EBook: 58 Tips For a Balance
80 % of working women and 72% of working men said that they, their neighbours or their friends face hardships when managing work, family and personal responsibilities (National Partnership in November 2012). 88% of people say they have difficulty juggling work and life (AON Consulting). First we break down those key ‘life’ tasks further to better understand solutions to balance.
What do we mean when we say work-life balance, we continually treat the equation like a seesaw and hence it can be hard to at least have some stability. The more bases that we understand the more stable our life can become. The more we recognize the richness of people’s lives, the more realistic we can be.
The illusion of work life balance is false. We need to balance: self, partner, family, mental fulfilment, physical fulfilment and financial requirements; and they do not necessarily have equal weight. Work may be part of psychological, physical and financial requirements. These financial requirements are not about earning ex amount of $, but to be able to pay the bills. It may be for some that psychologically a high salary is important to them.
Personal ‘Me’ ‘Me’ ‘Me’
Being a parent does not mean that all the things that happened before are completely gone. Yes time is a precious resource, but you still exist as a person. Not only do you need to look after your physical health but also there still needs to be some personal time. If you do not have your health you have nothing, you cannot be there for your partner or your children. One of the challenges that people face is the constant struggle in the household just to grab enough time for themselves, their hobby or just to get some down time. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” John Rohn 2003. More balance could be some ‘me’ time.
20 hours plus a week is spent on housework (Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends 2013), it seems that we have increasing bureaucratic obligations. Americans alone spent 8.8 billion hours completing government forms (White House Office of Management and Budget, 2010 figures)! Some tasks are already outsourced, but one solution would be that many more tasks could be automated to provide more balance to the household.
Work – driven by physical, financial and psychological requirements
Work is about the employer, employee and community. The community and government need to start to address the flexible requirements of its citizens in the workplace. In some countries there is no protection or promotion of flexible working. Policies could encourage companies to offer more flexible solutions which could have add on benefits, for example, reduction of CO2 admissions due to reduced commuter, and reduced congestion pressure on our transport networks. There is of course the need to address how to motivate and manage virtual teams. This is where the role of employers comes in. There needs to be a change of mind-set of employers to understand what opportunities a flexible workforce could bring and to be able to have a culture of productivity and trust; as opposed to physical presence. Some employers are already there my first job after graduating over 10 years ago was working flexibly, but this is not every employer.
Family and Partner
Every family and relationship is different and the constant judgment on different family solutions goes from frustrating to boring, because each family has to have the solution that works for them. If they do want to work then government and society should play a role in policies that give access to affordable childcare. The family day can be pressured at points with the school or kindergarten run, where work can play an important part to help to achieve balance. The quality of time with the family can be impacted by personal and administration needs. Yet this forth quadrant is often where people want to spend their time. 70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children (Family Matters Survey; The National Partnership for Women & Families, 1998).
If we keep on thinking of work-life balance as a two factor equation we may never address the real challenges of family life.
Tips for Addressing the Multi Factor Equation
1. Put yourself first.
• If you are not breathing you can’t be there for the one’s you love. Question: What’s the most important thing in life? The answer is ‘Me.’ This may sound like an arrogant answer, but it is true. If you do not have your health you can’t be there for your partner, children, do your job or whatever else is important to you. It is so easy to go back into a cycle that disturbs the balance, but before you do, ask yourself that question. Continue on a positive cycle that brings what you define as balance.
2. Get up early to make more time in the day for you and others.
• I’m up at 5am. I arranged that I would get in early with my boss, which means that if there are no calls with the US, or anything urgent creeps up I am finished at 14.45. I do believe in flexibility and that cuts both ways. The majority of the time I am home just gone 4pm. This gives me the bandwidth to be productive at work, optimize on any personal responsibilities and enjoy life. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler discovered in 2009 that early risers are more proactive. They were more likely to agree with statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.”
3. Keep a Little You.
• Have you time built into your week whether that be an hour of yoga, writing or running. I have other friends that still keep up their interests and or talents: writing, running, yoga and even find a channel to change careers.
