Want to Live a Long Life? Get a Positive Attitude!

You’ve probably heard over and over again that living a long life is caused by a good bunch of genetics. You might even figure that you probably don’t have the “proper genes” to live to be 100 years old or more.

Well, guess what? That whole way of thinking is starting to be sharply questioned and turned on its head!

Recent studies have shown that besides genetics a great deal of what keeps people alive for 100 years or more comes down to certain personality traits that they possess.

You read it right – PERSONALITY TRAITS!

Research is showing more and more that having a positive attitude and a sense of humor could play a pretty big role in helping you live a longer and healthier life.

Groups of centenarians who had participated in the studies have displayed other key traits besides learning to laugh and have a positive attitude. They were optimistic, easygoing, and extroverted, laugh more often than not, and express their emotions instead of bottling them up and letting them fester.

In addition, the participants were also more conscientious and less neurotic than many other Americans. But what does that even mean? Well, neurotic people tend to experience negative emotions more often than not, meaning that they respond emotionally (that is, negatively) to events that wouldn’t affect others. For example, stress and frustration to one who is more on the neurotic side would mean that minor setbacks such as the car being low on gas before going to work (and forgetting to fill up the day before), forgetting your lunch, or the dog having an accident in the house would appear to be hopelessly difficult obstacles. They may find themselves in a bad mood more often in not because they sweat the small stuff. Think of them as Drama Queens (or Drama Kings).

So what do you need to do to help yourself live a long, healthy, and happy life (well, besides eat well and exercise frequently)? It’s in the evidence – you need to get a positive attitude, pronto!

If you happen to be a bit on the negative or neurotic side, then don’t fret – you can get a positive attitude right now! It may be easier said than done, but you’ll find that practicing positive thinking and having a positive attitude will make you experience a happier life. Try to keep light of things and find humor in everything, be kind, conscientious, and work hard, too. This, along with eating well and getting exercise, will help ensure that you live a happy, healthy, long life.

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

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10 Ways To Improve Your Day in Just 5 Minutes!

Five minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but it can mean making your day that much better (or worse)! In just five minutes, you can turn your tough day around to become a great day for you! It can also lower your stress level, raise your energy level, lower your blood pressure, AND give you just the right amount of inspiration you need to get through the rest of your day!

Take five minutes to try out one, several, or all of these tips to help you have a better day!

Stretch – No need to get into the downward-facing dog position! All you need to do is stretch your arms and legs for just a few minutes. Stretching can help improve your flexibility and circulation, and it can help ease any muscle tightness you may be experiencing!

Prioritize – No one’s in a good mood when things are thrown about helter-skelter. Go ahead and take a few minutes to put together a to-do list and prioritize what you need to do in your day. Nibble away at your list bit by bit, and you will find that you will not only get more work done but you will also be in a more positive mood!

When Life Gives You Lemons… – Sniff them! You heard me. When you’re stressed out (and have some lemons around), go grab one and take a few sniffs. Not into lemons? That’s okay – basil, juniper, and lavender do just fine when it comes to lowering your stress levels!

Clean Off Your Desk – Losing focus? Getting more and more negative as the day progresses? Stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and clear off your desk! Take a few minutes to properly file stray papers on your desk, clean up your coffee mugs, and generally declutter your workspace. You’ll find that you’ll work better than you have all day!

Meditate – If you find that your stress level is going through the roof, take a few minutes to get into a comfortable position and meditate. Just focus on your breathing and work on getting your stress level down. If you’re not into meditation, you can also try praying or finding a short, powerful mantra to help you get through your day.

Have a Laugh – In a bad mood? Feel like you’ll never shake your frown off your face? Go ahead and take a little time find humor in something! Put on a favorite comedy CD, watch a few clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos, or find a funny video on YouTube to watch and laugh at! You’ll find that once you start laughing, your bad mood will be withering away in no time!

Play Your Favorite Tunes – Did you know that listening to your favorite music can help lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost your mood? It’s true! Put on your favorite tunes and watch your bad mood melt away!

Relive a Memory – When times are tough, try to conjure up a happy memory to put a big smile on your face. Think about your wedding day, a favorite outing with your friends, or the best part of your most favorite vacation to get yourself in a better frame of mind.

Turn Your Electronics Off – Technology in large doses can zap your energy straight away. Take some time in your day to log off you computer and stay away from your smart phone. Better yet, if you can, try to get outside and get some sunshine! Remember, just because the world is turned on 24-7, you don’t have to be!

