What’s Got You So Down? Keys to Doing a Life Assessment

Self Help Daily Info

In order to truly be happy, having a well balanced life is important. Sometimes we make the mistake of taking on too much and essentially begin to feel bummed out. Feelings of sadness, stress, anxiety, and despair are certainly no way to truly enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. The trouble for many people is that they’ve spent so much of their life feeling this way and carrying on their daily responsibilities, that they don’t have the slightest idea of what is holding them back from true happiness. The best way to get a grip on life and start working on a better you is to do a life assessment.

Importance of Life Assessments

At some point in your life taking an assessment or evaluating your life is beneficial to achieving your goals and ultimately finding real happiness. As stated previously, sometimes you’re so busy “getting through life” that you don’t realize that you’re not “living”. To find out what may be hindering you from ultimate satisfaction, taking a quick assessment of various elements of your life can make a huge difference. Below are some steps on how to accomplish this.

1.  Set Up Categories

First, you’ll need to set up categories of your life. Trying to analyze things all at once can be a bit confusing and also can cause you to miss a few things. While there are plenty of categories you could break it into, let’s try the follow:

·  Professional (i.e. your career)

·  Spiritual

·  Health

·  Financial

·  Emotional

·  Relationship

·  Family

2.  List Pros and Cons

Once you’ve broken your life into categories such as those recommended above, go through each area of your life and list all the pros and cons in that particular category. For instance, professionally you might be happy in the industry you’re in, but wish that you could be promoted. Spiritually, you might have a deep sense of connection with your religion, but feel as if you’re not getting the teachings you need from your church (or religious meeting facility). Financially, you might be making a decent amount of money but you may be drowning in debt. Keep going until you’ve finished laying out the things you’re satisfied or happy with in your life verses the things that you’re not so enthused about and believe you need work on.

3.  Create a List of Your Issues

Now you will need to take all of the cons you’ve just listed in each area of your life and put them all into one group. This will give you a clear picture on the things that you need to work on in order to find true balance and happiness in your life. No matter how big or small the list may be, don’t be discouraged and coming up with solutions doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

4.  Find Effective Solutions

Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s keeping you down, it’s time to come up with a feasible plan of action to get these matters solved. For example, if you’ve been stressed financially because your cost of living seems to keep increasing, you might start by finding ways to save on housing costs such as your energy bills. Now that many countries and states in the US and Canada have energy deregulation in place, you can compare energy rates (here is more information on comparing costs in Canada, which is similar to the rates here in the US) and choose a provider who will save you money. Saving on housing costs can improve your financial status, thus helping you to feel more complete in that area of your life.

5.  Tackle the Problems One Step at a Time

Once you’ve come up with a list of solutions, you want to try and tackle them bit by bit. Trying to take on too many changes at once will essentially cause more stress and unhappiness in your life. Make sure that the solutions are feasible and within your control as trying to fix things outside of your control are essentially pointless.

It may take time to find true balance in every area of your life, but it is well worth the investment (and the wait). Sometimes taking a step back and reviewing where your life is in comparison to where you want it to be is the best way to go about finding true happiness. Setting up feasible solutions and tackling them bit by bit will certainly pay off in the long run.

Quote About Joy – Joyful Quote of the Day

This One's Worth Memorizing

Quote About Joy
Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson, author

So many people get so stuck in a negative mindset that they don’t even fully realize why they were there in the first place! I’m fairly convinced that if you walked up to the average “sad sack” or “worry wart,” and asked them, “Why so down, chum?,” they wouldn’t have a legitimate answer.

They’d either say something vague like, “I just can’t catch a break” or go they’d whip out the old standby, “Life just isn’t fair.”

On the other hand, of course, there are plenty of people who have reasons why they’re wearing a “never in season” frown:

  • they don’t have enough money
  • they haven’t found Mr./Mrs. Right
  • they live in an empty nest
  • they don’t live in an empty nest
  • their spouse doesn’t measure up
  • their kids don’t measure up
  • they don’t measure up
  • they hate their job
  • they hate their co-workers
  • they live in a “one horse” town
  • they live in a noisy city
  • they’re overweight
  • they’re underweight
  • they have health issues
  • etc etc etc

Regardless of their own personal reasons for feeling down, the surest way to move their emotions upward resides in the beautiful quote above: Allowing themselves to recognize just how good things really are.

Like me, you’ve heard the quote, “Things are never as bad as they seem,” right? Well, if we’re going to be completely honest here – sometimes they are as bad as they seem. Losses happen, change happens, and sometimes life really and truly does not play fair.  And, yet… if we take the time to look around us – even in the dark – we’ll realize that there are more good things than bad.

More reasons to smile than to frown.

More reasons to feel hopeful than to feel hopeless.

More reasons to feel grateful than hateful.

Joy is a beautiful, wonderful, completely euphoric feeling. It’s more than worth the few minutes it takes to “round up” your blessings and “find” reasons to smile.

