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Whenever we see reports of people in a relationship getting physically abused by their partners, we immediately chalk it up to domestic violence.
While physical abuse does fall under domestic violence, it is just one of its many types. Physical abuse is also not limited to punching, slapping, kicking, hair pulling, biting, and other kinds of unwanted physical contact. Keeping them from getting access to food, for instance, is physical abuse. So is withholding other physical needs such as money, transport, and sleep.
Some people might also think that when people are living together, whether married or not, there is no such thing as unwanted sexual contact. That is the farthest thing from the truth, as sexual abuse happens even in marriages, and it’s another form of domestic violence. Aside from marital rape, it’s also domestic violence when a woman is being forced to have sex with other people. Forcing a woman to have an abortion can also be considered as domestic violence.
Did you know that matters of religion and spirituality can also give rise to cases of domestic violence? When a person is being stopped by his or her partner from practicing his or her religious beliefs, the victim has a case for domestic violence. The same goes when a person is being ridiculed by his or her partner for his or her own religious beliefs.
If a person gets accused of any of the above, he or she will need the services of a domestic violence lawyer to come up with a good defense in court.
The term “physical abuse” may be most closely-associated with domestic violence, but there many other types of abuse that fall under that category. To find out more about other types of domestic violence, check out the infographic below:
More than 200,000 children are lured into trafficking for sex each year in America.
The human trafficking industry is more profitable than the drug trade.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in America.
Human trafficking is a serious issue that is plaguing our country every single day. There are people working on the front end of this issue, trying to stop this terrible act from happening and educating people to stop it in its track.
Guardian Group is doing just that.
Mace Brand had the amazing opportunity to interview Jeff Tiegs, COO of Guardian Group, and Andrea Lowe, executive assistant at Guardian Group, to learn more about the mission of Guardian Group.
Tell me about yourself Jeff and how you ended up at Guardian Group.
I joined the army back in 1987 and was active up until my retirement in 2015. I was in special operations that entire time, which gave me a new perspective on how I see the world and my individual role in the world.
Towards the end of my retirement as I was looking to what was beyond the military, I enjoyed the operations that we were doing in counter-terrorism against the criminal networks of Al-Qaida and ISIS. Looking in the civilian world, I just felt a strange calling to look into the oppression and exploitation of women and girls in the U.S., specifically sex trafficking. As I began to look into it, I saw the similarities between the exploitation cycle and how you create a radical terrorist and how you exploit children. I started to look at that methodology and we did some test cases while we were still active duty and then divine intervention; I met Jeff Keith, CEO of Guardian Group, in North Carolina at a mutual friend’s retirement party.
Jeff and I were standing in the back porch of our friend’s house at a BBQ drinking a beer. I asked him what he did and he asked what I was interested in upon retirement and it was the exact same thing. Jeff started Guardian Group in 2009 and he knew exactly where he wanted to go with the organization but he wasn’t quite sure how to do that. When we began to talk, we realized the skills that he had built with Guardian Group were the perfect place for me to move into. We partnered ways about a year before I retired from the army and upon retirement, my family and I moved to Oregon and have been expanding Guardian Group ever since.
What is Guardian Group’s mission?
Our mission is to prevent and disrupt the sex trafficking of women and children while enabling partners to identify victims and predators in the United States. That is a statement of who we are but there is a lot that is built into that. We would like to say that Guardian Group wants to “eradicate sex trafficking” but we just know that humans are humans, and there will always be men that are willing to buy sex and exploit the vulnerable.
How does Guardian Group prevent and disrupt sex trafficking?
Our partners today are American law enforcement; they are undertrained, under resourced and aren’t equipped at man hunting. We help them from the front end of it; illuminating the problem, developing leads and we also help them get behind the obstacles that they run into. We do all of this through open media (Internet).
Human trafficking is advertised, making this a perfect crime for a civilian organization/non-profit to partner with law enforcement. We don’t need credentials or extra access. People have to advertise their product and in this case their product is girls/women. They have to have a way for the buyer to connect with the girl. So with that, there are clues all over the Internet to help develop these target lines for law enforcement to dig into.
Where on the Internet do you see these types of advertisements?
