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  • midlifelove 10:51 am on December 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    5 Most Unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions 

    You might think making New Year’s Resolutions is a waste of time. After all, research shows 75% per them don’t last past the first week of the New Year, and by June less than half are still alive. That’s the bad news.

    The good news is, making resolutions is still useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.

    With that in mind, we survey the five most ‘likely to fail’ resolutions for 2010:

    1. I am going to eat healthy

    This resolution is good for anywhere between 7 hours to 2 weeks. Most people will break this resolution as soon as they unpack their Christmas presents because so many of them are chocolates.

    2. I am going to exercise

    This resolution is kept anywhere between 3 days to 2-3 weeks. It is always easier to go to gym during holidays. Once work starts people realise that going to gym is no longer feasible.

    3. I will not drink alcohol this year

    Probably one of the most unkept resolutions of all time. It is doubly wrong to make this resolution during New Year’s. All your friends know the fate of this resolution.

    4. I will spend more time with my kids

    The fact that you have to even make a resolution like this states that you are struggling to find time for your kids. Something is wrong somewhere.

    5. I will get over my financial debts

    You have probably overspent in the holiday season, a bit like major banks and governments. So now you think it would be the right time to bring in some strict measures to tighten your personal fiscal policy. However you find it normal to after couple of months to owe credit card companies $5000.

    To find out how to do better, read out blog on Keeping New Year’s Resolutions.

  • midlifelove 10:43 am on December 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , exercise more, how to keep new year's resolutions, , reduce debt, Save money, spend time with kids   

    New Year’s Resolutions Made Easy 

    1. If you have a resolution to eat healthy

    Plan ahead. My fiance makes a list of 7 things that she is going to cook for dinner for next 7 days. Hence we buy the groceries for those days, saving money and which motivates us to eat more dinners at home. We are tempted to go out and eat if we don’t know what to cook for dinner.

    2. If you have a resolution to exercise more

    Make smaller more frequent milestones that are tested regularly. For example make a goal for each month, like loose 1KG each month, and have an accountability partner who would ask you each month on your progress. Also have a gym buddy, who goes to gym with you or who goes on walks or jog with you.

    3. If your resolution is to reduce alcohol intake

    Avoid catching up with friends at bars; instead choose coffee shops like Starbucks where they don’t serve alcohol. Join support groups. When friends visit ask them to bring a bowl of salad or something else instead of bottle of wine.

    4. If your resolution is spending time with your kids

    Sign up to an activity they want to do together like an art class. Make it something fun not only for your kids but also for you. It is not a chore.

    5.  If your resolution is to reduce your debt

    First make a list of the all the credit cards and other monthly payments you need to pay. Second calculate how much you can earn and pay back each month for those debts. Third stick to your monthly targets. Have someone accountable who questions any unnecessary and impulse purchases.

  • midlifelove 11:03 am on December 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: married lover pays out, mistresses alimony, philandering husbands beware, second wife.,   

    Mistress Collects $100,000 

    Tiger Woods would have to be glad he’s not living in Australia. That’s because a new law there granting the equivalent of alimony for mistresses is creating bad news for philandering husbands.

    The “second wife” doesn’t have to be living under the same roof as her married lover to collect compensation.  As for the philandering men; if they’ve had multiple affairs, then their bank balance is about to be hit even worse, as they could find themselves paying maintenance support to a multitude of ex-partners.

    Family Law Act reforms entitling de facto partners of two years or longer to the same rights as married couples introduced in March stipulate that such a relationship can exist even if one of the partners is already married.

    Mistress Awarded $100,000

    Now the law has been tested, and a mistress awarded $100,000 from her married lover after complaining she gave him “the best years of her life.”

    In the first known case of its kind in Victoria, the Melbourne businessman was sued under changes to the Family Law Act after his former lover said that she deserved the money, the Sunday Herald Sun reported.

    “He always told me he would look after me, then he left me. I had committed myself fully to him for all those years and it just came to a dead end.

