to minimize downtime, it is essential.

The important thing is to know where your host gets their server space. Some have their own servers, others use Microsoft, Google, Oracle or Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers. Many of these large server farms consume large amounts of energy, but many of them are also powered by solar, wind, or other forms of clean energy.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a large amount of server space for your blog; in fact, I sincerely hope that your blog becomes so successful that you have to upgrade to a dedicated host, but by being conscious of who you choose to work with, and thoroughly researching their production methods, you stand a much better chance of staying in the green, as far as the environment’s concerned.

Look into Self-Service

Of course, you can host your own blog if you have access to your own server. Many larger companies have this option, but if you have a way to power your own server with renewable energy, you can self-host and ensure that your blog has as little impact on the environment as possible.

Though this is often the best method for ensuring you’re being environmentally friendly, there are two distinct disadvantages. First, there is a much higher initial cost unless you have another use for the server besides your website. You can of course offer server space to other websites if you have room, but if you want to live by your principles of responsible conservation, it will take additional time on your part to ensure that the people whose sites you host are eco-friendly as well.

The second issue is that, if you do not have another use for your server, you could be wasting a lot of natural resources by hosting your own site, resources and power that could better be used elsewhere, even if they are “green.” The operations and maintenance of a server makes this cost prohibitive for many users. It’s definitely an option to consider, but objectively, if you’re spending more to setup and maintain your blog than you are making, you’re going to lose your capacity to live, and that will affect your future conservation efforts as well.

Use Clean Energy Yourself

This was mentioned above, but I can’t repeat it enough. If you can use clean energy yourself, in your home, your business, and all other facets of your life, you will have a smaller impact on the environment and so will your blog. An electric car that is charged by solar power when you are at home saves a huge amount of the emissions that gas powered vehicles generate.

The same can be said for powering your laptop, tablet, and phone. Solar charging helps prevent pollution in a big way, and might even be a viable everyday solution for all of your home power needs, depending on where you live. Even if you can’t use solar energy 100% of the time, using it when and where you can will go a long way in cutting back your contribution to environmental degradation.

Consider clean energy options whenever possible to reduce not only your blog’s environmental impact, but your personal one as well.

Update Your Equipment

Sounds a little backwards, right? Wrong. Newer equipment uses less energy, has longer battery life, and even emits fewer emissions over its lifetime. This is true even for eco-friendly products that were produced even just five years ago.

Since your blog will need some great photography to distinguish itself, prioritize buying newer cameras, made from recycled materials, as much as is feasible. Going even further, if you want to avoid producing more waste through the production of a new camera, consider using stock photos of nature to illustrate the beauty of the earth, and why you’re committed to protecting it, rather than shooting your own photos.

Don’t stop just with upgrading your gear; be aware of what happens to your old equipment. The US throws away hundreds of tons of electronics a year, much of which can be recycled. Check with the company you purchased from about recycling programs (Apple has some good ones) and be sure your old device either goes to a new home, or that the parts get melted down and reused as much as possible.

Newer equipment will make you and your blog more efficient, and reduce your impact on the environment.

Work from Home

This is something most bloggers do anyway, but if you work for a marketing agency or a writing company, work from home as much as your employer will allow. Most of these companies have remote workers regardless, and encourage remote work simply because it saves the company money as well.

There are other ways you can help though. Conduct interviews from home using video chat. Avoid travel when you can Skype or Facetime with someone, and use other methods of research. When you do need to travel, use green transportation when available, and limit your forays to only what is essential.

Your blog has an impact on the environment, but with a few simple tactics, you can minimize the effect you have and be kind to the Earth while you spread the word about green energy and protecting the world we all live in.

How to Help Minimize Your Blog’s Environmental Impact

Setting yourself a personal challenge of some kind is a great way to focus your mind and channel your efforts towards achieving a particular goal. If you can do this while raising money for a charity that is special to you, this is even better! The question remains: what fundraising challenge should you set yourself? Well, there are all kinds of options out there so it is worth thinking hard before you settle on one that is right for you. Here are just a few ideas to spark off your imagination!

Run a Marathon

Probably the most common fundraising challenge that people set themselves, running a marathon is undoubtedly an incredible feat of endurance. You will need to be committed to months of training, in which you set aside hours of time so that you can keep building up your distances. If you are not a regular runner or gym goer, you will probably want to go for a shorter distance, but giving yourself a target to aim for gives you a great challenge and an incredible feeling of accomplishment at the end.

Take on a Physical Challenge

If running is really not your thing, there are plenty of other physical challenges that you could set yourself. Just a few different options include climbing, cycling, hiking or canoeing. Choose a particular challenge that you would like to tackle; it may be that there is a hiking trail that you would like to complete or a river that you would like to cross. Taking on some sort of physical challenge is a great way to capture the imagination of potential fundraisers.

Go on a Journey

go on a journey

Photo Credit

Choose a particular journey that has some sort of personal significance to you and take this on using a mode of transport of your choice; whether this on foot, by bike or by car. You can take an epic charity road trip. Ultimately, you can choose the distance you would like to cover, and you could even set yourself a time limit to ramp up the challenge.

Overcome a Fear

If, for example, you have a huge fear of heights and build yourself up to taking part in a skydive or bungee jump, not only is this an incredible accomplishment for yourself, you also have a great story to tell which will certainly inspire people to donate to charity. Obviously, you won’t be able to leap headfirst out of a plane straight away, but you can gradually build up to this over time until you are able to overcome your fear.

