It’s Time We Talked About Hygiene

It’s Time We Talked About Hygiene

There are around two million people who die each year from hygiene-related problems. What makes this even more unacceptable is that 9 out of 10 of them are children. There are too many people who don’t have access to basic hygiene options.

Everyone suffers when people don’t have the clean water they need to wash their hands, or some cultural taboo or stereotype says that they aren’t able to properly take part in society. It causes problems and people end up further apart rather than coming together. Society as a whole is being prevented from reaching its potential.


Don’t think that this issue only affects the developing world either. The SCA and the UN Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) recently published a global study that shows over a third of women in the U.S. feel uncomfortable being a part of social situations when on their period. This percentage was one of the highest in the world. Flint, Michigan is a place where the water has been contaminated for a few years now, and it’s also a place where CNN is reporting that some residents no longer bathe or wash their hands. Instead they use baby wipes to clean themselves rather than soap, which is better for cleaning the body.

These issues have been the focus of the SCA for decades now. The SCA teamed up with the WSSCC a few years ago to spread awareness about the link between health, hygiene, and overall well-being. They also wanted to break the taboos surrounding menstruation. They are working together again this year to improve hygiene practices over the world as part of the Hygiene Matters initiative SCA is running. This initiative is designed to get people all over the world talking about hygiene standards, educating people about hygiene, and giving policymakers recommendations on how to address the systemic hygiene problems around the world. They are also looking to inspire other organisations to join in and help in the fight against poor hygiene around the world.


Improving hygiene solutions and practices also comes with a reduction in business and healthcare costs. The UN is still collecting and analyzing data that will help them offer opportunities to create customized care systems, as well as customize products and services to handle specific hygiene problems. Simple solutions and products like Myrrh oil, which can be used for its cleansing properties for mouth and throat, have been on the agenda. One part of this is helping revolutionize the way that hundreds of nursing homes handle incontinence, which led to an improved quality of life for these patients while also reducing the costs for the managers of these facilities. They are continuing to develop away-from-home products and other smart solutions for washrooms to ensure that public restrooms have plenty of hygiene products, making sanitation workers more efficient.

As strange as it sounds, there are some parts of the world where women and young girls are forbidden to go to school or work while on their period. By educating these people about menstruation and helping men and women handle their incontinence, my hope is to improve workplace productivity. Female factory workers in Pakistan can end up missing out on three days of work a month due to being on their period. There are programs out there that are used to educate people on hygiene and provide women with menstruation products. These programs have proven effective and have reduced work absenteeism by up to 46%.


Of course, it’s impossible to solve every problem in the world, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t raise our voice to make a difference and create new ideas and solutions. We need to invest in hygiene education and share our knowledge and data to transform the attitudes people have towards hygiene along with their practices.

The SCA is calling on everyone, everywhere, to come together and ask what they could do to advocate and advance proper hygiene and sanitation. If we work together then we really can improve the lives of millions of people around the world. We can promote better health and well-being. If we all come together we really could create a significant change in the world. How does that old saying go? “Become the change you wish to see in the world.”


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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.


2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.


6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.


9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?


Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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