Get tips on how to create your better way. It's free!  

Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Please provide a valid email address.
Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Please fill in the required fields.

5 Ways To Feel Better About Divorce

5 Ways To Feel Better About Divorce

Divorce presents one of the most stressful situations that we endure and some attorneys will promise to make it easy. The truth is that even the best attorney has limited ability to do that. You, on the other hand, have the power to significantly improve your opportunities for a divorce that is easier on you and your children, shorter in duration and less expensive. Learn A Lot: What’s at stake? Not all money is created equal. Often, one spouse manages the money or knows more about the overall financial situation. Usually, that represents a reasonable division of responsibilities within the marriage and does not signify any real problem with financial management (but you can read a little more about this in my blog post on adultery from April 7, 2014). If that was not your role in the relationship, take two steps. First, stop worrying about that history and do not waste your energy blaming your spouse for doing what needed to be done with your joint finances. Second, figure out what you need to learn about your finances and, do not stop here, learn it. You need to know the value of real estate, details your mortgage obligations, where you and your spouse have bank accounts and credit accounts, where retirement assets are invested and in what type of retirement plan, what insurance you have and if it has any cash value. If there are funds set aside for your children, review my prior blog post about kids’ money (June 18, 2014). Educate yourself first, then the next parts of the process will be much easier. Prioritize: If you don’t ask for what you want, you can’t expect to get it as part of a divorce settlement or from any court. Start with a wide view of the issues that need to be resolved in your case: custody and parenting time, division of property, division of debts, protecting assets that are not marital, spousal support, child support, funding the litigation. Make a list, a chart or an outline of your priorities. Be totally honest with yourself. Then, talk to your attorney about the way that each issue could potentially be resolved and be sure to understand the best case and the worst case scenarios. Listen carefully for the bad news because that is the hardest to absorb and yet necessary to enable you to make an informed decision...

Read More

Tips for Shortening Homework Time

Tips for Shortening Homework Time

Homework can be a long, arduous task for many students. Sometimes the simple task of sitting down and getting started can be a challenge for many. Staying focused on the task at hand while avoiding distractions‎ is another struggle that many students face. Rather than dragging out the process into the late hours of the night, here are some strategies you can try to make homework time shorter and easier. Here are some quick and easy ideas: 1. ‎Use a planner, and use it well. Many schools use online portals for posting assignments and due dates. However, putting all assignments, projects, and upcoming exam dates into one planner helps students see the big picture. Here’s a strategy to try: while at school, your child should write down each assignment. When he gets home and begins his homework, he should start by estimating how much time he thinks it will take to complete each assignment (and write the ET, or estimated time, for each task). Next, he should order the assignments based on the ones he wants to complete first, second, etc., by writing the appropriate number next to the assignment. Finally, your child can begin tackling the assignments in that order (it is typically better to complete the longer, more challenging ones first). Once each assignment is complete he should write down the AT, or actual time the assignment took to complete. When the assignments are done and put away in the appropriate place to be turned it, he should cross out the assignment or put an X next to it. 2. Power down electronics. While students think they‎ may need their computers or tablets for completing their assignments, with social media, news flashes, text messages, emails, and the like, devices can often be more of a distraction than helpful tools for getting homework done quickly. Encourage your child to power them off or put them in another room, and only use them when absolutely necessary. 3. Get a little exercise! Before beginning any homework, try having your child do some jumping jacks, dance to music, or even do a few push-ups. These types of physical exercises will help increase alertness and ‎focus, and will help students tackle homework in a more efficient manner. While some students are fine starting their work right after school, others benefit from this type of physical activity before beginning their school work. 4....

Read More

I Had Plenty of Reasons Not To Do It

I Had Plenty of Reasons Not To Do It

Let me introduce myself. My name is Ally and I’m an immigrant. I moved to the US about 8 years ago and my mother tongue is not English, (guess what it is… the answer is at the end of this post). Even though my language of birth is different, I decided to write books and become a published author, and my choice was to do all that in English. The decision to do so wasn’t easy for me, and nor was it rational. I had any number of excuses at the ready giving me reasons not to write. In fact, let me be more specific at this point; I actually heard voices (not those kind of voices, don’t worry!) running through my mind. All giving me these kinds of messages: “It’s not your first language, there’s no way you will succeed”; “who do you think you are?”; “why bother trying?” etc. I’m sure that you too, have probably heard those ‘voices’ at least once in your life. Think of them as though someone else has implanted them into your brain (the ‘voice’ could be that of a parent or teacher,) and they are now ‘burned’ onto your hard-disk. These long-held beliefs may be hard to erase, but they’re not impossible. Okay, long story short time: When I eventually managed to listen to my true inner voice, (instead of the other voices which were telling me it was impossible,) it vehemently told me to write a book and publish it on Amazon. And when that happened, I didn’t question it. And my inspiration was sitting right there in front of me – my children. I won’t get into the technical details of what I went through in producing the book, finding an illustrator and editor etc. But I will tell you one thing: It scared the hell out of me. I was doing something that was 100 miles away from my comfort zone, which necessitated me to put my thinking out there, and make myself available for others to judge. Can you imagine anything scarier? What I did is to take a few small steps each and every day. It was easier for me to deal with the fear when it was in small doses. I made a list of things I needed to do: write two pages a day, read the story to my children and ask for their...