There are dozens and dozens of sites where these people go where they advertise and sell these girls, just like how you would buy a lawn mower or a piece of furniture.
There is a cycle that happens on the Internet; recruiting, assessment, luring. This all happens online and the predators/pimps/traffickers trick and fools these girls into this life. Not only are we looking at the back end but we are trying to prevent it and predict it early on.
How many people are on Guardian Group team?
Currently, we have a total of 7 employees. Guardian Group follows a special forces model, where you have your headquarters, which is also referred to as the mission support site (MSS), located in Oregon, and our goal and vision is to plant teams and operation centers partnered with law enforcement across the US.
We also have an offense and defense side. While we already work somewhere between 20-25 states and 60-70 law enforcement agencies, we are doing that all from a central location, which is the offense side. The defense side is trying to get the public and the corporate communities that are being exploited and manipulated by this crime, to understand what it looks like.
We built an online training course for the hotel industry to help make employees aware of what this crime looks like. While this crime lives on the Internet, the physical link up takes place predominately at hotels. It can be seen if the employees know what they are looking for. We have thousands that are on our defense side, who are educated and trained to look for this crime and report it.
If we sat you down and I explained to you what this crime looks like, you would realize that you have seen it and you will see it next time that you travel.
Talk to me more about the online training course for hotels.
We built an online course specifically for the hotel industry, where they can buy it online. We are in the process of rolling the online course out and expanding it. We basically want to get hotels more involved from a strategy perspective.
When you think of the 60,000 hotels across the U.S., if every single hotel was trained to report and was an active resistance to this exploitation, imagine what that would do to this crime. If we could wave a magic wand, all hotels would all be trained and have the Guardian Seal on their front door.
What can an individual do to help out with Guardian Group’s mission?
There are three things from an organization point of view to help us out:
- Support us financially
- Help refer us to other corporations who want to take a stand against this crime.
- Send talent and volunteers to Guardian Group
The other part I want to talk about is from an individual level and how you at home can help us out. We have to do a better job at building the confidence and self-esteem of girls/women.
Somewhere along the line, we are turning too many men into predators and turning too many girls/women to be easily manipulated and exploited. We need to do a better job so they are confident by the way that they carry themselves and confident by the way they represent themselves online. Girls/women need to stop sharing vulnerabilities and recognizing that there are predators that are trying to exploit them. This goes for online presence and your day-to-day living. Everyone needs to find a way to help reinforce the confidence and capabilities of women.
Many have asked.
We have the answer.
If you are a pepper spray owner, it is important to know how to treat an area that has been affected by pepper spray, in case it is ever blown back on you or if you accidentally spray it on yourself or someone else.
Let’s first start off with the some background information about what actually is in pepper spray formula.
The formulation is an oleoresin capsicum solution derived from hot peppers. It’s an effective inflammatory agent that works on the eyes, respiratory system and mucous membranes. The formulation impairs breathing from the mouth and dilates the capillaries of the eye, leaving the assailant temporary without sight and short of breath.
CAUTION: FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN FIRST OR SECOND DEGREE BURNS, SEVERE SKIN IRRITATION, DEPIGMENTATION OR OTHER SKIN INJURY.
- Remove contact lenses and contaminated clothing immediately. Contaminated clothing should be washed or dry-cleaned, as appropriate, prior to re-use to prevent skin injury
- Flush contaminated area with large quantities of cool water or a diluted baking soda solution and expose the area to fresh air as soon as possible
- Do not apply salves, creams, oils or lotions as they can trap the irritant agent against the skin and result in blisters or burns
- Consult a physician if irritation persists
- Recommended Mace Brand product:
The Relief decontamination spray is designed to help speed up the decontamination time needed to recover. The specialized herbal extract formula cuts through the capsaicinoids that cause the burning sensation in the eyes.
For more information about the Mace Brand Relief decontamination spray, click here.
After you take care of the above steps, now its onto decontaminating the area of where the pepper spray was sprayed.
The techniques described below have proven successful in reducing the irritant agent contamination, especially on surfaces which are hard and non-absorbent.
The decontamination of a building and items of equipment may be attempted by following the three steps outlined below. Safety wear, including but not limited to eye protection, respiratory protection, rubber gloves and protective clothing should be worn.
