3 Reminders To Build Strong Bonds With Your Children

3 Reminders To Build Strong Bonds With Your Children

With so many parenting tips and advice out there, it is so easy for parents to feel overwhelmed or confused. However, a close look at all the how to’s and must do’s may make you realize that everything just boils down to one essential factor. This is that parents who want to raise happy and successful kids should focus on forming a strong and positive connection with their children.

Just imagine the wonderful sense of fulfillment you would feel if your little ones trust you and freely share ideas with you? When you have a positive relationship with your children, you give them strong emotional security that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Parenting books give you endless lists of things to do so you can form a special bond with your child. As you work your way to become the best parent you can be, make sure that you do not forget the following crucial points as well:

Do not forget to shower them with affection

Everybody wants to raise a responsible child. To achieve this you would probably prioritize instilling discipline early in life. In setting rules and restrictions, some parents may hold off showing affection for fear that the child may not take them seriously. However, parents should remember that being overly affectionate will not spoil their child. In fact, physical gestures such as hugging and snuggling provide numerous benefits upon children. Among many other things, affection increases confidence, reduces anxieties, and prevents tantrums. Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that infants with affectionate mothers can easily cope with stress as adults. So of all the things you have to be scared of, do not be afraid to show your children how much you love and appreciate them through physical and verbal affection.

Do not forget to focus on the moment

Parenting is hard work. It is a 24/7 job filled with sleepless nights and stressful days. It is easy to get caught up in a routine and the tasks you have to accomplish. You may get to achieve great things this way. However, the downside is that you may forget to be in the moment. Do not forget that your children will never be this young or innocent ever again. Time passes by so fast and once it is gone, you can never take it back. So make it a priority to enjoy these precious years by giving them your undivided time and attention. This means that when you sit down to talk to them, you make them feel your presence. It may mean removing gadgets or other distractions that may ruin the moment. This way, you get to listen intently to the things they have to say and you get to know each other better.

Do not forget that they are not your possessions

A poem from the famous writer, Kahlil Gibran has an opening line that says, “Your children are not your children.” It is a gentle reminder that even if you are fully responsible for your children, you cannot fully control or manipulate them because they have their own minds and unique personalities. As a parent, your goal is not to show where they have to go but to help them discover the best path for themselves. When you accept and respect your child as an individual, you give them a chance to nurture their innate talents and achieve their full potential.

In the end, there is no exact formula or detailed steps to take on how you can form a special bond with your child. However, there is one thing that you must always remember as you raise your kids – that every effort you do out of love for your children matters. Your child will surely appreciate and cherish the special bond you have with them all their lives.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Reminders To Build Strong Bonds With Your Children
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4 Things You Can Start Today To Reach Your Goals In No Time

4 Things You Can Start Today To Reach Your Goals In No Time

The road to victory entails discipline, hard work, and commitment. For most people, success takes time and can even be an elusive idea. So it is common to receive many warnings as we attempt to take steps towards our dreams. Some would even caution you to prepare for the worst. It is true and sound advice to take caution, but there is no rule saying that you cannot fast-track your way to victory. With a few tips and tricks, it is possible to enjoy the fruits of your labor in the shortest possible time. You may want to try the suggestions below and may just be surprised to find that it actually works.

Identify Your Targets

Your list of dreams is probably a long one. However, in goal-setting, you may need to trim it down until you are down to the one goal you specifically want. Aiming for specificity will allow you to focus on your ultimate goal and will help you plan the best strategy to attain it. Just like in a shooting range, you have to stop and stare at your lone target before you can declare, “bull’s eye!”

Claim Your Victory

Many studies attest to the wonders that visualization, affirmation, and meditation can do in our lives. So once you identify your ultimate goal, you can start visualizing yourself achieving your dreams. Success and excellence come to those who believe. Therefore, claim your victory even before it happens. Manifest your dream by visualizing and vocalizing it, and it might just materialize. 

Take Risks

If you want to live the life of your dreams, you have to be ready to get out of your comfort zone. Dare to take the road less traveled and be bold enough to take risks. By not following the usual route, you may just discover a more rewarding and faster road to success. Just make sure that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into and that you are ready to cope with whatever outcome your actions will bring.