Read More

Being Kind Matters

Being Kind Matters

Tuesday morning as I was shoveling our driveway after the non-blizzard-blizzard of 2015, a small, but meaningful, gesture reminded me about the importance of kindness. It was about 5:30 in the morning, still dark, and with the wind-chill, it felt like 6 degrees. Or at least that’s what my iPhone told me as I bundled up to head out into the cold. I’d had a warm cup of coffee, sent out my morning e-mail, and I knew I had to head out there. The snowfall was much (much!) less than predicted, so I knew my husband would be heading into work. One thing I’ve learned about shoveling while living on the East Coast is that it’s important to shovel before the car dives over the snow. Once that happens, the snow gets so stuck to the pavement that it will eventually ice over and cause mayhem for a good few weeks. It’s annoying, but it keeps me motivated to get out there as quickly as possible to get that white fluff out of the way. So, armed with coffee, hat, gloves, boots and a coat, I headed out into the dark to start the process. Don’t get me wrong. I like being out there in the quiet. It’s great exercise, it’s peaceful, and well, it’s hard work. And you know what the hardest part of the driveway is? Shoveling that 10 feet in between the end of the driveway and shoveled pavement of the street. Because what inevitably happens, is the snowplows drive by and create a lovely wall of snow at the end of the driveway that the car either has to drive over, through, or yours truly has to shovel. Those of you that get to enjoy snow in the winter know what I’m taking about. It’s a drag. That snow is heavy with dirt and salt, and it’s hard to pick up. At about 6:10, I’d cleaned off half of the driveway, including those lovely 10 feet at the end. As I’m heaving shovelful after shovelful, I see the flashing yellow lights, and I hear the rumbling of the snow plow as it heads up my street. I look over, and sure enough….a new wall of snow, right where I’d just shoveled. I took a deep breath, and kept going on with my work. I knew I’d just have to go back and to that part...

Read More

Five Ways to Make Your Divorce Easier

Five Ways to Make Your Divorce Easier

Divorce presents one of the most stressful situations that we endure and some attorneys will promise to make it easy. The truth is that even the best attorney has limited ability to do that. You, on the other hand, have the power to significantly improve your opportunities for a divorce that is easier on you and your children, shorter in duration and less expensive.   1. Parent first; litigate second. There are two components to custody agreements: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to making major decisions about a child’s medical care, education, religious upbringing and any other issue that parents specifically designate as having such significance that either one parent makes the decision, or they somehow make the decision jointly. If both parents have the ability to participate constructively in such decisions, authority to make those decisions is usually shared or divided between them. Physical custody concerns the child’s schedule with each parent, including weekly parenting time, holidays and vacations. Keep control of the outcome of your custody arrangement by committing yourself to reaching an agreement instead of asking any Judge to make the decision for you. Variations on custody arrangements are innumerable, and best decided by the parents themselves without abdicating that authority to any court. Even the most experienced and well-intentioned Judge will lack the level of detailed knowledge about your child that you have. Your understanding of your child’s needs enables you to create a better solution than any stranger can, even if you have to compromise with your co-parent to get there. Similarly, when consulting with your attorney, keep control of that conversation and prioritize your child’s needs over any litigation strategy. Identify your convictions about what parenting arrangement will promote your child’s best interests. Then, ask your attorney to strategize around those needs; never blindly follow a litigation strategy instead of your knowledge of what is best for your child. 2. Declare your priorities. If you don’t ask for what you want, you can’t expect to get it as part of a divorce settlement or from any court. Start with a wide view of the issues that need to be resolved in your case: custody and parenting time, division of property, division of debts, protecting assets that are not marital, spousal support, child support, funding the litigation. Literally make a list, a chart or an outline of your priorities. Then, talk...

Read More