    “He behaved like a gentleman toward me throughout our relationship – except at the end – and now he has been a gentleman again by doing the right thing.”

    Lover Legally Recognised

    The woman argued that she provided her lover with moral and emotional support for more than two decades.

    “So this is also about giving our relationship a validity. It is a recognition that I have added something of value to his life. Now I am beginning to come to terms with life again. The money provides me with a security in my later years.

    Her lawyer argued that many marriages didn’t last as long as the couple’s relationship. The pair travelled around the country and attended functions together. The man also gave his mistress a monthly four-figure allowance and showered her with gifts.

    Settled Out Of Court

    However, when he ended the affair this year, she was devastated. Then she learned of the law change and her legal team sent a letter of demand – quoting the new legislation – to the man.

    “It settled (out of court) within weeks,” her lawyer said. “If it had not been for this law, my client would have been abandoned, left on the scrap heap.

    “This is an acknowledgment that if you are in any substantial relationship, each party has a level of commitment to each other.”

    The Law Institute of Victoria’s family law division chairman, Stephen Winspear, said he believed the case could be an Australian first. “A lot of men could be stung,” he said.

  • midlifelove 10:53 am on December 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: banish busyness, Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins, , Stop Doing List, time precious   

    $20 Million, No Strings 

    Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached.

    The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

    That’s the scenario internationally acclaimed business author Jim Collins (Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall) sets each New Year, as he sits down to do his annual resolutions.

    Time Most Precious Resource

    Being the sort of ambitious, organised guy he is, he’d always set himself Big Hairy Goals (BHAGs) but it wasn’t till he was in his 20s that a teacher at Stanford Graduate School of Business challenged him to “banish busyness” and streamline his life.

    Jim Collins describes the “stop doing” list as a turning point in his life – “a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time,” he says.

    The start of the New Year is a perfect time to start a stop doing list and to make this the cornerstone of your New Year resolutions, he says, whether it’s for your company, your family or yourself.

    What’s Most Important To You?

    Ask yourself:

    1) What are you deeply passionate about?
    2) What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just “made to do”?
    3) What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?

    Then take an inventory of the activities which fall within this realm – and those that don’t. If you are spending more than 50% of your time on things that fall outside you these three realms then the “stop doing” list is a must for you.

    Says Collins: “It’s a discipline to discard what does not fit — to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort — that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.”

  • midlifelove 10:22 am on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Perfect Gift for A Man, Gavin Heaton, Inspire 2009, making a difference, male suicide, Mark Pollard,   

    Perfect Gift for A Man 

    Sydney ad agency man Mark Pollard is a man of many parts. Strategy director, Dad, and now author, with mate Gavin Heaton he has produced The Perfect Gift For A Man – a compilation of first-person stories about men’s lives that’s just a great way to get oriented for 2010.

    Subtitled 30 stories about reinventing manhood, A Perfect Gift aims to get men talking about their feelings in a bid to help prevent male suicide in Australia. All proceeds go to Inspire 2009, an organisation delivering innovative and practical online programs to prevent youth suicide.

    Failure An Opportunity To Learn

    The stories in A Perfect Gift come from failure and struggle, Mark Pollard says.

    “What the people who contributed to the book have in common is bravery and a desire to somehow use their failures and experiences as ammunition to spark change in the world – and they’ve put themselves out there hoping that other people draw some strength and can do the same.

    “Failure only breaks you if you don’t do something about it next time.”

    Making A Difference

    Mark is the Strategy Director at McCann Sydney (the lovechild of McCann Erickson and MRM Worldwide) and he does brand and digital planning for clients like Xbox, Mastercard, ALP, Kleenex, Melbourne Central, and a whole lot more.

    He’s been a magazine editor, blogger, he’s hosted a radio show, and done a lot of thinking about what it is like being a man in the second decade of the 21st century.  He says his “biggest fear in life… is not making a difference. Life’s too short to not matter.”