Climb a Mountain

Another classic challenge that people set themselves is to reach the top of a famous peak. It all depends on how high the mountain is before you know how much training and effort you will need to put in to reach the top. There is nothing like the feeling of satisfaction and personal accomplishment when you can stand at the top with your arms aloft!

Finding ways to look and feel younger after retiring is a common desire for many seniors. Fortunately, you can still maintain a youthful complexion, exude essence and style, and have a healthier body as a senior. Explore these ways that you can look better in retirement and enjoy yourself during your golden years.

Get a Beauty Makeover

If you want to look and feel younger, you can get a makeover. Opting for a shorter hairstyle and softening your hair color can do wonders for increasing vibrancy. If you have been wearing your makeup the same way for the past decade or more, then it is time to switch it up for a fresh start.

Choosing makeup and lipstick colors that are harmonious with your complexion is important to appear more youthful. Consider visiting a cosmetic counter for beautiful makeover ideas to make your complexion look brighter and more rejuvenated. Using firming eye cream can improve the appearance of fine lines and bags under the eyes, while using an herbal-infused mask once a week can tighten facial skin and make you feel more confident in your appearance.

Spruce Up Your Wardrobe

Changing the way that you dress can shave pounds and years off of your appearance. AARP suggests that wearing matching, tailor fitted clothes, or donning a pink scarf can take a decade off of your age. Bring out the natural rosiness of your skin by avoiding dark and drab colors, and remember to choose brighter shades to illuminate yourself and look your best in retirement.

Go Stress-Free Today

Smiling and feeling happy makes you look more beautiful, pleasant, and enjoyable to be around. One way that you can look better in retirement is to reduce the level of worry and stress present in your life. Practicing daily meditation, prayer, and yoga are some ways that you can release the frustrations of daily life and feel more stress-free. Maybe you need to get out instead of staying in so find a hobby. Getting a bike and go for a ride can give you a one person escape from the world anytime you want to just relax and go for a ride. The more that you practice letting go of things that you cannot change and changing the things that you can, you will feel much better about yourself and your existence.

Engage in Regular Exercise

Without a doubt, regular exercise is a must for looking your best, staying energized, and remaining healthy in retirement. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the skin, resulting in an increased supply of oxygen and vital nutrients that improve your complexion and make you heal faster. Some exercise ideas for seniors include swimming, walking, and light aerobic activity in short intervals. Consider working out with a friend or joining a local gym with a senior population that is interested in looking and feeling good, just like you.

Consume a Balanced Diet

What you choose to eat every day has a direct effect on your appearance, so it is important to consume a balanced diet. Everyday Health states that nutritious foods reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases as you age, and it elevates your energy, which can make you naturally more vivacious. Although nutritional needs do vary among seniors, eating more vegetables, fruits, small portions of lean meats, fish, beans and whole grains are especially helpful. When you eat healthier, it is easier to keep the pounds off and avoid developing life-threatening health conditions that negatively impact your appearance.

The older that you get, the more important that it becomes to develop life-saving and beauty-magnifying habits with a sound diet, regular exercise, and a worry-free mind. Maintaining your beauty regimen and using products that nourish your skin is important for reducing anti-aging and appearing years younger. Every day that you make the choice to do something positive to make yourself look and feel good, your natural beauty and inner glow will shine through.

When your computer comes to the end of its life, whether it has broken or you simply fancy an upgrade, it is important to dispose of it in a manner that does not cause significant damage to the environment. Unfortunately, electronic waste is a problem that is getting worse, and, therefore, by simply disposing of your old computer using a green approach, you can go a long way to combating this issue. So, continue reading to discover more about some of the green ways you can dispose of your old computer.

  •       Contact the manufacturer – It is worth finding out whether the manufacturer has a scheme in place where you can return electronic products once they have reached the end-of-life cycle. Nevertheless, you do need to be sure that the manufacturer is going to dispose of the computer in an ethical manner.
  •       Use a specialist company – This is the easiest way to ensure your computer is disposed of without causing harm to the environment. The company in question will have specialist methods in place for disposing electronic products in a manner that is safe and does not cause any damage to the planet. They will also be able to destroy the hard drive for you to ensure that all of your personal information is removed. This is of paramount importance because identity theft is rife at present, and if you do not destroy the hard drive you are simply asking for a criminal to come along and steal your data. A lot of people do not realise that when they ‘delete’ their documents, all they really do is delete the entry on the index file, not the file itself.
  •       Sell your computer – If your computer works, you may be able to get some money back by selling it on the likes of eBay and other auction websites. There are plenty of selling apps to help with this. However, please bear in mind that you will need to get rid of all the data stored on the hard drive, as just mentioned.
  •       Donate your computer to someone else – You may be tired of your slow, old computer, but for someone else, this could be the sort of thing they have always dreamed of. There are many families who can only dream of affording a computer, and you can make this a reality by donating your old machine to them.
  •       Use the spare parts – From the NIC card and hard drive to the CRT monitor and extra memory, there are many parts that may come into use later down the line. If you are someone with a little bit of technical knowledge, you can make use of these parts if anything happens to your computer.
  •       Trade your computer in – Last but not least, it is worth seeing whether you can trade your computer in. Of course, it is highly unlikely that you will get a straight swap. Nevertheless, you may be able to secure some discount off your order. Moreover, there are some stores that give store vouchers and such like for those that return electronic items.