Advancements in Sleep Technology

Self Help Daily Info

Advancements in Sleep Technology

When you wake up in the morning, do you feel rested or do you feel as if you haven’t slept at all? Getting a good night’s sleep can affect more than just the way you feel in the morning – sleep deprivation can actually have some very serious effects on your health and wellbeing. While you sleep, your body goes through important processes that promote healing, improve learning, support growth/development, and boost the immune system. Can you afford NOT to get a good night’s sleep?

Each individual person’s need for sleep varies, but the average adult requires about 7 ½ to 8 hours of sleep per night for optimal function. A loss of just 1 or 2 hours compounded over several days can impact your body’s normal function to the same degree that it would if you hadn’t slept at all for a day or two. Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased performance and cognitive impairment – it may also increase your risk for occupational injury and automobile accidents. Getting a good night’s sleep each and every night is incredibly important, yet many people still struggle to make it happen. If you are in this boat, you will be glad to know that modern advancements in sleep technology may be just what you need to get your sleep habits back on track.

Modern Developments in Sleep Tech

Over the last decade or so, many advancements have been made in sleep technology. From specially designed mattresses and phone apps to anti-snoring mouth guards, sleep technology comes in many different forms. Below you will find a brief overview of some of the top developments in modern sleep technology:

Sleep Cycle App – The Sleep Cycle app is available for both Android and iPhone, and it is designed to help you maximize your quality of sleep using your smartphone. Simply install the app and set up a window for your desired wake time. Then, you just need to activate the application and place your phone on the mattress next to your pillow before you go to bed. While you are sleeping, the app will analyze your quality of sleep, sounding a gentle alarm to wake you during your lightest sleep phase. By waking you during light sleep, you will feel rested and rejuvenated.

Casper Mattress – The Casper mattress utilizes a uniquely designed sleep surface that contours to the shape of your body while still retaining a healthy degree of support. This mattress features a firm memory foam core with a top layer of springy latex foam for maximum comfort and cooling. By ensuring optimal comfort, support, and air circulation, the Casper mattress facilitates a good night’s sleep every night.

Anti-Snore Mouth Guards – Anti-snore mouth guards are not only an effective way to stop snoring – they can also be used to treat sleep apnea. Some mouth guards work by pulling the jaw forward to keep the airway open while you sleep, but this may result in bite misalignment over time, not to mention a sore jaw in the morning. Modern anti-snore mouth guards, like the Good Morning Snore Solution, utilize tongue displacement technology, pulling just the tongue forward to open the airway comfortably and effectively.

If you suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, or if you are just looking for a way to improve your quality of sleep, consider one of the sleep tech options above. Getting a good night’s sleep is the key to good health, so you should do whatever it takes to get it.

3 Reasons You Should Seek a Balanced Life if You Want a Better Life

At Work or Home, Success Depends on Finding Equilibrium

Quote About Finding Balance in Life

Find Balance in Your Life and Stand Firm when Storms Come

Most people are searching for something, whether they even realize it or not. Some seek money, fancy cars, and expensive wardrobes. Others seek better health and the ever elusive Fountain of Youth.  A small contingent simply seek days filled with laughter, their family, bottomless pitchers of tea, and as many cats as they can find.

But enough about me.

Lumbie Mlambo, magazine editor and stroke survivor puts a wonderful spin on searching for a better life in the article below.  She speaks of finding “balance” in our lives.

To me, balance has always meant staying “grounded” and “level-headed.”  Being balanced means never getting too high or too low. It’s the single best way to stay grounded. The more balanced you are, the less apt you are to become rattled or unglued.

Why is being balanced and grounded SO important? Because balance gives us roots.  The deeper our balance, the deeper the roots.  We should strive to have our “roots” run so deep that after even the worst of storms, we’ll be like a large, old tree….. still standing.

~ Joi

3 Reasons A Balanced Life Is A Better Life

Life sometimes can seem off kilter as responsibilities mount and people plow all their physical and mental resources into what seems to be the most pressing crisis of the moment.

But Lumbie Mlambo says that’s a good time to take a step back. Everyone has the potential to shine in life’s darkest moments, but the key to achieving goals and an overall better existence is to maintain a balance so that one aspect of your life isn’t consumed by another.

While some people might say balance in life is an impossible goal, she disagrees and says when each of us find our equilibrium, we become more productive and a greater asset to our communities.

There’s balance in everything we do, be it walking, talking, eating, sleeping, working or spending time with family,” says Mlambo, editor of Equanimity Magazine (www.equanimitymag.com), an online publication that features inspiring stories of life and success.

For example, look at how we try to deal with our work-life situation. We balance our workload so that we can still make room for other activities, to spend more time with our spouses or our children. We do that because we understand how important it is.”

She offers these reasons for why living a balanced life is essential:

• The health factor. Staying balanced is a key to a healthier and successful life. Both mental health and physical health benefit, and as a result, so do our overall lives. When we’re healthy, we’re able to care for ourselves and others in our community,” Mlambo says.

