Top 10 Trends With Baby Boomers

On June 19th Santa Clara University hosted the annual Baby Boomer Venture Summit. This forum brings together a great group of industry leaders, thought-leaders and start-ups in the growing market segment of baby boomers. Let's see how my own memory is working … I'll bring you the 10 things that I remember from this great event.

1) According to Mary S. Furlong, Executive Producer of the summit, healthy living and aging is a $ 480 billion industry. And 80% of the purchase decisions in this industry are made by women-so you know who's the boss …

2) Paul Kleyman, editor of ASA's Aging Today, is frustrated about how little attention the mainstream media pays to baby boomers, being obsessed with mainly younger people. Let's keep in mind that the boomers are a 77 million population and the largest spenders in the consumer market.

3) Simplicity is Key. James Koch of Leavy School of Business says that the successful products for the 50+ consumers bring simplicity to the consumer's life. World Hearing Organization and Seronostics, the winners of the $ 10K business plan competition, both makes products that make the life of the consumer easier.

4) Today you are potentially exposed to 30 different media channels compared to just six 40 years ago. Think of what this imprints for your brain in terms of attention, concentration and multitasking-and why it is important to take steps to improve our brain health and fitness.

5) As much as one third of internet users watch TV while surfing the net. Research indicates that too much multitasking can actually be bad for you, harming your ability to concentrate and remember.

6) AARP, with its 38+ million members, is increasingly active in creating new markets that will benefit the growing baby boomer population. Its representative Emilio Pardo addressed the need for "navigator brands" to help people find what they need, cutting through the overwhelming amount of information available these days in the confusing health and retirement markets.

7) The most successful brands today, like Google and Facebook are "User Generated Brands": the consumers are taking control of content consumption and branding. We are in what senior analyst Safa Rashchty calls The User Revolution.

8) The web is now the principal media channel at work and second most important after television at home.

9) Video ads will be the driver of the next major growth in brand advertising. According to Piper Jaffray & Co, most companies should seriously consider adding YouTube to their media planning.

10) Surprisingly, close 50% of the consumers in the casual gaming market are women above 40 years of age – many of whom seek a source of stress relief and cognitive exercise. Ready for some "brain gym"? You can visit our website for more information on this brain fitness trend.

We hope this provides you with good context for your business ideas!

Copyright (c) 2007 SharpBrains

How To Keep The Momentum Going

January is the time of the year where resolutions are made and goals are set. We have our engines charged and are ready for take off or have already taken off getting a good head start towards our end goal. But how long do these drives last and where do we find the fuel to keep moving? In other words how do you get the momentum going? Well I suppose the answer is pretty obvious. Just do not stop. Keep moving, keep making progress. A little a day, a little at a time is better then taking a break (stopping) for longer periods (cause you're worn out / deleted / demotivated).

Tony Michael, Vice President of Sales at Success University illustrated this well in the December issue of Success University monthly newsletter. He gives the example of a person trying to lose weight and becoming healthy and fitter person through better diet practice and daily exercises. Let's say after 6 months this person has achieved his / her desired target weight then decided to take a break from this healthy living and eat whatever he / she wants while lazing around for 2 months. After that period, would he / she be able to return to his new healthy self? I do not think so. Same goes with whatever that we really desire to achieve in life. Once you start working toward the goal, do not stop until you reach the top (your destination). This is something I myself must bear in mind so this article comes as a reminder to myself.

Yes, we all know that sometimes the journey may be hard and we'll come across some roadblocks that may threaten to destroy our dreams. Roadblocks may appear in many forms: financial setbacks, a conflicting relationship, unusual circumstances etc. However, if you allow it all to keep you from reaching your goals, then you probably did not want or do not deserve whatever you want to achieve in the first place. This may be hard to swallow. But believe it.

Napoleon Hill in his most important book, Think and Grow Rich talks about how important it is to have DESIRE and FAITH. If you really want to have a better life, then have faith that with constant effort and hard work, you will get what you want.

Another way to keep the momentum going is to work with a group of people who are working on similar goals as you. You can cheer each other along, share knowledge, and plan ways or strategies to bring the whole team closer each other's goals. The author of a blog called IWillTeachYouToBeRich tells about how he accepted a challenge from his friends to put on more weight since he was thought to be skinny and all bones. He arrived at his goals by constantly making progress, tracking it and letting his friends know about it. There was no way he was going to back out of the challenge until he had acquired it. And he did it too! His friends can testify this! I bet he looks fantastic in his new built. So again, it's amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

So once again people, the message is, "keep moving forward until you have your dreams firmly in your grasps.