The single, most important step in the decontamination process is to remove all airborne particles of the irritant agent within the building.
Doors and windows should be opened to create cross ventilation. Wherever possible, active ventilation should be employed to exhaust the air from the building to the outdoors. Active ventilation is usually best accomplished by arranging an exhaust fan to provide a constant flow of air in a single direction through the building to the outdoors. The exhaust fan should remain in operation until the total decontamination process is complete.
Cloth covered furniture, disposable goods and other items which cannot be decontaminated should be removed. These items can either be destroyed or exposed to the air, breeze and sunlight which may reduce their contamination.
Wipe Down/Wash Down
In most cases, the irritant agent may be removed by wiping down the affected areas with a mild solution of a detergent dissolved in lukewarm water.
Do not use hot water, as this will cause the irritant agent to become airborne. Rubber gloves should be worn to protect the hands from the irritant agent. The material used in the cleanup operation should be disposed of after use.
Carpets and rugs should be cleaned to remove any residual irritant agent. All disposal practices must be in compliance with all Federal, state/provincial and local laws and regulations. Regulations may vary in different locations.
It’s finally that time of year again – dust off your luggage and get ready for some much needed R&R on spring break!
Spring break is a time to unwind from the stresses of work or school, and to travel to a destination, whether it would be the mountains or beach. No matter the destination that you choose to travel to this year, follow these two important rules:
- Have fun
- Most importantly, be safe
According to a presentation by Middle Tennessee Health Promotion, Health, Wellness & Recreation Center, approximately 1.5 million people go on spring break each year, which means you will be surrounded by a multitude of unfamiliar faces in an unfamiliar destination.
Your friends at Mace Brand and North Coast Defense Academy want you to be safe, so we have gathered our top 6 spring break safety tips to keep you as safe as you can be.
The buddy system
Trust us, it works! Don’t leave a party alone; grab one or two of your friends to have them walk you to wherever you are headed. If for some reason that you do need to leave the party unattended, make sure you inform your friends where you are headed and to give them a call/send a text once you arrive.
Carry pepper spray and/or a personal alarm
Not only will carrying a pepper spray or a personal alarm keep you protected when walking in an unfamiliar place but it will also show that you are prepared and have the right tools to protect yourself.
For more information about the Mace Brand Keyguard Hard Case Pepper Spray, click here.
For more information on the Mace Brand Personal Alarm Keychain, click here.
Be wary of who you give your information to
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help
Finding closest police station to hotel/location
Finding information about U.S. Embassy, if traveling abroad
Have you ever been so afraid that your body literally shut down? I have. And I’m pretty sure that memory had a whole lot to do with me training in martial arts and creating a career out of teaching self-defense.
It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday morning in New York City. I was 23 years old and heading to work on the subway. When I stepped out at the Wall Street station, I entered a chaotic scene that felt like it was taken straight from a movie. People were screaming and running; I followed their fingers pointing to the black smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center. In a daze, I continued to the building where I worked as a marketing assistant for a special events venue, three blocks south of the towers.
When I saw the doorman, he told me I couldn’t go up to the loft where I worked but could use the phone in the lobby, if I wanted. Minutes later, the first tower fell and people started swarming into the lobby for safety. I was pushed into a utility closet with dozens of strangers and that’s when it hit me.
Tears streamed from my eyes while my whole body felt paralyzed.
To make a long story short, a woman shook me out of my state of shock. We were kicked out of the building by a policeman and had to head into the street, where ash rained down on us. Hours later, we made it over to the martial arts studio that I trained at.
The martial arts studio was my safe haven. For the next six months, it became a metaphor for my life. It was the place where I spent as much time as I could because the martial arts training was helping me become stronger than I ever thought possible. Physically, my body was getting stronger; emotionally, I became more confident and less afraid. As I learned life-saving self-defense techniques, I felt more capable of protecting myself from danger.
It was in that following year that I decided I wanted to make my career about helping others feel those same benefits; strong, safe and more confident, both emotionally and physically. I had a lot of training to do before I could start teaching martial arts (hapkido specifically) for a living, so I first became certified as a personal trainer.
