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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Dog

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Dog

A dog is a bundle of joy and unconditional love, as well as a wet nose which is going to be always in your business. The decision to get a dog should be taken after some consideration and serious talk with your room mate(s). I know this because I got a dog when I unexpectedly fell in love with one, so I was completely unprepared for everything that followed.

As someone who never regrets the decision, I do wish I knew some things before I got the dog.

1. Dog-proof your home

You know that moment when your kid starts crawling or walking and your things are never safe again? Well, the same happens with a dog. The moment your new pet sets paw in your house, he is going to spot all the things he should never touch and destroy them. To prevent this from happening, pet-proof your house. Get on your knees and look around. All the fragile items must be lifted on upper shelves and all the potentially dangerous items, such as wires, have to be secured and hidden.

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Second, you need to set things straight with everyone living in the house regarding the limits of the new dog. Where is he allowed, where he isn’t and so on. If not everyone is on the same page with the dog, when it arrives, you might have problems in the future.

2. Be ready to spend money

Regardless if you adopt or buy a dog, be ready to pay more than a fee. A dog is another living creature, so he will need food, toys, neutering, micro chipping, training classes and many more. The vet is going to become a constant in your life, as dogs also get sick and require treatments. Vaccinations and fleas prevention are other monthly costs.

Leashes, collars and other dog equipment are other things which can become a little pricey, even if you will probably need just two of them, in different sizes. If you live in multiple season areas your dog might need coats. Add to these costs the cost of random treats and toys, because who can resist spoiling the little one?!

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3. Learn what a dog can and can’t eat

Dogs can eat some of the foods humans eat, but there are also foods that can easily harm them or even kill them. It’s very important to know the food requirements of your dog before you get him. Even if you won’t be giving him human foods, not all the dog foods are the same.

While most dogs will eat pretty much anything, there are good and bad dog foods on the market, just like we have good food and junk food. You have to learn the nutritional requirements of your dog to be able to choose the best foods for him and to be able to save your pocket: most dogs don’t actually need expensive grain free or gluten-free foods. By the way, the price is not an indication of the quality of the dog food, in many cases.

4. Puppies are little devils in disguise

Puppies are cute… because if they wouldn’t be, you would probably kill them! If you get a puppy you have to be ready for chewing, peeing, pooping and crying for several weeks. Indeed, puppies grow fast, but when you are sleep deprived, your couch is being pooped on, the floor is covered in pee and you are covered in stain remover, that puppy really needs to grow fast and be super-cute.

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5. Dogs are very social

Dogs are social creatures and they need you and other members of the family. Cesar Millan’s stories with the pack leader are totally true! Dogs fall in love with their family members and don’t bear solitude. If you like to travel a lot you need to know you will have to take the dog with you from now on.

When you have a dog you will never be alone again, not even in the bathroom. Or, especially in the bathroom. However, despite the social nature of dogs, you need to train them and socialize them, if you want to have a friendly, well-behaved dog.

6. Your life will never be the same again

Dogs can turn your life upside down and will cause lots of trouble to you. But after you get a dog your life will never be the same again. You won’t be able to give up on the furry creature and it will become a real family member. You will be ready to do anything for him and he will do anything for you. There is no bigger joy than arriving home and finding your hyper-active dog happy to see you again.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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