• The empathy factor. “When we find balance in life, we can better understand the importance of helping the underprivileged,” says Mlambo, who grew up in a rural area in Zimbabwe. You begin to realize that someday you could be in their situation, which makes you a more empathetic person. “Your economic situation is like your health,” she says. “Nothing is guaranteed.”

• The role-model factor. Sharing our stories – whether it’s a tale of success or even a tale of failure – is important because others can learn from us or be inspired by us as they too strive for a balanced life. “When you tell your story, it empowers, motivates and encourages people to not give up on their dreams and goals,” Mlambo says. “Maybe you think your story is just not that interesting or important. But for someone out there, it may be the spark that ignites them to great things.”

Mlambo always strove to find balance in her life. But she became even more passionate about it after she suffered a stroke in 2001 that left her partially paralyzed. She since has recovered, but says the event had a profound impact on her and she will always consider herself a stroke patient.

Before the stroke, I thought my life was balanced in a way,” she says. “I mean, I ate healthy foods. I exercised seven days a week. But it was not balanced in the way I wanted. I had been too focused on myself. I realized that life was not just about me, but about others.”

Finding balance in life isn’t just a feel-good concept, Mlambo says. As people achieve balance, they realize they have the potential to rise above their circumstances. They can become more productive in their communities and that is good for everyone.

Staying proactive and shifting the way we think can even help the economy to grow and can help create more jobs,” she says.

Certainly, maintaining a balanced life may be tougher than ever because technology allows work – emails, text messages, telephone calls – to intrude on people’s “off” hours. But that’s just all the more reason to make a concerted effort to strive for balance, Mlambo says.

She says it’s become popular in some circles to argue that a balanced life is a myth and can’t be achieved. But regardless of their views, she says, most people seem to be trying to bring balance to their lives, even if they don’t think of it that way.

“We eat healthy to stay balanced, we get enough sleep or rest to avoid stress, we juggle our daily activities to stay balanced,” Mlambo says. “To be successful in anything we do, we must have some sort of balance.”

About Lumbie Mlambo

Lumbie Mlambo is editor of Equanimity Magazine (www.equanimitymag.com), a lifestyle publication that shares the stories of “real people and their search to lead better lives.” She also has a background in project management, computer/software engineering and business analysis. She holds an associate degree in computer science from Indiana University South Bend; and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. She is multilingual, speaking English, Zulu, Ndebele and French.

Happy Families Don’t Just Happen

Everyone Has to Do Their Part

Quote About Home

The One Place…

I spend a lot of time thinking about families – husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles… the whole shebang.  That’s why I made “Building Happier Families” the focus of Self Help Daily for 2015.

My family is my treasure on earth. I’d rather have this colorful cast of characters and nothing else in the world than to have everything but one less of them.

They’re crazy, but by gosh, they’re my crazies!

A family should be a safe haven, shouldn’t it? A happy band of people connected by blood as well as love. People who have one another’s backs and would go to battle for any member of the tribe.

Problem is some families spend so much time battling one another that their home and family seems like anything but a safe haven.

When I hear about broken relationships within families, my heart breaks because I know somewhere, in the middle of it all, there’s someone who cherishes their family the way I do mine – and I know that what they want more than anything else is peace and happiness.

Doesn’t seem like that much to ask for, does it?

Fortunately strained and even broken relationships can be mended. Love is a powerful force and if it’s a factor in the equation, few things are impossible.

However, the best way to REPAIR broken relationships is to PREVENT them from ever happening in the first place. Within every shattered family is at least one person who wishes with all their might that they could go back and UNdo or UNsay something.

If you’ve ever been in that agonizing position, you know that it’s very much like hell on earth.

Once you’ve wronged someone – either through action, neglect, or harmful words – you simply can’t undo it.  You can’t erase your wrong and (even worse) you can’t erase their pain.   All you can hope for is forgiveness and that, in time, the pain you see in their eyes will fade and happiness will take its place.

If we could all learn to control our tongues and actions, we could avoid seeing this pain in our loved ones eyes in the first place.  The problem is, the “average” person is completely and utterly ME-oriented. They live under the firm belief that the world revolves around them.

  • I want our Christmas meal at 4:00 and WILL NOT budge for anyone else.
  • I hate my daughter’s music choices, so I will berate her every chance I get.
  • My mother in law gets on my nerves and I intend to let everyone in the family know about it.
  • My son needs a haircut and I will humiliate him in front of the entire family to make my point known.
  • My wife spent too much at the store and I’m going to yell until my face turns red.
  • My husband watches too much sports on tv, but if I continually nag him, he’ll eventually watch what I want to watch.

Too many people with too many thoughts revolving around their favorite person in the world… them.  You know what these people remind me of? Pre-Schoolers.

