Category Archives: Once Upon a Line

Reaching Your Potential: The Power of Setting and Achieving Smart Goals


                                          Photo: WaewKadja

In the last post, we looked at goal setting, which to the casual eye would make it seemed the traditional paper and pen goal setting is outdated. For my readers who refer pen and paper, this post gives you concrete SMART action steps, complete with measurable examples. Let us dive right in.

  1. Specific: “I want to lose 20 pounds in the next six months.”

Action Steps:

  • Determine the specific steps needed to reach this goal, such as exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, cutting out sugary drinks, and eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Create a meal plan and grocery list that aligns with these steps.
  • Find a workout routine that fits your schedule and interests.
  • Consider enlisting the help of a personal trainer or nutritionist to provide guidance and support.
  1. Measurable: “I want to increase my annual income by 20% in the next year.”

Action Steps:

  • Identify specific steps that can help you increase your income, such as negotiating for a raise, finding a higher paying job, or starting a side hustle.
  • Set specific financial targets for each month to track your progress towards your overall goal.
  • Seek out professional development opportunities to improve your skills and increase your value to potential employers or clients.
  • Network with others in your industry to find potential job or business opportunities.
  1. Attainable: “I want to run a marathon in the next two years.”

Action Steps:

  • Determine your current fitness level and create a training plan that allows you to gradually build up your endurance.
  • Find a local marathon to participate in and sign up for it to create a sense of accountability.
  • Set smaller, achievable goals along the way, such as running a 5K or a half marathon.
  • Consider working with a coach or joining a running group to provide support and guidance as you train.
  1. Relevant: “I want to improve my public speaking skills in order to advance in my career.”

Action Steps:

  • Identify specific areas of public speaking that you want to improve, such as confidence, presentation skills, or clarity of delivery.
  • Seek out opportunities to practice public speaking, such as joining a local toastmasters group or volunteering to give presentations at work.
  • Consider working with a public speaking coach or taking a course to learn new techniques and strategies.
  • Set specific goals for each practice session, such as speaking in front of a group for a certain amount of time or delivering a presentation on a specific topic.
  1. Time-bound: “I want to save $10,000 for a down payment on a house within the next three years.”

Action Steps:

  • Determine how much money you need to save each month to reach your goal within the allotted time frame.
  • Create a budget and stick to it to ensure that you are saving enough money each month.
  • Consider finding ways to increase your income or reduce your expenses in order to reach your saving goals faster.
  • Set specific deadlines for reaching intermediate saving goals, such as $2,000 in six months or $5,000 in a year.

Sometimes we overcomplicate things, which often leads to procrastination. Change takes time, be patient with yourself. Be consistent.  Screenshot each step and go out there and get yours!

Best of luck this year:)

Warmly,
Juan

Welcome To Ambient Musicology


Ambient music is a genre of music characterized by its atmospheric and relaxing qualities. Think of electronic instruments and soundscapes, often associated with relaxation, meditation, and stress relief. The origins of ambient music can be traced back to the 1970s. Since its inception, ambient music has evolved and diversified, incorporating elements of other genres such as classical, jazz, and world music. Today, ambient music is popular among a wide range of listeners and is often used in settings such as yoga classes, massage therapy, and relaxation therapies. It continues to be a vibrant and evolving genre, with new artists and styles emerging all the time.

On Christmas Day I launched my new venture, a YouTube channel : Ambient Musiclogy. Here you will find a curated selection of ambient tracks that are perfect for relaxation, meditation, and stress relief.  Meditation and Mindfulness practices saved me during the COVID lock down in NYC. I want to share my love of ambient music with you, and anyone who comes across my channel.

Here are few excellent reasons why you should subscribe.