Changing habits is not easy, especially when we have to break bad, unhealthy old habits because old habits do die very hard! If it’s so hard, why change? It’s true that many people don’t even bother to change for better or tried but just gave up altogether after a short period of time.

Living the best, most inspired life is something that everybody should aim for. If you are reading this, you are like me, you want more from your life. Be more. I’ve only started to realise the importance of developing long term good habits to better oneself since 2015. Before knowing the concept of changing habits, I was sleeping walking through my life without any long term goals or strategic planning. Life experiences have slowly taught me that we could all be that better version of ourselves if we try.  It’s the little things we do on a daily basis that have a large impact on the quality of our lives. So why not just put a little extra effort everyday to reach our full potential and make our life more fulfilling?

Changing habits for better

Changing habit will be even harder when we overwhelm ourselves with too many changes at once. Aim to spread out your workload by focusing on developing one good habit at a time. As a starter, here are 12 essential habits to develop and maintain to make your life as satisfying as possible. The focus could be easily set on 1 habit a month.

1. Develop a daily routine

Yes routine sound boring. I used to loath the word “routine”. All I wanted was be to free! What I achieved by going without a  routine? Chaos, not freedom.  So trust me, in order to achieve the ultimate freedom you desire, one must develop a routine! A daily routine consists at least the following:

  • Get up the same time every morning

I remember it was said that if someone gets up early in the morning, he/she is more serious about life. If you wake up the same time every morning, you’ll be more alert, have stress-free mornings, and get to work in a calm and centred state.

Related: How Learning To Get Up Early In the Morning Helped Me Become A Happier Person

  • Develop a morning routine and stick to it

It doesn’t help if you get up nice early, only to spend an hour or two browsing on social media. Have a morning routine and stick to it. Each one leads their own life, so this morning routine is up to you how to make it. Of course, things change and your morning routine might be modified over the time.

  • Develop a bedtime routine and stick to it

Try to go to bed the same time each night. I used to be a night owl who wouldn’t sleep until it’s way past 1am. As a result, I couldn’t get up early in the morning, I felt unproductive and stressed all the time. Well, it’s essential to create a bedtime routine for brighter mornings. It’ll prevent years of fatigue and frustration down the road.

2. Eat healthy

  • Starting with having a healthy breakfast

Having a healthy breakfast is not just for weight loss, but also for your general well being. It is reported that a good breakfast can improve concentration and performance in the morning. I used to skip breakfast sometimes or just have a huge portion of desert for breakfast. Chocolate mud cake used to be my favourite breakfast choice. Then I started to change slowly. Remember? Changing habits is hard! Now having a big, healthy breakfast has become the favourite part of my day.

  • Maintain a food journal if necessary

Do this only if you are serious about changing your eating habit. At first, the idea of maintain a food journal sounds tedious and so not necessary to me. But I tend to over-eat and to have a food journal seemed to be the last few resources to help me tackle this problem. I did this for a good 3 months and it really helped to eat more healthy food.

  • Have small portions

Consuming big portions in one go cause serious bloating problems.

3. Make exercise your top priority

  • Exercise every if even it’s just a 5 minutes’ stretch

I’m born lazy and not athletic so naturally dislike the idea of exercise. As a result, I could go 2 years without excising at all. Changing habits starts with determination, therefore I decided to make exercise the top priority. Exercise doesn’t have to be painful or boring. Find something you enjoy doing and start slow. Small efforts do add up. The key is to be persistent.

Being busy is not an excuse because I believe everyone could squeeze 5 minutes each day. Make exercise your top priority, even if it’s just a 5 minutes’ stretch everyday. My favourite Yoga stretch is sun solute, tree pose, plough and standing bow pose.

  • Exercise at home

If you are committed to do a little bit exercise every morning, one little trick I learned is to put exercise clothes next to your bed every night. It makes excise in the morning easy and convenient. You don’t have to go to the gym for hardcore training. There are many exercise you could do at the convenience of your home.

List things to do for the day and tackle the most important task first thing in the morning

Make a list of things you need to do during the day helps you stay on track and be more organised. Think about the most important thing you want achieve during the day. Start with that one task first, stay 100% focused until you finish it. If you want to loose weight by exercising everyday, then exercise the first thing in the morning. If you need to finish a draft of your presentation, then do that first thing in the morning. By the end of the day, you’ll be amazed how satisfying it feels by knowing at least you got one thing that matter to you most done.

4. Set up a system for everything you do

It always helps to have a good system in place. Think about ways of doing your job better, more efficiently. Life is not an easy task, we must have a system in place to operate.

5. Be organised

  • Leave the house as you’d like to find it when you come home.

It’s so important to keep a clean and tidy home. A clean desk speaks a happy mind. Keep your desk tidy and clean will help greatly with your productivity.

  • When cooking, wash up and keep tidy while you go.
  • Have a fixed spot for everything.

Always put your bags, keys, glasses etc back to where they belong to so you don’t waste time looking for misplaced items. Put things back to their places at the end of each day. Clean up.

  • Remember to charge your phone battery

Smart phones really have short battery lives. How stressful it is to have a flat battery when you need to use your phone the most! To avoid the situation, charge your phone overnight everyday. The battery should last you a full day without excessive usage.

  • Check if you’ve got everything you need before leaving the house
  • Do leave things behind either.

When you leave somewhere ( a restaurant, a taxi, someone else’s house, shops…), check if you have all your personal belongings with you.