Practice Gratitude – Take a minute every day to write down whatever it is you’re grateful for – big or small! Keep photos of events or people you are grateful for on your desk, too. This can help you appreciate all the positives you experience in your life and drown out all the negatives.

I hope that these tips will help you have a more positive day! Remember, there are no bad days, just bad moments!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

New School Year + New Positive Attitude = New, Successful You!

 

The beginning of a new school year can mean a lot of things to many different people, students and instructors alike. It can bring excitement and determination, or it can be a daunting day of dread that is marked square in the middle of August.

While a new school year can be nerve-racking to say the least, we should always approach the first day with zeal, motivation, and above all, a positive attitude. Check out my tips below for high school students, college students, and instructors of all kinds on how to have a successful school year this year!

High School Students

That Agenda is There For a Reason! You know that thick, small notebook that your teachers hand out to you and your classmates at the beginning of the school year? That’s an agenda, and it should be treated as your best friend. Use it to write down your homework assignments, upcoming events, games, practices, study sessions, and anything else you’ll need to remember. In order to be successful, you must stay on top of all of your homework and activities, so heed your teacher’s advice – write it down!

Don’t Procrastinate – Procrastination is tempting and sometimes hard to avoid. Do your best to avoid all procrastination, especially when it comes to tests, papers, and projects; it will definitely affect your grades! Be accustomed to getting things done early and out of the way!

Stay Healthy, Inside and Out – Your health is something to be cherished. Be sure that you eat a proper breakfast and lunch and eat, healthy, nutritious food to give you fuel throughout the day. Get enough exercise every day, and don’t go to bed late – sleep is as important as eating healthily! Most importantly – say no to drugs!

Balance Your School and Social Lives – School is incredibly important; you must do well in order to get into a good college, have a good resume, and land a good job afterward. While school should be your number one priority, don’t forget to get involved in some extracurricular activities! Sure, you can get straight A’s in all of your classes, but it won’t look as impressive when you’re not involved in anything at school. So go ahead – join band, the Spanish club, yearbook, or anything else you’d love to do!

Be Kind and Be Yourself – Try to be friends with everyone at your school, but remember to be yourself. Don’t conform to the crowds; have your own style and identity so you can leave your mark on your high school. You’ll be happier and you’ll more than likely gain respect from your peers and teachers.

College Students

Don’t Skip Class – Sure, it’s tempting to sleep in and wave off your early classes, but heed my advice – GO to your classes. You’ll learn the material so much better when you listen to your professor instead of interpreting a friend’s notes afterward. You’ll also be up-to-date with assignments, projects, quizzes, and exams.

Get Organized – College is so much different compared to high school. Your professors will more than likely not remind you of test dates and when your assignments are due, so it’s imperative that you become organized! Even a simple wall calendar, dry-erase markers, and colored sticky notes will do the trick.

Stay Well-Rounded – While college is a time to focus on your studies and your future, you should also get involved with your college or university by joining in some clubs and extracurricular activities that pique your interest! Play an intramural sport with your friends, join the marching band, or consider writing for the school paper! Good grades AND involvement in activities will look enticing on your resume to future employers!

Get Involved – Want a way to find friends, take your mind off classes, and enjoy college to the fullest? Get involved in your campus community! Check out the fraternities or sororities that interest you (and maybe align with your major), volunteer in and around the community, and lend your talents to the groups that could use it!

Make Friends – The friends you make in college will more than likely last you a lifetime, so be sure to make a lot of good friendships that are mutually supportive and nurturing. Spend time with your friends and make memories together during your time in college.

Instructors

Be Prepared – Preparation is key to a new school year! Try to take some time to organize your classroom space, resources, and materials, and do your best to create lesson plans for your classes. This organization and preparedness will help you attain a more positive attitude more easily, AND it will help alleviate a lot of undue stress.

Evaluate Last Year – Look at your plans from last year and ask yourself if they were effective or not. If not, make the changes accordingly. If your plans didn’t work out last year, don’t be discouraged. Remember, we must learn from our mistakes in order to be successful!

Don’t Complain – This goes double in front of students. Not only will you slide into a rotten mood, but you will also lower the morale of your students and others around you. Don’t fret about things, especially if you can’t change them – it will all work out for the best.