4. Have time built in for your relationship. One night a week make time for you and your partner to go to dinner, the cinema or watch a movie at home.
• Keep one evening for yourself and your relationship. Date night is Friday, and just before going out I have Pilates which is my treat to myself. Plus my second child really left his mark ‘I was here.’ My core strength I can work on, the marks are permanent and I actually love. My kids are every part of me, and I know I am blessed to have them. That precious ‘me’ time, and then date night with the man I love so much completes the happy, healthy, emotionally balanced and physically fit me.
5. Say connected meet up and talk with friends and family.
• Connections are what bind us. The ability to talk and connect with friends and family on multiple channels is amazing. Don’t forget good old face to face, but that may not always be possible if you live in a different country. So Skype dates and social networks can help to support our psychological needs.
6. Eat healthy it will not only prevent illness, but give you energy.
• There are three factors to health nutrition, mind and body. The awareness of nutrition and the benefits of what we put into our body is important, so that we eat to live. http://whatifpa.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/top-5-energy-foods-to-max-my-day/
7. Practice healthy so mediate or do yoga to keep a healthy and strong mind.
• I pretty much practice yoga every day. I have done so ever since I caught dysentery at a Hotel in Edinburgh. Yes, dysentery I thought it was a disease from the times of Charles Dickens but this was in 2003. Ashtanga yoga was my way to get my strength back, from that I grew the practice in breadth and depth to Bikram, Hatha, Kundalini and Vinyasa Flow and eventually teaching; which I love. The health benefits have been enormous. The focus, self-awareness and energy I have every day multiplies every area of my life. I vary my practice dependent on the day and time as a busy working mother of 2. If I have only 8 minutes there are 4 exercises I do to oxygenate my body, wake up my bones and get the blood to my brain.
• I always say Yoga gets me at breathing. This controlled breathing exercise increases your lung capacity delivering oxygen to your organs, and hence revitalising your body in the morning. It’s also a good exercise before an important meeting or presentation.
Arda Chandrasana Padahastasana
• This posture not only gives quick energy, but also when done right works your stomach, bum, hips, thighs and spine.
• I include this posture because it balances out your hormones, which can impact your balance all day. I believe it is also why I fell pregnant so quickly!
• The stretch in this posture is great for your neck; shoulders, lymph glands and blood flow to the brain.
• In India yoga was not necessarily a series, but postures to address different conditions. A regular practice is of course the best scenario, once you know your practice, body and postures then you can break postures down into their benefits. This compartmentalisation allows you to do a few postures that give you just what you need when you need it, when you are short of time. Of course consult your doctor with any new form of exercise, and then look for a class in your local area, or online, so you are instructed on how to do the postures correctly. One I find useful is https://tonysanchezyoga.com/
8. If you can afford it outsource.
• If you can afford it get help. With my first child I did it alone, now 2 kids are in the mix, we have no other family to pull on and there is a longer commute. A second pair of hands to take the kids to and from nursery is a god send.
9. Loose the guilt on getting help to make your life easier, if you need to get a cleaner or au-pair. If you have one and you feel guilty stop.
10. Stop comparing your life with others just live life in your own shoes.
• Don’t compare there will always be someone better, or worse there are over 7bn people on the planet. You’ll just get stuck.
11. Be grateful. Remind yourself daily of what you are grateful for.
• Experiments have shown that gratitude plays a part in happiness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg
12. Learn to let go of unrealistic and unnecessary standards.
• Don’t beat yourself up if things are not perfect, the house isn’t clean or you don’t look immaculate. Ask yourself did anyone die? Is everyone healthy? A friend recently told me they felt like a rubbish Mum, she had done everything for her child when she was sick. The thing she was judging herself on was the house was a mess, she hadn’t got dressed and she could have given her child more water. By the way she had given her child Calpol and water. These standards that people put in place are sometimes a ridiculous. I ask her the two questions and clearly everything was okay, and she realised they were unnecessary standards.
13. Ask yourself what makes you happy, and start to look at your life through that lens. How can I do more of that in my job, or outside of work?