  • Put appointments in the diary.

Google calendar is a very useful tool to track your appointments and remind you when they are due. Don’t just rely on your memory.

6. Stay focused

Have laser focus when you set out to tackle your most important task. Stay away from any distraction when your are on it. Switch off your email notification; answer your emails when you have time. Put your phone on silent mode.

7. Always finish what you’ve started

Always finish the book you’ve started reading. Finish all your side projects. If you’ve signed up with a gym for a full year, go to the gym regularly for the entire year, not just the first month.

8. Stay curious and never stop learning

Always ready to learn new skills. Be curious about other people, be curious about things. Ask questions, find answers. Try new things. Keep an open mind.

9. Be financially responsible

  • Stop impulsive shopping

Note down the ideas things you need to buy and do weekly grocery run instead of impulsive shopping trips. Before purchase anything, always ask yourself if you need them, if you already own something similar.

  • Keep track of your spending

This will be something new to me too. Being an absentminded person, I totally had no idea how much I’m paying for my utility bills, health insurance, food, clothes… Though I was paying all the bills, my mind was always somewhere else – it never registered the amount being paid. This has to be changed.

  • Pay more attention to your personal finance. Save and invest wisely

This is the next area I’ll have to focus on because I’m so bad with money. I once withdrew $2000 from ATM and forgot to take the cash. I used to keep paying rent for 6 months after moving out of the old place, until my old agent told me I was over paying. I’m still leaving my shopping bags behind after paying etc. 🙁

So change is much needed and I’m work on it.

10. Manage time more efficiently

Schedule beforehand. Record how you spend your time each day.

11. Be a problem solver

It’s easy to panic and complain when there’s a problem. Complaining is a pure waste of time and energy. Nothing positive will come out of it. Try to stay calm and collected all time. Remember: everything has a solution. Think about a solution.

12. Review your progress regularly

Plan and track your progress. Set daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals. It doesn’t help to just set goals dream in vain without taking actions and regular review of your progress.

Have at least 10 minutes “me” time everyday to review your day and set the intention for you new day. Have weekly/monthly/yearly reviews with yourself.

How To Maintain Those Good Habits

I’ve been try to break my old habit of getting up really late, skipping breakfast, never ever exercising and keeping eating until I’m about to burst… Sticking to the new good habits for the rest of your life is even harder but all is possible. Don’t forget: you have the ability to create the life that you want, to get the results you desire.

Are you struggling with change? Here are a few ways to help make those good habits you’ve developed easier to stick:

1. Start simple and keep it simple

Don’t be too ambitious with your goals. Don’t try to develop all the good habits at once.  If you do, you’ll probably overwhelm yourself and give up very soon.

2. Be consistent

Once you decided to change one habit, take action and commit to it everyday. Don’t give up after one attempt and try again a few months later when you feel motivated again.

3. Don’t give up 

When it gets hard and you want to give up, stay motivated. Remind yourself why you want to change at the first place.

4. Know the pain

Be aware of the fact that it’ll never be a smooth run. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way. Think ahead about what your potential obstacles will be and how you are going to handle the situation.

5. Banish excuses

Whenever we want to make consistent effort to change, the lazy part of our brain will come up with plenty of excuses to persuade us to stay in the old ways. Debate with yourself and don’t let the excuses get in the way! If you want to make getting up at 6am every morning a habit of yours, don’t allow bad weather, late night, bad mood etc to be the excuses for you to sleep in.

6. Regular review

So here’s a good practise of one of the good habits we’ve developed! Changing habits also needs regular review. Keeping remind yourself what is important and what’s need to be done. Review your progress and keep going!

Changing habits for good

get up early in the morning

To get up early in the morning might be easy for a lot of people but never was for me. I’m a little ashamed of admitting it – my major life goal was to be able to sleep in until I wake up naturally. I hated getting up early (6am, which is not that early by many people’s standard) in the morning to go to school when I was little and I hated waking up by alarm clock every morning to go to office. In fact, I was a just miserable person who disliked my life and thought all my problems would be solved if only I could sleep as long as I wanted in the morning.

My goal of getting up whenever I wanted was achieved a few years ago after I finally quit my day job. Heaven! I could get as much beauty sleep in the morning as possible, right? Right. I didn’t become a happier person (or more beautiful) by getting up after 10am every morning of course. I became a lost soul aiming to play small and sleep walk the rest of my life.

Then one day I decided to be less miserable by developing good habits every day, starting from getting up early earlier in the morning. To get up early in the morning wasn’t easy at the beginning, especially for someone who kept telling herself: “I’m not a morning person.” The thing is, you never know what you are capable of, unless you try and see the result yourself.

By trying to get up earlier everyday, I’ve gained an extra hour or two each day to prepare the day ahead. Months later, I found myself happier and feeling more productive.

Here’s how I trained myself to get up early in the morning and my morning routine:

Find motivation to get up early in the morning everyday.

Want to get you up early in the morning? Suppose you don’t have to get up to work, take kids to school, pressing appointments etc etc, what’s your burning desire that make you happily jump out of bed in the morning? For some people it’ll be training in the morning to have that perfect body. For me, it was imagining what I could eat. Yep, I’m that type of person who could have salmon for breakfast. Lucky I live so close to Sydney Fish Market so I could indulge since early in the morning. Oh well, whatever works to get up earlier!

get up early in the morningDrink a glass of warm water. 