Baby Boomers – In Pursuit Of New Learning and Life Management

Whether you have a Ph.D. or a High School Diploma, it is never too late to invest in New Learning; something you do not know but wish you did or something that you should just know.

For many people, it is all very simple. You go to school between the ages of 5 and 18, maybe 21. After you've "grown up", it's off to work. The only new learning you'll need is for the rules of the company that you've settled into. If you're lucky, you might get some additional supervision or management training. Otherwise, it's about getting the paycheck, updating the resume incidentally and checking out the wanted pages for the next higher paying job. The concept of viewing your life as a path with miles; having a map based on good information to guide you down that path is foreign to many of us.

For some, their adult work life has been a collection of outstanding good luck (being in the right place at the right time) or making a new job where none existed. Their careers were not part of a master plan or that they really put a lot of thought into it; what many experts call "Career Management". That's fine when you're 25 or even 40. But when you're 58 and a Boomer, in career transition, whether voluntary or not, managing your career seems secondary to trying to manage your life before it falls apart. What took many a while to understand is that the two are not separate. It's not Career Management that's important; it's Life Management. Your career is as much a part of your life as is family, friends, hobbies and your dog named Waldo. They are all part of a puzzle puzzle called life that, more often than not, challenges us to no end. Trying to weave all this together is a constant trial and error exercise.

What supposedly eases the difficulty are the lessons and knowledge you've learned during your lifetime, informally and formally, through educational institutions, on the job and in life. If you were paying attention, you were managing your life in such a way that you were absorbing as much practical information and experience as any one human being could possibly take in; using what you could when needed and storing the rest for later.

This takes a commitment to look at your entire life management in a new way. It begins with a willingness to look at yourself differently. Your circumstances are not what they were 10 or 20 years ago. As a Boomer, you may have greater financial and family responsibilities. Your ego is bigger. Until now, you thought your non-management techniques seemed to have worked. But now you realize, they have not and you have no clue what to do next.

Some Boomers are lucky. The company they've parted with offers three months of outplacement that helps them frame a new life management vision. Then they throw them into new projects and experiences. Not all of them involve familiar knowledge. There's new things to learn. Technology. The new buzz words. The internet and search engines. A bit of advice, learn Google Alerts. Trust me; your mailbox will be full everyday with information to read. Then there's the websites with their email alerts and newsletters on every possible subject.

But it's not all online. Enroll in conferences, workshops and seminars. Visit the bookstore's magazine rack where, there too, you can find a magazine for every possible topic. School courses are next. Offline and Online, every major college in America has something for you.

Once you start digging, you'll find the information. The challenge is using it to your advantage. Sifting through the mountain of advice and leads can give you a headache. The filter comes from you. Set out some visions for yourself. Play around in your head with "what ifs" and "how about this?". Buy a grease board or large sheets of paper, put it on your den wall or in your bathroom and play around with diagramming your life, your goals and making-believe options. It may seem tough to do this mind gaming when you need to run out there and make some money, but what's one hour in your life? All this new learning fuels new life management techniques which lead to greater options and hopefully better life choices.

Remember to always think big picture also. This is not only about you. Make sure that everyone else in your life that is affected by what you do gets thrown up on that board. That includes your family, friends, former collections and yes, your dog, Waldo.

I'm Still Hot … It Just Comes in Flashes Now!

I know I'm in the struggle of my life right now. You see, my body has become the victim of a hostile takeover by an extremist group known as the fat cells. They think my stomach, hips, thighs and behind will be their final resting place but if I have the last say on this, there will be a resurrection.

If you're dealing with your own weight issues like I am, do what my personal trainer says: "Get up and get moving." "The theory is you must take your body out of its comfort zone by changing your workouts every few weeks and increasing your level of intensity. your routine by trying something else like the elliptical or a low / high impact aerobics class from time to time, she says you'll reach a plateau and will reap very little additional weight loss benefits.

Strength training is also a key component to slimming down while firming up. I used to believe lifting weights would make me look bulky like an Amazon woman. I know now that's a myth. Light weight lifting of ten pounds or less can do wonders for your flabby arms and perk up sagging breasts. It also helps build muscle and endurance so you can ever turn a twenty minute aerobic workout into an hour or more.