Work Harder & Aim To Excel

Individuals who wish to achieve great things in life fully understand that mediocrity is not the way to go. So be prepared to walk the extra mile and aim to be better than the best. Likewise, you should not forget the value of hard work. Just because there is a faster way to success does not mean it will be an easier way. Be willing to toil hard and make sacrifices along the way. Be passionate about what you do and you may just soon find yourself reaping success after success.

They say good things are worth the wait but as long as it does not harm anyone, it is definitely not a sin to attempt to achieve positive results faster. The strategies listed above do not guarantee an exact formula for success. But adopting these mindsets and applying them to your everyday life will surely make you a better person and may ultimately improve your life.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman4 Things You Can Start Today To Reach Your Goals In No Time
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Three Ways To Begin a Diet Transformation For Busy Lives

Three Ways To Begin a Diet Transformation For Busy Lives

It takes roughly 21 days to make a habit. Though that in itself does not seem difficult, we can all agree that when you toss children, work, and quite frankly general life into that mix, it suddenly makes it darn tough to maintain a lifestyle makeover. When prioritizing family, career and a social life it’s hard to carve out time to sit down and reevaluate your entire dietary routine. While body types and metabolisms vary, here are three simple changes to implement in your day to day life to kickstart your journey to a better you.

Cut Down On Liquid Calories

Let’s be honest. A lot of beverages on the market are inherently good for us; coffee, tea, and smoothies have their nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, a handful of places that dish up these drinks on-the-go load them up with artificial sweeteners and additives. Yes, the surge of energy that the refined sugars in sodas, energy drinks, and our go-to coffee concoctions put into our bodies is satisfying. However, what I’m sure everyone has learned to loathe is the blood sugar crash that follows and has us ready to toss everything from our desks, hop into sweatpants, and take a nap. This sluggish afternoon drag can be avoided. It’s a tough habit to kick. Try amping up your water intake as you lower the liquid calories to avoid dehydration. By removing simple processed sugars from your diet, you’ll see an improvement in your mood as well as your waistline. Your body will feel refreshed and function better with increased hydration levels.

Tackle Your Biggest Monster First

Everyone is guilty of a habit that they’re aware is detrimental to their health. It may be swinging through the fast food drive-thru on your daily commute home. For some, it’s sweet treats during breaks. And for others, it’s half a dozen soft drinks to make it through the afternoon. Pick the one aspect of your diet that you think is making the heaviest impact on your health and decide on a game plan to change this. Focus on this single habit and make a conscious effort to improve this focus dietary change. Make a promise to yourself to cut down to half or a third of the amount of your regular routine and gradually phase it out as the month goes on. It’s a process that will be much easier if you are slowly finding substitutions you enjoy to replace your guilty pleasure versus depriving yourself. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Be Prepared To Fight The Hunger Battle

We’ve all been victim to hunger striking at an unexpected hour of the day. As cliche as it may seem, if you’re needing an afternoon pick-me-up, try opting for fruit or a healthy fat. Though it still contains sugars, fruits are natural sugars which make them easier to digest in your body, and the carbohydrates in an easy to grab a snack like heart-healthy nuts will also give your body the fuel it needs to work through the afternoon. Choose two or three snacks over the weekend to bring to stash at your workspace. The variety will add excitement and make it tougher to fall into a rut.

Not only will all these simple swaps be beneficial to your health, but things that you can share with your kids. As busy parents sometimes we because guilty of a “do as I say, not as I do” and that’s no fun. Spending time tackling these bad habits now will lead to healthier times with your family in the future.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanThree Ways To Begin a Diet Transformation For Busy Lives
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Why Choose A Service Trip As Your Summer Family Vacation

Why Choose A Service Trip As Your Summer Family Vacation

As the Summer months approach, many parents are beginning to line up schedules full of activities, kid camps and play dates in order to fill the time for children on summer break. As parents seek out anything to entertain their children and make sure their brains don’t turn to mush during the vacation from school, it oftentimes leads to a packed schedule more so than when school is in session. If you are some of the lucky few, you are able to include a summer vacation somewhere in between the calendar of constant activities. Vacation offers families a break from the craziness of summer break, a time to spend with each other, and a time for adventure. This year, instead of jetting off to your typical beach destination or tourist attraction, consider opting for an alternative vacation focused on serving others and new experiences that will encourage much needed direct family time.