I normally have very dry throat waking up in the morning so a full glass warm water really helps nourishing my body.

Stretch gently.

I also wake up with a stiff neck so first thing I do after rolling out of bed is a big stretch, like sun solute pose in Yoga. Then I’ll slowly turn my neck in different directions to wake up my body.

Plan the day.

I’ve always used “To Do List” but now I have a more systematic approach to it. I’d first gather my thoughts & think about my plan for the day after waking up, focusing on what needs to be done today to make each day count. As soon as my thoughts are clear, I’ll get up to write down my to do list or refine it (if it was done the night before).

Push ups or go out or a walk + jog.

The stretches will wake up my body gently but I really need a little push to be pulped for the new day. This requires nothing dramatic. Normally 10 push ups and a 40 minutes walk + jog in the park will do the trick. Though I’d feel dead immediately after a few push ups or jogging, energy will flood in shortly after the pain. No pain, no gain.

Read/listen to something inspiring.

Zig Ziggler said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily.” For me, it is especially true because I’m so lazy naturally and I need a daily reminder to push forward.

Related: 120 Best Quotes About Life To Inspire You Everyday

Tidy something up.

I’m naturally a disorganised person so there’s always something to tidy up in my house and there are so many things you can get rid of to have a better life. To me, clearing up one area early in the morning does wonders for my day. It gives me a great sense of achievement and helps set up for the rest of the day to be productive.


Remember that to do list? While I’ve had a to do list for years, it wasn’t fully functional. I used to just make a list and keep adding things on it. At the end of the day, I either forgot about my list altogether or felt defeated because nothing was really done and the list only grew longer. My solution to this is to choose and tackle that one thing on the list matters to me (my day) the most. No matter what happens during the day, that one task must be accomplished.

Check in with my mood.

Can I tell you how I wish to be less moody? I used to get up in the morning and the first thought came to my mind would be “I’m not happy.” Nowadays, I consciously check in with my mood every morning. If feeling down, I’ll force myself to think about something good happened to me lately and be grateful. If I feel so depressed that there’s absolutely nothing good I could think of (those days are getting less and less), I’d ask myself “Why you are so unhappy; what you can do right now to make the situation better?” It does help a great deal.

Have a protein rich breakfast.

I love food and normally eat more than a six foot tall man. My diet is meat rich with close to zero vegetable intake. Breakfast? It’s all over the shop. I used to have breakfast around 12 noon because I got up so late. Then I’d have a whole mud cake as breakfast, or a full bucket of fried chicken wings.

I still do badly about breakfast but improvements have been made, such as having breakfast after my morning stretch/exercise and incorporating oats or boiled eggs into my breakfast menu. Ideally, I should have healthy, protein rich breakfast often because from experience, protein rich breakfast doesn’t make me feeling sluggish.

Enjoy quiet time and be present.

One thing I love the most about getting up early in the morning is that you’ll have some quite time all to yourself. Instead of letting my imagination run wild and wasting precious time day dreaming aimlessly, I’d spend a couple of minutes alone time revisiting my plan for the day and visualising my day ahead of me.

Read aloud.

Though I wish to be articulate, I’m neither naturally talented in speech nor making a consistent effort to improve my skills in that area. Well it’s never too late right? I’d squeeze a few minutes in the morning whenever possible to read aloud and pronounce every syllables clearly.

Stay focused.

My random thoughts used to control my day. My past pattern was,  I set up to do one thing and something else came up while I was doing the first thing then I lost my focus to chase that something else. Then something else came up while I was doing the second thing & I’d switch my focus to chase up that new thing.

By the end of the day, my to do list was totally obsolete and I ended up feeling unproductive. Nowadays I don’t check emails, browse online or answer phone calls before 9am. I keep reminding myself to stay focused and “Finish what you’ve started.

Be confident. 

It’s easy to react and get upset when things don’t go according the plan. The reality is, life is full of surprise and things often don’t go accordingly the plan. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that staying calm is always better than getting reactive quickly. When something not so good happens, instead of complaining, think about ways to make it better. When worried about something, I’d try my best to prepare myself and be confident that everything has a solution.

By trying to get up early in the morning no matter what and stick to a morning routine, I feel more accomplished and less miserable. What gets you up in the morning?

If you don’t read very often then you will know how frustrating it can be to pick up a book for the first time in months. You may find it hard to concentrate and you may also find it hard to maintain your level of focus as well. This can all be avoided if you read more, so if you want to get through any book faster then you can find out whatever you need to know right here.

Preview the Text

When you view a film trailer, you get the chance to find out what the film is about before you start to watch it. The same concept applies to books. You need to preview a book before you get stuck into reading it because it will give you a good understanding of whatever you are about to read. If you want to preview a text then try and scan it from beginning to end. You need to pay notable attention to the subheadings and even the titles of each chapter as well. This will help you to understand the next parts that you need to read so this is very important for you to keep in mind.

Plan Out Your Attack

When you start reading a text, you need to think about your goals. You need to know more

about what you want to learn by reading the material and you also need to write down any questions that you need to get answered as well. you then need to try and find out the overall goal from the author as well, so that you can go into the book knowing what you are going to learn about or even what you are going to read. If you only need certain information from the

book then skip to the sections that are able to offer this information to you.

