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5 Romantic, Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

5 Romantic, Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

Whether you have been together for one year or thirty, you can often find yourself challenged on what to do for your anniversary. You want to do something unique that shows how much you care about your partner, but you also do not want to break the bank in the process.

But no matter how much or little money you have, there are always unique and special things you can do. Here are some inexpensive ideas for how to show your special someone that you care about them, whether it is on your anniversary or any other occasion.

1. Writing love letters

You may have an older relative like my grandmother who grouses about how letter writing is a superior form of communication compared to texts or emails. Well, Grandma does have a point. As the Huffington Post notes, the fact that writing a letter takes longer gives you more time to think about exactly what you want to say and shows how much you care about the recipient.

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You can write a letter just detailing how much you love your partner or even take a shot at poetry. Then put the letter somewhere where it can be easily found such as on the kitchen table or next to the bed. But don’t pressure your partner and ask what he thinks about it. Just sit back and be satisfied knowing that you have taken the time to truly express your feelings.

2. Cook a meal at home together

People used to routinely eat together, but now we have chosen to toss that aside in favor of convenience meals or scarfing something down in front of a computer. But multiple studies have found that eating together helps children learn the value of communication and perform academically, and really all of us could think more about building bonds and communicating with each other in today’s world.

So use your anniversary as an opportunity to start trying to eat together more, and start by cooking together. If the two of you already do that, then branch out and try making something new. It can be as simple as a root beer float or as complicated as baking a cake. Do not hesitate to be adventurous.

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3. Go outside and explore

No matter where you live, there are always parts of your town or city that you have not been to yet. It could be a nature park out in the countryside, or even just a farmers’ market in the city you have not taken the time to go to.

So instead of doing what you do for every anniversary, just go and explore. I would emphasize trying to get a good dose of nature, whether it is going to the countryside or just taking a walk in the park. Being out in nature is a good way to ensure that you are not surrounded by others, and there is the additional benefit of unplugging from technology and really communicating face to face with your partner.

But if you are not a fan of quiet places or live in a city without much green, then at least head to somewhere nearby you have not been to before. Treat it as an adventure.

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4. Look for community events

An additional benefit of exploring new places is that you can discover new events in the local community, many of which are often free or very cheap. Some examples of community events can include a lecture at the local library or a cleanup effort organized by the local park. Even volunteering to help the less fortunate can be different, yet fulfilling for the two of you.

Additionally, you can head to your local government’s website or check out a newspaper to find out interesting, free events. There is always something to do in any place to spend time with your partner and explore the community.

5. Go out for a meal (but not dinner)

Most of us would like to go to some fancy restaurant to celebrate our anniversary, but going out is expensive. But if you are still determined to take your partner out, then consider grabbing a cup of coffee like you might have done on your first date.

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Remember that the point of any anniversary meal is to just spend time with your loved one. Note that a nice café is also a great place to observe interesting people and sights that you cannot do at a normal restaurant, and it is generally less expensive.

If none of these ideas work, then here is a good list of some other ideas you can try for your anniversary. Do not hesitate to be creative. At the end of the day, you know your partner better than anyone else and can always come up with something appropriate.

Featured photo credit: t.germenau via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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