Here are the reasons why you should opt for a service trip as your family’s summer vacation this year:

Disconnect From Chaos And Connect With What’s Important

Participating in a service trip provides the opportunity to disconnect from digital devices, packed schedules, and negative influences, and to focus our energy and time on important values that we may have forgotten. Typically, those that need help are living in poverty or even way below the line. When seeing how others live with far less than we have, and doing so with smiles and laughter, it changes one’s perspective. It will provide you a new perspective on what matters in life, a sense of joy for life and its newfound simplicity, gratitude for each other and all your blessings. The opportunity to reconnect you and your family back to what matters most in life is one that can be found on a service trip.

Unique Opportunities For Family Bonding

When you go on a service trip, most likely you will be living in an entirely new environment, with a different context of living than you are used to (IE. A small village in Africa may not have running water for showers or drinking). Such circumstances will force you and your family to step outside of your comfort zone and adapt to new situations together. Through overcoming obstacles, experiencing new activities, and stepping outside from what you know, it will create memorable experiences only you will understand. Service trips unplug you from cell phones, tablets and TV’s, and encourage time spent interacting with each other. The experiences and memories made will always be remembered and cherished by both parents and children.

Explore New Cultures

Most vacations involve visiting several tourist attractions, which provide very minimal insights into the local culture and way of life. The locations chosen for service trips are far from tourist hot spots and are places you most likely would not otherwise visit. Typically, the villages and small towns are in the middle of nowhere, with no economic means. Therefore, many of these towns need the assistance of volunteers and donated services to help improve daily life. Because of this, villagers rely heavily on tradition and it allows volunteers the opportunity to learn the heart and soul of the country’s culture. From elementary age children to adults, everyone will have their own intercultural experience when living like the locals of the area while on a service trip. This experience influences a person’s interpretation of differences and allows parents the opportunity to mold children’s overall acceptance and respect for other cultures.

Everyone Will Grow

Every member of your family will develop and grow positively from the experiences on a service trip. There will be opportunities for parents to teach their kids about kindness, generosity, and acceptance, and moments for children to teach their parents how to play a new game learned from the children in the village. Everyone will walk away having learned a new skill or two—from painting a house, to how to lead a team. Some may find a new passion or career path to follow based on the work and services they provided on the trip. As a parent, it is important to provide children with the opportunities to learn in different ways and that is just what a service trip does. In the end, volunteers will come home feeling successful and empowered to continue giving back and making a difference in the lives of others, which ultimately provides a continuous opportunity for personal growth.

There is a common misconception that to attend a service trip you must be religiously driven, but the truth is all you need is a desire to give back and make a difference in the lives of others. As an alternative to the traditional summer vacation, a service trip offers a new adventure filled with many opportunities for quality family time and bonding, emphasis on values and personal development and special memories that will always be kept close to the heart. So, before all those summer activities pile up on the schedule, be sure to reserve a week or two to make a family adventure out of a service trip this year.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanWhy Choose A Service Trip As Your Summer Family Vacation
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Simple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out

Simple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out

Working out can easily transition from a stress reliever to feeling like another job that you’ve grown to dread. It’s important to think about your health from a holistic perspective; consider the wellbeing of your mind, body, and soul as a system of interconnected components. While being active, think of your whole being, not just specific muscles. Taking a holistic approach to your health and life, in general, can help ensure that you stay on a healthy track.

Working out can easily transition from a stress reliever to feeling like another job that you’ve grown to dread. When being active, it’s equally important to think of your wellbeing as much as your muscle mass. Approaching your health and daily life from a holistic way can help you enjoy staying on track and avoid feeling burnt out of your usual routine.