Be Mindful

When you are trying to read a long book, you have to make sure that you can stay focused and you also have to minimise any external distractions as well. A lot of readers read sentences passively and they do it without focus as well. They read fast but they have no idea what they have just read. By the end of the page, they spend more time going back to understand certain phrases and this can take up a lot of time. For this reason, you need to try and read actively so you can understand the phrases that you are reading the first-time around. This will save you a ton of time in the long-run. If you are still struggling, consider looking into Effortless English to see if you can get some more help there.

Don’t Focus on Every Word

If you want to increase your reading speed then you need to try and pay attention to your eyes. You can speed-read in inch-long chunks in most cases, so use your eyes and move in a scanning motion. Jump from one-inch chunk to the next and skip three to five words at a time. You can count on your peripheral vision to help you with this and it will help you out with the rest.

It can be tricky to organise a great birthday gathering, but if you want to get it right, it’s important to plan early. If you leave things to the last minute, everything will be rushed and the gathering won’t turn out the way you want it to. Many people want to keep things simple and low-key when it’s their birthday, so if that’s the kind of occasion you want to create, there are some tips below that will get you on the right track, so read on and start learning.

Break Conventions

 You don’t need to feel pressured to do things a certain way just because that’s the way other people tend to do them. This is your birthday and it should play out the way you want it to. If that means breaking conventions and doing things a little different to how most other people would choose to celebrate their birthday, then so be it.

Hire the Ideal Venue

The setting and location of your gathering will definitely have a big impact on just how your birthday gathering turns out. When the venue is wrong, everything is wrong and you shouldn’t forget that fact. There are plenty of great private function venues out there for you to make the most of, but not all of them are great. That’s why you should do your research and visit before booking.

Make Sure That Conversation is Possible

Conversation should be a big part of your birthday gathering. If you choose to host the kind of party that has blaring music and flashing lights, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to even hear each other speak. That’s not what you want, so keep this issue in mind when you’re planning out the celebrations.

Come Up With Party Games That Are Fun But Not Off-Puttingly Raucous

When people think of party games, they often imagine people playing drinking games and generally being rowdy. But that doesn’t have to be the case. You can just as easily come up with party games that are simple and fun, without being too over the top or raucous. Make them conversation based games that you can have fun with around the dinner table after eating.

Keep the Guest List Small

It’s hard to keep your birthday bash small and tasteful when you have a huge room full of people demanding your attention and having fun. Sure, it can be nice to get all your friends and family together for a big birthday occasion. But some years, you need to keep things smaller and only invite your closest family members and friends. That way, it’ll stay intimate.

Birthday gatherings can be very hit and miss, so if you want yours to be a hit, make sure that you have a clear vision for what you want it to turn out like. Otherwise, it will be too muddled and the tone of the evening will be all over the place. That’s not a recipe for a good birthday gathering.

In Australia, we are fortunate to get many sunny days, and it’s important that we embrace them in the best way we can. We are all aware of the positive vibes the sun can have on our mood and mindset, so it’s important that we take advantage of this natural entity and enjoy the sunny days as best we can. Which is why I wanted to share with you some of the best ways you can embrace the good weather Even if you don’t start your day off the right way, this could help turn things around.

Dress accordingly

One of the first things you can do is dress appropriately for fun in the sun. It may be putting on your activewear and heading out for a run or popping on a dress so that you feel more summery. Make sure you fill your wardrobe with lot’s of options to consider.

Enjoy eating al fresco

Enjoy eating al fresco

Eating outside is a great way to embrace the good weather. This could be done by choosing to sit at a table outside at the local restaurant or bar. Or even taking a lunch into the park and simply enjoying your sandwich or salad al fresco. It’s also a fun activity to do with friends and family, and some parks even have BBQ facilities to enjoy in an afternoon or early evening.

Just get yourself out of the house

Sometimes it’s hard to pry yourself away from your home, especially if you work at home in an office. So when the weather is good, it’s a great idea to just get yourself out of the house and simply enjoy the fresh air. You could exercise or go for a run, head out for a walk on your own or with a dog. Or simply just get yourself in your garden and sit and enjoy the sun, even if it’s a bit chilly, the brightness and fresh air can give your mood an instant lift.

Head to the beach

On these sunny days, there really is only one thing for it, heading to the beach to enjoy the sea air and feel the sand in your toes. Whether you are fortunate to have one close by, or you need to travel, it’s well worth it to just head to the beach and enjoy the vibe it has to offer. Listening to the sea and waves crash can be quite relaxing.

Simply relax and have some downtime

Finally, there is nothing better than just enjoying some downtime and relaxing on a bright sunny day. It can help clear your mind especially if you are feeling somewhat stressed, and it can certainly improve your mood. Relaxing is something many of us need to do more of, so why not take this downtime outside and enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors.

I hope this inspires you to embrace the sunny days in the future.

The art of sabotage is a powerful talent that requires many years of practice to really get good at. The unfortunate reality is that most great saboteurs use their powers primarily against themselves. The habit of tripping ourselves up is formed through a lifetime, but it doesn’t take a lifetime to get over. Developing the replacement habit of practicing mindfulness is a great way to retake control of not just your life but your own mind.