If you can not afford a gym membership, you can certainly find other ways to get your heart rate up and lose some pounds. Even though I've become a self-proclaimed gym rat, there are times when I do not feel like driving all the way across town so I do a little street walking in my community. OK, get your mind out of the gutter. I live in an area with no sidewalks.

Taking a stroll is a nice change of pace because it gives me an opportunity to breathe in some fresh air instead of that stale recycled health club air. I love to admire nature's beauty all around me and walking and talking with my Creator during those times. When I really want to feel the muscle burn I do the steps at Wallace Wade stadium on the Duke University campus. Going up and down and up and down equates to close to three thousand steps and it's one incredible rush! I also love walking and running on the rigorous cross-country trail that circles the Washington Duke Inn and golf course. I've even done some mall walking but that gets depressed when I look at all of those cute outfits I know I can not fit into.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you get a check up and clear your work out plan with your doctor first. I spent fifteen months in the gym, working out six days a week before I discovered why I was not losing any weight. I was diagnosed with a medical condition known as hypothyroid. As a result of the disease, my body was not producing any estrogen and my metabolism had completely shut down. I had no energy. It was a struggle sometimes just to get out of bed. My mind would say, "get up" but my body would say "why?"

One day while sitting in the Duke Clinic I realized one of the challenges of growing older is dealing with any number of health issues. I used to see a doctor once a year for the routine exam but since turning forty, those visits have tripled on a yearly basis. These days if I've got a pain, I've got to see a doctor. My insurance providers have paid out thousands of dollars on my behalf. But why should not they? I spent twenty years of my working life paying premiums just in case something happened. I paid and paid and paid and nothing ever happened. Now I'm just cashing in on the huge investment I made.

Over the last ten years, I've been treated for heart disease (congestive heart failure), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, high blood pressure, fibroids and yeast infections. My gynecologist tells me I should have a mammogram every couple of years, get my eyes checked annually and get ready for menopause.

Ah yes, the "M" word. That's the life changing experience that turned my mother into a psychopath! It all started when I was about fifteen years old. I remember seeing her do and say things that did not seem quite normal. For example, in the dead of winter when Ohio's wind chill factor would be on the minus side, mama would complain about how hot she was while sitting in her favorite chair near an
opened window. Snow would be blowing in and resting on the window sill. My dad and I tried closing it a few times when she was not around but we got tired of getting fussed at so we learned to adapt. She also kept a wet wash cloth and a jar of ice water on hand to cool her down.

In addition to being hot a lot, her emotions also appeared to be out of control. Sometimes she'd get angry over little or nothing. Then there were those times when she would break down and cry for no reason. At first, I thought she was reacting to something she was watching on TV but I just could not see how Sanford and Son and The Mary Tyler Moore Show would provoke that kind of emotion. It would be many years later before I discovered my mother's bizarre behavior was really a real experience.

Lillian Mahone was having her own summer! I remember her telling one of her friends she was going through "the change" but I honestly do not believe she understood the amount of what was happening to her mentally and physically.

Back then, menopause was as taboo as mental illness. No one talked about it. There was a stigma attached to a woman going through the "change." In his book, Feminine Forever (published in 1966), Dr. Robert A. Wilson wrote, "many women endure the passing years with cow-like traffic and disinterest; and a disturbingly high number take refuge in alcohol, sleeping pills and sometimes even in suicide." He also wrote, "The tragedy of menopause often destroys her character as well as her health." It's that kind of so called expert opinion that probably forced many women to suffer in silence for fear of being ridiculed or labeled as crazy because of their hormonal imbalance.

Have the seven dwarfs of menopause come knocking at your door yet? If you're not sure, please allow me make the introductions. There's Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful, Bitchy, Itchy, Sleepy and All Dried Up. They do not all show up at once but you can rest assured they will come in, sometimes unannounced and definitely uninvited, and yes, they will wear out their welcome!

These little menaces to society bring night sweats, headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, urinary incontinence, yeast infections and vaginal dryness, anxiety, depression and emotional chaos into our lives.

According to my gynecologist, over time we may even start to lose our desire for sex. I do not know how you feel about that but I certainly hope it does not happen to me because I did hate to think I wasted the best years of my sex life on my ex!

I started having a glimpse of what's known as peri-menopause about ten months ago. First, there were the hot flashes and then my menstrual cycle became very sporadic. My gynecologist said once I go into full blown menopause, my cycle will stop completely, to which I say "Hallelujah"!