    He says the biggest challenge for men is understanding what “strength’ means. “It doesn’t have to mean ‘strength over others’ but ‘strength with others”, he says.

    Lost Rituals of Manhood

    He hopes the book will encourage men to share their stories. We’ve lost a lot of the rituals of manhood, he says.

    “I know this is flippant, but the men of the village initiating a teenage boy as an adult of the tribe has been replaced by pub crawls during O-Week at uni.

    There’s a free version of the book downloadable as a PDF file – already down loaded by more than 3000 people – available at http://www.theperfectgiftforaman.com.au

    If you want to share your story, you can do it at http://www.facebook.com/perfectgiftforaman

  • midlifelove 9:59 am on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dr Imre Janszky, good for heart, heart attack, Karolinksa Institute, reduced risk of dying, Swedish study   

    Holiday Chocs ‘Good for Heart’ 

    If you’re feeling guilty because you’ve been snacking on holiday chocolate treats, don’t. New research shows you are giving your heart protection against attacks – just as long as you are not already overweight or diabetic.

    Eating chocolate two or three times a week cut the risk of dying from heart disease nearly three fold in a group of heart attack survivors studied by Swedish scientists.

    The researchers concluded eating chocolate led to lower blood pressure and reduced chance of dying of heart disease.

    Chocolate ‘Prevents Death’

    Of the 1,169 patients (aged 45 to 70) studied, those who ate chocolate two or more times a week cut their risk of dying from heart disease nearly threefold compared to those who didn’t eat chocolate at all, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Imre Janszky of Karolinska Institute.

    Jansky’s study also suggested antioxidants in cacao cut the risk of death from heart disease in healthy older men and post-menopausal women.

    The research, published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine. is believed to be the first study that demonstrates that chocolate can help prevent death in heart attack survivors.

    Some Chocolate Better than None

    The study suggested smaller quantities of chocolate granted lower levels of heart protection, but were still better than not eating it at all.

    The research built upon earlier work which suggested a strong link between cocoa-based products and improvement in blood flow.

  • midlifelove 5:10 am on December 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dope ban, Doug Barron, golf, PGA Tour, ,   

    Testosterone in Golf 

    While rampant testosterone seems to have got Tiger Woods into all sorts of trouble at the top of the PGA tour, a golfer with low testosterone at the bottom of golf rankings is facing quite a different problem.

    Doug Barron is suing the PGA after he was suspended for failing a dope test. Since 2005 he has been receiving monthly shots of synthetic testosterone, after struggling for years trying to understand why he was chronically fatigued and had absolutely no sexual desire.

    The golfer’s natural testosterone count when he was prescribed the shots was 78 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Most healthy men his age have a testosterone level between 300 and 500.

    CNN quoted Barron as saying “I was a 35-year-old man who, you know, wants to be living like a 35-year-old man. I was kind of embarrassed in a way. It wasn’t easy on me or my wife.”

    Testosterone Didn’t Turn Him Into Tiger

    Barron is far from a rock star in his sport. He reportedly earned about $33,000 last year, and during the previous eight seasons on the PGA Tour, his top finish was a tie for third place at the 2006 Byron Nelson Championship, one year after he began testosterone therapy.

    Testosterone, banned in professional sports because it promotes muscle mass and strength, amongst other things, obviously hasn’t transformed him into Tiger Woods.

    Barron got into trouble after the PGA introduced drug testing in 2008.

    When the ban went into effect, Barron told the Tour that he was on beta blockers (for chest pain) and testosterone. He requested a therapeutic use exemption, arguing that he needed them to live normally.

    Couldn’t Function Without It

    PGA Tour physicians say they measured Barron’s testosterone levels at 325 in November 2008 and 296 in December 2008, according to court records. The Tour ruled that that Barron’s testosterone count was within acceptable range. He had to get off the drugs.

    But Barron’s attorney said the testosterone levels were within acceptable range because Barron was receiving the shots.

    He “just couldn’t function at all,” Barron said of his attempts to get off the medication. Without the testosterone, he was listless. Without the beta blockers, he was having chest pains.