Accepting ourselves

This might seem like one of the most difficult accomplishments, but it can actually be achieved without too much effort. Accepting your failures is important, but accepting your successes is something that many people who fight with anxiety and depression tend to have difficulty with. You have to give yourself some time to unreservedly feel the emotional kick of a failure and to express it. But then you have to put it behind you. Talk about the actions that led to a failure and actionable methods of changing them. You have to not let your failures become your identity. You didn’t fail because you are you. So, find out the truth of why you failed. With success, on the other hand, you need to recognize and make a habit of what got you there. Patting yourself on the back is important, so don’t forget to do it.

gain perspective

Gaining perspective

Many of us tend to spend a little too much time stuck in our own head. Gaining perspective is crucial to understanding the reality of a situation, not just what your fertile imagination makes of it. For instance, if you’re having trouble with personal relationships and see how to explore the idea of how your actions impact another without your own bias. Learning to be kind to others can teach us a lot about being kinder to ourselves, too. At the same time, sometimes you might be crowded by troubles you just can’t seem to get away from. Practices like meditation or a journal allow you to review a problem without being in the thick of it emotionally. They give you a layer of distance that can help you accept the reality of a situation or find a solution that you might have otherwise missed.

I’ve been try to break my old habit of getting up really late, skipping breakfast, never ever exercising and keeping eating until I’m about to burst… Change is never easy especial when we are trying to change for better. Sticking to the new good habits for the rest of your life is even harder but change is possible. Don’t forget: you have the ability to create the life that you want, to get the results you desire. Are you struggling with change? Here are a few ways to help make those good habits you’ve developed easier to stick:

  1. Start simple and keep it simple. Don’t be too ambitious with your goals. Don’t try to develop all the good habits at once.  If you do, you’ll probably overwhelm yourself and give up very soon.
  2. Be consistent. Once you decided to change one habit, take action and commit to it everyday. Don’t give up after one attempt and try again a few months later when you feel motivated again.
  3. Stay focused. When it gets hard and you want to give up, remind yourself why you want to change at the first place.
  4. Know the pain. Be aware of the fact that it’ll never be a smooth run. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way. Think ahead about what your potential obstacles will be and how you are going to handle the situation.
  5. Banish excuses. Whenever we want to make consistent effort to change, the lazy part of our brain will come up with plenty of excuses to persuade us to stay in the old ways. Debate with yourself and don’t let the excuses get in the way! If you want to make getting up at 6am every morning a habit of yours, don’t allow bad weather, late night, bad mood etc to be the excuses for you to sleep in.
  6. Regular review. Keeping remind yourself what is important and what’s need to be done. Review your progress and keep going!

keep going

Living your best life possible

Living the best, most inspired life is something that everybody should aim for. However, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that most people aren’t living their best life. They think the world is out to get them, and that nothing goes right for them. Here are some pointers to help you live your best life, whether you just want to make sure your life is as amazing as possible or you think you need a total life overhaul:

Change Your Mindset

Before you change anything physical in your life, it’s so important to acknowledge how crucial your mindset is to your progress. You can’t expect anything in your life to change permanently or for the better if your mindset is exactly the same. Observe your mindset, and take a look at the beliefs that are holding you back so you can remove them from your conscious and change for the better!

Work On Your Personal Development

Along with changing your mindset comes working on your personal development. There are so many ways you can do this. Try meditation; this practice will reduce stress, make you more creative, improve your sleep, and have so many other amazing benefits on your life. You should also read as much as possible. Read books, world news, articles, and more. The more you read, the more you expand your knowledge and vocabulary. Not to mention the mental stimulation fights off diseases like dementia!

Starting to journal can be a way to release stress and notice patterns in your life so you can change. Don’t forget to exercise either. Exercising in the morning, even for a short while can get your day off to the best start imaginable!

Start Doing What You Enjoy

Start spending time doing the things you enjoy. Carve out time in your regular routine to sew, sell vintage clothing, write – whatever it is you like to do. These things are your passions for a reason, and you never know where they may lead you.

Let Go Of Fear, Worry, And Stress

Living your best life possibleLet go of the things you can’t control. This can take practice, but meditation can help. They never help us to solve our problems, and it’s rare we make good decisions when we are afraid or stressed.

Learn How To Listen To Your Intuition

Your intuition is a calm little voice that always knows the answer. Learning how to listen to it will help you figure out what path to take. Again, meditation is great for this, but making a conscious effort to listen during the day is a good idea too.

Take Chances

Nothing good ever happened from inside your comfort zone. Get out of your comfort zone and take some chances. This is usually where the magic starts!
Do these things as often as you can to make sure you’re living your best life. You don’t need an outrageous amount of money to live your best life. You don’t need to be in a relationship, have designer clothes, or be famous. You simply need to become content with where you are right now, and the rest will follow!

Living your best life possible

A Memento Master Class To A Party You Won't Forget In A Hurry

In this modern age, connectivity is key. We share everything with our nearest and dearest. A lot of the time, we even show them what our meal looks like when we go out. One thing’s sure; this is the perfect age for nosiness. But, while we have plenty of time to document the less important things, we often forget to capture moments that mean the most. In a way, this is a good thing. It means you’re too busy enjoying yourself. Which is what life’s all about. But, that doesn’t help when you have nothing to help you remember those important moments and wonderful events. Of course, we always have our memories to fall back on, but we sometimes need a little more. 

A Memento Master Class To A Party You Won't Forget In A HurryWhen you’re planning a party, capturing memories will be the last thing on your mind. You have food, guest lists, and music choices to cope with. And, when you’re enjoying your party and mingling with your guests, you have no time to capture anything. That means you can have the best party possible and have nothing to show for it. In fact, it might fade from your memory completely. The good news is, there is help at hand. We’re going to look at a few of the ways you can make sure there are party mementos galore, for you and your guests.