Living an active lifestyle rather than living at the gym

Many people directly associate working out with signing up for a gym membership. Instead of joining a gym, strive to increase the activity in your everyday life. Take the stairs, take a short walk during lunch or opt for a standing desk. There are many small changes you can make to your everyday routine to live a more active lifestyle. This can also be very helpful when planning workouts.

If you dread your workout- find a different one!

If you have a planned workout scheduled every day that feels more like a chore than an escape, it’s time to change it up. Being active should be fun! If you don’t find joy in the types of workouts you do, the desire to keep up with your workouts won’t last. Everyone is different, so take care in finding what works for you. Even taking the “routine” out of your routine may be the answer to more holistic health. Instead of scheduling a trip to the gym every day at 7 am, fill your week with multiple activities that you enjoy. There are many activities that don’t sound like traditional workouts but do your body good just the same. Taking the dog on a long walk, going on a bike ride with the kids, taking a morning hike on your day off, jumping on the trampoline, cleaning out the garage, or planting a garden in the backyard can all be beneficial to your health. Think about filling your week with meaningful activities that get your body moving.

Take some “me time” to exercise your mind, body, and soul

Workout classes and working out with a group of friends may be fun, but some time alone can be great for your mental stability. Take a run by yourself or do some yoga outside. This quiet session with yourself can help you clear your mind, de-stress and organize your thoughts. Taking time to refresh can help you ready yourself for work and other day-to-day tasks. If your life tends to involve constant interaction, a quiet retreat of an hour by yourself can do your mind, body, and soul some good.

Take a Spa day

Yes, you read that right. Taking care of your body means more than just working out and eating right. A massage can do wonders for your lymphatic system, circulation, loosen tight muscles, and de-stress your body. Take an hour to get a facial to take care of your skin and help you relax and unwind. Sometimes we get so caught up in taking care of the tasks and other people in our lives that we forget to take a moment to take care of ourselves.

Being healthy shouldn’t be a chore! It’s important to take care of yourself, in all aspects of your mind, body, and soul. Your health is your wealth. Approaching your life with a more holistic way of thinking can help you achieve a healthy ‘work-life-family and whatever else you can think of’ balance.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanSimple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out
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3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018

3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018

No matter how extensive your list of resolutions is for the new year, we’re willing to bet that somewhere on that list is a bullet point that reads something along the lines of “eat better” or “exercise more.” And while those are both great goals to set for yourself, staying physically fit and healthy is so much more than that. It involves every aspect of your lifestyle. So this year give your body everything it deserves to feel its best. Here are 3 easy tips for a healthier lifestyle in 2018.

Go outside your comfort zone

2017 may have been the year of self-care, but we’re saying 2018 is the year to be bold and unapologetically yourself. And with that boldness comes risks, adventures, and new discoveries. So take risks in every area of your life––your diet and fitness regime included. Make a point this year to try new meals and explore the benefits of foods you haven’t had before. When it comes to fitness, challenge yourself to break out of your go-to workout. If you’re an avid runner, challenge your mind and body by signing up for a yoga class. Or instead of following your regular gym routine, grab a friend and sign up for a HIIT class. You’ll never know all of what your body is capable of unless you push yourself past your comfort zone.

Drink more water

It’s the oldest tip in the book, but for good reason. No matter your lifestyle, hydrating a little more throughout the day will make your body feel better and look healthier. Purchase a new water bottle to keep with you throughout the day, so you can fill up whenever you need to. At the very least, challenge yourself to drink a cup of water right when you wake up and before you get in bed.

Listen to your body

A healthy body looks different to everyone, so staying in touch with what your body needs is the key to reaching your optimal level of health. Believe it or not, sometimes your body needs a break from the high-intensity workout sessions and strict diet regulations. So this year don’t be afraid to take a day off from the gym if you’re feeling a little rundown. And if the slice of cake is really speaking to you, remember that no one is stopping you. Healthy lifestyles are all about moderation after all.

Make 2018 your year. Follow these 3 tips to make the next 12 months your healthiest ones yet.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018
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3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive

3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive

One of the best ways to make the most of your life is to be sure you are using your time in the best and most efficient way possible. Time management and productivity is the key to success, but unfortunately, a lot of us establish habits that sabotage our time management skills. Between endless notifications and constantly buzzing smartphones, there are now more distractions than ever, and it has never been easier to get sidetracked. However, your productivity is what allows you to get things done, reach your goals, and be there for the most important moments in life. Here are 3 habits that are making you less productive.