  • I don’t want to take a nap, so I’m going to scream and cry.
  • I want to stay at the park, so I’m going to throw myself on the ground and scream my favorite word – NOOOO!
  • That’s MY toy and she can’t have it.
  • I do not want to be in this store anymore, so I’m going to cry my eyes out.
  • I don’t want this green food! I’m going to throw it on the floor!

Like children, adults make everyone around them miserable for selfish reasons.

I saw a mother in Kroger recently with an adorable but obviously irritable little boy (probably around 2 years old).  The woman looked like she was walking on eggshells as she tried to hurry through the process before the little guy blew his stack.

She didn’t make it. Right as she wheeled into the checkout lane, the complete and utter mini-meltdown began. It was something to behold, too.

While he was, in spite of himself, downright cute with his red face and clinched little fists, the same CANNOT be said for adults who cause others to walk on eggshells as they hope to avoid one of their fits.

Nothing cute or adorable about them.

If you’re one of those people who, God love you, tends to think of self THEN others, I’m not asking you to change your focus. In fact, if you’re past the age of 45, it wouldn’t do any good anyway.  After all, you’ve been in the center stage of your own thoughts for a long time, I won’t try to budge you.

As they say, you do you!

What I am saying is this… Within each family there are people who are, basically, the HEART of the family. They’re the moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, daughters, sons, brothers and/or sisters who just want everyone to get along, be kind, and fill the house with laughter.

These are the people who not only “don’t rock the boat,” they spend 90 percent of their time keeping things afloat.

I want you to think about them for a minute. Think of people in your family who you love completely – the ones who you would be utterly lost without.

How do you make them feel when you behave like a 2 year old in a grocery store? What happens to the smile on their faces or the joy in their eyes when you cause them to walk on eggshells?

Do you really want that?  Shouldn’t we all want to see those we love so happy that they burst out in laughter?!

I hope that if you ARE someone who tends to gravitate toward this kind of behavior you’ll recognize yourself. I  hope that next time you’ll see yourself as a little red-faced toddler and that you’ll completely change your thoughts and actions.

It’d be highly unlikely that a little child would look at his mom and think, “I love that mommy person. She is having fun in this boring, bright store. I’m tired and I miss my toys but my mommy person is happy. I can make her even more happy if I smile at her…

Nope. That’s not going to happen. But it can.. and it should… happen with adults.  The next time you want to nag, yell, pick, complain, “make your point,” or anything else that takes place in the center stage, please take time to think about the people you love.

Make no mistake about it, there IS someone in your life who wants one thing more than anything else in the world – peace and happiness.  Do your part and give it to them.

Imagine the look on their face when, as they’re waiting for you to justify the eggshells on the floor, you simply brush them away.

That is when magic happens.

Benefits of Massage Therapy in Burlington

Self Help Daily Info
Have you heard all the wonderful things offered by massage therapy from friends and co-workers? Are you still on the fence about visiting a massage therapist Burlington? If so read on to learn about the benefits offered by this practice, as well as some other vital information that can help you make an educated decision.

Physical Benefits Offered by Massage

There are quite a few physical benefits offered by massage therapy. Some of these benefits can be seen right away, while other may require a bit of time and several appointments to see. Some of the primary benefits that are offered are highlighted here.

  • Pain relief
  • Increased range of motion and joint flexibility
  • Faster healing when muscles are sprained or strained
  • Reduction in muscle stiffness and tension
  • Balancing of the nervous system
  • Enhancement of athletic performance
  • Expedite healing after surgery
  • Improvement in posture

Mental Benefits Offered by Massage

In addition to offering physical benefits, there are also a number of mental benefits offered by massage therapy. These are highlighted here.

  • Creates a relaxed state of alertness
  • Relief of metal stress
  • Encourages appreciation and awareness in regard to the body-mind connection
  • Improvement in the ability you have to monitor your stress signals and respond properly

When received on a regular basis, massage therapy can even offer a number of emotional benefits. These include:

  • Reduction of anxiety
  • Alleviation of depression
  • Revitalization of a busy or overworked mind
  • Ability to find solace in societies hectic pace
  • Enhancement of the sense of well-being

When will Results be Seen?

The tangible results are typically seen during early stages of treatment. There are some who may experience pain relief right away, while others have to visit the massage therapist several times in order to reap any benefits. It is important to remember that there are several factors in play that will determine how quickly results are seen. For example, the severity of the injury, your condition, overall health and even unforeseen life changes can all impact how successful or unsuccessful a treatment is.

What is the Length of a Session?

While one hour is the customary session length, the time can vary based on your individual needs. If you talk with your massage therapist you can work out a time that works best for both of you and that will provide the greatest results for the treatment.

For more information about massage therapy in Burlington, visit the Appleby Total Health today. Here you can have all your questions answered and make an educated decision regarding whether or not this treatment is right for you.

A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

Inspirational Book FULL of Uplifting Moments

A Book of Miracles

A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

I was sent a copy of  A Book of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love a while back to review on Self Help Daily. I receive a lot of books to review on my different blogs and websites, so it takes a pretty unique and special book to really stand out.