Build Positive Relationships – A positive relationship with your students and their families is crucial to good classroom management and academic success, so during the first week, take the initiative to get to know your students and what they’re interested in. Greet your students at the door every day, and try to remember their names as quickly as you can. This will help bring morale in your classroom up and may help keep it that way.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help – You won’t know the answers to every dilemma, especially if you’re a new teacher. Don’t let your pride stand in your way of bettering yourself for your sake and for your students’ sake. Ask veteran teachers for their opinion on the matter, whatever it is; they can be the best resource you could possibly have!

I hope that you have a wonderful school year this year, whether you’re a teacher or student. Remember to stay positive and focus on the good, and the future is limitless!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

The 8 Life Lessons the Summer Olympics Can Teach Us

 

Millions of people around the globe wait for the time in which the Summer Olympics makes its appearance every four years, showcasing the best, strongest athletes from countless countries. These Olympic games are in the spotlight of the entire world for a few weeks, and while many people absolutely love watching the games, there are others who couldn’t care less or care more about watching their professional sports team’s season.

Whether you love or hate the Olympics, there are many life lessons that we can learn from the Olympic games. Check out my 8 favorite lessons below!

Training + Focus + Self-Discipline = Success! This is a formula that every serious athlete knows. They are dedicated individuals who put their distractions to the side, no matter how tempting they might be. We should do the same and focus our energy, time, and passion on the things that really matter to us – our friends, family, job, hobbies, and anything else that takes importance in our lives.

Defeat Isn’t Always a Bad Thing – Defeat doesn’t have to mean that we’re not cut out for accomplishing what we’ve set out to do. In fact, defeat can be a powerful tool for motivating us to succeed. So don’t be afraid to raise the bar to see how far you can go – if you fail, pick yourself back up, train some more, and try again!

Cooperation Is Vital to Success – There are some people who thrive in a teamwork setting, and there are others who prefer to “go it alone.” While there’s nothing wrong with either method, working together is truly essential to achieve your goals. Even those who participate in individual sports know that they must cooperate with their trainers, nutritionists, and everyone else who can help them be successful. Successful individuals and teams realize that it is vital to use everyone’s individual strengths to reach their goals!

You Have to Work For What You Really Want – You know the old adage, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for,” right? Well, those words weren’t said just because they sound pretty together in a sentence! The goals and dreams worth having in life are usually hard to achieve, and you must be willing to risk failure and face any of your fears and insecurities to reach those goals. Trust me – it will be so worth it once you get there. Just look at the sheer joy that lights up the athletes’ faces whenever they win the gold medal. If that isn’t proof, then I don’t know what is!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help – A little humility goes a long way in life, and this is also true when it comes to accomplishing your goals. Admitting that you don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean that you’re inferior! Sometimes you need to seek others’ assistance in order to really achieve your goals. So don’t let your pride get in your way – have a humble, flexible, and positive attitude, and you can go far!

You Can’t (and Shouldn’t) Please Everyone – This is sometimes very hard to accept (and takes YEARS to accept sometimes) for those who are kindhearted and want to make everyone happy. Unfortunately, sometimes you just need to face the harsh reality that no matter what you do, you will have people who are against you or what you are setting out to do. Conversely, you’re bound to have supporters cheering you on in your endeavors. Stop trying to please everyone – remember, it’s YOUR happiness that truly matters!

Losing Doesn’t Make You a Failure – While losing or failure can bring great disappointment to anyone, it shouldn’t mean that you yourself are a failure. Don’t let a loss or setback discourage you; learn from your mistakes and try again!

It’s ALL About the Attitude – There are always positive and negative aspects when it comes to pretty much everything in life. You must remember that YOU are the one who makes the choice on whether you’ll focus on the positive or the negative attributes. I for one hope you choose to adopt a positive attitude and hold your head up high when the going gets rough from time to time!

If you’re not a fan of the Olympics at all but like sports, you can easily draw these lessons from your favorite athletes and teams to give you inspiration in all of your endeavors. Just remember – it takes humility, hard work, and a positive attitude to achieve your goals!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

Are You Not Finding a Job? Or Are Future Employers Running Away From You?

We all know that the current economy isn’t like the economy of a decade ago (or even five years ago). We know of friends, neighbors, or even our own family members who can’t seem to land a job no matter how hard they try or what they do.

Perhaps it’s not that the ones you care about can’t FIND a job. Maybe the employers just don’t like what they see on their social networking pages.

Like it or not, employers are using social media more and more for checking out job candidates to see if they’re the best for the position available. In fact, according to a recently published study, 92% of employers are currently using or will be using social media for hiring this year.