Checking your email throughout the day

We get it. Your inbox is constantly filled to the brim with e-mails coming in at an astonishing rate. But how are you supposed to ever get anything done if you are constantly responding to other people’s questions and concerns? Instead, carve out a designated time each day to clear out your inbox and try to only glance back at it when absolutely necessary. Any emails that don’t require immediate attention should be checked during the designated time the following day. In doing so, you get yourself into a routine, answer emails efficiently, and check items off your own to-do list.

Putting off the longer tasks until later in the day

Most of the time it is so much easier to put off more time-consuming or difficult tasks until later in the day. However, in doing so, it’s easier to fall into the dreaded habit of procrastination. And we all know that it’s nearly impossible to be productive if procrastination is your go-to response to stress. Not only does procrastination take a serious toll on your own productivity, but it can also ruin deadlines and potentially destroy relationships with the people you work closely with.  

Hitting snooze

When your alarm goes off at an ungodly hour to get you up and moving for the day ahead, nothing sounds better than hitting snooze and rolling back over to doze off again. However, hitting snooze can actually throw off your entire day. By waking your body up just to go back to sleep again for a few minutes, you are throwing off your internal clock and might find yourself feeling sleepy at odd times throughout the day. The more you press snooze, the more confused your body feels, which will leave you feeling groggy later in the day––most likely when you should be your most productive self.

Give yourself the respect you deserve by making sure you are doing everything you can to produce your best work and avoid these 3 habits that can make you less productive.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive
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3 Signs that Indicate You May Need to Reignite Your Faith

3 Signs that Indicate You May Need to Reignite Your Faith

No matter how spiritual you are, everyone experiences periods in life where their faith is neglected due to life’s challenges. Likewise, when you’ve been blessed with good fortune and resources, it’s much easier to strengthen your faith. This is because life is filled with ups and downs, the bitter and the sweet, and it’s simply human nature to succumb to life’s ebb and flow. However, it’s important to pay attention when you may be in need of a renewed outlook on your faith. Here are 3 signs that indicate you may need to reignite your faith.

You can’t admit that you’re in need of a renewed faith

The first step to reigniting your faith is to admit that your faith is in need of renewal. Sometimes, we can become blind to our own lack of faith because we don’t want to believe we have let it take backseat somewhere along the path of life. It can be extremely hard to admit to yourself that your faith needs work, but it’s also the first step to strengthening it. Therefore, if you’re having a difficult time recognizing your loss of faith, doing so might be the very thing you need to come to terms with in order to reignite your faith.

You haven’t noticed a change in your faith journey in a while

It’s perfectly normal for your faith to be in a state of fluctuation. This means you are taking the time to consider where you stand on your faith journey and reassessing. However, if you haven’t noticed a change in your faith journey in a while, this may indicate you may have gradually become used to going through the motions instead of actively participating in your faith. Being stagnant in your faith is rarely a good thing, so make sure you take action and put in the effort to constantly renew your faith.

You are quick to blame anything besides yourself for your loss of faith

When we fall short of any expectations, especially our own, it’s too easy to find a scapegoat to blame for our own shortcomings. For instance, when your faith has been neglected, it’s much easier to say “I have just been so busy with my work lately, but once it slows down, I will work on my faith again.” However, that’s the exact way faith gets put on the backburner in the first place. Instead, go through life with the mentality that, no matter what happens in other areas of your life, your faith should always take priority.

More than anything, remember that losing sight of your faith is nothing to be ashamed of––it’s just a part of being human. The important thing is to recognize the signs that indicate you may need to reignite your faith so that you can take action.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Signs that Indicate You May Need to Reignite Your Faith
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Why You Should Take Your Family Skydiving

Why You Should Take Your Family Skydiving

Skydiving is an activity that holds a top spot in the bucket lists of many, but that may or may not get checked off. And there is a reason for that. Skydiving is not for everyone. If you’re not an adrenaline junkie, a risk-taker, or a natural adventurer, skydiving may not be for you. But before you completely overlook skydiving as a viable bucket list option, read our 3 reasons why it’s the perfect thrill-seeking activity for our family and why it may work for yours. You might find yourself changing your mind from “no way” to “why not?”