This one did.

Allow me to say that you may not agree with every single word from every single individual’s story. That’s okay! I, personally, give only One individual credit for miracle, and that’s God, Himself. In this book (as well as in daily life), you’ll find individuals who credit their “higher self.”

But here’s the thing, even though I automatically think, “God is higher than any of us could even pretend to be and He is the only One who is in the Miracle business,” I am still inspired by their stories. The difficulties they overcome and the “happy ending” they find themselves within is inspiring and uplifting.

That’s the point of the book and that’s the reason I recommend it.

From the Back Cover:

Bernie Siegel first wrote about miracles when he was a practicing surgeon and founded Exceptional Cancer Patients, a groundbreaking synthesis of group, individual, dream, and art therapy that provided patients with a “carefrontation.” Compiled during his more than thirty years of practice, speaking, and teaching, the stories in these pages are riveting, warm, and belief expanding. Their subjects include a girl whose baby brother helped her overcome anorexia, a woman whose cancer helped her heal by teaching her to stand up for herself, and a family that was saved from a burning house by bats. Without diminishing the reality of pain and hardship, the stories show real people turning crisis into blessing by responding to adversity in ways that empower and heal. They demonstrate what we are capable of and show us that we can achieve miracles as we confront life’s difficulties.

A Book of Miracles is a very entertaining, uplifting, and inspiring book.

 

Women and Divorce: Advice for Kicking Negative Coping Habits and Reclaiming Your Life

Self Help Daily Info

When you marry someone, ideally your hope is to spend the rest of your lives with them. You spend years developing a life and a family together and suddenly… things just stop working. For whatever reason, you decide it’s in everyone’s best interest to part ways. Dealing with the emotional aspects of the split can be traumatic to say the least. Not only are you left to deal with your own emotions of your marriage not working out, but you also have to deal with the changes and emotions of your children while also carrying on with your day to day life.

There are some women who can ultimately bounce back and take care of themselves and their children, but there are others who find an outlet or means for coping that does more harm than good. Below we’ll discuss a few of the most common negative coping habits newly divorced women might try to mask their emotions and carry on with life.

  1. Food – There are some women that will begin to rely on food as a means to cover up their inner emotions about their divorce. Comfort foods can make you feel great about life…in that moment. However, they of course are not good for your health. If you’ve found yourself eating more and more foods packed with sugar, fats, and carbs, you may want to seek the help of a therapist. Overeating is not going to solve your innermost problems and certainly will not aid you in getting your children through this trying time.
  2. Alcohol – While everyone has a drink of choice, many women enjoy sipping on a glass of wine to unwind after a long day. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine or two, however, when dealing with overwhelming emotions from a divorce, a glass of wine a day could easily turn into a bottle a day, alcohol abuse, dependency, and if you’re not careful, addiction. ABC News has an article worth reading on a new breed of female alcoholics.
  3. Drugs – Much like alcohol, drugs can also be used as an emotional crutch while getting over a divorce. Whether it be pain medications to stop the headaches, a joint to calm the nerves, or sleeping pills to fast forward to the next day, using too much of any form of drug can ultimately lead to dependency and addiction.
  4. Neglect – While this isn’t necessarily an object used to cope with divorce, it is a negative coping method that some women use. Neglecting their day to day lifestyles can seem like an easy method to just forget about everything you’re going through. Neglect can show itself in several ways. Some women might simply sit in the room day to day not really feeling up to doing much (which could also be a huge sign of depression). While other women might make drastic changes in their lifestyle to avoid thinking about what has happened to their marriage. For instance, they may start hanging out at social events often and leaving the kids with a sitter. Either form of neglect is negative in that it doesn’t allow you to deal with your emotions properly.

Recognizing There’s a Problem

Do you see yourself in any of the above negative coping habits? Have you started overeating, drinking more than one glass of wine per day, taking too much medication, or simply just stop handling your daily responsibilities? If so, you have not properly dealt with the emotion of your divorce and need to get help before things spiral out of control. What must be understood aside from the importance of your health, is the example you’re providing for your children. They now look to you and your ex spouse to learn how to cope with emotion, and if you’re not the best you that you can be, you’re sending the wrong message. So the sooner you recognize the problem and get help, the better off it will be for your family.

Sources of Help

There are several avenues for reaching out and getting help for your underlying emotions as well as your negative coping habits. Choosing the best option will ultimately depend on: your personal preferences and the extent of your negative habits. Below are just a few sources you can reach out to for help.