  1. High-quality content: All racks on my channel are carefully selected an. Whether you’re looking for soothing nature sounds, calming instrumental music, or peaceful melodies, you’ll find something that speaks to you.
  2. Regular updates: I’m always adding new music to the channel, so you’ll have a constant stream of new music to enjoy. Long form content is uploaded twice per week, while shorts are done daily.
  3. Variety of genres: Are you a fan of electronic, classical, or acoustic music? Occasionally I might sneak these in. 
  4. Positive impact on mental health: Listening to ambient music has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or insomnia, the calming and soothing sounds on my channel, can help you relax and unwind.
  5. Free and convenient access: All of the tracks on my channel are free to stream, and you can access them from anywhere with an internet connection. Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go, you can enjoy the benefits of ambient music anytime, anywhere.

So if you’re a fan of ambient music or are looking for a way to relax and de-stress, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. With its high-quality content, regular updates, and personalized playlist options, it’s the perfect place to find music that speaks to you. Here’s to your relaxation and well-being! 

Head over to  Ambient Musiclogy.  PLEASE LIKE | SUBSCRIBE | COMMENT| TURN ON BELL NOTIFICATIONS 

Look forward. to having you! Your support is much appreciated. 

With Thanks,
Juan

 

 

 

 

Seven Surprising Benefits of Trying New Things.


Trying new things can be intimidating and scary, but it’s also an essential part of life, that is if you want to grow. Whether you’re trying a new hobby, exploring a new place, or stepping out of your comfort zone, the benefits are numerous. Here are just a few reasons why. Which one have you personally experienced?

  1. Personal growth: You learn and grow. Challenged to step outside your comfort zone your horizons are expanded. Whether you’re learning a new skill or exploring a new culture,  your understanding of the world will shift.
  2. Increased confidence: Build confidence in yourself and your abilities. Every time you succeed at something new, you gain confidence and become more comfortable taking on challenges. This increased confidence can carry over into other areas of your life, making you feel more capable and self-assured.
  3. Improved problem-solving skills: Trying new things often involves problem-solving, as you encounter challenges and obstacles. By practicing you become better equipped to handle difficult situations in the future.
  4. Increased creativity: Stimulates your creativity and encourages you to think outside the box. Whether you’re trying an art form, new places, you’ll find it helps spark your creativity, and encourages you to approach things in new and innovative ways.
  5. Meeting new people: Expand your social circle. A new club or taking a class, is a great way to make new friends and connect with others.
  6. Improved mental and physical health: Reduce stress, improve brain function, and boost self-esteem. New form of exercise, or exploring a new hobby, has a range of health benefits.
  7. Increased happiness: Sense of excitement and accomplishment that can boost your happiness levels. The sense of adventure and discovery that comes with trying new things can bring joy and fulfillment.

    In short, trying new things is an essential part of life. It helps you grow as a person, improves your mental and physical health, and brings joy and fulfillment. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new – you never know what amazing experiences and opportunities might be waiting for you

    Next up, an introduction to my new adventure, Ambient Musicology! 

    Warmly,
    Juan

    Mastering the Masterpiece: The Art of Setting and Achieving Your Goals


    Goal setting is a crucial aspect of personal and professional development, as it helps individuals define what they want to achieve,  and create a plan to reach those goals. While the basic principles of goal setting have remained the same over time, the way in which people set and work towards their goals has evolved with advances in technology and shifts in societal norms.

    In the past, goal setting often involved writing down specific goals on paper, along with action steps and deadlines for completion. This method of goal setting, known as the SMART criteria, involved setting goals that were Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

    Today, however, there are many more tools and resources available to help people set and track their goals. Digital goal setting apps and software allow individuals to create, track, and share their goals with others, and provide reminders and progress updates to keep users on track. Apps such as Todoist, Troll, Asana, Evernote, Google Keep, GoalsOnTrack, Habitica etc..both free and paid.

    In addition, social media and online communities have made it easier for people to connect with others who have similar goals, share resources and advice, and provide accountability and motivation.

    One major change in the way that goals are set and pursued today is the increased focus on personal and professional development. In the past, goal setting may have primarily focused on tangible achievements, such as financial success or career advancement. However, today there is a greater emphasis on personal growth, self-improvement, and well-being.