As far as the hot flashes go, they can be very annoying and inconvenient. The first one I clearly remember having was at work right around the same time I was trying to handle some breaking news at work. All of a sudden I felt this intense heat rush from the base of my neck up to the top of my head. It felt like I was on fire! It only measured about a minute but that was just long enough for me to consider murder if anyone had said something I did not like right at that moment.

You see, I've chosen NOT to suffer in silence which makes me eager to let my colleges and anyone else I come in contact with know when I'm having a "moment." This is their warning to steer clear until they've been given the "everything's OK" signal. When Sweaty comes in, it triggers a not so pleasant personality change. I became uncomfortable and irritated. That's when Bitchy takes over and she can hang around a long time if aggravated. Now there are some who might argue that Bitchy and I have been acquaints for quite some time. You know what I have to say to that?


My new best friend, not by choice mind you, is Bloated. He always looks to show up when I'm trying to find something cute and sexy to wear.

Then there's the invisible dwarf known as Arthur. He pops in from time to time to try to slow me down. He can be pretty feisty when he wants to be. He likes to hand wrestle and if I'm not careful he'll kick me in my knees. I've been able to stand my ground so far but he's pretty persistent. Good ol 'Arthur-itis just can not understand that I'd rather have someone else holding on to me!

While researching for more information of what to expect as I enter into menopause, I came across an interesting fact. Middle-aged men also go through their own form of "the change." It's referred to as andropause. Starting in their late forties, some of our male counterparts begin to experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, moodiness, heart palpitations and yes, some even complain of night sweats. That lean, mean macho machine you used to know starts turning into a couch potato with a gut the size of a watermelon.

Maybe that explains why some of them pump it up a little harder at the gym. Then they want to show off their new and improved bodies as they cruise around in their brand new chick magnet sports car. And let's not forget about the help they get from Hair Club for Men.

As for me, what you see is what you get!

I've started keeping a journal, which I strongly recommend for anyone going through their own season of change. On a daily basis you should keep track of everything you eat and drink and see how it correlates to weight gains and losses. I can tell you first hand, no matter how much you exercise, if you do not change your eating habits the only thing you're going to LOSE is PATIENCE.

Nutrition really is the key. I'm still learning how and when to eat. I've never been a breakfast person but these days I force myself to munch on something, even if it's nothing more than a banana and glass of soy milk. My trainer says you need food to jump start your metabolism first thing in the morning. That's especially important if your day starts with a workout like mine does.

I'm also learning how to prepare healthy meals I can enjoy through the day. Everything I used to fry, I now bake. Instead of saturating my seafood and vegetables with butter, I now use a freshly squeezed lemon or other non-fattening seasonings. I can also turn one regular meal into three or four smaller portions and I love experimenting with fruit smoothies.

The one mistake I believe many dieters make is they change what and how much they eat to lose the weight. Then when the weight loss goal is achieved, they resort back to their same old eating and drinking habits and wind up gaining back all they worked so hard to lose.

In addition to keeping up with your eating habits, you should also write down all of the activities you do that require movement for at least thirty minutes. Did you know house and yard work can be considered exercise? The more space you have to clean burns more calories and if you have to climb up and down stairs, that's an extra bonus. Mowing the lawn in the Spring and Summer and raking leaves in the Fall are sure fire ways to get your heart rate up.

Your journal can also help you monitor how often your hot flashes occur, how long they last, time of day / evening and what is happening right before the sunset. The majority of mine happens when I'm at work. Stress and a hot flash seem to go hand in hand in my life. I am finding out, however, just how important exercise is in helping me stay below the boiling point.

I'm also trying to monitor my mood swings. I find myself crying or flying off the handle for little or no reason. That's why I've made it a point to share my "issues" with people who are forced to be around me during those times so they're not taken off guard and do not take it personally.

One more thing my gynecologist says is my personal summer could last up to twenty years. So with that in mind, this Diva is taking the attitude she saw on a bumper sticker not long ago:

"I'm still Hot —- it just comes in Flashes now" (Can you dig it?)

Homebased Online Travel Agencies – The Hottest New Opportunity?

Because of the deregulation of the airlines and other factors, there have been over 200,000 brick and mortar travel agencies that have closed their doors over the past several years. Does that mean travel agencies are no longer needed or available to the public? Absolutely not.

Several companies, including Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz among others, saw this trend developing, so they developed online booking programs and entered the marketplace. Because the Internet was becoming so popular and accepted as a secure and reliable way of conducting business, their businesses have literally exploded.