  1. Friends and Family – Sometimes when you’re down and out, all you need is the love, support, and encouragement of your loved ones. Reach out to your friends and family members and let them know you’re going through a rough time and need their help. Their help might mean taking the kids for a while as you grieve, helping to cook meals from time to time, or just being a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
  2. Counselor – If your emotions are really getting the best of you then it may be beneficial to speak with a counselor about what’s been going on inside of you. Sometimes having a professional ear to listen to you can make all the difference in the world. The counselor can give you sound advice on hope to cope positively in the future.
  3. Rehab Facility – If you have been drinking more alcohol than normal, it could ultimately begin to affect your health as well as your personal and professional life. Sandy’s Place, a womens alcohol rehab program, points out that if you’re abusing alcohol it can quickly start to affect other areas of your life. As such, getting help from a professional rehab facility might be beneficial.

There is certainly nothing wrong with having overwhelming emotions after a divorce. It is also pretty common to rely on “things” to get you through that difficult time. Some look to food while others look to alcohol. However, when you’ve been relying on these things to get you through the day or to avoid “feeling”, then you need to do something to change that. Negative coping habits can rip apart your entire life in an instance. Part of getting rid of those habits will require you to recognize that there is an issue and get help. It may take time, however, in the end you’ll come out feeling a lot better about yourself and the bright future ahead of you.

Reviewing the Get Noticed Theme…

Pros, Cons, and Random Thoughts

Genuine Kentucky Header

The Get Noticed Theme on Genuine Kentucky

This review for the Get Noticed WordPress Theme is, admittedly lengthy, but I hope you’ll stick with me. The pros will roll out after the cons and they are just as important… maybe more so.

I write a lot of reviews and I mean A LOT. So many, in fact, that I feel like I should have a t-shirt that says, “I have either reviewed you, am reviewing you, or WILL review you.”

I’m pretty sure I won’t have one printed up, however, for too many reasons to even count.

But, seriously, I am a prolific reviewer. I write…

  • restaurant reviews for my Kentucky website.
  • cookbook, kitchen gadget, and food reviews for my food blog.
  • office gadget, furniture, and gizmo reviews for my office supply blog.
  • countless book reviews on Self Help Daily and other blogs.
  • cat toys and cat furniture for my cat website.

See the temptation for the t-shirt?

I bring all of this up to set the stage for the following review of the fairly new Get Noticed Theme for WordPress. This is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever tried to write.  In fact, I’ve actually attempted five…. FIVE… different times to sit down and gather all of my thoughts together, only to have them run free like wild, untamed buffalo.

What can I say, I have big thoughts.

Why is this so difficult? Well, because I am – in equal amounts, no less – thrilled AND disappointed with the Get Noticed Theme. Because I am, by nature, a Mary Poppins, Suzy Sunshine type… for better or worse… I’ll want to end my review on a high note, so let’s get the low notes out of the way.

The Get Noticed Theme Costs More Than Other Premium Themes

Allow me to say this – I don’t blame people for trying to get as much money as they can out of a product. If you put a lot of work into something, you should get all that you can out of it. I never hesitate to pay more for something it it’s worth it. In fact, my family often teases me for my love of “name brands” and my aversion to “off brands.”  There are exceptions, but very often you get what you pay for.

I also approve, and even applaud, the fact that charging more for this theme will keep it from popping up everywhere and causing everyone’s website to look the same. This happened with the Thesis WordPress Theme years ago – the internet began to look so much like Suburbia, America that you weren’t sure which site you were on.

It reminded me of a story my dad once told me of a drunk going home one night (in one of those neighborhoods with houses that all look the same) and spending an hour trying his key in different doors until he found his own!

No one really wants to look just like everyone else, so the concept of a higher price keeping this from happening is fine by me.

Also, when thinking about the price, I want you to keep this in mind because (in my experience) this is very important. Many functions that you would have to pay a coder for if you used a cheaper premium theme are built into the Get Noticed Theme.

For example, the mobile responsiveness. Other theme developers aren’t doing as good a job as the Get Noticed Theme when it comes to making their themes completely mobile responsive.

CAN they? Absolutely, because their own websites are glorious on all devices. However, when you try to make a lot of their themes look just as good on all devices, you’ll end up banging your head against the wall.

Want to know something else you’ll end up doing? Paying a coder to achieve what you’re looking for… and coders do not come cheap.

Get Noticed is higher in price, but they include a great number of things that would, in the end, cost you even more to have a coder do for you.

Having said all of that, when you set your price for something, you set everyone’s expectations. If you put your price on a rocket to the moon, mark it down, the expectations will shadow you the entire trip.

Set your price high… set expectations high. Simple.

If someone is willing to roll up their sleeves, put in long hours, never stop learning and improving, and honor the pre-set expectations… MAGIC will happen.

If they fail to hold up their end… if they stop fueling their rocket ship, well, I’m afraid there won’t be much MAGIC. It’s like Bullwinkle reaching into the hat, saying, “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat… Presto…” and… no rabbit in sight.

Everyone ends up being as disappointed as Rocky the Squirrel. “Ohhhh, Bullwinkle…

What We Have Here is a Failure to Fuel

Over the many years that I’ve been in web publishing, I’ve used countless different premium themes.  While each one I’ve previously used has cost less than Get Noticed (until you need them or coders they know to do something extra for you), each one has had a far, far, far superior “support community.” In fact, the forum is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had with this particular theme.