    This shift has led to the rise of popular goal setting techniques such as the “growth mindset,” which emphasizes the importance of continually learning and striving to improve, rather than focusing solely on the end result.

    Overall, while the basic principles of goal setting have remained the same, the way in which goals are set and pursued has evolved with the times. With the availability of technology and a greater focus on personal growth, it has become easier than ever for individuals to set and work towards their goals.

    Did you gain new insights and ways of looking at how you set your goals? If so, share them in the comment box below! Next up, SMART goals outlined. 

    To Your Success,
    Juan

    Embrace A New Beginning: Strategies for Launching a New Career in the New Year


    If you’re looking for a new job or considering a career change, January is a great time to start the search. With the new year comes new opportunities and a fresh start, and with the right strategies and mindset, you can set yourself up for success in your job search.

    Here are some tips for finding the right job and making a successful transition in the new year:

    1. Define your career goals: Before you start your job search, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for. Take the time to think about your strengths, skills, interests, and consider what type of job or industry aligns with your goals.
    2. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile: Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to highlight your relevant skills and experience. Make sure to tailor your resume and profile to each job or industry you’re interested in. Consider seeking feedback from a career coach or mentor to ensure they are as strong as possible.
    3. Network, network, network: Consider joining industry groups or associations, attending events and conferences, or connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your field or to ask for introductions to potential employers.
    4. Use job search websites and resources: There are many online resources available to help you find job opportunities. Try reaching out to recruitment agencies or headhunters who specialize in your field.
    5. Consider temp or contract work: If you’re having difficulty finding a full-time job, consider looking for temporary or contract work in the meantime. This can be a great way to gain experience, build your network, and potentially land a permanent position in the future.
    6. Prepare for interviews: Once you start getting job interviews, it’s important to be prepared and to make a strong impression. Research the company and the role in advance, practice your answers to common interview questions, and dress appropriately for the occasion.
    7. Negotiate your salary and benefits: If you’re offered a job, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Consider your worth, communicate your value to the employer. Consider seeking guidance from a career coach or mentor on how to approach salary negotiations. My next post will also be most helpful!
    8. Make a smooth transition: If you’re making a career change, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges and adjustments that come with a new job. Take the time to learn about the company and its culture. Be open to feedback and new learning opportunities.
    9. Seek support: Changing careers can be a daunting process, and it’s important to have a support system in place to help you through it. Consider seeking guidance from a career coach or mentor, or connect with others who are also making a career transition.

    With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right job and making a successful transition in the new year. Remember to stay positive and proactive, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek guidance when needed. Here’s to a successful and fulfilling year ahead!

    Next up, you have been offered the job, how do you negotiate salary?! You will want to come back in a few days, for crucial advise.

    Cheering You Onto Success
    Juan

     

    Maximize Your Potential In The New Year. Tips And Strategies


    Welcome to the new year!

    As we turn the page on the previous year and look ahead to what’s to come, it’s natural to feel excited and motivated to make the most of the next 365 days. Whether you’re looking to set new goals, start a new hobby, or make positive changes in your life, there are plenty of ways to make the most of the new year.

    Here are some tips for making the most of the new year:

    • Set achievable goals: One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to set goals for the year ahead. Whether you want to lose weight, save money, or learn a new skill, it’s important to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will help you stay on track and make progress towards your goals.
    • Create a plan: Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s important to create a plan for achieving them. This might involve setting smaller, achievable milestones, creating a budget, or finding a support system to help you stay motivated.
    • Get organized: Whether it’s your closet, your desk, or your schedule, taking the time to get organized can help you feel more in control and better able to manage your time and resources.
    • Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself is crucial for your overall well-being. Make sure to carve out time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. On Christmas Day, I started  ambientmusiclogy  a You Tube Channel to help you relax and meditate. Subscribe for new content each week.
    • Learn something new: Whether it’s a new language, hobby, new skill, learning something new can be a great way to keep your mind sharp and stay engaged in the world around you.
    • Volunteer or give back: Giving back to your community or to a cause you care about can be a rewarding and meaningful. Look for opportunities to volunteer or get involved in a charitable organization that aligns with your values.
    • Explore new places: Travel can be a great way to broaden your horizons and have new experiences. Whether you’re taking a weekend getaway or a longer trip, make a point to visit somewhere new and explore all it has to offer.
    • Surround yourself with positive influences: Your social network can have a big impact on your well-being and happiness. Stay close to people who support and inspire you. Spend less time with those who drain your energy.
    • Practice gratitude: Focusing on the things you are grateful for can help you cultivate a positive outlook and find joy in the everyday. Keep a gratitude journal or share your blessings with friends and family.
    • Reflect on your progress: As you make your way through the year, it’s important to take the time to reflect on your progress and adjust your goals as needed. Celebrate your accomplishments and don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall short of your goals. Remember that growth and progress often come in small steps, and that it’s important to be kind to yourself along the way.

    With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to making the most of the new year. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling year ahead!

    What are your thoughts on these tips? Will you be implementing any or all of the strategies? Sound off below.

    Every day is a new chapter:)

    To Your Success,
    Juan 

      A Message From The Past: A Letter To My Future Self


      Have you ever written a letter to yourself at the start of a New Year? Better yet, have you ever shared it with a total stranger? No? Me either. Until now. Feel free to share snippets from your own letter below to inspire others

      Dear Future Me,

      As I sit here on the first day of the new year, I am so darn excited about all the possibilities the next 365 days hold. I don’t know exactly what they are, and frankly, I don’t need to. There are no growth opportunities in knowing! I do, however, have a few hopes and aspirations that I’d like to share with you.

      First and foremost, I hope that this time next year,  you are incredibly happy and healthy, and you have found a sense of balance and contentment in your life,  surrounded by people who love and support you.

      We are just getting started here. When it comes to career, I hope you have found a job or profession that you are passionate about. One that allows you to make a positive impact in the world. You have taken the time to learn new skills and challenge yourself. You have found a way to achieve your goals and dreams. As a matter of fact  by this time next year, you should no longer working for anyone else.

      You have carved out more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. Your wanderlust nature has been fed and watered in new and distant lands. You have topped the six countries you visited in 2022

      One of my biggest aspirations for the year ahead is to become more physically fit and healthy. I know this will require discipline and commitment, but I am determined to make it a priority. You planned to join a new gym, as the old one just wasn’t cutting it. You once loved spinning. This time next year, you have taken more classes than you can remember, and your new body is hard evidence.  

      Another goal is to be more present and mindful in my daily life. I want to make a conscious effort to be more present with my loved ones, to enjoy each moment as it comes, and to live in the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I hope that you have found a way to cultivate this mindset and that it brings you greater happiness and contentment. You new venture ambientmusiclogy has helped so many people take necessary time  to practice meditation,  self care and mindfulness. Your new channel will grow and explode beyond your wildest dreams.

      You are single by choice. However, if your person comes along, It should be a love unlike any other, because you deserve it. If you are still single, bear in mind, the greatest love story is the one you have with yourself. 

      Finally, I hope that you have found a way to give back and make a positive impact in the world. Whether it’s through volunteering, donating to a cause you believe in, or simply being kind and compassionate towards others, I hope that you have found a way to make a difference in the lives of those around you.

      I know that the road ahead will not always be easy, but I believe in you and I know that you have the strength and resilience to overcome any challenge that comes your way. Here’s to an amazing year ahead!

      Finally, I hope that you have learned to be kind to yourself and to others, and that you have found a way to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

      HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

      Sincerely, 
      Juan W

      Remembering And Celebrating A Lost Loved One During The Holidays


      Remembering your loved ones during the holidays can be difficult. Celebrating their life during the holidays can be a great way to honor them. Make this holiday season extra special by celebrating your loved ones. Start celebrating and remember your loved ones today!