Skydiving makes you live in the now

Life can quickly become a series of routines one busy day after the next––a chain of causes and effects. And we get it. It can be really hard to break out of that routine and do something just for the sake of doing it. When was the last time you intentionally planned an event or an activity just for the sole purpose of making memories with the people you care about most? For most people, that might take a while to answer.

So look for and take advantage of opportunities that bring you and your family out of your everyday life. These are the kinds of activities that will force you to become present, keep you mindful, and make you live in the now. Trust us, when you’re falling through the air after jumping out of an airplane suspended tens of thousands of feet in the air, it’s impossible not to live in the now. And what more could you want than to pepper your life with moments that make you come alive and live in the now with the people you love most?

Skydiving puts your problems in perspective

Likewise, freefalling towards the wide expanse of the earth below places you and your thoughts in perspective against the enormity of the world. Your worries somehow diminish to a seemingly insignificant concern when you’re in the face of so much adrenaline and such a beautiful landscape before you. You truly can’t help but feel small against the macrocosm of the world. In short, skydiving makes you realize just how small you and your problems are.

Skydiving brings just the right amount of balance

Everyone needs the right amount of balance between safety and embracing adventure. Skydiving requires a bit of audacity that you won’t find in living your day-to-day life. If anything, it’s a break in your daily routine and frees you from the monotonous humdrum of your jampacked schedules. It’s one of those moments that fills you with the right amount of excitement, stomach-drops, and pure passion you need to continue on living the absolutely inspiring life you do.

So go for the “why not?” approach, because you’ll make the most exciting memories of all, and that’s exactly where life lives.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanWhy You Should Take Your Family Skydiving
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5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day

5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day

Internal monologues play an unexpected, yet important role in achieving long-term goals. In fact, thoughts are the first stepping stone in launching your dreams into action. A vision is first sparked by an idea, the thought that inspires a new goal. This vision is then encouraged, fostered, and eventually put into action by maintaining a positive perspective and thinking constructive thoughts each day until the vision is spurred into existence. Read on to discover what are the things successful people tell themselves throughout the day to make their goals become accomplishments and their dreams a reality.

Today I will do at least one small thing that gets me one step closer to my goal.

You can’t do everything in one day – it’s only 24 hours long after all. But you can do one small thing each day. Set little objectives for yourself every day so that you wake up each morning inspired to achieve one small thing that gets you closer to your long-term goal.

I do not care what other people think.

No one can measure your own success better than you can. Remind yourself every day that it doesn’t matter what other people think because at the end of the day the thoughts and opinions of others aren’t going to contribute to your achievements. It’s you, all you.

Complacency is a bit too comfortable.

It’s way too easy to get comfortable with something that is satisfactory. Remind yourself that true success is achieved by those who push themselves farther than they ever thought possible. Go above and beyond the initial goals you set for yourself. Set daily reminders to do something that no one else has ever done before – you might just blow yourself away.

Mistakes are not the same as failures.

Arguably, this is the most important reminder to keep in mind each day. No one ever achieved anything without learning and making mistakes along the way. Remind yourself of this fact, so that when you get discouraged you don’t give up. Simply tell yourself you will take what you learned today and try to do better tomorrow – there’s always another day to get it right.

I deserve it.

You deserve it – whatever it is. You deserve the success that comes along with achieving your goal because you put in loads of hard work, commitment, and determination. But remind yourself that you deserve other things too. If you’re stuck on something or feeling lost on a certain path, you deserve a 10-minute brainstorm session to come up with a new idea. If you’re feeling overworked or overwhelmed, tell yourself you deserve a break to refresh and recharge – because you do. 

Just like the right habits will aid in success, positive thinking and constructive thoughts will guide you towards success as well. 

Pete and Rachael Herschelman5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day
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