Nothing’s better for capturing a moment than taking a picture. Most of us take at least one picture a day, and as such, we have a comprehensive history of our lives. And, nothing beats looking back over what we’ve done. That’s why it’s important you ensure there are plenty of pictures from your party. The good news is, you can be sure your guests are taking pictures, even if you don’t get the chance. Incorporate photos even more by providing a basket full of disposable cameras. Encourage your guests to take a camera and return it to the basket at the end of the night. Not only will this be a fun activity to keep your guests amused, but it’s also the perfect way to capture the night. Using film instead of digital will ensure that the pictures you get are candid and authentic. People won’t worry about ensuring everything looks perfect in the viewfinder. The fact that the pictures are going back to you means people won’t worry too much about finding a perfect shot.

You could take things even further. Hire a photo booth to incorporate photos in a whole different way. This fun addition to your party is sure to go down well and give you an edge. Though you may not get such an accurate representation of your night this way, your guests will have a lot of fun. And, you can make sure to get a few snaps of yourself, too. Incorporate props and dressing up clothes to ensure everyone gets stuck in.


If you know any artists, it might be worth giving them a call. Even if you don’t know anyone suitable, you could get online and see if you can find someone to hire. Look for writers and portrait artists who can capture the evening in a different light. A poet could offer your guests an improvised poem relating to the night. And, a portrait artist could draw guests who are willing to sit out for a while! Photographs are everywhere, so it’s a good idea to find different ways to capture the mood of the evening. Your guests will love having these fun mementos to take home with them. Make sure, too, to get a portrait and poem for yourself. This is your big night, after all. You have more reason to remember it than anyone! It might be worth asking the artists to come along a little earlier and getting yourself out of the way first. That way, you won’t have to worry once things are underway.

If you know any budding filmmakers, it might be worth asking them to come along, too. Having a video of the night will be a fantastic way to keep things fresh in your memory. As photographs grow in popularity, home video seems to be taking a back seat. Change that by getting a home video of your party. You could even offer the filmmaker the chance to sell copies of the video to guests. Either that, or you can put it online for everyone to see!

party you never forgetImage Source

In this day and age, it would be silly not to make the most of social media. Allow connectivity to help you build a significant collection of memories. Chances are, your guests will be putting their photographs online. Encourage them to share. You might want to create a hashtag on Twitter which people can attach to their photos. Or, you could set up a group on Facebook and encourage guests to post their top pictures there. That way, all your guests can see the best highlights of the night without having to search too hard. This could also be an excellent way to connect guests who didn’t know each other beforehand. They’ll see pictures from that person they got talking to and add them as a friend.

If you opted for the disposable cameras, this would be a fantastic way to show your guests the pictures. It wouldn’t be fair to keep them to yourself, after all. Of course, they won’t get the hard copies. But, if you have a scanner, you could upload them to the group for everyone to see. They’re sure to want to have a look, and it’ll be an excellent way to keep the party vibe going long after the night itself.

So, there you have it. A simple guide to creating a party you can remember. Of course, it’s important we enjoy moments as they happen. But, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a memento once they’re over!

Entertaining friends and family in your own home is one of those simple pleasures that can really make life living and show your loved ones you really care. However, in the 21st century, we all have so much to do that there is little time left to plan the perfect event and this can lead to ‘party planner’s stress’ and a damp squib of an event if we aren’t careful.

So, if you’re planning to host a party anytime soon, and you want it to be sophisticated without being stressful, check out these simple tips for party success:

Send Elegant Invites

Just because they’re your friends and you have all their cell numbers doesn’t mean that you can do away with invites.  No sophisticated hostess would deem it acceptable to send text or email invites rather than the real thing. Sure, it will take slightly more effort to go to the store and pick out some pretty invites, but it will set the tone for the whole party, so it’s pretty essential.

Keep the Menu Simple

Instead of trying to cook an elaborate multi-dish menu, bring out the classics and cook that one pot dish that you love. Something like beef bourguignon can be whipped up pretty quickly in advance, but it is also a very impressive, rich dish that your guests will love, and if your dress up your table with monogrammed napkins and your best silverware, your guests are guaranteed to be impressed by the elegance and sophistication of the evening, so much so that they won’t even question how much effort you put into the meal.

Make Signature Cocktails

cocktail-house party

Instead of spending a stressful evening mixing up all manner of cocktails for your guests, choose 2-3 of your favorites and let your guest know that they’ll only be able to choose from those. That way, you can mix up a few pitchers beforehand and spend more time socializing with your friends, which is the whole point of having a party really.

Itunes some Classy Tunes

Usually, listen to hip-hop or have a secret love of Justin Bieber? That simply won’t cut it at a sophisticated soiree, so before the party, download a classy playlist that will increase the elegance of your party immediately. Classical music and soft jazz work well, but feel free to play it by ear.

Buy Dessert

Buying a nice dessert from a local bakery will save you a lot of time and stress, and your guests will enjoy it just as much as anything you could make yourself. Just don’t buy a dessert from a regular store – they’re never as nice, and they’re rarely sophisticated either.

Raid Your Wardrobe

If you don’t have the time or money to shop for a new outfit, it is almost certain that you will have something suitable sitting in your wardrobe. You can rarely go wrong with a little black dress, providing it isn’t too little – this is a fancy party after all. The key is not to stress about your outfit. Pick something, wear it and forget about it.

How do you remove the stress of throwing a cocktail party for your friends?