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Self-improvement is vital for success, personal growth, and self-fulfillment. Oh, and don’t forget bragging rights! Here are eight self-improvement tips everyone should know. Give this a chance. This could be the start of something great:

Self-Improvement is Like a Billiards Break. You need to force things to come apart and scatter. This is exactly how self-improvement tips work. Force yourself to go out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to travel, go back to school, learn on the job, etc. Simply put, try everything at least once, within reason of course. It is in this self-exploration that you start to discover your real self.

Overall Improvement. The popular misconception is that self-improvement tips are only concerned with education and emotions. Don’t forget that you want to improve everything about you,including your physical self. Eat right. Get enough exercise. Get plenty of sleep.

Keep a Journal. A journal allows you to keep tabs on yourself. Reading it allows you to go back to what you did a few days, weeks, months, years, ago. How is the reading? Do you need to kick things up a notch and do something for a change!

Base Value. In your journal, add a short description of yourself and your life. Update it on a regular basis i.e. quarter, semi-annually, every year. What has changed? If the answer is nothing; it’s time to do something.

Rest and Relaxation. Do it every day. A couple of minutes are enough. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, breath in and out at a relaxed pace. Slow your breathing and just let everything go. Stop thinking! This is the basis of meditation. Clear the clutter from your mind to give room for new ideas.

Think Positive. The proper mindset is always necessary for self-improvement. If you stop and think of the expenses, lost opportunities, time spent away from your TV, PC, etc. then you won’t accomplish anything. Instead, think of the potential that you can unleash.

Set Milestones. Write things down in your journal. Set milestones or specific objectives. Make it grand and challenging but reasonable. This way you wake up each day with a sense of purpose. When you do reach those milestones, celebrate. Give yourself a well-deserved break or simply buy yourself a big chocolate bar.

Be Critical. Some experts believe that the best way to be critical of yourself is to teach. If that is to your liking, then go ahead. If not, then you can substitute teaching with other critical thinking exercises. For example, writing pros and cons, elaborating on your shortcomings, and asking for an independent assessment from a mentor.


The Fireplace

  • Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing. They burn far too rapidly.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned and dried wood.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or smouldering.
  • Clean the ashes regularly. Place the ashes in a metal container and store outside.

Electrical Outlets

  • There is often a tendency to overload outlets during the holiday season. This is unsafe.
  • Inspect all cords before using. Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire.
  • Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.
  • To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord or run it under carpets or rugs.

The Kitchen
Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires, so be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking. Here’s what to do if grease in a pot or pan catches fire:

  • Smother the flames by covering with a lid.
  • Turn off the heat immediately.
  • Use baking soda (flour can be explosive) on shallow grease fires.
  • Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire.

Last but not least …
make sure your smoke detectors work!

The simple idea of a cold fall night leads to thoughts of cozying up in front of a toasty-warm crackling fire, but wait you don’t have a fireplace. And the price to install one is enough to terminate the dream.

Fortunately, for a fraction of the cost of both traditional and gas units, home dwellers can count on electric fireplaces as an option. With no mess, maintenance or fuss, choosing the right fireplace is just a few steps away.

1. Determine where you would like to position the fireplace, keeping in mind, it’s typically the focal point of a room.

2. Carefully, consider your space and find something to suit the décor. Think of style, scale, color and the type of unit that will be ideal in the space.

3. Look for innovative fireplaces that encompass everything on your checklist and offer a superior flame and warmth.

4. Electric units are simply plug-and-play, but make sure you have an outlet within reach and shop for units that use lower wattage. Some units draw less than a hairdryer!

5. Go shopping.

6. Open the box, plug it in, and enjoy the warmth.

Home is our emotional heartland - a place to restore our balance. You can make your home feel even more like a relaxing haven with:

1. Candle Light. It has a hypnotic, soothing effect for most people.

2. Dimmer Switches. People respond to softer lighting by lowering their voices - an instant stress buster.

3. Plants. They awaken a “back-to-basics” appreciation for life that counteracts the hectic pace of modern living.

4. Sheers. They filter fabric-fading sunlight down to a tension-easing warm glow.

5. Carpeting. Noise is a common stressor, and rugs are great sound absorbers.

6. Soft Music. The right selection can calm instantly. Try Bach, Mozart or your favorite harmony.

Clients often ask Pillar To Post inspectors about the value of upgrading windows. There are many good reasons to upgrade windows, but it is often difficult to decide based solely on dollars and cents.