Over the course of 10 years, I trained as often as I could while building a personal training and health coaching practice. I became a certified health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and later on went back to school part-time to attain my master’s degree in nutrition. Throughout that entire decade, I trained in hapkido as much as I could; I taught classes and trained private clients. Towards the end of the 10 years, with some help of my martial arts master, I began teaching self-defense for women who didn’t want to train in martial arts. I named the workshop Stilettos & Self Defense after a night that I was grabbed on the street years earlier. I was able to scare off my attacker and chase him down the street wearing my stilettos.
After 10 years, I tested and passed with my 3rd degree black belt in hapkido and moved to Los Angeles, where I continue to teach self-defense at colleges, corporations and conferences around the country.
Doing this work has strengthened my commitment to teaching this important subject because I have met thousands of women along the way. Sure enough, after any presentation I give, women of all ages will share their stories with me of how they have survived sexual assault.
Currently, 1 in 3 women globally will be victims of sexual violence and that is NOT OK. It’s a shameful statistic and I think we can all help reduce it. There are three ways that I have identified that everyone can do to participate in this journey of taking a stand for women’s safety:
- Empower ourselves to learn self-defense and protect ourselves against predatory behavior
- Continue the conversations and make it safe for survivors to share their stories. This gives survivors room to heal
- Become better bystanders and speak up and call out predatory behavior and sexual harassment and assault
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you exchange gifts with your husband, boyfriend or a guy friend, and are having trouble finding the right gift, I’ve come up with a list of 10 out of the box ideas for the man in your life.
Good quality chocolate
Chocolate isn’t just for women on Valentine’s Day; everyone can get down with a good quality box of chocolate goodies. My husband loves when I buy him Lake Champlain Chocolates. The only problem is, I can’t resist myself from eating his, so I will often just buy my own as well. Luckily, he prefers milk chocolate and I try to grab a healthier, darker version. There are so many gifts to choose from on their site from gift baskets, hot cocoa’s and boxes of truffles. It’s Valentine’s Day, so we all get a pass to eat as much chocolate as we want!
Does your man like beer? Gift the Six Pack Cooler Tote from Uncommon Goods, so he can bring his beer cold to his next outdoor concert, party or BYO restaurant. It’s like a koozie on steroids!
A personal defense product
If your man is into personal safety, the Mace Brand Pepper Gun is right up his alley. It’s compact and when fired, it can stop an attacker or intruder in their tracks before having to get too close.
Is your guy the grill master of the house? Since I do most of the cooking in my house, my husband likes to be the one to do the grilling (makes him feel like he’s contributing to the meal!). At Mancrates.com, you can choose the Grill Master Crate gift set that includes meat tenderizers, a smoker box, hickory woodchips and a variety of BBQ sauces. P.S. there are also a ton of other “man crates” to choose from with different themes.
A stylish backpack
Are you buying a gift for a fit guy or one who is trying to be? He needs a way to get his sweaty clothes home from the gym. North Face makes a backpack for guys on the go who need to carry his sweaty clothes from the gym.
Everyone should be happy when they look down at their feet. Why not add some flair to his footwear, even if he has to wear a suit all day? Happy Socks bring a lot of style and life to an ordinary wardrobe piece.
Nobody wants your stereotypical father’s big wallet anymore, especially when people rarely carry cash anymore. A slim and well designed wallet, like this American flag leather wallet by TGT Wallets is the perfect gift for someone who likes things neat and tidy, and the products are made proudly here in the US of A.
A bucket list map
I love this idea and am actually buying this for my husband for this Valentine’s Day! We are avid travelers and love to dream about all of the places we want to explore. This visual map that allows you scratch off the places you’ve been and you can also tag the places you wish to go!
A manly scented candle
A candle gift says ‘I like you’, ‘I’m thinking of you’ and perhaps ‘I want your apartment to smell nice too’. These soy wax candles on Etsy are safe, non-toxic and smell of spicy tobacco and hints of vanilla. It’s an inexpensive, thoughtful gift for someone you either share a home and bathroom with or would like to share a home or bathroom with.