• Those people that work in what they are passionate about, or have enough time to be able to do and fund what they are passionate about are happier. The CAFOD and Tearfund poll on what makes people happy showed having an interesting job was important for 92% of Britons. There are a number of factors that determine happiness, and every person will have their own unique mix. The important thing is to enrich any areas where there are deficiencies.
14. Ask yourself if I were to die tomorrow what would I wish I would have done and go do it.
• These are lessons from the dying. http://whatifpa.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/what-if-we-had-our-time-all-over-again/
15. Stop spending time with people that zap your energy.
• Have honest vested friendships. True friends will put their friend’s happiness first, even if it affects their friendship. If a friendship constantly drains you – walk away.
16. Spend time with people that give you energy.
17. Spend time with the people that count
18. When you travel use time efficiently, so think about commuting by public transport to be able to work on the train, and or have down time.
• If you have children and the childcare is in the direction of public transport to get to work; take it! The amount of productive time that can be gained on public transport catching up on to do’s, or even just being able to read a book gives you time back. I’m half way through my doctorate so the train time adds up to a lot of research time. The walking you do also all accumulates to a much healthier you.
19. Put focus on the things that move your life to where you want to be
• Focus on the things that matter. The things that need to be done, that matter and that you can move. Don’t get stuck on the small and trivial.
20. Prioritise focus on what needs to be done, do those first and don’t get bogged down with unnecessary time wasting activities.
21. Automate activities where possible, for example, direct debit.
22. Have one family calendar viewable by all, it makes organising life easier.
23. Order food shopping online so as not to spend precious weekends in the supermarket.
24. Order gifts online so that they are wrapped and sent for you with often no or very little additional cost.
25. Have your 5 friends that you can count on one hand (if you’re lucky) that you can go to if you need help, support or just to bounce ideas off.
26. Be open to saying yes where you would have said no previously and see the changes.
27. Know your threshold and when you need to say “no.” At the same time as number ‘26’,
• We can only attend so many social events and do so many favours. If you live as a family a co-ordination of the calendar is best done together, so the family doesn’t feel warn out trying to keep up with life. If you start saying “no” then you start to get the space to enjoy life.
28. Cook quick and easy recipes that take no more than 15 minutes.
• It’s not necessary to be a cooking goddess, but the ability to pull together a nutritious meal in 15 minutes is useful and with cook books like Jamie’s 15 minute meals; rather easy. It keeps the family healthy, and understanding food means that there is less food to waste, as well as saving money. The left overs can be reused into a left over pie or lunch, slightly old fruit can be chucked into a smoothie or crumble, and fish can be gutted and scraped to make fish cakes from scratch for an economical but nutritious meal.
29. Make extra food for dinner that is then your lunch.
30. Take your lunch to work its quicker, tastier, healthier, easier and cheaper.
• Take your lunch in. When did packed lunch start to become uncool? I am so glad in my new office everyone brings lunch in, it’s healthier cheaper and easy as I get to use up my leftovers from dinner. Of course there is the preparation time of 1 to 10 minutes the night before dependent on what I make, and if I use what I made for dinner.
31. Organise your cupboards so you can easily get to things.
32. Organise and file papers away. Have an in and out tray so you easily know what to do with it.
• You may do a periodic file, but it is useful just to have a in, out and action tray in the hallway of office that is the step before filing, so you know if there is anything to be done.
33. Register to have no junk mail.
• We say we care about the environment but this is just such a simple thing. I chuck so many brochures, terms and condition changes in the recycling. 100 million trees are destroyed a year for junk mail. Sometimes I have to really question whether we are serious about the environment. Companies should have electronic as the norm, and that would save 100 million + trees http://www.41pounds.org/impact/ You can deregister with junk mail services online for your country, put a no junk mail sticker on your mailbox and ask to your service providers e.g. banks and utilities not to send you promotions.