With other themes I’ve used, questions (or even ideas) posted on the forum would be answered or addressed within 24 hours. It would be highly unusual for them to be unacknowledged or unaddressed within a day. On Get Noticed, you might just go weeks or months.

I wish I were exaggerating.

Basically, there is no support or help to be found on the forums.  For anyone building or even maintaining a blog or website, this is a pretty big headache. You cannot put everything on hold until you hear back from someone.  For days.

Just this morning, I had something I wanted more information about. I checked the forum and found someone with the same question. His question was posted in May and he still had no reply.

This is June 20.

Granted, unfortunately, a lot of premium themes are getting away from the forums in favor of “support tickets” or contact forms.

Frankly, I hate everything about that arrangement.

I remember in the early days of premium themes, the support forums were a dream come true. You’d almost always find someone experiencing the issue you had and… EUREKA!… the theme’s developer or a coder who was familiar with the ins and outs of the theme would give you the solution or an excellent piece of advice then and there.

NO creating your own post in the hopes that someone would eventually see it. NO contacting someone, receiving an automated “We have received your ticket and you’ll hear from us soon…” message and NO waiting for their idea of soon to meet up with your idea of soon.

Allow me to say this – the Get Noticed Theme isn’t the only theme with disappointing forums these days. There are others where you’ll run into rude coders who I’m convinced have the words, “I can do this for you for a price” saved so all they have to do is paste it into their replies.

Again, a lot of things you’d have to pay someone to do “for you” are built into the Get Noticed Theme.

You Aren’t Set Up for Success at the Launch Pad

I guess the thing that disappointed me the most was the fact you aren’t given any really helpful tutorials when you order the Get Noticed Theme.  Other themes provide documentation and sometimes even videos (love those!) to help the proud new owner succeed.

Not with Get Noticed.

In all fairness, if you have the time to spend looking around on your own and don’t mind doing some trial and error posts and pages, the way they have things set up is pretty simple. However, not everyone works from home like I do. Not everyone has the time that’s afforded to me – time which allows me to poke and prod around and “see what this does“… or “I wonder what happens if I do that…

Someone recently (not at all associated with Get Noticed) came up with a series of helpful videos to help new Get Noticed Theme owners find their way around – and he sold the series of videos for hundreds of dollars.

I’m ALL for anyone using their time, skill, and know how to earn a living – ALL for it! – especially given the fact that he obviously put a great deal of work into these videos – but, in my opinion, this is something that should have been provided by Get Noticed in the cost of the theme.

It’s kind of like buying a Lexus, then having to pay even more for an owner’s manual.

Mini Posts

Built into the Get Noticed Theme are “mini posts” which I’ve used here on Self Help Daily a few times.  These mini posts are short simple ways to share content if you don’t have a lot of time or a lot of content.

These mini posts include Books (intros to favorite books), Videos, Snippets, Shared Tweets from Twitter, Tips, Surveys, Ideas, Questions, Announcements, Links…

Problem is, they are all but invisible to Google.  Search engines are convinced that the mini posts I’ve used are wearing cloaks of invisibility.

Do I even have to tell you how deep in the waters of “That’s Not How I Need This to Work!” that sinks? I’ll be going back and republishing my mini posts in “regular” post formats.

Again, in an effort to be fair, let me say this – not all mini posts are interested in Google or any other search engine finding them.  If you’re sharing a great tweet, for example, it’s not imperative that it show up in search results.

However, I’d like for anything I publish to be acknowledged by both Google and all search engines.  The last thing I want them to do is forget about me!

That would cut into my trips to Target in such a way that’d leave me drowning in disappointment.

Not A Lot of Options for the Overall Appearance

I would love to see “child themes” come out for the Get Noticed Theme which would include “magazine styles.” I use a magazine style on my food blog, “Get Cooking” and absolutely love it. The rotating pics, the thumbnails, the professional-looking front page… they do it for me.

I’d love to see more options for taking the Get Noticed Theme further.

Unusual Approach to Updates & Support

I’m accustomed to purchasing themes and getting updates… period. You make the purchase, you get the updates. In this way, a community is built – a community of people who are loyal and help one another on support forums.

From Get Noticed Theme’s FAQ Page:

6-12 months of updates are included with your initial purchase, depending on the license level you choose.

If you want continued updates and support after your included period, you will be able to renew on an annual basis at a substantially discounted rate during your renewal window. We have not yet determined the exact pricing or details of renewals as we’re waiting to see what our support costs are before making a promise we can’t keep.

I just… I dunno… there has to be a better way to do this. Again, you set the cost – you set the expectations.

I spoke earlier about the lack of a strong Get Noticed community in the forums.  I don’t think things like this do anything to help the matter. A strong community – for any product – is built on trust in the product and in the people who stand behind the product. When these people seem to be thinking of themselves more than they are the rest of us.. well, it’s just a bit of a turn off.

