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LESS WATER = MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET!

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Temperatures are soaring and so are our water bills! We all know the importance of conserving water, but now that we are finally enduring the year’s hottest months, it’s time to get motivated to save water. All you have to do is take one glance at your water bill to know that something has to change. According to the EPA, an estimated amount of 7.8 billion gallons of water – or anywhere from 30 to 70 percent depending on the region – are used outdoors in the U.S. each year and as much as half of that is wasted due to inefficient watering methods. If this month’s water bill left you in shock or wondering how to lower your bill, without jeopardizing the beautiful green hue of your lawn, you’re in luck!

Certified Landscape Professional and Master Gardener Joe Lamp’l of PBS’ “Growing a Greener World” has teamed up with Pennington Seed to provide all of us homeowners with money saving gardening tips. In this video, Joe Lamp’l shares gardening techniques, such as:

– Easy methods to properly water our yards, minimize outdoor water consumption, and maintaining sustainability.

– Simple tips on how to keep yard and garden weed free

– Which plants help achieve optimal water efficiency

Here’s more about Joe Lamp’l:

As a Certified Landscape Professional and Master Gardener, Joe Lamp’l combines his television experience and expertise of landscaping, environmental stewardship and passion for living a more eco-friendly life, as creator, host and executive producer of the award-winning national public television series Growing a Greener World®. The show, which is entering its fourth season, focuses on the stories of people, places and organizations that are doing good things for the planet, with an emphasis on landscaping topics. He also serves as a landscaping and sustainability guest expert on national morning shows like NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America and The Weather Channel, among others.

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Stressful Times–Tips to Get You Through the Rough Patches

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Are You Okay?: Caring for Yourself in the Midst of Stress
Marla Tomazin shares seven strategies that will help you to focus on your own
well-being—and to feel a little bit better—in the midst of one of life’s rough patches.

          New York, NY (June 2013)—Everyone goes through rough spots in life—it’s an unfortunate but unavoidable fact. You might feel worried about an upcoming move, overwhelmed as you try to deal with an illness in your family, or anxious about a looming project at work. Maybe you’re simply worn down by the never-ending stress and relentlessly hectic pace of modern life. If so, you’re not alone.

“I can sympathize—I went through a rough spot myself recently,” says Marla Tomazin, who has been an image consultant for twenty years after earlier experience in the fashion industry.

“Due to several different factors, I was extremely busy for several months,” she explains. “When I’m under pressure, I become stressed (no surprise there, I imagine!) and feel ‘wired,’ meaning that I go to sleep later at night and wake up early each morning. And, of course, because I’m perpetually tired, I tend to worry more about significant and insignificant things. Not a very healthy cycle to be caught in.”

After one particularly crazy day, Tomazin says, it occurred to her that she should take her own advice.

“When I’m working with clients, I focus not just on outward appearance but on the whole mind-body-spirit connection,” she shares. “I always urge my clients to take care of and honor themselves in all situations, but especially when life is chaotic. If you don’t focus on your own well-being when times are tough, you won’t have the mental, emotional, or physical energy you need to change external circumstances for the better, either.”

Here, Tomazin shares a few taking-care-of-yourself strategies that have been helpful to her, and that you can put into practice to help you make it through the next rough spot in your life, too.

Realize that things will get better. When you’re in the midst of a tough time, it’s easy to believe that things will never change. But sooner or later, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how you feel right now, the truth is that you won’t be stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed for the rest of your life.

“Think back on past obstacles you’ve overcome to give yourself motivation to press on and ask a trusted friend or family member to help you put your current struggle into perspective,” Tomazin suggests. “This last strategy is particularly effective because not only will sharing your burden help to lighten it; the other person might be able to help you think of solutions you were unable to see on your own.”

Hydrate. Drinking water might seem a little odd at first glance, but it’s actually one of the best things you can do to keep yourself looking and feeling good when you’re under stress. Staying hydrated helps you stay energized, ensures that your body operates optimally, and can even improve the appearance of your skin (a welcome gift when you’re worried and tired!).

“Personally, I drink a quart of water every morning, and I carry a bottle with me throughout the day,” Tomazin says. “I can tell that it makes a difference!”

Exercise. Working out is often the last thing you want to do when life is tough. (Flopping onto the couch probably sounds a lot more attractive!) But the truth is, even a little bit of physical activity can work wonders in terms of how you feel. Exercise makes you feel more capable mentally and physically. It can help you sleep better, reduce feelings of stress, and even relieve symptoms of depression as effectively as medication.

“In other words, a half-hour at the gym or a walk around the block is one of the best decisions you can make,” Tomazin asserts. “That’s why, no matter how busy or unmotivated I am, I commit to working out at least two days a week.”

Give yourself credit. When you’re upset or worried about one aspect of your life, those feelings can easily spill over into your general attitude and outlook. You start looking at your whole life through a negative lens, and you might start to focus on the mistakes you’ve made and the things you could have done better.

“If that sounds familiar, stop!” Tomazin urges. “Think of one, or two, or ten or twenty things you’ve done well in the recent past and give yourself credit for accomplishing them. Remember, nobody is even remotely close to perfect. Don’t make a tough situation even worse by remaining your own worst critic.”

Prioritize. Especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it’s tempting to fixate on each shiny ball that rolls past instead of directing your energy and attention to the problem at hand. When your efforts are scattered, though, nothing gets done, and you end up feeling even more frazzled than you did at first. Remember, you can focus only on one or two big goals at a time, no matter how adept you are at multitasking.