So what will employers be looking for on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles? Here are some qualities that employers are keeping their eyes peeled for:

You Have a Positive Nature – Status updates that are negative in tone can turn off some employers, especially if it’s constant. After all, who wants to work with someone who’s going to do nothing but complain all the time? If you tend to have positive status updates or a positive outlook on life, you will seem more appealing to employers.

You’re Honest and Clean – Lying about your qualifications and abusing drugs and alcohol are big no-noes in the working world. This goes for pictures that include alcohol or drugs as well. Bad-mouthing your former employers is also seen as a huge turn-off to many employers. Remember – keep it honest, and keep it clean.

You Volunteer – If you volunteer in your spare time, then don’t be afraid to tell the world once in a while or put it in your profile information! Employers tend to love those who volunteer because they view that person as having a kind, caring, and selfless nature (and maybe that nature will carry over into that person’s day job, too!).

Here are some qualities or actions that are posted on social media that could cause your potential employer to turn and run the other way (quickly!):

Your Posts are Explicit in Nature – References to illicit drugs, mentions of alcohol consumption, and posts that are sexual in nature tend to be viewed in a very negative manner by a large majority of employers, which leads to a lack of a job in the future.

You Disregard Using Proper Grammar – You may have graduated with honors from college recently, but if your updates and content are all riddled with grammatical errors and misspellings, this could spell disaster to your potential employer.

You Post Suggestive Pictures – If the photos you post show any drugs, alcohol consumption, or anything suggestive or sexual in nature, your potential employer might think that you have yet to mature and aren’t qualified for the job. I suggest that you refrain from posting pictures of you enjoying an alcoholic beverage, especially if you’re underage.

Remember, your social networks give the world a glimpse of who you are, and this includes any and all future employers. Even if you don’t give out your social networking information, your potential boss will look you up anyway. Keep in mind that they are very likely to scope out your profiles, especially if they need to weed out some candidates from the opening.

Think you don’t need to be on social media? Think again. If employers notice that you aren’t on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, they will not only think that you’re outdated, but they might also suspect that you may be hiding something, which puts you in an untrustworthy light.

So how comfortable would you be if your employer or future employer looked you up and started raking through your social media accounts?

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

The Top 10 Things You Can Do TODAY To Improve Yourself!

 

What’s the secret to success?

We seem to seek the answer to this question in our daily lives. Most of the time the answer remains to be elusive. We turn to books, blogs, and perhaps our own parents and mentors to help us discover the secret to success.

When it comes to the secret to success, many of the accomplished athletes, musicians, artists, writers, public speakers, and other accomplished individuals know one sole fact – there is ALWAYS room for self-improvement.

Here are ten things that you can do today to begin improving yourself, one step at a time!

Wake Up Early – Night owls may not like this suggestion very much, but several experts have acknowledged that waking up early (that is, 5 or 6 a.m.) improves your productivity and your quality of life. This is very true as you physically have more hours in your day to accomplish all that you want. In another sense, waking up early helps ready your mindset to be productive each and every day.

Make Your Room Inspirational – Everyone needs a place to go to seek inspiration. But what if you didn’t HAVE to go far to get the inspiration you need? Well, the good news is that you don’t! If your room or space is dull, messy, or leaves something to be desired, then don’t be afraid to change it up! Make your space into something awesome, inspirational, and something meaningful to you!

Learn Something New – Teachers do it right – they’re life-long learners. Why not follow suit and take up something new? Is there a course you’ve always wanted to take but were too afraid to do so? Do you want to learn how to play a new sport? How about cooking a new dish or doing something new on the computer? Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in many ways and promotes growth.

Start Journaling – If you want to gain a better sense of self-awareness, start journaling. Write about anything you like. Afterwards, read through it, and try to put yourself in an outsider’s position. You will see yourself in a different light. Additionally, journaling is quite therapeutic! Keep your journal in a private notebook, on an online blog, or anything in between!

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – Real growth occurs when we work hard and get out of our comfort zones. Being too comfortable does no good for us – in fact, it makes us stagnate. If you feel like you’ve been in your comfort zone too much, try getting out and trying new things. Mix up your routine now and again. You’ll find that you grow as you learn new concepts and ideas along the way.

Learn From Those Who Inspire You – Think about all those who inspire you. What do you like about them? Which qualities do you admire the most about them? Learn from them and figure out how you, too, can acquire those qualities.