An experience gift
I’d much prefer to give an experience as a gift versus a product. An experience can create happy memories that will last a lifetime. Obviously budget plays a big role in choosing an experience gift that can range from a night at the museum or a weekend getaway. Personally, if we can’t get away, I would plan an outdoor adventure for my husband that would include some sort of physical activity (like biking or hiking), followed by a really good meal. Choose something that your guy loves to do and plan a day around it. Throw in any special surprises that you can think of and present the idea in a handwritten card.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you’ve never been stranded on the side of the road, you should count yourself lucky. Stranded motorists are often in predicaments that can severely jeopardize their safety and security. Whether a person has locked their keys in their car, or lost the key entirely, being stranded puts you at risk. So how do you deal with this state of vulnerability? It’s hard to plan for unforeseen circumstances but being armed with these five safety tips will help you better navigate the problem and stay safe.
1. Assess Your Surroundings
The first step to staying safe while stranded on the roadside is to assess your surroundings. Take the time to adequately analyze the immediate area around you, then take yourself out of harm's way. Pay close attention to the flow of traffic (if any) and the layout of the road or area that you are stranded on. Scenarios in which you might find yourself stranded can arise at any time and at any place, so always keep a close eye on what is around you.
In some cases, motorists jeopardize their own safety because they neglect to monitor the state of things around them. This puts stranded motorists at risk of being hit by another road user or getting injured on treacherous terrain. You should always assess your surroundings before you do anything else. This also gives you an opportunity to assess the state of your vehicle.
2. Make Yourself Visible
Visibility has a direct impact on your level of safety when you are stranded as a motorist. This applies whether you find yourself stranded during the day or at night. Always make it an effort for yourself and your vehicle to be visible. If possible, drivers should turn on their hazard/emergency lights. This will help keep other drivers alert and might even get you some help from a kind bystander.
While stranded in a parking lot visibility is also important, as you may be vulnerable to passersby as well as traffic. If you are stranded in a location with very minimal lighting, it makes it easier for criminals to sneak up on you or for you to be harmed without anyone noticing. Try to move to an area with better lighting. However, if your keys are still left in your car, do not leave your car abandoned. Instead, reach out to AAA, an emergency locksmith or other roadside assistance providers.
3. Utilize Personal Safety Tools
Driver’s should make a habit of carrying at least one personal safety tool in their vehicle at all times. Having a personal safety tool handy is one of the best ways to protect yourself, if you are stranded motorist. Sometimes, you will not be able to leave your vehicle to go get help but you still want to ensure that you are protected while you wait. These safety tools range from active safety tools to passive safety tools.
A common example of a passive safety tool would be the Mace® Brand LED Adjustable Safety Band, which helps keep you visible. An example of an active safety tool would be the Mace® Brand Peppergel Distance Defense Spray. Personally, I believe motorists should take advantage of both active and passive safety tools.
Having these tools on you will make it much easier for you to assess your vehicle safely and also protect yourself from any would-be attacker. Drivers can incorporate these safety tools into their road trip safety kit so that they can always stay safe while on the road.
4. Alert People To Your Location
It always helps stranded motorists to alert others to their location and their plight. Telling someone where you are and that you are stranded by your vehicle, only helps to increase your level of safety. It makes it easier for people to reach you and assist you because they know where you are, and they have also been made aware that you are in need of help. If you have locked your keys in your car, you can get assistance or have a friend bring your spare keys or supplies.
Ideally, drivers should have a shortlist of emergency contacts that they can reach out to in situations like this. This list can consist of family members, neighbors or any other close associates. However, motorists should always call 9-1-1, if they believe their lives are at risk while stranded by their vehicles.
5. Be Wary of Strangers
Stranded motorists often come into contact with strangers and while strangers can sometimes be of great help, they can also put your safety at further risk. Criminals often disguise themselves as regular, helpful individuals, so that they can take advantage of someone's trusting nature.
As a safety precaution for stranded motorists, always ask for identification from anyone that comes up to you offering assistance. This might seem like it does not accomplish much but it throws most criminals off guard and might deter them from taking advantage of you. On the other hand, a friendly passerby won’t mind obliging to your request.
Approaching every situation with safety in mind is the best way to navigate life but in the instance where you are already at a disadvantage, having these safety tips handy will do a great deal of good.
As we begin a new year, we seem to be inundated with health and wellness resolutions and information. Yet, January is also home to National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month. A month to help us increase our personal safety and make it a priority to build safety habits into our daily routines to keep us safer all year long.