    He ignored the warning and had his monthly shot anyway. “I took a risk I should have known better than to do, and I got a shot of testosterone” in July just before the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, where he failed a random drug test.

    Good Sex Life a “Major Life Activity”

    His year-long suspension started in September, so he sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    “The definition of a disability is something that impairs a major life activity, and intimacy with your wife is a major life activity,” said Barron’s attorney Jeff Rosenblum.

    Doug Barron isn’t the first to run up against the issue of testosterone. Golfer Shaun Micheel, who was granted a therapeutic exemption for abnormally low testosterone by the Tour in 2005 and was allowed to use synthetic testosterone.

    In August 2006, Micheel was runner-up to Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship — a major tournament he won in 2003 — and defeated Woods in the first round at the 2006 HSBC World Match Play Championship. According to the PGA Web site, Micheel has earned $8 million since he went pro in 1992.

  • midlifelove 4:47 am on December 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 70-year-olds enjoy more sex, Alex Comfort, British Medical Journal, men not so happy, Nils Beckman, older women happier, septuagenarians and sex, Swedish research on older people's sex lives   

    Better Sex At 70 

    “The things that stop you enjoying sex in old age are the same things that stop you riding a bicycle – bad health, thinking it is silly and no bicycle.”  – Alex Comfort in The Joy of Sex

    The number of 70 year olds that are having sex – and saying it is good sex – is increasing.  And more older women in particular are indicating specific satisfaction with their sex lives.

    Swedish researcher Nils Beckman and colleagues from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden surveyed four representative population samples of 70 year olds in Sweden over 30 years.

    More than 1,500 septuagenarians gave details of their sex lives for the report, published in the British Medical Journal.

    Over three decades there was an across-the-board increase in the number of 70 year olds that reported engaging in sexual intercourse.

    From 1971-2 to 2001-2:

    • Married men increased from 52% to 98%
    • Married women increased from 38% to 56%
    • Unmarried men increased from 30% to 54%
    • Unmarried women increased from 0.8% to 12%

    Women Especially Happy, Men Less So

    An increasing number of these women reported having an orgasm during sex and a decreasing number reported not having an orgasm.

    Though fewer women reported low satisfaction with their sex lives, the situation was different for men – there was an increase the proportion of men who reported low satisfaction.

    This could be due to the modern phenomenon of male’s accepting responsibility for sexual failure, according to the authors.

    A particularly interesting finding is that when sexual intercourse stops between a male and a female, both sexes readily blame men – a similar finding to studies performed in the 1950s and 2005-06.

    The researchers conclude that, “Our study…shows that most elderly people consider sexual activity and associated feelings a natural part of later life.”

    Doctors Should Ask About Sex

    The survey was considered especially interesting because it interviewed “ordinary’ people who were not seeking treatment for sexual dysfunction.

    The researchers concluded doctors are known to be uncomfortable about asking patients questions about their sex lives.

    Given that sex plays an increasingly valuable role in the lives of older men and women, Beckman and colleagues’ study reinforces the dictum that doctors should ask – and be trained to ask – every patient, regardless of age, ‘Any sexual concerns?’ “

  • midlifelove 4:38 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , brain cells, calm, , remodels brain, running good for brain cells,   

    Exercise Makes You Less Anxious 

    Next time you slip into your track shoes and head out the gate for a run, you can take heart. You are not only burning off unwanted calories, you are also growing new brain cells that help you keep calm under stress.

    New research is showing that the ‘positive stress’ of aerobic exercise remodels the brain, creating neurons in active animals that remain calm when more slothful creatures get anxious.

    So far, the research has all been done on rats. But researchers are confident the human brain is likely to respond in a similar way.

    New Brain Cells From Running

    You may not feel a magical reduction of stress after your first jog, if you haven’t been exercising. But the molecular biochemical changes will happen if you keep exercising, says Dr. Benjamin Greenwood, a research associate in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado says.