“As you work through the next rough spot in your life, sit down and decide what is most important to you,” Tomazin recommends. “If spending time with your family is at the top of your list, for example, put them first and consciously make sure that other things remain on the back burner.”

Say no. Many of us have trouble saying no for a variety of reasons: We don’t want to let others down, we don’t want to be seen as weak, we’re afraid to refuse, etc. However, until you learn to say no when you need to, you’ll never be in the driver’s seat of your own life, and it will be more difficult to steer yourself out of draining, stressful situations.

“Realize that you don’t have to do it all—nor should you,” Tomazin points out. “You don’t have to make every decision, supervise every person’s schedule, chair every event, host every party, and come to the rescue every time something goes wrong. Again, decide ahead of time what’s most important to you and prioritize those things. Then you can feel okay about saying no to some of the rest and focus on working toward your own well-being.”

Take time for yourself. Whether the current demands on your energy and time are coming from your family, your job, your friends, your finances, or something else, it’s important to “get away” every so often—literally or at least metaphorically.

“To make sure that you don’t become too drained and burned out, do something for yourself,” Tomazin urges. “Maybe it’s sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee in the midst of running errands, locking the bathroom door and taking a bubble bath, reading a motivational book during your lunch break, or going on a walk through the park. When you unwind and take a breather, your perspective will stay clearer and your stress will be more manageable.”

“In the end, you can’t avoid going through rough times in life, but you can decide how to respond to them,” Tomazin concludes. “Remember that your own health and sanity are paramount, and most of all, have confidence that the sun will emerge from behind the clouds soon!”

# # #

About Marla Tomazin:
Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. From a successful career in the fashion industry, Marla gained expertise in retail buying, merchandising, sales, and marketing. She began with May Company in Denver after earning a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Denver. Marla moved to New York where she worked with several well-known Seventh Avenue design firms. As she developed her business skills, Marla made a serendipitous discovery—an innate sense of style and facility for working with fabrics and colors to maximum advantage.

The progression to Certified Image Consultant was a natural transition. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Her clients include women, men, and corporations seeking external revitalization that mirrors their internal development.

For more information, please visit www.marlatomazin.com.

 

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Mastering Life Balance: Achieving Greatness at Home and at Work

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5 Tips from Former Businessman of the Year

People are overwhelmed with the complexities of their own lives and are desperately seeking a way to maximize happiness in their home and work lives, says Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker and former CEO who works with some of the world’s top corporations and business schools.

“I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth,” says Kunath, a speaker at top business schools and author of “Life … Don’t Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest,” (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).

“I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn’t make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff.”

Priorities for professionals have shifted; now, U.S. workers seek family wellbeing above all else, he says. Companies need to recognize that it’s imperative to positively affect their employees’ lives, both inside and outside working quarters, he says.

“We need to bring humanity back to business,” Kunath says. “Leading corporations are aware that most professionals today – 70 percent – would trade a pay raise for an increase in personal wellness.”

But employers are struggling with that, he says, citing a new American Psychological Association survey released in March in which 48 percent of employees say their employers don’t value a good work-life balance.

More professionals are trying to find a path to life worth, rather than centering their behavior on net worth, Kunath says. He offers five ways career-minded individuals can achieve both:

 

• Look for signs you’re falling into the net-worth trap: For Kunath, those signs were clear. One day, he says, “it was like someone had smacked me on the head,” when his son, then 12, walked away in dismay after Kunath said he couldn’t play baseball with him because he was too busy working on a business proposal. “The look of disappointment on my son’s face was something I will never forget,” he says. Kunath dropped everything and spent the day with his son. “I promised that would NEVER happen again”. The next occurrence included a mental and physical breakdown after Kunath pushed himself to make an unnecessary business trip while sick.  After a 19-hour ordeal in a delayed flight to Spain, “…I knew in my bones that if I did not draw the line right there … I would ruin every part of my life that mattered to me.”

• Don’t be an employee, be employable: Unless you are self-employed, you are always vulnerable to someone else controlling your professional destiny, and therefore, your life worth. But employees can empower themselves by diversifying their skills so that they can have more choices about where and for whom to work.

• Bad things happen to good people: Adversity finds us all. No one enjoys the worst, most painful moments of their lives. Nonetheless, life events like loss of a loved one, financial ruin, divorce, addictions or illness tend to define us. We need adversity in our lives. Anyone can be a rock star when life is perfect. But when adversity strikes, then the “real” you is revealed. How you face adversity can either extinguish you or distinguish you.

• Believe in something bigger than you: There will be times when you are utterly helpless, with no control over an outcome. All the money in the bank and all the authority at work will do no good when it comes to, for instance, the death of a loved one. Believing in something bigger than you is an important part of having life worth; it helps you maintain your emotional health when you face life’s biggest challenges.

• Don’t Major in the Minors: As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” For every evening spent late in the office there are moments professionals miss out on – and can never get back. Many of us spend time on things that ultimately don’t matter. “The three greatest gifts you can give to your family are: Time, Memories and Tradition,” he says. “These are things in life that matter.”

About Gary Kunath

Gary Kunath is the founder of The Summit Group, which is ranked among the top sales-training companies in the world by Selling Power magazine. His value-creation approach received the “Innovative Practice of the Year Award” by 3M worldwide. He was named Businessman of the Year for the United States and was recognized a dinner hosted by the president of the United States. He has lectured extensively at several prominent business schools, and he is currently an adjunct professor at The Citadel’s Sports Marketing graduate program. Kunath is as an owner of several professional minor league baseball teams along with his partners, Bill Murray, Jimmy Buffet and Mike Veeck. The group is famous for managing its teams around the “Fun is Good” approach.

 

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