If you hear the words self-defense and automatically tune out because you associate it with people training in martial arts, wearing uniforms and shouting “hiyah”, then this article is for you. Self-defense simply refers to the art of self-protection from all kinds of danger. That’s why it is so important for us to discuss personal self-defense habits with people of all ages because it’s never too early to learn how to protect yourself.
As a third-degree black belt in Hapkido (a Korean martial art), I trained for countless hours in the physical realm of self-defense. However, the art in martial arts can also be referred to as the mental and spiritual practice that helps increase our awareness. This in turn helps us to become more strong, safe and confident from the streets to the boardroom. I’ve also learned that most people do not have time to practice martial arts for a long period of time. Therefore, I’ve developed programs for the average person (both male and female) on how to enhance their safety.
Here are a few things that everyone can do to enhance their personal safety this year and beyond without having to learn and practice martial arts for years:
1. Practice powerful body language
Predators are looking for a weak or vulnerable target. The first signal a predator looks for is body language. Your body language will communicate non-verbally with the predator and will either tell the predator that you are aware and alert or distracted, scared and/or vulnerable.
Vulnerability looks like rounded shoulders and slouched posture. Vulnerable could also look distracted, which is most of us as we look at our phones while walking down the street or getting into our cars. Strong body language includes great posture with shoulders back and head up, as well as making direct eye contact with everyone around you. This alone could deter a potential attack.
2. Carry pepper spray for self-protection
When you own and carry a Mace Brand pepper spray or gel, you automatically think about your safety when you touch or see that product. The pepper spray in your hands heightens your awareness when you are out running, commuting, walking, or running errands. It sends a signal to your brain that you bought this or were given this product for a reason; to be safe.
3. Learn how to use your body as a weapon
When I teach physical self-defense, this is one of the first physical lessons. You need to know how your body can act as a weapon, if you were grabbed, attacked or threatened.
Hands, elbows, knees and feet are going to be our most powerful weapons and knowing how to strike with them can save your life in many situations. This is where a self-defense lesson or two will definitely come in handy. Even if you do not want to take martial arts as a practice, many schools will offer one-off or a series of self-defense classes to teach you the basics. I highly recommend putting this on your to-do list for 2018 as soon as possible. Not only will you learn how to defend yourself physically but will also leave feeling a little more confident than when you walked in. It’s a byproduct of self-defense training.
4. Avoidance is your best line of defenseIt goes without saying that not being in a dangerous situation in the first place, is the best place to be. That’s not always an option, especially when it comes to surprise attacks. With that being said, there are some situations where we may have the ability to avoid and that usually happens by listening to our intuition. If you have a gut feeling that tells you to not go somewhere, or not trust someone, then it is definitely worth listening to. You never know when your gut may save your life!
Are you sick of setting resolutions around losing weight or giving up things that make you happy, only to give up on them before February even begins? This year, instead of resolutions, how about trying something new to help form a foundation for you to build the most empowered version of yourself?
As a Mace Brand ambassador, my goal is to help people empower themselves to be strong, safe and confident; not just on the streets but in all aspects of their lives. In alignment with the launch of the Mace Brand Purple Empowerment line, I thought it would be a powerful start to the New Year to share three different ways to set yourself up for a stronger, safer and smarter New Year:
1. Set an intention for the year
An intention is kind of like a theme for your life, work and relationships. You can have one theme throughout all of those different categories or different themes for different categories. An intention can be one word or a phrase that sets up a framework for you to live in.
This word or phrase can be used as a mantra throughout the year to keep you focused on your intention when the going gets rough or you start to get distracted.
For example, my intention for my body and health this year is STRONG. Therefore, my framework for my health and body is to take actions that will keep me feeling strong. I will continue to strength train to keep my body strong, cardio to keep my heart strong, yoga to keep my mind/body connection strong and eat foods that will keep my insides strong. When I get tempted to eat foods that will weaken my body, energy and immune system (like sugar), I will simply repeat my intention to stay focused.