But wait … several brilliant entrepreneurial visions also saw this online phenomena developing. Specifically, the online travel agency business model is especially interesting to the network marketing industry. Here are some of the reasons that they are expanding on the concept of online travel agencies:

– The travel industry is huge! Over $ 1.3 Trillion dollars are spent annually in the US on travel and over $ 7 Trillion is spent worldwide.

– The 'Baby Boomers' are now reaching retirement age and currently represent a large percentage of the travel dollar space. They have money and are ready to travel.

– The Internet has been validated by the masses as a trustworthy and important place to purchase goods and services. It is here to stay.

– As more and more people see that advantages of having their own personal homebased business, an online business like a travel agency really makes sense.

In the past, network marketers have had to learn expert selling and closing techniques to achieve good success with their products and services. Also, many of the products and services that they have historically been reliably high-priced compared to similar products purchased in regular stores. It takes people with perseverance and a strong will to really make it to the really high levels in network marketing.

However, using the business models and programs that have been developed for the travel industry, these same network marketers can promote their businesses and reach high levels of income from the comfort of their own homes much easier. The reasons include:

– The product (travel) is in huge demand and people are already in the habit of using online agencies for their travel purchases.

– The technology of the Internet is allowing individuals to compete with large companies. It's been proven that people would prefer to go to the website of one of their friends rather than the site of a large, nonpersonal company.

– Network marketers can earn commissions on their own personal travel, rental cars, concert tickets, golf trips, etc.

– The cost to get started is low and profits can be made almost immediately

– It's a great way to help other people and make a significant part-time or full-time income on the way.

– There are basically no sophisticated selling and closing skills that need to be developed.

So, with the familiarity of the brand names that are available and the simplicity of using the Internet to shop for travel goods and services, there is an exciting new and profitable opportunity for network marketers to capitalize on the travel industry.

10 Ways Baby Boomers Can Be Happier in 2018

How can you live your best life and be happier in 2018? Here are 10 surefire ways to help you hit the restart button for a better life.

Change Careers

Studies show that up to 80 percent of baby boomers plan to do some sort of paid work until age 70 to stay mentally sharp, keep engaged socially, and achieve financial security in retirement. That leaves a couple of decades after 50 to work.

Sometimes that's why more and more boomers are contemplating an "encore career" to pursue their passions and create a fulfilling life they can enjoy.

The American Institute for Economic Research looked at people who changed or tried to change jobs after age 45 and found that 82% of people aged 47 and older who took up new careers in the last two years were successful, and 50% saw a salary increase .

"Do not view your age or your experience as a liability. It's a benefit to companies to have a multi-generational workforce," says Oriana Vogel, vice president of global talent acquisition at American Express. "One of our goals … is to hire employees that can provide a variety of different perspectives and experiences." Age does not come into consideration when it comes down to hiring the best people, she says.

Enjoy Life's Simple Pleasures

In 2017, International Happiness Day and the first day of spring coincided. How often does that happen? But do we really need a special day to find some bliss? I say that any ordinary day will do.

In 2018, let's pause and enjoy all of life's simple treasures and trips we look forward to through the day. Yes, we all have them! You know, the moment you open up your drapes and sunlight fills your home. The aroma of coffee in the morning. Those delightful blueberries on your cereal. The hot shower in the morning that awakens and refreshes you.

If you're a baby boomer still working, instead of grumbling about it, enjoy your favorite song on the radio as you drive to your job. Do not just sit there, sing along! If you're lucky enough to be retired, enjoy some creative leisure time.

Experience happiness from the simple act of giving. Take a moment and write, text, or call a friend. Give someone a big smile to brighten their day and perk up yours as well. Make it a point to do something nice for a stranger or give someone a sincere compliment today. When you get home, give a loved one a big hug. Make your dog's day with a walk around the neighborhood, a treat, and an extra pat on its head. Relish each bite of dinner. Watch the sunset. Enjoy your favorite comedy and laugh loudly. At the end of the day, remember each blessing and give thanks.

If a gloomy thought dares to enter your head this day, usher it right out and replace it with a happy, positive thought. No groans or gripes allowed. Mentally shout "next" in your head and move right along. Relish every day of simply being alive.

Break Through Barriers

Oh, the wonderful things that can happen when we break through our self-imposed barriers!

When I wanted to become a writer, I put a lot of barriers on myself. I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I did not have a college degree. That my submissions would sit in a huge pile and be ignored by literary agents and editors since I did not know anyone in the publishing business. That friends and family would roll their eyesballs if I dared to express my dreams of becoming a writer out loud. That I would become so discouraged by the countless rejections sure to come my way, I would give up and watch my precious dreams slowly fade away. Does not everyone want to be a writer, but how many actually make it?