Face Your Fears – Everyone’s afraid of something. But whether we fear speaking in front of others, heights, spiders, or even the unknown, we must all face our fears because these fears prevent us from growing to our full potential. So get out there and give a speech. Go ahead and plant the flowers you want in your yard, even if there are a ton of creepy bugs out there. Addressing and conquering these fears helps you grow.

Let Go of the Past – Is there something from the past that you’re still holding onto? Perhaps an old grievance? If this is so, you need to let go and move one with your life. Holding onto the past impedes your progress of moving forward and becoming who you need to become. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and move on.

Befriend The Top Professionals in Their Fields – Find those who are in the position that you dream of being in. Find out how they got there. What attitudes did they have? What skill sets do they have in their arsenal? These insights can help you improve, and you can someday achieve those same results for yourself.

Be Kind To Those Around You – Perhaps one of the most overlooked practical things we can do to improve ourselves is being kind to those around us. Kindness helps create the qualities we wish to see inside ourselves – compassion, empathy, patience, and love. Start being more kind to those around you, and you will find that not only will they respond differently, but you will, too, and you’ll feel even better about yourself.

If you seek growth and success in your life, I challenge you to implement the above suggestions in your life. You’ll see that day by day you’ll begin reaching the goals that you set for yourself and will live a happier, more fulfilling life.

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit http://www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

Bucket Lists and Why You Should Have One!

Organization and time management are two of my favorite topics. I try to give people advice on how to be more productive so they can squeeze an extra hour out of their day. However, the bigger question is: What will YOU do with your extra hour?

Take a moment to look at the past three months – What did you accomplish? Did anything stand out? Having a bucket list is a way to remind you of what is really important to YOU so you can act on it!

Contrary to popular belief, the objective of a bucket list isn’t to be some kind of race against time before you “kick the bucket.”  The point of a bucket list is to help people live life to its fullest and maximize every moment of existence. It is a chance to think of everything you ever wanted to do, whether it is big or small, and write it down.

Why should you have a bucket list?

A bucket list spreads enthusiasm!  Each time you cross off something on your list, you will feel a sense of achievement. You will be truly happy to spend time to accomplish YOUR dreams. You and your spouse or friend can take turns picking items to cross off and complete your bucket list together. Wouldn’t it be more fun to learn how to roller-skate with your husband after work than watching TV?

A bucket list is a great productivity tool. When you list your goals in black and white, you spend more time on these important things and less time goofing off. As you start marking off your bucket list and adding things that bring you joy in your life, you will be more focused at work. You will want to leave the office on time to attend to the compelling life that you made yourself, chock full of new experiences.

A bucket list helps eliminate the feeling that days are passing by. June is already halfway over (Can you believe it? Where has the month gone?) With a bucket list in hand, you will remember all the meaningful accomplishments you made when you think about the month of June. Instead of thinking, “Where did the time go?” your brain will be thinking, “What can I do next?”

How to create your bucket list:

The only thing a bucket list will cost you is time (probably around 30 minutes), so why not make one? It is FUN! If you already have a bucket list, take this moment to review it and maybe add some new goals.

Now, find a pen and a piece of paper or start typing on your computer and write whatever comes to mind. Allow yourself to dream of anything in the world! This is your chance to let yourself think of what you would do if you had unlimited time, money, and resources.

Here are some questions to get your creative juices flowing:

1.    If you were to die tomorrow, what would you wish to do before you die?

2.    What are some places you would like to visit? Remember, there’s no place too big or too small!

3.    Which restaurants would you like to try?

4.    What is your dream career?

5.    Are there any activities or hobbies you would like to try?

6.    What do you want to see in person?

7.    What would you like to achieve in different areas: love, social, family, finance, spiritual?

8.    Would you like to say, “Thank you,” or, “I’m sorry,” to anyone?

9.    What type of business would you like to own?

10.What physical changes would you like to make? Your hair color, pierce your ears, lose weight?

These are just some thoughts to get your bucket list started. For additional inspiration, check out some items on MY bucket list!

·      Sing in a band.

·      Ride on the back of a motorcycle.

·      Take my mom to Washington D.C. (on her list)

·      Learn to ice skate.

·      Make a list of apologies that need to be made and make them.

·      Own a million dollar company.

·      Take ballroom dance lessons.

If you feel that you aren’t living your life to the fullest, I suggest taking the time out today to create a bucket list. It will help you make every extra hour in your day full of endless possibilities and create meaningful memories that will last you a lifetime!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit http://www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!