      The great memories you had can be a place to start. Pictures are always good, too. They may make you feel a bit sad, but there are usually times in that sadness where you’ll find yourself smiling over something silly or touching that you remembered. Incorporating that loving feeling into your holidays can help you to heal.

      Let’s go!

      Let Your Faith Guide You
      No matter what your religious faith, you can use prayer and spiritual beliefs to help you get through trying or lonely times. Sometimes, those feelings are magnified at special times like holidays, and more time to pray or meditate is needed. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need for prayer.  Remind yourself the struggles they faced here in their lifetime are no more. There is comfort in those thoughts.

      Dwell on the Happy Times
      Of course you miss your loved one, but you also have the joy of having known that person for a period of time. Cherish what you had. When the holidays come around and you the feelings of sadness begin to creep in, think about all the times you did have. What would your loved one want you to remember about him or her?

      Focus your energy on being joyful for what was. Whether you had your loved one a long period of time or a short one, you had love in your life for that time. That’s a very precious gift. Elevate the value of that gift by savoring the happy moments. Remember the good times. Everyone has memories of their loved ones that make them smile or that they re-live again and again. 

      Honor their memory
      1.Decorate in their favorite colors.
      2. Put up photos of them around the house.
      3. Make their favorite holiday dish.
      4. Tell stories about them to your friends and family.
      5. Light a candle in their memory on Christmas Eve or Hanukkah.
      6. Donate to a charity in their name.
      7. Volunteer your time in their honor.

      Mourning is part of the healing process, but remember to celebrate, too. Everyone does things differently when it comes to how they want to show their love for someone who has gone on before them. Focus on a celebration that feels right to you. No matter what it is, if it’s right for you, then it’s perfect for the occasion. 

      Because everyone is different, some people might question what you’re doing or why. That’s okay. Honor your loved one and celebrate their life in a way that brings you joy and peace this holiday.This holiday season, celebrate the life of your loved ones who have passed away. Remember them fondly and honor their memory by spending time with family, friends and loved ones. sharing stories, laughter and love. This is a time to cherish

      Did you find this post helpful? Comment, share, and follow the blog for more posts to help you do life.

      Happy Holidays. To Your Success,
      Juan

      Three Habits That Happy People Practice Every Holiday Season


      So far, tips have been shared to help battle stress, now it’s time to take a deep dive into the most troubling concerns. Battling and overcoming stress during the holidays can be a challenge to anyone. Overcommitting, gift buying, and carrying on traditions, are three of the most stressful areas that can ruin a cheerful season

      There are a number of things that can lead to this type of stress: family gatherings, coping with loss, busy stores, long lines, gift buying, conflicts, add to this list.  Last month I shared useful post regarding handling conflicts during gatherings.  Later this month, I will address handling loss. You may also have high expectations that add to the stress of your holiday season.

      Long gone are the days in which the season was highly anticipated and there was a sense of magic in the air. As an adult, you may find the season to be more stressful than joyous. Unfortunately, these days, you may even consider holiday stress as a necessary holiday tradition! Here are some methods you can use to battle and overcome stress during the holidays

      1. Are you overcommitted? The holidays normally come with many social gatherings that most of us feel we must attend. The fact is that you don’t have to go to every event you’re invited to. Saying “no thank you” to some of the invitations will free up more time for yourself! It’s important to remember and enjoy the spirit of the holidays.

      If it takes saying “no” to preserve some of your sanity, go for it! Others will be more understanding than you give them credit for. Don’t become so burdened that you secretly wish for the season to pass quickly. Take time to be by yourself. Whether you take a yoga class or a bubble bath, allow yourself to do something enjoyable without worrying about the holiday stress.

      2. Carrying on traditions. Growing up, we may have seen our mothers cook a full course Christmas dinner. Perhaps it was routine to host a lavish holiday party. Maybe your family baked hundreds of Christmas cookies to give to friends and relatives. Tradition is good but don’t allow yourself to become so wrapped up in tradition that it consumes you. 