Instead of taking action, I was comfortable just dreaming about becoming an author one day. It was fun envisioning my novel on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and my first book signing. Until a woman at a writer's conference asked me a simple but substantial question. What are you waiting for?

With the woman's words echoing in my head, I took the first step and began submitting my short story to magazines. Of course, I received the standard rejection letter which stung, but I continued on my journey, taking writing classes and submitting my work. The road was not easy. Many of my fears came true during that time. I gathered enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room. Many times, I became discouraged and swore off writing. But I tenaciously pressed forward. Six long years passed before my first short story was published. Am I happy that I persevered and finally faced down all those nagging self-doubts and fears?

You bet! I've been writing professionally for over 25 years now. Over the years, I've been published in national magazines, authored three books (one of which was published by big time publisher McGraw Hill), landed an agent, won three journalistic awards, and even had my dream come true with a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

This is the year to reflect on who you are and what matters most to you in life. Time to overcome your fears, persevere, and find the power to become the driver of your own life and personal journey!

Become Happy-Go-Lucky

The Urban Dictionary defines happy-go-lucky as a person who is cheerful about most things, has a positive view on life, and annoys the you-know-what out of their friends. Haha! Seriously, think of all the benefits of lightening up. You'll be less stressed, have more fun, take more risks, step out of your comfort zone and because of your positive attitude have more friends and better relationships.

So adapt a devil-may-care attitude, be a little silly, laugh more, mellow out, and be playful! If you can become more of a happy-go-lucky person, I'd lay bets that you'll find life more enjoyable and even more fulfilling.

Take a Trip

It's no secret that I love to travel, so a new survey last year that listed baby boomers choices for top bucket list travel destinations done my eye.

Of the 12,000 boomer participants, a whooping 99 percent said they planned to take one leisure trip last year. About half planned to travel domestically on multi-generational trips, weekend getaways, and holiday travel. Bucket lists inspired 43 percent of boomers to say they hoped to travel internationally as well.

Which places topped boomers' bucket lists for travel? Hawaii topped the list for a dream domestic destination followed by Alaska, California, Arizona, and Nevada. The top international destinations were Australia, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom / Ireland, France, and the Caribbean. Are any of these places on your bucket list? No time like the present!

Interestingly, boomers enjoy dreaming about their trip almost as much as experiencing the trip itself. Part of the fun is planning!

Stay Positive Detail Adversities

is it possible to be happy when persistent, scary, and frustrating problems keep rising to the surface and smacking us in the face?

Adversity can make us feel stressed, upset, disappointed, powerless, angry, and depressed. Even when some or even most other aspects of our lives are going well, we tend to focus on things that are going wrong.

Instead of allowing damaging thoughts to build and grow in strength, find a quiet, peaceful place. Think of your problems and then forcefully push them away. As Mark Twain wisely said, "Drag your thoughts away from your troubles … by the ears, by the heads, or any other way you can manage it."

Research has shown there is a strong link between creativity and better mental health. Instead of stewing about your problems, do something creative and you'll be forced to look inward and listen to yourself. It will help you shut out the world and its problems for a while.

Purposely direct your mind to focus on things that make you feel happy. You may recall something funny your grandchild did or said, reminisce about one of your favorite memories, or plan a trip for the future. Or write down five reasons you can feel grateful and force yourself to focus on those things. Put inspirational, happy quotes on post it notes and spread them around the house. Again, with a little practice you can train your mind to naturally gravitate toward more pleasant thoughts.

Of course, these tips will not make your problems magically disappear, but they can help you better able to cope with challenges.

Get Rid of Clutter

Whether we've become empty nesters or are following the latest trend of decluttering, many of us baby boomers are downsizing.

Two years ago, we moved. As I was filling up trash bags and putting away things to donate and sell, I felt incredibly FREE. Why did not I do this sooner?

Conquering clutter can clear the way for a more productive life. Without physical obstacles like piles of unopened mail, old clothes, and Tupperware without lids in the way, you'll be amazed how much you can accomplish in your life.

Aim for Long-Term Happiness instead of Instant Gratification

Instant self-gratification rules the world today. Think about ATM machines that provide instant cash, fast food supplying instant meals, the Internet with its access to instant information and entertainment – all of which has turned us into impatient beings that can not tolerate waiting for anything.