34. Go for electronic statements and billing. This is different from Junk Mail as it is content you need. The paperwork that accumulates can be humungous. When I periodically sort out the paper there is a volcano of paper spewed out of a crater, which had been inactive for 500 years! I have requested online statement etc., but I still seem to end up with so much paper. What if companies were banned from sending paper, everything is electronic by default and people have to request if they REALLY want paper. If for some odd reason in the 21st century they don’t have an email address then post is fine. Can you imagine how much paper would be saved? You can ask your service providers to go electronic.
35. Take a job which you love, and not necessarily the highest paid.
• Money is not everything and if you can still live and be happy in the long run the balance is felt.
36. Don’t live in the past or future live in the present.
• If you over think past mistakes and events you can get stuck. There is the ability to reflect and learn from the past but then to move on. If you over think the future you can miss what you need to do in the present, it becomes wishful thinking. Yes think about what you want, and have a goal but stay in the present about what you have to do right now and here to meet that goal.
37. Reach out to mentors, people that inspire and take you to a higher level.
• Inspiration can support psychological balance, it is possible to also challenge our view of the world, and how we can learn from others.
38. Find networks of people that inspire you.
• There are so many networks of people with similar interests, causes or mind-sets. This sharing of interests and problems provides a better psychological balance.
39. Dress easily and with minimal effort.
• I purchase good quality easy things that I can throw on in 2 minutes. No iron dresses in the week and skinny jeans at the weekend. I still make an effort, but I spend 15-30 minutes in total to get out the door.
40. Avoid addictive substances.
• Some substances falsely boost energy, but actually create highs, and subsequent lows. Too much tea, too much coffee and too much sugar. You notice I said too much, because it is about balance.
41. Take a lunch break.
• You need a break to revitalise, exercise and connect with people. Research shows that taking breaks allows you to stay focused and be more productive. Brief and rare mental 'breaks' keep you focused: Deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements Ariga, Atsunori and Lleras, Alejandro, March 2011.
42. Work as a unit, think about the tasks as one unit, and work together as a family.
• The old adage 1 + 1 = 2 applies to any kind of team work and that includes the family. If balance is just considered a 2 factor equation on 1 dimension i.e. you it will never be achieved. Who are the important people around you, your partner, or your children? How does the team work together to achieve balance?
43. Get rid of your chair.
• I got rid of my office chair for two reasons. On maternity leave I had been using my gym ball, and on return to the office I noticed my back hurt. I brought my gym ball in to the office, which is great for my spine and even better my core, giving it a workout all day.
44. Exercise at lunch time.
• Exercise at lunch time. I have a Nike Fuel band so as well as the walking involved in getting to work in the morning, I either practice yoga or run a minimum of 3 times a week. Because I make my lunch, there is no need to take an hour in the canteen. I make sure I still socialize with my colleagues, so as not to cut myself off from the networking that happens in the lunch time. The health of the mind is essential and practices like mediation can support its maintenance. What research shows is that there can be a misconception in the effect of the quantity of fitness to health. In is not the quantity but the quality. Wang and Wong 2011 studied the relationship between leisure satisfaction and well-being and happiness. They found that it was not the quantity but quality of the leisure time, and how it is used has a positive relationship to happiness.
45. If you want something start today. Break it down step by step into manageable bits about what needs to be done.
• If you really want it, go get it starting today. No what if’s, or buts, what are the barriers and start to break them down. “It always seems impossible until it's done.” Nelson Mandela
46. What do I need to do differently to get a chance of having what I really want?
• Break the cycle. I loathed the people that judged me because I was working all the time because it was not that easy to meet the right man. At the time I was in Switzerland flying in and flying out the entire time still acting as a consultant. I had taken an independent assignment, so I decided after the business trip to make a conscious effort to not fly back to London, but to integrate into Switzerland. Think about what could change your circumstances. It may be you want to achieve something else, but changing your routine, or putting boundaries in place can bring about change. I went from flying back to practicing and teaching Yoga with my Swiss colleagues and now friends, captaining a Netball team, going out to different groups entrepreneurs, and social where I met so many new and likeminded people. As a consultant networking is normal, but we are never in one place really long enough. 2 months into my assignment I went to an event alone, I could not find the group and asked a man where it was. We talked the whole night and never looked up until we realized the whole bar was empty. That man is now my husband and father to my 2 children.
47. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
• Treat others as you would like to be treated. There is such a thing as karma! More importantly life is so much better when we surround ourselves with kindness, acts of help and gratitude.
48. Take the hassle out of Xmas. This deserves a lot more detail given the occasion.
• Limit your Xmas gift list to those you really want to give to, and can afford to. I give to my immediate family, and best friends. Friends and family are not based on you giving or how much you give. With a lot of my friends it is just beautiful to just catch up on Skype, or for dinner or a drink rather than a gift. A lot of my friends now live in different countries and even continents.
• Define a budget. I still give to my best friends but it is often small. It can vary e.g. Stilla lip gloss, but definitely something I know they will use.
• Ask for wish lists early. It is easier to get people what they would love for Xmas. If you ask for a list it always contains big and small budget items. You can then budget for enough money being there, purchase early and look out for offers.
• Order presents online. If you physically go shopping you have to deal with crowded shops. Online the postage and packaging is often included. The cost of posting can be extortionate, especially internationally. Note some online sites only allow you to set a delivery date so far into the future. Gifts can still be personal online photo books, or items they have said they really want. There are amazing sites http://www.notonthehighstreet.com http://www.etsy.com, and I can find anything on Amazon.
• Don’t do too much travelling. Previously we travelled to Denmark for the 24th and then England for the 25th. Luckily they celebrate Xmas on different days. Our first Xmas in Switzerland last year was so relaxing.
• Cards this is often tradition but should not be obligatory. My sister hand makes and sends cards and that’s great. I have broken away from the tradition and I just catch up with my friends on email, skype of social networks to say happy Xmas. If I get time, then I will get a few cards and send them, but I do not put myself under any pressure to do so.
• Cook your favourite meal. I grew up having so many different dishes at Xmas. Xmas was all about food, but not Turkey. Keep the Xmas dinner manageable and to what you love, maybe experiment with some fresh and innovative takes on a recipe. There are so many food recipe sources for inspiration. http://www.pinterest.com/whatifihadapa/what-if-i-had-a-pa-healthy-food-for-my-family/
49. Change how you look at life.
• A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn. Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend (source unknown).
50. Move and express yourself with intent. Visualize your life and move that way to bring about the changes that you want.
51. Put the family in the forefront of the decision.
• Whether a person is working or not and running a family, there are always those decisions that need to be made. Every household is different, and the key is it has to work for the household. Think win-win does not necessarily come into it. It may not be possible for both people to progress in their career. One person may have to take a step back as the other takes a step forward to make sure that the overall family balance is a happy one.
52. Understand who you are and be self-aware.
• I have seen myself evolve with different experiences, environments and people. There were certainly some seeds of my character planted by my parents, but as life has changed difficult decisions have defined me. Sometimes those have been simple decisions e.g. I can’t let that happen. We are faced with these decisions regularly, and many people do the right thing.
• THE RIGHT THING. The movie that best symbolises this type of decision to me is the true story of ‘Michael Oher’ in The Blind Side. A woman who took a young boy from off the street and which changed both their lives.
• NO BEST WAY. My sister’s keeper is a predicament where there is no right decision. Do I donate my bone marrow to save my sisters life, or do I say no to let my sister live her life.
• WHO AM I? These decisions get to the crux of people defining Who Am I? The Pursuit of Happyness is such a film where regardless of the challenges integrity is important. Will Smith reminds me of my dad “don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something” and “if you want something go get it period”
• WHO ARE WE? Who am I is just a cellular level question, and we act in an organism. Who are we is more complex, as we are affected by the actions of others. We have different agenda’s and pressures. A community can be divided or come together in the definition of who are we. The “I” and “We” are connected. A person may have to stand up for what they believe in, and influence a community to take action. This kind of decision can be seen in ‘Erin Brockovich’s’ true story.