I believe that if you buy a theme, you should be able to expect updates and support. Period.  That’s how a loyal community is built.

Not Really a Pro or Con, But…

A lot of people don’t love the fact that there isn’t an affiliate program with the Get Noticed Theme. Seriously, though, that’s just not that big of a deal to me. If I love something, I say so – I want people to have a chance to love it too. I don’t need compensation for this.

Okay, so there’s the bad news. The negatives are out of the way, so we can move on to the positives… and there are plenty.

Get Noticed is a Mobile Responsive Dream

One of the things that made me initially fall head over heels in love with the Get Noticed Theme was the beautiful (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) and effortless way it displays on all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, and even iPhones.  I have had issues with all other themes I’ve used when it comes to mobile responsiveness. Images, usually header images, would either be cut off or, worse yet, would suddenly look as small as a Smurf’s smile.

On my Kentucky website, Genuine Kentucky, this is a huge problem because I use so many pictures. I want my website to look good and coherent for my visitors no matter how they’re accessing my website.  In addition to this particular website (Self Help Daily), I also use the Get Noticed theme on Genuine Kentucky and I’ve never had a single mobile responsiveness issue.

My header looks as pretty on an iPhone as it does on a desktop computer.

I appreciate and downright love the fact that I don’t even have to think or worry about this VERY important aspect of web design anymore… not with the websites that have the Get Noticed Theme, anyway.

Simple, Painless, and Quick to Customize

As someone with multiple websites and blogs (I’d count them, but it’s simply too overwhelming), I love how the Get Noticed Theme is set up. You can simply click a few buttons and change any of the fonts, colors, or other details on your website. No digging through code.. how cool is that?!

This innovative approach is something all themes should use, whether they know it or not.  People don’t want to have to pay coders to do it for them, they want to be able to control the changes themselves. Fast. Easy. Painless.

While I know how to dig through code to change a font or color, the way Get Noticed is set up, my time can be spent doing more important things.  A lot of coders forget that we aren’t here to “fix” or  “change” their idea of what looks nice – we’re actually here to write and provide content (and reviews!).

Any time we spend on “the other” takes away from our bread and butter. Or, to be more accurate in my case… it takes things out of my Target cart.

That’s a NO.

So Many Beautiful Options!

I haven’t “fancied up” Self Help Daily yet, simply because I’ve been busy with the crazy needs of other websites, but the options for making your website look beautiful are endless.

One option that I am totally in love with is the ability to have “rotating” header pictures that change throughout your website. I use this on Genuine Kentucky and I’m having the time of my life with it. I can use summer pictures in summer, autumn pictures in autumn, etc. This creates an overall “mood” for the website and it’s something I’ve wished for since I first began the website.

The header picture at the top of this review is one of the ones featured in my “Summer Rotation” on Genuine Kentucky.

When it’s College Basketball season (or as it’s known in our house, UK Basketball season), if I were obnoxious enough (which I am), I could make all of the pictures blue and white (which I will).

I’ve always wished for the ability to do this and finally a theme has given me the go ahead.

With Get Noticed, you can painlessly make your website look just how you want it to and it’ll take you far less time to do so.

What’s more, it’s even fun.

Comments, SEO, and Social Sharing

Personally, I have not noticed a difference – either way – since switching to the Get Noticed Theme on two of my websites.  Traffic, Google performance, social interaction and sharing have all been steady.

While this may not seem like much to some, many will realize that this is a big deal.

I always get nervous when I change themes – especially when the ENTIRE foundation is SO different. I was honestly scared of the outcome. However, my desire to make my websites 100 percent mobile responsive forced me to face my fears.

I literally looked at Genuine Kentucky one day on my iPad, saw the beautiful header reduced so small it couldn’t even be read, took a big sip of my Chai Tea Latte, and vowed to jump into the Get Noticed waters.

I haven’t regretted it once. I’m happy to say, the end of the world did not materialize and the trips to Target weren’t affected.

Genuine Kentucky and Self Help Daily are two of the most important websites I have – the fact that they’re still on the Get Noticed Theme and the fact that I trust the Get Noticed with these websites says something.  However, the fact that I haven’t switched all of my websites to the theme can’t totally be discounted either.

The cost along with the fairly limited layout options mean that I’ll use Get Noticed on some websites and other premium themes on others.  It would be easier if I had ONE premium theme I used everywhere, but that just isn’t in the cards.

Not yet anyway.

If you are a blogger interested in a theme with effortless customizing and beautiful mobile responsiveness, I’d urge you to look into the Get Noticed Theme.  The theme is fairly new and they very well may turn the negatives into positives.

I always believed Bullwinkle would pull a rabbit out of that hat and I believe they will make magic with this theme. WHEN that happens, I’ll come back here and edit the review.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at joisigers @ aim.com.

~ Joi