According to a CNN article, there are two types of well-being. One relays on self-involved instant pleasure and requires continuous action to consistently feed positive emotions. This type of satisfaction typically leaves as fast as it comes. For example, buying an expensive pair of shoes creates a temporary high but to keep that euphoric feeling we must keep shopping for the next quick fix. If something threatens our ability to seek out this kind of personal happiness – for example, all our credit cards are maxed out – our entire source of well-being is threatened.

The second type of well-being is a kind of happiness that comes, not from consuming products, but from working towards something larger than ourselves that gives true meaning to life.This type of well-being can bring long-term happiness.

That's not to say that we should never reward ourselves with a bowl of ice cream or a great pair of shoes as a special treat every once in a while. We do not have to wait to enjoy the present or our lives.

However, we'll all be happier if we develop some self-control and avoid the habit of wanting everything right this second. Constantly giving into momentary desires can actually make us feel depressed in the long run. Advertisers have become experts at convincing us that instant gratification is the key to happiness. Do not buy it. Shoot for long-term satisfaction and fulfillment instead.

Embrace Hygge like the Norwegians

Permanent frigid arctic temperatures and months of darkness, the happiest people on the planet apparently live in Nordic countries, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.

Norway jumped up three spots to claim the title of "world's happiest country" for the first time. Denmark, the previous winner for three years in a row dropped to second. These countries were followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. In case you're wondering, the US came in 14th place, dropping down one spot from last year.

Could the reason Norwegians are so darn happy have to do with the Danish term hygge? Hygge is also difficult to define, but is translated loosely into the English word coziness and is associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude. However, Norwegians would probably argue there's much more to the word.

Hygge requires being present in a moment – whether it be simple, soothing, or special – that brings you comfort, contentment, or pleasure. The word speaks to the ability to enjoy the good things in life with people you love. Hygge can describe soft candlelight, comfort foods like a pork roast or home-made cinnamon pastries, sitting by the fire on a cold night with fuzzy socks, or simply being kinder to yourself and others. It's about transforming an afternoon cup of tea into an event with friends. Some people translate the word as coziness of the soul.

So, go ahead. Eat that pastry guilty-free, invite friends over for a glass of wine by the fire, or luxuriate in a candlelit bath. Savor the moment and let the warm, fuzzy feelings flow.

Retire in a Happy State

My childhood friend was visiting me last year when she asked, "Where do you want to retire?"

I'm from the Palm Springs, California area, which has long been one of the most famous retirement communities. Snowbirds love this place with over 300 days of sunshine a year. Golfing, casinos, hiking, and cycling are popular activities. Places to shop and dine abound. In addition, a fairly strong economy and low unemployment rate make the Palm Springs area a popular destination for baby boomers and retirees.

But do I want to retire here? Not especially. Some people love the heat, but I'm not a fan of the long, hot summers with temperatures that exceed 115 degrees. However, I have time to consider my options. Like many boomers, retirement is now in sight for me at the time being. But of course, a girl can dream, right?

So, what are the best and worst states to retire? The results from a's survey last year were interesting. Traditional retirement spots like Florida and California did not make the top 10 while other states, not usually considered as premier places to retire, like Wyoming and Colorado, made the top five. Honolulu is the 2nd most expensive place to live and Hawaii residents pay an individual income tax rate of 11% – the 2nd highest in the US But if you can afford it, this state ranks high for happiness and personal well-being. New York and West Virginia rated the worst.

There you go! Applying just a few of these tips can have a drastic impact on your life and help you find your bliss in 2018. Go for it!

Baby Boomer Birth Mothers and Empty Nest Syndrome

I keep thinking about how alone I have felt for the past 37 years, with my secret. How alone I have felt as a birth mother. I felt as if I was the only one on my side of the world who had pregnant and unmarried, and surrendered surrendered my baby for adoption. I felt so alone in all of the lies and all of the silences. (Silences – Remember birth moms, how some little Mrs. would talk on, and on, about her labor and birthing experience and then some other little Mrs. would chime in there with her story? Remember birth mother how hard you bit your tongue ?)

Now here we are as today's grandmothers. I wonder, ladies, did any of you suffer the famous 'empty nest' syndrome when your last child left home? Did you ………….?
You know what? I've always been amazed that, as unusually close as my two daughters and I were, I did not go into a depression when they left home. I always knew I would miss them and 'our time' together. This I did. But life was still very good. We maintained a good relationship while they were in college and beyond. And I did have a life beyond them. I was not floundering; I was flourishing.