    In one Princeton University experiment reported in the New York Times scientists found rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.

    The scientists noted the “cells born from running,” appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.”

    Anxiety in rodents and people has been linked with excessive oxidative stress, which can lead to cell death, including in the brain.

    More Adventurous Attitude

    In a University of Houston experiment rats who had exercised coped with unfamiliar surroundings much better than others, even when both groups were injected with chemicals that artificially raised stress levels.

    When placed in the unfamiliar space, the exercised rats went out fearlessly exploring their new surroundings, while the unexercised rats ran into dark corners to hide.

    “It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth, who has been studying how exercise differently affects thinking and emotion.

    “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors.”

    Won’t Happen Overnight

    The stress-reducing changes wrought by exercise don’t happen overnight.

    In the University of Colorado experiments, for instance, rats that ran for only three weeks did not show much reduction in stress-induced anxiety, but those that ran for at least six weeks did.

    “Something happened between three and six weeks,” says Dr Greenwood, who helped conduct the experiments.

    He says it is “not clear how that translates” into an exercise prescription for humans. We may require more weeks of working out, or maybe less. And no one has yet studied how intense the exercise needs to be. But the lesson, Dr. Greenwood says, is “don’t quit.”

    Keep running or cycling or swimming. As Rachel Hunter says in the hair ad, “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.” Says Dr Greenwood: The molecular biochemical changes will begin, and eventually they become “profound.”

  • midlifelove 10:52 am on December 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ask Men, aspirational, , Bear Grylls, Don Draper, inspiring men, Mad Men, Mario Batali, Most Influential Men of 2009, real man, role models, Steve Jobs,   

    2009’s Most Influential Men 

    In a list heavy with lightweight TV performers – Iron Chef Mario Batali and survivalist Bear Grylls amongst them –  I guess it should be no surprise that the male who won top place as Ask Men.com’s  “most influential man of 2009” isn’t a real man at all, but fictional philandering adman Don Draper from the  Mad Men series.

    Half a million of the lifestyle portal’s 11 million monthly visitors apparently voted for this fantasy figure of the hard drinking, heavy smoking, 60s “hardass male,” ahead of real men making a difference like President Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, and Steve Jobs, who came in at 3, 30 and 7 respectively .

    Way We Want to Live?

    According to AskMen, their Top 49 Most Influential Men list is about the men who “best embody the way men aspired to live in 2009.”

    No 1 man Don Draper is a “post-war archetype, both a brilliant career man and a temptation-swayed philanderer who sincerely wants to be a family man,” the like of which has vanished in the 21st century, according the editor’s blurb.

    “In a turbulent 2009, men are seeking the stability of tradition in the masculine qualities that they imagine their fathers and grandfathers to have had,” says James Bassil, Editor-in-Chief of AskMen.com. “The character of Don Draper brings all these traits together, and in doing so speaks directly to the modern man. He’s a man whose time has come.”

    Is This Teenage Fantasy?

    To which you can only say, what a load of old cobblers. If the choice seems puerile – a 15-year-old’s fantasy about what being a man means – then perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

    As blogger The Last Psychiatrist commented, the type of person who wants to be Don Draper is squarely in AskMen’s target group of “perpetually pubescent males.”

    “What they want is to live in Draper’s world: where it is almost acceptable to have affairs; where they can drink all day and not get drunk; where they can say whatever is on your mind and not have it offend people; where creative men have some outlet for their ideas, and at least get paid really well instead.

    All Fun, No Consequences

    “Where they can eat any kind of food they want and not get fat.”  (And we might add, smoke like a chimney and never get lung cancer)

    “Where you can act like you want to act, act like what you think a man acts like, and people will admire you.

    “In other words, what you want is to be the main character in your own movie.”

    What Do You Think?

    So what’s you view? Is Don Draper worthy of the No 1 spot in a list of the world’s 49 most influential men? And if so why?

    For a quick check on who he beat out in the 48 other spots, see http://bit.ly/4zHN7X.

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