      If you find the routine you normally follow for the pure and simple sake of tradition is weighing on you and resulting in more stress than you can deal with, break away from it! You will be happier. Rather than living up to the expectations of years past, start your own, easy-going traditions. Instead of throwing a lavish party, have fewer friends over for tea and cookies. Allow other family members to bring side dishes to the holiday meal rather than cooking it all yourself.

      3. Finding the perfect gift. There’s too much pressure to purchase the perfect gift for each person that it takes all the fun out of shopping. Remember, people are generally appreciative for whatever gift they receive. They don’t expect you to go to every corner of the Earth to find them a spectacular gift. Save time and money by skipping the wrapping! Creativity is the main focus.

      You can give gifts that can be used throughout the year. For example, you may give a coupon in a card for a free night of babysitting, one day of yard work, or other special things. Shopping online has made searching for gifts much easier. It might also be more cost effective to buy online because many stores offer special sales or free shipping near the holidays. 

      I hope you agree that these very simple, yet effective habits can help giftyou overcome stress during the holidays. The key is to determine what’s causing your stress so you can eliminate it. In the end, you’ll see that most of the stress you experience is a result of the expectations you impose on yourself. 

      I hope you found these three simple suggestions useful. How will you implement them this year?! Comment below, or share with your overworked and stressed out friend or relative.

      To Your Success,
      Juan

       

        Biofeedback As An Effective Stress Management Tool


        Did you know that Biofeedback can help us manager stress and other ailments?

        Biofeedback is a tool that gathers information using specialized instruments that measure one or more physiological markers including muscle tone, breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, brainwaves, skin temperature, and sweat production.

        We experience biofeedback all of the time. When you watch a scary movie, your hands might become sweaty and your heart rate increases. If you move your attention away from the movie and think about something pleasant, these physical responses diminish. This is a simple, but valid, example of biofeedback

        There are different types of biofeedback devices available:

        1. Clinical. These devices are generally only available to professionals and require training to use properly. It can be useful to receive biofeedback therapy if you have the time and financial resources to do so.
          • Home interactive computer programs. There are sensors that can be plugged into your computer or mobile device. These sensors often attach to your finger or ear or are worn like a headband. The software often provides verbal prompts or other instructions to help you relax and provides feedback regarding the results.
          • Wearable. These are more mobile and less intrusive to use. They often consist of a watch-type device or sensor that goes around your waist. They can provide alerts if your stress levels are above an acceptable level.

          You have more control than you think over your stress response:

          1. Breathing. Slow and relaxed breathing can reduce the severity of stress quite significantly. A biofeedback device can help you discover the best way to breathe and reduce your stress response.
          2. Muscle relaxation. Helps can also reduce the amount of stress you feel. 
          3. Your thoughts. They can either be stressful or peaceful. Maybe thinking about the beach is more effective for reducing stress than thinking about puppies. Biofeedback can show you.

          Biofeedback devices allow you to measure your stress in a variety of ways. You can systematically determine which breathing techniques work for you. You can figure out which muscles you need to relax and the best way to relax them. Which thoughts are the most calming for you? Biofeedback can teach you.

          Biofeedback is a non-invasive way of dealing with stress that doesn’t require medication. It requires some equipment and a willingness to practice.  Learning to relax yourself is a skill that takes practice. As you practice the best techniques for you, you’ll become more skilled at applying them.

          Most home biofeedback devices have not been reviewed by the FDA, but a few have. Do some research before purchasing .  Although it takes some practice, you’ll see that it’s definitely worth the time and effort as your stress melts away.

          Meditation, exercise, yoga, etc are all ways of handling stress, and with the availability of biofeedback on the market, we have another tool at our disposal.

          What do you think about this tool? Have you used one before? Did it work, and will you recommend it to your fiends and family?

          To Your Success,
          Juan