Save Energy
Replacing old drafty windows with modern windows will save energy, but the cost will not likely justify the energy savings. Break even will only occur after twenty to thirty years. Beware of claims such as 40% savings on your energy bills. Realistically, you may save 10% - 20%. If saving money is your only goal, consider weather stripping and repairing the windows you have. The decision depends on the condition of your current windows and your desire for the benefits discussed below.

Comparing Windows

A standardized rating system called the “U-factor” provides a single number with which to compare windows. The U-factor is a number between 0 and 1: the lower the number, the better. 0.35 is good. In cold climates, the U-factor is the most important factor for selecting a window.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
In climates where air conditioning is more important than heating, the SHGC is the most important factor for choosing a window. The SHGC represents how much heat from the sun penetrates the window. The SHGC is a number between 0 and 1. For air conditioning climates, a number less than 0.4 is good. For heating climates, a larger number, such as 0.6, is better.

Single Pane
A single sheet of glass does not provide sufficient insulation in most climates. If you have single pane windows, consider an upgrade.

Single Pane with Storm Window or Secondary Glazing
A storm window or a second pane of glass inside the home, provides an additional barrier of glass. Mounted over existing windows outside or inside the house, can significantly increase efficiency of the window. Ideal when a home owner wants to keep the existing windows.

Double Glazed
The most common type of glazing used today is double glazed, involving two panes of glass hermetically sealed with a small air gap in between.

Triple Glazed
Three panes of glass hermetically sealed with a small air space in between each. More efficient than double glazed, triple glazing also effectively blocks sound.

Argon Filled
Some manufacturers put argon gas, a better insulator than air, between the panes, resulting in a more efficient window. Most experts agree that the argon does not last forever.

Glass Coatings
Coatings or films can dramatically improve the efficiency of a window. In a heating climate, low-E glass allows short wave solar radiation into the home for a heat gain, and prevents heat loss by reflecting the longer wave heat from inside your house back into the room. In hot climates, the window can be coated or tinted to reduce heat gain from the sun.

Experts believe that with the right mindset, you can invite good luck into your life. To edge your luck along:

1. Know you deserve it. Positive thinking will keep you open to “lucky” experiences. In fact, if you look for it, you’re much more likely to find luck.

2. Use a mantra. Try saying, I’ve been taken care of in the past, and I will be again now. You will open up more good things coming in.

3. Listen to your instincts. Our gut instincts usually lead us to “lucky” outcomes.

4. Break your normal routine. People who try new things - and who are flexible - are more likely to find luck.

5. Imagine being lucky. Visualizing yourself triumphing or getting a lucky surprise, like a promotion, can lead to real-life luck.

Pamper overnight guests with these simple steps to preparing a restful guest bedroom.

1. Put a reading lamp beside the bed. Who wants to get out of a cosy cocoon to turn off the ceiling light?

2. Display books and magazines. Many people love to do a bit of reading when away from home. It’s a great way to unwind.

3. Hang a fresh robe on a hook. It’s too bulky to pack when travelling, so it is a great indulgence to have one waiting for guests.

4. Provide note cards, postcards and stamps. Receiving an actual piece of mail is so special these days.

5. Put out a wonderful candle. Create some ambiance - and don’t forget the striker and the matches.

6. Decorate with a sweet little bouquet. Fresh flowers are always welcoming, even if it is just a small vase with a simple bloom.

1. Modern windows are more energy efficient. Using less fuel preserves our environment.

2. New windows eliminate drafts and cold spots.

3. New windows look better, potentially increasing the value of your house.

4. New windows function better and are often easier to clean.

5. Modern windows block street sounds better.


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