• WHO IS THE COMPANY/COUNTRY? Finally multiple communities can make up an organisation or country. A person may need to affect decisions by influencing members, and that can be done directly or indirectly. A person would need to think through the impact of actions, key players and also stay true to what defines them. The Last King of Scotland is an extreme example of how a doctor reflected on his morals and saw ‘Idi Amen’ for who he really was, took personal accountability and put his life in danger in the process.
• These movies are just to illustrate the type of decisions we make. At these critical points in life it is important to remember who you are, what you stand for as a community and who the company or organisation is. Many of them are true stories, and show just how much a defining moment can have on other people’s lives. This self-awareness brings about psychological balance.
53. Go for what you want no fear.
My daughter goes for what she wants and succeeds with no fear. For example, she was at a wedding (2 years old) and wanted cake that the top table had. It was quite simple she saw people she liked on the top table, as well as a huge piece of chocolate cake. The actual input involved to get it was not over thought. She did not use up her energy over analysing a process; she just went for it. I see lots of people overthinking instead of going for it, which doubles the energy required. Granted some thought and information is needed on important decisions but often your gut is the ultimate decision maker.
54. Redefine Success
• The music. If we define success as how far we make it up the corporate ladder or financial there is no balance. I have friends that are on burn out, but the perception of success is skewed. Redefine what success means for you in order to find balance.
55. Take Lessons from a 90 Year Old
56. De-Clutter your life
• I am reading a lot currently on mindfulness. It interests me, but intrigues me as there is never just a one size fits all. For some people it may be best to focus on one thing and do it well, for others it may be two or three. My number is five if I ever take on more than five it does not work. My five are: Husband, Children, Work whatifpa, Learning (Doctorate) and Yoga. Sometimes people do amazing things multi-tasking. This may be an unpopular thought in the current trend of mindfulness. However, just look at the true story of Erin Brockovich she took on a Goliath of a lawsuit. Yes she went through challenges as she was stretched between her children, her partner and her career; but what a difference she made!
• I had to remove other things from my life because they over zapped my energy. So sit down and write a list of everything that you do, and include things like your friends or your husband if you are married; after all they are important. Then think about what is really important to you. Whatever is not important drop it. It is not a failure to lose it, and in fact can turn into a positive. When I dropped being Netball captain I had done my turn for 2 years, and moving on left space for another person to breathe their ideas and more energy into what is now a flourishing club. Refine your list until you have what you feel is balance.
57. Know, create and reinforce your boundaries.
• Create a mind-set, to support you in making decisions. I had a request for an interview on a Saturday recently! The answer was no without thinking. My husband is home for dinner and bath time each night, and leaves even when there is someone who wants another 5 minutes. Our mind-sets have changed and are aligned. Family time is sacred and a no go.
58. Understand how you function.
• Contrary to the ‘mindful’ movement. I do multiple things at a time and excel. My brain works optimally on 5 things at once. Find your optimal level at which you function, reduce or even increase with what works for you. You are an individual so find your own technique. For some people it may be 1 thing at a time (my husband), and for others more. If you become non-productive and or can’t focus you know that you are under or over loaded.
1. Aon Consulting's America@Work (2000) Study
2. Ariga, Atsunori and Lleras, Alejandro, March 2011, ‘Brief and rare mental “breaks” keep you focused: Deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements,’ Cognition, Volume 118, Issue 3,
3. Family Matters Survey; The National Partnership for Women & Families, 1998
9. John Rohn, March 2003, ‘The Art of Exceptional Living,’ Simon & Schuster Audio/Nightingale-Conant; Abridged edition
10. National Partnership Survey in November 2012
11. Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends 2013
12. Randler, Christoph; 9 Dec 2009, ‘Proactive People Are Morning People’ Journal Applied Social Psychology, Vol.39, Issue 12
13. Regina Brett, January 2012, ‘Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible’ Grand Central Publishing
14. Wang, Miao and Wong, Man Chiu, Sunny, April 2011, ‘Leisure and happiness in the United States: evidence from survey data’, Applied Economic Letter, Vol.18, Issue 18
15. Ware, Bronnie,2012, The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Hays House Inc
16. White House Office of Management and Budget, 2010