So why? Lady Baby Boomers / Birth Mothers, do you think it might be because I had already suffered the 'empty nest' syndrome at 19 years old? I had learned to go on; I had learned to cope and to find a life without my child in it. I had suffered in silence. Empty nest syndrome? Ha! I knew what a really empty nest was! I was not about to experience it again. I never lost touch with my two girls. And, I took the opportunity to start actively hunting for daughter number one. I probably knew more hope at this point in my life, than I had ever known.
Yes, I knew the empty nest way too prematurely; but thankfully I outgrew it when my children left home.

Any other baby boomers out there share my experiences / feelings? Love to hear from you.


Entertaining Talk Show Questions

With the wide variety of talk shows on the air, it would be nice to have questions outside the box. Here are some possible questions that fit this category:

1. When was the last time you were at a party, and decided to really pig out on the dip?

2. If you could choose a super power, would you choose the ability to read minds, or pour water really fast without spilling a drop?

3. What is the record amount of time you have gone without a shower?

4. What type of phone solicitation messages are you likely to listen to completely?

5. What kind of free gifts do you most crave?

6. What are some of the favorite names you call driver drivers in a traffic jam?

7. What is your most memorable experience with cheese?

8. If you had a dime for every time someone called you a wart hog, would you be poor or rich?

9. Can you describe the smell of a really hot barn?

10. If you accidently lowered the lid of the aspirin bottle into the toilet, would you fish it out or flush it down?

11. Are you satisfied with the shape of your tongue?

12. What is the purpose of the battery in a blade razor?

13. What is your favorite type of dried meat?

14. When you take photographs, do you make your subjects look at the camera?

15. Have you ever learned how to whittle?

16. Do you look for abandoned change in vending machines and pay phones?

17. What is the largest gum wad you have ever chewed?

18. Where were you last time you ripped your pants?

19. How many tissues can you fit in your mouth?

20. What kind of lessons are you willing to pay for?

21. How much would you bid for a Rembrandt painting?

22. Can you describe your most frustrating experience with plastic wrap?

23. What are your favorite types of hardware items?

24. Do you have a lucky shirt, and why is it lucky?

25. Where do you put your spare change?

26. How many times per week do you find yourself trying to identify certain odors?

27. What is the strangest thing you have ever done with a spoon?

28. How long would wicker furniture last in your house?

29. What are your favorite things to do with your fingers?

30. Have you ever written any graffiti, and if so, what was your favorite?

31. If you smell body odor, do you check to see if it is you?

There are a lot more, but I guess that is enough for now.

7 Different Type Of Speech Introductions

Without a speaker can interest his audience, his effort will be a failure. If your topic is not one of extraordinary interest, your listeners are likely to say to themselves, so what? Who cares? A speaker can quickly lose an audience if she or he does not use the introduction to get their attention and clicking their interest in getting the initial attention of your audience is usually easy-even before you utter a single word. After you are introduced, turn to your audience and they will normally give you their attention. If they do not, then patiently look towards the audience without saying a word. In a few moments all talking and physical commotion will stop. Your listeners will be attentive. You'll be ready to start speaking. Keeping the attention of your audience once you start talking is more difficult. Here are some methods used most to keep them Interested.

# 1: Relate the topic to the audience-

People pay attention to things that affect them directly if you can relate the topic to listeners they're much more likely to be interested in it.

# 2: State the importance of your topic-

Presumably you think your speech is important, tell your audience why they should think so too.

# 3: Startle the audience.

One sure fire way to arouse interest quickly is to startle all your listeners with an arresting or intriguing statement. This technique is highly effective and easy to use just be sure the starling introduction relates directly to the subject of your speech.

# 4: Arouse the curiosity of the audience-

People are curious. One way to draw them into your speech is with a series of statements that progressively whet their curiosity about the subject of the speech.

# 5: Question the audience-

Asking a rhetorical question is another way to get your listeners thinking about your speech sometimes even a single question will do.

# 6: Begin with the quotation-

Another way to arouse the interest of your audience is to start with an attention getting quotation. You may choose a choice from Shakespeare or Confucius, from the bible or Talmud, from Shakespeare, song, or film.

# 7: Tell a story-

We all enjoy stories-especially if they are provocative, dramatic, or suspenseful. To work well as instructions, they should also be clearly relevant to the main point of the speech. Used in this way, stories are perhaps the most effective way to begin a speech.

With this information you should be on your way to be writing some amazing intros. Good luck with your speeches!