2. Develop a healthy habit checklist
If setting intentions sounds too heady for you, maybe developing a healthy habit checklist will be a better fit. Set anywhere from three to seven healthy habits that you will commit to for the year to help set you up for a successful year. These healthy habits can be for all areas of your life including body, mind, career, fun and family. Or perhaps you want to do one checklist for your entire life. There are a number of ways to create this visually but I like to set up Excel spreadsheets for my clients. Habits along the top and dates down the side. Each box on the spreadsheet is used to check off after you’ve completed that daily habit.
Examples of healthy habits can include:
- Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water.
- Break a sweat.
- Write in journal.
- Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Meditate for 5 minutes.
- Eat 50% of my plate in vegetables.
- Read before bed.
Or any specific healthy habits that you want to incorporate into your year to empower you to be your healthiest self.
3. Set goals and write them down
If you are motivated by reaching goals, then writing your yearly goals will be a great practice for you. Writing them down helps solidify them in your mind and make them more real. What people usually miss is that they should be somewhere visible and accessible so you can review them all year long.
Once you write down your goals for what you want to have accomplished by this time next year, the next step would be to break each of those goals down into smaller goals and write in your calendar what needs to be done by certain dates.
For example, if you want to run a marathon this time next year, then you will likely have a lot of training to do. You can write in your calendar how many miles you will have to run and by when. Start from the marathon and work your way backwards. If the marathon is in December, then by November you will have to do a 22-mile run. In October, you may have to run 18 miles. By August, you’ll have to run 14 miles and so on. Those are just numbers I made up but I hope you get the picture. Big goals are great but remember to chunk them down into smaller goals too.
Lastly, remember to reward yourself when you do reach your goals so you recognize your commitment and hard work!
Cheers to an empowered year and setting ourselves up for success! Happy 2018!
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us! Excitement is in the air, holiday lights are hung and retail is doing everything they can to entice us into their stores to buy gifts for all of our loved ones.
It’s easy to get distracted this time of year as we shop while still managing work and care for our families as well. Here are some safety strategies to help keep you aware and safe as you enjoy this joyous season.
1. Have a game plan
Before heading out to shop, make a list of what you need and make a game plan. This not only keeps us focused but it can also help keep you on budget. I can easily blow my budget on all the extra glittery stuff that I see and think I need, instead of focusing on the food or gift list that I need to buy. More importantly, lists help keep you focused on where you are going. Remember that predators are looking for vulnerable and distracted targets. When going from store to store or store to car, keep alert and walk with purpose to your next destination.
2. Avoid ATM machines
Try not to stop at a ATM machines during your shopping. Shop with plastic if possible to avoid pulling out wads of cash at the register. You never know who is watching!
3. Always keep at least one hand free
There’s no way you can even try to fight back against an attacker or protect your face if both hands are weighed down at your side holding shopping bags. Use a cross body bag as your purse to avoid being the victim of a robbery but remember to keep the actual bag in front of you and zipped. If you plan on buying a lot, perhaps look into using a backpack to stuff some goods into if you are in a city and will be walking around shopping.
In that free hand, you can carry a Mace Brand pepper spray while walking through parking garages, desolate parking lots, outdoor shopping malls and while getting into elevators. My favorite is the Exquisite polka dot purse pepper spray that looks just like a lipstick or perfume container. A pepper spray in hand keeps you more aware of your safety and can be used against a potential predator.
4. Cover your packages on public transportation
If you are taking public transportation to and from shopping keep all your goods covered. Don’t have expensive toys or fancy gifts hanging out of the bag to tempt would be thieves. If your list is lucky enough to get gifts from expensive designer stores, the branded shopping bags are dead giveaways that whatever is inside is going to cost a lot and therefore, can get a thief a nice payday on the black market. This is where it might again be handy to keep expensive gifts close to your body either in a backpack (securely zipped) or in a cross body bag.
5. Be alert
If you live in more a suburban area and you’ll be driving from store to store or to the mall, your car is going to either be a source of safety or danger depending on the situation. As you head to your car in a parking garage or lot, keep eyes and ears alert and have your phone put away. Your focus should be on walking with purpose, checking out your car (inside, around and under) and getting into it as quickly and efficiently as possible and then locking the doors behind you. This acts as a safe boundary against any potential predator. I also keep an extra Mace Brand pepper spray on the side of my door of my car that I can easily grab, just in case!
Stay safe and enjoy your shopping!