Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year’s Resolutions: A New Year Brings New Opportunities for Happiness



The beginning of a New Year is traditionally the time when we make New Year’s resolutions. Of course, you can make resolutions, set goals, and vow to improve yourself at any time of the year. But when the calendar page turns to a new year, that’s when most of us take time to reflect on the year just finished and consider what we can do to make the coming New Year even better.


With that in mind, I thought I would share my New Year’s resolutions for 2014—and beyond. Perhaps they will give you an idea of something you’d like to do to make your new year brighter.


New Year’s Resolution #1: Be happy, and seek happiness in everything I do


Every day is full of opportunities to be happy, but sometimes we forget how much we have to be happy about. This year I will seek and recognize happiness in even little things. This year I promise to wake up with a happy thought. I will take a moment to be happy to be waking up in a warm, comfortable bed. I will ponder at least one happy moment to look forward to that day. I will appreciate my first meal of the day, and the clothes I am wearing. I will appreciate the sun on clear days and the clouds on rainy days. I will especially be joyful and thankful for my loving family and friends. I have a lot to be thankful for, and the natural result of gratitude is happiness.
 

New Year’s Resolution #2: Enjoy the small moments


It’s easy to enjoy the big moments of life—the birth of a child or grandchild, the triumph of a new job or promotion, the thrill of a major vacation. But what about the small everyday moments? There can be great joy in a sunset, in the first morning cup of coffee, in receiving a friendly email or Facebook message that you didn’t expect. This year I promise to enjoy the small moments that happen throughout the day—every day.
 


New Year’s Resolution #3: Be more friendly, and be a better friend


This year I will be the first to introduce myself to a stranger at a party or a business event. I will be the one with the smile on my face and the outstretched hand, welcoming a newcomer who is standing alone by himself. I will look for new opportunities to make new friends, and I will be more friendly to those people who I already consider my friends.
 

New Year’s Resolution #4: Cut myself a little slack.


Most of us are too hard on ourselves. I am certainly more critical of myself than I am of other people, and I expect more of myself than I do of anyone else. So instead of trying to walk on water, I promise to be content with walking through the puddles. I don’t have to be perfect at everything I do. I don’t have to beat myself up about every little mistake I make. I am going to cut myself a little slack and not sweat the small stuff. I’ll bet this goes a long way toward making every day happier. (See New Year’s resolution #1)
 

New Year’s Resolution #5: Look for the positive


This year I am going to do a better job of looking for silver linings. When that work project that I bid on doesn’t come through, I will tell myself that a better offer is on its way. When a friend disappoints me by being unavailable for lunch, I will take that as an opportunity to call someone else who I haven’t talked to in a while. When my kids don’t return my calls, I will be thankful that their lives are blessedly busy—and I will call them again with a smile on my face.  Our attitude about the things that happen every day has a major impact on our life experience, so I am going to make sure that my attitude is as positive as possible.
 
One of the things I learned while writing Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet was that we are all responsible for our own happiness.


New Year’s Resolution #6: Practice random acts of kindness


I am going to do some nice things for people for no particular reason. I have never in my life paid for the guy’s order behind me in the Starbucks drive-through. Well, this year I am going to randomly do some nice things for people I don’t know—as well as for people that I do know. I am going to give a meal to a homeless person. I am going to take magazines to a nursing home or hospital waiting room. I will support inspirational websites like www.kheavensent.com. And I won’t expect anything in return. The warm feeling in my heart and the hope that I might inspire someone else to practice a random act of kindness will be all the reward I need.
 

How about you? What are you going to do to ensure that this next year is better than the one before?
 
Chad Stone is the author of Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. Like his Facebook page!

 

 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dating Tips for the Holiday Season



I was just interviewed on a radio show to talk about dating tips for the holiday season.  It’s a popular topic this time of year because the holiday season is typically festive and filled with lots of social events. But the holidays can be a bit challenging for singles. If you’re single during the holidays it’s important to stay positive and say yes to holiday parties. Don’t start feeling sorry for yourself just because you aren’t spending the holidays with the love of your life.
 


Look on the bright side. If you're single during the holiday season you won't have to dress like this.

Holiday Dating Tips for Singles


Sure, there are lots of family-oriented events during the holiday season. And, yes, Aunt Mabel might corner you at a family gathering and ask you why you still aren’t married. But look at the positive side: the holidays are filled with social events that offer opportunities to meet someone new. Be open to meeting someone special and you’ll find yourself having fun. Follow these tips:

 

Holiday Dating Tip #1: Go Old School


You know what they say about the holiday season, right? It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This season is also the most old-fashioned time of the year, and that goes for everyone whether you’re single, dating, or married. The most popular Christmas song is White Christmas, by Bing Crosby—a  song that was recorded in 1942. There is no other time of year that you’ll hear a 70-year-old song on the radio. So keep that in mind, and lean toward behaving like an old school man or old school woman during your dating and social activities during the holidays.

 

Holiday Season Tip for Singles #2: Dress to Impress


The holiday season is a fancier, more formal and more festive time of year. So dress nice. Leave your crappy clothes at home and wear your grown-up clothes. Throw that old sweatshirt and frayed sweater in the laundry and leave them there until after New Year’s. Be classy, not trashy if you want to stand out and attract new love during the holidays.

 
This outfit sounded like a good idea after 12 glasses of eggnog. Can you spell E-P-I-C  F-A-I-L?

Holiday Dating Tip #3: Use Your Best Manners


Again, think Old School. Maybe saying “Yes Ma’am” and “Yes, Sir” is going a bit too far—but maybe not. If you’re a single person meeting your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s parents for the first time, it’s really hard to be TOO polite. And the same thing goes for meeting someone on a first date. During the holidays, we just expect people to be nicer, friendlier, and have better manners.

So guys, DO NOT wear mistletoe on you belt buckle thinking you’re going to get some action. That’s an epic fail during the holidays.

 

Holiday Dating Tip #4:  Don’t be a Schmuck—Spend Ten Bucks


The holidays are full of parties—office parties, cocktail parties, dinner parties. Whether you’re a man or a woman, show up bearing a gift. Small and thoughtful is best. Poinsettias. A bottle of affordable wine. Homemade cookies or sweetbread. A small holiday d├ęcor item. Be a wise man (or woman) and play the role of Santa’s little helper. Spending 5 or 10 bucks keeps you from looking like a schmuck. And generosity is VERY appealing to singles of both genders.

 

Holiday Season Tip for Singles #5: Relax and be Your Best Self


The holiday season is a great time to relax, enjoy yourself and stop trying so hard to impress the opposite sex. If you’re a man, leave your tired old pickup lines at home. If you’re a woman, leave your slutty clothes in your closet. This is the time to be comfortable within you own skin in a comfortable, natural way. There is nothing more appealing than that. (And this holiday dating tip works all year long.)

 
Relax and enjoy the holiday season whether you're single or part of a couple.

 

Bonus Holiday Season Tip for Single Women


Ladies, DO NOT dress up your dog in a cute little Santa outfit, thinking that’s a great man magnet. You might think, “That’s so cute!” But men think, “Look at the crazy lady who dressed up her dog like Santa Paws.”


Double Bonus: The Holiday Season is a good time to remember:



Babe Magnet Rule #14

Babe Magnets are confident and sure of themselves. Even if they have to fake it.


Babe Rule #1

Be the Babe. Make him earn your affections. You’re worth the effort.


(NOTE: For more dating and relationship tips, read The Babe Magnet Rules of Dating Over 50: 101 Tips for Meeting, Winning & Keeping a New Love by Chad Stone.)

 

Have a terrific holiday season!